Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Usefulness (or not) of UFO Witness Interviews

The 24 October 1968 Minot case has a dearth of information that one can sift through.  If we access the Blue Book case files on Fold, we have 90-plus pages of documentation. This documentation gives us quite a bit of information that attempts to describe what occurred on the night/morning in question.  It's as close to real time that we can get, or that we may ever get. Of course this could change should new revelations appear in the form of new documentation that were not part of the original release.

Yet despite the above hope for future document releases, we are faced with the fact that at this late point in time, 45 years, such discoveries will probably not be forth coming.  So the extant copies of the BB investigation documents are all that is provided for the researcher's attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Some months ago, I had tossed some ideas around with two friends concerning an approach to the Minot case.  It was the consensus from the two that I should only focus on the BB documents alone, that is, let the AF-117s speak for themselves, but there are usually other bits of information, separate from the official line, that tend to tell a story within a story.

The Pros and Cons of Witness Interviews

To the main point of this post concerning interviews conducted 30 to 40 years after the fact.   Are they relevant?  Not surprisingly, the answer is yes and no, but for various reasons.  The Fold 3 site only provides the official investigation documentation, but Tom Tulien's site,, has quite a few interviews that he and Jim Klotz had conducted over the past years with the principle players involved back in October 1968.  These have proven to be of interest in one fashion or another.

A sampling of the case interviews show predictable memory patterns.  
Specific details of thecase tend to be cloudy and vague with the conversations centering on generalities.  This is not to be construed as a negative take on my part, for it merely demonstrates the issues with long term memory recall.  Long term memory recall is often spotty for specific or precise details which the investigator anxiously seeks, yet the sought after detailed information remains allusive.

Despite the predictability of long term memory recall, there are some gems that I found interesting and germane to the case.  Lloyd Isley provides information about why he and Robert O'Connor where enroute to work on the site's cooling system.  This information was not mentioned in any of the BB documentation.  What is also learned is that O'Connor was the team chief.  This may have some bearing on the AF-117s that both produced back on 28 October 1968.

James Bond's interview (he being the November Flight FSC) makes it clear that the November Flight launch crew notified him of Isley and O'Connor's sightings, which means that the maintenance team initially by-passed contacting Bond via VHF radio...I found this odd from a protocol standpoint, but it does put the reporting timelines into prospective and provides some credence that O'Connor's listing of his seeing the object at 0230 (per his AF-117) may be somewhat accurate.  

Bond further states that the object did not fly around or near the Launch Control Center's hardened HF antenna as was reported in the Wing Security Controller log (he never stated this in his AF-117).  This confirmed my suspicions that portions of WSC log are suspect in it's narrative accuracy and has to be taken with a grain of salt. 

Bond gives the impression that the SAT was already dispatched to the flight area to investigate the sighted object at his direction, but the AF-117s for the security team does not support this.  I suspect that the reason for the SAT being sent to N-07 was at the direction of the launch crew. The crew had the ultimate authority to dispatch the SAT by declaring  a security situation.  It is possible that the crew called a low grade security situation thinking that the team may have been under duress.

Bond's interview, in total, shows normal recall issues that we would expect over the passage of time.  Despite some short comings, Bond does provide information that clarifies some of my questions. Overall, this was a credible interview with decent information.

This brings up William Smith, the Oscar Flight FSC, who provided information that was both good and suspect.  Smith's recall, from a long term memory construct, was appropriate as he detailed his career in the Air Force.  He provided excellent rote recall regarding the procedures for entering the LCF and a LF as far as the authentication process and the access to the A-circuit.  As to be expected, details were sometimes spotty concerning 24 Oct 1968.  Again, I view this as a normal consequence based on the passages of time.

Smith brings up that the FSC's office had a flight security status panel that monitored each LF's security.  I immediately took notice as I know from personal experience that such a system was never in place topside, but was monitored solely in the launch control center.  Yet, despite my belief that no such monitoring system existed, I had contacted an acquaintance of mine who was a Minuteman I crew member assigned to Minot from 1969 to 1973 and queried about Smith's claim.  My contact had happened to still have his Minuteman I dash-1 Technical Order (TO-1). The TO-1 confirmed my suspicion,  the FSC's office only had a circuit panel box, fire alarm panel, telephone/VHF flight security monitoring panel.  

