Bradford Runyon Interview, 5 May 2000

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INT:Okay. So it went behind you?
BR:Yes, right. So then we all just—no, it just stayed with us, so—
INT:Now at that point could you see it?
BR:I don't know whether Major Partin could or not. See, it was on his side and so, I just don't know and I never discussed it with him afterwards. But anyway it's still on radar and anyway of course our radar was just skin painting the object which—well the air traffic controller radar will skin paint, but we also have the IFF codes, and of course this object didn't have an IFF code, but so, but anyway the nav team said that at that position, anyway, the size of their skin paint was possibly 6 times as large as a skin paint of a tanker. See, when we air re-fuel and the nav team has to count down the mileage and the yardage until we're hooked up with the tanker and so, they know exactly what a tanker looks like on their skin paint on the radar scope at that particular distance. Anyway, they said it was, you know 5 to 6 times as large as the tanker was. So anyway I was a little bit anxious. I just couldn't request permission to vary anything. I mean once they tell you to fly a certain altitude and a certain direction, you do that until you're told otherwise or request permission to change. So we weren't getting any place and I figure I better land the airplane, so I just told Major Partin, I said, "Let's just go ahead and land," without clearance, so we just started penetration. The nav team lined us up at the runway, and or maybe we used their other nav aids, I don't remember. So we were making a straight in approach to Minot Air Force Base and the object stayed with us, same spot essentially. And when we were about 10 miles from the—
INT:Let me ask you a question—now at your approach are you decelerating and losing altitude.
BR:Yes, uh-huh.
INT:So it's staying with you?
BR:Yeah. Okay, so now we were several hundred miles per hour cruising and then as we penetrated and it was—we had a certain speed that we'd penetrate at but it was much less than a cruising speed.
INT:When you say penetrate—entering Minot?
BR:Well penetrate—I just mean yeah, penetrate the area, but depart flight level 2-0-0 for the base, so yeah, we just started to down throttle back and, you know, started down.

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