Sunday, September 18, 2016

Hastings' Critique of the Critique: Convenient Omissions

Robert Hastings has responded to my review of "UFOs and Nukes" and not surprisingly he takes exceptions to my commentary.  I had praised Robert for the efforts that he and his production crew had put into the project, yet this aspect of my review either went unnoticed or ignored.  Overall, Hastings' reply was a delightful read.

Rather than comment on all of the elements of Hastings' response, I wanted to focus on two individuals that appear to be the major thrust of his reply:  Walter Figel and Henry Barlow.

Both Figel and Barlow play a pivotal role in Hastings' Echo Flight story.  Walter Figel, the Echo Flight Deputy Crew Commander, made statements to Hastings that he received a UFO sighting report via SIN line from a maintenance team member while Echo's launch facilities were dropping into No-Go status.  He would further claim that one of his security response teams would later report a UFO hovering near or over one of the launch facilities. Which LF in particular is never made known.

Robert Hastings brings up the numerous statements of Walter Figel that he had taped and presented on his own site UFOs and Nukes and that on  What Hastings failed to note was that Walter Figel would later change his story.  I've provided a few blog articles that revealed this inconvenient fact.  There apparently was a riff between Hastings and Figel as shown below, more than likely due to the conflicting accounts given to Robert Salas and Robert Hastings.  Below is from a series of questions that I had posed to Hastings some while back on an article posted on the UFO Chronicles.

 Robert Hastings:  "Figel, after accusing Salas of making up the UFO-related events at Oscar, as you mention above, never acknowledged that he had been wrong when he said that Salas’ statements were fiction, never called Col. Meiwald (whose number I provided to him) to verify the authenticity of Meiwald’s tape recorded comments in support of Salas—which contradicted his own uninformed opinions entirely—and frankly, never had the decency to apologize to Salas, even after Col. Meiwald supported Salas without reservation.
Figel’s tendency to talk out of both sides of his mouth is one of the reasons he was not initially invited to participate in my press conference—where seven USAF veterans *with backbone* stuck to their stories and talked in detail about multiple UFO encounters at ICBM sites, including the Echo and Oscar shutdowns.
With this caliber of witness (seven of them, actually) at the press conference, why would I include Figel, who told me on tape that he didn’t want to get caught up in the debate between you and me and fan the controversy further? That kind of wishy-washy attitude didn’t make the cut. (all bold typed by TH)

TH:  Why was Walter Figel missing at the press conference, since he is Robert's star witness? Perhaps Robert would be willing to explain this oddity as this has been a mystery to me and others.

RH:  Figel chose not to attend the event, despite a written invitation from me to do so. (TH's emphasis) Following his detailed, tape-recorded admissions to me--in 2008, 2009, and 2010--about a UFO presence during the Echo Flight shutdown incident, he explicitly told me, after the last conversation, that he didn't want to get further involved in my disclosure efforts, which is his prerogative. Hence no affidavit from him and no participation in the press conference.

Nevertheless, every time I posted our taped conversations online, Figel was immediately provided with the link to them. He never objected to my doing so or disputed anything I posted, written or taped, relating to his remarks to me. His silence these days--toward me and James Carlson--is indicative of his desire to say no more.

Jesus, like he needs to! Listen to the tapes, Tim. He has already provided the facts and stands by what he says.

BTW, only you and James Carlson call Figel my "star witness". Actually, most of the other individuals who participated in the press conference had more important things to say than Figel. The same goes for dozens of other veterans--among the nearly 130 I have interviewed since 1973--who have gone on-the-record about the UFO-Nukes Connection.

That said, Figel is indeed the most important source relating to the Echo Flight shutdown, given that he was there, and took the call, when the guard reported the UFO hovering over one of the missiles, just as he was there during the debriefing when he and Eric Carlson were told by their squadron commander not to discuss the incident. Which, by the way, is the reason debunkers like you and James Carlson are desperately attempting to discredit Figel's candid statements to me.

So this from our "film maker" who stands solidly behind by one of his solid witnesses.  I'm wondering how this treatment would be viewed by Hastings' other witlessness, or... are we dealing with Ufology's version of Stockholm can go figure.

I've always contended that Walter Figel's absence at the 2010 press conference was suspect and possibly due to a riff with Hastings.  His story was only that he had heard of a UFO sighting by a maintenance team on one of Echo's Launch Facilities (LF).  Walter Figel saw nothing himself.

