| Retired U.S. Air Force Captain Michael T. Crowley recently contacted me and wrote: |
Briefly, I started my Air Force career in February 1966 and ended it at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming, in December of 1992. I was a weather observer my first four years on active duty, then worked as a navigator on C-141s until January of 1976, when I exited the service under a program offered to a few rated-officers. Its main selling point was that you would be allowed back into the Air Force, no questions asked—assuming you were still physically qualified—in three-to-four years. That program was infamously named Palace Furlough. The economic downturn in 1979 allowed me to exercise its premier clause and I returned to active duty in October of that year with the rank of 1st Lieutenant.
Due to multiple problems with the exit program in 1976, I was subsequently passed-over for promotion and traded my officer’s commission for Staff Sergeant stripes in 1985. I wasn't bitter, just a bit confused about the promotion procedures in place at the time. As I said, I eventually ended up at Warren in ’89, until my final exit in ‘92. I was in the 320th Strategic Missile Squadron and worked as a Facility Manager (FM) at Launch Control Facility (LCF) Juliet-01 during that period.
The event I am about to describe occurred in the spring of 1991. One of the jobs required of FMs at LCFs was mowing the lawn inside the chain link-fenced area which contained all of the structures on the LCF proper. During one of the weekly grass mowing sessions, something rather peculiar happened. A cloud formation—really just one rather large cloud at about 3500-feet altitude—approached from the southeast and was still forming as it moved directly over the LCF. By that time, it had dropped much lower in the sky, perhaps to a thousand-feet base altitude. I then noticed that a couple of [Security Policemen] had stepped outside of the main LCF building and were looking up at the cloud, which was by then lit-up with what appeared to be in-cloud lightning.
As I got off the mower, one of the cops motioned to me and pointed up. I stopped the mower and looked where he indicated. The cloud was at that point still forming and moving in the direction of the LCF. There was literally no wind, just dead calm. The cloud was rumbling and carrying on something fierce. I thought for a moment that we had better take shelter or at least get near the building, but then I remembered that all LCFs bristled with lightning rods. So I just watched the light show for awhile, along with most of the guys at the LCF who weren't resting or sleeping.
Now remember, I was an ex-weather observer and also had about three thousand flying hours under my belt, so weather patterns and cloud formations were quite familiar to me. There had been no low or mid-level cloud activity anywhere in the vicinity of the LCF prior to my getting on the mower and the weather forecast showed a low—very low as I remember—chance of any precipitation that day and for the next couple of days.
The cloud rumbled more than anything; no big thunder claps that I recall and no cloud-to-ground lightning. It was lit up internally and you could see flashes of color—red, yellow, orange and even blue—which I had never seen up until then, and haven't seen since in an active thundercloud. Even stranger was that it stayed more-or-less directly over the LCF. It got bigger and lightning danced around on the surface and inside; you could see a glow.
The show lasted for about two hours. Then I got back on the mower—you’re not supposed to do that in thunderstorm weather—and finished the job. It didn't rain a drop on the LCF and I didn't see a rain-shaft anywhere else. In fact, we seemed to have the only cloud in the area.
It was a weird but interesting experience. I just thought that I'd pass it on. Maybe you have been contacted by other veterans who witnessed something similar.
Ramey AFB, October 1962
I thanked Crowley for his information and sent him a link to another USAF veteran’s account of a very similar experience. That individual had been a Security Policeman stationed at Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Unfortunately, he wishes to remain anonymous. Nevertheless, a high-level Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) staffer has informed me that the veteran’s DD214—his service record—had been examined and it confirmed his security guard status at Ramey in October 1962. The account he provided appears here:
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, our B-52s, KC-135s, and U-2 [spy] planes formed a net around Cuba in the air and the navy controlled the seas. Transport troop carriers were parked on the taxiway ready to drop [paratroopers] on missile sites in Cuba.Clearly, a “cloud” containing rotating colored lights, moving just 30-feet above the ground for an extended period, could not have been a meteorological phenomenon. Moreover, the other incident, at F.E. Warren AFB, also does not seem to involve a naturally-occurring weather event. So, based on these two accounts, it seems that artificial cloud-shrouded UFOs will occasionally maneuver near and hover over nuclear weapons facilities.
At 5:30 a.m., while waiting for relief on the taxiway, I noticed off in the distance, over the Caribbean Sea, an unusual cloud with flashing lights within it. My canine flight and I watched this and radioed each other, to try to figure out what it was, because the trajectory of the cloud was headed towards the no-fly zone. The relief [flight] arrived, and we were picked-up and driven across the active runway, still watching the object headed towards the parked B-52 alert area. [NOTE: Those bombers were designed to carry thermonuclear H-bombs but may have held conventional ordnance at the time. –RH]
When we arrived at the armory within the restricted area, the cloud was there. It was drifting thirty-feet above the ground, approximately six-feet thick and 30-feet in diameter. Dark wisps of cloud and lights swirled around the object. The only [part of the object] that was visible were the lights spinning inside the dark swirling cloud, like a carousel. Green, orange, yellow and blue. Our entire alert crew came out of the mole hole to watch. There were many mechanics, other flight crews and airmen observing as well. The object passed us and headed towards the U-2 hanger, which was strictly off-limits. My only concern was that nobody shot at whatever this object was. We all had our firearms, standing there watching it until it disappeared.
After the incident, I went off-duty for three days leave. Nobody told me not to talk about it. The only person I told was my mother. After the Ramey Air Force Base was decommissioned, I told my sons.
I suspect that other such incidents have occurred over the years and would very much like to hear from other Air Force veterans who may have witnessed something similar. I may be contacted at email@example.com. All accounts will be kept strictly confidential unless I am granted permission to publish them.
NOTE: Watch the two trailers from Robert Hastings’ soon-to-be released documentary film, UFOs and Nukes: The Secret Link Revealed below:
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UFO Sightings During the Cuban Missile Crisis: USAF Veterans’ Testimony Sought
UFO Activity at Nuclear Weapons Sites: Military Veterans’ Testimony Sought
New “UFOs and Nukes” Film Trailer: The Amazing Big Sur Incident
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