Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Minot AFB 1968 UFO Incident: The November Flight Security Response Team, Part 4

The last Minot posting looked at the observation given by the November Flight Security Controller, SSgt James Bond.  At some given time of the observations by the missile maintenance team enroute to N-07, Bond would have dispatched his security response team, A1C Joseph Jablonski and Gregory Adams.

When reviewing SSgt Bond's AF-117 and later 2005 interview by Tom Tulien, there is a matter of confusion regarding the actual physical location of the Adams and Jablonski. Bond's AF-117 gives the impression that both men were physically located on N-01, the Launch Control Facility.  Bond's interview with Tulien states that both men were off site.

If we are to go by A1C Jablonski's AF-117, he makes it clear that he and Adams are on N-01 which confoms to Bond's AF-117.  In a 2005 interview, Jablonski states that he and others (Adams, and off duty SAT) where outside looking at the lights.  Based on this information, it can be assumed that both Adams and Jablonski were physically on N-01 prior to being dispatched to N-07.

Adam's AF-117

I've chosen not to delve into Adams AF-117 content due to it being almost identical to that of Joseph Jablonski's observation.  My initial comparison of the two led me to believe that Adams merely copied Jablonski's AF-117.  Tom Tulien and I have discussed this in the past and I believe there is agreement that this was more than likely probable.  Adams' AF-117 can be viewed here

Jablonski's AF-117

His AF-117 annotates that he first saw the object at 0308 and his visual observation ended at 0518.  Per a diagram which he drew the object/light was first observed some 9 miles S/E of N-01 [N-07 would have been seen somewhat in the S/E, 10 miles away from N-01].  A second diagram shows the object/light 2-3 miles S/E when he and Adams either arrived at, or where on site at N-07.

Per Jablonski, the first observation showed the object/light to be 30 degrees above the horizon in a SSE direction.  His last observation showed the object/light to have descended 15 degrees above the horizon in a WSW direction [assuming this vantage point from N-07?].

Jablonski, dispatched to N-07, is the passenger in the vehicle moving at 30 mph.  He and Adams apparently stopped along the way and object/light not affected by the actually movement of the vehicle. [This assumes that Adams is driving and both agree to make a quick stop for visual observations]

Annotated is the fact that he is aware that a B-52 has been diverted to the general area. The aircraft is first seen and heard approximately 35 minutes after the first sighting of the object. [approximately 0343?].  The object stayed basically to the SE, while the B-52 was in the direction of S/W.

Duration of the sighting lasted approximately 2 hours off and on.  Jablonski based this time line on the length of time while out on dispatch.  The object appeared as orange-red, seemingly switching to almost completely white with some green also seen.  This pattern was not always the same.

The object first appeared to hover then move slowly.  It would speed up alternating in color. The light would vanish but return some 5 minutes later.

When first dispatched to N-07, another object exactly the same appeared out of the east and had picked up speed in a path moving towards the other.  Jablonski never saw the tow objects join or meet as the second object disappeared and no longer could be seen. [the B-52?]

The night was clear with a few stars visible.  There was no moon light.  Major sources of illumination was the vehicle head lights and the site lights on N-07.  The object was self luminous with glowing orange-red, white and green which alternated at times.  The object appeared solid although not very wide and slender is shape.  The edges were fuzzy.  The lights were much too bright to determine an exact shape.  This object appeared much too bright to be a star.

What drew Jablonski's attention to the object/light was other people had brought it to his attention.  Although he had not seen it immediately, others gave a good estimate of location. It reappeared 3 or 4 minutes later and was quite bright and gradually weakened.

Prior to returning to N-01, it caught our attention again.  This time WSW in location.  It appeared as before starting bright orange-red to white and finally to green.  The object was stationary at times appearing 1000 feet above ground.  Green light started to diminish slowly till no longer seen.

Just prior to his sighting, the diverted B-52 in the WSW, the object had descended gradually and for 1 to 2 minutes had appeared to be obstructed by trees.  [The B-52 is seen WSW. Jablonski is the first witness to describe that something on the ground blocked the view of the object:  trees.]

