Tuesday, April 3, 2012
The Oscar Flight Mystery: Robert Jamison
As I've posited concerning UFO activity at Oscar's LCF and flight area, the lack of official documentation and eye witness corroboration has sorely hampered any legitimate UFO claims. Similar to that of Echo Flight's UFO report to Walter Figel, Oscar Flight's incident rests on the claims of Robert Salas. As shown in my last post, Fred Meiwald provides only a story involving a UFO near one of the flight's LFs that allegedly was seen by a security response team, but Meiwald was only telling the story as was told to him by Oscar's FSC...a story that Salas was unaware of until his 1996 interview of Fred Meiwald. Fred Meiwald, in both Hastings and Salas interviews had no recollection of Salas' claim that a UFO had been sighted topside and reported by Oscars FSC, yet it appears that the FSC is the same individual that reported both UFO encounters in one fashion or another to both crew members on different occasions before and after crew changeover!
Robert Jamison's Story
The story of Robert Jamison is an interesting one. Robert Hastings had been in contact with Jamison concerning his role as a combat targeting officer that was tasked with responding to a full flight shutdown during the time period of the Echo Flight incident (16 March 1967). During the interview, which I believe to be in 1992, Jamison had recalled being dispatched during the night of the sighting of a UFO near Belt, Mt which occurred 24 March 1967. On hearing this Hastings would eventually (four years later) contact Robert Salas believing Jamison's story not having anything to do with Echo but possibly with Salas' claim. At that time, Salas had thought that he was actually on duty 16 March at Echo, but on hearing of Jamison story and confirming with Fred Meiwald, Salas determined that his incident had occurred at Oscar on 24 March 1967.
As did Salas, Robert Jamison had provided a signed affidavit and was in attendance on 27 September 2010 for the Washington DC press conference. Does Jamison's affidavit information show consistency with his original statements to Robert Hastings? To answer that questions we need to break down both stories and do a comparison.
Before we start looking at Jamison's story, I need to describe the purpose and responsibilities of a Combat Targeting Team (CTT) during the Minuteman I era. CTTs were responsible mainly for loading targeting information into the guidance control system and for aligning the missile correctly to correspond to that sortie's target. This task was done at night since the team had to align the site with true north (starting point the star Polaris?) and establish a geodetic location or starting point for the missile culminating with the coordinates for the missile's assigned target. The CTTs were called for during most start ups after a missile guidance system swap out. During upgrades to Minuteman II, the need for CTTs ceased since the upgraded system had remote retargeting capability from the LCC, plus the launch crew's capability to command the sortie to perform an IMU calibration sequence.
Back in 1992 Robert Hastings had interviewed Jamison while looking into the the Echo Flight shutdowns. Per Hastings:
1. Jamison assisted in the re-start of an entire flight of Minuteman missiles that had suddenly shut down after a UFO had was sighted in the flight's vicinity by Air Force security police.
2. Jamison was certain that the incident had occurred at one of the flights near Lewistown, MT (perhaps at Oscar Flight).
3. Jamison and his team, as well as, other teams were ordered to remain at Malmstrom until all UFO reports from the field had ceased.
4. Jamison and his team was given a special briefing prior to dispatch with regards to reporting UFO sightings.
5. Prior to dispatching, Jamison overheard radio communication concerning a UFO sighting near Belt, MT. and that a high ranking officer was on-site with others.
6. Jamison's team restarted three to four missiles. They did not see any UFO activity while out in the field.
7. After the shutdown incident, Jamison received special UFO briefings for the next two weeks.
8. Two weeks after responding to the full flight shutdown, Jamison and his team responded to a four to five missile shutdown after a UFO was reportedly seen in daylight over an LCF located south or southwest of Great Falls (India flight?).
When reading Jamison's story, what is clear to me is that Hastings is telling the story as his subject/witness appears absent or detached. There are no direct quotes attributed to Jamison. Did Jamison simply provide Hastings a written statement? Or, is this simply from notes that Hastings had jotted down during a phone interview? Last year, I had attempted to contact Hastings via email regarding the methodology used for obtaining Jamison's information. Unfortunately, I received no reply, but with the publication of this blog post, perhaps Robert would be willing to comment on the actual method of sourcing.
Jamison's seems to be "certain" that the incident occurred near Lewistown, "perhaps" Oscar. Echo and November flights are also near Lewistown...Mike is not that far away but is situated west of Lewistown, so it may be equally reasonable to believe that one those flights could have been his destination. Whether the incident that Jamison was responding to was on 24 or 25 March is merely supposition at this point, even with his recall of the Belt sighting, Jamison could have been responding to Echo's full flight shutdown on 16 March and subsequently dispatched to Oscar or November, or even Mike on 24 March for routine retargeting
Robert Jamison's 2010 Affidavit
1. Jamison called at home by Wing Job Control, between 10 PM and midnight, to report to the maintenance hanger due to "a lot of missile sites were off alert status..."
2. Upon arriving at the hanger, Jamison overheard other targeting teams discussing rumors of a UFO connection...supposedly all ten missiles at Oscar Flight off alert after a UFO reported in the vicinity of the LCF...a NCO confirmed the reports.
3. All targeting teams directed to remain at the hanger until all UFO reports had ceased. Jamison's team waited 2 to 3 hours before dispatching to Oscar Flight.
4. While waiting to dispatch, Jamison overheard two-way radio traffic about a second UFO which had landed in a deep ravine not far from the base. Later that night, Jamison's team traveled past the landing site and observed a small group of Air Force vehicles at the top of the ravine. Based on later newspaper reports, Jamison believes that this was the UFO landing near Belt, MT on 24 March 1967.