Robert Hastings has "pasted" together a UFO story based solely on Figel's receipt of a phone call (SIN line).   Who and when was the phone call issued is still a mystery.  The 341st Strategic Missile Wing's Unit History makes no mentioning of any maintenance teams in the flight area during the shutdown.  The Unit History goes into depth concerning the the launch crew (Carlson and Figel) as far as debriefings by wing evaluation personnel, yet nothing is mentioned about the debriefing of any missile maintenance teams or site security teams.  Were there any teams actually on site?  Or, perhaps Figel received the call from one of the responding maintenance teams, such as H. Barlow's, thus setting off a possible prank morphing Echo into missile folklore?

This brings up the statements made by Hank Barlow who was an EMT team member responding to the Echo Flight shutdown.  One must understand that my opinion has somewhat changed over the past few years based on an in-depth reading of the 341st SMW Unit History.  Nowhere in the Unit History is there ever a mentioning of maintenance and/or security teams out in the flight area during the shutdowns.

Hank Barlow's statements now need to be re-evaluated in lieu of the lack of no maintenance teams in the Echo flight area.  By being at Mike-01, his team was only approximately an hour away from Echo and may indeed have been one of the first EMT teams to arrive in the flight area.  Barlow's team could have easily left Mike around 0900 and arrived at the first Echo launch facility between 1000 and 1030.  Carlson and Figel would have still been on duty.  If Barlow's team was being processed onto one of Echo's launch facilities, then Eric Carlson would have been involved and heard the radio/SIN line conversations.  This would explain why Carlson never heard of any UFO reports.  Per Barlow, his team never saw anything unusual and went about their task unhindered though dead tired at the end of the day.  In a strange twist of irony, Hastings may well be right (for the wrong reason) that Hank Barlow's team was the first to arrive in the Echo flight area.  Barlow still remains one of many who heard of rumors of UFOs from a long forgotten source, yet he admitted that he saw nothing.  During the 27 September 2010 press conference held in D.C., Barlow was absent and it now appears that he never signed an affidavit affirming his story.  Was he asked by Robert Hastings?  If so, did he refuse?  It is highly possible that Barlow knew that his team was initially the only maintenance team on any of Echo's LFs which further calls into questions Figel's interview statements recalling maintenance teams on his sites prior to and during the shutdowns.

Robert Hastings conveniently hides another series of facts from his readers and documentary viewers regarding the Echo Flight crew commander, Eric Carlson.  Hastings and Salas paint this picture of a lone Walter Figel battling UFO reports striking down 10 nuclear tipped ICBMs forgetting that there was someone who was in command of the situation.  Hint:  it was not Walter Figel.

For years Eric Carlson has been silent on the issue of UFO activity.  He has consistently denied any UFO reports or involvement in the shut down of the ten ICBMs.  In the 2008 Hastings interview, Figel is notably interested in the contents of a phone conversation which Hastings had with Carlson.  Per Hastings, Carlson said little other than to state that UFOs were not the cause of the shutdowns, but Figel's noticeably interest in the phone conversation as to what Eric Carlson specifically said is interesting.  The response from Figel gives the appearance that he was uncomfortable about Eric Carlson's reaction.  Was Figel concerned that Carlson would contradict his version of events?  It would appear so.

Carlson did provide an interview with Ryan Dube of Realityuncovered. Carlson stated that no reports were called in.  He did not receive any calls radio/SIN related to the sighting of a UFO over any of his launch facilities, this also includes any conversations with security personnel.  For all of the focus on Figel's activities on 16 March 1967, per the Unit History (pg. 36) Carlson was the first to see the faults and subsequent No-Go indications.  He told Dube that he was actively running his checklist and making the applicable reports.  One interesting bit of information is Carlson's relating to a call from SAC HQ querying the launch status of the ten ICBMs.  Contrast this to Figel's interview with Salas where he states that he (Figel) was sent to Offutt AFB to brief SAC officials on the shutdowns.  Carlson never makes that claim.  Carlson goes on to state that by the end of the day everyone (Malmstrom and Great Falls) was aware of the shutdowns, "talk of the town" and he was playfully subjected to innocent teasing from his peers.  Could this squadron camaraderie have been the initial source of playful UFO "rumors" that eventually filtrated back to maintenance teams, contractors and security personnel out in the field, or those soon to have dispatch to the flight area?

Robert Hastings states in his reply to my review:  "...Tim Hebert, wrote a critique which, not surprisingly, contains a number of factual errors, convenient omissions and other misrepresentations."  I've provided a few tid bits of facts for people to look at for their consideration.  Facts that Hastings has kept hidden.  His "convenient" omissions.

