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R e :   E r n a g e   -   D e c e m b e r   1 1 ,   1 9 8 9   
 Received : 10/27/07  Estimates of size and distance - 1   Roger PAQUAY   

According to your web site, when the craft turned and moved in the direction of the witnesses, it was at a distance of 1 km (0.62 mile or 3,280 feet), a distance that can be measured on the scaled map....  read more 

 Received : 04/20/08  Helicopter noise - 1   Martin SHOUGH   

In this case, an Army officer, Lt. Col. AMOND [now retired], and his wife, stopped their car on what Wim [VAN UTRECHT] describes as a "lonely road" and wound down the window with "ears pricked" to try and detect any sound from an object of evidently large angular size showing details of lit "panels" or windows as well as various other separate lights which circled apparently nearby for up to 8 minutes.....  read more 

 Received : 05/13/08  Helicopter noise - 2   Martin SHOUGH   

It is correct that an inversion will refract sound towards the surface, and the recommendation to avoid flying in an inversion makes sense therefore. But the inference that flying above the top of an inversion will have the inverse effect of abnormally refracting sound upward is unwarranted I think.....  read more 

 Received : 05/17/08  Helicopter noise - 3   Martin SHOUGH   

Re the Ernage case in particular and silent helicopters in general, I looked a bit further into the sound propagation question and helicopter noise sources. Perhaps this will help us decide the merits of the theory. Anyway I've collected some information for future reference - and just because it's interesting.....  read more 

 Received : 05/26/08  Estimates of size and distance - 2   Martin SHOUGH   

I'd like to point out that Mr. PAQUAY treats Lt. Col. AMOND's "2x moon diameter" light as relating to the angular size of a light source, when clearly this should be treated as an impression of the circle of glare (overloaded retina) caused by this "huge" and "brilliant" light shining into the witness's face......  read more 

 Received : 06/05/08  A response from the prime witness   André AMOND, Col. (Ret.)   

I would like to correct the approach of Mr. PAQUAY who claims that the observation of the "spotlight" was made while the craft was 1,000 m from my observation point. This is COMPLETELY WRONG.......  read more 

 Received : 06/17/08  Estimates of size and distance - 3   Roger PAQUAY   

In his response, dated June 5, 2008, Col. AMOND claims that my distance estimation of 1,000 m for the phase during which the craft turned towards him is completely false and that the real distance at that moment was 100 to 200 m. He also disputes my calculations and qualifies them as unscientific.......  read more 

 Received : 06/22/08  Not a helicopter - 1   Wilfried DE BROUWER, Maj. Gen. (Ret.)   

The Belgian airspace is surveyed by four powerful radars, two military and two civilian, which are all interlinked, i.e. any duty controller can select the image of any of these radars at any one time. All radar registrations are recorded and these recordings are kept during a well determined period.

When the media reported the numerous UFO observations which occurred in the region of Eupen/Verviers on 29 November 1989, I asked to verify the radar recordings of all air traffic over the relevant area. Thorough analysis revealed that the observations were not attributable to any fixed-wing aircraft or helicopter. It should be noted that radars can track low flying helicopters, except when these are in a hovering position. In addition, the Civil Aviation (CAA) confirmed that no flight plans had been introduced to operate in the area. A flight plan is mandatory to fly between sunset and sunrise.

On 12 December 1989, I was informed by the secretary of Lieutenant Colonel André AMOND, who worked in the same building as me, that his boss had made an observation of an unusual craft in the area of Ernage (Gembloux). I asked for him to make a report and meanwhile verified whether this observation could have been caused by an aircraft. The answer was that no flight plans had been introduced and that none of the four Belgian radar stations had registered any traffic that could have caused this phenomenon. It should be noted that at that time, the Belgian armed forces and the federal police had only a few helicopters of the size mentioned by the sceptics, but these were stationed at more than 90 km from the point of observation.

Our conclusion was that we could not determine the nature or origin of the sighting.

A few days later, Lt. Col. AMOND sent his report to the Minister of Defence and I received a copy the same day. The cabinet (staff) of the minister called me and I informed them about the inquiry and findings of the Air Force.

André AMOND was later promoted to colonel and is now retired. Having heard about the critical comments made about his sighting, I went to talk to him and we reconstructed the event. I didn’t find any significant inconsistency between his 1989 report and his current version; only, he now made a more accurate and detailed sketch of the different phases of his observation.

