A large black triangle shaped craft about the size of four football fields filled the Pinetown sky
Something strange had blotted out the stars over Pinetown. Where the stars should have been on this clear night was a large black triangle shaped craft, perhaps three to four football fields in size.
The man who claimed to have seen this strange object ran into his townhouse complex to grab this cell phone and call his girlfriend.
But by the time he returned, the craft was no longer there. When something strange and unexplained is spotted in the sky, it is often Lee Strydom, the Mutual UFO Network SA representative who is called.
This was a good sighting and the witness, who happened to be a friend of Strydom’s, left him a message on his cellphone that night.
“When I got to work the next day, I had this message, he said that he saw something and it was coming in my direction,” Strydom explains, adding that his friend that night changed from being a non UFO believer to a believer.
Others in the town house complex had also seen the strange triangular object, but to Strydom’s frustration none of them wanted to be interviewed. Interestingly flying black triangles spotted at night are not that uncommon in UFO case files.
For decades there have been reports of them from across the world. Just this week someone reported to Mufon of sighting a large dark triangle craft in Penticton, British Columbia, in Canada.
There is even a theory as to what they are, and it has nothing to do with alien visitors. The suspicion is that these triangular craft could be a top secret US surveillance aircraft known as the TR-3A Black Manta.
The flying triangle sighting was an exception for Strydom, who has been the SA Mufon representative for six years. Most sightings that are reported to him are easily explained away.
Many of these sightings have been driven by the new unusual flying objects that over the last decade, or so, have begun cluttering South African skies. Sharing South African airspace these days are hovering drones, weather balloons and the biggest UFO let down of them all -Chinese lanterns.
“It’s difficult when you have got sightings where somebody will send you a report and they will say ‘Hey Man, I saw a light in the sky’,” says Strydom. “And I will ask, are there photos or other proof? And there isn’t. But there are so many different things happening in our skies that are natural phenomena, you get ball lightning, that people think are UFOs.”
Then, there are the hoaxes. The photographs of real flying saucers that appear in Strydom’s inbox. Here pranksters throw dinner plates in the air, photograph them and claim they are extra terrestrial vehicles.
Once somebody reported seeing the cartoon character Sponge Bob Square pants running around their garden. But on the odd occasion Strydom receives a report, where he can’t find a scientific answer and sometimes it is just a hunch that something truly unexplained happened.
Take what happened to a couple in the Northern Cape. And this case didn’t involve a UFO or as those in the alien hunting industry now like to call them UAPs, or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.
As was reported to Strydom the couple were driving between two towns when they entered a massive thunderstorm. One of the worst they said they had ever experienced.
“It was at night and it was raining and there was this massive black cloud above them. They passed this road sign that said X town was 15 kilometres away.”
The couple continued driving through the storm for the next ten to 15 minutes. Suddenly the storm cleared and they were at the same road sign that marked that the town was 15 kilometres away. “So they hadn’t moved for 15 minutes, but they were driving. There was a time difference,” explains Strydom.
“This was very interesting because that’s not your typical I saw this light going across the sky. Whether he was lying, I don’t think so. The way he told the story, and how petrified they were afterwards, in my opinion makes it real.”
It suggests, believes Strydom, of possible time travel. The problem, like with many other sightings Strydom has been unable to corroborate the event with other witnesses.
Unlike his friend, who saw the triangle shaped UFO, Strydom is a believer. He said he saw a UFO when he was a child and he has been interested ever since.
“But I am very sceptical when it comes to sightings because most of them are either natural phenomenon or they are man made.” The organisation that Strydom volunteers for has been investigating UFO sightings since 1969. It is the largest non profit organisation of its kind in the world. They have representatives across the world and claim to have specialised teams that investigate possible physical evidence of extraterrestrial craft.
The organisation has however drawn criticism in the past, for promoting pseudo-science and moving away from its original mandate of UFO observations. Officially Strydom is the South African representative for Mufon, but he also handles cases from across Africa and even into the Middle East. One sighting he investigated happened in Israel, during a wedding.
“A woman sent me footage from a wedding, where they noticed something in the sky. When you slow down the footage, you can make out a cigar shaped UFO, then 30 seconds later it was followed by Israeli air force jets,” said Strydom.
That was a good sighting, there was video footage and several witnesses. But most aren’t like that, so for the future Strydom will continue sifting through those reports, weeding out the hoaxes and the explained phenomena. Then, just maybe, there will be one sighting that will prove what Strydom knows: that aliens have been visiting for thousands of years.