Analysis of the Malmstrom AFB UFO Incidents 1967

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Re: Analysis of the Malmstrom AFB UFO Incidents 1967

Postby jbondo » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:47 am

Hey Tim,

Thanks for your viewpoint on my questions. I think you're right on track there. Also, believe it or not, I do enjoy cold hard fact to a degree. I am of the opinion that we should all strive to learn at least one new thing every day and those typically come via the cold hard facts.

Very nice of you to take the time to post all of this. It's textbook quality stuff.
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Re: Analysis of the Malmstrom AFB UFO Incidents 1967

Postby Tim Hebert » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:23 pm

On a somewhat lighter note, a couple of months ago, James Carlson and I had been exchanging PMs on the missileforums.com site concerning Launch Facility (LF) security systems. Basically, the LF had two security zones, topside protected by a micro-wave type of net which we called the OZ (outer zone system) and in the missile silo, the IZ (inner zone).

For a maintenance team to enter the site (this was a pre-arranged scheduled trip), the team would enter the LF, this would break the Outer Zone coverage, resulting in an OZ alarm back at the LCC. The team chief would contact the missile crew on the SIN line via the Soft Support Building and authenticate via a code. If the authentication was correct the team would be allowed to do whatever scheduled maintenance was required. If the maintenance team passed an incorrect code, well....the site would be "struck" by the LCF's Alert Response Team (ART), two 18-19 year old security guards with M-16s.

If maintenance was required in the silo itself, the maintenance team chief would activate the B-Plug (a re-enforced thick concrete plug that acted as an auger and lowered itself to the first level of the silo uncovering an access point into the silo for the team). The speed of the lowering of the B-Plug corresponded to the response time of the ART depending on the distance in miles from the LF to the LCF. (anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour) Once the B-Plug was activate this set off the Inner Zone alarm, so the missile crew would see OZ and IZ alarms on the commanders monitoring console.

When the maintenance team was finished with its tasks, they would "back" off site and await for the security zones to reset back to normal mode of operation/monitoring. Most of the time it worked as advertised, but sometimes the security systems would fail to reset. If that were the case, then the team would have to await the arrival of a two man security team that would show up in a camper. This security team would be responsible for site security for the LF. They would be on site for up to three days, dependent on the availability of a maintence team to repair the security system. Being on camper duty was considered the absolutely worst job in a missile wing!

Now, the crux of my long-winded post, forget about UFOs at Malmstrom AFB, we had our own "haunted" LF...A-05. A-05 was believed to be constructed on an old Native American burial ground and the "natives were restless." It's difficult to figure out when this legend started. It was told to me and others while attending crew training at Vandenburg AFB, CA back in 1980. It appears that sometime in the 1960s, A-05 was beinging "campered" by a security team and during the night one of the security personnel saw a glowing white light pass thru the security chained link fence onto the LF. It was reported to look like an Indian maiden (legend has it that an Indian princess had been buried nearby 100 years ago. Other camper teams have seen "out of the blue" appearences of a bear lying on top of the LF's launcher door, then the bear abruptly disappearing. Others had seen the appearance of an old man wearing the head dress of a chief. Thus the makings of legends and fokelore!

This legend persisted through out the years. I had the oppertunity to pull three to four alerts at Alpha's LCC, interesting is that at no time did A-05 give me any problems. It was always on strategic alert, never had security zone issues. It was as quiet as the grave!

Tim
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Re: Analysis of the Malmstrom AFB UFO Incidents 1967

Postby James Carlson » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:47 am

Tim Hebert wrote:Good Morning jbondo! (morning for me)

You raise a good question. Concerning the Malmstrom incident, I think that the local and regional coverage of the numerous reported sightings probably played a major part in advancing the UFO "encounters" along with over acting imaginations.

Yes, I too have read of the possibility of the military intentionally use a UFO scenario as a means to provide cover for black R&D efforts...hiding in plain site. Whether SAC imployed this at Malmstrom and other missile wings is open to debate. In my opinion, SAC did not use UFOs as a means to provide cover for the discovery of a system vulnerability. It just doesn't fit the mold of the SAC that I well knew.

Did or does the government use the media as "useful idiots" in keeping classified projects under wraps? I can't help to believe that this is frequently the case, but I have no current information to back this up. So, I'll just call it speculation on my part.

Thanks for slogging through this thread. Cold hard facts are boring, but a UFO scenario is more exciting to read.

Tim

I know I've come in a little late in your well thought out discussion, but I wanted to just add a thing or two for consideration in this line of thought. I think the fact that FTD was so vitally interested in the "UFO rumors" to the extent that they went back to the lead investigator, Lt Col. Chase, and requested clarification regarding some pretty specific "rumors" that had been presented to them, a recourse that to my knowledge they had never resorted to in the past, represents further evidence that there was no USAF cover-up or propagation of a false UFO incident involved. Lt. Col. Chase certainly wasn't aware of such an undertaking, and he was very much involved in the administrative operations of the command.