Does this mean that Smith made things up?  Not necessarily, for it's possible that Smith may have mistaken a "panel" for a map of the flight area which the FSC would have marked, with grease pencil, showing who was on a given LF(s) at a given time ie, maintenance/security teams allowing the FSC to keep track on what was occurring in his flight area.  This map usually was hanging on the wall adjacent to the FSC's desk.

Smith further demonstrated recall issues concerning the status of O-6 and O-7.  Per the WSC log, O-6 had a Camper Alert Team on site.  O-7 had the issue of the site intrusion.  Smith appears to say that a Combat Targeting Team may have been on O-6 who may have also observed an object in the nights's sky.  None of the documents that I've read confirms, or even hints, that a Combat Targeting Team was on site.  I can't help but to believe that this would have been highlighted in the investigation documents and message traffic up channeled to SAC and 15th Air Force. The same can be said of his claim that low level radiation readings were measured by an officer investigating O-7's break in.

These are but a few of the examples I use to show that witness accounts some decades after the fact provide both credible and equally questionable information. Yet despite the passage of time, they all consistently hold to the fact that they saw something in the night's sky 45 years ago. There are other interviews that I've not commented on, but will do so with a future post. 

Addendum:  Tom Tulien, in the comment section, corrected me concerning Smith's statement that an officer went out to O-7 with a geiger counter.  It is indeed mentioned in one of the BBs Memo for Record that LtCol Werlich had planned to go out to the site with a geiger counter to take readings. 


  1. "The following conclusions have been reached after a thorough study of the data submitted to the Foreign Technology Division.
    The ground visual sightings appear to be of the star Sirius and the B-52 which was flying in the area.
    The B-52 radar contact and the temporary loss of UHF transmission could be attributed to a plasma similar to ball lightning.
    The air visual from the B-52 could be the star Vega which was on the horizon at the time, or it could be a light on the ground, or possibly a plasma."
    - Project Blue Book.

    I have to think of Leslie Nielsen when reading this. (I am serious. And don't call me Shirley.)

    The bomber didn't go below 10000 feet until 4:00AM, it couldn't have been seen from the ground before that. Isn't it so ?

    Yvan Defoy. (kolyma)

  2. Kolyma,

    "The air visual from the B-52 could be the star Vega which was on the horizon at the time, or it could be a light on the ground, or possibly a plasma."

    I will say this, BB was wrong on this portion of the case...but there is a logical prosaic explanation, which I'll present later.

    1. Looking forward to the logical prosaic explanation. Since we don't know what the crew ate during the mission, "everyone who had fish for dinner ..." is clearly out.

  3. Hi Tim:

    I hope you won't mind if I address a few points in your post as time permits.

    Regarding Smith, you state:

    "Smith further demonstrated recall issues concerning the status of O-6 and O-7. Per the WSC log, O-6 had a Camper Alert Team on site. O-7 had the issue of the site intrusion. Smith appears to say that a Combat Targeting Team may have been on O-6 who may have also observed an object in the nights's sky. None of the documents that I've read confirms, or even hints, that a Combat Targeting Team was on site. I can't help but to believe that this would have been highlighted in the investigation documents and message traffic up channeled to SAC and 15th Air Force. The same can be said of his claim that low level radiation readings were measured by an officer investigating O-7's break in."

    Re: the Targeting Alignment Team.

