Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Oscar Flight Mystery: Dwynne Arneson

Dwynne Arneson presents as an "odd" puzzle piece to both Echo and Oscar UFO stories.  Both Hastings and Salas have used Arneson's affidavit statement as a means to collaborate their respective claims.  Arneson was among those former Air Force members appearing at the September 27, 2010 Washington DC press conference.  His affidavit can be viewed here.

Based on the provided affidavit, Arneson was assigned to the 28th Air Division then located at Malmstrom AFB in 1967.  The 28th was part of the Air Defense Command, not the Strategic Air Command.  Though there may have been some tasks which the 28th would have worked in concert with SAC, generally there would have been a well established line of demarcation between the two commands.  It's within this organization confine that highlights some of Arneson's claims.

Per Arneson's affidavit, as a member of the 28th Air Division, and being the Top Secret Control Officer, he states that he was responsible for the dispatching of all of the nuclear launch authentication codes to the Minuteman missile crews.  I found this to be an odd responsibility for a member of the Air Defense Command (ADC) handling and dispatching SAC launch authentication codes. To me, the idea that a "paranoid" command such as SAC allowing another command this type of access and distribution of it's launch material was unthinkable.

I opened an inquiry thread over at themissileforums.com site asking about any possible involvement of ADC's handling of SAC launch authenticators and all that responded gave the indication that this would have been impossible for a non-SAC command, even an air division, to have this responsibility even back in 1967.  On a personal note, back in the early 1980s as a launch crew member, we had received launch authentication codes strictly form the wing's Emergency War Order and Planning Division, DO22.  These documents were transported out to the LCC and locked in a safe and inventoried during each and every crew change over.

My thoughts on Arneson's claim is that he may have been mistaken as to who's launch authentication codes he was referring to as the ADC/NORAD flying unit at the Great Falls Airport (Montana Air National Guard) flew the F-102 in 1967 and was capable of carrying the nuclear tipped Genie air to air missile.  Arneson may well have been responsible for issuing the authentication codes to the ADC air crews.

With the above said, the reader may be asking of the relevance concerning UFO activity.  Perhaps nothing, yet its possible to correlate Arneson's claims of responsibility with the over all UFO story's aura of confusion and lacking of clarity of its witnesses.  Let's look at other claims in Arneson's affidavit:

"On some date that I do not recall, a UFO-related message came through the communications center.  While I recall neither the sender nor to whom it was directed, I do recall reading that a UFO was seen near some missile silos and that it had been hovering.  The message stated that both the missile crew going on duty and the crew coming off duty saw the UFO just hovering in mid-air.  It was described as a metallic, circular object and, from what I understand, the missiles were all shut down immediately thereafter.  That is, they went dead.  Someone, presumably aboard the UFO, turned those missiles off, so they could not be put in a mode for launching."

Arneson is in doubt of the date of either the alleged incident or the date of the message.  Based on previous research, it would be reasonable to assume that he may well had seen a message describing alleged UFO activity since rumors of such had permeated both the missile wing and the surrounding Great Falls area.  This would also correspond to the 341st Strategic Missile Wing's Unit History statement concerning UFO rumors as being present, but also disproven.

Did the message that Arneson read referred to Echo or Oscar?  This is were Arneson's story may well fall apart.  If the message referred to Echo, then the notion that both off going and on coming crews saw a UFO hovering in mid-air is seriously in error.  Carlson/Figel made no assertions of such a sighting.  Don Crawford, the on coming crew commander also made no statements to support this version of events.  Simply no UFO was ever reported near or over Echo's launch control facility.

Could the message had been referring to Oscar Flight?  Again, as was the case with Carlson and Figel, both Meiwald and Salas never stated that they themselves had seen a UFO over Oscar as this alleged report came from the FSC and/or a security response team which is solely dependent on who's version, Salas or Meiwald, is taken into consideration.

Arneson's affidavit further mentions his acquaintance with Robert Kaminsky while employed with Boeing.  Supposedly Kaminsky had confided in Arneson about the Echo investigation and that no known technical reason could be found for the malfunctions and that there had been reports of UFOs near the missiles at the time of the failures.

