By Robert HastingsAlthough the vast majority of Americans are completely unaware of its existence, the UFO/Nukes Connection is now remarkably well-documented. Air Force, FBI, and CIA files declassified via the Freedom of Information Act establish a convincing, ongoing pattern of UFO activity at U.S. nuclear weapons sites extending back to December 1948.
For more than 30 years, I have been interviewing former and retired U.S. Air Force personnel regarding their direct or indirect involvement in nuclear weapons-related UFO sighting incidents. These individuals—from retired colonels to former airmen—report extraordinary encounters which have obvious national security implications. In fact, taken to their logical conclusion, the reported incidents have planetary implications, given the horrific consequences that would result from a full-scale, global nuclear war.
At the time of their experiences, my former/retired USAF sources held positions ranging from nuclear missile launch and targeting officers, to missile maintenance personnel, to missile security police. The incidents described occurred at Malmstrom, Minot, F.E. Warren, Ellsworth, Vandenberg, and Walker AFBs, between 1963 and 1996. Other sources were stationed at Wurtsmith and Loring AFBs, where B-52 nuclear bombers were based during the Cold War era.
To date, I have interviewed over 50 individuals who were involved in various UFO-related incidents at Strategic Air Command bases or remote sites. I have selected the statements of 20 of those persons for presentation here. An expanded discussion of this material will appear in my forthcoming book, The UFO/Nukes Connection.
The testimony below is admittedly anecdotal evidence. Nevertheless, it is offered—often reluctantly—by persons who were entrusted by the U.S. government with the operation or security of weapons of mass destruction. As such, each source was subjected to, and passed, rigorous background checks and personality tests designed to ascertain, with a reasonable degree of certainty, their psychological stability and reliability.
For the moment, the international tensions of the Cold War era have receded. Consequently, the U.S. and Russia are currently downsizing their nuclear arsenals. Nevertheless, vast numbers of nukes still exist and may be unleashed at a moment’s notice. Therefore, these weapons remain a potential threat to the future of the human race.
The events described below leave little doubt that our nuclear weapons program is an ongoing source of interest to someone possessing vastly superior technology. Significantly, the reported UFO activity occasionally transcends mere surveillance and appears to involve direct and unambiguous interference with our strategic weapons systems.
Considering these and similar accounts—too numerous and credible to dismiss—I would argue, as others have before me, that the heightened presence of the UFO phenomenon since the end of World War II is a direct consequence of the advent of the Nuclear Age. To suggest that this is the only explanation for widespread UFO sightings during our own era would be presumptuous, simplistic, and undoubtedly inaccurate. Nevertheless, I believe that the nuclear weapons-related incidents are integral to an understanding of the mystery at hand.
Anyone wishing to contact me may do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Malmstrom AFB, Montana (1966-67):
1st Lt. Robert C. Jamison—Former USAF Minuteman ICBM targeting officer (Combat Targeting Team Commander), 341st Missile Maintenance Squadron, Malmstrom AFB, Montana:
Jamison states that he assisted in the re-start of an entire "flight" of ten Minuteman ICBMs which had simultaneously and inexplicably shut down immediately after a UFO was sighted in their vicinity by Air Force Security Police. Jamison is certain that the incident occurred at one of the missile flights located near Lewistown, Montana, perhaps Oscar Flight. This event probably occurred on the night of March 24/25, 1967, based on Jamison’s portrayal of related events.
Jamison said that while his and other teams were preparing to respond to the stricken flight, they were ordered—as a precaution—to remain at Malmstrom until all UFO reports from the field had ceased. He further states that his team received a special briefing prior to being dispatched, during which it was directed to immediately report any UFO sighted while traveling to or from the missile field. In the event that a UFO appeared at one of the missile silos during the re-start procedure, the team was directed to enter the silo's personnel hatch, and remain underground until the UFO had left the vicinity. According to Jamison, the Air Police guard accompanying the team was to remain outside and relay information about the UFO to the base Command Post. Jamison’s own team re-started three or four missiles but did not observe any unusual aerial activity.
Jamison said that while he was at the missile maintenance hangar, waiting to be dispatched to the field, he overheard two-way radio communications at the temporary Command Post, relating to another UFO having been sighted on the ground in a canyon near the town of Belt. He states he recalls hearing that a top commander—either Malmstrom’s base commander, or the 341st Strategic Missile Wing commander—was on-site with other personnel. Based on these recollections, it appears that Jamison is describing the well-documented Belt, Montana UFO sighting of March 24/25, 1967.
Jamison said that immediately after the missile shutdown incident, for a period of approximately two weeks, his team received a special UFO briefing, identical to the one described above, before being dispatched to the field.
