Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Resetting the stage for Minot 1968

November 01 Launch Control Facility - Minot AFB

Since it has been some time that I've posted about the 1968 Minot UFO case, I thought that it would be helpful to re-establish some of the key segments of last posts.  This provides a sense of where my thoughts were at that given time.

It is interesting for the reader to note that there where errors discovered in my star locations at certain points of the the night in question...this brought out by Tim Printy: 

"Your elevation angles for Sirius at 0300 is wrong. It should be about 19 degrees. I also think your azimuth for Sirius is wrong for 0100. It is way to far East.It should be ESE or SE (azimuth of about 123 degrees). Not that these values are that big a deal but I know how certain individuals like to harp on small details like this to make it appear the larger work is flawed. I am sure it was an honest mistake in the way you ran the astronomy program."

I have to admit that I was slightly taken aback by Printy's comment especially at the possibility that I may have intentionally manipulated data to fit my theory.  This was my reply to Printy:

"Tim, thanks for the info and input. The elevations for 0300 and 0400 for Sirius and Rigel were obtained from PBB data. Who ever computed the elevations at Wright-Patterson listed Sirius at 28 degrees above the horizon at 0300 L.

If you ran a program that shows differently, then you discovered a flaw in PBB's analysis, which eventually goes to one of my hypothesis that the entire investigation from Minot and W-P AFB was less than pristine.

As far as my 0100 azimuth for Sirius, your probably right as I had used a star chart for 24 October that was not as accurate as I had liked. You'll notice that in the post I listed some of my locations as "approximately" because of the lack of precision. I had believed that it was within the ball park. It was my intent to show that Sirius was in the general vicinity regarding Isley's and O'Connors initial observation times. Simply, I got to cute with the chart that I had at hand.

I'll take your figures and supply another chart in an addendum post as I value your expertise in the matters of astronomy.

Thanks for the constructive critique!"

The initial data that I had used was the very data that PBB had used.  How PBB obtained their data is unknown at this time.  With the data supplied by Printy, I re-calculated the positioning of the known stellar objects for the night/morning of 24 Oct 1968.  This information was provided in an addendum post.


When looking at the key principle's AF-117s, I have to take into account three possibilities:

1.  The ground observers, primarily O'Connor/Isley, Jablonski/Adams and Bond/Williams, saw lights and/or an object in their respective flight areas.  The possibility exists that this could have been a mis-identified star...possible, but not certain.

2.  At a given point in time, the B-52 visually supplants the initial object and the observers focus solely on the B-52.  I believe that this is possible, but not certain.

3.  The object is neither a star, nor the B-52, but of an unknown origin.  A UFO, if you will. This is possible, but not definitive nor is it certain.

Are the AF-117s accurate concerning the plotted directions and elevations of the object/light?  I tend to think not.  The observation reports were completed either the next day or a few days after the incident.  Werlich, per memo for record, had told the staff of PBB that he had to show most how to annotate the directions and elevations on the AF-117s.  If this is true, then the diagrams were best guesses based on memory recall.  Each observer perceived the event in a different way.

There is another AF-117, that of the B-52's pilot, Maj James Partin, that provides possible clues to his sighting that possibly discounts a UFO on or near the ground.  In my opinion, Partin's AF-117 does not corroborate the observations from the ground teams.  I'm not talking about the radar data, but of Partin's visual observations, what he saw with his own eyes. The radar data will be discussed in a separate post. 

Is a stellar observation possible?

This is what Blue Book proposed.  Unfortunately in today's UFO research climate, the mere mentioning of Blue Book tends to be toxic, but was a stellar component possible?  In order to answer this question we have to compare the ground observers' estimated plotted positions while on site at N-07 and the potential candidates for a proposed stellar observation.

What was the actual conditions during the night? This depends on the perception of each observer.  O'Connor listed the conditions as partly cloudy with nimbus clouds, a few stars, no moon. Isley wrote that the night was clear, few stars, no moon light.  Jablonski wrote that it was a clear night, few stars, no moon light.  The same for Adams.  Bond, at N-01, stated the night was clear with a few stars.  William Smith, O-01, wrote that it was completely overcast, clouds, no stars, and no moon.  James Partin, the B-52 pilot, wrote that there were many stars and no moon light, but Partin was at altitude in his aircraft.

Based on the above descriptions, it appears that the ground teams in the November Flight area, particular to N-07, had a fairly non-obscured sky during the observations.  Oscar Flight, NE of November Flight, was the only exception as it appeared to had been overcast, per William Smith, yet he saw a light/object SSW, 15 degrees above the horizon.

