Nuclear Connection Project
NCP Paper 

The Minuteman & the Mother of All Sighting Waves

Fran Ridge

Date: Tuesday, September 23, 2014, updated June 3, 2015

In the spring of 1967 my NICAP Subcommittee at Vincennes, Indiana, was involved in a local UFO sighting flap in southern Indiana and Illinois. The only news sources we had in those days were the TV and the press and the NICAP quarterly publications, so there was no hint of anything major going on.  In fact, it was years later that I heard or saw the term used, "The Hidden Wave of 1967". It turned out to be the most intensive and long-lasting UFO sighting wave of all time. It was a U.S. and international UFO sighting wave that actually began in 1966. Not only was this massive and involving nuclear equipped missile shutdowns, but it also included a number of humanoid incidents which were reported along with the usual ground and air incidents. If I were to include the full  1967 UFO Chronology as text in this report, this NCP paper would be over a hundred pages long!

Other information pertaining to the wave are explored in the following reports, the first one available from the Fund for UFO Research, "Alien Invasion or Human Fantasy?" by Richard Hall. The others are online on the NICAP site:

Just what was going on in the world that might have prompted a major UFO  sighting wave in 1967? It was one of those times when the world was close to seeing a major conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. It was also a time when MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) would have been the outcome.

The LGM-30F Minuteman-II was an improved version of the Minuteman-I missile. Development on the Minuteman-II began in 1962 as the Minuteman-I entered the Strategic Air Command's nuclear force. Minuteman-II production and deployment began in 1965 and was completed in 1967. It had an increased range, a greater throw weight and guidance system with better azimuthal coverage, providing military planners with better accuracy and a wider range of targets. Some missiles also carried penetration aids, allowing higher probability of kill against Moscow's anti-ballistic missile system. The payload consisted of a single Mk-11C reentry vehicle containing a W56 nuclear warhead with a yield of 1.2 megatons of TNT.

On April 21, 1967 the Strategic Air Command reached the level of 1000 operational Minuteman I and II ICBMs.

By 1967 the U.S. had 37,000 nuclear warheads. The Soviet Union had 45,000!

And on June the 5th the Arab/Israeli War almost brought the U.S. and Russia head-to-head in a confrontation that would have led to WWIII. But first, let's look at what was going on at the beginning of the year, keeping in mind that it actually began months before that in 1966.

Jan. 7, 1967; Goose Bay AFB, Labrador, Canada (BBU)
11:05 local time. An airman radar operator of the 641at AC&W Squadron with his scope on 20 mile range picked up a target. The controller estimates its speed for the first eight sweeps to be 200 knots. During the next four sweeps its speed was 2100 knots 2,400 mph). The target was held for twelve sweeps then was lost off the scope. The radar was an AN/FPS-93.  The object appeared on two different radar sets operating on different frequencies and then was seen by an experienced pilot of a MAC C-97 aircraft. (Ref. 1)

Feb. 23, 1967; Glaskow AFB, Montana (BBU)
Two separate groups of  two personnel each apparently observed the same unidentified object(s). The same apparent object was observed on a  MG-13 Fire Control radar. The length of observation was given as two hours. (Ref. 2)

Feb. 25, 1967: Fargo, ND
7:50 p.m. CST. Two teenaged boys saw a round or disc-shaped brightly illuminated object. It moved higher gaining speed (accelerated) and flew away to the northeast. Fargo, North Dakota, is close to the southern edge of the Mike Flight (M-21, M-22, M-23 etc., Launch Facilities) of the Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota, Minuteman ICBM Complex . (Ref. 3)

March, 1967 (Date unknown); NE of Cuba
MIG-21 jet explodes while chasing "UFO". The details of the "UFO" actually sound like the CIA's OXCART A-12, the AF version of which was called the SR-71, which were known to over-fly Cuba.

