Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day and for that someone special!


For those of us that are citizens of the United States, I want to take this opportunity to wish all of us a Happy 4th of July...celebrating the birth of our nation.  I have to drift off into my memory banks concerning my time as a SAC crew dog.  I recall that I was out on alert for one 4th of July, the year is totally uncertain, and Ronald Reagan addressed us [the entire SAC alert crew force] on the Primary Alerting System (PAS).  Normally we would have been receiving the normal traffic flow from Looking Glass, SAC and 15th Air Force's command posts, but Ronnie broke into the traffic stream breaking up the monotony of the calls to "Sky Bird" and the requests to "acknowledge now."

As I recall, I was out on alert for most of the holidays...so much for government personnel taking the holidays off!

This is also my wife's birthday.  Happy Birthday Jean.  We seem to be bucking the trend as we have been married for almost 33 years..anniversary is next month.

It has been said that it is rude to mention a woman's age...so much for equality and enlightenment...but I can say that Jean now equals my age...for now.

Last week, Jean had been reading this blog and asked if I really believed in UFOs.  Geez girl, read my posts!   

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The continuing analytical approach to UFOs: Is there a point?

The aftermath of the Roswell slides fiasco is running it's due course and has left many wondering what is the future in the studying of UFOs.  Ufology, if that's still an appropriate term, has been dealt a serious blow and many have been hit with the shrapnel of the recent Mexico City farce.  Dew, Maussan, Carey, and Schmitt might have well parked a car bomb in the middle of Roswell, NM and detonated it.

Most who read this blog know that I'm skeptical of the UFO phenomena.  I've come to see very little intrinsic value in the subject matter.  True, the phenomena still offers a gold mine for those, such as I, who are drawn to the psychological mini-dramas that ensue.  This is still what draws my attention otherwise I would have chucked the subject matter and this blog along time ago.

To answer the question posed in the post's title, yes there is a point to analytical approaches, but in my case, only for the studying of the psychological issues that surface with certain cases. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

In the beginning was the word...

Another post from Tales from the Crew Force.  A recollection of my first class session with the 4315th Combat Crew Training Squadron mid-October, 1980, Vandenberg AFB, CA. A humorous introduction to the T.O.-18.


In the Beginning Was the Word.....

The class had assembled in a back class room to be issued copies of Technical Order LGM30F-18, abbreviated to T.O.-18. The Dash 18 was basically Minuteman/ILCS's user manual. The manual was approximately 6 to 7 inches thick enclosed in the standard black government issued three ringed binder. It's contents covered the nuances of the command and control system, every equipment drawer, every control panel, all variety of circuit breakers, electrical flow diagrams. and all pieces of communication gear. And that was just part I. Part II contained all of the required checklist procedures for covering normal operations, emergencies, and trouble shooting. T.O.-18's weapon system coverage could be summed up by one simple term...ad nauseum. For the neophyte, it was daunting and not very user friendly.

Capt Gerry Giaconda introduced the T.O. to the class. With a serious and dramatic gesture, he shouted, "You have now entered a new religion..... and this is your bible!" At that point, he dropped the T.O. which landed on a table top, making a loud crashing noise. The class went dead silent. This was classic B movie material. I bit my lip, trying to keep from bursting out laughing and receiving some brand of administrative admonishment. To this day I always chuckle when I recall this scene.
Note:  ILCS=Improved Launch Control System (Malmstrom AFB and Whiteman AFB)

The Deafening Roar of Silence: A Recollection

I wrote this post on my other blog, Tales from the Crew Force, back in 2007.  I attempted to provide a running narrative for my time on an ICBM launch crew back in the early 1980s. The following is my recollection of a training session in the Missile Procedure Trainer (MPT) back when I was at Vandenberg AFB, CA undergoing IQT, Initial Qualification Training roughly around November, 1980.  The MPT was a simulator, that ran computer driven scenarios for weapon systems and emergency war order training.


The Deafening Roar of Silence

Ray and I were rapidly approaching the end of the course. A few more MPT sessions and EWO classes and we would be ready for our SMES certification check ride. To say that Ray and I were anxious would be an understatement.

One early Saturday morning MPT ride, we had Capt. Chuck P. as our operator/instructor. Chuck was SAC's poster child for apathy. He appeared to "give a rat's ass" about nothing. He had already ran head first into that wall called FIGMO. He was riding out the string until retirement.

