Did A UFO Attempt to Launch a Minot ICBM?

Use this forum for getting organized research help from our members

Moderators: ryguy, chrLz, Zep Tepi

Did A UFO Attempt to Launch a Minot ICBM?

Postby Tim Hebert » Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:57 pm

Robert Hastings posted an article on theufochronicles.com on July 15, 2008, "Launch in Progress!" Hastings interviewed David Schuur who as a Lt. was on alert at Echo Flight in the mid to late 1960s at Minot AFB, ND. Schuur tells of a UFO encounter in his flight area on one particular alert.

Article posted at http://www.theufochronicles.com/2008/07 ... gress.html

Brief Synopsis of the Event:

Schuur was on alert at Echo Launch Control Center as the deputy commander. The entire sqaudron appeared to be experiencing strange and erratic indications effecting their LFs. This information was relayed via the Wing Command Post to SAC's Command Post over the Primary Alert System (PAS). Schuur received a call from his topside personnel that a bright light was seen in the distance over the Echo flight area. Schuur would eventually encounter erratic indications on the launch control status panel: outer/inner zone indications and sorties mysteriously dropping into Launch in Progress. Schuur states that he had to initiate the Launch Inhibit Command as a response to the Launh in Progess indications. Eventually the "object" left the flight area and the sorties returned to normal operational status. Upon returning back to the base, Schuur and his commander had to turn in their log and tapes.

What Happened at Minot?

Did a true Launch in Progress occur? This would depend on a number of factors and subsequent indications. Did the sorties in question show that the Enable Command had been processed? Did the sorties show that the Launch Command had been initiated and processed? (It takes two LCC crews to intiated a valid launch vote...remember Positive Control! and this was done via key turn, no push buttons.) And finally did the inhibit launch command clear the indications or did, as told by Schuur, just cleared up on its own?

A couple of months ago, I was conversing with a former Minot Minuteman I crew commander concerning the then command and control nature of the weapon system. Minot's configuration was almost identical to Malmstrom but with some variation LCF/LCC equipment support locations. It was standard procedure to drop the missiles in calibration mode in the event of issues with the missile itself. Once the missile is in calibration, it would not be able to process any commands until after the calibration sequence was completed. I personally experience this in Minuteman II!

Did Schuur initiate an inhibit command or a Cancel Launch in Progress (CLIP) command. Minuteman I had only the CLIP command capability and is questionalble if CLIP command was "all call" or single sortie specific, whereas, the inhibit launch command (as I knew it in MM II ILCS) was flight and squadron specific. In fairness, Schuur could be actually alluding to the CLIP command.

Towards the tail end of the article, Hastings pronounces Schuur's statements as credible. Credibile? Schuur states that after the alert he and his commander were told to turn in their tapes and log. Not unusual since this was the requirement for all crews returning from an alert regardless of unusual alert events. The tapes? Minuteman I did not have the capability of generating printouts, that would come later with MM II & III. Recall my Malmstrom posts, MM I crews could only monitor their LFs by fault light indicators and VRSA panel interogations! (This information had from the correspondance with the retired Minuteman I crew commander.) Minot would keep its MM Is until the mid 1970s when it finally upgraded to the MM IIIs.

Could Schuur have, due to the passing of time, confused sorties dropping into "Standby", due to calibration sequencing, mistaking it for Launch in Progress? Both indications are colored white on the indicator panel. An inhibit commanded sortie would be indicated by a red color on the panel. Unfortuanately, Hastings does not aks these types of questions. Schuur's responses would in no way question his veracity but only question his recall of a 40-plus year event. No shame in saying, "Its difficult to acurately recall."

Hastings, through the words of Schuur, concludes that a UFO may have attempted to gain access to and launch Minuteman ICBMs. If you look at the technique of interviewing, Hastings provides Schuur leading questions. This utlimately leads to his conclusions that Schuur's recalling of the past event are accurate and therefore credible. Hastings now is able through another series of leading questions conclude that UFOs may have been attempting to launch an ICBM. Whether this is true or not does not matter. The thought has been planted in mind of his readers.

