Ellsworth AFB UFO Incident: A Hoax
This UFO incident allegedly occurred at Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota. About 7 miles south-west of Nisland, Dakota.
November 16, 1977

Francis Ridge
NICAP Site Coordinator:
The following is FYI only. This web page presents the case as reported. Following the  report synopsis is an email discussion of 26 February 2001, which presents evidence supporting the hoax claims.

The following is alleged to have come from an FOIA request:
At 2059hrs., 16 Nov. 1977, Airmen 1C Phillips, Lt. A.Lims Security Control, telephone WSC. and reported an O2 alarm activation at L-9 and that Lims SAT #1, A-1C Jenkins & A-1C Raeke were dispatched, (Trip #62, ETA 2135hrs.) 

At 2147hrs., A-1C Phillips telephones WSC and reported that the situation at L-9 had been upgraded to a COVERED WAGON PER REQUEST OF Capt. Stokes, Larry D., FSO. 

Security Option 11 was initiated by WSC and Base CSC. BAF(Backup Security Force) #1&&2, were formed. At 2340hrs., 16 Nov. 77, the following information was learned: Upon arrival (2132hrs.) at Site #L-9. LSAT. Jenkins & Raeke, dismounted the SAT vehicle to make a check of the site fence line. 

At this time Raeke observed a bright light shinning vertically upwards from the rear of the fence line of L-9. ( There is a small hill approximately 50 yards behind L-9 ) 

Jenkins stayed with the SAT vehicle and Raeke proceeded to the source of the light to investigate. As Raeke approached the crest of the hill, he observed an individual dressed in a glowing green metallic uniform and wearing a helmet with visor. 

Raeke immediately challenged the individual, however the individual refused to stop and kept walking towards the rear fence line of L-9. Raeke aimed his M-16 rifle at the intruder and ordered him to stop. 

The intruder turned towards Raeke and aimed a object at Raeke which emitted a bright flash of intense light. The flash of light struck Raeke's M-16 rifle, disintegrating the weapon and causing second and third degree burns to Raeke's hands. 

Raeke immediately took cover and concealment and radioed the situation to Jenkins, who in turn radioed a 10-13 distress to Line Control. Jenkins responded to Raeke's position and carried Raeke back to the SAT vehicle. Jenkins then returned to the rear fence line to stand guard. 

Jenkins observed two intruders dressed in the same uniforms, walk through the rear fence line of L-9. Jenkins challenged the two individuals but they refused to stop. Jenkins aimed and fired two rounds from his M-16 rifle. 

One bullet struck one intruder in the back and one bullet struck one intruder in the helmet. Both intruders fell to the ground, however, approximately 15 seconds later Jenkins had to take cover from a bolt of light that missed him narrowly. 

The two intruders returned to the east side of the hill and disappeared. Jenkins followed the two and observed them go inside a saucer shaped object approximately 20' in diameter and 20'thick. The object emitted a glowing greenish light. 

Once the intruders were inside, the object climbed vertically upwards and disappeared over the Eastern horizon. BAF> #1 arrived at the site at 2230hrs., and set up a security perimeter. Site Survey Team arrived at the site (0120hrs.) and took radiation readings, which measured from 1.7 to 2.9 roentgens. 

Missile Maintenance examined the missiles and warheads and found the nuclear components missing from the warhead. Col. Speaker, Wing Cmdr. arrived at the site and set up an investigations. A completed follow-up report of this incident will be submitted by order of Col. Speaker. 

Raeke was later treated at the base hospital for second and third degree radiation burns to each hand. Raeke's M-16 rifle could not be located at the site. 

From: "Jerome Clark" <jkclark@frontiernet.net> 
To: "Sign Historical Group" <SHG@listbot.com> 

This is an exposed hoax.  See Bob Pratt's "The Truth About the 'Ellsworth Case'" in MUFON UFO Journal, January 1984. I also discuss it in the second edition of my UFO Encyclopedia, pp. 302-03, in the context of other hoaxes which ultimately gave rise to the Dark Side mythology of MJ-12, Cooper, Lear, et al. 

Jerry Clark

From: TPDeuley@aol.com 
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 12:25:33 EST 

I would not spend a lot of time on this one.  I believe this to be a phony message that floated around back in late 1970's early 80's which later was called a "security breach test message" rather than a serious UFO message.  As I recall, though the author spent a lot of time trying to get things right, one of the people listed was not at the base at the time and the ranks 
and names and people were messed up. 

Having been in the atomic bomb business for quite awhile the message was not properly classified considering the text makes a statement that would have made this an extremely extremely important event.  Missing atomic warhead components is not something that would have been handled with a message that reads this calm.  This would have kicked off an investigation that would have resulted in reams of documents and records, and would not be something that people involved would have ever forgotten. 

All in all, this message reads like a news report not a nuclear incident report, and that was what was wrong with it in the first place. 

Finally, I had an opportunity to bring this up at in the offices of SAC at Vandenberg some years later, while I was still in that line of work.  It was treated as a joke with lots of good laughs over the dumb approach and dumb mistakes. 

As for Security Test messages, though I have seen a couple that were suppose to be associated with the UFO business, I never saw or used, or heard of using any such method for testing personnel during my 7 years as a communications officer at a secure communications facility or as a COMSEC analyst working for the NSA. 

I don't think I have any first hand records but I think I do have a copy of the alleged original somewhere.  I would think surely Bruce Maccabee has a copy.  Sorry if I am wrong Bruce. 

Tom Deuley 

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 16:02:26 EST 
Subject: Re: Ellsworth CE III? 

As Tom Deuley and Jerry Clark point out this is a hoax.  It is strongly suspected to be a Richard Doty fabrication -- Doty was at Ellsworth in 1977-8.  It has lots of basic errors in it as previously pointed out, one more I can note is the alleged 1.7 to 2.9 roentgens radiation reading.  Radiation survey meters would not register such exact figures -- it would be 1.5 or 2.0 or 3.0 and technically it is rads or roentgens _per hour_ as it is a _rate_ not a total dose.  Etc. 

Brad Sparks 

Date:         Mon, 26 Feb 2001 18:21:12 -0800 
From:         Francis Ridge <slk@EVANSVILLE.NET> 

At 10:24 AM 2/26/2001 -0800, Peter wrote: 

>I know nothing about the particular case in question, and I have virtually no experience with Defense Condition "DEFCON") states of military readiness, but< 


Several informants that I have dealt with through the years have told me that there are five Security Options, the fifth being the highest. 

Date:         Mon, 26 Feb 2001 18:32:41 -0800 
From:         Francis Ridge <slk@EVANSVILLE.NET> 
Subject:      Re: Ellsworth CE III? 


I can't remember how the calibrations were for that particular instrument range, because we had so little experience with them when I was preparing to become Radiological Defense Officer. I joined the service and became a CBR Specialist instead. Most of the hands-on stuff involved milliroentgens per hour or counts per minute in geiger counters. You may be right. But RADS stands for Roentgen Acumulated Dose. 


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