We were in the middle of the weapon system portion of the ride. It was a predictable scenario. Processing maintenance teams on and backing them off LFs. A couple of security situations: hard OZ, Sit 7, evolves into a full blown Sit 4 due to an IZ alarm; also occurring as if on cue, FSC passing the duress word from topside. Yep, there's a Comm team screwing around on another LF, should be going into Anti-Jam mode a little later into the ride. Every now and then, the distinctive "Raaap" sound of the CMPG printer. MOSRs, VRSA channel checks and calls to and from JOB Control.

Then......nothing.....dead silence.

When you're in the box, something should be "happening." MPT scenarios are event driven. Ray and I look at one another. Silence in MPT is usually a good indication that something covert has occurred or that something big is about to land in your lap. As infant crew members your taught to hold your hand under the CMPG printer and ask out loud, "How's my equipment cooling air flow and temperature?" If all is well the MPT operator/instructor will respond, "Your cooling air flow and temperature are with normal limits.", or, "You have reduced air flow.", or, "You have normal air flow, but it is very warm." These indications allow you to trouble shoot the situation and depending on your findings, run the applicable situation checklist.

It wasn't an air flow problem, besides Chuck was not responding with any verbal inputs. I asked Ray to do a visual sweep of all circuit breakers figuring that was the issue at hand. So we did just that. All circuit breakers were normal, nothing had popped. I picked up the phone which rang to the MPT control room...no answer. I looked at my watch, ten minutes had elapsed. I looked back at Ray, "Fuck it Ray, it's got to be a popped circuit breaker! Let's do another sweep!" We both accomplished another sweep. Same results as the last. Another glance at my watch, twenty minutes had elapsed since our last event. I was at a loss for words. Ray just shrugged his shoulders.

Then.....Line 1 rang. I picked up the phone, Chuck's voice, "I had to step out. That was one big healthy shit that I took. You two ready to get back at it?"

Note: This took place 26 years ago, Chuck if you're still alive and happen to come across this site, FUCK YOU!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Triggering one's memory with music...

I always find that music will trigger a memory, a fixed point in time.  I have a tendency to associate a particular song to a particular person or event.  Case in point, I met my wife Jean during my senior year in college and associate her with The Cars "Just What I Needed."  BTW, I've never told her this, but when I hear this song on the radio or play it in my CD player, I drift back to 1979 and 1980.

During my first year on crew stationed at Malmstrom AFB, I was a single 2nd lieutenant as  Jean and I would not be married for well over another year as she was finishing her last year in college.  I remember one particular evening, a Friday, back in 1981 where I was packing my "alert" bag for a Saturday alert with my crew commander T.J. McLaughlin.  All of my friends were heading out to the local night spots. Yes Great Falls had a few back then, but there I was in my apartment packing my bag (cold weather gear and Tech Orders).  I probably was prepping to head out to November Flight as that was where we were assigned as crew R 136. 

About my T.O., I was probably making sure that I had the latest change orders posted as I recall that I had recently got nabbed by Stand Eval for not posting the latest changes. I believe that I received a "letter of counseling" from my squadron CO...par for the course for many of us pulling SAC alerts in those days.

While getting things in order and being miffed that I'd have to forgo the evening frolicking with friends, on the radio was Loverboy's "Working for the Weekend." There I was on a Friday night getting ready for work and here was Loverboy singing about the opposite...everybody was working for the weekend and I was working on the weekend.

Every time I hear "Working for the Weekend" I'm always reminded of that long ago Friday night.

Here is Loverboy's "Working for the Weekend"...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahvSgFHzJIc

Oh, and here is The Cars "Just What I Needed" jogging those college memories of my wife, then girl friend...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5-rdr0qhWk


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A little something to help with the Roswell blues...for those that need it.


Here is a little something extra for all of us that have been banging our heads since the 5th of May.  We're getting into the summer months and the weather is nice for most of us and this time of year brings back memories.

War, the Latin/funk/soul band out of Long Beach, CA, produced a great little song back in 1971, "All Day Music."  The melody and lyrics are soothing to listen to.  Close your eyes and drift away with the music.

Enjoy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coHUt4si8Oo

Tell me what you think...


Saturday, June 13, 2015

The final stake through the heart...Shepherd Johnson

This it for sure. In truth this has been a dead story since the night of May 5th, but we know how these things take on a life of it's own.   I'll guide everyone over to Curt Collins blog for the details.  Kevin Randle has provided a post as well.

Great job Shepherd Johnson!  And a pox on all of those that attempted to make up a bullshit story and profit from it.