Analysis of Radar and Air-Visual UFO Observations
on 24 October 1968 at Minot AFB,
North Dakota, USA
A1C Robert Michael O’CONNOR Field Maintenance Chief, 91st Missile Maintenance Squadron (91st MIMS), from his AF-117, dated 28 October 1968:
“I was the passenger in the 6 pack truck, on the gravel road, windows up, while traveling from N-1 to N-7, at about 35 mph. We first saw the object at 02:30 by watch (central daylight savings time) to the EAST of us while we were traveling towards the site. Our attention was drawn by the fact that there was a bigger light than the two farmyard lights, which appeared at a distance. The light just grew brighter in white light and came toward us. It started moving south. The object seemed to be observing us, when we stopped, the object seemed to hover, or stop when we turned out our headlights. We arrived at the site (N7) then started observing from outside the truck. It was moving in a large circular area to the South of us.” [A drawing of the trajectory is included, which shows an oval pattern, situated in the south of N-7, with a CCW movement. The axes of the pattern are 47 and 25 mm, the largest axis being oriented East-West, and the minimum distance to N-7 being 12 mm on the drawing]. “It came within hearing distance twice, at about 15° over the horizon. The sound was that of jet engines, only more steady, and at a lower pitch. It was in this same area for two or three hours. When we last saw it, at 03:45, in the ESE, the object was in the South East and went low in the ESE and out of sight… We saw the B-52 that was sent to check out the sighting, we saw it West to the object at first… About the object movements we saw, it moved SE first, then West, then SE and out of sight, then a few minutes later, appeared in the SE again, moving North, at one time the object came within about 1/2 mile of site (N-7) then was headed SW, then went East, and out of site. Then reappeared in the SE, moved west, then east, then out of site, and did not appeared again after the B-52 made its first pass. We saw it during 1.5 hours total, by watch. The object appeared self-luminous, like a big ball of white light that seemed to change to a dim green light then later to a dim amber color. The object varied to take the appearance of a sting fish… But I was unable to make out any definite shape because the object sent out such a bright light… Its apparent size seemed bigger than the tip of a match held at arm length.”
[Apparent size was larger than 23 minutes of arc. The moon has an apparent diameter of about 30 minutes of arc].
A1C Lloyd M. ISLEY, 91st MIMS, in his AF-117, dated 28 October 1968:
“I saw the object from 00:30 to 04:30 central, daylight savings time. We were traveling at 30 mph south from N-1 (LCF) to N-7 (LF) in a pick up truck, on a gravel flat road, about 5 miles north of N-7. The light was first sighted in the sky at about 50° altitude angle, and when we lost sight; it was at less than 10° altitude… [drawing showing a large circular trajectory in the sky]... I observed from the vehicle then from outside, at the missile site, during 3.5 to 4 hours. During all the time we were on N-7, it went out of sight a few times and then reappeared … A B-52 was in the same area as the object, just before the object left our view … At one time, there were two objects, the first one in the SSE, the second one in the SSW of N-7 [drawing]… The object had lights on the front, like headlights or landing lights. It had a green flashing light towards the middle or rear. I could not tell any shape or size… My estimate is that the object was the size of a KC-135. I could only tell by the lights on the object, that were the same as on a jet aircraft… It went out of sight low in the South east…”
A1C Joseph JABLONSKI, November-Security Alert Team member, 862nd Security Police Squadron (862nd SPS) in his AF-117, dated 25 October 1968:
“I saw the object from 03:08 to 05:18 by clock, on and off, the time was the one my team stayed out from dispatch as shown on AF form 53… I was then 9 miles south from N-1, and 2-3 miles SSE from N-7, as passenger of a 4x4 truck, with windows open occasionally, moving at about 30 mph, but we stopped to observe… The light was first seen in the sky at an angular altitude of about 35°… There was a B-52 diverted to the general area, first seen and heard approx. 