March 2, 1967; White Sands Missile Range, NM
10:25 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. MST. Two radars plotted 20 silver objects, radar blips at 7 mile altitude. News blackout invoked by military.  Twenty-nine people reported seeing one or more objects in groups. ranging in appearance from silvery objects flying overhead to a saucer-shaped object. Intermittent unexplained radar targets were seen during this time. (Ref. 4)

March 5, 1967; Minot AFB, North Dakota
ADC radar tracked an unidentified target descending over the Minuteman ICBM missile silos of the 91st Strategic Missile Wing. Base security teams saw a metallic, disc-shaped object ringed with bright flashing lights moving slowly, maneuvering, then stopping and hovering about 500 ft above ground. Object circled directly over the launch control facility. F-106 fighters were scrambled but at that moment object climbed straight up and disappeared at high speed. (Ref. 5)

March 5, 1967; Pierre/Hayes, SD
Night. A family's car was paced at telephone-wire height by a V-shaped object emitting a bright light that illuminated the ground for perhaps 5 minutes. A humming sound was heard and the witnesses felt a numbness. When it departed, the object flew away rapidly on an erratic path. (Ref. 6)

March 14, 1967; Southeast Asia
Daytime. A U.S. Air Force flight surgeon aboard and the pilot and crew of a KC-135 flying at 15,000 feet observed a vertically inclined, huge, black metallic cylinder an estimated 2 miles from the plane. The object disappeared quickly after several minutes, and fighters sent to investigate could not find it. (Ref. 7)

March 16, 1967; Near Roy (about 30 miles NE of Lewistown), MT (BBU)
8:45 a.m. Echo-Flight of 10 Minuteman nuclear ICBM's of Malmstrom AFB, USAF 341st Strategic Missile Wing, SAC, were inexplicably deactivated within 10 seconds of each other and for 1 day after UFO's hovered near 2 missile silos. Followed a series of UFO sightings during early morning hours by USAF security teams.  (Ref. 9)

March 24 [26?], 1967; Belt, MT (BBU 11551)
9 p.m. Truck driver Ken Williams saw a dome-shaped object emitting a bright light, land in a ravine. As he approached, it took off and settled back, hidden from the highway. Numerous other reports came in from this area and at dawn police and a Malmstrom AFB helicopter made a search without success. (Ref. 10)

March 24/25, 1967; Roy (about 30 miles NE of Lewiston), Montana (BBU)
O-Flight of Malmstrom AFB, USAF 341st Strategic Missile Wing, had unexplained deactivation of 6-8 Minuteman nuclear ICBM's within several secs of each other during UFO close encounters involving a red saucer­ shaped object in early morning hours. USAF security guard injured and medivacked out. (Ref. 11)

I didn't know it at the time, but looking back, obviously there were things going on all around the world!

On May 13, 1967, Soviet officials informed the Syrian and Egyptian Governments that Israel had massed troops on Syria's border. Though the report was false, Nasser sent large numbers of Egyptian soldiers into the Sinai anyway. On May 16, Egypt demanded that the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF), which had been deployed in the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip since 1957, withdraw from Israel's border. Secretary-General U Thant replied that he would have to withdraw UNEF from all its positions, including Sharm al-Shaykh, which would put political pressure on Nasser to close the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping.

And Russia was having its share of reports......

May 17, 1967; Ustkamenogorsk, Russia
2:30 a.m. LT. An engineer named T.N. Kanshov saw a bright body twice as large as the moon moving across the sky from south to north for over two minutes. It first appeared as a flame so bright he could read the time on his watch by its light. The night was quiet, cloudless, moonless. The object had "fiery arrows" extending parallel to its sides. It expanded to three times its original size before disappearing.

May 17, 1967; Kamyshin, Russia
10:00 p.m. LT. Major Y.B. Popov, of Novosibirsk, together with Junior Lieutenant A.S. Nikitenko and several local residents saw a cascade of lights rushing across the night sky from the northeast in even rows. The lights were located on the surface of a very large cigar-shaped object, the impression was that an ocean-going vessel was flying across the sky with absolute silence at an altitude of about 0.6 mile. It was observed for two or three minutes. It passed almost over-head and took off into space.

May 17, 1967. Bakhrushev, Russia
10:05 p.m. LT. By a warm, quiet evening several witnesses including S.V. Ostrovskiy saw a bright point descending in the western sky. It flew down to an altitude estimated as about one mile, when it changed to a horizontal course. At that point it appeared as a dark body of impressive proportions, with a compact, well-defined light at the rear. It flew off silently at less than 200 mph, with a dark orange tail behind it.

Meanwhile,  Nasser remained adamant, and on May 22, after UNEF withdrew, he announced that he would close the Straits. In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower had promised that the United States would treat the closure of the Straits as an act of war. Johnson now had three unwelcome options: to renege on Eisenhower's promise, acquiesce in an Israeli attack on Egypt, or order U.S. forces to reopen the waterway.