Tim
Tim Hebert
Focused on Reality
Focused on Reality
 
Posts: 491
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 11:29 pm


Re: Did A UFO Attempt to Launch a Minot ICBM?

Postby Access Denied » Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:25 pm

Excellent post and analysis Tim, thank you for sharing that.

Do we have a more exact date on this?

Also, have you tried contacting Mr. Hastings to get Schuur’s contact info? It would seem some expert cross-examination of his witness would be helpful in this case in order to try and resolve some of these outstanding issues. Let me know and I’ll PM you his email address.

I agree, a lot of the time it’s simply about asking the right questions…

Tom
Men go and come but Earth abides.
User avatar
Access Denied
1 of the RU3
 
Posts: 2740
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:32 am
Location: [redacted]

Re: Did A UFO Attempt to Launch a Minot ICBM?

Postby astrophotographer » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:53 pm

I am always interested in articles for SUNlite that discuss these kinds of events that are presented as being caused by UFOs. Do we have any more information on this? Are there any documents that support such an event actually took place? In the case of Malmstrom, there was documentation that discussed the incident. Certainly, such an event at Minot would have some sort of paper trail.
User avatar
astrophotographer
Clearly Discerns Reality
Clearly Discerns Reality
 
Posts: 577
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:46 pm

Re: Did A UFO Attempt to Launch a Minot ICBM?

Postby Tim Hebert » Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:59 am

I still have David Schuur's email address. I attempted to contact him twice with initially no reply. About a month later Mr. Schuur replied stating that all of his statements in Hastings' article were accurate and nothing was taken out of context.

I still have Hastings' email address, I can give a go and contact him. Its probably 50/50 if he'll reply since he views me as an intellectual dunce and more as a gnat on an elephant's rear end.

As to the date of the supposed incident. That remains somewhat of a mystery. Schuur tells Hastings that he was at Minot from 1963 -1967, but admits that he couldn't pin point the exact date. He believes that it was at the tail end of his tour, 1965-1967.

I did a quick search and found that there were two "incidents" at Minot, March 3, 1967 and June 6, 1968. This info was on wikipedia and referenced B.J Booth, ufocasbook.com/minotafb.html. The wiki entry stated that the 1968 incident involved one LF being left "armed" and "unlocked" and the warhead "armed", yet when I linked to the reference there was no mentioning that an ICBM had been accessed to or tampered. So where did Wikipedia get this info based upon a bogus reference? This happened in 1968, Schuur left Minot sometime in 1967 so he could not have been involved. Maybe he is referring to March 1967, but the Wiki entry is quite vague and uses the same reference by B.J. Booth.

There is no declassified documentation that I have been able to come across verifying anything unusual at Minot. Naulty's ICBM History never mentioned any issues involving missile sorties going unexpectedly into launch mode nor does he describe any fault anomalies associated with erroneous indicator panels at Minot. Strange that he would list Malmstrom's issues but ignore Minot's. Which one was the bigger story, a UFO popping a circuit breaker or a UFO trying to launch an ICBM?

Tim

As an add-on: As far as Schuur's accounting that topside personnel saw a bright light over the flight area (This is a large area of land measured by the mile!), could the security personnel had seen a flare dropped from an aircraft. During this period of time SAC had a full wing of B-52s stationed at Minot. Suppose that one or more aircraft as part of a training exercise dropped a flare or series of flares in response to a hypothetical surface to air missile attack. Again supposition on my part, but possible.

Tim
Tim Hebert
Focused on Reality
Focused on Reality
 
Posts: 491
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 11:29 pm

Re: Did A UFO Attempt to Launch a Minot ICBM?

Postby Chorlton » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:18 am

Tim Hebert wrote:Hastings provides Schuur leading questions.


And that statement, I have found, is one of the major failings of so many alleged UK UFO 'Researchers'.
Leading questions. They ask questions guaranteed to elicit the response they want or close enough to the response so they can then quote the interviewee or play the tape and say "See" ??
I have become that which I always despised and feared........Old !

My greatest wish, would be to own my own scrapyard.
User avatar
Chorlton
Uncovers Reality
Uncovers Reality
 
Posts: 1174
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 6:02 pm

Re: Did A UFO Attempt to Launch a Minot ICBM?

