Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Minot AFB 1968 UFO Incident: Oscar Flight FSC William Smith...Part 5

The observations of an unusual object/light which was observed in the early morning hours of 24 October 1968 was not strictly an issue involving November Flight.  Oscar Flight's FSC, William Smith also had reported visual observations from his location.  

William Smith's AF-117 and later 2001 interview provides a description of a light source low above the horizon seen SSW of his location at Oscar Flight.  Based on the physical orientation of the LCF, FSC's office facing due south, Smith would have had a clear view from his office windows.

William Smith's AF-117

Smith states that his observation occurred between 0230 and 0415 on 24 Oct 1968.  He drew a positional map were the object was seen south of O-01.  Both his initial sighting and last observed location (A and B) show a light source SSW and 15 degrees above the horizon.  Smith drew a zig-zag pattern of the object's movements.  He observed the object off and on for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  The movement was steady and smooth rising slight. It would disappear completely at times, fade or dim.

The night was completely overcast, no stars, clouds, no moon.  The only lighting source was the security lighting on Oscar's LCF.

The phenomenon appeared to be  reddish burnt orange.  Smith saw it fade and change as a star might twinkle.  He also noticed a slight hint of green, but burnt orange was the dominant color.  The object appeared as a star would appear on a clear night.  No edges were visible from his position.

What drew his attention to the light source/object was his being notified that it [object] had been seen in an adjacent area.  He then alerted his sentry and directed his gaze south of his position and saw the object.  About 15 minutes after my sentry had sighted it.  I was visible one moment and just vanished.

It appeared star-like with an unknown angular size.  Smith drew a diagram showing the object moving east and west.  Speed estimated at 75 knots and at a distance of 10 miles.

The object resembled the planet Mars as it is while rising on the horizon.  It was similar in color and size.  It would fade from view.

Smith had never seen a phenomena like this.

Smith had his security response team with him.

Reported his observation to Wing Security Control (WSC) 24 Oct 1968.

He completed his AF-117 on 26 Oct 1968.

End of AF-117.

Items of Interests

Smith states that the object/light was seen SSW of his location which would have been in the direction covering a portion of both November and Oscar Flight, but he gives the impression that his security team first spotted something due south.  This gives the impression that two separate objects at separate locations were observed, but Smith never states that he saw two objects.  Was his sighted object south or SSW of his location?

If it was solely SSW, then this would have been in the general direction towards N-07.  If the sighting was actually due south then this would have been in the direction towards O-6. Confusion or two separate objects?

Smith lists his first observation at 0230, but WSC's log shows that Oscar reported at 0320. This is almost a difference of an hour.  It's possible that Smith was observing something and it came into his view about the 0230 time and made the call to WSC later at 0320.  Despite this possibility, November Flight made the initial call to WSC at 0308 and Smith wrote that he became aware of the object due to being notified it was "seen in an adjacent area."

What is meant by "adjacent area?"  Smith never clarified, but the area adjacent to Oscar Flight was November Flight.  There was a Camper Alert Team (CAT) posted on O-06 at this time and some have speculated that this initial report might have originated with this security team.

"I was notified it had been seen in an adjacent area.  I alerted my sentry.  I directed my gaze south of my position and saw the object about 15 minutes after my sentry sighted it."

Per Smith's AF-117, his security response team was with him on site at Oscar for the entire duration of the sighting.  Smith makes no mentioning of the CAT on O-06.  Did Smith receive a call from November and had his on-site security scan the sky in the direction of November Flight and they spotted something and reported this to Smith?

Or, did Smith receive the report from the CAT posted on O-06?  The WSC log lists the CAT on O-6, but did not list an observation time.  This can be interpreted that the CAT did not report any observations to WSC or Smith leading to the plausible conclusion that Smith's security response team reported the sighting to him.  Of note, LtCol Werlich never had the CAT members fill out a AF-117 meaning they had nothing to report, or they were simply forgotten about.

In an interview with Tom Tulien conducted in 2001, Smith made a vague statement about the possibility that a Combat Targeting Team was on either on O-6 or O-7 and that they had seen a large glowing light.  The problem with this statement is that there is no documentation available to support this possibility.  The WSC log shows no additional security personnel posted on O-7 nor is any reference made confirming a Combat Targeting Team on any site within both November and Oscar flights.

