Thursday, March 07, 2024

UFOs Have Closely Monitored US Missile Tests Since the 1940s

UFOs Have Closely Monitored US Missile Tests Since the 1940s

While the 1964 Big Sur Incident was the most dramatic case documented thus far, encounters involving UFO surveillance and even interference have occurred on an ongoing basis.

     One only has to do a little research to discover that the Big Sur Incident was not unique. Actually, confirmed episodes of UFOs maneuvering near airborne U.S. missiles occurred on numerous occasions, both before and after the now well-publicized event, during which a UFO was filmed disabling a dummy nuclear warhead in flight, using beams of light.

After former USAF Lieutenant Bob Jacobs—head of the Vandenberg AFB-based telescopic-photography team that inadvertently filmed the amazing incident—went public with the story in 1982, he quickly received anonymous death threats over the telephone and,
Robert Hastings -
By Robert Hastings
independently, was harassed by a small group of “skeptics” with interesting but unpublicized government connections. An earlier article of mine discusses that situation.

Nevertheless, another officer, retired Major Florenze Mansmann—who analyzed the Big Sur film frame-by-frame with a magnifier—has confirmed that it showed a “classic disc” UFO shooting four intensely luminous beams at the warhead, which then tumbled out of camera frame.

But the dramatic 1964 encounter was hardly the first case of UFO surveillance of our missile tests. For example, in March 1950, a True magazine article written by U.S. Naval Commander Robert B. McLaughlin, a rocket specialist at White Sands Proving Ground, in southern New Mexico, revealed that small, spherical UFOs—we would now call them orbs—had been sighted at the highly secret base during a V-2 rocket test conducted on June 10, 1949. Referring to the incident, he wrote,

This day we were firing a Navy upper atmosphere missile. Shortly after its take-off, two small circular objects, guessed to be approximately 20 inches in diameter, appeared from no place and joined the Navy missile on its upward flight.

At about the time the Navy missile was doing well over 2,000 feet per second, the object on the west side passed through the exhaust gases and joined its friend on the east. They then apparently decided the missile was not going fast enough for them. They accelerated, passed the Navy missile and sailed off upward and eastward.

News coverage of McLaughlin’s revelations was widespread at the time. According to veteran UFO researcher Richard Hall, McLaughlin was later punished by the Navy for writing the article—losing his job at White Sands and being shipped off to sea duty. UFOs snooping on military missile launches was obviously a highly-sensitive subject that was to be rigorously kept from public view.

In any case, unexplained UFO activity at White Sands in the 1940s and ‘50s was frequently observed by military and civilian personnel working at the test range, and nearby Holloman AFB, involving aerial objects that were radically different in appearance and vastly superior in performance, compared to our own aircraft and rockets. Reports periodically issued by the Air Force summarized various incidents over time.

By the early 1960s, UFO sightings during military missile tests began to occur at other locations. Major Donald E. Keyhoe (USMC Ret.), Director of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), a well-respected UFO research organization, has written,

In [NICAP’s] files is a photocopy of an official tracking log from Cape Canaveral (now Cape Kennedy), covering operations on January 10, 1961. A Polaris missile was fired that day. According to the log, the missile was on its way up when an ‘unidentifiable flying object’ came in over the range. The UFO was evidently so big and maneuvered so close to the Polaris that automatic tracking radar on the ground, set to follow the Polaris, locked onto the UFO by mistake. The UFO eventually flew out of the radar's ‘sight.’ It took trackers 14 minutes to find the Polaris again.

A declassified military teletype message, known as a TWX, summarizes the encounter, but the facts first became known to the public after they were leaked by someone with access to inside information. Importantly, the intriguing 1961 event occurred only three years before the incident reported by Bob Jacobs and Florenze Mansmann and the parallels between the two cases are obvious.

Predictably, UFO activity during US missile tests continued to occur following the Big Sur incident. In one case, a Minuteman ICBM carrying a dummy nuclear warhead was launched from Vandenberg AFB, California, one day in August 1973. On June 17, 1974, the Chicago Tribune carried the following news item:

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Experts at an Army missile base say they are puzzled about strange “ghost ships” picked up by powerful radar scanner in the Pacific during a tracking exercise last summer.

There has been little official comment on what the scientists found during the exercise, but Major Dallas Van Hoose, an Army spokesman, confirmed recently that “some unexplained aerial phenomena” were observed during the exercise last August. Scientists, many of whom are reluctant to be named in interviews because of general public skepticism over unidentified flying objects, say privately they have been unable to find any explanation for the “ghost ships”.

