Investigation of UFO Events at Minot AFB
on 24 October 1968
Sign Oral History Project
Following the UFO events, Strategic Air Command, Offutt AFB, NE, initiated investigations. After the B-52 landed, the pilot Maj. James Partin reported to Base Operations for a debriefing. Minot AFB investigating officer, Lt. Col. Arthur Werlich, was awakened and informed of the situation. Later, the 5th Bombardment Wing commander requested an analysis of the B-52 radarscope film by targeting studies officer SSgt. Richard Clark. The 810th Strategic Aerospace Division commander, Brig. Gen. Ralph Holland, debriefed the B-52 crewmembers. The 91st Strategic Missile Wing commander sent a team to investigate the break-in at Oscar-7. Werlich phoned SAC headquarters requesting technical assistance for his investigation. Denied assistance, he was instructed to comply with Air Force Regulation 80-17.
Later in the day, Werlich phoned Project Blue Book at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, reporting the UFO events, and began the process of collating the case data per AFR 80-17. Several days later, he submitted the Basic Reporting Data, and following, Blue Book staff requested supplemental information. Werlich also forwarded all information to Gen. Hollingsworth at SAC headquarters for briefing Commanders and staff.
In the week following, Air Force officers arrived from off base to review the radarscope film and invited B-52 Navigator Capt. Patrick McCaslin to join the meeting. Oscar-Flight Security Controller SSgt. William Smith informed Werlich of numerous reports of unusual lights near the Canadian border, and recalls an officer spent a few days around Oscar-2 camped in a vehicle. Blue Book chief Lt. Col. Hector Quintanilla evaluated the case data received from Minot AFB, and submitted a final case report on 13 November 1968.