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

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WS:Oh, I heard the traffic. Absolutely. They left me on and, 'cause I'm looking at my people and saying "gosh, guys, they're really, see we told them all these times" [laughs]. And so when the crew did that my Capsule [Crew] also were excited, really excited, so one of them I think had an idea that they might call Air Defense Command, I think he had some connections or knew some people there or something. And from what he was saying to us they were able to use some radar manipulations, and they were able to see something operating they said 50 miles above where we were in the general vicinity—they couldn't pinpoint it but they said—50 miles above. And now everybody's heightened, you know, and we're talking about what's going to happen. We did have something happen at one of our sites, of course, and our team went out and checked that, and later the Lieutenant—matter of fact I was out there the next day. The Lieutenant did find radiation, found, he said, some forms of radiation. They used to carry these little Geiger counters, of course, to make sure the missile wasn't leaking, and they could...
JK:That's a normal piece of equipment
WS:Normal procedure I think for people coming out doing maintenance. They would want to make sure that—matter of fact they even wore little—
WS:Dosimeter, yes. And so I think he said that he found—because he came out to investigate and found certain minute traces of radiation on the site. And I just said, "This is going bizarre now," because it obviously was not from the missile, it was in the area where you would land an aircraft, because we had enough space on there within the perimeter, definitely. You had a huge parking area. In most cases if you had go to the site by helicopter you would land in that area. It was very large, large enough to land a helicopter.
JK:Outside the LF fence?
WS:No, it was inside the fence where they would park the vehicles that would come there, and so the radiation was found in that vicinity. I went with the Lieutenant out to the site as a matter of fact, and we talked there. He didn't want to say very much about it, "we're investigating and we can't talk about it," and those kinds of things, of course—
TT:You mentioned that it was in a circular pattern? What diameter?
WS:I have no idea. And I can't remember the Lieutenant's name now, but I know he was one of our officers doing the investigation on that site. It would have been one of the people in our command.
JK:You dispatched your team to the site with alarms. Do you recall what they encountered?

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