September 26, 2010

The Echo Flight UFO Debate Continues


After the last four articles published here at RU covering the witness statements obtained from primary Echo Flight witnesses Walter Figel and Eric Carlson, an already fiery online “debate” grew even more heated.

Apparent supporters of Robert Salas and Robert Hastings began posting statements to our blog stating that RU researchers would never have a chance of catching up to Robert Hasting’s 30+ years of UFO experience – we shouldn’t even try, give it up, game over.

It took RU’s Stephen Broadbent no longer than a few minutes to determine that most of the apparent “supporters” were actually a single person (same IP) posting under various names. That raised a few eyebrows.

The lengths that some grown men go…

Setting aside the drama, one good thing that came out of those comments was another promise that Hastings would produce the mythical “audio tapes” that he’d been promising to publish for many months, which would apparently show that James Carlson and his father are liars. Having already waited for the tapes that were promised over five months ago, no one was holding their breath. So we were pleasantly surprised when we were told that Robert Hastings finally turned up the goods in an article titles “The Echo/Oscar Witch Hunt” at UFO Chronicles.

The Walter Figel Tapes

I’m not certain who the witches are and who exactly is doing the hunting, but one thing is for certain – Robert Hastings and Robert Salas sure don’t want anyone to know what Walter Figel is now saying. I read through Hasting’s recent article very carefully, and his only reference to recent events involved telling readers that James Carlson and Eric Carlson are lying about everything.

He failed to directly respond to Walt Figels more recent comments in 2010, and when James Carlson attempts to reference the comments on the forums that Robert Hastings frequents, James’ posts get deleted. There is certainly a cover-up going on, that’s for sure. Just not the sort of cover up Hastings and Salas would like you to believe.

However, after reading Hasting’s article, I admit to being a bit frustrated with Mr. Figel. Despite his recent comments clarifying the matter to James, it’s clear what he was saying to Hastings and Salas according to those recordings, at least as far back as 1996. After reading Hasting’s article, I decided to contact Walter Figel myself. I did so because Hastings keeps calling James a liar, so I needed something in my hands that would prove one way or another that Figel’s more recent comments about the Echo Flight case were real.

While Hastings failed to produce the promised audio tapes where he and/or Salas supposedly had post-2008 contact with Figel, with claims supposedly proving that James and Eric are now lying – there are still questions that need to be answered. Even though these older recordings don’t prove anything new (except that Hastings most likely does NOT have any more recent interactions with Figel proving anything he’s been claiming about James) – they do require clarification from Figel.

Walter Figel Responds

I wrote an email to Figel and cc’d Eric and James asking Figel, point blank, why he said what he said in those recordings. He responded to me, asking for the link. James responded to his request with the following email, providing Figel with the transcripts.

James wrote:

Robert Salas just published the following transcripts of a conversation he had with you in 1996. He never mentioned anything about your testimony until well after 2002.

Did you actually do this interview, and if so, why is it so different from what you have repeatedly told me, and from what my father has repeatedly claimed?

James ends his email with a comment that makes it very clear to me that he’s not only being as truthful as he can be, but he’s only interested in the truth, and clearing his family name – he has no interest in UFOs or “debunking” the nuclear missile stories found throughout Ufology. He is only interested in the case that his own father was a primary witness to. James continues:

I would very much appreciate some clarity here. I understand that you don’t want to get involved, but you are involved. You can’t get rid of that involvement, not after you’ve basically said that my Dad is a liar. I don’t care what a bunch of wack-jobs waiting for the next flying saucer pick-up have to say about me, because they’ve been doing that for years, but I will not just sit and let them do the same thing to my father.

If you are not willing to fix this — and that means making a cohesive statement of one thing or another, and calling Salas and Hastings and telling them, one way or the other, then please tell me, because this back and forth is ridiculous. These people are telling everybody that I never spoke to you — that I have made the whole thing up from the very beginning. If I am that dissociative, somebody should tell me

Walt finally responded at length to both James and I. He listed the major points that he believes are at issue here. Figel clearly states as of Sept 24th, 2010 – that not only does he believe UFO’s were not involved at Echo Flight, but Figel also reveals some shocking insight into some of Salas’ other claims regarding issues beyond the Echo Flight case. Here is what Figel had to say on the matter.

James,

First – your dad has not lied about anything nor do believe that he is even capable of lying about anything at all. He was, is, and always will be an honorable man. You should remember that always – I will.

