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1967-03-16; USA, MT, Malmstrom AFB

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1967-03-16; USA, Montana, Malmstrom AFB


UFO encounter recollected by Robert Salas. The retired Air Force captain presented documents declassified in 1996 to back up at least part of his story.


Generated by Strategic Air Command, a report indicates that 10 Minuteman missiles at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana "lost strat(egic) alert within 10 seconds of each other" on March 16, 1967. Although power eventually was restored, "no apparent reason for the loss of 10 missiles can be readily identified (and) is cause for grave concern," it states. An accompanying telex mentions "numerous reports" of "UFO sightings" and even a landing in the Great Falls area.


Salas said he was the missile launch officer at a nearby SAC facility code-named Oscar Silo early that morning when security personnel above ground phoned in a report of a glowing, oval-shaped UFO hovering outside the base gates. "Within minutes of getting (a second) phone call, my weapons started going down one after another," Salas said. "We lost between six and eight weapons that morning."


Within half an hour, he added, they received a report of a similar incident at SAC's Echo Silo complex - except that all 10 of Echo's missiles were deactivated from launch readiness. Salas later said he'd searched Project Blue Book, the official Air Force study of UFOs, and could find no mention of the encounter. He also said he has 12 witnesses who can substantiate the SAC report.


Official stance

In Indian Harbour Beach, retired Air Force colonel and erstwhile Blue Book spokesman Bill Coleman said he suspects the Malmstrom incident wasn't archived because he theorizes Salas was rattled by a routine SAC shakedown.


"SAC was famous for running all kinds of tests to challenge security systems - they did it all the time," said Coleman, who went on to become the Air Force's chief public relations officer during the early 1970s. "It could easily have been a test created by the SAC commander to neutralize the weapons site to gauge the response measures.


"These are the kinds of things SAC does routinely. This captain should've known it was a test. Either that, or he's lying about it."



March 16, 1967 - Disturbing UFO Encounter At Missle Silo

UFO Demonstrates Power To Disable Missles!


In central Montana, Thursday morning March 16 1967, Captain Eric Carlson and First Lieutenant. Walt Figel, the Echo-Flight Missile Combat Crew, were below ground in the E-Flight Launch Control Center (LCC) or capsule. The Echo Flight LCC was located between Winfred and Hilger, about fifteen miles north of Lewistown.


Missile maintenance crews and security teams were camped out at two of the Launch Facilities (LFs), having performed some work during the previous day and stayed there overnight. During the early morning hours, more than one report came in from the security patrols and maintenance crews that they had seen UFOs. A UFO was reported directly above one of the E-Flight (LF) or silos. It turned out that at least one security policeman was so affected by this encounter that he never again returned to missile security duty.


"If THEY can turn them off... THEY can turn them ON!"


Around 8:30 a.m., Figel, the Deputy Crew Commander (DMCCC), was briefing the Carlson, the Crew Commander (MCCC), on the flight status when the alarm horn sounded. One of the Minuteman missiles they supervised had gone off alert (become inoperable) It was one of the two sites where maintenance crews had camped out on site. Upset, thinking that the maintenance personnel had failed to notify him as required by procedure when maintenance work is done on a missile, that the missile was going 'off-alert' status, Figel immediately called the missile site.


When Figel spoke with the on-site security guard, he reported that they had not yet performed any maintenance that morning. He also stated that a UFO had been hovering over the site. Figel recalls thinking the guard must have been drinking something. However, now other missiles started to go off alert in rapid succession! Within seconds, the entire flight of ten ICBMs was down! All of their missiles reported a "No-Go" condition. One by one across the board, each missile had became inoperable. When the checklist procedure had been completed for each missile site, it was discovered that each of the missiles had gone off alert status due to a Guidance and Control (G&C) System fault. Power had not been lost to the sites; the missiles simply were not operational because, for some unexplainable reason, each of their guidance and control systems had malfunctioned.


