Reprinted from the August 2012 MUFON UFO Journal.
Over the past 39 years, I have interviewed more than 130 former or retired U.S. military personnel who were involved in UFO incidents at ICBM launch facilities, weapons storage depots, strategic bomber bases, or atmospheric test sites in Nevada and the Pacific.
My CNN-streamed September 27, 2010, press conference—during which seven U.S. Air Force veterans discussed various UFO incursions at nuclear missile sites—may be viewed at youtube.com/watch?v=3jUU4Z8QdHI.
Those revelations are merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Other ex-USAF personnel—as well as Soviet Army veterans—have discussed far more frightening events.
Missile Activations at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota
Of all the audio taped interviews I’ve conducted with former or retired ICBM launch officers, this was perhaps the most disturbing. According to David H. Schuur, a UFO once activated the launch sequence in most of his Minuteman missiles.
In August 2007, Schuur told me, “I saw your request for information in the [June 2007] Association of Air Force Missileers Newsletter. I was involved in a UFO incident at Minot AFB in the mid-1960s. I had read your earlier article [in the September 2002 AAFM Newsletter] but was hesitant to respond.”
I asked Schuur why he had been hesitant. He replied, “Well, we were basically told, way back when, that it was classified information and, you know, it didn’t happen and don’t discuss it.”
Schuur continued, “Anyway, I was a Minuteman missile crew member in the 455th/91st Strategic Missile Wing at Minot from December 1963 through November 1967. I was a 1st Lieutenant during that period and the deputy commander that night. I would say it occurred between July 1965 and July 1967.”
“As far as the incident, Alpha [Flight] capsule, which was east of us, reported on PAS—the Primary Alerting System—that their security personnel were observing a large, bright object hovering over some of their missile sites. It was moving from missile to missile.”
“As far as our flight, Echo, a few minutes after hearing the report from Alpha, I received a call from topside security that a large, bright object was in the sky, to the east of the Launch Control Facility (LCF). When the guard called down, he may have used the term ‘UFO’ but I don’t recall. He didn’t describe its shape or altitude because it was too far away. It never got close enough to the LCF to see any detail. At its closest, it was two, three, maybe four miles away from us.”
“However, when the object passed over our flight, we started receiving many spurious indications on our console. The object was apparently sending some kind of signals into each missile. Not every missile got checked by the object, but there were several that did. Maybe six, seven, or eight. Maybe all 10 got checked, but I don’t think so. As this thing was passing over each missile site, we would start getting erratic indications on that particular missile. After a few seconds, everything reset back to normal.”
“But then the next missile showed spurious indicators so the object had apparently moved on to that one and did the same thing to it. Then on to the next one, and so on. It was as if the object was scanning each missile, one by one. The Inner Security and Outer Security [alarms were triggered] but we got those all the time, for one reason or another. However, on this particular night, we had to activate the ‘Inhibit’ switch because we got ‘Launch in Progress’ indicators! After a few minutes, the UFO passed to the northwest of us and all indicators reset to normal.”
I asked Schuur, “So, if you get a ‘Launch in Progress’ indicator, does that mean the launch sequence has been triggered—that the missile is preparing to launch?”
Schuur replied, “That means the missile has received a launch signal. When that happens, we get an indication in the capsule that a launch command has been received by that missile. If that happens, without proper authority, you flip what’s called an ‘Inhibit’ switch, to delay the launch for a given period of time. If an Inhibit command comes in from another launch capsule, that shuts down the launch totally. But if that second command doesn’t come in, the missile will wait for a specified period of time and then launch automatically at the end of that expired period—theoretically. Of course, that night, we had all kinds of other indicators coming on from each missile so, in that situation, the launch probably would have aborted itself. I honestly don’t know.”
I asked Schuur if the “Launch in Progress” indicator had ever been triggered on any other occasion, either before or after the UFO incident, while he was on alert duty. He replied, “No, never.”
Schuur said, “Upon returning to the base the next day, my commander and I were met by the operations officer. He just said, ‘Nothing happened, nothing to discuss, goodbye.’ Our logs and tapes were turned in. It was a non-event. There was no group debriefing that I know of. I never heard another thing about the incident.”