The object appeared to be solid matter.  The illumination rendered no logical shape to be determined.  It appeared quiet slim and not very wide. [Description of B-52?]  Object appeared to move more the westerly direction until the last and final illuminations at 0510. Lasting until approximately 0518 when it could no longer be seen.  Estimated speed of the object was 70 knots with a distance of 3-5 miles.  The object made no noise and left no physical trace.

As to the alternating illumination, particularly the white, it appeared as two or three automobile headlights.  When the B-52 had flown its search, it had been using its landing lights which were quite similar in nature.  As to avoid confusion between the plane and the object, Base Ops had pointed out where and when we saw the B-52.  Must add that the B-52's engines could be easily heard while the UFO made  no sounds to be heard at the same distance.

The object had various maneuvers which occurred basically in one general area.  It stayed pretty well SSE of the launch facility, but had several times started northwards and westwards always returning to its previous SSE position.  For some reason it appeared to be traveling (trying to), but never did see it take the direct path. 

When the B-52 flew in the vicinity (SSE) it was no longer seen in that location. [Assuming he meant the object]  When he started leaving back to N-01, B-52 already left the area.  Object approximately west.  Object remained until it finally disappeared about 15 minutes later. 

Jablonski lists on AF-117 that A1C Adams, SSgt Bond, A1C O'Connor where with him. [Bond while at the LCF]

Report made to SSgt Bond on 24 Oct 1968.  AF-117 completed 25 Oct 1968 

End of AF-117 content.

Notes of interest

1.  Sighting duration lasted about 2 hours, 0308-0518.

2.  Object seen from the LCF and LF in a S/E direction.

3.  May have been seen SSE, then last seen WSW.  Isley's AF-117 states that object seen due East then S/E.  Isley states that object last seen from N-07 SE of site.  Why the difference, as both Jablonski and Isley were on N-07 together and would have been observing the same object(s)?  Different object versus that of confusing the B-52 as the object?  The object stayed in the S/E while the B-52 was primarily in the S/W.

4.  Object changed colors, orange-red, white then green.  Jablonski could not discern any shape.

5.  Object appeared to stop/hover.

6.  Jablonski says the night is clear.  What happened to the hazy conditions as previously reported?

7.  N-07 had its site lights on with head lights from vehicle.  Did these sources of light pollution hamper the observation of the object in question?

8.  Object disappeared in WSW location.  Noted to be the same general area as that of the B-52.

9.  When comparing AF-117s of those who where on or near N-07, there is apparent confusion of the object versus that of the B-52.  Jablonski's AF-117 does not match up with the maintenance team's observation, yet all were eventually on N-07 observing something in the sky.

10.  Jablonski's entry in section 15 appears to describe the profile of the B-52 with its landing lights illuminated.  The B-52 made noise, as well it would, but no noise came from the object/light.  Is it reasonable to infer a stellar source or something else?

Jablonski's AF-117 provides good details of what he saw that night.  Granted, its different from O'Connor and Isley's observation in many ways.  It's unfortunate that A1C Adams did not render an independent description of his own observation as this could have provided other details that either corroborated or differed based on his perception of the event.

Its interesting that there is some disagreements with the direction of the observations.  I'm not overly concerned whether someone observed something S/E of their location while another saw the same phenomena SSE.  Both directions tend to be basically the same to the casual observer, plus I'm sure that Jablonski/Adams and O'Connor/Isley did not have a compass on hand obtaining precise coordinates.  

The same could be said of the elevations listed above the horizon.  These figures were more than likely established through best estimation and/or using a possible landmark as a frame of reference.  Not to mention that these figures were derived some days after the incident relying then on memory recall.  In a memo for record, LtCol Werlich provides some details as explaining to the ground observers how to estimate elevation and direction.

What did strike me was that four individuals differed as to the final location of the sighted object.  Jablonski/Adams state the object is last seen WSW of N-07, while O'Connor/Isley saw the object last S/E.  The two directions are significantly different and to add to the mix that the B-52 was either S/W or WSW of N-07 leads to the possibility that the aircraft may have visually supplanted the initial observed object.