Note to reader:  re-established Hank (Henry) Barlow link, or:


  1. The whole issue of dishonesty in the claims of Salas & Hastings just stands out as such an obvious factor to the claims they make, that it's stunning anybody would ever consider this a valid UFO case. They don't have a single UFO report anywhere in the entire state of Montana during the Echo Flight incident of March 16, but plenty of documentation proving the electronic character of the missile failures – such extensive documentation that there can be no doubt at all as to the cause of those missile failures. At the same time, we've got a series of UFO reports about 150 miles from Oscar Flight – UFO reports that have so much in common with a series of easily constructed UFO hoaxes that had been published throughout the country in the preceding two months with actual instructions on how to carry out such hoaxes – but not even a single mention of equipment failures at any of the Malmstrom flights for March 24-25, the date of the dubious & inconsistent claims being made for Oscar Flight – a lack of documentation you made very clear to Salas when he tried to establish his claims as valid evidence. We've actually got a memorandum drafted by the command UFO officer stating in no uncertain terms that there were no equipment failures at all on the date that UFOs allegedly shut that entire flight of missiles down! I don't think I will ever understand how anybody could possibly see these cases as anything other than what they clearly are: a mish-mash of lies, convoluted accounts, & clear attempts to studiously hide aspects of these cases that prove the actual nature of the claims. Hastings' dishonesty in particular is of the most egregious nature. As you make clear in your numerous articles, at every point, he fails to even mention the most important & easily proven aspects of these cases in the knowledge that doing so makes mere garbage of his UFO claims. In the long run, a liar is a liar is a liar. He has no defense & his attempts to create the story will never give him the reputation of an exceptional researcher that he so clearly lusts after. When you invent a story that is so absent of fact, the only reputation you'll ever get is that of a fraud & a liar, which is exactly what he & Salas have earned. You have done a great job showing the cheap strategies they use to sell these fraudulent claims. Their conduct is so irresponsible. What makes them so particularly deserving of contempt is the fact that they have to KNOW they're lying. This isn't an accident of bad memory or too much evidence to properly examine. They make a point of supporting their claims with documents that are extremely informative, & yet they pick a single paragraph to support claims that the documents as a whole discount entirely. They're just extremely dishonest, because they can get away with it. Their primary audience neglects the application of sense & logic. Just because you're capable of taking advantage of such people, doesn't mean you should. To be frank, I wouldn't have much of an issue at all if they were merely making claims on the basis of conclusions honestly reached. That might establish poor research or analysis, but it wouldn't make them bad people. I'd properly ignore them, just as I tend to ignore so many other people – it's beneath you to argue the point. Hastings & Salas, however, are intentionally lying, & that's an altogether different issue. They have earned contempt. I just love it that your first argument details all of those matters they are very well aware of & have chosen to purposely ignore. They won't even raise the issue to defend their claims! They can't. It points to their weakness as researchers & their dishonesty as authors.

    James Carlson

  2. James,

    That's the main reason for high lighting the true flaw in the Malmstrom stories. Malmstrom is supposed to be the ultimate linkage to Hastings and Salas' stories yet it's the weakest...which they have to know, but refuse to acknowledge.

    Without a credible Malmstrom event, everything else crumbles in their world.


    1. Off topic... If / when time permits, shoot me an email. Although I'm not a Ph.D or an M.D., everyone on the 9th floor called me "Doc". Expected you to still be buried in a missile silo, but you were surprisingly easy to find.

  3. I guess by now you've heard about Robert Salas asking folks for $$ so he can conduct another press conference with four witnesses regarding the UFOs of March 1967 - same old song and dance, new repetitive chorus, I'm sure. I expect we'll be seeing something from you on it; looking forward to it.

    James Carlson

  4. James,

    No, I've not heard this. Could you point me to the source?


    I did a Google search on "Malmstrom UFO 1967" for the past month and found it; it's dated Oct 30, 2016 and starts off: "I am asking for your donations to help fund a press conference of four important witnesses to the 1967 Malmstrom AFB, Montana UFO/Missile shutdown".

    Pretty ballsy after everything's been said and done, but I suspect he wants to defend Hastings' film. His last message sent to you is the first time I know of that he's responded to any of his critics; his normal signature is complete silence.


  6. Salas has one BIG problem. Paul Kimball relayed to me sometime ago that Salas claimed that most, if not all, of the Oscar story was "uncovered" during a hypnosis session. Plus, he made claims that he was later abducted by aliens. Sort of a buzz kill for credibility.

    If he has four witnesses, then why waste the time and money for a press conference. All he has to do is provide the names with written testimony and have Frank Warren or Hastings post it to their respective sites.

    I'll take a look and see what comes up.


  7. Well I found it. Appears that he has raised $765 with the goal being $15K. As usual he is shooting for a venue at the Washington Press Club on 16 March 2017, the 50 year anniversary of the "incident." Its unclear whether his four witnesses will be used to support Oscar or Echo. I'll keep track of events. Let me know if you come up with anything.