If This Isn’t an International Security Issue, Then What Is?
2010 is turning out to be a very good year for the cause of UFO research and awareness. Despite the traditional blinders exhibited by ossified mainstream media sources such as the New York Times, there have been some encouraging developments.
Certainly, the publication of Leslie Kean’s very fine work has been a key breakthrough. Carefully written and solid as stone, UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go On the Record, is a new tool with which to broach the topic one must never discuss in polite society. Leslie Kean found a way.
Now comes another important ufological event: the press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Organized by UFO researcher and author (UFOs and Nukes) Robert Hastings and UFO witness USAF Captain Robert Salas, it takes place on Monday, September 27, 2010. As Hastings put it on his website, the conference’s purpose was “to address the vital issue of UFO incursions at U.S. nuclear weapons sites over the past six decades.” (My co-author Bryce Zabel analyzes the media coverage of the event elsewhere on this site.)
If you think this is hyperbole, think again. One of the most noteworthy aspects of the UFO phenomenon is its relationship to nuclear weapons and technology. From the beginning of the modern phenomenon, unknown and unusual aerial objects have been seen in the vicinity of the nuclear weapons and storage sites around the world.
Even during the late 1940s, when “flying saucers” burst upon the public consciousness, people began to wonder if “they” appeared because mankind had just entered the Atomic Age.
Certainly, the crash of something near Roswell Army Air Field during the summer of 1947 is suggestive of a connection. People often forget that, in 1947, there was exactly one military base in the world with operational nuclear weapons.
That place was in Roswell, New Mexico.
What many also forget, or never even knew, is that immediately after the Roswell event, UFOs — really strange and bizarre UFOs — were invading sensitive airspace and generally making a nuisance of themselves throughout the U.S. Much of their activity was centered around the leading nuclear centers in the nation.
For instance, in 1948 and 1949, strange “green fireballs” flew over Los Alamos, the place where the first atomic weapon was built, and where the nation’s leading nuclear scientists continued to do their work. Typically, they would be observed as large green objects flying in horizontal flight, but often arching upward or downward, or dodging to the left or right, then becoming horizontal again. They were seen by pilots and observed by scientists at Los Alamos, and were subject to a great deal of discussion and classified correspondence. To this day, there is no official conclusion as to what they were.
Then there were the events at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, one of the leading atomic research centers in the world since the 1940s. During late 1950, there were many intrusions of the air space around Oak Ridge, and these were documented in a series of memos from the F.B.I., declassified many years later. An astonishing object was seen by an Oak Ridge scientist in 1953. He reported a black object coming out of clouds, stopping, rapidly reversing direction, then joining with two other similar objects, all of which took off at “tremendous speed” to the east.
At the Atomic Energy Commission’s facility in Hanford, Washington, more of the same took place. Intrusions were common and very much a matter of concern. We have a declassified memo from August 4, 1950, stating that:
- … objects, round in form, have been sighted over the Hanford AEC plant. These objects reportedly were above 15,000 feet in altitude. Air Force jets attempted interception with negative results. All units including the anti-aircraft battalion, radar units, Air Force fighter squadrons, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been alerted for further observation…
During great wave of sightings in 1952, four pilots reported seeing a flying saucer hovering above the Hanford atomic works on July 5. They said the object took off, then reversed course and quickly disappeared.
In late October, or possibly very early November in 1957, there was an important UFO sighting in the Australian outback country of Maralinga. It followed three nuclear detonations that had taken place the month before. A scientific team from the U.K. was ready to return to Britain, when a man rushed in to report a UFO. After the initial laughter, the men went outside to see a silvery object with a flat base and dome on top. According to one of the witnesses, they had an extremely clear view of it. The object hovered at a 45 degree tilt, “perched there,” according to the witness, “like a king on his high throne looking down on his subjects.” It was, he said, “a magnificent sight.” For fifteen minutes, the astonished scientists observed the object, which then shot upward and out of sight.
It is not hard to see why aliens would be interested in our nuclear weapons. The nuclear policies of the U.S. and Soviet Union were certainly terrifing to Earthly citizens — why not to presumed visitors from elsewhere?