To a certain extent, Kaminsky was correct as the initial Echo investigation had showed no known causation, but as the investigation dragged on for over a year eventually the EMP-like noise pulse was isolated as the cause for the failure.  Interesting that since Arneson was employed by Boeing he would have had access to the Engineering Change Proposals submitted by Boeing and the results of the ECP installations at all of SAC's Minuteman launch facilities (this also included Vandenberg's training launch facilities).  As far as Kaminsky's stating that there had been UFO reports, he is merely one of many who had heard of the various rumours that had swept through Malmstrom and central Montana.  Like others, Kaminsky saw no UFOs himself, but only heard of them second and third hand.

What has been an area of curiosity concerning Echo and Oscar, is the lack of any data showing that NORAD/ADC radars from Malmstrom's SAGE facility had tracked any "unknown" targets over central Montana for both 16 and 24 March.  Being assigned to the SAGE facility at Malmstrom, Arneson would have been in position to know if this had happened and if any subsequent launching of Montana Air Guard interceptors had occurred.  Since Arneson never mentions this type of event/mission, then this lends credence that the UFO reports were merely rumors.

Did Arneson make this all up?  Its entirely possible that the contents of the message was basically as Arneson stated.  If the message was one of the first that was up-channeled to higher command, in this case Air Defense Command, then it reflects the initial confusion surrounding the magnitude of the Echo shutdowns followed by the disjointed statements concerning the error-proned mentioning of UFO sightings by the missile crews.  It appears obvious to me that the source for the alleged message content was not "officially" from the SAC component at Malmstrom, but from various unidentified sources not familiar with the actual situation. (This is assuming that the Arneson message actually existed in the first place)

Updated June 10, 2013:

I've been researching the Minot October 1968 UFO incident and came across information that appears to clarify Col. Arneson's statements concerning his receipt of a message relating to "UFO(s) sighted around missile silos."

It is readily apparent that all UFO sightings/reports were sent to the affected region's ADC Air Division regardless of the command making the report.  Since Minot AFB, ND was in the 28th Air Division's jurisdiction all of it's UFO reports were sent to Malmstrom (28th's location).

With this in mind, Col Arneson's recollection of a message listing a UFO(s) sighting would have been consistent with the protocols in place during his tenure at Malmstrom.  Based on Arneson's responsibilities within the air division, he would have had access to these types of message traffic.  The Minot message sent to Malmstrom (October time frame of 1968) was "Unclassified."

I'll post a copy of the Minot message with a future blog post on that specific incident once the article is completed.

Tim Hebert


  1. Another well done summary of the alleged "witnesses" to this little incident. I don't know whether or not you've noticed it yet, but Robert Hastings has once again penned a pathetic little diatribe in regard to Walt Figel's claims that he's a fraud. He hasn't changed his beat much, still insisting that everything I've said about Walt Figel is a lie and the only thing people need to do to get the truth is to listen to his little tape recordings, none of which were made subsequent to Figel's claims at Reality Uncovered. Just once, it would be nice if he tried to defend his other witnesses as athletically as he's tried to attack those who call the shots with a more honest viewpoint than his audience is apparently used to. I find it ludicrous, for instance, that he's never really tried to defend the claims of Bob Jamison or Dwynne Arneson, simply letting their claims go as an affirmation of UFOs at Malsmtrom AFB!

    Do you think there's any chance that he'll try to defend any of the wasted statements that Arneson has published, that you've summarized so well above? I've asked him in the past why it is that Arneson's original statement -- one that stood for a couple of years without being questioned -- had him serving at a command that never really existed (this was when he was still claiming to have served at the 20th Air Division Comm. Center at Malmstrom AFB, instead of the 28th). As soon as I pointed it out, however, he had Arneson sign another affidavit that nicely did away with that error, and everyone at UFO Chronicles acted like it never happened. That always struck me as a bit odd, because I've never heard of a man who could be in the military for so long, and not remember the command he was attached to. I actually do have a question: what questions you would ask either Arneson, Hastings, or Jamison if you knew they would have to answer you honestly?

    This last point -- that honesty should be expected -- would, of course, be an absolute stricture. By this, I mean that even though these gentlemen -- Robert Hastings in particular -- have in the past answered such questions differently on numerous occasions (recall, for instance, Hastings recent affirmation that he refused to invite Walt Figel to his UFO-Nukes press conference because Figel couldn't be counted on to confirm Hastings' own UFO claims, instead of his previous assertions that he HAD invited Figel to the conference, but Figel did not want to get "involved" in any further controversies), in this instance, you should expect them to tell the truth. In any case, if you could ask questions of each in full expectation of an honest response, what would they be?