35 minutes after first sighting of object. The object stayed basically to the South East while the B-52 was in the South West… The object was not in sight continuously, not due to our movement, but due to the behavior pattern of the phenomenon. The object appeared as orangish-red lighted, seem to switch to almost completely white and there was some green. This pattern was not always the same and at certain times a combination of all could be seen at once. The object first appeared to hover then move slowly, speed up, always alternating in color. Then lights would vanish, but return some minutes after… When we were first dispatched to N-7, another object, exactly the same, appeared out of the East and had picked up speed in a path moving towards the other object. I never did see the two join or meet as the second one disappeared and no longer could be seen… The object was self-luminous with glowing orange-red; white greenish alternating and at times combinations could be seen. The object appeared rather solid, although not very wide and slender in shape. Edges were fuzzy. Lights were much too bright to determine exact shape. This object appeared much brighter than a star… Other persons had brought it to my attention. Although I had not seen it immediately, they gave a good estimate of its location. When it reappeared 3 or 4 minutes later, it was quite bright and gradually weakened… Prior to return to N-1, it caught our attention again, this time WSW in location. It had appeared as before, starting bright, orange-red, to white and finally green. The object was stationary at the time and appeared approx. 1000 feet above ground. The green light started to diminish slowly till no longer seen… Just prior to our sighting of the diverted B-52 in the WSW, the object had descended gradually and for a minute or two had appeared to be obstructed by trees… Although the object appeared to be solid matter, the illumination rendered no logical shape to be determined. It had appeared quite slim and not very wide [a drawing of a long oval, 35 x 4 mm, is made by the witness]. As to the alternating illumination, particularly the white, it appeared as two or three automobile headlights. When the B-52 had flown in its search, it had been using its landing lights, which were quite similar in nature. As to avoid confusion between the plane and the object, Base Ops had pointed out where and when we saw the B-52. Must add that the B-52 engines could be easily heard while the UFO made no sounds to be heard at about the same distance… The object had various maneuvers, which occurred basically in one general area. It stayed pretty well SSE of the launch facility but at several times started Northward and Westward, always returning to its previous SSE position. For some reason, it appeared to be trying to travel west, but we never did see it take the direct path. When the B-52 flew in the vicinity (SSE) it was no longer seen in that location. When the plane had started to travel to the base, and after it was out of sight, we had also started back to N-1. Our attention was again caught when it appeared approx. 5 miles due West where it remained until it finally disappeared about 15 minutes afterwards. Offhand I’d say that close to one-half would be covered by a match head held at arm length.”
[Apparent object length is about 46 arc minutes, or about 1.25 times the full moon diameter].
A1C Gregory ADAMS, November-Security Alert Team member, 862nd SPS, in his AF-117, dated 25 October 1968:
“I saw the object from 03:08 to 05:18 by clock, with O’Connor, Jablonsky, and Bond, 9 miles south from N1 and 2 miles from N7… A maintenance team working at November 7 called over radio… The object was first 30° over the horizon and later about 15°… I was driving the 4x4 truck… The B-52 bomber was heard approximately 45 minutes after seeing the UFO, the B-52 to the West, and much higher than the UFO …Our movement had no relation with appearing and disappearing of the UFO. It seemed to assume a stationary position, at first a hovering position, then it would speed up. The reddish-orange light keep changing white and occasionally green… The lights were self luminous and very bright, size and shape hard to distinguish… I never could distinguish the shape because of the bright light. However it seemed to be shaped as a wiener [the witness drew a long oval, 19 x 3 mm]. This is the best description I can give, but I am not completely sure of the shape…Its size was compared to 8 cars with bright lights all over them… When en route to N-7, another object appeared at same distance. They seemed to get pretty close at one time, and all of a sudden, one disappeared… Right before the B-52 was seen, the UFO descended gradually behind what could have been trees, it was so dark… The last I saw of it, was when it appeared to be hovering above ground, you could see a green light for about 15 minutes, the light seem to be getting smaller until you could not see it… About its apparent angular size, I estimate that 1/3 would be covered by a match head held at arm’s length.
[Apparent length of UFO was about 70 arc minutes, more than two times the diameter of the full moon].