    Smith is the only source for this though Bond also provides a reference. The camper team had only one of two reasons for being posted at O-6. Either the security apparatus was malfunctioning, or they were providing aboveground security for an exposed nuclear weapon, which means that work was ongoing below ground. The WSC does note the camper team observation while omitting the time. Who was responsible for the summary and why no time indication? (Since the WSC notes the initial obsession at 3:08 this implies that the camper team's observation was after 3:08). I assume that this is a result of the fact that Smith reported the observation between 2:15- 2:30 to TSgt. Bowles at WSC, while Bond reported at 3:08 to SSgt.'s Neal and Underhill. Perhaps a shift change? The official documents incorrectly state the initial sighting by the maintenance team at 3:08 (WSC),; the Base Ops dispatcher's log begins at 3:00 (after O'Connor and Isley's initial report to Transportation Control and subsequent transfer to Base Ops --before entering the site and reporting to Bond per protocol- and their AF-117s); and Werlich establishes that the initial observation by the maintenance team at 3:00 in the BRD. Why would Werlich ignore the info in several AF-117s that multiple observations by independent observers occurred from three diverse locations between 2:15 -3:00? During this time, the object was observed traversing a distance of about 15 miles from O-6 to a position south of N-7 by the maintenance team. (See: MAPS, Minot AFB Case Maps, #1 and #2).

    I should also note that Bond recalls his launch crew informing him of the following situation:

    BOND, (page 15) "Yeah, kinda in that area, and at that time I did not see anything. I went over to the window and I turned my lights off inside the room—so I didn’t, because with the lights on, you couldn’t see outside, really. So I turned all the lights off and after a while, I got, yeah, I did see something over there, so I called them back and told them about what I saw, about the light and they told me, well, believe it or not, there’s a maintenance crew over there that’s really scared out of their gourds because this thing is right in the area where they’re at, and they’re trying to do a reprogram on one of the birds that’s in one of the holes over there—and I thought that a little strange.
    TT You would know about that?
    JB Um hum
    TT You would have been notified that they were doing that particular type of work?
    JB Well, only if it was on our site in November.

    More following...

  4. Re: O-7 radiation readings.

    Werlich informs Marano that he intends to go to O-7 with a geiger counter...

    MEMO, 1NOV. 1968a, Werlich to Marano: "Look on map, half way down the runway, TACCAN, 320 radius, 16 nautical miles. There is nothing there that would produce this type of light. The same for O’Connor and Nicely [sic] from November 7 which is near Grano. I have gone over that are [sic] with a chopper. This weekend I would like to go down with a Geiger counter and go down to the OSCAR 7 break-in."

    Kim Werlich (Flippo): page 5:

    "KF: I do remember something else that he had said too about that. I want to say that he went out there with like a Geiger counter or something like that—and that the measurements, you know, were just way off the chart."

    Melody Werlich (Gibson): page 10:

    "MG: And he talked to them by phone from our home. At the base, it was in the evening, of course, and I remember him going out there, but I don't remember if he actually saw anything other than he told me that—I guess they went—the lid to the missile was open?

    JK: Yeah, we're getting two variations of that.

    MG: And that they used—it was like a Geiger counter maybe? And it was either the Alpha wave or the Gamma wave, whichever one is not a normal occurring thing and it was that particular wave that they picked up, yeah.

    JK: In his report he talks about flying out in a helicopter the next day and looking at the location where the B-52 people saw this object.

    MG: That makes sense, yeah.

    JK: But it seems to me that he said he wanted to go out there with a Geiger counter.

    MG: Well they did.

    JK: Yeah, well that's what your sister recalls also.

    MG: Like I said, I can't remember which particular Alpha wave or Gamma wave, you know, is the most prevalent, it was the other one, the one you don't really find very often—is the thing that was around the fence around the fence particularly, at the missile top—it had moved the slab—

    JK: Yeah the blast door—the silo door—

    MG: —extremely heavy—and that some dial was turned but there were these Gamma waves or Alpha waves that were real apparent."

    Kind regards, Tom

  5. Hi Tom,

    Let me address your comments in order:

    1. I believe that in the interview, on pg 7, Jim klotz asked Smith a hypothetical question concerning Combat Targeting Teams which lead into a discussion of Camper Alert Teams. I have to assume that either you or Jim had another source stating that there was a CTT on O-6. What is documented is a CAT on O-6. Starting on pg 14 Smith morphs from talking about CATs in general, then making a statement about a targeting team seeing something....I'm sorry Tom, this appears to be a mental add on that is suspect, in my opinion.