  2. My reasons for asking are two-fold. You see, in the beginning, all I really wanted to do was present sufficient information to stop all of the insistent cries from UFO proponents that my father was lying about the Echo Flight incident. I found it unconscionable that so many people would make such an untruthful assertion without anybody even once asking my father to answer a few questions or to offer his own version of the events that occurred. What confirmation has ever been sought? Since then, however, I've examined the contrary accounts that have been presented, and their quality, frankly, is so pathetically poor and irresponsible, that it's an insult that such ridiculous claims would be accepted as truth by a bunch of idiots who are so completely unmotivated to discover the truth for themselves. When it gets down to brass tacks, all anybody ever had to do was to contact my father and Walt Figel and ask THEM what happened. Instead, they've accepted all manner of lies by people who are not only unable to prove their assertions, they have positively failed to prove themselves honest enough to trust about anything whatsoever. Robert Hastings' recent revelations in regard to Walt Figel's absence at his little press conference is only one example of the extent he's willing to go, and the lies he's willing to tell, to make his audience more "receptive" to his personal paranoia about UFOs and nuclear weaponry. The fact that the only defense he willingly offers in regard to his claims is to essentially protest that everybody else is lying, while refusing to present any organized, evidential testimony, so completely and regressively works to his own disadvantage, that it's difficult to see why he would even consider such a tactic. This holds true even if that testimony is merely the consistent and sequential accounts attested to by his own witnesses. In light of this, it's clear that no guaranteed response Q&A has ever been pursued by critics or fans. If such a guarantee COULD be awarded, I'm curious as to how you would approach such an opportunity.

    The second-fold reason is more personal. I wonder whether I've missed any elements deserving more focus than I've yet been wont to provide. Being thorough is, after all, a virtue.

    Once again, great discussion above. I always enjoy reading a sane approach to any controversy as wrapped up in obvious lies and embellishments as this one.

  3. IRT: "Arneson's affidavit further mentions his acquaintance with Robert Kaminsky while employed with Boeing. Supposedly Kaminsky had confided in Arneson about the Echo investigation and that no known technical reason could be found for the malfunctions and that there had been reports of UFOs near the missiles at the time of the failures."

    Funny how Arneson failed or neglected to establish this "new witness" account to strengthen the claims made by Hastings and Salas. Why do these people always fall back on "new information" when their own claims fail to establish the scenario they champion? With Kaminsky dead, of course, none of his or Arneson's claims can be substantiated, allowing Arneson the freedom to make-up any story he wants in order to confirm his own assertions. Once again, one of Hastings' witnesses has produced a "confirmation" that can't be confirmed, the presentation of which necessitates another re-write of an ever-changing affidavit. Arneson has now managed to taint his own testimony by changing his story. Again...

    I can't help but wonder why Kaminsky failed to establish any of these Echo Flight assertions. After all, he, too, was the author of a book about UFOs. He never mentioned anything happening at E-flight, an odd omission for someone so enthusiastic about UFOs for so many years.

    It's also decidedly odd that Arneson has, as the years went by, presented such an even-improving memory for past events, and was yet unable to recall the command he was attached to. These people sink their own ships...

  4. As always James, thanks for commenting. As far as having the ability to ask questions to all of the Echo and Oscar men of "distinction", most have been asked on this very blog. That the likes of Hastings et al refuse to answer those simple and basic questions (they read this blog) reveals that their position is indefensible and void of truth. I tried this at Warren's site and you can see where that got me...

    You wrote: " I wonder whether I've missed any elements deserving more focus than I've yet been wont to provide. Being thorough is, after all, a virtue."

    You have provided as much information and elements as anyone, that includes me. The question really is where do you go from here?

    Arneson, Jamison and others are simply a means to an end. And as you and I can agree, a poor example of such.

  5. OK, I just finished reading Hastings' latest as posted on theufochronicles site. Interesting that Robert stated that Walter Figle chose not to participate in the 2010 press conference (yet again), and as James pointed out in one of his comments, Hastings is on record as saying that he avoided Figel's participation due to his (Figel) lack of enthusiasm for the UFO theme surrounding Echo Flight.

    Odd that Hastings would pen four articles tauting the scientific method. Lumping Robert and the scientific method in one sentence is the ultimate oxymoron.

  6. nice idea.. thanks for posting..