Thursday, July 19, 2012

UFO over Malmstrom's Golf Flight in 1982?

I happened to come across this brief report on the NUFORC web site while researching another case.  I have to admit that this one took me by surprise.  I was assigned to Malmstrom AFB from 1981-1985, so this event would have occurred while I was on station.  Let's take a look at the case and see what can be gleamed from the NUFORC report.

Occurred : 6/1/1982 21:00 (Entered as : 06/1982 21:00)
Reported: 4/22/2008 11:38:26 AM 11:38
Posted: 6/12/2008
Location: Malmstrom AFB (Golf 01 LCC 12SMS), MT
Shape: Cigar
Duration:15 minutes
06/1982 Silver object over Golf 01

The Craft was blimp shaped silver in color and was approximitly 100ft above the site it appeared to be the size of a normal blimp except it had no undercarage or visible propolsion units on the exterior of the craft.

It hovered over the site for appoximatly 15 minutes then move of to the south east at a leisurely pace toward some of the Lf in the area.

We did not I repeat did not report the incident to the base and instructed our security police not to report the incident.

Another missile crew a year earlier had made that mistake and the spent 3 days in a cabin being told they didn't see anything. People on the personal reliability program who launched nuclear missiles were not allowed to see UFOs.

((NUFORC Note: Witness indicates that the date of the incident is approximate. PD)

Here we have a sighting that occurred around the first part of June, 1982.  Golf 01 is located southwest of Great Falls, about an hours drive from Malmstrom.  Golf just happens to be the 12th SMS's squadron command post.  What's not mentioned is who made this report.  Was it one of the missile launch crews?  One tends to think that it was, though its not mentioned precisely as coming from either the crew commander or his deputy.  Normally the 12th would have had it's own command post qualified crews assigned to Golf, but it would not have been uncommon to see other qualified command post crews from either the 10th or 490th manning Golf during an alert cycle.

Looking at the time of the incident, 2100 (9 pm), and assuming that it was one of the former launch crew filing this report to NUFORC on 4/22/2008,  how could they had seen the object, being underground in the launch control center pulling their alert?  Now it could have been possible that both crew members were topside due to the launch control facility shutdown for maintenance or a Rivet Mile upgrade, but that type of information is missing in the report. 

I thought it possible that two separate crews could have been on site for an exercise such as Global Shield, but Global Shield in 1982 was held in the later weeks of July, almost a full month after the sighting.  Wing Code change is a remote possibility, but  it's unlikely that two separate crews would have been dispatched to a launch control center to support such an operation, yet it can't be ruled out.

I believe that its more probable that one of the top side individuals (FSC, security teams, facility manager, etc) passed on this "sighting" to one of the crew members down in the LCC.  An object the size of a blimp floating (not in a hurry?) 100 feet off the ground for about 15 minutes would have been noticed by more than the site personnel.  I've not seen any other reports for that day and region that corroborates the story.  

At the time of this incident, I was a deputy missile crew commander soon to be assigned to the Lima Flight commander crew.  I do not recall this event discussed in any manner as I had numerous acquaintances in the 12th and assigned to Golf Flight.  However, with that said, I knew a 12th deputy, assigned to Golf during the time frame of this sighting, that would have been the type that the cops easily would have played a practical joke on.  But with the passage of time...who knows...maybe it was a blimp drifting over the site.  If this were a true (factual) story, I tend to think that it would have gotten out through various sources...too many people would have been in the know and people tend to talk.

As far as the Personnel Reliability Program (PRP), it was designed to ensure that those individuals (officer and enlisted) who had access to nuclear critical components were not under the influence of illicit drugs, certain prescriptive and over-the-counter drugs that would have adversely affected one mental faculties.  This also applied to stressful life events such as a death in the family, martial issues, and lastly an on-going medical condition that needed proper treatment.  

Strangely UFOs were not one of those psychological stressors.  Dealing with nuclear alerts, training, operational readiness inspections and juggling your family life was enough.  Most of us would have loved to have been sequestered in a cabin for three days getting a break from the day to day routine.  


  1. This is the part I like:

    "We did not I repeat did not report the incident to the base and instructed our security police not to report the incident.