Staff Sgt. James F. BOND, November-Flight Security Controller, 862nd SPS, in his AF-117, dated 25 October1968:
“I saw the object from 03:08 to 05:00, from outdoor the LCF November 1, approx. 10 miles North of N-7… My attention was first called by a maintenance team at the launch facility (N-7)… The object was first at an angular height of 15° in the South West, and about at a distance of 4 miles … My observation was not continuous because of the movement of the phenomenon… Two objects were seen for about 3 minutes, the second one disappeared when close to the first one … The object was a light, it appeared to be self luminous, it appeared to be solid, the edges appeared to be fuzzy, it appeared then as a point of light… I lost its sight when it appeared to land and slowly changed to a dim green, after about 15 minutes it disappeared gradually… No shape could be seen and it moved in directions indicated below (large drawing with a complicated trajectory, reproduced thereafter…The object appeared about the same as landing lights in aircraft (B-52 diverted to area) except for flashing red lights on B-52. The object acted like a helicopter in flight… I have seen similar phenomena off the coast of Alaska in 1956, and Okinawa in 1965… About its size, a match tip held at arm’s length would have been covered.”
[Apparently, about 23 minutes of arc.]
Staff Sgt. William E. SMITH, Jr., Oscar-Flight Security Controller, 862nd SPS, in his AF-117, dated 26 October 1968:
“I observed the object from 02:30 to 04:15 AM from clock, central, daylight savings time, on and off during a total of 1 hour 15 minutes, from the East of highway 83, the objects being to my South, at an angular height of about 15°… [Drawing of a zigzag trajectory in the sky]… My observation was not permanent, due to the movement of the phenomenon, which was steady, and smooth, rising slightly. It would disappear completely at times then at times would just fade or dim… The phenomenon appeared to me to be a reddish, burnt orange. I saw it fade and change as a star might twinkle. I also noticed a slight tint of green. Burnt orange, reddish was the dominant color. The object appeared as though a star would appear on the horizon a clear night (a large star). No edges were visible from my position… I was notified it had been seen in an adjacent area, I alerted my sentries. The object was first seen in the southern part of my area by a posted sentry. I directed my gaze South of my position and saw the object about 15 minutes after my sentry sighted it. It was visible one moment and just vanished! … The object resembled the planet Mars as it is while rising on the horizon. It was similar in color and size. One difference is that it would fade (color) from view… “
Major James PARTIN, 23rd Bombardment Squadron, and B-52H instructor pilot with 13 years of experience describes the UFO in his AF-117, dated 30 October 1968. He first observed the UFO ahead of the B-52, to the WNW (292o), on or near the ground while at 3200 feet MSL altitude:
“As I turned on to downwind leg in the traffic pattern [at 04:30 GMT by clock, and until 04:35], I saw a bright orange ball of light at my one o’clock position. It appeared to be about 15 miles away, and either on the ground or just slightly above the ground. The light remained stationary as we flew towards it. I turned into base leg about one mile to the South of the light and was above it. The light did not move during this time…. [My attention was attracted by] the unusually bright light I had never seen at night in this area … [The light finally disappeared as] I turned the aircraft to position it for final landing …It looked like a miniature sun placed on the ground, below the aircraft… [The other witness in the cockpit was] Capt. Bradford Runyon.”
[Two small drawings accompany his report. The apparent angular size of the orange ball of light was 4.5 times the tip of a match held at arm length. About 103 minutes of arc, more than three times the moon diameter].
Captain Bradford RUNYON, 23rd Bombardment Squadron, and B-52H instructor copilot was not interviewed during the Blue Book investigation, and did not complete an AF-117. Here is his description recorded by Thomas Tulien for the Sign Oral History Project (SOHP) on 5 May 2000, and 25 February 2005.