    Bond merely gave you an opinion on why a CAT team would have been at O-6 and they were valid opinions, but he, being at N-01, would not have been in a position to state what the actual reason for a CAT in another flight.

    As far as his recall of a possible team on a November LF doing a "reprogram", I see nothing to add credence to this statement. Again, such information would have been provided in message traffic, logs and so forth. Tom, such is the fallacy of interviewing someone 30 years after the fact. It's a hit or miss proposition.

    CATs were used for the primary purpose of providing security for an LF that had a malfunctioning security detection system which was generally a cycling or hard outer zone issues that failed to reset. If the issues involved both inner and outer zone security issues, then two camper teams would have been posted on CAT for each malfunctioning security zone. Could the CAT at O-6 provide security for a maintenance team penetrating the site (needing access inside the silo)?....yes.

    2. My thoughts are that Bond called WSC at 0308 after being notified by the launch crew of the O'Connor and Isley's observation, based on your interview, or maybe O'Connor's AF-117 is accurate when he wrote that he contacted the FSC at N-01, then Bond would have first, notify the launch crew, then second, call WSC. I see no hard evidence that the CAT on 0-6 called anyone.

    Smith's AF-117 is clear as to when he became aware of the object in question, "I was notified it had been seen in an adjacent area..." Notice Smith said "adjacent area" and not his "flight area". The adjacent area was November flight.

    True, Smith further added in the AF-117, "...I alerted my sentry. I directed my gaze south of my position and saw the object. About 15 minutes after my sentry sighted it." What is meant by "sentry"?...SAT or CAT on O-06?. Maybe it was the CAT, because in Smith's AF-117 he writes that the SAT was with him for the duration of the observation.

    3. Your are correct about Werlich telling the BB guys that he planned to go to O-7 with a geiger counter and I missed that one, so I'll add an addendum to the post.

    Kind regards,


  6. Hi Tim:

    Re: your addendum to the original post.

    Smith is referring to a Lieutenant that was sent by the 91st SMW later that same day (Oct. 24) to investigate the break-in at O-6. He recalls personally meeting the Lt. on site, at O-6, and was present when the Lt. discovered the radiation anomaly.

    So, he is not referring to Werlich, per se. But, it does appear that someone else must have visited the site with a geiger counter and discovered the anomaly, and subsequently informed Werlich of such, for Werlich to have any interest in visiting O-6 with a geiger counter.

    Kind regards, Tom

  7. Tom, I noticed that Smith, in both interviews, mentions specifically a Lt (not LtCol) and assumed it to be a maintenance officer. That brings up the question, what could have caused the readings? Smith stated that the officer found low (trace?) readings in a circular pattern in the parking or service area of the LF.

    I'm speculating here, based on the location of the readings, it is possible that it could have been "left overs" from the last RV swap that was done on site. MMT would have parked the trailer (van) holding the RV in the service area awaiting the completion of EMT work associated with the missile's guidance system.

    Obviously, we would have to know when the last RV, guidance system swaps were accomplished for the site. But the above scenario is possible.


  8. Sorry, I wanted to clarify. Smith's Lt, could have been from one of the maintenance squadrons, or from Wing Safety office. Perhaps Werlich had contacted the above to go out to the site and get the readings.


  9. Tim:

    Could have been from the 91st MIMS. I don't know who would be tasked with this sort of investigation. Would it necessarily be a commissioned officer? The low-level radiation detection in the staging area is no more than a curiosity without further information. It does, however, add a mysterious element to the story, as does the comment provided by Werlich in the BRD (7-8) "NO TRACKS, PRINTS OR IMPRESSIONS WERE FOUND." [WTF? How about the tracks, prints, and impressions left by the SAT team, accompanied by Smith, that struck the site at around 5:00 a.m.? Werlich also informs Marano in Memo, 1 Nov 1968a: "that a Lieutenant examined the area the next day and could find no evidence of cars, tire tracks, footprints, etc." Marano also requested that Werlich forward the results of the break-in investigation but it would seem that he never followed through.

