This is my first taped interview with Col. Walt Figel, occurring on October 20, 2008. Figel confirms that he had received a report from a security guard about a “large, round” UFO hovering over one of Echo Flight’s missile silos, seconds after that missile failed. Figel further says that he and the other officer on duty that day, Captain Eric Carlson, where told not to talk about the incident and that Carlson’s son, James Carlson, has misrepresented Figel’s remarks to Hastings and others—regarding the reality of a UFO-presence during the Echo Flight shutdown incident—in his many blog posts on the topic.
By Robert Hastings
● 8:35-13:48: Figel describes the sequence of events leading up his getting a report of a “large, round object” hovering “directly over” one of the Echo Flight missile silos from a security guard at that site.
James Carlson always misrepresents this admission by Figel when blogging about it. For example, here at ATS, Carlson wrote: “Walt Figel and my father were the only people in the room, and Figel has repeatedly stated that he had the impression the guys who said ‘This UFO must have brought the missiles down’ were joking around. In every single interview with him, he has said the same thing: ‘I thought it was a joke, that these guys were yanking my chain.’”
However, what Col. Walt Figel actually told me during this interview was quite different—something James already knew when he wrote the passage above, because I had earlier posted large excerpts from the interview on the same blog. As one will hear, Figel explicitly says that the guard was “serious and I wasn’t taking him seriously.”
Here is a verbatim excerpt from this conversation with Figel:
RH: What was the demeanor of the guard you were talking to?
WF: Um, you know, I wouldn’t say panicked, or anything [like that]. I was thinking he was yanking my chain more than anything else.
RH: But he seemed to be serious to you?
WF: He seemed to be serious and I wasn’t taking him seriously.
RH: Alright. If it was a large object, did he describe the shape of the object?
WF: He just said a large, round object.
RH: Directly over the LF (Launch Facility)?
WF: Directly over the site.
END OF TAPED EXCERPT
In short, James Carlson’s misrepresentation of Figel's words—regarding the report Figel got from the security guard of a UFO hovering directly over one of Echo’s missile silos—is intended to alter their meaning, to create the spin Carlson requires to make his factually-inaccurate debunking of the Echo Flight UFO incident hold together.
● 13:46-15:27: Figel describes being debriefed back at Malmstrom, together with Eric Carlson.
● 16:04-16:18 In response to a poorly-phrased question by Hastings, Figel mistakenly says that he had no inkling of a UFO involvement in the missile shutdowns until he got a report from one of the two Security Alert Teams that he had sent out to one of the silos to investigate. Earlier he had said that the first report came from a guard who was already at the silo. In every other instance, on every tape, Figel says that the initial UFO report he received came from the guard already onsite.
(Moreover, in his taped 1996 telephone conversation with Bob Salas, some 12 years before this conversation with Hastings, Figel said that both of the SAT teams he dispatched to the field had reported seeing the UFO. So, perhaps Figel misspoke on this point as well. Linked audio excerpts from the Salas/Figel conversation appear in my Witch Hunt article.)
● 16:19-17:38 Figel confirms that he discussed the reports of the UFO with Eric Carlson, who was “sitting two feet away”.
● 17:04-17:45 Figel confirms that he discussed the UFO reports back at Malmstrom, during the debriefing, as Eric Carlson sat next to him.
● 20:53 -End of Part 1: Figel asks Hastings about his conversation with the Eric Carlson. Hastings says that Carlson claimed to have no memory of the UFO reports during the Echo Flight incident. A discussion of Bob Salas’ investigation of the incidents at Malmstrom follows, including Salas’ initial belief that he had been at Echo, which proved not to be the case. Ultimately, after locating his former missile commander, Col. Fred Meiwald, Salas discovered that he had been at Oscar, for the second shutdown event.
At one point, Figel says, “I don’t think [Salas] did anything with malice or whatever. Just faulty memory.” Hastings describes his interview with former missile targeting officer Robert Jamison, who confirmed re-targeting some of the disrupted missiles at Oscar and admitted being told of a UFO-involvement in the incident.
● 0:00-2:27 Hastings continues to relate his research findings to Figel.
● 11:16-13:38 Hastings tells Figel about what other former/retired Air Force personnel involved in UFO-related incidents at missile sites have told him about being sworn to secrecy, or not, depending on the circumstances. Figel responds by saying, “All I was told [was], ‘Thank you very much, don’t talk about it, and go home.’ I didn’t sign anything, I can tell you that.”
● 18:59-21:11 Figel asks Hastings whether Eric Carlson had said anything else that contradicted his own statements about the events at Echo. Hastings responds by reiterating that Carlson denied remembering any UFO-involvement. Figel responds by saying, “I’m sure we had a long conversation [about the reports I received from the guards]. I mean I reported everything to him I heard or was told.”
● At one point, Hastings asks Figel to comment on Salas’ written summary of the Echo Flight incident. But Hastings misspeaks and mistakenly includes part of Salas’ own narrative at Oscar—about having received an initial report from a security guard regarding strange lights flying around the sky at some distance—and inadvertently associates it with the incident at Echo. Figel, quite rightly, says that nothing like that happened at Echo. Hastings discovered his error upon listening to the tape of the conversation.
● When discussing a taped conversation between Salas and his former missile commander, now-retired Col. Fredrick Meiwald, Hastings misspeaks and says that Meiwald has confirmed “all” of Salas’ statements about the incident at Oscar Flight. Actually, Meiwald confirms most of Salas’ testimony, specifically the part following Meiwald being woken up from his rest period and being briefed about the situation by Salas.
● Toward the end of the conversation Hastings mentions that Bob Salas had spoken with Eric Carlson in the fall of 2008, shortly after Hastings spoke to Carlson. Figel then asks about Carlson’s comments to Salas. Hastings pauses, saying that he was going to have to censor his response because Salas asked him not to repeat certain of Carlson’s remarks to him. He then summarizes the conversation Salas had with Eric Carlson, as reported to Hastings by Salas.
Telephonic Interview with Colonel Walter Figel (USAF Ret) of January 8, 2009 (Link 2)
Telephonic Interview with Colonel Walter Figel (USAF Ret) of March 8, 2010 (Link 1)
Early Figel & Meiwald Audio Interviews
VIDCAST: Former Boeing Engineer, Robert Kaminski Confirms UFO Activity at Echo Flight Missile Launch Control Facility in 1967
Did UFOs Cause the Shutdown of ICBMs at Malmstrom AFB, in March 1967?
The Echo/Oscar Witch Hunt
UFOs Did Shutdown Minuteman Missiles at Echo Flight . . .
My Evidence: The Account of Minute-Man Missiles Being Disabled, While UFOs Hovered Over The Launch Facilities
Malmstrom Air Force Base Picks Up UFO on Radar; "Sabotage Alert Team Located Another UFO Directly Over The Base"
UFO Lands Near Minuteman Missile Base; Affects Radio Transmissions - Defensive Measures Taken!
UFO Sightings at ICBM Sites and Nuclear Weapons Storage Areas
Air Force Staff Message: Malmstrom AFB Receives Multiple Reports of UFOs in The Great Falls, Montana Area
UFOS & NUKES | U.S. Air Force Fighters Chased UFOs at Malmstrom AFB in the 1960s and ‘70s
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