Since 1973, I have interviewed more than 150 U.S. military personnel regarding their UFO experiences at nuclear weapons sites. CNN streamed my September 27, 2010 press conference, at which seven of those veterans appeared, and the video may be viewed below:
As noted in my last article, dramatic testimony recently provided to me by a former U.S. Air Force Minuteman missile launch officer, who wishes to remain anonymous, reveals that UFO activity at ICBM sites is not confined to the temporary shutting down of the missiles but also, in his case, the unauthorized activation of the launch-countdown sequence in them—an ominous and terrifying prospect.
But this was not the first time I had been told, by a former nuclear missile launch officer, that a UFO had initiated the launch sequence in one or more ICBMs. The following material is excerpted from my 2008 book UFOs and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites:
Of all the tape-recorded interviews I’ve conducted with former or retired ICBM launch officers over the past three decades, this was perhaps the most disturbing. According to the source, former U.S. Air Force Captain David H. Schuur, a UFO once activated the launch sequence in most of his Minuteman missiles.
In August 2007, Schuur told me, “I saw your request for information in the [June 2007] Association of Air Force Missileers Newsletter. I was involved in a UFO incident at Minot AFB in the mid-1960s. I had read your earlier article [in the September 2002 AAFM Newsletter] but was hesitant to respond.” I asked Schuur why he had been hesitant. He replied, “Well, we were basically told, way back when, that it was classified information and, you know, it didn’t happen and don’t discuss it. I guess I was still operating on that idea when I saw your first article.”
Schuur had obviously had a change of heart. He continued, “Anyway, I was a Minuteman missile crewmember in the 455th/91st Strategic Missile Wing at Minot from December 1963 through November 1967. I was a 1st Lieutenant during that period and the deputy commander that night. Since the incident occurred some 40 years ago, my memories are a bit foggy but, based on who my commander was at the time, I would say it occurred between July 1965 and July 1967.”
“As far as the incident, here’s my best recollection of it: Alpha capsule, which was east of us, reported on PAS—the Primary Alerting System—that their security personnel were observing a large, bright object hovering over some of their missile sites. It was moving from missile to missile. I think the Alpha missile crew also reported that they were receiving ‘spurious indicators’ on their missile control console, but I’m not certain about that. I do know that a few minutes later our own capsule had spurious indicators—anomalous readings—from some of our missiles.”
Schuur continued, “But it wasn’t just Alpha and Echo. Over the next hour or so—I don’t recall exactly how long it was—all of the flights reported that their [Security Alert Teams] were observing a UFO near their facilities. The path of the object could be followed as it passed over each flight area by the reports on the PAS. The object moved over the entire wing from the southeast to the northwest, following the layout of the wing.”
“As far as our flight, Echo, a few minutes after hearing the report from Alpha, I received a call from topside security that a large bright light—actually, a large, bright object would be more accurate—was in the sky, to the east of the launch control facility. When the guard called down, he may have used the term ‘UFO’ but I don’t recall. He didn’t describe its shape or altitude because it was too far away. It never got close enough to the LCF to see any detail. At its closest, it was two, three, maybe four miles away from us, near one of the missile sites.”
Schuur continued, “However, when the object passed over our flight, we started receiving many spurious indications on our console. The object was apparently sending some kind of signals into each missile. Not every missile got checked [out] by the object, but there were several that did. Maybe six, seven, or eight. Maybe all ten got checked, but I don’t think so. As this thing was passing over each missile site, we would start getting erratic indications on that particular missile. After a few seconds, everything reset back to normal.”
“But then the next missile showed spurious indicators so the object had apparently moved on to that one and did the same thing to it. Then on to the next one, and so on. It was as if the object was scanning each missile, one by one. The Inner Security and Outer Security [alarms were triggered] but we got those all the time, for one reason or another. However, on this particular night, we had to activate the ‘Inhibit’ switch because we got ‘Launch in Progress’ indicators! After a few minutes, the UFO passed to the northwest of us and all indicators reset to normal.”
I wanted to be certain about what I had just been told. I asked Schuur, “So, if you get a ‘Launch in Progress’ indicator, does that mean the launch sequence has been triggered—that the missile is preparing to launch?” Schuur replied, “That means the missile has received a launch signal. When that happens, we get an indication in the capsule that a launch command has been received by that missile. If that happens, without proper authority, you flip what’s called an ‘Inhibit’ switch, to delay the launch for a given period of time. If an Inhibit command comes in from another launch capsule, that shuts down the launch totally. But if that second command doesn’t come in, the missile will wait for a specified period of time and then launch automatically at the end of that expired period—theoretically. Of course, that night, we had all kinds of other indicators coming on from each missile so, in that situation, the launch probably would have aborted itself. I honestly don’t know.”
I asked Schuur if the “Launch in Progress” indicator had ever been triggered on any other occasion, either before or after the UFO incident, while he was on alert duty. He replied, “No, never.”
I asked Schuur if he had heard about missile maintenance teams having to replace components or whole systems in the affected missiles—the ones that generated the spurious readings. He replied, “No, if that happened, I never heard about it.”