After another review of Jablonski's and Isley's AF-117s and plotting the initial and last observations on a map the observations may actually be fairly similar respective to both observers.  It becomes readily apparent that both are describing an initial observed object (East or S/E of N-07) and then go on to describe an object flying south of N-07 in a westerly direction.  The only difference is the final observation point listed by both individuals.

Comparing Lloyd Isley's and Joeseph Jablonski's Sightings.

Above is the estimated point of initial observation of the object/light that O'Connor and Isley observed approximately midway between N-01 and N-07 (5 miles).  The object/light was seen due east of their location apparently moving south at slow speed.

Above is the initial observation by Jablonski and others while on the LCF, N-01.  Object/light observed to be SE of the LCF.

The above is the initial observation (A) SE, and last observation (B) WSW of Jablonski and Adams while both on N-07.

The above is a overlay of both initial and last observations by O'Connor/Isley and Jablonski/Adams.  Note that I've included the due east initial observation that O'Connor/Isley stated in their AF-117, but the reader should know that this initial observation point was actually 5 miles north of N-07.

Yellow:  Joseph Jablonski's observational area.  A= first sighting, B= last sighting.
Red:  Lloyd Isley's observational area.  A= first sighting, B= last sighting.
Red Oval:  Isley's description of object in a circular orbit south of N-07.  Actual area size is questionable (could be larger) based on Isley's diagram on his AF-117.

Lloyd Isley states in his AF-117 that object first sighted due east while he and O'Connor where enroute to N-07.  While on N-07, he describes the object south of the launch facility in a circular pattern which I dubbed a "racetrack" or orbit.  Isley is very much aware that a B-52 is in the area.  It is possible that Isley is describing the flight of the B-52 which may have visually supplanted the object which he first observed.  Notice that the potential flight path of the object closely corresponds to the flight path of the aircraft which accomplished two passes near the launch facility, moving  SE towards the West then returning to the SE. Could this possibly have been the aircraft returning back to base?

From lloyd Isley's AF-117:

"We first saw the object to the east of us while we were traveling toward the site.  It started moving south.  We arrived at the site and then started observing the object from outside the truck.  It was moving in a large circular area to the south."

"The object had lights on the front like head lights or landing lights.  It had green flashing light toward the middle or rear.  I could not tell any shape or size."

"It came within hearing distance twice.  The sound was that of jet engines.  It was in this same area for two or three hours."

"When we last saw it, the object was in the SE and went low and out of sight."

Jablonski initially saw the object 2-3 miles SE or SSE of N-07.  He last observed the object WSW of N-07.

"The object had various maneuvers which occurred basically in one general area.  It stayed pretty well SSE of the launch facility, but had several times started northwards and westwards, always returning to its previous SSE position.  For some reason it appeared to be traveling but never did see it take the direct path."

"When the B-52 flew in the vacinity (SSE) it was no longer seen in that location."

What was being observed?

When taking into account the above information, we are left with three options:

1.  Stellar component which was proposed by Project Blue Book, yet later to be discarded by  Jablonski, Isley and O'Connor.  Sirius was prominent in the East and Rigel in the SE at 1 AM.  By 0300, Sirius would have been seen in the S/E and Rigel approximately due South. By 0500, Sirius would have been seen in the SSE and Rigel in the SSW. Both teams differ as to the elevation above the horizon for their respective reports. 

2.  The possibility that the first observed object eventually is visually merged with the presence of the B-52 which would account for the SE to W movement of the object. This could easily explain the observations that the initial object split into two separate objects seen south of N-07. 

3.  The object/light was neither a misidentified star nor the B-52.  This would correspond to what was perceived by all of the ground observers.  All readily acknowledged the presence of the B-52.  All stated that they would be able to discern a bright light to that of a star.

Another question arises from the combined observations.  All described the speed of the object/light as being slow or moving at 70 knots.  Later on in this blog series the B-52's radar would show that the UFO was maneuvering at a speed exceeding 3000 mph.  How does this conform to the ground personnel that did not describe an object moving at such high speeds?


  1. Hi Tim:

    The following link provides 5 maps of the ground observer locations with times, and 4 maps of the reconstructed timeline of the locations of the B-52. References from documentation to specific data is provided as links. Click on "next map" to proceed through the series.