Two Security Alert Teams (SAT, "strike teams") were dispatched from Echo to those sites where the maintenance crews were present. Figel had not informed the strike teams that one of the on- site guards had reported a UFO. On arrival at the LF's, the SAT reported back to that UFOs had been seen hovering over each of the two sites by all of the maintenance and security personnel present at each site.


Captain Don Crawford's crew relieved the Echo Flight crew later that morning. Crawford recalls that both Carlson and Figel were still visibly shaken by what had occurred. Crawford also recalled that the maintenance crews worked on the missiles the entire day and late into the night during his shift to bring them all back on alert. Not only had missiles been lost to our deterrent forces, but had remained out of service for an entire day!


Because of this unique incident, as an ex-Missileer describes it: "All Hell broke loose!" Among the many calls to and from the E-Flight LCC one was to the MCCC of Oscar-Flight which links to the equally dramatic story of what happened in another LCC that same morning.





The Oscar Flight LCC was located a mile or two south of the town of Roy, about 20 miles southeast of the Echo-Flight LCC.


The following is as told by Robert Salas who was the DMCCC in O-Flight that morning:


My recollection is that I was on duty as a Deputy Missile Combat Crew Commander below ground in the LCC, during the morning hours of 16 March 1967.


Outside, above the subterranean LCC capsule, it was a typical clear, cold Montana night sky; there were a few inches of snow on the ground. Where we were, there were no city lights to detract from the spectacular array of stars, and it was not uncommon to see shooting stars. Montana isn't called "Big Sky Country" for no reason, and Airmen on duty topside probably spent some of their time outside looking up at the stars. It was one of those airmen who first saw what at first appeared to be a star begin to zig-zag across the sky. Then he saw another light do the same thing, and this time it was larger and closer. He asked his Flight Security Controller, (FSC, the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) in charge of Launch Control Center site security), to come and take a look. They both stood there watching the lights streak directly above them, stop, change directions at high speed and return overhead. The NCO ran into the building and phoned me at my station in the underground capsule. He reported to me that they had been seeing lights making strange maneuvers over the facility, and that they weren't aircraft. I replied: "Great. You just keep watching them and let me know if they get any closer."


I did not take this report seriously and directed him to report back if anything more significant happened. At the time, I believed this first call to be a joke. Still, that sort of behavior was definitely out of character for air security policemen whose communications with us were usually very professional.


A few minutes later, the security NCO called again. This time he was clearly frightened and was shouting his words:


"Sir, there's one hovering outside the front gate!"


"One what?"


"A UFO! It's just sitting there. We're all just looking at it. What do you want us to do?"


"What? What does it look like?"


"I can't really describe it. It's glowing red. What are we supposed to do?"


"Make sure the site is secure and I'll phone the Command Post."


"Sir, I have to go now, one of the guys just got injured."


Before I could ask about the injury, he was off the line. I immediately went over to my commander, Lt. Fred Meiwald, who was on a scheduled sleep period . I woke him and began to brief him about the phone calls and what was going on topside. In the middle of this conversation, we both heard the first alarm klaxon resound through the confined space of the capsule, and both immediately looked over at the panel of annunciator lights at the Commander's station. A 'No-Go' light and two red security lights were lit indicating problems at one of our missile sites. Fred jumped up to query the system to determine the cause of the problem. Before he could do so, another alarm went off at another site, then another and another simultaneously. Within the next few seconds, we had lost six to eight missiles to a 'No-Go' (inoperable) condition.


After reporting this incident to the Command Post, I phoned my security guard. He said that the man who had approached the UFO had not been injured seriously but was being evacuated by helicopter to the base. Once topside, I spoke directly with the security guard about the UFOs. He added that the UFO had a red glow and appeared to be saucer shaped. He repeated that it had been immediately outside the front gate, hovering silently.


We sent a security patrol to check our LFs after the shutdown, and they reported sighting another UFO during that patrol. They also lost radio contact with our site immediately after reporting the UFO.


When we were relieved by our scheduled replacement crew later that morning. The missiles had still not been brought on line by on-site maintenance teams.


Again, UFOs had been sighted by security personnel at or about the time Minuteman Strategic missiles shutdown.

(Source: )





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