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

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TT:If I'm sitting up there looking at these lights, I'm gonna call base operations, I'm gonna say, "I'm seeing this thing and I'm gonna give you the coordinates, you tell me what you see." Did that ever happen?
WS:Well, that did happen in an informal way. Here I'm the Staff Sergeant and I don't usually call out of my chain of command unless I'm really frightened. So I used my chain of command, I called back the people that I deal with so I've done what I'm supposed to do and I just keep it under advisement. I talked to my Capsule Crew. Depending upon the crew they were interested or not interested. But it got frustrating, we got really angry that nobody was listening to us. So, I remember after I got my crew interested even more they then called. Now the plot thickens because they started calling people, and they said "my people upstairs are saying here's what's happening and we want some more information," so they did call the tower and matter of fact, I remember listening on the phone that we had. They were now talking to other people and they let me stay on and listen, so they called their Operations who, in turn, said "OK, let's get somebody else to think about this." And then of course the B-52 Crew was called in, they said, "Well we have a '52 that's out and we'll see what they can see." That's how we got the crew involved.
JK:Would this sort of thing go in your blotter?
WS:We did have a form that we would document everything of what would happen, and I'm sure it probably did.
JK:Sort of a shift log? But when I asked the Air Force for the ones from this event, they said, "Oh, those are long since destroyed."
WS:Right. We would have logged information because I did send my team out, and there were so many things coming back about the sighting that I felt it was significant; I know we would have made a record of that. I actually went out, I think I mentioned to you, Jim, on the phone, I actually went out because we did have some alarms that had gone off. I did go out with my team because we were interested in trying to find what was going on when we found out the B-52 crew had seen some things—
JK:I want to get back in sequence—you had seen some things a few nights previous—
WS:Yes. So now we're at this evening and I had gotten off duty and was sitting and talking with the Vice Security Controller on duty and the conversation then gravitated to that— matter of fact, we were sort of anticipating it because things had been working up and we had been seeing more and more activity with these lights. I remember personally talking to the Capsule Crews and so now, this evening we said "look, there's a lot of activity out here is there some way we can get verification of what's going on from the base?" We found out there were no aircraft operating, no helicopters the base was aware of. The [Capsule] Crew found that out for us. And so as we go along a little further, the B-52 Crew actually gets things going because now they lent some credibility to what we were saying, and the events that happened with them, now everybody's on alert—when I say "alert," we're saying "ah gosh, what's happened here?" is there something—
JK:But you did hear some of that—

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