Schuur said, “Upon returning to the base the next day, my commander and I were met by the operations officer. He just said, ‘Nothing happened, nothing to discuss, goodbye.’ Our logs and tapes were turned in. Every capsule had a 24-hour tape that, as I recall, recorded the communications that went over the PAS system, so all the reports would have been on that tape. But we were essentially told that nothing had happened that night and to discuss it no further. It was a non-event. We were never debriefed by OSI or anyone else. We just went home. Most of the returning missile crews drove back to the base from their facilities, so they all arrived at different times. There was no group debriefing that I know of. I never heard another thing about the incident.”
I asked Schuur, “I know that you were given no feedback from your superiors, but what is your personal assessment of the event?” He replied, “Oh, I think something was up there, uh, scanning the missiles, seeing what was going on. Some kind of a scanning process.” I asked Schuur whether he thought the launch activation had been incidental or deliberate. He seemed surprised by my question and said, “I think that the scanning just set it off. It set all kinds of things off, we were getting all sorts of indicators. There were some kind of signals being sent [from the UFO] to the missile that inadvertently triggered the launch activation, but I don’t think it was deliberate. I hope not! That would have been—.” Schuur didn’t finish this sentence. His voice broke and he heaved a deep sigh. Apparently, the thought that those aboard the UFO might have deliberately attempted to launch his nuclear missiles that night had caused him to pause—and probably shudder—over 40 years later.
I obviously accept Schuur’s report as credible, but am of course attempting to locate other former members of his squadron who are willing to corroborate it. As Schuur candidly admitted, after reading my first article in the September 2002 AAFM newsletter, he waited some five years before approaching me. It was only after my second published request for information from former/retired USAF missileers that he decided to unburden himself. This hesitant response is not atypical. Many of my former missile launch officer sources have not readily or easily divulged their UFO experiences to me, for one reason or another.
More UFOs At Minot AFB in 1967-68
In 2005, I posted a series of messages on the Yahoo missile_talk group’s bulletin board, summarizing the testimony of former and retired USAF sources who had reported their UFO-related experiences at various nuclear missile sites over the years. My hope was that some of the group’s members, largely made up of U.S. Air Force missileers, would be encouraged to come forth and discuss their own experiences. A few of them, including Larry Manross, did just that. He wrote:
Robert, you are right on. As a launch crew commander at Minot AFB from 1966-1970, I will tell you that there were UFO incidents. In one [during which I was present] the security team upstairs went into a defensive posture with lights turned out. They had called in a UFO sighting to the base and radar was tracking it. All of a sudden it buzzed the launch control center and that was when they cut the lights and took a defensive position.
The details are fairly slim on the incident [but it occurred sometime during] 1967 or ’68. It was treated by the Air Force as a non-incident. In other words, no report was asked for from the missile crew. I am not certain if the security team made a report, but the whole thing made you feel somewhat uneasy. But base ops did confirm that they were tracking an unidentified object on radar.
I asked Manross to elaborate on these statements. He responded:
I was in the 742nd [Strategic Missile Squadron]. The capsules we manned were Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, and Oscar. I was primarily assigned to Kilo or Lima. I do not remember the name of the senior officer during that [alert] assignment; he was not the usual commander I was assigned with. He was several years older than I and was a career officer, I believe. I was never assigned with him again and don’t remember much about him. He may have been in a different squadron. Sometimes they mixed and matched us when they were having scheduling problems.
The year was ’67 or ’68, before I moved up to the commander role. I was attempting to sleep while the commander was dealing with security upstairs and the base headquarters regarding some unidentified [flying] object. It was when his [missile status console] lit-up like a Christmas tree for a moment that he got scared and asked for back-up. The lit-up board had signaled that the missiles had launched. It was a false signal but correlated with the incident taking place upstairs. It all happened quite fast. Then things returned to normal.
[Anyway,] that was when I became engaged. The commander was rattled and so was the security team upstairs. They reported that something had buzzed the LCF and that they had gone into a defensive posture, turning out the lights and drawing their weapons. They indicated it was very bright and traveling at a high rate of speed. They did not describe any shape, etc., other than it was bright. [Then] base headquarters reported that the unidentified object was no longer on radar and that was the last we heard of it.
There was no debriefing—nada. Just another day pulling an alert at Minot. I do remember the senior officer saying something about how I should not talk about the incident without getting authorization. [In spite of that,] all the officers talked about UFOs and what was going on. As you can imagine, there was quite a range of opinions. The common assumption among many [launch officers] was that the objects were somehow drawing power from the missile warheads.
The number of UFO incidents at the time, during 1966-’70, were so frequent that in the summer the security team sometimes would put chairs in front of the building, or on the roof of the building, to watch for UFOs. Can you believe it?
Regarding this last statement, I told Manross that I had heard nearly identical stories from other former or retired USAF personnel who had been stationed at Ellsworth, F.E. Warren, and Malmstrom AFBs during that era. This particular side show is almost humorous: Nuclear missile security guards sitting outside Minuteman Launch Control Facilities at night looking for UFOs because the objects appeared above the missile field so frequently! If only the American media had been given that story at the time. But, of course, like everything else relating to these classified incidents, almost no information leaked out to the press or public.
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