Date: Updated 5 Feb 2006
From: Francis Ridge, Coordinator, NCP
Subject: Nuclear Connection In Kirtland Encounter,  Albuquerque, New Mexico, Nov. 4, 1957
Distribution: NCP, CE, SHG, Media 

Car-sized object similar to this one was observed during this incident.

Nov. 4, 1957; Albuquerque, New Mexico
10:45 p.m. MST. CAA tower personnel, R.M. Kaser and E. G. Brink, were reliable observers with 23 years of airport control tower experience between them. A lighted object came down steeply at the east end of a runway, left the flight line, crossed runways, taxiways, and unpaved areas at about a 30 degree angle, and proceeded southwest towards the control tower at an altitude of less than 100 feet. Observed through through 7x binoculars, the object appeared to be egg-shaped, having no wings, tail, or fuselage, and was elongated vertically. It appeared to be fifteen to twenty feet tall, about the size of an automobile standing on its nose, and had a single white light at its base. After the UFO left the area it was tracked on a CPN-18 surveillance radar and it exhibited some amazing flight characteristics. The object also came back towards Kirtland until it took up a position behind an Air Force C-46 that had just taken off. It stayed in position behind the C-46 until they both moved out of radar range.

This would have been scary. Apparently the UFO flew right-to-left along the E-W runway, then turned SW toward the tower, stopping near the nuclear weapons storage area for about a minute. McDonald mentioned that the UFO stopped near the Kirtland "Drumhead Area" where the B-58 operated.. (See report link on the case directory by Joel Carpenter). The B-58 Hustler was still in the R&D phase in 1957 and was _just_ beginning its nuclear qualification testing at Kirtland at the time. In fact, the first special nuclear bomb pod for the plane was delivered to the base on 15 Nov 57, eleven days after the incident, and the B-58 arrived to begin drop testing on the 25th.

UFO hovered near WSA at curve

Note protective bunkers at lower right. Control tower was located between left of UFO "turnaround" and NE-SW runway.

Our research has determined that this area is extremely important to the Nuclear Connection Project study for several other reasons. Originally, the area to the top, which is north of the UFO hovering point, because we knew that nuclear weapons were being shipped from there. This is where TACTICAL nuclear weapons were shipped by B-52 to other bases, such as Wright-Pat, etc.

The area we are concerned with in this incident is the bottom-right quadrant where the control tower was located. This is where the CIA (in the late fifties and early sixties) was in control of the storage and shipping of new weapon designs, and shipped them to test sites  These were new, experimental, nuclear devices, not tactical weapons. In other words, where better and more destructive specialized weapons were taken before testing. The weapons were loaded by some type of motorized device, similar to that used by loggers, that passed over the weapon, clamped onto them, and carried them to nearby aircraft. The aircraft (sometimes C-47's) then taxied out to the long runway and would proceed to the bomb test site storage area. These a/c did not drop the bombs, but simply transported them to the test area. Weapons Storage Area bunkers can be seen in the top photo and existed forty years ago. 

The main WSA is just to the SE (out of frame above) at the Underground Munitions Storage Complex, Manzano Mountain:

The Kirtland Incident Directory
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