In the U.S., President Eisenhower had effectively lost control over the nuclear arsenal by the late 1950s –even the sole ability to authorize a strike. In 1957, the U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, General Thomas White, sent a memorandum to Strategic Air Command, giving it the authority to launch the nuclear arsenal in an emergency “if time or circumstances would not permit a decision by the President.” It wasn’t until his final year in the White House that Ike finally obtained a meeting with SAC to see its “order of battle,” that is, the full extent of its nuclear arsenal. This was roughly 23,000 nuclear warheads.
Less than three years later, the world was led to the brink of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. For one tense week in October 1962, billions of people in the world had no idea whether they, their cities, their nations, or their world, would even be there the next day.
Of course, then, any intelligent observer would want to monitor the world’s nuclear arsenal. According to Paul Stonehill, expert in the history of Soviet UFOs, the Supreme Commander of the Soviet Air Defense Forces decided in 1965 to forbid shooting at UFOs. The problem was that UFOs were present during Soviet tests of nuclear bombs, missiles, rockets, and other new technologies.
On March 16, 1967, the best known, one of the best documented, and certainly one of the most extraordinary UFO-nuclear events took place at Malmstrom Air Force Base, in Montana. Under a clear and dark sky, an airman at one of the launch centers saw a star-like object zigzagging above him. Another light soon appeared, acting similarly. He called his supervisor, and the two men watched the lights maneuvering around the sky. They then phoned their commander, Lieutenant Robert Salas, who was below ground in the launch control center. Salas was not impressed. Keep watching them, he said, “and let me know if they get any closer.”
They did get closer. Just minutes later, Salas received a second call. This time the witness was shouting that a red, glowing UFO was hovering outside the front gate. Salas woke his commander, Lieutenant Fred Meiwald. As he briefed Meiwald, an alarm went off in their capsule, and both men saw a “No-Go” light turn on for one of the missiles. Within seconds, several more missiles went down in succession.
Salas has recounted his story many times, but it is very good that he says it again at the National Press Club. Honestly, in today’s world, in which UFO sightings do not receive the serious attention they deserve, one cannot tell this story enough.
It is worth adding, by the way, that elsewhere at Malmstrom Air Force, another launch facility was experiencing the same scenario. As a UFO hovered above, ten or more ICBM Minuteman Missiles went off line in rapid succession.
Keep in mind that this was during the heart of the Cold War. It goes without saying that any interference with the nuclear arsenal of either the U.S. or Soviet Union was going to be taken very seriously. Undoubtedly it was because of such encounters that a few years later, in 1971, the two nations inserted an unusual clause in their nuclear treaty. It read:
- “The Parties undertake to notify each other immediately in the event of detection by missile warning systems of unidentified objects, or in the event of signs of interference with these systems or with related communications facilities, if such occurrences could create a risk of outbreak of nuclear war between the two countries.”
That is, “unidentified objects” were clearly stated to be the cause of a potential risk of war, and the strong implication is that both nations needed to recognize the difference between interference by a UFO and an attack by the other party.
For good reason. Incidents like the one at Malmstrom continued to happen. In 1973, both sides again experienced the kindly attentions of unknown objects in the vicinity of their nuclear sites. The soviet incident is undated, but involved a UFO hovering for several hours over a secret nuclear facility in Dubna, Russia. According to Paul Stonehill, the General in Charge panicked and told Moscow that a metallic apparatus of unknown origin remained immovable in the air over the main building. He demanded instructions and received the reply that ‘those who are authorized’ know what to do to control the situation.
The American incident that year involved American Navy personnel stationed in Western Australia. On October 25, 1973, a large, black object was seen in the air by two personnel from entirely different vantage points. This was during the major diplomatic and military crisis of the Yom Kippur War. The Australian base was actually operated by the NSA through the U.S. Navy, and although there were no known nukes there, it was widely understood to be a nuclear target in the event of war.