James Partin's View from the B-52

James Partin was the pilot of the B-52 that over-flew the November flight area.  His aircraft was 10 miles northeast of Minot AFB at an altitude of 3200 ft MSL per his AF-117.  He saw a bright orange ball of light at his one o'clock.  It appeared to be 15 miles away either on the ground or slightly above the ground.  The light remained stationary as he flew towards it. During his 5 minute visual observation, the object never moved, even when he was directly above it. To Partin, "It looked like a miniature sun placed on the ground below the aircraft.

Nowhere in Partin's AF-117 does he describe a light/object moving about the flight area, as compared to the descriptions provided by the ground observers. Partin only saw a bright object or source of light on or near the ground...and it was stationary...not moving.

What was the bright light that Partin observed?  Project Blue Book offered the possibility of ball lightning or the star Vega.  Both of these options are very poor choices as Vega was barely above the horizon in the north, if at all, and ball lightning being a very rare event and hardly a stationary phenomena.

If we rule out Vega and ball lightning, then what is the source?  The answer may well be annotated by the ground observers AF-117s and the flight path of the B-52.

The PBB staff and LtCol Werlich either missed or glossed over a key passage in Jablonski's AF-117, in particular, section 11 e, Major Source of Illumination."  Jablonski had wrote in section 11 e, "Head lights and site lights".  While on N-07, the site's top-side lights were on and the team's vehicle head lights were on.

I asked two former missile maintenance officers about the arrangement of the site lights on a launch facility.  Both stated that there were 2 light posts with 3 lights mounted on each pole.  When asked how bright these lights were, one stated that all were very bright, lighting up the entire area of the launch facility.  I assume that all six lights were positioned in different angles on their respective poles to provide the illumination coverage.

If we look at the flight path of the B-52,  N-07 would have been in the direction of Partin's one o'clock.  The flight path takes the aircraft near N-07. I believe that what Partin had described as a stationary source of bright light was actually N-07 with it's site lights activated.  In his AF-117, Partin draws what he believes to have seen either on the ground or hovering above the ground.

The site lights would have brightly lit the entire topside of the LF and a portion of the outside perimeter. The graveled topside and concrete components could have been seen as a bright reflection being observed by Partin.  In an interview with Tulien/Klotz, Jablonski gave the impression that he and Adams had parked their vehicle on the access road.

I cannot say the above is exactly what Partin saw, but I believe that it is possible...plausible. It is "possible" that the ground observers saw a star, or a series of stars that appeared to move slowly over time.  It is "possible" that at a given point in time, the overflying B-52 takes over and is now the focus of the ground observers as the UFO.  Add in the light pollution by the bright site lights from N-07, it is "possible" that the ground observers lost frequent eye contact with the initial object (star?).  It is "possible" that Maj. Partin was actually observing a "stationary" brightly lit N-07.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Repost of last Minot AFB post...soon to restart!

Below is the last post regarding the Minot 1968 UFO story.  Again much apologies for losing track of the story.

I'll restart things soon.  For those interested in my Minot postings, use the search box and the rest should fall into place.

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. 

Robert Hasting's UFOs and Nukes Documentary

Robert Hastings appears to be close to unveiling his latest efforts regarding his UFO and nukes theory.  Frank Warren,, has posted Robert's current status with "UFOs and Nukes" documentary with two short trailers.

After viewing his trailers, I have to commend Robert for his providing of stock footage for his Minuteman ICBM segment.  Though I'm in disagreement with Robert's theory, I at the least, applaud his efforts for putting the weapon system in proper context and moving away from the docu-drama products that had been put forth in the past by the likes of Discovery Channel-Canada and others.

I'm especially looking forward to the Malmstrom segments.  My views on Malmstrom is peppered throughout this blog and two others (see blog side bar for both Echo and Oscar flight's blogs).  At this point, I'm more interested in Robert's presentation.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Sci-Fi album cover art...Kansas, 1979

Earlier in the week I was commenting on a couple of post made by Rich Reynolds that covered AI as a possible UFO component.  This lead to pre-historic cave art and a smattering of Native American mythology.  

A few days ago while driving to work, I was listening to my "Best of Kansas" CD.  I started to recall that Kansas had an earlier album whose cover art depicted an American Indian with a space helmet in the setting of an "alien" location.  I pulled up the wiki thread for Kansas' Monolith album.