“We have never seen anything precisely like this before,” said one ballistic missile defense expert who works for an Army agency here and who is familiar with the advanced radar used to test missiles and warheads. Huntsville houses the Army’s ballistic missile defense systems command which tests in the Kwajalein Atoll region of the Marshall Island Trust Territory held by the U.S.

Last August the Air Force launched a Minuteman ICBM from Vandenberg Air Force base aimed for the Kwajalein missile range which is used by the Army, Air Force, and Navy. The radar experts in the Pacific found they were also tracking an unidentified flying object next to the ICBM’s nose cone. Radar picked up an inverted saucer-shape object to the right and above the descending nose cone and watched it cross the warhead’s trajectory to a point which was below and to-the-left of it before the phantom ship disappeared. The ghost ship was described as being 10-feet high and 40-feet long. Two separate radar systems saw it at the same time which may eliminate the probability that there was a malfunction in one of the radar systems. It was also reported that 3 other identical objects were seen in the vicinity—the same size, shape, and dimensions. One scientist said the data indicated that the phantom ship “flew under its own power” but could not explain what sort of “power” was involved.

So far none of the experts here believe the ghost ship was a natural phenomenon caused by freak weather conditions or echoes commonly seen on radar screens.

(Radar alone could not have determined that the unknown targets had an “inverted saucer-shape” so some optical images of the UFOs had to have been taken as well. The reporter writing the article apparently misunderstood some of what he was told by Army Major Van Hoose, and mistakenly attributed this particular discovery to the analysis of radar data.)

In any event, the earlier incident at Vandenberg AFB, described by both Lieutenant Bob Jacobs and Major Florenze Mansmann, involving close-proximity UFO activity during an Atlas ICBM test launch, was apparently not only one to occur at the base.

Regarding the unnamed ballistic missile expert’s statement in the article above, about never having seen “anything precisely like this before”, given that the 1964 Big Sur incident was immediately classified Top Secret—with only a handful of individuals knowing the facts—it would have been unknown to other military and civilian personnel conducting missile tests a decade later.

Researcher Barry Greenwood later reprinted this newspaper story in his co-authored book, Clear Intent (later republished as The UFO Cover-Up). He wrote,

When FOIA inquiries were filed with the Army, they denied having any records concerning the sighting. We were referred to Vandenberg AFB, California. Vandenberg responded that “in accordance with Air Force manual 12-50 which implements the Federal Records Act, the launch operations records for August 1973 have been destroyed.” Note that it is not stated that the UFO tracking report was destroyed, only a very general statement is given that “launch operations records” were destroyed. That [records of] such a mysterious event as this would not be kept somewhere for possible future use is incomprehensible. Yet this excuse is offered time and time again to deny access to records…

In 2016, researcher Richard Hoffman located the Army spokesman cited in the article, retired Major Dallas Van Hoose. Upon learning that, I secured Van Hoose’s contact information and attempted to interview him. Despite repeated attempted phone calls, he decline to speak with me.

Regardless, here we have another reliable story, published by the Chicago Tribune, involving a UFO maneuvering near a dummy nuclear warhead (contained within the missile’s nosecone) in flight over the Pacific Ocean. Considering this case, as well as those at White Sands Proving Ground and Cape Canaveral, there can be little doubt that those who operate the UFOs have repeatedly monitored U.S. missile tests since the late 1940s. In fact, given the ongoing secrecy surrounding these events, the known cases are undoubtedly only a fraction of the total number that have occurred.

Consequently, despite the repeated and unfounded attacks upon them by various debunkers over the years, Bob Jacobs’ and Florenz Mansmann’s assertions about having watched on film a UFO maneuvering near, and disabling, a dummy nuclear warhead in 1964, are unquestionably credible.

Indeed, as I recently mentioned in another article, former Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) director Lue Elizondo, has already confirmed to a handful of former US government personnel that he personally viewed a video copy of the Big Sur UFO encounter while at the Pentagon.

Thanks to researchers Barry Greenwood and Jan Aldrich for providing documentation relating to the White Sands, Cape Canaveral, and 1973 Vandenberg AFB cases. And special thanks to researcher Frank Warren of The UFO Chronicles website for posting my articles year after year.

UFOs and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites -
Robert Hastings’ book, is UFOs and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites, available at
His documentary film, UFOs and Nukes: The Secret Link Revealed is available at
UFOs and Nukes: The Secret Link Revealed -

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