    In any case, after 4 a.m on the morning of Oct. 24 during the UFO events, someone with a key drove to O-7, unlocked the padlock on the front gate, went to the personnel access hatch adjacent to the missile, unsecured and raised the weather cover, and turned the combination lock dial off of its setting before exiting the site. They obviously wanted to activate both Outer Zone and Inner Zone alarms in order to draw immediate attention to the site, since activating the IZ was a clear indication of an intruder.

    Quite the coincidence with everything else that was going on that morning! Werlich informs Blue Book that it was common for disgruntled AP's (Air Police=Security Alert Team [SAT]) with keys to the missile sites to do this and that it was not a serious offense. Huh. Logic suggests that a commander ordered someone to go to O-7 (which also happens to be one of the closest and most easily accessed sites from the base) and trigger the alarms for reasons that I could only speculate about.

    Kind regards, Tom

  10. Tim writes:
    "James Bond's interview (he being the November Flight FSC) makes it clear that the November Flight launch crew notified him of Isley and O'Connor's sightings, which means that the maintenance team initially by-passed contacting Bond via VHF radio...I found this odd from a protocol standpoint, but it does put the reporting timelines into prospective and provides some credence that O'Connor's listing of his seeing the object at 0230 (per his AF-117) may be somewhat accurate."  

    Hi Tim:

    I think that you are misinterpreting the sequence, which is understandable from reading Bond's recall beginning at page 15 of the transcript. For example, in his AF-117 Bond states what initially drew his attention to the phenomenon: "Attention was first called by a maintenance team at the Launch Facility." Both Isley and O'Connor indicate that they reported to N-1 FSC, while Isley also indicates that they reported to Base Operations. As I interpret it, following their initial observation in the east at 2:30, 5 miles north of N-7, they called Transportation Control to inquire whether any helicopters or other aircraft were in the area, and were informed that there was not. Transportation Control transferred them to Base Operations, who further confirmed that there were no aircraft in the area and maintained an open line of communication for reporting over the next hour, and following that with the Nov-SAT team until at least 5:10 (according to the Base Operations dispatcher's log with an initial entry at 3:00). After arriving at N-7 they remained for a short time outside on the access road observing the object circling about 2 miles to the south (according to Isley). After a while, O'Connor entered the site and support building in order to report to the FSC Bond per protocol. It was at this time that they informed Bond of the object. (I assume at 3:04-3:05 based on Jablonski's AF-117 that states he first observed the object 3-4 minutes after other persons brought it to his attention; and Adams who states "a maintenance team working at November 7 called over the radio."). Bond and his SAT observed the object at 3:08 (per all AF-117s) and Bond reported to WSC who stated: "At 0308 hours the initial report was received from a maintenance team enroute from Nov- 8 to Nov-7. An A1C O’connor was the maintenance Team Chief and he stated that all members of the team observed the lighted object. They further stated that it was reddish- orange in color, a very large object, with flashing green and white lights. After they entered N-7 LF the object came directly over head with the sound of jet engines."

    On page 15 of Bond's interview we begin discussing the actual UFO events, and he starts with a recall of being notified by his capsule crew of an observation in another flight by a "maintenance crew over there that's really scared out of their gourds because this thing is right in the area where they're at, and they're trying to do a reprogram on one of the birds that's in one of the holes over there—and I thought that a little strange." Obviously, this sounds very similar to the situation at O-6 as recalled by Smith. The location of Bond's observation of a light would have to be either Mike and Oscar flights and he recalls it being in Mike. Following this he seems to jump ahead in the sequence of events bypassing the initial report by the maintenance team at N-7 (per his AF-117), the initial observation at 3:08, and the dispatching of the SAT to N-7.



  11. Tim writes:
    "Bond further states that the object did not fly around or near the Launch Control Center's hardened HF antenna as was reported in the Wing Security Controller log (he never stated this in his AF-117).  This confirmed my suspicions that portions of WSC log are suspect in it's narrative accuracy and has to be taken with a grain of salt." 

    Hi Tim:

    Questioning the "narrative accuracy" is perhaps not the appropriate term unless you are simply referring to the attribution of the event to November flight, which is obviously inaccurate. The question here is why would the 91st Wing Security controller concoct a fairly detailed story (see following) and choose to include it in a selective-type document intended for his superiors?

