Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Oscar Flight Mystery: The Other Malmstrom UFO Story

The claims of Robert Salas regarding the events that occurred on 24 March 1967 at Malmstrom has remained a mystery to me.  Here is a UFO story that lacks any official documentation and has no Air Force investigation report, yet it continues to have "legs" in ufology circles.  Where as the Echo Flight UFO story is severely diminished due to documentation and investigations, Oscar Flight doesn't carry that sort of baggage so it quietly flies under the radar.  With that said, we have to ask the question:  "Did it really happen?"

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'll break the story down over a series of blog posts.  Where to begin?  I believe that the best starting point is to look at the case in it's present state and work backwards.  This will allow us to look at the story's evolution since 24 March 1967. 

It appears that the Echo Flight shutdown that occurred one week prior to the alleged Oscar incident, 16 March, may have been the catalyst for the story.  Initially, Salas believed that he was at Echo, but eventually settled on being at Oscar.  I'm aware that he also believed that he was out at November prior to changing his final location to Oscar.  While some have been critical of Salas' changing location, I'll give him a pass on this one due to the lapse of 40 plus years.  I must confess that for a while, I had a difficult time remembering for certain where I had pulled my last alert back in 1985, but certain alert peculiarities and events during that last alert settled my location to have been at Kilo.

On September 27, 2010, Robert Hastings and Robert Salas held a press conference at the National Press Club in an attempt to establish that UFOs had attempted to disrupt our nation's nuclear ICBM forces.  Other witnesses were present and all had provided signed affidavits affirming their truthfulness in relaying their respective stories.

Robert Salas' affidavit, along with the others can be viewed on  Below is a short synopsis of Salas' story according to his affidavit.

Salas' Current Claim

Approximately on 24 March 1967, Robert Salas, was on alert at Malmstrom's Oscar Flight (490th SMS) with his crew commander Frederick Meiwald.  Meiwald was in rest status (sleep shift).  Salas had received a call from the Flight Security Controller (FSC) and reported that he and other topside personnel had observed "lights" in the sky making unusual maneuvers.  The FSC had ruled out aircraft due to the "objects" travelling at a high rate of speed and making unusual directional changes.  The objects made no noticeable noise.

A few minutes later, the FSC called again screaming that a large red oval shaped object was hovering over the LCF's front gate.  The FSC described the object as being 30-40 feet in diameter.  The FSC abruptly cut off the conversation stating that one of his men had been injured.  At this point, Salas had awaken Meiwald briefing the contents of the FSC's reports.  Per Salas, alarms started sounding and "fault" light indicators on the commander's launch control console were illuminated.  Meiwald queried VRSA and most, if not all, of the missiles showed "guidance and control system failure."

Meiwald contacted the Wing Command Post and Squadron Command Post (Kilo).  Meiwald told Salas, "The same thing happened at another flight."

Due to security violation lights at one or more of Oscars LFs, Salas contacted the FSC to have one of the security teams respond to the LFs in question.  The FSC reported to Salas that the object had flown off.  When the security team approached one of the LFs with a security violation, they reported seeing an object similar to that sighted at Oscar's LCF.

Per Salas, Oscar's ICBM were disabled for the remainder of the alert tour.  Prior to departing back to Malmstrom, Salas talked to the FSC who had nothing different to add concerning the incident.  The individual who had been injured suffered a minor injury to his hand, but the injury had nothing to do with the sighted object.  After being relieved by another crew and returning to base, Salas and Meiwald were debriefed by their squadron commander and another officer from the AFOSI (Air Force Office of Special Investigation).  Both Salas and Meiwald were told that there were no explanations of why the event occurred, nor were there any Air Force exercises taking place.  The OSI officer told Salas and Meiwald that the incident was classified SECRET and they were not to speak about it to anyone.  According to Salas, he would hear nothing further about the incident for the remainder of his time on active duty.

