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UFOs in the newspapers:

UFOs haunt ballistic missiles crews:

An article of October 2001 from the Florida Today US newspaper. It relates to UFO visits eventy over ICBMS sites in the US. Complete dossier on theses cases soon to be published in my website.


By Billy Cox

When you're a launch-control operator in charge of a single missile fitted with a plutonium warhead packing enough yield (three megatons) to enlarge Hiroshima's incineration by a factor of 150, life in even the loneliest desert can get a little intense. You remember the big things first.

You remember things like October 1962, when activating the go codes - and a nuclear exchange - was literally at your fingertips. As it was again in November 1963, when the president got blown away and the first prime suspect was already locked into a pre-targeted grid pattern. If you were at the Strategic Air Command outpost near Roswell, N.M., you watched fuel explosions destroy three Atlas silos, and you wondered what would happen if it got down to launching live rounds.

You remember other crazy things, like the 24-hour shifts, which actually worked out to about 27 after you added round-trip drive time. You remember the toll baby-sitting ICBMs took on marriages and other relationships, the divorces.

But it wasn't until last month, when Jerry Nelson of Cocoa Beach read about the Disclosure Project going on in Washington, D.C., that he remembered something else.

In May, some 20 people claiming encounters with unidentified flying objects while performing military or government duties went public to demand open congressional hearings on this largely classified phenomenon. One Air Force veteran, Robert Salas, reported how UFOs buzzing missile silos at Malmstrom Air Force Base managed to shut down more than a dozen Minuteman nukes in Montana during March 1967.

Actually, more widely publicised UFO snooping into restricted space around nuclear weapons systems occurred in the autumn of 1975. That's when security forces at Loring, (Maine), Wurtsmith (Michigan), and Malmstrom (again) Air Force bases were scrambled - in vain - to apprehend the intruders. But Nelson had never heard of those events. And even though he was stationed at Walker AFB on the outskirts of Roswell in the 1960s, he also says he never heard of the alleged 1947 flying saucer crash near the New Mexico cow town until several years ago.

What Nelson does recall is how, as a member of the 579th Strategic Missile Squadron, his post at an ICBM silo called Site 9 sustained its own peculiar nocturnal security breaches during a period of several months.

"The guards were scared," says Nelson, a retired pharmacist. "These objects would hover over the silo and shine lights down on them without making any noise. So I'd call the base and the base would say, 'We'll take it under advisement,' but I never got a chance to see it, because I couldn't leave my post."

One USAF veteran who got a look at something a little different was missile facilities technician Bob Caplan, now living in Rohnert Park, Calif. He didn't work with Nelson's crew, but late one night on another shift, a guard at Site 9 asked the ranking officer below to dim the security lights to cut the glare because weird lights just beyond the perimeter were giving him the willies. Caplan went topside to check it out.

After emerging into clear, moonless, pitch-black darkness, Caplan says it took him a few moments to spot the silent interloper. "It was definitely on the ground, and it was white and very intense," he recalls. "It's hard to explain. It didn't put a beam of light out, it was more concentrated, but not like a sphere. More like a flat circle, like a halogen light that's shining flat on the ground."

When Caplan and a guard swung their flashlights toward the thing and approached, it vanished. Nothing was there. The light reappeared seconds later, some 20 to 30 feet away, only to disappear without a trace. Although Caplan never saw it again, he was interrogated several days later by an Office of Special Investigations agent. Caplan never saw the report, assuming one was filed.

Gene Lamb of Oklahoma City was a 579th SMS deputy crew commander who didn't see anything, but heard about and read UFO stories. "One of those things supposedly landed north of Roswell," he says. "It was reported by a highway patrolman who said it left a triangulation pattern where its legs touched down. And there was another (UFO) incident after that, a daylight sighting."

Even his crew commander witnessed UFO activity. Lamb says he can't get into it, because his old buddy feels constrained by a security oath.

Lamb, by the way, is the reunion co-ordinator for the 579th, whose short life span ran from 1961 to 1965. Although the assignment produced some lasting personal bonds, Lamb says not everybody wants to attend get-together. "I've had guys tell me, 'I don't want to be discourteous, but what happened out there ruined my life.' One even told me he suffered a nervous breakdown afterward."

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This page was last updated on October 24, 2001.