    Jablonski and Adam's final observation was from 5:10-5:18 while on patrol returning to N-1 according to his AF-117. O'Connor's final observation is noted at 3:45, and Isley states that: "When we last saw it the object it was in the southeast and went low and out of sight," which is not inconsistent with Jablonski's "Just prior to our sighting the diverted B-52 in the WSW, the object had descended gradually and for 1 to 2 minutes had appeared to be obstructed by trees." The B-52 was first observed from N-7 in the WSW (according to our reconstruction) at around 4:00 and terminally landed at 4:40.

    Jablonski notes that he first observed the B-52, 35 minutes after his initial observation or 3:43. He also notes that "when the B-52 flew in the vicinity (SSE) it was no longer seen in that location." Smith notes 4:15, however, his initial observation is at 2:30 for a length of time of 1 hour and 15 minutes provides a time of 3:45.

    Kind regards, Tom

  2. Tom,

    Thanks much for your comment. I'll plan to provide a post, next, concerning Smith's observations.


  3. Tom,

    Didn't initially have the time to fully reply to your comment. I tend to agree with you in general principle that in their own way, as each separately described in their AF-117s, both teams described a similar "flight" path. The only difference is the last observed positions.

    What is interesting, to me, is Isley's description of the object in a circular/oval orbit south of N-07. Was this actually the aircraft that was under observation?.

    The plotted points that I had provided in the blog post may not be precise but shows the general direction/position of the initial and last sightings. I fretted somewhat with that, but came to a logical conclusion that the plotted points given on the AF-117s would have been as close of an estimation that each individual could obtain base on later recall.

    Best regards,


  4. You ask...“What is interesting, to me, is Isley's description of the object in a circular/oval orbit south of N-07. Was this actually the aircraft that was under observation?”

    Isley’s drawing is here at p. 9: http://www.minotb52ufo.com/pdf/0018.pdf

    In my opinion you are asking the wrong question. The more productive question would be where was the B-52 at 3:30. Or, better still, where was the B-52 from 2:15 until it’s terminal landing at 4:40? At what time did the B-52 return to Minot RAPCON control within the 50 mile radius?

    To explain the observations as a celestial object, or the B-52, would have been a simple task. Determine the locations of the B-52 over the timeframe, and record sighting data from all observers. Neither of which Werlich or BB seem to have done, or maybe it would not conform to their default explanations. For whatever reasons, Werlich only recorded sighting data from observers located north of the base (which is convenient for explaining the observations as Sirius, or the B-52).

    All Werlich would have had to do was ask Minot RAPCON for the information, since they were in constant control of the A/C and record/timecode all communications and positions during the entire period. But it appears that he did not bother to establish and record the exact time when the B-52 returned (though he inadvertently refers to a return at around 3:00 in reference to the first ground sightings: “The aircraft initially arrived in the area…at almost the same time as the first ground sighting” (p. 5 of the BRD). Again, he conveniently ignores the actual initial observations by Smith and the camper team [2:15-2:30] and O’Connor and Isley from 2:30-3:00). Since the UFO was observed from four LCF locations (N-Oscar; NNW-November; NW-Mike; and W-Juliet) then it could have been determined positively whether they were misidentifying a celestial object (if all reported the observations in the SE, for example). However, if it were an object near the base such as a B-52, than a timeline of the locations of the A/C would have allowed for a determination of whether the observers were misidentifying the B-52, and data from four locations could have been correlated.

    Werlich to Marano, Memo, 1 Nov. 1968 (p. 3): “Col Werlich said he was trying to take a positive approach towards this investigation. Almost 80 per cent were looking at the B-52. If you take a look at an aircraft at 20,000 ft, then you wouldn’t see much but I’m an (sic) to place logic in that it was there and what they saw was there. There is enough there that it is worth looking at. Nobody can definitely say that these people definitely saw the aircraft, but within reason they probably saw it.”