I find it particularly interesting that Raymond Fowler's notes of the period make it evident (in my opinion) that he was very likely the author of those rumors that compelled FTD to act as they did in relation to the March 24-25 UFO sightings. This shows how very little interference was actually necessary to get the reaction of FTD requesting clarification of a case, and motivating SAC to seek some kind of a verfication for the rumors mentioned in the command history that "true believers" considered a "smoking gun". A lot of people have interpreted the command history as a chronologically driven report rather than an incident driven report, and this has also lead to them putting more emphasis on the "rumors" than it rightfully deserves. They assume that the command history's mention of the November flight strike team interviews indicate that the interviews were conducted immediately after the Echo Flight incident as part of the original investigation, and this is simply not true. The "UFO rumors" discussed in the history did not occur immediately, and were likely not looked into by the actual Echo Flight incident investigators. Raymond Fowler's notes establish that many of the rumors in regard to Echo Flight came about in the following weeks, some as many as four weeks later, and the November Flight strike team would have been interviewed then, not immediately after the Echo Flight incident itself. This would also have been done in the absence of any actual UFO reports, which must have been maddening to both Lt. Col. Chase and FTD. More suggestive still is the fact that while there were rumors associated with Echo Flight, there was nothing at all in relation to November or Oscar Flight -- not even rumors of the alleged missile failures! I believe that the fact that November Flight alone is mentioned in the histories (which is obviously due to the fact that no other strike teams in the region were out at the time encompassed by the rumors that developed, as you have stated) is why Salas maintained for 3-4 years that he was at November Flight, even though he was in possession of a letter from Colonel Frederick Meiwald that makes it very clear they were both at Oscar Flight. November Flight had a documented association, thin as it was, that could be used to hitch his story to the Echo Flight incident. There was no such connection to Oscar Flight. This suggests to me that Salas has been lying all along -- you don't make mistakes like that unless you intend to make mistakes like that. This is the whole crux of his dishonesty, also suggested by your own acknowledgement of the very difficult to understand release of only four pages from the command history, the refusal to discuss in any significant detail the actual incident investigation that took place over the course of an entire year, and his insistence that Echo Flight was an isolated incident that could not be tied to other missile failures (excepting, of course, the event he eventually reported as a UFO-related incident at November/Oscar Flight that I am convinced never happened).

I'd like to know your opinion of the USAF documents that were saved by Raymond Fowler that are included in his notes , but are not included in the package of documents available from the the Black Vault. This includes part of the "HISTORY 0F STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND JANUARY-JUNE 1967, HISTORICAL STUDY NO. 106, VOLUME XIII, CHAPTER V, EXHIBITS 61-90". If you don't have copies of these, let me know, and I'll get them to you. They support very strongly the supposition you've presented above regarding what the investigation was attempting to accomplish and how they were attempting to do so. But they also suggest that there were some time-based constraints they were operating under that were asociated with the upcoming and already scheduled force modernization of the Minuteman I missile flights, including Echo Flight. This would explain why the question was eventually dropped without having resolved a more complete picture of what exactly occurred and how it happened. The state of flux and continual evolution of the systems that you discuss above didn't allow them much room to run the tests intended to resolve what was, after all, a Wing I peculiar problem that would, in any case, be resolved by the already scheduled Force Mod. Maybe I'm reading more into it than I should; I'd like to know your opinion, though.

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Re: Analysis of the Malmstrom AFB UFO Incidents 1967

Postby Tim Hebert » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:47 am

James Carlson wrote:I'd like to know your opinion of the USAF documents that were saved by Raymond Fowler that are included in his notes , but are not included in the package of documents available from the the Black Vault. This includes part of the "HISTORY 0F STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND JANUARY-JUNE 1967, HISTORICAL STUDY NO. 106, VOLUME XIII, CHAPTER V, EXHIBITS 61-90".


No, I don't have these and yes I would appreciate copies when you get the time!

James Carlson wrote: But they also suggest that there were some time-based constraints they were operating under that were asociated with the upcoming and already scheduled force modernization of the Minuteman I missile flights, including Echo Flight. This would explain why the question was eventually dropped without having resolved a more complete picture of what exactly occurred and how it happened. The state of flux and continual evolution of the systems that you discuss above didn't allow them much room to run the tests intended to resolve what was, after all, a Wing I peculiar problem that would, in any case, be resolved by the already scheduled Force Mod. Maybe I'm reading more into it than I should; I'd like to know your opinion, though.


You are very perceptive and I must admit that I have not thought of the impact of the Force Mod program with regards to the Malmstrom Engineering Change Proposals. You are further correct that the implementation of the Force Modernization program would have taken care of, not just Malmstrom, but the rest of the 5 missile wings. This also brings up a good point that OOMA, Hill AFB, was not capable to investigate Echo at their own facility due to Ogden not being properly set up to handle Wing I issues (in house) and why most of the investigation was done at Boeing and Malmstrom. Great points and good insight own your part!

Tim
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