Instead, the President played for time. He sought international and Congressional support for Operation Red Sea Regatta, which called for a coalition of maritime nations to send a "probing force" through the Straits if Egypt refused to grant all nations free passage through them. Simultaneously, Johnson implored the Soviets to intercede with Nasser and urged Israeli restraint. "Israel," Johnson told Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban on May 26, "will not be alone unless it decides to go it alone." Yet over the following week, the administration failed to gain domestic or foreign backing for "Regatta." Meanwhile, Jordan joined the Arab coalition, heightening the pressure for an Israeli strike. Though Johnson continued to caution Israel against preemption, a number of the President's advisors had concluded that U.S. interests would be best served by Israel "going it alone".

Yes. 1967 was the year of the third Arab/Isriali war.

Six weeks earlier, the British cabinet's Joint Intelligence Committee had concluded that an Arab victory was "inconceivable." Around the same time, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff said Israel would be "militarily unchallengeable by any combination of Arab states at least during the next five years". The Israeli generals, hugely self-confident, mainly sabras (native-born Israeli Jews) in their late 30s and early 40s, had been training to finish the unfinished business of Israel's independence war of 1948 - the capture of East Jerusalem - for most of their careers. When their political leaders, most of whom were cautious immigrants at least 20 years older, tried to use diplomacy to end the crisis that led to war, the top brass were beside themselves with frustration. They believed that delay meant more casualties, and the unnecessary
postponement of the inevitable war and inevitable victory for which they had been preparing.

On June 6th Israel launched a massive air assault that crippled Arab air capability. With air superiority protecting its ground forces, Israel controlled the Sinai peninsula within three days and then concentrated on the Jordanian frontier, capturing Jerusalem's Old City (subsequently annexed), and on the Syrian border, gaining the strategic Golan Heights. 

Between June 5 and June 10, Israel defeated Egypt, Jordan, and Syria and occupied the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. From the beginning, the United States sought a ceasefire in order to prevent an Arab defeat bad enough to force the Soviet Union to intervene. U.S. officials were also concerned about alienating pro-Western Arab regimes, especially after Egypt and several other Arab states accused the United States of helping Israel and broke diplomatic relations. Yet after June 5, the administration did not also demand an immediate Israeli pullback from the territories it had occupied. U.S. officials believed that in light of the tenuous nature of the prewar armistice regime, they should not force Israel to withdraw unless peace settlements were put into place.

The UFO sightings continued.

June 11, 1967; Da Nang, Vietnam
Time not reported. An unknown number of witnesses saw a silvery cylinder for several minutes, reportedly chased by two Air Force F-102 interceptors. (Ref. 12)

June 28, 1967; Tehran, Iran
8:00 p.m. LT. Reportedly 10,000 people saw a bright round, glowing object three times larger than the full moon. It hovered, sped away, landed, and took off. (Ref. 13)

July 17, 1967; Sukhumi (Agudzeri), Russia
11:00 p.m. L.V.  Antonova, an editor with the publishing house "Thought", and T.I. Dantseva, fellow of the Kurchatov scientific institute, observed a strange object along with four other people. The weather was clear at the time. The object looked like a flat disk with shining edge, flying at an altitude of some 350 feet at the speed of a propeller aircraft.

July 25, 1967; Garrison, ND
A round, blue-white object hovered near a missile site, animals reacted. Object started, stopped, moved up and down; changed color to red when accelerating (Ref. 14).

July 25, 1967; Garrison, ND
10:30 p.m. CDT. A farm family saw a luminous object that moved erratically, both horizontally and vertically, almost touching the ground at times. The object was round or top-shaped with a well-defined edge. It was blue-white when moving slowly and bright red at faster speed (color change/speed correlation). Animal reactions by dogs and cattle initially alerted the witnesses. An object of this description had been repeatedly sighted in the area near a Minuteman Missile site for 8-9 months. (Ref. 15) This was near the  Minot AFB, Minuteman ICBM Complex.