Second – Bob Salas was never associated with any shutdown of any missiles at any time in any flight and you can take that to the bank. Just think about this for a split second. He is a person wrapped up in UFOs to the Nth degree. Yet he could not remember he was not at Echo. Then he thought he was at November – wrong again. Then he thought he was at Oscar – wrong again.

Third – There is no record about anything happening at November or Oscar except in people’s minds that are flawed beyond imagination. Salas has created events out of the thin air and can’t get the facts straight even then. My best friend to this day was the flight commander of the 10th SMS at the time. He and I have discussed this silly assertion in the past couple of years – he thinks it is all madeup nonsense for sure. I put both Salas and Hastings in touch with him and he has told them both that an incident at November or Oscar never happened. In addition he was subsequently stationed at Norton AFB where the engineers tested the possible problems. No little green men were responsible.

Fourth – I have always maintained that I do not nor have I ever believed that UFOs exist in any form at any place at any time. I have never seen one or reported that I have seen one. I have always maintained that they had nothing to do with the shutdown of Echo flight in Montana.

Fifth – The event at Malmstrom has a hand written log from me that was turned in just like all the other logs that I wrote over several years. I would think that if I wrote something like that in the log, there would be copies, it would have been classified at the beginning and then released along with the classified SAC messages and base reports. Nothing in that urgent SAC message even hints of UFOs at all and I think that it would if the official logs or telephone calls had referenced that fact.

Sixth – When it happened, neither your dad nor I were “visibly shaken” by the events. It was just another day with a unexpected event in our lives. It was rather underwhelming at the time. No one rushed out to see us, no one made us sign any papers, no one interrogated us for hours on end.

There is no Air Force “cover-up” it just did not happen the way Salas and has portrayed the course of events. I am sorry that you are all caught up in a pissing contest with these people, I really am. They are just not going to let go no matter what you say or do. He has made a 15 year career pandering about the country talking about things he has no knowledge about. I am not at all interested in taking them on – it’s not worth my effort – I have more important things to do with my life. I much rather just stay out of it.

Hopefully, we can move on. I did read about a briefing on the 27th here in DC. I am here in VA about 10 miles away. Interesting. Hopefully this helps you and confirms to you at least that your dad is a straight shooter and does not lie to anyone.

Sincerely,
Walt Figel

While I am still personally not satisfied with the lack of explanation for why he said what he said to Hastings and Salas back in 1996 and 2008 – there is plenty of room for speculation. Maybe the ground crew were joking (he did say he didn’t take them seriously) and Figel was reporting to Hastings and Salas what he thought they wanted to hear – that someone mentioned “UFOs” related to Echo flight.

Maybe he assumed they would report his statements without spinning it to support the reality of UFO’s – which he repeats he does not believe in. Or maybe Figel saw an opportunity to be an “authority” with someone writing a book on the issue, and a chance for a little bit of fame. Who knows at this point. But what is especially revealing is when you look at the points Walter made beyond the simple matter of the recording clips Hastings published.

Witness Walter Figel is Not Invited to the Press Conference

Figel’s following points are rather powerful, I must admit.

-> He confirms James father is an honorable man and has not lied about Echo Flight.
-> He writes: “Bob Salas was never associated with any shutdown of any missiles at any time in any flight and you can take that to the bank.”
-> Walt’s friend, the flight commander of the 10th SMS agrees that the UFO nonsense about Echo Flight is made up – and he apparently told Hastings and Salas that an incident at November or Oscar never happened, yet they’ve never reported that statement to the public.
-> Nothing in the released SAC message (from the declassified documents on the case) contained “even hints of UFOs at all.” Walt maintains that if he’d written anything about UFOs – it would have been reflected there, but it’s not.
-> Walt admits that Eric Carlson’s statement was true that no one made them sign anything, and no one raced out to interrogate them.

Walt’s final statement was probably the most powerful…because he makes such an excellent and revealing point, as he writes:

“I did read about a briefing on the 27th here in DC. I am here in VA about 10 miles away. Interesting.”

Upon seeing this comment, my eyes froze at that line. What an important point.

Yes, indeed, why would Hastings and Salas hold a press conference on the 27th in DC, and not invite Walt Figel, one of their primary and most important witnesses to one of the allegedly largest nuclear missile silo UFO shutdowns in the history of Ufology? Why would they not have retired Lt. Walt Figel standing in front of the cameras admitting that yes, indeed, a UFO was involved at Echo Flight?