    In any event, B-52’s do not fly around (particularly in circles at low speed/altitude-the standard radius to turn a B-52 180 degrees is 6 miles and requires more than 5 minutes to execute) with their landing lights on unless they are on approach to landing at the base, in which case they would be descending toward Minot AFB from only one of two directions: 110/290. Aside from this, the B-52 would not be visible above 9,000 feet altitude since there was cloud cover from 9,000-24,000 feet that extended at least 50 miles to the NW. If it had extended this distance to the south it is unlikely that the observers would have been able to view Sirius due to the curvature of the earth. For example, Smith notes in his AF-117 that he did not see any stars.

    Regarding the temperature inversion as being significant to the observations see Martin Shough’s analysis in his report at: http://minotb52ufo.com/shough/ms_sec6.php#6-11.

    Kind regards, Tom

  5. No Tom, my question concerning Isley's description of a orbital flight path south of N-07 is a very valid. Isley provided no distinctive size in area of the orbit path which means that it could have easily conformed to the flight performance and restrictions as you had suggested meaning that the actual observed "orbit" could have been a much larger area than what is listed on Isley's AF-117.

    Both teams on the ground provided observations (I provided direct quotes from both Jablonski and Isley) that pretty much describes the characteristics of an aircraft with its landing lights on.

    Based on what you provided in your comment (I have Werlich's MFR too) Werlich pretty much came to the same conclusion that at a given point in time, the ground teams were focusing on the B-52.

    As I framed it in the post, there are three options to choose from...or a combination. I also posed a question as to the estimated speed of the object as moving either slow, 70 or 75 knots. Of course the B-52 would have had to been flying at a greater speed to avoid stalling.

    Smith, at Oscar, stated that it was cloudy, no stars, no moon. Yet the teams out at N-07 states some stars, or few stars, clear night, etc. A marked difference, but differences that could be rectified based on the geographical locations of the respective flight areas. Just a very late night thought on my part and could be way off base. I'll get the actual distance between O-01 and N-07 in the morning.

    Any ways, I thank you for your comment and wish you well.

    Best regards, Tim

  6. Hi Tim:

    I am not sure what exactly you are proposing.

    At 3:00 the B-52 is 50 miles to the east of the airbase apparently returning from Grand Forks at cruising altitude. Once they returned to Minot airspace they began to execute high-altitude work such as vertical S's and 60-degree bank turns, etc. with a block of 30-40,000 feet. Just to be clear, a B-52 does not fly around with its landing lights on, nor do the lights illuminate the fuselage. The lights are turned on (and off) during the checklist in preparation for landing and as I understand won't illuminate when the landing gear is up and locked. In this instance, when the B-52 lost radio communications and it seemed eminent that they would have to land the A/C without RAPCON, Runyon prepared for landing and turned the landing lights on so the tower personnel would be able to see the approaching aircraft. The observers at N-7 also saw the aircraft when it emerged under the cloud cover and Jablonski notes that he could easily hear the B-52 at a minimum distance of 6-7 miles. I would also add that the reference you note comparing the lights to automobile headlights is in response to a question that specifically asks the respondent to "describe a common object when placed in the sky that would resemble what was seen." Adams described this as "8 cars with bright lights all over them."

    How did you arrive at a speed of the object at 70-75 knots? The stall speed for a B-52 is 169 and the speed around the standard traffic pattern is minimum 180.

    Are you suggesting that the B-52 was flying the standard traffic pattern at 3:00? In any case, it would not have its landing gear down and the lights on until the prep for landing.

    Kind regards, Tom

  7. How come no one reported the B-52's flashing red navigational lights? Bond notes this in his AF-117 in reference to the "diverted B-52."


  8. Hi Tom,

    I'm merely proposing that at some point in time, the B-52 became the point of focus for the ground teams and visually supplanting the initial observed object/light. The AF-117s give me that impression. Werlich thought this to be the case in his MFR.

    As far as the speed of the object, I did not arrive at 70-75 knots...these estimated speeds were listed on the AF-117s of Jablonski and Islely. Of course this could not have been the speed of the B-52.

    You raise a good point about the B-52's landing lights and I have to agree with you on that point.


