The Illinois Triangle

Date: January 5, 2000
Location: Lebanon, Illinois, USA
Appearance: Triangle
Classification: CE 1
Sources: NIDS; Darryl Barker; Discovery Channel
Summary: Illinois police officers observe huge triangular UFO

On January 4, 2000, around 10:30 pm over Lake Forest, Illinois, several witnesses saw a triangular-shaped UFO, approximately the size of a football field. There was a total lack of sound from the object. On the underside it had in the order of 500 individual lights, spaced evenly across the entire undersurface.

Around 4:00 in the morning of January 5, 2000, a huge UFO was seen by Melvern Noll of Highland, Illinois. "To me, it looked like a two-story house. It was the size of a football field", Noll said. "It was two different floors. It had big windows three on the lower deck and three on the top deck. Way up on top, there was like a penthouse with a dim light in it. Underneath, it had red lights in a diamond shape." The UFO was moving slowly, perhaps 50 mph, some 800 - 1000 feet above him. Due to the darkness of the sky, Mr. Noll was unable to see a triangular shape. In his rendition of the object, he drew a rectangular box.

Noll went to the Highland police station to file a report. Police officers from Lebanon, Shiloh, Millstadt and Dupo saw the object, too. The officers were able to track the UFO and maintain radio contact with each other during the event. Their in-depth testimonies have been fully documented by investigators.

Around 4:12 am, Police Officer Ed Barton saw the UFO from his squad car. He described the UFO as a massive, elongated, triangle, larger in length than width. The apparent size of the object was estimated to be at least 75 feet in length and 40 feet in width. At each corner, he saw a massive bright, white light. In addition, there was a smaller flashing red light on the bottom of the object. Officer Barton could see the rear of the object, with an array of white light across the side and a thin strip of multicolored lights that ran horizontally. He heard no sound. He estimated it was no more than 100 to 200 feet distant and approximately 1000 feet above the ground.

Sketch of UFO by police officer Barton; rear and underside as described by Barton

Then Barton observed the UFO rotating in the sky. It did not bank as is expected of conventional aircraft. Rather, the object pivoted in mid-air without tilting to one side or the other and remained completely level.

At 4:23 am, Officer Dave Martin also saw the mysterious craft. Three brilliant white lights were shining downward from the UFO, projecting shafts of light below the craft. In addition, he saw small red and green lights on the back end of the object. He thought the object's altitude was approximately 1000 feet. He thought the object resembled the shape of an extra wide triangle or arrowhead and estimated the apparent size to be 75 to 100 yards wide. The bottom did not appear to be a flat surface; one section was lower than another section. The irregularity of a naval battleship was used as a reference. Martin saw some detail on the bottom of the aircraft, similar to building blocks, or irregular pieces, like "plumbing". Martin filed a police report and sketches.

At 4:28 am, Officer Craig Stevens observed a very large triangular UFO, near the Millstadt village park where he was parked. He estimated the object to be only 500 to 1000 feet in altitude. Stevens described the UFO as having an arrowhead shape with a concave rear, with a horizontally moving, strobing light. The entire aft surface of the object consisted of a bank of white light, similar to the description by both Noll and Barton.

Police report sketch by Officer Stevens

Stevens reported that the UFO was only about 500 feet off the ground; he could hear a faint buzzing sound from the object, similar to the buzz of a power transformer. Also, Stevens noted that the texture of the craft could be compared to the 3-dimensional blockiness of a naval battleship.

Also officer Matt Jany confirmed the sighting, at approximately 5:03 am. He noted that the lights on the object were brighter than typical aircraft lights. He also saw a large, red light glowing on the underside, accompanied by white lights which were "sort of flashing" around the object's perimeter. Because the object was a good distance from him, thus rather small, he used binoculars to view it.

At 6:50 am, it was dawn. A school teacher, Stephen Winnacott, was on his way to work from Centerville, Illinois and noticed a strange stationary object in the sky. It was huge, triangular, had 2 very bright white lights and many other smaller lights around it. He recounted his sighting to the St. Louis Riverfront Times and also to the Discovery Channel for their program "UFO Over Illinois".

In 2002 and in 2004 additional witnesses surfaced.