Jamison said that approximately two weeks after the full-flight missile shutdown, his team responded to another, partial shutdown—involving four or five ICBMs. Prior to being dispatched, Jamison’s team received a report that the missile failures had occurred immediately after a UFO was sighted over the flight's Launch Control Facility. Jamison recalls that this incident took place at a flight located south or southwest of Great Falls, possibly India Flight, and during daylight hours.
Jamison said that he had subsequently spoken with several individuals, mostly missile security guards, who had witnessed various UFO-related incidents. He reports that they were “visibly shaken” by their experiences.
Comment: At least five other former or retired USAF personnel—all Minuteman missile launch officers stationed at Malmstrom AFB in 1967—have previously divulged their knowledge of UFO involvement in two separate, large-scale missile shutdown incidents. One of these individuals, former Deputy Missile Combat Crew Commander Robert Salas, has extensively investigated these events, together with researcher Jim Klotz. Their revealing summary of the March 1967 incidents may be found at:
The article above also discusses the Air Force’s formal denial of UFO-involvement in the one officially-acknowledged, full-flight missile shutdown incident at Malmstrom AFB—at Echo Flight—despite the missile launch officers’ testimony to the contrary. The official disavowal is found in the 341st Strategic Missile Wing’s “unit history”.
Significantly, the unit historian, David Gamble, told Klotz that while compiling material for the official history, he had learned of reports of UFO activity within Malmstrom’s missile fields. When he made inquiries, Gamble received “no cooperation” from those in-the-know. He further said that written changes regarding “the UFO aspect of the missile shutdown incident” had been made by superiors. The final version of the unit history states, “Rumors of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO) around the area of Echo Flight during the time of the fault were disproven.”
Salas and Klotz have written a thorough and persuasive book, Faded Giant, which expands upon their earlier online report.
If Jamison’s recollections are correct, and he did indeed respond to a large-scale missile shutdown at Oscar Flight on the same date as the well-documented Belt UFO sighting, then the date proposed for the Oscar event by Salas and Klotz—March 16, 1967—would seem to be in error. Salas has now acknowledged this possibility, however, Klotz remains skeptical about the alternate date.
Prior to my posting the Jamison-related material on the NICAP and NCP websites, I sent it to Klotz for his review. He responded, "I think that while witnesses’ memories of ‘events’ tend to be pretty clear, memories of dates tend to be less accurate. I am a document-driven guy and I'd like to see some documentary evidence of multiple events. Lacking this, I only wish to keep open the idea that memories may be of a ‘single’ UFO-related missile shutdown event at Malmstrom. Certainly the indications from witness testimony are that multiple events may well have occurred."
For the record: I too would like to see unaltered documents relating to the shutdown events. In the early 1980s, I attempted to access, via the Freedom of Information Act, Office of Special Investigations (OSI) files relating to UFO sightings at Malmstrom’s ICBM sites, only to be told that all such documents had already been declassified. However, multiple source testimony strongly suggests otherwise. I think David Gamble’s comments above are telling. In my opinion, the documents that might shed light on the true facts relating to the missile shutdowns will remain hidden indefinitely, whereas those supporting the official version of events, including unit histories, will sometimes be declassified.
I also sent my Jamison-related material to Bob Salas. He responded, "What is interesting to me is the briefing Jamison received about how to respond if they sighted a UFO while working in the field. This would be a further indication that there had been experiences with UFOs at [Launch Facilities] prior to Jamison going out to the sites. We have also received similar information from a source we are protecting at this time."
Salas continued, "I [now] think it is more likely that Oscar Flight went down on some date after the Echo Flight [shutdown] and that it could very well have been on the same day as the Belt sighting. One of the factors that lead me to that 'opinion' is the lack of comment about two flights going down in the [now-declassified] telex that went out, and in the unit history. If the two had gone down on the same day, that would have been mentioned. The reason, I think, Oscar wasn't mentioned later is because by then the Air Force wanted to keep a secrecy lid on it and avoid the possibility of a leak by the indication of a growing and continuing problem. That would have made quite some headlines in the press."
Salas concluded, "Remember, from all we have heard from the maintenance people we have interviewed, the rumors and comments [about UFO activity] were rampant. I personally received a call from an NCO after the Oscar shutdowns, practically begging me to come talk to him and others about the incident. Believe me, it was all over the base and some of the troops were flat scared."