    "Another missile crew a year earlier had made that mistake and the spent 3 days in a cabin being told they didn't see anything. People on the personal reliability program who launched nuclear missiles were not allowed to see UFOs."

    So, there's no report, no investigation, and no appropriate security assessment -- just another cute, little story that somebody pasted on the internet 30-years after the fact. Am I the only one getting bored with this crap?

    Tell me, Tim -- in the 1980s was it habitual amongst those serving to completely ignore an unknown aircraft that was only "100ft above the site" that "hovered over the site for approximately 15 minutes" before leaving to (apparently) check out some of the LFs? Can you imagine a more egregious security failure, let alone one that was adopted to avoid any of the ramifications attendant to that report?

    And this suggestion (as you noted) that "People on the personal reliability program who launched nuclear missiles were not allowed to see UFOs" is one of the most ludicrous motives for refusing to report an established but unidentified aircraft over a nuclear missile launch area that I have ever heard. The USAF wants people -- especially their own personnel -- to report UFOs that might represent a threat, and failing to do so should be a criminal offense.

    In addition (and please tell me if I'm incorrect here), doesn't the security police have their own chain of command, one that isn't superseded unless there is a genuine missile-based concern? How exactly do you order the security police to ignore their own duty? I think ANYBODY would be justified when ignoring such an instruction as an illegal command.

    You also make an excellent point when noting that "[a]n object the size of a blimp floating (not in a hurry?) 100 feet off the ground for about 15 minutes would have been noticed by more than the site personnel." The radar station watches would have freaked, and everybody would have known about this "UFO" within minutes!

    Forgive the tone, but this report stinks of bull****. It also hasn't escaped me that this description is almost identical to the "UFO" at F.E. Warren that had Robert Hastings cleaning out his shorts for so long. I'm willing to bet the source of this stink is at least associated with an old and familiar one that we've all grown to love...

  2. A quick P.S. -- This supposedly occurred during the the first Reagan administration; with him as Commander-in-Chief, I can absolutely guarantee that if there had been a policy requiring launch crews (or surface security personnel) to "ignore" UFOs to achieve approval on the personal reliability program, it would have disappeared entirely upon the President's review. He revamped the entire classified materials protocol for every unit under the Department of Defense more than any previous peace-time President before him (I'm discounting the Cold War, of course, as well as Reagan's "police actions" not sanctioned -- or requiring sanctions, for that matter -- by Congress). Something this significant would not have escaped his notice within the first 6 months of his term. This is just another load of B.S. used to stoke the fires of paranoia, and whoever reported it should be ashamed of himself for doing so.

  3. Well James, this little story is what it substance or meat on the bone. Even my wife who was a maintenance officer looked at the report and called it complete unadulterated BS.

    The cops would have been calling it in to wing security control and a flight security officer would have been sent to the LCF.

    I think I know who might have contacted NUFORC, but my wife gave me another name that might fit the bill. I'll have to do some more checking.

    Yes, similar to Hastings' FE Warren culprit.

    Anyway, its an interesting find.

  4. I like your wife -- I think she'd get along well with mine! And you're absolutely right; it IS an interesting find...

    Have you noted whether or not ANYBODY is taking this thing seriously?

  5. I never saw anyone reference this report. Hastings, back in 2009, somewhat agreed with me that the 1980s had little reported "UFO" activity associated with ICBM sites, and as far as I'm aware never mentioned this case.

    In the never happened, as far as I'm concerned.

  6. I was the on duty, Senior FSC at Tango-1 LCF (which was the command post for our 5 flight area: Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra and Tango) in 1974, at FE Warren AFB. I always volunteered for the night shift, 6pm to 6am. One particular night, while talking to another FSC at Romeo-1, he kept asking me over and over again, in-between our chit-chat if I saw anything, coming over the range where he was situated, and it was downrange from my LCF . Eventually I did see the UFO he was talking about which he never reported and I ending up doing. The craft hovered for over 2 hours, was 3 miles downrange from the LCF and made no noise. This even after my capsule crew down stairs was notifed, WSC was notified, I woke up the site Mngr., the site cook and we had both Night and Day SAT teams out in the field trying to get a better ID and description of it.In the end it went vertical and disappeared, when WSC at the base said that 2 F-4 Phantoms were dispatched from Denver to intercept this thing. When all 10 FSC's returned to the base after our 3.5 day tour, we all were sent to the SP Commander who made us all sign an affidavit, saying we didn't see anything. I made no illusion to my SAT leader at the time, that he had a right to protect himself and his member from harm. If deadly force was needed that night, we would have used it.