I asked Schuur, “I know that you were given no feedback from your superiors, but what is your personal assessment of the event?” He replied, “Oh, I think something was up there, uh, scanning the missiles, seeing what was going on. Some kind of a scanning process.” I asked Schuur whether he thought the launch activation had been incidental or deliberate. He said, “I think that the scanning just set it off. It set all kinds of things off, we were getting all sorts of indicators. There were some kind of signals being sent [from the UFO] to the missile that inadvertently triggered the launch activation, but I don’t think it was deliberate. I hope not!”
Military Unit 52035, Soviet Ukraine
Following the collapse of the U.S.S.R. in 1991, several ex-Soviet Army personnel began discussing UFO incidents during the Cold War era. One of those occurred on October 4, 1982, near the Ukrainian town of Byelokoroviche, when a disc-shaped object hovered over an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) base for an extended period. At one point during the encounter, a number of nuclear missiles suddenly activated—without authorization from Moscow or any action by the missile launch officers—and were preparing to launch!
This incident was first publicized on October 5, 1994, on the ABC News program Prime Time Live. Among those interviewed was retired Army Lt. Col. Vladimir Plantonev, who described the UFO to reporter David Ensor: “It looked just like a flying saucer. The way they show them in the movies. No portholes, nothing. The surface was absolutely even. The disc made a beautiful turn, like this, on the edge, just like a plane. There was no sound.”
Ensor said, “Every person we spoke to in Byelokoroviche said they saw a flying saucer on that day. They told us it was huge, about 900 feet in diameter. For hours it hovered over the nearby ballistic missile base.”
On June 16, 2010, the Russian newspaper Life published an article about the case. A reporter, Inessa Kornienko, had interviewed other witnesses, who provided additional details. She also contacted me and asked about the Minot AFB case, which she had read about online. A translated excerpt from her article follows here:
“For a 20-year-old radio operator, Vladimir Matveyev, assigned to the 50th Missile Division RVSN, Carpathian Military District, October 4, 1982 was a day that he will remember for the rest of his life.
In the evening, he and a thousand soldiers and officers saw a UFO for almost an hour, as it hovered over the R-12 missile silos.
“[Matveyev said] ‘The dimensions of the UFO shocked us—as large as a five-story house! The UFO continued to hover, slowly moving to the left, as if drifting. At this time all of the missile launchers malfunctioned.’
“In his official statement on the incident, Major Michael Kataman, who was responsible for the missiles’ guidance systems, reported that the computer equipment and security systems had been disabled by a powerful [electromagnetic] pulse.
He wrote that all of the control panels had lit up, indicating the missiles were preparing to launch toward their strategic targets.
“The officers on duty at their battle stations were shocked. They said that the information appearing on the control panels indicated that all security measures designed to prevent an unauthorized launch of the missiles had been hacked! Within just a few seconds, the launch officers had lost control over their nuclear weapons. After 15 seconds, all of the controls reset to the normal position.”
Reporter Kornienko commented, “I think [the UFO] technology allows [their pilots] to launch our missiles.
However, they choose not to do so. Cases such as Byelokoroviche and Minot [suggest] that aliens are trying to understand how these systems work, and what they need to do in the event of war breaking out, to stop the feuding children, i.e., us.
I believe that the UFO [pilots], by running the rockets’ pre-launch countdown, learned how to stop it.”
While we can not know with certainty the reason for the actions taken by those presumably aboard the UFOs in these two cases, I think Kornienko’s speculative statements have merit.
In conclusion, ex-military personnel in both the U.S. and the former U.S.S.R. have reported shocking incidents of UFO activity at nuclear missile sites during the Cold War era.
In addition to the temporary system-activations described above, other incidents reportedly involved temporary disruptions—the shutting down of ICBMs, sometimes in large numbers.
While the current situation in Russia is unreported, credible evidence suggests that the latest UFO-involved disruption of ICBM systems in the U.S. occurred at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming, on October 23, 2010. A detailed report on that incident may be read at my website.
Note: Excerpts from the Schuur interview and the Russian newspaper article are derived from lengthier quotations, abridged to fit this format.
I chose not to insert the many ellipses (…) to denote edit sites. The full text will be provided upon request.
Robert Hastings is the author of UFOs and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites, which can be purchased at his web site, ufohastings.com.