Regarding the concept behind the cover art, here is the wikipedia write-up:

The album cover by artist Bruce Wolfe features an Indian in a space helmet with horns on it standing in front of what appears to be the World Trade Center twin towers rendered in stone behind which is a lunar scene featuring what appears to be construction ruins of some sort. The key to the cover art is the juxtaposition of the stones (monoliths, two of them) with the moon and the Indian/spaceman. These symbols go together to form a particular picture that will be more familiar to 21st century fans than to original fans.
Due to the particular juxtaposition of elements, the album title therefore refers to the black monolith from the Stanley Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey. This connection implies the album cover is telling us there is something on the moon and it has to do with human history/spirituality and our present period. That the band is known to have esoteric influences underscores this interpretation. The song "On The Other Side" therefore refers to the "other side" of the astral veil, or the state of in-between lives.[citation needed] It is unclear whether the band was aware of the esoteric references in the painting. Drummer Phil Ehart was the point man on album art, and he had personal approval of all aspects of it. Ehart has made no public statements about the cover, and no music journalist ever asked about any deep or esoteric aspects of it. 

I guess that I'm old school because I miss the cover art that adorned record albums.  We always tried to interpret what hidden message or deeper meaning was being conveyed.  A lot of times there were none...Freud's "...some times a cigar is just a cigar."

Oddly, I saw many a band in high school and college, but never had the opportunity to see Kansas...much to my regret.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

New edition out...Tim Printy's SUNlite.

Tim Printy has put out a new edition of his SUNlite webzine.  Interesting article on the current efforts to decipher the blurred text of the Ramey memo.

Tim provides an in-depth analysis of the memo.  As most should know, one of the key areas of interest is the verbiage "victims of the wreck," or what is perceived to be so which is highly dependent on one's point of view concerning the interpretation of the 1947 Roswell story.

Tim provides this interesting tidbit:

"Over a decade ago, Kevin Randle and James Houran published a study about the Ramey memo where they concluded that people would not be able to read the word “victims” unless they were prompted to do so. David Rudiak felt the subjects, who were allowed to view the image, were not given enough context or information about the memo, to give it a proper reading/ interpretation. He felt the wording was clear enough to him and to his fellow crashologists. To prove this, he came up with what he calls “consensus” readings. However, this “consensus” readings were among many pro-UFO crash authors who have been publishing and sharing their readings with each other for years. They are not independent and most are influenced by a shared belief in a crashed spaceship. It is not a surprise that they are going to agree on certain key phrases and the document’s meaning."

I recall looking at David Rudiak's survey results, available on his website, which he provides "context" to the verbiage in question.  To me it appeared that he was leading people in the direction that would provide favorable results for his interpretation.  What was lacking was a control group mechanism.  But that is my own personal opinion.

Tim provides other articles of interests for both the skeptics and UFO proponents.  As usual a good read which I highly recommend taking to the time to read!

Friday, December 25, 2015

A Christmas present to my old 490th SMS comrades...

A Little Christmas present for my old comrades of the 490th Strategic Missile Squadron, Malmstrom AFB, MT.  This was Robert Salas squadron back in the late 1960s for those who are interested...

I kept my crew blues hanging in the closet. I last wore the uniform for an IG ORI EWO check ride back in Feb 1985 two days later after pulling my final alert out at Kilo. Then I quietly stowed it away after fulfilling 296 alerts, 4 shy of that mythical 300 mark.

Notice the 100 mission patch, I had a 200 mission patch, but never had it placed on the uniform...why, I don't recall. I have it lying around somewhere.

Remember the squadron patch? Greg Ogletree(SIC?) was championing to have it change to a circular patch prior to my leaving to Grand Forks AFB...sadly, he was successful and we lost a very important unit history identity.

And least I forget, notice the faded look which gave everyone the perception that you had been around the block for SAC...I hated that original darker blue look...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to all that served pulling SAC alerts, both missile and bomber/tanker crews.  The same wishes to those that are currently serving...I am with you in my thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas...Wishing all a Happy New Year

I wanted to take this opportunity to wish all a Merry Christmas...or if you wish, Happy Holidays.  The above photo taken from my living room.

I wish all a prosperous New Year as well.

Apologies for the lack of postings on the site.  I have plans to get back at it after the holidays.  There are interesting topics to write and discuss.

Rich Reynolds, UFO Conjecture(s), is exploring the UFO phenomena as a possible artificial intelligence proposed by Nick Bostrom.  Interesting theory despite any hard evidence to support this possibility.

Kevin Randle and others have been making an attempt to finally decipher the Ramey memo, ala Roswell.  Tim Printy and others have been doing likewise. We'll see if those efforts bare fruit.

I need to finish the Minot 1968 case that was side tracked due to the "Roswell Slides" fiasco.  Unfortunately, I got sucked into that own doing.   I've plenty of time to think about the Minot case and time is at hand to transposed my thoughts in a written format.

There are other topics that I want to explore, but I'll have to see what transpires.

So with that said, enjoy the holidays with your family!