One big problem with the Belgian wave has always been the lack of photos or movies showing the object, despite hundreds of claimed sightings. Indeed, Kean seeks to dismiss the lack of evidence by noting that "twenty years ago, cell phones and relatively inexpensive, consumer-level digital and video cameras were not yet in use" (true, but film cameras were plentiful and widespread). Indeed, only one photo claiming to show this supposed 'triangular craft' has ever been seen (above). It was said to have been taken in Petit Rechain, Belgium in April, 1990 by a twenty-year-old man known only as "Patrick," although it was not released until four months later. The Belgian UFO investigative group SOBEPS investigated the photo and found it to be authentic. So did many other "experts". Kean writes,
A team under the direction of Professor Marc Acheroy discovered that a triangular shape became visible when overexposing the slide. After that, the original color slide was further analyzed by Frangois Louange, specialist in satellite imagery with the French national space research center, CNES; Dr. Richard Haines, former senior scientist with NASA; and finally Professor Andre Marion, doctor in nuclear physics and professor at the University of Paris-Sud and also with CNES. (p. 30)UFO skeptics have long supplied reasons why this photo is not credible. For one thing, it shows nothing in the background to allow its size or distance to be ascertained. It could as easily be a tiny model seen close-up as a giant hovering craft. In the 1990s the Belgian skeptic Wim van Utrecht showed that the photo could easily be reproduced using a small model. In a recent issue of Tim Printy's WebZine Sunlite, an article by Roger Pacquay notes several inconsistencies about the photo.
Now we have a confession. The Belgian news organization RTL is reporting that the hoaxer has given his "Mea culpa" and now "lifts the veil": The reporter interviewed "Patrick" in his home, where he showed them many slides and prints. "l’OVNI de Petit-Rechain n’est pas un vaisseau spatial venu d’une lointaine galaxie mais un panneau de frigolite peint et équipé de trois spots" ("The UFO of Petit-Rechain is not a spaceship from a distant galaxy but a panel of painted styrofoam with three spots affixed.")
|"Patrick" explaining that once he showed his hoax photo to his colleagues, he could no longer hold back the photo's march all across the world.|
"On arrive à tromper tout le monde avec une bête maquette en frigolite".
("One has managed to fool the whole world with a silly model made of styrofoam.")
[The formerly anonymous hoaxer is now known to be Patrick Marechal. See http://tinyurl.com/KeanBe ]