William E. Smith Interview, 25 August 2001(b)

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WS: Right. No, when I saw that, I said "That doesn't sound right," because we, of all people had to be the most accountable. Now the locks would malfunction some of the time due to wear and tear and weather, but then of course we'd get them replaced, and then get all the keys reissued. But to have someone have a key it would be highly unlikely, as far as I—
TT: Do you remember that specific evening—remember that sighting?
WS: Oh absolutely.
WS: Well see, as I mentioned to Jim before, we'd been seeing this over a period of time so, it—
TT: Over a period of time?
WS: We're talking over a period of months. We had seen things that didn't look right and we had talked about it. And I worked the day shift, being the person that was in charge, and that's where most of the stuff was going on anyway. When I say stuff—most of our Camper Teams coming out, crews coming out, most of the things happening. So they wanted the most experienced person on duty. And at night, there was nothing much to do. So I'd go out and jog and do other kinds of things, do some physical fitness, do some studies, and I'd come back and you'd sit around and talk to the FSC on duty, and his console was looking straight out the gate and where we were at Oscar headquarters, you could look directly south and see essentially the lights of the base. We were that close and on a clear night it was not a problem. We were about 20 miles from the base and were elevated enough, we could almost distinguish the lights that were there and you could see B-52s coming in for a landing—the lights anyway, not the actual aircraft.
JK: Do you recall which direction they went?
WS: When I say "traffic," I'm talking we could see the lights.
JK: Yeah.
WS: We knew there were aircraft up there because sometime they would come over us and they would be going from my left to my right [looking south towards the base traveling in a westerly direction], because the runway, if I'm not mistaken, runs east-west. But then we saw things that were different also [small laugh]. Over a period of time, I remember, just prior to this night, the activity just got more; we'd see more of these lights. And the lights would be different in that they'd go in a straight line pattern, but then they'd be going this way as well [indicates reversal of flight direction], which was odd, and they would stop, and then they would move this way [indicating another reversal of direction]. And after we started detecting them, I said, "wait a second." One of my people said "those lights they're not doing the right things," so we called the base and asked if they had any helicopters, and they said, "no, we're not flying anything." Especially certain times of day and night you'd know there wouldn't be any helicopters out, but it's possible of course. Then we thought crop dusters, maybe somebody's out doing something like that, well, many times we're talking one, two o'clock in the morning and that just doesn't work. So, our interest was piqued over that few weeks up to that night. And boy, a few days before just a lot of activity, just a lot of flying around and so I called the crew—

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