Postby Tim Hebert » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:08 am

I did alittle more research on the CLIP command and found out that it was actually used for a very short time in the early 1970s as a post-EWO tactic. The CLIP codes were located in the EWO safe along with the Positive Control tickets. SAC command post would transmit a message authorizing the crew to input the CLIP code via thumbwheel switches. The Program Control Panel on the Commanders console has a position labled CLIP. So based upon this information Schuur's LCC was not configured with the CLIP capability. He would have used the standard inhibit command.

In Hastings' article, Schuur describes the need for two LCCs to initiate an inhibit command to stop the launch of a missile. I believe that this is in error, but I give Schuur a pass on this one due to the passages of time. Any LCC in a squadron could initiate the inhibit command and under certain conditions the missile would accept it, as long as only one key turn had been processed, a half vote! If two LCCs had key turned and initiated the launch command then the inhibit command was useless and the launch sequence would continue to its final conclusion. What Schuur may have been referring about was the common practice of all of the squadron LCCs initiating the inhibit command to make absolutely sure that at least one command was processed just incase of equipment panel malfunctions.

Tim
Tim Hebert
Focused on Reality
Focused on Reality
 
Posts: 491
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 11:29 pm

Re: Did A UFO Attempt to Launch a Minot ICBM?

Postby astrophotographer » Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:27 pm

A "bright light" in the sky could have been just about anything. Date and time of the incident is important to pinpoint potential sources. The first two to check are Venus and Jupiter. They tend to generate UFO reports and confuse people. In one of Hastings pieces about UFO sightings in November 1975 by security personnel at Malmstrom AFB, Venus was most likely involved. It is about 3/4ths the way down.
User avatar
astrophotographer
Clearly Discerns Reality
Clearly Discerns Reality
 
Posts: 577
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:46 pm

Re: Did A UFO Attempt to Launch a Minot ICBM?

Postby Tim Hebert » Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:46 pm

Tim,

The best time-frame that can be established is what Schuur tells Hastings, which unfortunately is extremely broad. Schuur states that the event probably happened "in the early morning hours." Further more he is assuming that he was at Echo, but that is not 100 percent certain. He tells Hastings that the event may have happened between 1965-1967, then when pressed by Hastings, Schuur gives the 1966-1967 time-frame. Regardless of what Schuur is is trying to state, I have to defend Schuur on this one because it is extremely difficult to pin point any event or experience that happened in the 1960s at a missile site. I have a difficult time remembering things that happened 25 years ago let alone 45 years. Based upon this, Hastings should have treated this story with a bit more caution.

Since Schuur states that the sighting and strange indications happened in the early hours of the morning and depending on the weather conditions and possibility of cloud cover, Venus could have played a role in this. CUFON listed two Minot events, March 1967 and June 1968. Rule out 1968, since Schuur left Minot in 1967 and now your only left with the March 1967 event. What was the alignment of Venus in the first weeks of March 1967?

Tim
Last edited by Tim Hebert on Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Tim Hebert
Focused on Reality
Focused on Reality
 
Posts: 491
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 11:29 pm

Re: Did A UFO Attempt to Launch a Minot ICBM?

Postby Tim Hebert » Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:50 pm

In Hastings' article Schuur goes into a brief detail about turning in logs and tapes. The log was simply a 24 hour record of events that occured during the alert period. You would list preambles of SAC messages, maintenance on a particular LF, malfunctions of equipment, security situations at LFs, etc.

Schuur states that he had to turn in tapes from the PAS (Primary Alert System). Basically, PAS was a direct unsecure dedicated phone line between SAC HQ, numbered Air Force command posts, wing command post and each of SAC's ICBM launch control centers. There was no recording device that was recording message traffic via PAS. Upon receipt of an encoded message and after the crew had decoded the message only the encoded preamble (the first 5 alphanumeric characters) would have been entered on the 24 hour log with a date/time entered also.