“Well this was during the Cold War and then we had nuclear weapons on them so we were… well we had a certain number on alert at all times, and, you know, and different times then we had ‘em on alert in the air… loaded with nuclear bombs It was just a typical training mission. We take off and air re-fuel, do a high altitude navigation training for the navigators and low-level route in the…oh, just air work, and then usually come back into a few touch and go landings. But, you know, in 10 hours, we’d fly all over the United States, Canada and so on…. We would have had our full crew, which would be 2 navigators and a gunner and then an electronics warfare officer… I was at 20,000 feet being the co-pilot — I handled the radios, so I requested permission to make a penetration to land and so when I did this, the controllers came back and said that they would like me to check on something if I wouldn’t mind. I said, ‘Well, I’ve been flying for 10 hours, but if it’s important I’ll go check on it,’ And they said, ‘Well, we think it’s important.’, So I said, ‘All right, give me a vector.’, And so they pointed me in a certain direction and we started flying out through there and I got to thinking, pilot, what am I looking for? So I called and I said, ‘What is it that I’m looking for?’, And they said, ‘Well, you’ll know it if you find it.’ That sort of got our curiosity up. So anyway a few minutes later my navigator said, ‘Pilot’, he said, ‘We have something coming towards us.’, He says, ‘And it’s… and it’s coming fast.’ And then the radar navigator said, it’s… it’s coming so fast that it… it can’t avoid us and we were all ready for impact and so anyway, his voice really came up real high and you know, we thought we were going to be hit. And of course he’s filming his radar scope at this time and, you know, after, well, the next day they checked his film and with the clocks and everything around the scope determined the object was coming at roughly 3,000 miles per hour and then it just stopped dead off a… a right wing or in the… off the tail… so I’m looking around trying to find it ‘cause all I can see is, you know, just a haze right there and I couldn’t see anything visually at that time. But then our radios went out that time and we couldn’t talk to the ground or anything, so it just stayed there for a few seconds. We’re just flying along, same heading we just knew it was coming fast, but he has clocks all around his scope and everything is timed and filmed and when they develop the film or check the film the next day then the bomb nav department said that was the speed… they were watching it and, you know, anyway they…they probably… you know, it wasn’t going to slow down at all, then all of a sudden it just… just stopped right there… and stayed right with us at this same spot… Well, so then after — I don’t know how long, but, you know, just seconds or minutes at the most, then the object on the radar scope went to the other side of the airplane and it stayed, you know, a mile, a mile and a half, something or other like that, just off the left tail of the airplane…at that position, anyway, the size of the skin paint was possibly 6 times as large as a skin paint of a tanker… So we were making straight in approach to Minot Air Force Base and so the object stayed with us, same spot essentially… our radios were out from the time the thing got close to us… and our radios never came back in until 10 miles from the runway… it set down on the ground and it was off to our left and so anyway, just a few seconds later then our radios came back in, so we continued our approach on into Minot… we proceeded on to the base and then we had a… a general officer came on the radio and told us to go back and… but, I mean, he could have been patched in from any place, so he told us to go back and fly over the… the object… we were vectored back around over the thing and actually another pattern… we were just to the outside of it, so Major Partin, you know, could look right… right down into… over the object. I was in the right seat so, you know, I had to look sort of across the airplane. Well anyway our radios went out again and I was… I was talking on the radios to the ground controllers and they said that — of course every time I radioed to an outfit, you know, we’d had a problem or something and they mentioned that our radios went dead in mid-word, not mid-sentence, but, you know, just the word broke off…There was pretty much an egg-shaped object on the ground. It was lined up with the runway, but the orange glowing part, which looked like either molten metal or lava, something like that. It wasn’t shiny or glowing or anything. It… I mean it was dull… But the part that sort of made me wonder whether the thing turned around or whether or why it was pointed in the direction of us, then there was a shiny tubular section that came from the end away from the runway. So it’s the part that I thought was the control center. So anyway, it was smooth metallic looking, round tunnel. It attached to sort of a crescent moon-shaped object which sort of wrapped around the one end of the larger mass and