Monday, January 24, 2011

Walter Figel: No UFOs at Echo and Doubtful of Shutdowns at Oscar

A few months ago James Carlson provided me a copy of an email that he had received from Walter Figel.  Col Figel pretty much spells out his view on the whole Echo Flight affair as well as Salas' claims of an Oscar shutdown.

Re: telephone conversation
Thursday, March 11, 2010 9:03 AM
From Walter Figel, Jr. Thu Mar 11 14:03:27 2010
Re: telephone conversation.eml
I guess you must have posted something somewhere that got Hastings attention
He did call and we did speak for a bit, so did Salas.
You should know that both calls were very cordial as was ours.
However, I think you guys have a pissing contest going that I would rather not get in the middle of. I have no vested or financial interests in UFOs and actually not even a passing interest in them. Guess I am different from most people. But, I could really care less about the subject.
I reasserted that I personally never did see a UFO at any time.
I do not personally “believe” that UFOs had anything to do with Echo flight shutting down that year.
I repeated that I never heard about an incident at November or Oscar flight and have no knowledge that they ever happened and that I doubted they did.
That is obviously a personal opinion as I can not prove the negative.
I repeated that Colonel Dick Evans was at the alternate command post at Kilo which is in the same squadron as November and Oscar and he never mentioned anything about a shutdown at either of these two flights.
If it did happen, I personally don’t know anything about it.
One of their books said I had a personal log – I did not.
The only log I ever filled out was the official log that all flights kept and that I do not and never did have a copy of that log. Obviously I can not remember what I wrote that morning.
One of the books says that the flight shut down in “seconds” – that is not an exactly accurate statement.
It obviously took some time for your dad and I to run the appropriate checklists and make all the calls that we had to make to the command post and maintenance. We were near the end of the checklist when the second missile shut down and shortly threafter the rest of them followed suit.
That sequence of events took several minutes not seconds, but that is all a very minor point in fact and doesn’t change the facts of the overall sequence of events that morning.
I told him that when someone mentioned UFOs, I just laughed it off as a joke and assumed someone was just kidding around. I never took it seriously.
I also told them that no one from any UFO office in the Air Force ever interviewed/deriefed your dad and/or me and that I do not remember ever signing any papers about anything.
In fact, I told them that until he mentioned it, I did not even know there was an office that monitored sightings of “UFOs” in the Air Force.
When your dad and I came topside the next day – no one ever said anything about UFOs and there was no “large gathering” of people on site that morning.
There may have been later that afternoon, but I would have no knowledge of that as we were long gone back to the base as usual.
I did not know the targeting office’s name or even know that he was there.
I did say there was a VRSA recording reporting a “Channel 9 – NO GO” reported.
They said that the maintenance crews had no such report at the LF.
I told him that I did not know how the system worked at the missile site so that I do not know if that is possible or not.
I have always maintained that I do not personally believe in UFOs.
I am not convinced that November or Oscar ever happened.
But these are obviously personal opinions and I can not state them as facts or prove them – they are my personal beliefs.
I also believe these statements are accurate.
I also believe that is what I said 2 years ago, but I don’t have recordings.
So my knowledge is very slim and I have no records about anything at all.
In addition, that was 43 years ago and memories fail – especially about things that were not especially important to me at the time.
Today, I can’t remember what time my wedding was and that I assure you is more important to me then and now. And that was in 1971.
So if this is a help, so be it.
But I would rather stay out of any long standing debate about UFOs and leave that to the experts and researchers and those who know or at least truely believe that they know. After all they may be right and proven so some day.
As for me, I’ll just go my way as a skeptic until proven wrong.
As you can see, I cc’d Hastings so that you both have the same piece of paper. I don’t think that there are any inconsistencies in what I said to either of you. If there are, I’m sorry, that is not my intention at all.
Good luck in your pursuits. Stay professional and all will benefit.
Regards to your dad, I wish him well. It’s been many years.
With that said, I hope that this tug of war is over and the three of you can resolve your differences about the whole affair.  Walt.
As can be seen above, Robert Hastings was supposedly provided a copy of the above email.  As of this time, I'm not aware if Hastings has publicly acknowledge that he had received a copy of the above correspondence.  But one can suspect that he very well may have received it based on his recent labeling of Walter Figel as "waffling" and "timid."

As for James Carlson’s completely discredited claim about there being no UFO involvement in a full-flight missile shutdown at Malmstrom, on March 16, 1967, one may hear what actually happened from the lips of Carlson’s father’s deputy missile commander, retired Col. Walter Figel, by listening to the tape recorded conversations Salas and I had with Figel years ago, before he began nervously changing his story after the public spotlight fell on him. Unfortunately for the timid, now-waffling Figel, his earlier admissions are a matter of record...
If the above correspondence from Walter Figel is accurate then James Carlson may well be owed a "public" apology from Robert Hastings.  As stated in my past postings, Walter Figel, as well as Eric Carlson, have consistently denied that UFOs were involved in the Echo incident.  If Figel's statements are the lynch pin to Hastings' and Salas' UFO theory, which it has been, then the "theory" collapses like a house of cards.

Special thanks to James Carlson for allowing me to post the above information.


  1. "I told him that when someone mentioned UFOs, I just laughed it off as a joke and assumed someone was just kidding around."

  2. Ryan: The stories claim that when Figel called the security guard on the surface, the guard reported that no maintenance had taken place and that a UFO had been hovering over the silo. Do you recall Figel making this phonecall, and did he tell you that anyone on the other end of the line mentioned anything about a UFO?

    Eric: There was no call, at any time, telling us about any UFOs.

  3. I assume that you have...a question or a point?

  4. Hastings and Salas have Figel on tape not only saying that UFO's were reported to him by the men in the field but he even expands upon their confirmation and states that he was called in by his superiors and debriefed. That conversation was taped several years ago while he was younger and his memories were better. If he is denying his own story now, it means one of two things, either he has forgotten or been told by someone to be quiet. I would say the UFO believers have this one nailed.

    But I was really happy with the job the guys on this forum did in debunking BIll Ryan with regard to the Serpo nonsense. What a poser. However, his partner Kerry Cassidy should not be painted with the same brush that Mr. Ryan paints himself with. I think the only reason she maintains any association with the guy is because the Camelot website has real value in terms of visitor traffic. I know most of her stuff is pretty sketchy, but I think she is at least trying to report the truth. Hucksters like Ryan really give the whole UFO field a bad name.