During 1975 and 1976, an inexplicable series of violations of U.S. and Canadian airspace occurred by unknown and extraordinary objects. Several of these are known to have involved bases with nuclear weapons, such as Loring Air Force Base in Maine and – once again – Malstrom Air Force Base in Montana. To this day, we have no official explanation for these astonishing events. The only thing that the official organs of power in our society can do about them is to keep silent. Usually, that works just fine.
In the history of UFOs and Nukes is the encounter that, over the course of three decades, is the case that keeps giving: the Rendlesham Forest case, sometimes known as the Bentwaters case. This is because we continue to learn more and more about it as time passes. It involved American military personnel stationed at a base in the U.K. which secretly contained nuclear weapons. To this day the British government refuses openly to admit that nukes were stored there, but in fact this was confirmed by the Deputy Commander of the base, Lt. Colonel Charles Halt, along with many other servicemen and servicewomen who were stationed there. There were events during several nights during late December of 1980. On one occasion, an object directed a beam of light that penetrated several layers of concrete and dirt to the bunker where the nuclear weaspons were stored. In Halt’s words, this “adversely affected the ordnance.” Draw your own conclusions.
On July 24, 1984 another incident took place in which a UFO was seen hovering over a nuclear site, this time the commercial nuclear at Indian Point, in the State of New York. This was a giant object, according to the security personnel who later spoke with an investigator. For more than ten minutes, it hovered directly over one of the reactors, less than 300 feet above the exhaust tower. The shift commander nearly ordered the guards to shoot the object down, and just before he called the national guard, it moved away. One wonders how effective shotguns from the security personnel would have been.
And so it goes. There are many more of these stories, and there is no point in banging you over the head with them all. Presumably, you get the idea. However, it’s worth noting that, as far as we can tell, these types of encounters continue to the present.
For instance, on December 9, 1997, we have a report of a UFO hovering over the CARB French nuclear waste facility. This plant was about 100 miles east of Paris, near Brienne-le-Chateau. The security guard who saw it described it as a “luminous object” that seemed to halt briefly, then emitted a series of light beams, and then moved off to the southwest. Four days later, two employees at the plant reported two unusual luminous objects over the plant. This was reported at the time in UFO Roundup, a news service managed by Joseph Trainor.
The July 1999 triangular UFO seen over the Israeli cities of Tsfat and Yokneam, which was videotaped from several locations, is also interesting because they were near the Israeli special Air Force Base at Palmachim-Yavne, south of Tel Aviv, which has been subject to speculation of being a secret nuclear base.
In 2004 and 2005 there were several reports of UFOs in the Himalayas, which is believed to have large numbers of nuclear missiles from India and China. In recent years, a number of UFO reports have come from near Iranian nuclear installations, many of which are seen at low altitudes.
It’s certainly possible that some of these UFOs are secret aircraft, perhaps unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that are probing such sensitive areas to gain information. But judging from the behaviors described of UFOs from earlier eras, derived from U.S. military reports, it would seem a reasonable guess that some of the recent UFOs are also “not ours.”
By its very nature, nuclear power has transformed our world. It has given us the ability to extinguish our species and destroy the global environment for millennia to come. If harnessed safely – such as through the Holy Grail of safe, controlled nuclear fusion – it would be a source of energy that might well put us on the intergalactic map in a big way. For controlled nuclear fusion would not only vastly increase our energy availability, but would be clean.
Therefore, knowing that UFOs are real, and assuming that some of them are “not us,” how could they not be interested in our nuclear technology? The fact that they can disable it, possibly at will, indicates that they are showing a great deal of restraint. After all, there are roughly 23,000 nuclear warheads in the world today, according to the Federation of American Scientists. Although that is about the same total that the U.S. had by itself fifty years ago, it’s still a frightening total. We are lucky that there has also been restraint by the nations controlling these nukes. We are, after all, still here.
Nevertheless, the issue of UFOs and Nukes is central not only to the history of the UFO phenomenon, but to our world today. Future historians will undoubtedly be studying this issue with great care. We would do well to study it today.
(by Richard M. Dolan, author of UFOs and the National Security State, September 26, 2010)