At the time of the conference, he is located only 10 miles away, yet they didn’t invite him. I wonder why?



Filed under: UFOlogy,UFOs — Tags: , , , , , — RyanDube @ 2:56 pm




September 12, 2010

An Interview With Malmstrom AFB Witness Eric Carlson


For those of you following along with this story (or for those of you who are just coming along now), I have the pleasure to introduce you to one of the men who has been at the epicenter of a storm within the Ufology community.

It has been a longstanding legend within Ufology that a UFO was sighted over the Silos at Echo Flight and Oscar flight, and that those UFOs were related to the electronic malfunction and shutdown of the nuclear missiles protecting the United States of America from the Communist threat.

The major source of these stories has been a man who alleges that he was a witness to at least Oscar flight, and that he has insight knowledge about events at Echo flight.

You can read many of his claims at the CUFON website, or you can check out the book published by Robert Salas called Faded Giant, with James Klotz listed as contributor. Robert Salas and Robert Hastings are actively promoting this book, and speaking at an upcoming National Press Conference in Washington DC on September 27th.

The Interview with Retired AF Captain Eric Carlson

After we were contacted by James Carlson, and provided with information from his research and interviews, we carefully reviewed the claims by Salas and Hastings, and eventually decided two things. There were two primary witnesses to the Echo Flight event – Walt Figel and Eric Carlson. These two men were in E-Flight LCC, watched the systems fail, and responded in the manner they were trained to respond. No one out there – no one- would know better than these two men what really happened in the control room on that day.

Walt Figel provided his feedback to James, which we’ve published previously on this blog. He does not want to be a part of the debate, and wishes to be left alone after providing his final statement, so we will respect that. However, Captain Eric Carlson remains an excellent witness, and told his son that he would be willing to talk to anyone who is truly interested in the truth.

So – I contacted the retired Captain and he agreed to the interview. It is provided below. I have only edited grammatical or spelling errors, but left his responses exactly how he provided them to me. Without further ado, I would like to introduce you to Echo Flight witness Eric Carlson.

Question and Answer

Ryan: According to the stories, on Thursday Morning, March 16, 1967, you (Captain Eric Carlson) and First Lieutenant Walt Figel were serving as the Echo-Flight Missile Crew in the E-Flight LCC. According to Salas, “more than one report came in from the security patrols and maintenance crews that they had seen UFOs.”

According to Salas, a UFO was even sighted directly above one of the E-Flight silos. At an estimated 08:30, Salas claims that an alarm sounded reporting to you and Figel that one of the Minuteman missiles you were responsible for had become inoperable.

First – lets touch on this claim. Could you describe what you remember about this specific part of the story? Was there such an alarm at all and was it unusual?

Eric: There were no reports called in to either me or Lt Figel on the morning of March 16, 1967.  The report that we had lost ten missiles is accurate.  It was not uncommon to lose one missile or even two to no-go status, it was unheard of to lose all ten.

I recall that both Lt Figel and I were Kept rather busy completing our checklists, which included calls to the wing command post and maintenance control.  Shortly after completing the check lists we received a call from the senior controller at SAC headquarters, a general.   He wanted to know my status and I informed him that E-2 thru E-11 were in no-go status.  He asked me if I was sure and how did I know they would not launch.

I advised him that my tech order indicated they would not launch.  I am sure he was concerned because our targets would have to be covered by someone else.  He then asked it E-1 would launch and I advised him that that was the launch control center where we were.  I recall wanting to tell him that I sure as hell hoped it wouldn’t.

The Alleged UFO Sighting and System Failure

Ryan: The stories claim that when Figel called the security guard on the surface, the guard reported that no maintenance had taken place and that a UFO had been hovering over the silo. Do you recall Figel making this phonecall, and did he tell you that anyone on the other end of the line mentioned anything about a UFO?

Eric: There was no call, at any time, telling us about any UFOs.

Ryan: Reportedly, the entire flight of ICBMs went into “no-go” status – and once you and Figel completed the checklist procedure you learned that all systems were offline due to a guidance and control systems malfunction. Could you elaborate on the accuracy of that claim?

Eric: The voice reporting system did report a guidance and control system malfunction.

Ryan: Did either you or Figel (or anyone else) eventually determine what caused the system malfunction? Or was there any speculation? In other words, did you eventually receive any follow-up information about what the engineers learned about the malfunction?