The only hard copy of message traffic that Schuur may have received was from the SACCS communications rack. The SACCS generated a hard copy encoded message that wew identical to the voice message passed via PAS. I believe that this may be the "tapes" that Schuur is referencing, though it was not a tape but a phone line telex type of arrangement that the crew would "tear off" and compare the contents versus that which was received over PAS. PAS and/or SACCS did not contain any contents relating to the ongoing day-to-day status of the LFs at a given LCC. Procedures have changed throughout the decades, so missile crews may have been required to turn in their SACCS copies of message traffic during the 1960s. There were no such requirements inplace during my time in the early 1980s. The relevance of this "tape" is hard to ascertain as this system would not annotate any sorties receiving commands from the crew.

Another communications system was Survivable Low Frequency Communications System (SLFCS) which received message traffic via ground waves and was printed out (extremely slow!!). The contents of a SLFCS message receipt was identical to the message passed on via PAS.

In conclusion, we well may be dealing with nuances which are unfortuanately clouding the picture.

Tim
Tim Hebert
Focused on Reality
Focused on Reality
 
Posts: 491
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 11:29 pm

Re: Did A UFO Attempt to Launch a Minot ICBM?

Postby astrophotographer » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:48 pm

Tim Hebert wrote:Since Schuur states that the sighting and strange indications happened in the early hours of the morning and depending on the weather conditions and possibiliyt of cloud cover, Venus could have played a role in this. CUFON listed two Minot events, March 1967 and June 1968. Rule out 1968, since Schuur left Minot in 1967 and now your only left with the March 1967 event. What was the alignment of Venus in the first weeks of March 1967?


Venus was an evening object In March 1967. It did not move into being a prominent morning object until the fall. However, Jupiter was quite the prominent object in Gemini-Cancer in March 1967. It would set in the west sometime just before morning twilight. I did not look up specifics for Minot but for my home it was around 4AM. It had just past opposition making it pretty bright (about magnitude -2.5, which is very bright). These are always two candidates to look at as well as when Mars nears opposition (where it can reach magnitudes in the -1 to -2 range).

Of course, there are always bright stars that scintillate that can produce apparent UFOs for people. The biggest culprit is Sirius but that was not visible in the morning sky in March. Vega and Arcturus were and they also can fool people. Arcturus fooled some police officers during the March 1966 Michigan flap. Hynek was with them and pointed out they were getting all excited about Arcturus. He would later write that this was a "sobering experience".

Without more data this case can not be resolved one way or the other. However, there is no evidence that the "light" in the sky caused any of the malfunctions described. It is wild guessing at best. IMO, the light in the sky was probably astronomical in nature (be it Venus, Jupiter, or a bright star) and had nothing to do with the malfunction described. Based on what Carlson wrote about the systems, the early equipment seemed to be prone to occassional error. It would be best to follow that route to see when any malfunctions at Minot actually occurred and then proceed from there. If there are no records of malfunctions, then the story has no basis in fact and can only be another UFO story.
User avatar
astrophotographer
Clearly Discerns Reality
Clearly Discerns Reality
 
Posts: 577
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:46 pm

Re: Did A UFO Attempt to Launch a Minot ICBM?

Postby Tim Hebert » Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:51 pm

As of now there is no official documentation that describes the anomoly experienced by Schuur. I'll go back and search Naulty's history and see if any of the "old" heads on the missileforum.com site list any past issues. As you can tell from my postings, each question that I raise leads to another round of questions.

Some of the comments posted in response to Hastings' article raised the issue of a possible SAC HQ exercise to guage wing and crew response. I tend to heavily doubt that scenario. Evaluating security response to a "situation" on an LF, yes. Tampering with a nuclear assest...no way!

Tim
Tim Hebert
Focused on Reality
Focused on Reality
 
Posts: 491
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 11:29 pm

Re: Did A UFO Attempt to Launch a Minot ICBM?

