I investigate nuclear weapons-related UFO activity. Over the past 39 years, I have interviewed more than 130 former or retired U.S. military personnel who were involved in UFO incidents at nuclear missile sites, weapons storage depots, strategic bomber bases, or atmospheric test sites in Nevada and the Pacific.
|By Robert Hastings|
Many of my findings are available at my website, in various articles and links. My CNN-streamed September 27, 2010 press conference—at which seven U.S. Air Force veterans revealed their UFO experiences at nuclear missile sites or Weapons Storage Areas (WSAs)—may be viewed at:
VIDCAST: Former Officers Say UFOs Shut Down Nuclear Missiles at Our Nation's Defensive Launch Facilities
But those revelations are merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Other ex-USAF officers—as well as ex-Soviet Army personnel—have discussed far more frightening incidents. It appears that even as the superpowers rattled their nuclear sabers at one another, some unknown, technologically-advanced third party was doing a bit of that as well—on both sides of the ocean.
Missile Activations at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota
Of all the interviews I’ve conducted with former or retired ICBM launch officers, this was perhaps the most disturbing. According to the source, 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 crew member 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.”
I asked Schuur if he could narrow the time-frame during which the incident occurred, by associating it with another event. He replied, “Not really, but my sense is that the incident occurred toward the end of my duty in the [missile] field, so it was probably during 1966, or ’67. I was pulling alert in the Echo [Launch Control] Capsule and was at the console at the time, probably early in the morning when the commander was sleeping. I know I was at Echo because that’s where I pulled almost all of my alert duty. My crew commander at the time has died. He was a Lieutenant Colonel at Minot, in his 50s—he was in the reserves, an old Korea veteran, who was recalled to duty in the early 1960s.”
“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.”
I asked Schuur to explain PAS. He said, “It was an open line between [Strategic Air Command] headquarters and the wing command posts. There was a speaker in each launch capsule and when the command posts issued a directive, or whatever, we were able to hear it. When Alpha had their UFO sightings, they alerted the command post, at which time the command post called SAC headquarters. So, when the report of the sightings went out, we all heard it on PAS.”
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 (LCF). 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.”
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.
Military Unit 52035, Soviet Ukraine
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, a number of ex-Soviet Army personnel came forward and began discussing their involvement in UFO incidents in that country during the Cold War era. One of those events occurred on October 4, 1982, near the Ukrainian town of Byelokoroviche, when a disc-shaped object apparently hovered over an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) base for an extended period. At one point during the encounter, a number of nuclear missiles suddenly activated—without authorization from Moscow or any action being taken by the missile launch officers—and were preparing to launch!
This incident was first publicized on the American ABC News program Prime Time Live (which unethically used information provided to its producers by KLAS-TV reporter George Knapp without crediting his contributions). A transcript of that program may be found at:
(The link above incorrectly states that the program first aired in October 1995; it was actually 1994.)
Among those interviewed by ABC News was retired Army Lt.Col. Vladimir Plantonev (spelled “Plutinov” in other published references) who described the UFO to reporter David Ensor: “It looked just like a flying saucer. The way they show them in the movies. No portholes, nothing. The surface was absolutely even. The disc made a beautiful turn, like this, on the edge, just like a plane. There was no sound. I had never seen anything like that before.”
Ensor said, “Every person we spoke to in Byelokoroviche said they saw a flying saucer on that day. They told us it was huge, about 900 feet in diameter. For hours it hovered over the nearby ballistic missile base.”
On June 16, 2010, a large-circulation Russian newspaper, Life, published an article about the case. One of the paper’s reporters, Inessa Kornienko, interviewed other witnesses who provided additional details about the incident. An excerpt from that article, translated into English, follows here:
For a 20-year-old radio operator, Vladimir Matveyev, assigned to the 50th Missile Division RVSN, Carpathian Military District, October 4, 1982 was a day that he will remember for the rest of his life. In the evening, he and a thousand soldiers and officers saw a UFO for almost an hour, as it hovered over the R-12 missile silos. “It was unbelievable. Approximately one-and-a-half kilometers from us hovered an elliptical-shaped object,” the former rocketeer excitedly told Life. “The dimensions of the UFO shocked us—as large as a five-story house! Barely-visible lights flew up to the object. The guys [and I] were on our way to dinner when we all saw it! The UFO continued to hover, slowly moving to the left, as if drifting. One officer tried to get closer to it in a car but the UFO flew away. At this time all of the missile launchers malfunctioned. The UFO [also] blocked radio signal reception in the bunker. We heard only complete silence, which we could not understand, because this had never happened before. We were [later] told that the radio equipment was burnt!”Reporter Kornienko commented, “I think [the UFO] technology allows [their pilots] to launch our missiles. However, they choose not to do so. Cases such as Byelokoroviche and Minot [suggest] that aliens are trying to understand how these systems work, and what they need to do in the event of war breaking out, to stop the feuding children, i.e., us. I believe that the UFO [pilots], by running the rockets’ pre-launch countdown, learned how to stop it."
In his official statement on the incident, Major Michael Katzman [spelled ‘Kataman’ in other sources], who was responsible for the missiles’ guidance systems, reported that the computer equipment and security systems had been disabled by a powerful [electromagnetic] pulse. He wrote that all of the control panels had lit up, indicating the missiles were preparing to launch toward their strategic targets.
Former TsSBUiS [missile division] Chief Yuri Zolotukhin told a Life journalist, “I too was a witness to these events and also saw the UFO, but could not reveal what had happened to the sensitive equipment because I signed a non-disclosure document [designed to] protect state secrets.” These events happened in the underground bunker where the missile control panels display the missiles’ readiness status. [During the incident] the panels lit up, indicating that the missiles had gone to full combat readiness and were preparing to launch. [Ordinarily] this is possible only after obtaining an order from Moscow. In this case, it happened by itself. The officers on duty at their battle stations were shocked. [Figuratively speaking,] their hair had turned gray. They said that the information appearing on the control panels indicated that all security measures designed to prevent an unauthorized launch of the missiles had been hacked! Within just a few seconds, the launch officers had lost control over their nuclear weapons. Immediately after this occurred, the officers called Moscow. The reply they got was that no order to launch had been issued. After 15 seconds, all of the controls reset to the normal position.
[Former] rocketeer Vladimir Matveyev says, “A few days later, a commission came to the base and interviewed the witnesses. The guys gave them their drawings of the UFO. One of the officers swore on his [Communist] Party membership that he wasn't drunk. A few days later we were lined up [for our morning inspection by our officers] and read an order from the Commander-in-Chief of the Strategic Rocket Forces, designated number R010, which said, ‘If you see a UFO, do not panic and do not shoot.’ Then I realized why the officers who had their finger ‘on the button’ looked so old and had gray hair.”
While we can not know with certainty the reason for the actions taken by those presumably aboard the UFOs in these two cases, I think Kornienko’s speculative statements may have merit.
Probably the most detailed summary of the Ukrainian case was written in 2010 by journalist Antonio Huneeus, which may be read at:
In conclusion, ex-military personnel in both the U.S. and the former U.S.S.R. have reported shocking incidents of UFO activity at nuclear missile sites during the Cold War era. In addition to the temporary system-activations described above, other incidents reportedly involved temporary disruptions—the shutting down of ICBMs, sometimes in large numbers. See:
The Echo Flight ICBM Incident: Retired USAF Officer Confirms Receiving A UFO Report Just as the Missiles Failed
While the current situation in Russia is unreported, as far as I am aware, credible evidence suggests that the latest UFO-involved disruption of ICBM systems in the U.S. occurred at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming, on October 23, 2010. My detailed report on that incident may be read at:
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