Ralph T. Holland Interview, 20 February 2005

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RH:They were all very good people, and you know we had the slogan up there that "only the best come north," and that was there before I got there. We had very few distractions, I had the B-52 wing at Carswell in Fort Worth, Fort Worth-Dallas, and there were a hell of a lot of distractions there, you know, to take people away from their business, but Minot, you would do your job and there wasn't many places to go and—
TT:Yeah that's true. I had a question too about the role of the 15th. Did you report directly to Nichols at the 15th, General Nichols?
RH:I reported directly, the 15th was an Air Force, and SAC had three [Numbered] Air Forces as you may know, the 8th Air Force, 2nd Air Force, and 15th Air Force, and my boss was the 15th Air Force by the name of Catton C-a-t-t-o-n- and his deputy was Nichols. Anyway, Nichols took care of a lot of the activities, you know, when I didn't want to bother the boss I would call Nichols, he was 2-star and Catton was a 3-star.
TT:So, but all of your communication would go through the 15th to SAC? Or could you communicate directly to SAC?
RH:Well basically you go immediately to 15th but it's also simultaneously into SAC, you know. 15th had a command post and that was the alternate command post if SAC was destroyed—just like headquarters Omaha, was to go to 15th.
JK:The 15th was at March?
RH:March Air Force Base.
TT:Are you OK if we talk about this incident? We don't want to put you in a spot.
RH:Yes. Well let me tell you what I knew about it. You called me the other day and said, "Did I remember it?" Yes, and the thing I remembered most specifically was that there was a B-52 that sighted this object and made a radarscope photo of it and after reading through your things, I remember there were some people out into the missile area that also observed something. And you sent me the reports my people sent to SAC and ADC and all of it see? And we thought, I thought that I had the crew in and I talked to them, and it was a good crew and they were, I felt, reliable people, and so we sent all the information in and thought maybe that we really were onto something, but, you know, the analysis by the higher headquarters came back and said, no, there was (chuckles) no UFO.
TT:Yeah, they wanted to down play it.
TT:Yeah, they talked too about that in the documents, you know, they didn't want it to get out of hand.
RH:Now the other thing that is of interest I think, that there was no civilian sightings that I recall in the paper or anything, and so that's interesting, kind of leaves a confusing picture a little bit.
TT:Well, you know it was between 3 and 5 in the morning.

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