  7. Anonymous, thanks for commenting. I noticed that you wrote that the "craft" was 3 miles downrange from Tango. Based on that distance, how could you tell that it was a craft? Omitted from your comments were key descriptions such as the shape, color, glowing/non-glowing, etc.

    What was the closest time line of the, month, approximate time of day? Do you recall, as best as possible, what your dispatched security teams described regarding the object...and was this broadcast via radio back to you?

    You state that all 10 FSCs (2 each per LCF) were required to sign an affidavit. Why all ten...was this object/craft detected over/near all of the squadron's flights?

    You'll have to forgive me for all of my questions, but they are necessary when trying to make sense of any sighting. BTW, I don't discount that something was sighted, but what actually was sighted is the question. Your use of the term "UFO" is appropriate based on your's and others inability to identify the object.

    Thanks for an interesting accounting, I'll try to find other information regarding your experience.

  8. To Anonymous: I've got to admit, I have a lot less patience with stories like the one you relate here than Tim does. You discuss an event nobody can possibly verify, raise the issue of an affidavit that has no legal purpose, no remote use for anybody who wants to prevent your story being told or - heaven's mercy - believed, and then you make the claim anonymously! Did you stop yourself for just a moment before sitting down and collecting your thoughts just prior to writing up this load of tripe to consider the effect that would be produced if someone in the USAF stated for the record that they observed a UFO hovering over U.S. nuclear missile emplacements for over 2 hours in 1974, and a number of other witnesses did as well, and the USAF did nothing very effective local to the sighting, no jets were scrambled except a couple of F-4s from Denver that can never be confirmed (because there's no date, and it's Denver), no actual security measures undertaken (although you did wake up the cook - good job there, pal, God knows you need to keep your strength up for those long hauls), and the whole thing was a grade-A mess the likes of which not even Gary Trudeau could imagine - and then lo and behold, someone from the USAF stands up in front of a bunch of cameras the next day and says, "he's lying and we can prove it; just look at this affidavit he signed a couple days later, after his 3.5 ended (they didn't even bother to relieve you of duty after this supposed security violation on a U.S. nuclear command for God's sake!) affirming that he did not really see anything of interest! And look! They all signed it! All 10 of 'em" Can you think for a moment how stupid that would look? Are you so completely brainless that you expect someone to believe this nonsense? You claim that "If deadly force was needed that night, we would have used it." You don't think that deadly force was necessary because an unidentified craft was hovering without making a sound over a nuclear weapons facility for over two hours? It doesn't sound to me like you served even a single day with USAF missileers. Oh, and just as a side issue, you can't be compelled to sign an affidavit, and only an idiot would sign one that wasn't true in order to protect the legal interests of somebody else! It's clowns like you that make it so easy for us to state that only idiots would believe this UFO-Nukes crap. Thanks for that, by the way - and please don't think that I'm the only one possessing the good manners to thank someone for a job well done. I'm sure lots of others appreciate the humor of it nearly as much as I do, because you represent such a good object lesson. (Tim, if you think my comments are a little out of line, please feel free to delete them; sometimes it's just too hard for me to remain silent, as you well know, and I'm certainly not the most disciplined of your many fans, so I do expect on occasion to be pulled back from the fray).

  9. I was a FSC at Golf Control in 1969-1970 and when I sent the SAT Team out to check an OZ alarm that would not reset at Golf-2 at 2 am they saw a flying disc hovering over the Launch Site.

  10. OK...what base? Freudian question for was your relationship with your SAT members?

    Did you really believe them? Did you file any reports?

    And finally, did you yourself see anything?

    Your comment tells me very little as you can tell from my above questions. Perhaps the SAT was slightly pissed having to strike the site, then having to wait for a camper team to arrive before being released to return back to the LCF. That makes for one long night for a couple 19-20 year olds.