In conclusion, Jamison’s statements are important because they indicate that the Air Force was fully aware of UFO involvement in at least two missile flight shutdown incidents prior to dispatching the missile maintenance teams to restart the ICBMs. Specifically, according to Jamison, the 341st Missile Maintenance Squadron undertook certain precautions and formally implemented various procedures to protect the teams’ safety while in the field. In this respect, his testimony is unprecedented.
Staff Sgt. Louis D. Kenneweg—Former Minuteman ICBM maintenance clerk, 341st Missile Maintenance Squadron, Malmstrom AFB, Montana:
At the time of the 1967 missile shutdown incidents, Staff Sgt. Louis D. Kenneweg was assigned to the 341st Missile Maintenance Squadron (MIMS) at Malmstrom AFB. His duties at the MIMS hangar included issuing Technical Order kits (T.O.s) to other members of his squadron. As Kenneweg explained, “Each of the repair teams would be required to take T.O.’s in the truck with them. The kit included books or manuals that would contain technical information that the technicians could look up rather than rely on memory. There was also a check list in plastic sleeves, kind of like a pre-flight checklist for a pilot, that they would use before removing the warhead from the missile. Of course there was an awful lot of supervision when that occurred.”
Although the date is uncertain, one night, around 11:45 P.M. Kenneweg was driving to work when he noticed something unusual in the sky. “As I traveled down one of the roads parallel to the flightline,” he said, “I saw something that I first thought was a private plane’s lights, blinking. As I watched it get closer, I realized that it wasn't blinking at all, but zig-zagging. First here, then there, traveling too fast for a plane. Then looming over the flightline. I got up late, and I knew that I had little time, but I stopped anyway. I opened the car door, got out, and focused on the lights. I watched it as long as I could, without being late to work. I remember saying to myself that this pilot was going to be in a lot of trouble, coming across the runway, or at least across the Air Force Base property. I don’t remember it traveling that close to me, but I do remember the image of it disappearing in a low southerly trajectory over the [MIMS] hangar. Of course, it was much farther away than it appeared. At that point, it wasn't ‘blinking’ anymore but had more of a glow. It appeared as a bright light the size of the moon, on a cloudy night, although I don't remember it being cloudy.”
Upon arriving at the MIMS hangar, Kenneweg was confronted by a scene of high activity. “As I entered the hangar I noticed that there were numerous trucks being loaded,” he said, “many more than I had ever seen all at the same time.”
Still puzzled about the strange, zig-zagging light, Kenneweg walked toward the Air Police office, where APs were routinely assigned to accompany the maintenance teams into the missile fields, guarding their trucks and the silos once they opened the gates. When he arrived, he noticed an unusual level of activity there as well. Kenneweg asked the Air Police sergeant on duty whether the base had any helicopters up. The sergeant replied that the helicopters didn’t have radar and didn’t fly at night.
Kenneweg continued, “Back at the office, I issued almost all of the [T.O.] kits on the shelf. I remember saying to myself, ‘I'm running out of kits, this is a busy night.’ Now, I didn’t check the sign-out sheet to see how many kits had been checked out before my shift, but while I was on duty, I did recall that they were almost all checked out. As I count them off in my head today, and try to see them on the shelf, we had a wall with 3 shelves that would hold 25 or so.”
Clearly, a lot of missiles were either undergoing routine maintenance, and/or had gone off Strategic Alert for another reason, all at the same time.
When the maintenance teams returned to the MIMS hangar—Kenneweg first thought that it had been some three hours later, but upon reflection, now believes that it was more than 24 hours later, during his next shift—one of the technicians hinted that something out of the ordinary had taken place in the missile field. “One of the guys mentioned to me that some very weird things were going on that night,” said Kenneweg, “It takes two guys to carry the T.O. kit, and there were other guys behind him, waiting in line to get checked in, and they were all nodding their heads in agreement. But this guy said that he couldn’t talk about it right then. He said he would tell me all about it back at the barracks. Well, like I have said before, I was busy working [a second job] at the Red Lion Supper Club and didn't really have that serious sit-down conversation with that particular airman. But the barracks was buzzing. Stories about how when they got to the [missile silos] and found no damage, and how all the batteries were dead. I also heard a story that [UFOs] were seen on radar, then they were gone.”
He continued, “Our missile sites each had a tertiary power system. The main power source was delivered by Montana Power. Telephone poles, transformers and wire. The second system was the diesel generators, and the third was the battery back-up within the silo itself. Numerous reports came back saying that they had found no damage to the fences, wires, transformers, microwave intrusion system, locks on the three-foot-thick concrete blast doors, or to the batteries. So, no evidence of damage from intruders or animals, lightning or fire. Just three sources of power vanished and the batteries were dead.”