it was smooth, shiny, metallic-looking… Where the object was curved on the back end, or the front end — whichever it was, the metallic part had the same curvature and it was the same width as the rest of it, but it just wasn’t very long. Yeah, I tried looking in there, but I… I couldn’t… I could see, you know, some lights, and it seems to me like I can remember a brilliant yellow, but I… I just, you know. There were lights and I thought I should be able to see objects in there. You know, we went over real fast and… and I really couldn’t distinguish anything inside…. We went back at about 150, 200 mph, so, you know, and that would’ve been probably 1,000 feet of it. But, you know, you can see objects on the ground real… real well. It was real clear there on the ground… the controllers were asking me if we had it and so forth. I’m talking to them. And then so after we went back and turned towards the runway again then the radios came back in. Of course they had me change and trying different frequencies and everything, but there wasn’t anything wrong with the radios. We had finished our observation and went in and landed and Major Partin went in for the UFO debriefing… after everyone had been debriefed, the Air Force officials came in that night or the next then we were briefed on what had gone on. So that’s when we were told, you know, what started it…while we’re out flying around, then oh, an alarm goes off in one of the missile silos and anyway, uh…turns out that — this is what was told to us at the briefing by a general officer the following day. So air police were dispatched to check on the missile alarm and so the first air policemen that were sent out didn’t check in when they should have so they sent others to check on ‘em and the second group found the first group unconscious around their vehicle with the paint burned off the top of the vehicle, and when they came to they… they said that, you know, something… some object had… they thought it was going to sit down on top of ‘em and so they started running. That’s the last that they knew, but…it didn’t squash their vehicle or anything so it didn’t sit down on them. And so… but anyway it turns out that the reason that the alarms were set off was the 20 ton concrete lid covering the top of the missile silo had been removed and a chain link fence around the thing had been squashed and there was radioactivity around and the inner alarm down the side of the silo had also been activated. Well, it turns out that there were two ways to remove the concrete lid. You either have a large crane that’d lift 20 tons and set it off to the side, or have explosive charges that blow it off in case one launched a missile to go to war. Explosive charges hadn’t been activated… this was just told to us. Now that’s why it was such of an important nature to the Air Force, because of the missile they had checked out… well, I’m sure they didn’t tell everyone. They just, you know, told people with top-secret security clearances and it was just such a matter of importance. That involves national security when ever, you know, have your nuclear missiles tampered with… [Interviewer: Do you think there’s anyway that they could’ve vectored you on the object without radar?] BR: No…no…not with the precision that they did it. No… no one interviewed me, period. Just Major Partin was only… only one that, you know, from our crew was interviewed at all… We were afraid to say anything… I had a pretty good military career. I didn’t want to jeopardize that….I don’t know anything about plasma, but ball of anything just can’t stop like it did and, you know, do the things that this thing did…. And the object we saw on the ground, you know, it… it wasn’t… well, it was different types of material. It wasn’t all… it wasn’t just a big ball of… of glowing anything. It was… it had different features to it… on the main body part. It was just that orangish color. The part, you know, I thought was the… the cabin, the control center…it had colors inside it. I mean, the colors I saw really weren’t on the outside. I looked in… inside. They were, you know, back inside….About 4 years ago when I was taking a… a state test for a state job, there was someone in the group taking a test with me about my age, so I just asked him where he was from or something. Anyway, it turned out that he and I both went to high school at Pikeville High School and he was 2 years behind me and there…discussion about where we went after school. I told him I was stationed in the Air Force, Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, and he just mentioned that he had been up there too and so I asked if he was in the Air Force also, and he said, ‘No.’ He said that he was in the CIA, and I said, ‘Well what was the CIA doing up at Minot?’ He said ‘Well, they sent me up there to investigate an incident between a B-52 and a UFO.’ And so I told him, ‘Well, I was flying the B-52.’ So we discussed that a little bit and I mentioned that Project Blue Book had said that there was just a ball of lightning and it wasn’t a UFO and he just made this statement, says, ‘They lied. It was a UFO.’”