Affidavits, Lack of Documentation and Investigation

Why the affidavits?  Presumably, this gives the air of truth to the accounting/s as Salas has always thought that the evidence supporting his claim could be proven in a court of law.  But is the "truth" supported by facts, and does Salas have enough evidence to mount even a circumstantial case?  Who is supplying the evidence since the 341st SMW's Unit History and Bernard Nalty (History of the US ICBM Program) make no hint or reference to anything happening with Oscar Flight?  There is a secondary effect of the affidavits.  Since this is a 40 plus year old case, there is bound to be confusion and changing accounts as the years have passed.  This allows all of the participants to settle on one "concise" story regardless of any conflicts with past statements.

Project Blue Book investigated both Minot UFO reports in 1966 and 1968, yet did not investigate any UFO incident involving Oscar Flight.  This defies common logic by omitting Oscar from official scrutiny by the Air Force, SAC, and Blue Book. True, Echo Flight's ten missile shut down was not investigated by Blue Book, but I had theorized that such an investigation was not warranted since the Air Force and SAC had mounted an engineering analysis that pin pointed an EMP-like noise pulse emanating from the LCC.  A subsequent Boeing Engineering Change Plan implementing EMP suppression kits solved the problem SAC-Wide.

Since the Sept. 2010 press conference participants provided affidavits, I decided to look into the use of an affidavit.  I contacted a local notary public and asked about the process of notarizing an affidavit.  This gentleman stated that just because an affidavit was notarized it had no legal bearing as to the "truthfulness" of the statement.  Basically, the individual provides proof of who he/she is and the notary bears witness to that individual signing a statement or document regardless to its contents.

In the next following blog posts we'll look at the statements of Robert Jamison, Dwynne Arneson and Fred Meiwald.  Do these individuals provide conclusive evidence that UFOs caused Oscar Flight's missiles to drop off alert?  We'll further look at earlier versions of Salas' claims and see if they are consistent.  Since I secured a copy of  "Faded Giant" by Klotz and Salas, I'll compare it's content for story consistency.  I'll try to update the blog on a weekly basis.  This should be a fun case to look at.


  1. I find it interesting that Salas still insists that Col. Meiwald told him, "The same thing happened at another flight", something Meiwald has always denied. He did so, in fact, over the course of his last interview with Robert Hastings, stating that he knows nothing in regard to events at other missile flights. You would think that he would trust any information about other flights originating with the Wing Command Post or Squadron Command Post (Kilo), and yet he affirms only his ignorance of such details. As far as I'm concerned, this unwillingness to confirm events that he has no knowledge of only increases his credibility. It was during this same interview that Meiwald told Hastings he didn't remember anything at all about a UFO.

    I'm very much looking forward to reading your take on Salas' inconsistency over the years. With literally dozens of examples to draw from, I'm a little curious to know which ones you think are the most important or are enlightening enough to reach the clearest and most credible of conclusions

    I'm also very glad that you decided to discuss the worth of affidavits in regard to this matter. Hastings has placed so much emphasis on his use of affidavits, that it's become important to determine the real value of such documents. As you discovered, they have little intrinsic worth, regardless of Hastings' arguments otherwise. This should be an easy point to make, especially given that his witnesses tend to change their affidavits as often as evidence contrary to their claims is presented, and yet I've come across a number of individuals throughout the internet who insist that these affidavits are more worthy of belief than any actual documents produced. It's absolutely dumbfounding that people are seemingly unaware of this aspect of the issues presented; I guess some people just don't care to examine the structure of their beliefs so closely.

    Fortunately, others will...

  2. James, concerning Meiwald's story, I'll cover that in detail in a future blog post. As far as the use of affidavits, in a case such as this, it may have little value as far as proving Salas' claim, though it tends to "look" good. If this were a criminal or civil case, or even a legal contractual matter, then the affidavit makes sense and would be legally binding. Yet, as I stated in the blog post, I suspect it's use is to wipe the slate clean from all of the inconsistencies of the story.