Military veterans urge truth told about unidentified aerial phenomena incidents
Fifty-five years ago in September 1966, Air Force members from Minot Air Force Base experienced an incident in the Minot missile field in which a flying object took “off alert” all 10 of the nuclear-tipped missiles, causing them to be unlaunchable. About a dozen military members topside at the missile launch control facility observed the mysterious flying object with bright flashing lights hovering near the perimeter fence on that September night.
Air Force officials reportedly instructed the military members at the launch control facility and those who knew about this incident never to speak about it and as far as they should be concerned, it never happened.
Retired Air Force Capt. David Schindele, a former Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile launch crew commander, was involved with the September 1966 incident in the Minot missile field. Schindele, of Mukilteo, Wash., wrote a book, “It Never Happened, Volume 1,” published a few years ago on his research and documentation about the Minot incident and others. Proceeds of his book are donated to the national Air Force Association. He is working on volume two of his book and expects it will take a few more years before he is finished because of extensive research required. (Incidentally, his parents are from North Dakota – McGregor and Tolna.)
A similar incident in which missiles were disabled in the missile field in the Malmstrom AFB, Montana, area occurred a year later in 1967. Others have also taken place in the country.
Amendment sets up formal UAP office
On Wednesday, Dec. 15, the U.S. Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) including the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) Amendment. The House passed NDAA earlier.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., sponsored the UAP amendment working along with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Congressman Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz. The amendment will establish a formal office to carry out a coordinated effort on collection and analysis related to unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), also known as unidentified flying objects (UFOs). In the Senate, Senators Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Rubio cosponsored the amendment.
The new office, replacing the current Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, would be administered jointly between the secretary of Defense and the director of National Intelligence. It would empower military and civilian personnel working for the Department of Defense and intelligence community to report incidents and information involving UAPs.
The UAP office will be required to provide unclassified annual reports to Congress and classified semiannual briefings on intelligence analysis, reported incidents, health-related effects, the role of foreign governments, and nuclear security.
Schindele provided the following statement to The Minot Daily News following the passage of the amendment in the NDAA:
“The amendment makes much more sense than most everything else in that ‘Act.’ For many decades Congress has ignored threats to national security by certain actions of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP/UFO) toward the military and its atomic weapons and support facilities.
“It is long overdue for Congress to get involved with this. The first thing it must now include on its agenda is the liberation of all those in the military, and former military, who have been constrained from divulging Truth about UAP/UFO incidents impacting national security. As a former commander of a Minot AFB Minuteman ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) launch crew, I am witness to a UFO take down of 10, “on-alert,” nuclear-tipped missiles in their silos, and I’m aware of two other incidents that took down 20 more. There have been many additional incidents over the years, and many former military people are ready to come forward if constraints on them are released. When released from their commitment to secrecy and to the fact that UAP/UFOs do exist, the total scope of this national security problem will come to light, and it will serve to provide additional incentive to get to the heart of the problem involving our vulnerable ICBMs and the mysterious flying objects.
“It is my hope that people in Congress can work together in putting the operating components of the amendment in quick working order. It will be a huge task, however, since there are many people ‘buried’ deep in the bowels of government who are intent on managing and protecting their UAP/UFO secret. This has been evidenced by the ‘poor’ response from the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to a Senate intelligence committee last June 25th and their statement that their ‘concerns primarily center on aviators contending with an increasingly cluttered air domain,’ and by a recent proposal by the Deputy Defense Secretary regarding a program to ‘detect, identify and attribute objects of interest in Special Use Airspace.’ I wish Congress well.”
Robert Salas of California is another military veteran who experienced a UAP/UFO incident at a missile facility when assigned to Malmstrom AFB, Montana. The incident was similar to one that Schindele was associated with.
Following the National Defense Authorization Act passing Congress, Salas said, in a statement provided to The Minot Daily News:
“The fact that this is a specific directive to DOD (Department of Defense) to establish an office for the specific purpose of collecting data from other agencies, evaluating that data, writing reports, collecting reports from all agency sources and writing evaluations on the UAP is an historic change to the manner in which this subject has been handled in the past. There are now requirements to report to Congress on a yearly basis and issue both classified and unclassified reports.
“The main implication of this action is that many in the House and the Senate are now showing great interest in the phenomenon and are eager to learn more. This portends the possibility of having open hearings where witnesses will come forward. If that occurs, the scope of public understanding, appreciation and interest in this phenomenon will increase exponentially.
“The major shortfalls in this legislation, as I see it, is that it does not call for a review of major past incidents such as Roswell or the ones revealed by myself and others. In addition, legislation does not speak to the need for public input to the new UAP office.”
In June, the Pentagon released to Congress a long-awaited report which examined 144 cases of UAP sightings between 2004-2021 mainly by Navy personnel and military aviators. Of the more than 140 cases, only one was explained and found to be a large, deflated balloon.
On Oct. 19, Schindele, Salas and two other military veterans Robert Jacobs of Missouri and Robert Jamison spoke at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Jacobs, speaking by Zoom at the press club, took movie pictures of an Atlas missile test in 1964 where the missile launched from Vandenberg AFB, California, was intercepted by a UFO that shot beams of light at the dummy warhead.
“Our primary emphasis, when we were in DC, was to generate interest by Congress to hold hearings, and then get to the Truth of the matter,” Schindele said in an email to The Minot Daily News. “Congress needs to seriously recognize that many in the military have been silenced about what has been going on for many decades, and it involves national security and the tampering of nuclear weapons by the flying objects. The Air Force has continued to tell Congress and the American people that ‘Flying objects do not exist, or pose a threat to national security.’ Those who have been silenced must be released from their burden of supporting the lies of government and be allowed to tell the Truth without trepidation. I know quite a few of them, and some were required to sign a document stating they would forever remain silent.
“But, does Congress have the will to do this, or will they be more concerned with political issues and their personal agendas. For those in Congress willing to get serious and investigate the matter, they may find that they will be recognized in getting to the bottom of the greatest secret ever held from the American people and humankind. The mysterious objects will not be going away, they will be around for many decades to come, and sometime down the road Congress or someone in government will be obligated to take a stand for Truth.”
Other UAP/UFO accounts
Recently, Myrna Messer of Derby, Kansas, and originally from Donnybrook, wrote and published a book about the families behind the Minuteman missile program, “The Boeing Gypsies.” Her husband, Ray, worked for Boeing installing the missiles, including in the Minot missile field. In the book, he gives his recollection of a Boeing crew doing some work at the launch control facility in the Minot missile field. The crew was told about an unidentified flying object (UFO) being sighted near a missile facility in that missile field but nothing more was said about it, according to Ray Messer.
When the Messers were living in Lewistown, Montana, Myrna Messer said their son, Jim, and some of his friends saw UFOs “above and a little north of Lewistown.” After reading an account of what airmen saw in the missile field in the Malmstrom AFB, Montana, area in 1967, Myrna Messer said their son said he found it interesting what he saw was very similar to what the airmen saw – three to five star-like objects that were sometimes in formation but otherwise zigzagging around. The objects weren’t close but like a plane or a slow satellite. “It made a lasting impression on him as it did on all who witnessed this amazing phenomenon,” she said.