    1. Dear Tim;

      I understand. However, aside from two select observers statements that can be construed to support your thesis, what other evidence supports this? How the observers could supplant a fixed celestial object (point of light) with a roaring B-52 with red flashing nav lights seems rather absurd. For that matter, what evidence supports Werlich’s claim that almost 80% of the observers were looking at the B-52? This implies that the B-52 was visible to the observers for 2 hours or more, which is demonstrably not true. He says “within reason they probably saw it” but presents no evidence what so ever to support his frustrated claim. Of course, if it isn’t the B-52 then it’s a UFO, and given his task this conclusion was not acceptable. It must be the B-52 regardless of the evidence but to make this work he had to ignore the initial observations from 2:15-3:00, and the final observations after the B-52 terminally landed at 4:40 (as well as evidence of two UFOs, the B-52 radar encounter, loss of radio transmission, over flight of the UFO on or near the ground, and weather radar paint of the UFO that correlates with the B-52 radar echo. BTW: he is also reticent on the possibility that observers were misidentifying a celestial object). According to Bond’s AF-117 his final observation was at 5:34 and he noted that he was certain of the time (p. 3). In other words, the UFO was observed for 45 minutes before the B-52 returned to Minot airspace, and for 54 minutes after the B-52 landed. It was also not observable during its ascent to the WT fix and most of the descent back for about 14 minutes, until it emerged under the clouds and was readily identified by observers. There was no mistaking the B-52 which Jablonski “easily heard” on approach, and which Bond, from roughly 16 miles to the north, noted he was able to identify due to the flashing red nav lights (AF-117, 7). After this it passed by N-7 and remained at low altitude in the vicinity of the base, made two passes of the traffic pattern and over flew a UFO on or near the ground at around 4:26 until its terminal landing at 4:40.

      In addition, note that Werlich claims on Monday in the BRD:


      [IWerlich admits to Marano in the Nov. 1 Memo that it would be difficult to see a B-52 at 20,000 feet, but then claims “in fact” that the observers were viewing the B-52 at 30-40,000 feet, on a moonless night without landing lights, through 15,700 feet of cloud cover?].

      Moreover, three days later on Thursday he admits to Marano that he has not actually substantiated the claim based on evidence (nor intends to since submitting the BRD ended his investigative responsibility. Perhaps he expects BB to do so!): “The courses were quite varied over a couple hours and the aircraft took many courses. It will be interesting to crosscheck its path with RAPCON versus the ground observers. Most of the original sightings were of the aircraft.”


  9. There is a brief window of time when it is possible that observers COULD have misidentified the B-52, compared to the brief notations in the Base Operations Dispatcher’s log. This would have been when the B-52 made its initial approach to runway 29 (heading 290 degrees) from the southeast before flying out to the WT fix, 35 nmi to the northwest, and encountered another UFO on radar.

    Werlich further noted:


    However, overcast weather conditions were only from cloud tops at 24,700 down to 9,000 feet. Below the air was cool and clear with visibility at 25 statute miles—in which case identification of the B-52 on approach would have been excellent for ground observers. If conditions were similar to their later approach, the B-52 would have emerged below the cloud cover at around 9,000 feet roughly 18 nmi from the runway. [Perhaps this is your point of supplantation?]

    Following are the pertinent notes in the dispatcher’s log for comparison. Bear in mind, sometime after 3:30, the B-52 is high in the southeast on descent to the runway and on low approach directly over the runway at 3:44.

    For example,

    3:30. Just are in sight now when it passed over site it looked like two high headlights. Moving real slow when oversight [sic] — could hear engines.
    3:33. Disappeared – moved S/E to far from eyesight.
    3:36. Disappeared for three minutes then reappeared. Same spot and moving back toward N-7.
    3:38. Coming out of S/E once more.
    3:40. Hovering 3 miles away 1 to 2000 feet very dim white light.
    3:41. Moving toward N-7 again, light getting brighter. Hovering.
    3:42. In one position.
    3:44. White lights went out, green light on and moving rapidly now. Green light gone out and white light coming back on.