Eric: I don’t know if anyone eventually determined the cause.  I have not read the report of investigation.  There was no way for either Figel or myself to make that determination and there was no follow-up from engineers.  Any report they made would have been classified and I had no need to know.

The After-Effects of the Experience

Ryan: According to the story, when Captain Don Crawford’s crew relieved you and Walt, you were “still visibly shaken by what had occurred.” Do you recall having such an emotional reaction to the event, and if so, why?

Eric: I do not recall being “shaken” by what had occurred.  I do not believe Lt Figel nor I had any emotional reaction other than perhaps surprise.

Ryan: Do you have an insight or experiences to report related to the reported Oscar Flight incident where allegedly another UFO was sighted which reportedly sent the missiles into “no-go” status?

Eric: The event at Echo became what could be referred to as the talk of the town.  Everyone knew about it and many crew members kidded me about it.  There was never any talk, at any time, about a similar event at Oscar.  I can only conclude from that that it never happened.

Ryan: Why would crew members kid you about a malfunction – was it because it was rare for all of the silos to go down at once? During the jokes and discussions with other crew members, did anyone mention anything about a UFO being sighted above the silo when the malfunction occurred?

Eric: The crew members of the 10th SMS were a tight group.  We were the first minuteman squadron activated and did a lot together.  When soomeone in the squadron had difficulties, that were not related to their skills or qualifications, kidding took place.  At no time were UFOs mentioned to me.

The Follow-Up Air Force Investigation

Ryan: CUFOS reports that subsequent investigations by Boeing engineers turned up no explanation for what could have caused the shutdown, and some speculated that only a high energy electromagnetic pulse (EMP) could have entered the shielded system to cause the failure. Were you aware of any of the subsequent investigations after the shutdown of Echo and/or Oscar, and are able to shed more light on what was actually determined?

Eric: I have no information that sheds light on the incident other than the official investigation or the Echo incident.  To the best of my knowledge there was no report or investigation of any Oscar incident.

Ryan: Had you ever had any conversations with the security guards or staff who allegedly saw the UFO hovering over the silo? What, if anything, did you learn from those conversations about the alleged sighting(s)?

Eric: I have never had any discussion with security personnel regarding UFOs.

Ryan: Do you know if Walter did? According to the stories, he was the one that answered the phone. Of course, you were right there, so I’m sure you would have known if someone told him a UFO had been sighted?

Eric: I am sure that if Figel had any discussions with security personnel about UFOs that he would have mentioned it to me.

Ryan: According to many former USAF personnel, the USAF allegedly frowned upon the reporting or even internal acknowledgement of such UFO events and/or sightings. Is this how you felt while you were serving in the USAF?

Eric: I never felt constrained in any way regarding reporting any unusual activities around missile sites.  In fact, I believe we were encouraged to report unusual incidents or events.

Ryan: Finally – I would like to give you an opportunity to share whether you were ever contacted or interviewed by Hastings, Salas or any other Ufologists before, and your perspective on the stories that they’ve put out there about the events that occurred at Echo Flight and Oscar Flight.

Eric: I was contacted by both Salas and Hastings and would neither confirm or deny anything they told me.  I really didn’t want to get involved in a pissing contest with either.  Hastings told me he had written a book and I told him that sounded interesting.  He sent me a copy and while I cannot attest or comment on anything other than the Malmstrom incident I found that particular incident full of errors.  A producer for some UFO TV series contacted me one time and a reporter from the Great Fall newspaper also contacted me one time.  There were no follow-ups from either.

Ryan: This is interesting! Hastings only called to talk to you after he’d written the book? Or was he calling you while he was writing his book in order to confirm information he’d learned from Salas?

Eric: Hastings called after he had written the book.  I don’t know what his motive was.

Final Words

We’ve learned recently that Robert Salas was recently interviewed on Coast to Coast, and repeated many of the claims that these two witnesses report are not true. James Carlson has been working diligently and honestly to uncover and report the truth about the Echo Flight incident that his father was a primary witness to. We can only hope that in the spirit of truth and unbiased reporting, that Coast to Coast will consider interviewing James and his father Eric Carlson, for a glimpse of the real story.

I would also recommend to our readers, that if you do decide to purchase and read Faded Giant, that you take what Salas has reported with a grain of salt, because unfortunately the real witnesses at Echo Flight do not support his claims.









Reality Uncovered Social Networking
Visit us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Reality Uncovered on You Tube




RU Custom Search

Help support the continued growth of Reality Uncovered