"I am more convinced than ever that a positive program in extraterrestrial life or communications studies should not be tied to the UFO problem...I am convinced that we would really open the flood gates on UFO problems if the public thought that the Condon group was about to get involved in extensive research on extraterrestrial activities." - Brig. Gen. William Garland (Ref. 16)
Sept. 11-12, 1967; Kincheloe AFB, MI (BBU)
10:42 p.m.-12:01 a.m. A senior radar operator with 7 years experience tracked 17 unknowns in an 80-minute period. The unknown targets gave stronger, harder returns than a B-52 flying in the area. Most of the targets were tracked one at a time, hovering, slowing, speeding up, changing direction. In one of two instances when two were tracked at a time, two targets joined up and both went east at 2,000 mph. These passed overhead, but witnesses saw nothing. A B-52 pilot was alerted to a potential collision course with a target, but the pilot saw nothing. (Ref. 17)

Oct. 4, 1967; Nova Scotia, Canada - Shag Harbor Crash/ Retrieval Incident
Evening, ADT. From early evening until 11:30 pm, numerous independent witnesses observed unexplained aerial activity. Near Sambro at 9:00 pm,  the captain and crew of a fishing boat saw four brilliant red lights in a box formation that appeared to be on or just above the water. Occasionally one would flare up so bright that it would cause an afterimage in their eves. The objects also were tracked on ship's radar. Between 11:00 and 11:30 pm, northwest of Briar Island, the captain and crew of a fishing vessel saw a brilliant white light the size of the moon. As they watched, three brilliant yellow lights emerged and formed a triangle around the larger light. The satellite objects then moved across the sky and back at high speed. Observations also were made by other vessels. Lower (southwest) portion of Nova Scotia, opposite Maine. Sambro is about 12 miles southwest of Halifax. During this same time interval 5 miles southwest of Weymouth, in the general direction of Briar Island, a policeman and three game wardens saw an orange-colored light just above the tree line moving silently and slowly with spark-like objects emanating from the light. At about 11:20 pm just west of Shag Harbor, teenagers in a car saw an object flying low, flashing four lights, one after the other, in a straight line. It appeared to be slowly descending at a 45 degree angle. When next seen, the object had impacted the water's surface 200-300 yards offshore. It drifted on the surface showing a pale yellow light. Boats were sent out to rescue passengers from a presumed downed airliner, but searchers found only a dense yellow foam. (Ref. 20)

Oct. 27, 1967; Parshall, ND
A sphere rose, paced a car, which began steering hard. The object hovered near the missile base, shot straight up out of sight in seconds (Ref. 18).

Nov. 6,  1967; Kazan, USSR
Night. A luminous red Saturn-shaped object hovered for 7-10 minutes spinning on its axis, then accelerated and sped away. (Ref. 19)

Nov. 9, 1967; Miass, near Chelyabin, Russia
A white cigar-shaped object with some black dashes at one end was seen moving through the sky by I.S. Lunyanov. It was flying toward Zlatoust.

Nov. 14, 1967; Liepaya, Russia
A large, luminous object shaped like a hemisphere hovered low over the ground. It moved away quickly with a fiery light that was painful to the eye. There were several witnesses.

By year's end Project Blue Book received 937 UFO reports, even though they classified only 17 as unidentified. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. The 1967 UFO Chronology is over a hundred pages long. Was this massive sighting wave with sightings all over the world, including Russia, many sightings in states with missile silos, just a coincidence?

This was a very dangerous year, and the chance of a nuclear war was in the minds of our best military people. But it looks like somebody else was concerned as well.

But then it happened 1973


1. Project 1947

Dan Wilson, McDonald list; FUFOR Index

Fargo Forum, 2/25/67, copy in NICAP files

4. El Paso Times, Texas, 3/5/67, copies in NICAP files and in Donald E. Keyhoe Archives files; Hall, 2001, p. 58, from Van Arsdale, M., 1967, "Report of UFO Sighting March 2, 1967, in Alamogordo, N.M.," University of Colorado UFO project (March 24, 1967), "Reports of Investigators" file; Sagan and Page, 1972, p. i.

5. Ray Fowler, etc.

Rapid City Journal, S. Dak., 3/7/67, copy in NICAP files.

7. Jacksonville Daily News, Arkansas, 3/27/69, copy in NICAP files; phone conversation with surgeon's wife 5/12/69, notes in NICAP files.

CUFON; NICAP; not in BB files??

9. CUFON; NICAP; not in BB files??

10. Berliner; cf. Vallée Magonia 827

Brad Sparks

12. Associated Press, New York Post, 6/15/67, NICAP files.

Tehran Yomiori, 7/1/67, NICAP files.

section VI

Hall, 2001, pp. 212-13; NICAP Report Form and North Dakota subcommittee report, NICAP files; U.F.O. Investigator, Vol. IV, No. 2, Oct. 1967, p. 4.


McDonald, 1970.

18. UFOE,
section V

19. Vallee, 1992, p. 194

Ledger and Styles, 2001, pp. 14-17, 21-44.