My first name is Bruce. I spent 20 years in the Air Force. The first nine years I served as an enlisted man and the last 11 as an officer. Initially I was very skeptical about all the “UFO nonsense”.
In the fall of 1976 I was a Minuteman III Combat Crew commander on alert with my deputy “Sam” (a lieutenant who had prior enlisted service with TAC units). In order to stay awake that night we monitored radio communication between the topside NCOIC (“Sgt Jones”) and the cops - actually Security Alert Team or SAT. They were on patrol near one of our 10 missile sites which was south about 9 or 10 miles from the Launch Control Facility or LCF.
Sometime around 2 A.M. we heard Sgt Jones ask the two cops to stop the vehicle, look around and report anything that the saw that looked unusual. He gave no hints about where to look or what to look for. The response at first was that they didn't see anything. Then a few seconds later, they reported in an excited voice that they saw a pulsating white thing in the sky. They could see flashing red and blue lights between the pulsations. Jones asked where they saw it. The cops responded that it was to the north about 10 miles and that it looked very close to the main capsule. Now fully awake, Sam and I looked at each other and wondered what was going on. I called Jones on the hot line between us and asked him about the conversation he just had with the SAT. He said that right now above the LCF (100 feet or so) was a white pulsating light with red and blue lights visible between the pulsations. He also said it was shaped like a “fat cigar” and appeared to be about 50 to 60 feet long. He was looking at it while we talked on the phone. Jones reported that it moved away.
Sgt Jones called back in a few minutes and said that it appeared to stop a few miles away - very close to one of the Launch Facilities (LF) or missile sites.
(Typical Launch Faciltiy)
We ordered the cops to that missile site but they had to return to the capsule for batteries for their flashlights and other equipment. When they finally headed towards the silo, the pulsating light moved away before they got there. Over the next couple of hours the pulsating light made stops very close to several more missile sites. Each time we tried to send the cops to the site in question. Each time the cops said they had car problems and/or other equipment problems and never actually made it to any of the sites. According to Jones, some time around 4:30 AM it “whooshed away” and turned into a white dot within a few seconds. The white dot stayed in the sky for a few more seconds and then totally disappeared.
While this was going on, during one of our communication checks with all the other launch control capsule commanders in our squadron we mentioned the object and received some chuckles and ridicule. Within a minute or so one of the other commanders called our capsule said that he was told by his topside crew that they had the same sort of lights over their missile sites earlier that night but didn't want to say anything about it in the communications check for fear of ridicule. He said that he had not and would not report the incident to headquarters – again for fear of ridicule. Sam and I reported it to SAC and Warren Control center right after that call and were laughed at and told to call back if it “ate the cops” we had sent to check it out, which of course did not happen as they never got close to the sites. Even though we were laughed at each time we called, we made sure that it was officially reported with about 3 or 4 more calls to the Control center. On the final call we insisted that they include it in their log or we would wake the base commander. I wish we had.
The next morning after our alert we were relieved by a new crew and went topside. Sgt Jones was there curled up in a chair. He was wide awake and still quite upset and scared about his experience. We spent some time talking to him and trying to calm him down. Under promise that we wouldn't report the SAT actions, Sgt Jones also told us that the cops (SAT) were scared to death last night and had decided they were not going to drive to any of the sites that had “that thing” over it under any circumstances. That explained all their vehicle and equipment problems. To this day I am convinced that Sgt Jones believed that he saw something very unusual that night and was sincere in his description of the activity. I did not see Sgt Jones again on any other alert duty.
At the next several crew departure meetings all outgoing crews were briefed that this event never officially happened and not to talk to anyone about it. I did not recognize the individual who briefed us at that departure meeting. As a serviceman who followed orders for 20 years I have had reservations about mentioning this incident.
However, in the past several years I have read about or seen on the Larry King TV show cases where similar incidents have been reported by former military members. A former Missile commander - Robert Salas especially comes to mind. Since skeptics appear to have challenged their integrity as well as their memory I think it is time for all of us that have been silent to talk about what we observed.
During the period of 1974 to 1977 I was assigned to the 400th SMS 400th SMS at FE Warren AFB near Cheyenne Wyoming. Five or six times a month I was sent to one of many Launch Control Capsules (LCCS) and the associated topside Launch Control Facilities (LCFs) located in Wyoming, Nebraska or northern Colorado. As I remember it, missile alert duty consisted of 12 hours down the hole (60 feet down and behind an 8 ton door). Then 8-12 hours topside for some food and sleep (the old crew would replace us and then leave after their shift). And finally another 12 hours down the hole after which we would be replaced by a new crew when the cycle would start all over. The topside crew had a different schedule and consisted of a cook, an NCO that ran the site, and two security police (“cops” - officially SAT or Security Alert Team) that had to respond to silo (site) alarms. Most of which were set off by rabbits or test crews. There was always at least the NCOIC, a cook, and two cops on duty at the LCF.
Missile Alert duty was a unique job. Most of the time was spent sitting around doing very little. Then there were periods that would get very hectic with test messages and exercises as well as maintenance either at the LCC or one of the 10 Minuteman III missile sites (silos) that your capsule controlled. Sleeping during your shift at that time was not allowed (even though there was an attractive cot in the capsule). Some of the crews violated that rule but 99.9 % of the time my deputy and I stayed awake (however, maybe not always fully alert).
23 Feb 09 Update: Recent discussions with a flight commander have refreshed my memory that the year is in fact 1976 (previously listed as 1975).
The way I see it there are several possible explanations about this incident.
1. It was a joke played on us by the topside crew(s).
2. The whole incident was a case of mass hysteria.
3. It was a US craft of some sort testing site security.
4. It was a craft from a foreign country (USSR?) trying to locate and examine our nuclear capability.
5. It was a craft visiting from outside earth that seemed to have interest in our nuclear devices.
After talking to the people involved I am confident that it was not a joke or that is was a case of mass hysteria. Too many people involved to be the latter and too sincere people to be the former.
Thirty plus years after the incident it is clear that the US and other foreign states do not have the technology today and certainly did not have it in 1975.
In my mind, the most likely possibility is that this craft was not from earth and that it seemed to be interested in nuclear sites/activity.