Form: 97 NCPDIR
Date: Updated 16 Jul 2007
From: Robert Hastings
Cat: 10
Distribution: NCP, CE, SHG, Media

Nuclear Connection Project

Subject: UFO Over Titan Missile Silo; Oracle, Arizona; August 7, 1962

#5805: 1962/8/7  23:50  8  110:46:20W  32:36:40N  3323  NAM USA ARZ  6 7 
AWAY+BACK:then ^ 
Ref# 210 The APRO BULLETIN. (J & C Lorenzen)  Volume 11 Issue 2 MIL. BASE

In 1969, the founders of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO), Coral and Jim Lorenzen, published UFOs—The Whole Story, in which they briefly mentioned an intriguing UFO sighting at a nuclear missile complex some 27 miles north of Tucson, Arizona. The site, designated 570-1, was operated by the 570th Strategic Missile Squadron, based at Davis-Monthan AFB. The Lorenzens wrote,

“...[The incident occurred] on the night of August 7 [1962] at a Titan missile site in the vicinity of Oracle, Arizona. The case was never published in the press for reasons that will become obvious, but nevertheless it was possible for APRO to obtain the basic information:

Our first informant refused to give his name for publication for fear of some kind of official reprisal for talking about the incident, but within five weeks we were able to obtain corroborating information from two other witnesses, both of whom are known to us but who must also remain anonymous. About midnight that night one of the night crew who was outside the complex spotted a brilliant light which seemed to be getting larger and larger. He soon realized the thing was descending directly over the site, so he went inside and told another man who came out and watched with him.  Before long the object had become so large that both of the men were frightened and went back inside the complex where they informed Davis-Monthan Air Force Base at Tucson by telephone.

Two jet interceptors came streaking in from the direction of the base, but as they approached, the object took off fast toward the north and was out of sight within seconds. The jets circled the area and headed back for the base. Minutes later, the ‘visitor’ was back again, descended toward the silo, then took off vertically and dwindled to nothingness overhead. The object was described by all as having an appearance similar to that of the full moon. Other testimony indicated that a similar object was seen either the night before or the night after this incident.”

Unfortunately, other than the published 1969 account, nothing more has been written about this incident. I only learned of it many years after it was first reported. Despite my attempts to locate former or retired Air Force personnel who might have first-hand information about the case, the details—including whether or not the functionality of the missile was affected by the presence of the UFO—remain elusive.

Historical data indicate that the 390th Strategic Missile Wing—composed of the 570th and 571st Strategic Missile Squadrons—was the first Titan II wing activated, on January 1, 1962. The first Titan was not actually installed in its silo until December 8, 1962. On March 31, 1963  the missile complex became operational.

Robert Hastings
In October 1957, Congress authorized the Air Force to deploy four Titan I squadrons. Later that number increased to 12 squadrons, evenly split between Titan I and Titan II. With their 6,300-mile range, the Air Force based the Titan Is between Colorado and Washington state. The Titan IIs, on the other hand, had a 9,000-mile range and could be based farther south. By locating the Titan II bases in Arizona, Kansas, and Arkansas, the Air Force achieved a wider national dispersal pattern. Other factors that affected the location of the Titan launch facilities were population density under the missile's projected flight path, and the location of existing bases to provide logistical support.

Project Blue Book Master Index 1-15 August 1962 
August 7  Tuscon, Arizona     News Clipping
Titan II ICBM Launch Facilities
wpe09191.gif (15646 bytes)
wpe07768.gif (41755 bytes)

NCP Home Page
NICAP Home Page