Smith makes no mentioning of the B-52.  In a interview with Tom Tulien, Smith states that he did not see the B-52, but he was notified by Oscar's launch crew that the aircraft "was going to the area."  This is reasonable since the wing command post would have notified all of the launch crews whose flight areas the aircraft would have overflown. Further, the crews would have been directed to what UHF channel to monitor for radio traffic.

Correlations with other observers

Smith's SSW point of observation would have been in the general location of N-07.  For a stellar possibility, none seem to fit.  Rigel would have been somewhat SSW of Smith's location, but only at around 0500 and much higher in elevation above the horizon.  At a point in time, one wonders if he may well have seen the B-52 and not realizing it.  

This brings the issue of the physical intrusion onto O-7 into the picture.  Who or what was responsible?  Smith makes no reference to this incident in his AF-117, but the incident is up channeled and provided to PBB.   Was 0-7, along with the B-52 radar contact, the driving force behind SAC HQ's push for answers?  I will post a separate blog article, because this segment of the Minot story intrigues. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

It came out of the sky...

I am a big fan of Creedence Clearwater Revival.  I'm fortunate to own all of their vinyl albums, all in storage back at the family home in Texas.  John Fogerty is/was a master at weaving the blues theme into rock music.  His music was timely and captured the pulse of the nation back in the late 1960s to the mid 1970s.

To me, Fogerty's lyrics are a sociologist's dream, as he explored the psyche of a nation during the political upheavals and socio-economical impacts of the Nixon era.  The nation was starting its slide into a deep recession, an unpopular war raged on in Vietnam, and the Cold War continued to cast a shadow of fear and doubt...we all were experiencing the blues. Fogerty penned these collective emotions to paper and then to music.  My god, he could sing the blues...our blues...

Back in 1969, CCR released their album "Willie and the Poor Boys" with much acclaim and success.  One of the album's songs is relevant to the topic of UFOs.  "It Came Out of the Sky" speaks of the hysteria of society and the reaction of government/media/religion as all attempt to capitalize on this collective hysteria.  Fogerty penned a parody that humorously captured this theme.  I loved it then and still love it now.

To listen to the song, go to youtube.  Here are the lyrics:

                                             "It Came Out Of The Sky"                                                     
Oh, it came out of the sky, landed just a little south of Moline
Jody fell out of his tractor, couldn't b'lieve what he seen
Laid on the ground and shook, fearin' for his life
Then he ran all the way to town screamin' "It came out of the sky."
Well, a crowd gathered 'round and a scientist said it was marsh gas
Spiro came and made a speech about raising the Mars tax
The Vatican said, "Woe, the Lord has come"
Hollywood rushed out an epic film
And Ronnie the Popular said it was a communist plot

Oh, the newspapers came and made Jody a national hero
Walter and Eric said they'd put him on a network T.V. show
The White House said, "Put the thing in the Blue Room"
The Vatican said, "No, it belongs to Rome."
And Jody said, "It's mine and you can have it for seventeen million."

Oh, it came out of the sky, landed just a little south of Moline
Jody fell out of his tractor, couldn't b'lieve what he seen
Laid on the ground a shakin', fearin' for his life
Then he ran all the way to town screamin' "It came out of the sky."

Did Jody see and recover a meteorite, or something else?  I'm leaning towards a meteorite, but take notice that scientist claimed it was "marsh gas."  Reference to Project Blue Book or academia in general?

Why would Spiro (Spiro Agnew, Nixon's Vice-President) give a speech to raise the "Mars tax" for a run of the mill meteorite...or was it something else?  

Ronnie the Popular (Ronald Reagan) said it was a communist plot, linking the "event" to the Cold War.  Now this would appear to rule out a simple meteor.  What could those dastardly Soviets been up to?

What ever it was, it was enough to cause Jody to fall off of his tractor and run screaming into town. Despite this great awakening moment, capitalism wins the day as Jody was willing to part with it for $17 million.

Its a period piece of satire, but it humorously illustrates how ridiculously we tend to react to something unusual. Should this be Roswell's theme song?  Based on the current state of affairs with ufology, researchers should take solace...Fogerty sings your blues.

Note to reader:  Lyrics obtained from and can be seen here.