Security forces around the world, already on high alert in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo and Kosher supermarket attacks as well as new threats from ISIS terrorists, became edgier still in response to reports of unidentified flying objects. The crash of a small commercial drone on the White House lawn at 3 a.m. proved to be nothing more than the “drunken misadventure” of an employee of a government intelligence agency, but nocturnal sightings of drones over Paris landmarks and the US embassy remain unexplained and a cause for concern.

Then, in the days leading up to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s controversial address to the US Congress came a slew of worldwide reports of triangular objects widely assumed to be Israeli in origin.

In this tense situation, it was probably inevitable that Israel would be drawn into the broader security speculation. Wild stories of Mossad conspiracies, long popular in the Arab world, appeared in the mainstream press two weeks ago. One report claimed Israel intelligence had sought to use “water-gobbling plants to sabotage Egypt” by drying up the Nile. (“The allegation against Mossad could be true or preposterous,” the authoritative Guardian helpfully observed.) Ironically, this accusation came hot on the heels of the charge that Israel had opened dams in order to flood Gaza. This story, though widely circulated by both social media and major newspapers, collapsed when it was pointed out: there are no dams in southern Israel.

Israeli officials have not commented on the reports of the mysterious triangles, but several outside analysts (speaking anonymously) were willing to share their views.

Saucers and Triangles: an Israeli Connection?

Although the UFO frenzy that gripped America in the 1950s and 1960s involved “flying saucers” (apparently a misinterpretation of the earliest report), many sightings were in fact of triangular objects (which, viewed from the front or in profile, could appear saucer-like). This has led to speculation about a consistent line of development from the futuristic Nazi Ho 229 to the Northrup YB-49 flying wing and the B-2 “stealth” bomber. Indeed, the CIA has revealed that its secret aircraft were in fact responsible for many early UFO reports.

Significantly, the typical UFO reported today is triangular rather than saucer-shaped: the so-called “black triangles.” (Frenzied speculation centers on the alleged “Project Aurora” spy plane.)

Israel benefits greatly from its close military and intelligence partnership with the United States (which, personality differences between the heads of government notwithstanding, has actually intensified under President Obama). In fact, Israel just announced plans to purchase another 14 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II aircraft, at a price of $ 3 billion. At the same time, Israel, as the vaunted “startup nation,” has famously robust domestic high-technology and defense sectors and was a pioneer in the use of UAVs (“drones”).

Much speculation about Israeli secret weapons centers on plans for a presumed attack on Iran—which now looks almost impossibly difficult–such as UAVs deploying electronic warfare systems. However, the triangular shapes sighted this week seem to have an entirely different purpose.

the mysterious Israeli triangular object was traceable to a German version

Experts were in agreement that the mysterious Israeli triangular object was traceable to a German version that originated in what was then Bohemia (today’s Czech Republic). These miniature and pilotless objects—light-colored and two-toned rather than black–have the ability to incapacitate the targeted individual by simply inducing lethargy. Such a system would be ideally suited for covert operations, and because of its non-lethal nature, even if used openly, would presumably not trigger the international human-rights investigations that arise in the wake of every conventional Israeli military undertaking, no matter how great the efforts to spare civilians.

Investigators from the US Joint Warfare Analysis Center, speaking on deep background, said the objects evidently serve as delivery devices for powerful and carefully engineered plant derivatives, most but not all of native Middle Eastern origin. The JWAC has identified several versions.

For example, one, code-named the Mohn-T, delivers a substance related to opiates, derived from P. somniferum, which, as the name implies, would put the recipient to sleep. The other, code-named MSHMSH-A, delivers derivatives of P. armeniaca. Although the seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides–which in high doses can be fatal but in small amounts are harmless—the active agent used here is the fruit, for its soporific effect. The fact that the fruit is also reputed to act as a powerful aphrodisiac, however, calls to mind long-discredited theories involving Mossad operations.

From Sexed Up Chewing Gum to Zionist Spy Animals

Indeed, it seems that there is no anti-Israel conspiracy theory too preposterous for someone to believe.

Indeed, it seems that there is no anti-Israel conspiracy theory too preposterous for someone to believe. The Egyptian press regularly circulates stories about sinister Mossad attempts to destroy the country’s health and morality with everything from aphrodisiac candy to infertility shampoo, an accusation dating back to the 1990s, when Israel was charged with distributing gum spiked with the hormone progesterone to Palestinians, in order to “arous[e] irresistible sexual appetites in women, undermining Islamic morals and self-restraint.” It is not the most fantastic conspiracy charge leveled against Israel.

In 2010, Egyptians speculated that a Red Sea shark attack was a Mossad plot to subvert the national tourist industry. Not to be outdone, Sudan arrested a vulture on charges of spying for Israel and Turkish authorities examined the nostrils of a dead bird suspected of being a Mossad agent. Egypt did release one suspected spy stork, but alas, it was soon captured and eaten. There are in fact so many such conspiracy theories that the topic of Zionist spy animals has its own Wikipedia page. Seen in that context, reports of the triangles and their effect seem entirely plausible.

They could conquer the world

“A person encountering these things en masse wouldn’t know what hit him,” said a source. “He would probably experience a feeling of intense pleasure and then just drift off to gentle sleep. He would be rendered helpless but not harmed.” Another said, “What they’ve cooked up here is a work of sheer genius. Imagine what would happen if a country were inundated with these things. From what I know, they are absolutely irresistible. They could conquer the world.”

Several analysts speculated that the appearance of these unidentified objects at this time was part of some sort of psychological-war operation intended to parallel the Prime Minister’s diplomatic offensive by disorienting the Iranians.

If that was the aim, it seems not to have had the intended effect. To be sure, a representative of Iranian ally Hamas declared, with outrage, that deployment of these non-lethal devices “would in fact be worse than a war crime since it serves only to distract attention from the atrocities the Zionists commit every day.” But a spokesman in Tehran responded with equanimity, saying: “This laughable operation on the part of the Zionist entity does not scare us. We have in fact long been working on something similar but much more effective.” (A US intelligence officer, speaking off the record, suggested that this is the model known as Borek-1, successor to the discontinued Sanbusak series.)

And there the matter remains.

If past evidence of Israeli activity is any basis, we expect this wave of sightings to peak on Thursday

As an official of the French Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure (DGSE) explained: “Historically, these sightings of unidentified objects have come in waves. If past evidence of Israeli activity is any basis, we expect this wave of sightings to peak on Thursday and then taper off over the weekend.”

Time will tell.

In the meantime, using the leaked information and reported sightings as a guide, Times of Israel staff and students from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design have produced an artist’s rendering of the alleged triangular object and a saucer on a transporter.