Now, from his SOHP interview on 25 February 2005:
“Most of our approaches begin at 20,000 feet. So I’m sure I requested clearance to 20,000 or Flight Level 200, which… at 18,000 feet then you reset your altimeter to two-niner-niner-two (29.92) for above 18,000 feet, everyone is flying with the same altimeter setting so it keeps your distances… one of the controllers just came over and said: “while your flying… we would like for you to check on something out… in this certain area… I asked, “What are we looking for? And they said, “well you will know it if you see it,” …and then after that someone mentioned that maintenance people have been seeing UFOs … Anyway, we are just flying out towards the TACAN penetration point, so the ground controllers told me that I had, for me to look out at my 1:00 position, that I should have something out there and I couldn’t see anything…Shortly thereafter, the Navigator told me that we had something at right off our wing, at 3 o’clock… and of course I am looking there too, and I really can’t see it… we reached our penetration point and our radios had quit working when the object got in close to us. I’m not sure just at what point I realized that we couldn’t talk to the ground… but we made our turn and penetration back towards the base and departed our altitude without receiving permission which it bothered me at the time…because it was basically illegal to change your altitude without approval beforehand… sometime maybe during the turn or later after we headed back in, then the Navigator mentions that the object has moved over to the other side of the airplane and … I don’t know if it was then when it came in real fast or the first time… then it came in real fast. I know that Pat McCaslin said that it was… I felt the thing was closing too fast to stop…At first they just told us if we could read them to squawk Ident… so, you know, the aircraft commander just hits a button and we already had a certain code set in…so it just flashes on their radar… but we still couldn’t talk to them and so they just said if we were having an emergency or having any serious problems then to squawk another code and we didn’t, so they figured we were all right… we were headed out away from the base to this TACAN penetration point… I don’t know how far out that penetration fix was but I thought it was 35 miles out from the base… and then the navigator had it there, and it just stayed with us for, well say ten miles anyway… at one point the navigator called and said it’s set down on the ground, he, I don’t think he said it had left us, but… it had, it had left… but he was, he was pretty sure it had, that it had set, it had gone down and set on the ground… it was with us from there until 10 miles from the base…Then our radios came back in and just as soon as the Navigator told me that he no longer had it, that it had dropped off his radar and… then I, I checked in with the Approach Control and told them that, basically that their UFO wasn’t with us anymore… And that our radios were working and they told me to try another frequency or two and we tried that and we stayed on their best frequency… as we were making the approach I think that we had in mind to land because we were sort of fatigued…But we received instructions over one of the radios and it said that such-and-such general wanted us to fly back out and over fly over the object and see what we could see about it… the ground controllers knew that, they could hear, or, well I don’t know if they could hear but they knew, that we were supposed to go back and over fly the thing, they gave us a heading to fly back over the object… and when we made our go-around over the runway, made our turn, and headed back, and as soon as we rolled out at wings level, there was an orange glow sitting out there… almost off our nose about 11:30 position, just a little bit to the left side of the airplane so we were heading towards it… I got busy with checklists and fuels… and things like that… You have 36 different fuel switches, I remember and you can take fuel out of certain tanks to a certain point. You just don’t run those tanks dry you… have to take them out of others, so you have two pages of checklist just on fuel settings… you have to do it in sequence to keep the airplane balanced… and so, but there are other checklists I would have to run too and… just various things I would have to do and, by that time I was caught up, you know, and Major Partin was flying the airplane…And you know, just as soon as I got everything caught up, I looked up and we were on top of it… I think the speed was 180 indicated so it’s roughly 200 miles per hour… so at 200 miles per hour it doesn’t take you long to go 10 miles… when I first looked up, we were already beside it… and so I didn’t look straight ahead out my window, but maybe from the corner from my eye I could tell that it was to the other side but… anyway, I, when I looked up, I looked out the pilot’s window, or possibly the side window… so I just looked up and there was something there that to me… well the first thing I saw was a dark square, a rectangle… and then this red, a dull red around it… I mean, it wasn’t well lit it would blend in with the ground pretty well… or the night sky, but this one part, one shadow was completely black… and my eyes were drawn to it and I was thinking, ‘well that’s a barn, loft and