    "SSgt Bond the FSC at Nov Flt stated that the object which looked to him as the sun, came near the hardened antenna at Nov-1. It then moved to the right and he sent the SAT out to check and see what it was. The object then moved about one mile away with the Nov SAT following. They came within 1⁄2 mile from where it appeared to be landing. When it reached surface the lights became dimmer and finally went out. After this they could see nothing."

    Kind regards, Tom

  12. Tom,

    I admit that O-7 is an "odd duck" in the story. It's relevance, or contributor, to the observations in total is yet to be determined in my opinion. I still cannot totally rule out a security exercise conducted by a roving Flight Security Officer. Such things occurred on a regular basis...yet I freely admit that it's a stretch based on the lack of such an exercise being documented.

    Now we have to go back to the premise of my post (which started this lengthy discussion). The quality of the information gathered from the interviews provided both good information, clarifications, yet at the same time, provided information that is "cloudy" and somewhat confusing. Again, this is to be expected.

    There are other aspects of your interviews that are of interest to me, not mentioned in the post, that cover the rumor aspect of the case...all pointing towards O-7. This is a psycho-social aspect of the case. A story within the story which shows the "real" tangibility of the case from a psychological standpoint effecting a select group of individuals back on the base (Minot) who had nothing firsthand to do with the overall observations. I'll explore that subject in future post.


    1. You mean the unimaginative stories of UFOs hovering over launch facilities extracting energy, or altering launch codes, and disabling launch capabilities that lead to the belief that benevolent aliens are sending a message concerning our use of nuclear weapons? Personally, I like the one in which servicemen congregate outside in lawn chairs to drink beer and watch UFOs flitting around the missile complex.

      But my favorite was told to me during an interview with a communication specialist who worked at White Sands in the early 60s. I have no reason to doubt his memory claim. He recalled that UFOs over the test range were a regular occurrence. If they appeared when a test was in progress they were instructed to stop the test and wait to restart until after the UFO left the area. Otherwise, if the UFO would not leave, an interceptor was sent up from Holloman to chase the UFO away. I imagine that the UFos had a base south of Holloman around Orogrande and used the test range to conceal their comings and goings. Sweet, right under our very noses!

      Kind regards, Tom

  13. Dear Tim;

    I do want to respond to the methodology suggested by your two friends at the beginning of your post.

    I question whether focusing merely on the PBB documents would establish a useful approach. But I can certainly understand that not everyone possesses a concern for historical methodologies, and in particular issues with contemporary history. I might add that the INVESTIGATION section of the web site does tend to focus on the transactional documents, though not without the aid of the interviews in seeking a valid representation. The fact is, this case is valuable since it provides an additional body of primary documentation that has the ability to reconstruct the entire events independent of the official documents, (in addition to, a body of memoranda of the personal interactions of investigators, and quantitative data in the form of the radarscope photos). The case is a single event within the much broader historical context of the USAF involvement with the UFO phenomenon, and a grasp of that history is relevant in assessing the reliability of the documents and motivations of the producers.

    Regardless of the source, the task is to distinguish the significant from the insignificant.

    From the intro to INTERVIEW section:

    Although oral history is subjective interpretation, it is eminently valuable in recovering levels of experience and understanding perspectives that are not normally available to historians. Whereas, an oral report can conceivably be a true description of an event, its validity won’t really be tested unless it can be measured against another body of evidence. On the other hand, a statement is not necessarily more accurate or true if written down at the time than if recalled later in testimony. Written documents possess immediacy and are uninfluenced by subsequent events; however, the documents can be incomplete, in error, or even written to mislead. In this particular case, the cumulative recollections coalesce to form a general narrative of the events, which reveals significant information that is unavailable or missing from the official record.