Kenneweg believes that the incident was not isolated. “As I recall,” he said, “there were other nights where the guys would come back and look a little shaken, all within that same time-period.”
Comment: Based on Kenneweg’s description of his own UFO sighting, during which the object appeared to be near or over Malmstrom’s flightline at one point, I have speculated that the UFO may have briefly maneuvered near the base’s nuclear Weapons Storage Area (WSA), which is located just east of the main runway. The WSA contains Minuteman missile nuclear warheads, known as Re-entry Vehicles (RVs). A review of aerial photographs of Malmstrom, which show the WSA, coupled with an analysis of Kenneweg’s probable position near the MIMS hangar, lead to this conjecture. Regardless, another UFO sighting at the WSA, some years later, has been confirmed by two other sources. See Malmstrom AFB, Montana (1975).
Airman 1st Class David Hughes—Former Air Policeman, 341st Combat Defense Squadron, Malmstrom AFB, Montana:
Hughes stated, “I was stationed at Malmstrom from January 1966 through August 1967. I was an Air Policeman, assigned to ‘B’ Flight, with the 341st Combat Defense Squadron. I worked at the Foxtrot [Flight Launch Control Facility]. Many nights we observed a light in the sky between Choteau and Augusta, Montana.”
He continued “This light would move at incredible speeds, make right-angle moves, and continue for hours. When seeking further information from wing command, we were often insulted when told it was a Telstar satellite. On one occasion we were told by other friends working in the [air traffic control] tower at the base that aircraft had been launched to seek to identify a strange radar echo that had appeared on their screens and on the screens of the local airport. This was later denied the next day, but if memory serves, the local newspaper had an story on it the next day. This must have happened sometime in early 1967, or late 1966.”
Hughes concluded, “All I know is that some strange things consumed our attention many nights while on patrol. We patrolled from Augusta to Choteau each night and [frequently] saw something that lent credance to the UFO concept. To us, ‘UFO’ simply meant it was an Unidentified Flying Object, either from our military or some unknown source. We never believed the satellite story. However, when we learned that the jets had been scrambled and the next day it was denied, then we knew something was up.”
Malmstrom AFB, Montana (1975):
Staff Sgt. Joseph M. Chassey—Former Minuteman ICBM maintenance technician, 341st Missile Maintenance Squadron, Malmstrom AFB, Montana:
Chassey states that one night in the fall of 1975, he overhead a two-way radio transmission alerting Air Force Security Police about an unknown craft hovering over the base’s Weapons Storage Area.
Chassey said that the incident was widely discussed at the missile mechanical shop the following day. He later heard additional details about it from a friend, who was a helicopter re-fueler.
Apparently, two base helicopters had been scrambled to chase the intruder, which rapidly flew toward Belt, Montana, some ten miles distant. As the pursuing choppers neared the town, the unidentified craft quickly doubled-back to Malmstrom—leaving them far behind—and again hovered over the WSA for a short period of time before finally departing.
Chassey states that the object was described as an extremely bright light and was assumed to have been a bona fide UFO because of its superior capabilities. He emphasized, “It flat outran the helicopters. We heard that it zipped out to Belt and back to the base in no time.”
Chassey, who separated from the Air Force at the end of October, 1975, believes that the incident occurred shortly before he left Malmstrom.
Comment: USAF documents from October 1975, declassified via the Freedom of Information Act, confirm other UFO sightings at the Weapons Storage Areas at Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan, and Loring AFB, Maine. At the time, each base hosted B-52 nuclear bomber squadrons. At Wurtsmith, initial sighting reports referred to the unidentified craft as a “helicopter”, however, the radar operator aboard a nearby KC-135 aircraft later tracked the craft traveling at approximately 1000 knots, far faster than any known helicopter. At Loring, some reports mentioned an “unidentified helicopter” near the WSA. However, eyewitness accounts from a B-52 ground crew indicated that the “helicopter” was bright orange, football-shaped, and had hovered silently. (For an extended discussion of these cases, consult Lawrence Fawcett and Barry Greenwood’s authoritative book, Clear Intent, later re-named The UFO Cover-Up.)
Lt. Col. Robert Peisher (USAF Ret.)—Former Commanding Officer, Detachment #5, 37th Air Rescue Squadron helicopter unit at Malmstrom AFB, Montana:
Peisher has confirmed the accuracy of Joseph Chassey’s account regarding the incident during which an unknown craft hovered above Malmstrom’s nuclear Weapons Storage Area, one night in the fall of 1975. However, Peisher said that even though his unit’s helicopters had indeed been involved in the intercept attempt, he himself had already been transferred to another squadron when the incident occurred, and had only heard about it “much later”.