the door’s open where they put hay in the thing… but I was thinking that a barn wasn’t going to be that high, ‘cause I’m really not looking down, I’m looking out, maybe down some… to the side… so my concentration was on that… dark spot for, at first… well so we’re flying beside the object and I take my eye away from that, you know, I just sort of glanced, there was really nothing to see, just this dull reddish, and I didn’t see the bottom, and I didn’t see the top, I’m just, may be I’m not looking, I’m just looking along the side… and might be for my field of view was limited looking across the airplane also… so then we come to a metallic cylinder, sort of like stainless steel or shiny aluminum or something like that… it’s protruding from the end of this thing and it’s on the ground and the ground is just well-lighted here. I could see maybe trees, bushes or breaks in the ground, I could see different… things on the ground… well lit, and so as we are going past this, I looked back and I thought that this thing might be pretty close to the first big part of the object, but it appeared to be attached and it was coming out of the end of it, and that end was well lit and it was sort of barn red, but it was lighter, it was a whole lot brighter than it was down the sides, basically I figure from the glow from the next section which was… sort of like a crescent moon, but it was a crescent shaped object… and it was attached to the other end of the cylinder… and the light illuminating from it had the cylinder completely illuminated… just about as if it was daylight really… and the crescent shaped part appeared to be solid but it appeared to be almost translucent like you could almost see through it, but it didn’t have anything… wavy or anything, it was, it was solid, the lines were… distinct on it… and it was as high or higher, it was higher than the tube section was… but not a whole lot higher… and it wasn’t nearly as high as the main body of the thing was… and as we banked over it, to make our crosswind, I guess we were told to turn about that time and our radios went out again because I did transmit something… and they didn’t receive, and so as we went by it, it was pretty good size also because, that is all that really showed up, or maybe I was just concentrating on it and didn’t see anything else… but at one point I could see it and the tubular section and the front part of the main body together, but it took us several seconds to go around the thing, to make our turn… it was probably in view… I, I don’t know, well, several seconds anyway… I would probably put ten seconds in the range… because, you know, we flew down the side of it for about two or three, maybe four seconds… we are just level… and we don’t bank until we get right to the end of it… Major Partin started his turn just as we got right to the end of it and turned almost over the top of the thing… and then we were…I’m sure we were told to turn by the ground controllers so they knew exactly where we were in relation to it… before we left we were notified to be at a certain place uh… later that morning… for debriefing… or some time during the day, but it was already morning and it seemed to me like it was just a few hours before we met… it was small office and it was plenty for the few of us who were there…. It wasn’t a great big place or anything…Well basically instead of asking us any questions he just informed us as to what had gone on… during that night, and he had mentioned about outer and inner alarms going off at one of the missile sites and one thing that he did mention that there had been two different instances having to do with missiles within a week… so he did mention that there had been outer and inner alarms activated… air police had been sent to investigate, the first air police hadn’t reported in when they were suppose to, the other air police were sent to check and they found the first air police either unconscious or coming, regaining consciousness, and the paint was burned off the top of the vehicle that they were in… they had told the other guys that the last they remembered is that something was starting to sit down on them… and they started running and that was the last thing they remembered and then the general officer told us that the Air police did go onto the missile site and the 20 ton concrete blast door… I don’t know, he might have called it blast door, anyway, that 20 ton concrete lid or door had been moved from the top of one of our Minuteman Two missiles… and that the inner alarm down the inside the thing had been activated… and he also mentioned that Air Police had seen us fly over, and they had seen the object that was on the ground there… take off and fly up and join up with us… and basically, that was it…I was never contacted by anybody… about anything… at first I was apprehensive when I thought the thing was going to hit us… but after that, I wasn’t really that much concerned about it… we went out and flew out over the thing, ‘course, you know, I was sort of concerned that, you know, it might interfere with something on the airplane… power, electronics, or something like that, but really my biggest concern was just the air, or, you know, the airplane itself being affected… I guess, you know, that it was during the debriefing that the general mentioned that the radar had picked that up, maybe the weather radar.”