Ralph T. Holland Interview, 20 February 2005

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JK:Well, Tom, you want to go ahead?
TT:I'm just wondering did you get the transcripts?
RH:Yes I did. I got them and I read them and it kinda refreshed my memory that there were some people in the missile area that saw what they thought was a UFO. And I had the meeting with them to put all the facts and information together that we sent on up to SAC and Air Defense Command and the whole place, you know.
TT:Yeah, those guys were pretty impressed to be in a General's office I guess [chuckles].
TT:So, I guess you didn't spend much time down with the crews.
RH:Well as Division Commander I had Minot Air Force Base, I lived there, and I had Malmstrom Air Force Base, and also was phasing out a base called Glasgow, Montana—a B-52 base, so I had 150 missiles at Minot and 200 at Malmstrom. In addition to that, being a General Officer in SAC, you know, we flew Looking Glass. Looking Glass was the airborne Command Post.
TT:So you would go over to Offutt to do that?
RH:I would go to Offutt to do it and I would spend, as I recall it was five days and we would fly on station 8 hours a day. It would take you 30 or 40 minutes to get up to altitude, and then when you were relieved, 30 or 40 minutes to get back down so you killed about 10 hours, you know.
TT:Right. But you also had a couple of planes on alert all the time at Minot and Ellsworth, is that right?
RH:Well we had planes on alert at Minot, yes. You know [JK talking over]—
JK:He means backup for the airborne command post. I just received the SAC history and they said they had backup airborne command post planes here and there in case the airborne one was lost.
RH:Well, that's true, and they had most of them, all of them I knew of were at SAC Headquarters, so if the weather was bad—I remember one time the weather was lousy at SAC and visibility was very poor and, you know, the command post airplane was filled with electronics and was a very expensive machine. So, they retrieved us down at Barksdale Shreveport, Louisiana but another plane had taken off and was airborne. It was OK to take off but not to land, see? So yes. But SAC did that for about 30 years you know.
TT:Yeah, you know when they stopped the PACS and ALCS flights, it was so quiet there was no mention of it, but when you think of how incredible that day was, you know—
RH:Yes, yes. The other thing I wanted to ask you, I'm sure you've looked up my bio on the Internet?
TT:Right, yeah we have.

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