Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Oscar and Echo Flights: Wikipedia's UFO Conundrum

I happened to come across Wikipedia's article on Oscar Flight a couple of weeks ago.  James Carlson and I have been discussing it on and off in the comment section of this blog.  It's rather strange that at one time Wikipedia had a separate article for Echo Flight's UFO story but it was deleted.  Currently Wikipedia appears to be on the verge of deleting the Oscar Flight entry and merging it into their existing Malmstrom AFB article.


This article was nominated for deletionThe debate was closed on 21 July 2012 with a consensus to merge the content into the article Malmstrom Air Force Base. If you find that such action has not been taken promptly, please consider assisting in the merger instead of re-nominating the article for deletion. To discuss the merger, please use the destination article's talk page(July 2012) 


As of the date of this post, the article remains separate and has not yet been merged into the Malmstrom wiki article.  


What of Echo Flight's Wiki entry?  As of last week, there was a Wiki notation that the entire article had been deleted.  It apparently was not deemed worthy to be merged in the Malmstrom article.  I vaguely recall that the reasoning was the lack of credible sources to back up the UFO claim.   Now, there is no hint that it ever existed on Wiki as a separate article.  I believe that some the references to the alleged UFO event can be called up on Wiki's UFO article under case studies.


You might be asking...so what?  This deletion episode reveals that initially anyone can present  an undocumented/poorly referenced story and have it posted on Wikipedia.  I personally believe that the wrong article is being allowed to be eventually merged into their Malmstrom article.  Echo Flight's 1967 full flight ICBM shut down was a real event that had been documented and has numerous references to substantiate the event.  To me this is worthy of mentioning either as a separate article or having a paragraph describing the event in wiki's Malmstrom article. (341st SMW Unit History, Boeing engineering investigation, Bernard C. Nalty)


What about Echo's so-called UFO story?  I have no problem with that angle of alleged  causation being listed as long as Wiki had provided a fair counter argument against the alleged UFO sighting(s).  After all, UFO rumors were rampant throughout the state of Montana during the first 3 months of 1967.  There are enough pro and con arguments that could provide balance to the story.  Yet, Wiki deletes Echo and all of its official documentations and decided to keep Salas' Oscar story and a merge it to another factual article given it credence.  And remember, there is no documentation or hard evidence that Salas' story is true (or factual).  This makes no logical sense in my mind.


Here is how poorly the Oscar article currently reads in the opening paragraph on Wiki:


Oscar Flight UFO/Missile Incident refers to a period of alleged high UFO activity at Malmstrom Air Force Base on March 24, 1967, when ten Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles became non-operational at Malmstrom AFB (Air Force Base) immediately after UFOs were reported hovering above them.[1][2][3][4]


I appreciate that Wiki uses the term "alleged high UFO activity", but wince at the description that "ten intercontinental Ballistic Missiles" became non-operational immediately after UFOs were reported hovering above them on 24 March 1967.  I find this to be rather deceptive. Hastings and Salas never made that claim regardless of the references given.  Salas stated that his FSC called him to report one object hovering over the LCF's gate, and Meiwald received a report from the FSC that the security response team had seen an object near one of Oscar's launch facilities.  There were never any claims that numerous UFOs were hovering over multiple launch facilities.


The rest of the article provides abbreviated stories from Fred Meiwald, Robert Jamison and Louis Kenneweg.  I had forgotten about Kenneweg's story and will provide a posting about his statements on a later blog post.  I find it odd that Dwynne Arneson's affidavit statement is missing in the Wiki article since Hastings and Salas had dragged him in front of the media back in September 2010's press conference because he might have seen a classified message with the words "UFO" typed in. (see my blog post on Arneson)


Two weeks ago I provided input to Wiki's editors complaining that all of the article's references were tilted to one view point supporting the UFO(s) claim with nothing written as a counter argument.  Plus, I added, there is no documentation to support a full flight shutdown and no eye witnesses to the alleged event has ever come forward to support such claims.


It will be interesting to see how this plays out.  I believe that James Carlson is planning to write an article highlighting the Wikipedia entries.  Should be an interesting read. 

2 comments:

  1. I think you make a good point. I believe that there is definitely something above our human understanding to the UFO phenomenon but we just can't let our imaginations run wild. These stories need validation and credibility in order to move forward with acquiring knowledge as to what is happening in the skies above us.
    With that said, what motivation would an ex-officer have to fabricate this kind of story?

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  2. Thanks for the comment. You raise a good question as to why an ex-officer would "fabricate" a story. We need to consider the following possibilities:

    1. The security personnel did in fact witness a UFO over Oscar and in the Flight area. But, this falters due to the lack of any of these individuals (up to eight people) coming forward. Salas was not any eye witness, so its hearsay.

    2. There may have been an issue out in the flight area such as one or two missiles dropping off alert plus a security situation, Salas constructed the UFO angle himself some decades later for whatever reason only known to him.

    3. Prank played on Salas by the security cops. I know that in a previous blog post that I stated that this was a remote possibility, but the more that I think about it...For a prank of this kind, the cops would have had a "confederate" placed in the LCC with Salas...that would have been Fred Meiwald. I may in the future try to develop this "theory" because it would explain alot of Salas in-congruent. If this was true then Salas may be telling the truth as the prank played itself out.

    Don't scoff at the prank angle...my crew commander and security cops played a good one on me so pranks did occur.

    But real UFOs?...very little meat on that bone.

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