    Although the brief second-hand notations by the dispatcher are difficult to interpret, some of the descriptions present a possibility that the observers were reporting the B-52. On the other hand, these few minutes are the only time during the entire reporting period when a possible correlation exists. Moreover, what is particularly striking is the uniformity in the UFO descriptions from observers at diverse locations and perspectives, which do not suggest an aircraft (such as no reports of flashing red [navigational] lights). All of the reports describe a very large, self-luminous, round or oval-shaped object, which alternated colors from a very bright white to orangish-red to occasionally green, with an ability to hover, and change direction and speed abruptly. Aside from “large”, none that even remotely describe a B-52.

    Kind regards, Tom

  10. Tom,

    Thanks again for your comments. I'm merely looking at "possibilities" for I was not there back in 1968, nor have I established a line of communication with those individuals which you and Mr. Klotz had done.

    Again, is it possible that the initial observed object was of stellar origin? As of now, I believe it is possible...not definite, but merely possible.

    Same holds true with the B-52. It is merely possible that the focus switched to the aircraft...again, not definite, but possible.

    I plan to post on my blog to expand on this idea.


    1. Well, according to Werlich it was ENTIRELY possible and HIGHLY probable that the initial sighting and subsequent activities of the object were IN FACT the B-52. Though, I am suspicious of his superlatives. He is far less committed three days later while speaking to Marano and admits that his claim is not based on actual evidence/data while admitting “it will be interesting to cross check its path with the RAPCON versus the ground observers” (Nov. 1, Memo p. 1).

      He also says: “The courses were quite varied over a couple of hours and the aircraft took many courses.” More superlatives. First off, the B-52 was in Minot airspace for only 1 hour and 40 minutes (from 3:00 to 4:40). It arrived 50 miles to the east of the base at 3:00 where it remained “accomplishing upper air work” at a block altitude of 30-40,000 feet (BRD, 5). I recently asked Brad how much time they would typically spend doing upper air and he responded: “Time in upper airwork on normal flight would be none, but here we were checking out a pilot [Partin] coming from an older model B-52, so maybe 30 minutes on steep turns and vertical S’s.” Therefore, for the first half hour the observers would not be able to see the B-52, and certainly not south of N-7. At around 3:30 the B-52 would position itself in the SE at FL200 to begin its descent to the runway. According to the pilot-RAPCON Transcript, the B-52 is directly over the runway at 3:44 (see: http://www.minotb52ufo.com/pdf/discrepancies.pdf ) given clearance to 5000 ft. At 3:45 it is cleared to 20,000 ft (FL200), and at a climb rate of 6270 feet/min. would disappear into the cloud cover by 3:46. As I discussed in the previous post, from roughly 3:40-3:45 is the only time it would be possible for the observers to misidentify the B-52 (when it was preparing for its initial missed approach/low approach to runway 29). At 3:52 the B-52 is notified of the weather radar paint of the UFO at co-altitude (FL200) three miles to the right of the A/C, which begins the radar encounter with another UFO until 4:00-4:02, when the observers at N-7 report the B-52 as it emerges below the cloud cover in the WSW and watch it pass by on its way to the base (while at the same time reporting that the UFO in SE disappeared low on the horizon). BTW: Minot AFB was located approximately 20 miles to the SE and was not visible to the observers at N-7. See: http://www.minotb52ufo.com/narrative/section-3.php

      So yes, it is possible for a few minutes that the observers could have misidentified the B-52. But this possibility does not change the fact that they were also observing a UFO and that another similar UFO interacted with the B-52 during the same time period. If you think my interpretation of the information/data in the documentation is in error I encourage you to provide me with your perspective so that I can improve my methods and learn in the process.

      Regarding the initial observations, no. The initial observations were reported from three distinct locations by independent observers. Smith notes in his AF-117 at 2:15 the camper team to O-6 reported a UFO in the vicinity of O-6. At 2:30 he observes the UFO near O-6. Also at 2:30 O’Connor and Isley report a UFO east of their position that is exactly in line with O-6 and consistent with the other reports. These reports can be triangulated to establish an unidentified glowing object that O’Connor and Isley reported lifted up (between farmer’s lights) and transversed a distance of roughly 15 miles to a position south of N-7 where it remained until the B-52 appeared in the WSW on its descent to the base.

      Kind regards, Tom