Peisher also states that he had once been briefed by local civilian law enforcement about a series of cattle mutilations, many of which had occurred near Minuteman missile sites, during the summer and fall of 1975. He states that he and Cascade County deputy sheriff Captain Keith Wolverton determined that more than 80 such mutilations had occurred within Malmstrom’s missile field boundaries, some quite near various ICBM Launch Facilities (silos).
Peisher further states that he had been informally told about multiple UFO incidents at Malmstrom’s Minuteman missile sites, including one event during which a UFO "the size of a football field" had silently flown over the Echo Launch Control Facility one night in the fall of 1975.
Comment: The following verbatim excerpts are NORAD log entries from November 1975, declassified via the Freedom of Information Act. My own comments and clarifications follow some of the entries (in parentheses):
24th NORAD Region Senior Director’s Log (Malmstrom AFB, MT):
7 Nov 75 (1035Z) Received a call from the 341st Strategic Air Command Post (SAC CP), saying that the following missile locations reported seeing a large red to orange to yellow object: M-1, L-3, LIMA, and L-6...Commander and Deputy for Operations (DO) informed.
7 Nov 75 (1203Z) SAC advised that the LCF at Harlowton, Montana, observed an object which emitted a light which illuminated the site driveway.
7 Nov 75 (1319Z) SAC advised K-1 says very bright object to their east is now southeast of them and they are looking at it with 10x50 binoculars. Object seems to have lights (several) on it, but no distinct pattern. The orange/gold object overhead also seems to have lights on it. SAC also advised female civilian reports having seen an object bearing south of her position six miles west of Lewistown.
(Note that all of these reports refer to the observation of aerial “objects”. Apparently, the Security Alert Teams could not identify them as either military or civilian aircraft.)
7 Nov 75 (1327Z) L-1 reports that the object to their northeast seems to be issuing a black object from it, tubular in shape. In all this time, surveillance has not been able to detect any sort of track except for known traffic.
(In other words, when these sightings were first reported by SATs, “surveillance”—that is, radar personnel—at Malmstrom AFB and Great Falls International Airport could not detect any unknown aerial objects near the missile sites. As we shall see, radar contact with the UFOs was finally established as the sighting reports continued to unfold.)
7 Nov 75 (1355Z) K-1 and L-1 report that as the sun rises, so do the objects they have visual.
7 Nov 75 (1429) From SAC CP: As the sun rose, the UFOs disappeared. Commander and DO notified.
8 Nov 75 (0635Z) A security camper team at K-4 reported UFO with white lights, one red light 50 yards behind white light. Personnel at K-1 seeing same object.
8 Nov 75 (0645Z) Height personnel picked up objects 10-13,000 feet. Track J330, EKLB 0649, 18 knots, 9,500 feet. Objects as many as seven, as few as two A/C.
(Height-finding radar finally confirmed that UFOs were present, varying over time between two and seven in number.)
8 Nov 75 (0753Z) J330 unknown 0753. Stationary/seven knots/12,000...two F-106...NCOC notified.
(Radar confirmed that one UFO, at an altitude of 12,000 feet, had hovered—that is, was “stationary”—before resuming flight at a leisurely 7 knots, or 9 mph. Shortly thereafter, two F-106s were scrambled to intercept it.)
8 Nov 75 (0905Z) From SAC CP: L-sites had fighters and objects; fighters did not get down to objects.
8 Nov 75 (0915Z) From SAC CP: From four different points: Observed objects and fighters; when fighters arrived in the area, the lights went out; when fighters departed, the lights came back on; To NCOC.
(As SAT personnel at four different locations watched, the UFOs played cat-and-mouse with the F-106s, extinguishing their illumination as the jets approached their position and re-illuminating themselves after the fighters returned to base. The NORAD Combat Operations Center—NCOC—in Colorado Springs, was immediately informed of this incident.)
8 Nov 75 (1105Z) From SAC CP: L-5 reported object increased in speed — high velocity, raised in altitude and now cannot tell the object from stars. To NCOC.
9 Nov 75 (0305Z) SAC CP called and advised SAC crews at Sites L-1, L-6, and M-1 observing UFO. Object yellowish bright round light 20 miles north of Harlowton, 2 to 4,000 feet.
9 Nov 75 (0320Z) SAC CP reports UFO southeast of Lewistown, orange white disc object. 24th NORAD Region surveillance checking area. Surveillance unable to get height check.
(Note the reference to the UFO having a “disc” or saucer shape. Several more log entries from November 9th and 10th confirm that UFOs continued to be reported by SAT teams positioned near various missile silos.)
END OF LOG ENTRIES