    Kind regards, Tom

  14. Furthermore, the communications transcript notes the weather radar detection and location of the UFO in relation to the B-52, though Col. Werlich seems to remain ignorant of this fact.
    During a conversation with Blue Book staff on 31 October, Werlich insists that the only radar detection of the UFO was by the B-52, stating that ADC “do not remember having any unidentified paints. The only one I have is the one on the plane.”
    Later, after receiving supplemental information, which included the transcription, Blue Book staff attempted to contact Werlich twice to request information on the weather radar detection of the UFO, but ultimately received no response.
    The paucity of information in this respect seems intentional, especially since a target tracked by multiple radar systems would lend considerable weight to the argument for an airborne, radar-reflective object.

    The usefullness (or not) of Project Blue Book.

  15. Kolyma,

    I'm aware that BB gives you a rash. I'll post about it later, but since you brought up the weather radar data, or lack of, explain why you believe this to be nefarious on the Air Force's part. Was this not Werlich's responsibility to track this information down? This is of course assuming that such data did indeed exist and wasn't erroneous reporting to begin with. Was the RAPCON radar data altered, or NORAD radar data altered to show no return? The "missing" weather data becomes defacto irrelevant to the case. But it does provide good "speculative" cocktail party discussion fodder.


    The methodology approach discussion was just that....a discussion with opinions. Based on previous cases that I looked into, I find that the interviews conducted years later are of some value. The interviews that you and James Klotz conducted provided a degree of veracity, that is, all of those who were out in the field or who crewed the B-52 still upheld the views that they saw something. Since no one really changed their minds, then minus a few clarification remarks, the interviews are basically done with in my mind and it's now on the the AF=117s. That doesn't mean that I don't have a secondary interest in the interviews, because there is another facet of the case that reveals a psycho-social aspect that I enjoy playing with since I work in psychiatry.

    I have to be honest with you, I'd almost would be willing to chunk the rest of the case and dive into that area. Have you ever considered that the true story of Minot may actually lie hidden in your interviews? You may well be surprised at what I've found. But that's for another time and place.

  16. Tim:

    I would prefer if you were, so why not this place and time? It seems you may be wasting your time looking at the evidence so why not just reveal your solution?


  17. Tom,

    Your misunderstanding me, or my poor attempt at explaining. I work in psychiatry and I have a very active interest in the psycho-social aspect of any UFO case. To a degree, the Minot case has quiet a few of these golden nuggets. Please don't misunderstand, I'm not saying that any of the witnesses/observers are "nuts" or "mentally unbalanced." Far from it. These witnesses definitely saw something, there appears no dispute in that regards. The question, for me, is what did they see?.

    The way that I'm going about this is to question the BB conclusions, not the (your) witnesses. I've no reason to question their veracity. They've made no outlandish claims. They conformed to the reporting protocol that was in place in 1968.

    Jesus, Tom, I thought I was clear a few months ago. But allow me to state again my approach as stated in my first Minot blog post:

    "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."

    I don't know how much clearer than the above that I can be.


  18. Hi Tim:

    Quintanilla's final report "conclusions" are a potpourri of possibilities and probabilities that can only be justified as a result of a lack of sufficient information. My favorite being "it could be a light on the ground." In fact, the singular conclusion of their evaluation recorded in the year-end statistical data simply lists the case as identified by radar analysis as plasma.

    It is interesting that Poher was able to describe the loss of the B-52 radio transmission in terms of plasma physics. And, Quintanilla was inspired by Klass to initiate a UFO-plasma project within PBB. (See:

    Whether buoyant plasmas can naturally exist in the lower atmosphere is an unanswered question. The Condign report theorizes about electrical plasma effects as being a cause of UFO sightings but does not provide details of the conditions for the manifestation of a phenomenon that is observed so infrequently as to make them unique to the majority of observers. Housein Turner provides quite a few possible examples of plasma formations in the lower atmosphere at:

    My reply was to the final paragraph in your post above but i guess we will have to wait for the revelation.

    Kind regards, Tom

  19. I hope you will not "chuck this whole enterprise".

    Kind regards.

  20. Nope, I've invested a lot of time into this one. I see that you've been over Rich Reynold's site. The Roswell affair has turned into quite the circus. As I had commented on a previous post on ufoiconoclasts, it's pretty much a circular firing squad. Yet, it's entertaining.