In 2005, I posted a series of messages on the Yahoo missile_talk group’s bulletin board, summarizing my research. My hope was that some of the group’s members, largely made up of U.S. Air Force missileers, would be encouraged to come forth and discuss their own experiences. A few of them, including Larry Manross, did just that. He wrote, in two emails combined here:
Robert, you are right on. As a launch crew commander at Minot AFB from 1966-1970, I will tell you that there were UFO incidents. In one [during which I was present] the security team upstairs went into a defensive posture with lights turned out. They had called in a UFO sighting to the base and radar was tracking it. All of a sudden it buzzed the launch control center and that was when they cut the lights and took a defensive position.
The details are fairly slim on the incident [but it occurred sometime during] 1967 or ’68. It was treated by the Air Force as a non-incident. In other words, no report was asked for from the missile crew. I am not certain if the security team made a report, but the whole thing made you feel somewhat uneasy.
At the time, I was a 1st Lieutenant and was the junior officer in the capsule. The security team kept us informed of their concerns. Especially the buzzing of the launch control center. Sitting downstairs you obviously didn’t see a thing. I wish I had been upstairs when the incident took place, but as you know the launch crews were down in the capsules for 24 hour uninterrupted stretches. But base ops did confirm that they were tracking an unidentified object on radar.
I later asked Manross to elaborate on these statements. He responded:
I was in the 742nd [Strategic Missile Squadron]. The capsules we manned were Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, and Oscar. I was primarily assigned to Kilo or Lima. I do not remember the name of the senior officer during that [alert] assignment; he was not the usual commander I was assigned with. He was several years older than I and was a career officer, I believe. I was never assigned with him again and don't remember much about him. He may have been in a different squadron. Sometimes they mixed and matched us when they were having scheduling problems. The commanders I worked with while the junior officer were Capt. John Deresky and later Capt. Charles Brickley. Neither of them was with me that night.
The year was ’67 or ’68, before I moved up to the commander role. I was attempting to sleep while the commander was dealing with security upstairs and the base headquarters regarding some unidentified [flying] object. It was when his board lit-up like a Christmas tree for a moment that he got scared and asked for back-up. The lit-up board signals that the missiles have launched. It was a false signal but correlated with the incident taking place upstairs. It all happened quite fast. Then things returned to normal.
[Anyway,] that was when I became engaged. The commander was rattled and so was the security team upstairs. They reported that something had buzzed the LCF and that they had gone into a defensive posture, turning out the lights and drawing their weapons. They indicated it was very bright and traveling at a high rate of speed. They did not describe any shape, etc., other than it was bright. [Then] base headquarters reported that the unidentified object was no longer on radar and that was the last we heard of it.
There was no debriefingnada. Just another day pulling an alert at Minot. I do remember the senior officer saying something about how I should not talk about the incident without getting authorization. [In spite of that,] all the officers talked about UFOs and what was going on. As you can imagine, there was quite a range of opinions. The common assumption among many [launch officers] was that the objects were somehow drawing power from the missile warheads.
The stories [we subsequently heard] were rampant. [One] concerned a security team stationed at one of the missile launchers because the radar surveillance was out. If the surveillance went down they always stationed a team on the site 24/7. As the story goes, there was an object that scared them to death, as it hovered over the launch pad. They discharged their weapons and claim they heard plinks as the bullets hit the object. As you know, discharging a weapon in the military is considered serious and requires reports, etc. Every security team I worked with said it was a true story and had taken place at Minot AFB. They even named the missile launcher where it took place and those who took part in it.
The number of UFO incidents at the time, during 1966-’70, were so frequent that in the summer the security team sometimes would put chairs in front of the building, or on the roof of the building, to watch for UFOs. Can you believe it?
Regarding this last statement, I told Manross that I had heard nearly identical stories from other former or retired USAF personnel who had been stationed at Ellsworth, F.E. Warren, and Malmstrom AFBs during that era. This particular side show is almost humorous: Nuclear missile security guards sitting outside Minuteman Launch Control Facilities at night looking for UFOs because the objects appeared above the missile field so frequently! If only the American media had been given that story at the time. But, of course, like everything else relating to these classified incidents, almost no information leaked out to the press or public.
Another former launch officer at Minot in the late 1960s, David Schuur, has independently told me of an incident involving a UFO actually activating nuclear missiles. <http://www.theufochronicles.com/2008/07/launch-in-progress.html>His account is even more dramatic than the one provided by Larry Manross.
As is my custom, I have secured Manross’ and Schuur’s DD214 files, which confirm their presence at Minot AFB in the mid-to-late 1960s, as well as their roles as Minuteman launch officers in the squadrons they’ve indicated.
Now that this article has been posted, UFO debunker James Carlson will, predictably, post his usual nonsense about my being a liar and a fraud and how Manross’ and Schuur’s testimony is worthless.