I've quietly been looking at the Minot AFB UFO(s) sightings occurring back on 24 October 1968. Honestly, its been an on/off effort as other personal events and work schedule have intervened and side tracked this project. That's not to mean that nothing has been done on my part, but simply it's been a much slower process than I originally anticipated based on my daily schedule performing the roles of husband, father, and Psychiatric Registered Nurse. Throw in my daughter's pending marriage into the mix...the reader should be able to get my point.
With the above excuses/justifications said, the reader should review the case as presented in various reports. Thomas Tulien has produced an impressive body of work for the Sign Oral History Project. Tulien's in depth work can be accessed here.
UFO Casebook Files has a rudimentary description of the B-52 radio transmissions, but falls short of providing any meaningful context to the incident. Further, missing is the missile maintenance personnel's written accounts per their AF-117s. Yet, somewhere in the Casebook Files, I thought that more had been written about this case.
The 90-plus pages of the official Blue Book investigation can be accessed at Fold3. The numerous completed AF-117s provided by the eye witnesses are available. Also included are the official message traffic generated by SAC, ADC, and FTD (Wright-Patterson AFB, OH). Of equal, if not compelling value, are the Memo for Records generated from the numerous phone calls between Minot, SAC HQ, and FTD.
I suggest that to save yourself the time and aggravation just go to Tulien's site as he has incorporated all of the Blue Book documents (and more) in a more friendlier format for easier reading. I've verified that Tulien has all of the documents and pertinent maps as listed on Fold3.com.
The focus of my work will center around the final Blue Book conclusions. That is, does the final conclusions make logical sense. My initial read of BBs 13 Nov 1968 conclusions leaves me with the sense that it's somewhat wanting for the most part. When I read the entire report, I couldn't help but see the lack of follow-up by both FTD and Minot's UFO Officer, LtCol Werlich.
The reader also needs to understand that I was not a pilot or navigator. My knowledge of radar operations is relatively poor. I did have the opportunity to sit in the pilot's seat of a B-52D at March AFB back in the late 1970s, but that does not qualify for any meaningful knowledge base of practical experience other than to provide knowledge of the cramp confines of the flight deck. I do have experience in using UHF radio equipment since the missile launch control centers were equipped with numerous radio systems, including UHF.
Below is the key points of BB's conclusion:
1. Ground visuals appear to be the star Sirius and the over flying B-52. The missile maintenance teams AF-117s show that this may indeed be possible as stellar objects tend to be misidentified and the characteristics of the phenomena observed was that of the B-52. Yet the question remains, did they misinterpret stars and the aircraft for a UFO(s)?
2. The B-52 radar contact and temporary loss of UHF transmission could be attributed to plasma/ball lightning. This one bothers me due to the rarity of such a phenomena. I get the impression (right/wrong) that this contributory theory was just thrown into the mix.
3. The B-52 visual observation was the star Vega, ground light, or plasma. This is an odd set of conclusions, but I believe that I have a good candidate for what was actually seen from the cockpit of the B-52. The clues are embedded in the case files and appeared to have been glossed over during the investigation. Plus there is a psychological component that was innocently introduced.
4. The break in of Oscar-07 was not related to the event. I tentatively agree with this conclusion.
So, there you have it! A brief preview of the case and hint of methodology. Hopefully, I'll be able to present my final product in the coming weeks barring any distractions.