Other point; his wife fully acknowledges their observation and remarked that, in 1985, after an exercise, her husband had been dropped by a helicopter in the back of their garden, approximately 80 m from their home. She remembered very well the terrible noise and the propeller wash; the whole village was alerted. Like her husband, she remains fully convinced : what they saw on 11 December was certainly not a helicopter.

Summarising, just like the other reported sightings of 29 November and 11 December 1989, the Ernage case cannot be attributed to a helicopter or any other aircraft. Discussions based on such assumption are not relevant. Furthermore, Colonel AMOND is a highly qualified and very reliable person, the major elements of his testimony are consistent and there is no reason why he should be discredited.

With my best regards,

Major General (Ret.)
Lubbeek, Belgium

[After spending twenty years as a fighter pilot, Wilfried DE BROUWER was appointed to the Strategic Planning Branch in NATO in 1983. As a Colonel, he became Wing Commander of the Belgian Air Force Transport Wing and, in 1989, chief of the Operations Division of the Air Staff. It was in this function that he was confronted with a massive wave of UFO reports. At a widely attended press conference, held at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels in the Summer of 1990, DE BROUWER revealed the details of what has since become known as the March 30-31 F-16 UFO chase. Promoted to Major General in 1991, he became Deputy Chief of Staff of the BAF, in charge of Operations, Planning and Human Resources. General DE BROUWER retired in 1995 and subsequently worked more than ten years as consultant in the United Nations to improve the UN logistics rapid response capabilities during emergencies. DE BROUWER lectured on the Belgian UFO sightings on several occasions, including the 2007 National Press Club Conference in Washington D.C. and the 2008 MUFON Symposium in San Jose, California.]


 Received : 06/23/08  Witness reliability - 1   Jean-Michel ABRASSART   

A little comment about the strawman argument at the end of Wilfried DE BROUWER's email......  read more 

 Received : 06/23/08  Witness reliability - 2   Grégory GUTIEREZ   

In my opinion, the important information in DE BROUWER's e-mail is not in his last paragraph about the reliability of Col. AMOND. Of course human testimony is not always reliable, but Jean-Michel ABRASSART tends to say that it's NEVER reliable. I think he pushes his argument too far here, turning it into some kind of indisputable doctrine.....  read more 

 Received : 06/23/08  Plasma stealth chopper - 1   Jean-Pierre PHARABOD   

Now I am beginning to wonder : how could it be that the four Belgian radars did not detect these objects in the sky which were neither aircraft nor helicopters...  read more 

 Received : 06/23/08  Not a helicopter - 2   Martin SHOUGH   

Gen. DE BROUWER's first-hand testimony confirms not only that no helicopter should have been flying (as previously reported by Col. AMOND) but that, in point of fact, no illicit helicopter or other aircraft was detected by radars covering the area....  read more 

 Received : 06/26/08  Plasma stealth chopper - 2 / Map confusion   Prof. Auguste MEESSEN   

I will try to contribute to this debate by sharing with you that I have the following documents concerning the Ernage case....  read more 

 Received : 07/02/08  Recapitulating   Martin SHOUGH   

Re your reply to Prof. MEESSEN, you're right, the statement about flight plans in the Defence Minister's reply to the Parliamentary question is different from what we understood Gen. DE BROUWER to say....  read more 

 Received : 07/03/08  Estimates of size and distance - 4   Martin SHOUGH   

Thanks for Mr. PAQUAY's follow-up. I was not (as Mr. PAQUAY believes) suggesting that Col. AMOND was "dazzled" to explain a large image. As he says, an "overloaded retina" is not a very good explanation....  read more 

 Received : 07/06/08  Not a helicopter - 3   Wilfried DE BROUWER, Maj. Gen. (Ret.)   

Allow me to clarify a few points. 1. Your statement: "A helicopter is perfectly capable of executing such a manoeuvre". The report of André AMOND suggests that the object was making a tight turn with a considerable angle of bank (45 degrees?) at very slow speed (20-30 km/h?)....  read more 

 Received : 07/14/08  Helicopters noise - 4 / Banking angles - 1   Joe McGONAGLE   

I don't claim to have the detailed aeronautical experience of General DE BROUWER, but during my own military service, I did have some exposure to helicopters as a passenger and as an observer from the ground.....  read more 

 Received : 07/14/08  Helicopters noise - 5 / Banking angles - 2   Martin SHOUGH   

Thanks for your input Joe. Yes, clearly it can happen that when the conditions for sound propagation and other witness circumstances are unfavourable people can fail to hear helicopters......  read more 

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