5. Prior to dispatching, Jamison's team briefed on what to do should they encounter a UFO
6. Jamison's team never saw any UFOs.
7. After the incident, for about two weeks, the Combat Targeting Teams received the same "UFO briefing" prior to dispatching.
8. After the Oscar Flight incident, everyone in the missile maintenance squadron had been talking about UFOs...Jamison talked to several people, mostly Security Alert Team guards that personally witnessed these events...they were visibly shaken. Jamison remembered one guard telling of seeing two small red lights off at a distance, then close in toward the missile site...as he was telling Jamison, the guard broke down and began weeping.
9. Two weeks later, Jamison believes that it was India Flight, more UFOs were reported and four to five missiles shutdown. Jamison was dispatched to one of the sites. While dispatching to India, Jamison did not see any UFOs. This incident occurred in daylight hours.
The first thing that is noticeable is Jamison's now certainty that he was dispatched to Oscar Flight. Back in 1992, eighteen years before his affidavit, Jamison thought that "perhaps" he went to Oscar, yet now he is 100 percent certain. As of yet, I can find no documentation or articles in which Jamison uses to reach this conclusion of clarity and certainty.
Per the affidavit, Jamison states that when he arrived at the maintenance hanger, he over heard other teams discussing that all of Oscar Flight's missile had dropped off alert soon after a UFO had been reported near the LCF. This precise detail is never mentioned in Hastings' version where Oscar Flight is mentioned by name. Rather, Jamison's team was being dispatched to a missile flight near Lewistown and there were four flights that could have matched this vague location.
Jamison states that he saw Air Force vehicles parked near the top of the ravine (near Belt) where a UFO had supposedly landed. This was never mentioned in Hastings version, only that Jamison had overheard two-way radio traffic concerning the alleged UFO landing near Belt. In fairness to Jamison, this would have been logical since the only wing approved routing to the 10th and 490th squadron's would have taken Jamison through Belt and past the ravine (side of Belt Hill) where the alleged UFO landing site was located.
As far as Jamison's recalling of UFO sightings in the 12th Strategic Missile Squadron some two weeks after the Oscar incident, there are no known documentation/investigative reports that suggest that those incident's may have actually occurred. This does not rule out the possibility that these sightings may have been the residual psychological effects from the previous weeks of UFO rumors culminating with Echo's incident on 16 March. MUFON and NICAP archives show that after the Belt sighting on 24 March, there were no further sighting reports from Montana for the rest of 1967.
What of the partial flight missile shutdowns at India after UFOs spotted in that flight area? That would depend on the accuracy of Jamison's recall. Per the Unit History, in Dec of 1966 Alpha Flight had three LF's drop off alert in a short period of time (no UFO reports corresponds to this event). This shows that it was not an unusual event (up to three off alert sorties) to occur and would seem reasonable that Jamison would have responded to a similar event in India flight. Yet with this said, Hastings' original interview stated that it was "possibly in India flight." It could have easily been in Juliet, Hotel, or Golf flight areas.
One important similarity with both versions of Jamison's story: Jamison never sees any UFO activity near Lewistown, nor does he witness any UFO activity in the 12th SMS area some two weeks later. Once again, we see a UFO incident which no one sees, but everyone hears rumors about.
Based on the two versions of Jamison's story, it's plausible to reach the following conclusions:
1. With the exception of his recent total certainty of going to Oscar Flight on 24 March 1967, the two versions are basically the same.
2. It is plausible that Jamison's belief that he responded to a full flight shut down "near" Lewistown was correct, but he was responding to Echo's incident on 16 March as this has been the only documented full flight shutdown.
3. Jamison more than likely was dispatched on 24/25 March to a flight east of Malmstrom (10th/490th SMS) for routine retargeting/realignment and was in a position to overhear radio communication or loose talk in the maintenance hanger describing the Belt UFO incident.
4. Jamison was well aware of rumors and/or stories about UFO sightings in the 12th SMS, west of Great Falls, and more than likely, did respond to off alert missile sorties that required retargeting and/or realignment. Whether or not this was due to UFO activity is questionable due to the lack of any official reporting of such an event.
5. Jamison stated that he never saw any UFO activity while dispatched to the field.
Does Jamison's statements support Salas' claims of UFO activity in and around Oscar? In my opinion, its a stretch. If the Air Force and SAC conducted an investigation that lasted for almost a year regarding the Echo incident and culminating with an Engineering Change Proposal and its implementation, why omit a similar incident occurring at Oscar? Air Force cover-up?...or, simply nothing out of the ordinary had occurred. Project Blue Book investigated the alleged Belt sighting on 24 March, yet did not investigate an alleged incident at Oscar. This is a glaring disconnect in my opinion. Jamison does illustrate that UFO rumors were an on-going occurrence and this is supported by the Unit History which had acknowledged in a short sentence that rumors were present.
In a future blog post I'll look at some of the other participants of the 2010 press conference. Since Jamison's statements brings up the Belt sighting, that event will also be explored in a future post.
Addendum added 5 April 2012
Food for thought, if Jamison and his CCT team (presumably all missile maintenance teams and security personnel) received a special UFO briefing prior to dispatching to the field, why does Salas not say the same for him and Fred Meiwald...and other wing operational crews?
Salas, Meiwald, Figel, Barlow and Eric Carlson never mentioned being given special UFO briefings before being dispatched to the field. Salas and Meiwald would have completed several alert duties well after the 24th of March surpassing Jamison's special briefing claims. None of the above have ever mentioned receiving these special UFO briefings.
If Salas and Meiwald claim that they were questioned by the Air Force OSI, why was Jamison and his team left untouched? Surely the OSI would have wanted to debrief all personnel that had been dispatched to the field to ascertain what, if anything, they had witnessed.