Postby astrophotographer » Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:46 am

I agree on the testing theory. It makes no sense to play games with nuclear missiles. The whole thing just sounds like a story that got out of hand. I doubt it happened as described as there always is the tendency to exaggerate or leave out details that might explain the event. This is why contemporary documents are most important.
User avatar
astrophotographer
Clearly Discerns Reality
Clearly Discerns Reality
 
Posts: 577
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:46 pm

Minot AFB UFOs Part II

Postby Tim Hebert » Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:18 pm

With my last thread detailing then Lt David Schuur's accounting that UFOs casused his sorties to register "launch in progress", the details were sketchy and vague. Perhaps Mr. Schuur's mistaken identification of panel light display is a plausable possibility for there are no known documentation that support this anomaly. Last year, Mr. Schuur replied to my email stating that his accounting as written by Robert Hastings was accurate and not taken out of context. Unfortunately, there is no hard evidence that can be obtained to validate the incident.

On 5 March 1967, there was a sighting in the Minot missile wing area. Could this had been what Schuur was alluding to? If so, why did not Hastings correlate Schuur's accounting to this incident? Correlation is a Hastings hallmark and he never leads his readers down this path.

htpp://www.ufocasebook.com/minotafb.html

Per Richard Hall: On 5 March 1967, ADC radar tracked an unidentified target descending over the Minuteman silos. Base security teams coverged in the area and discovered a disc-shaped object hovering about 500 feet above the ground then moving over an LCF. F-106 interceptors were standing by on the flight line awaiting orders from NORAD to launch. When the orders were not received, base operations decided to launch the F-106s on their own, but by then the UFO climbed straight up and streaked away at incredible speeds.

Per Ray Fowler: ADC radar tracked an unidentified target over the Minot area. Security teams sighted a metallic disc-shaped object moving over the sites. F-106s were awaiting orders to launch. Base operations was just about to give the launch order, but the UFO then left the area.

http://www.ufodna.com/uf18/uf8/188128.htm

UFO DNA site repeats the above detail, but states that the F-106s were scrammbled.

Question, did the F-106s actually launch? The 106s either launched or sat on the tarmac and there appears no general consensus either way. There is no information listing any negative impact on the missile sorties or the LCCs. Maybe this is why Hastings did not correlate this incident to Schuur's accounting.

Part III will look into the 1968 Minot UFO incident. This, at least, has a little meat on the bone, well at the minimum it has a tendon barely hanging on the bone.

Tim
Tim Hebert
Focused on Reality
Focused on Reality
 
Posts: 491
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 11:29 pm

Re: Minot AFB UFOs Part II

Postby Access Denied » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:07 pm

Tim Hebert wrote:On 5 March 1967, there was a sighting in the Minot missile wing area.

Hmm, as far as I can tell the sole source for this alleged event is Ray Fowler…

http://www.nicap.org/670305rep.htm

“Source: Casebook of A UFO Investigator, page 187 - Ray Fowler”

There should be a record of this in the Project BLUE BOOK files which, for future reference, you can search here…

Search Project Blue Book - UFO Investigations at Footnote
http://www.footnote.com/documents/62834 ... tigations/

I haven’t been able to find any mention of this but I did find this report by a county sheriff and two highway patrolmen in Grand Forks, ND on 3 MAR 67 that mentions Minot on p. 3…

http://www.footnote.com/image/#9734708

Not sure if it’s related.
Men go and come but Earth abides.
User avatar
Access Denied
1 of the RU3
 
Posts: 2740
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:32 am
Location: [redacted]

Re: Did A UFO Attempt to Launch a Minot ICBM?

Postby Tim Hebert » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:56 am

Tom,

Supposedly Hall is cited as a source also. The story is basically the same. It all appears to have an echo chamber effect as all of the on-line sites promote the same story with Fowler and Hall as sources but with a small degree of varying components to the story. I see no reference of a Blue Book investigation for a 5 March 1967 incident (as of this time). There is a March 2, 1967 Blue Book report that initially appears to coincide with the Grand Forks link that you provided. One report is on Minot AFB letter head for 3 Mar 1967? I'll take a closer look this week and give some feedback.

The summer of 1968 event appears to be well documented in the Blue Book files involving a B-52 crew, possible tanker crew and the missile wing. Work is still in progress on this event and hope to post soon.

Tim
Tim Hebert
Focused on Reality
Focused on Reality
 
Posts: 491
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 11:29 pm


Google

Return to Research Projects

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron