ASeptember posting on “The UFO Chronicles” web site by Robert Hastings took “debunkers” to task because they had not com- mented on his film. Hastings interpreted this to mean:
Given that the film presents several authenticated documents and on-camera interviews with vetted military witnesses, all discussing the reality of the decades-long UFO-Nukes Connection, perhaps the skeptics have finally realized the futility of their unceasing efforts to debunk the UFO-nukes link.
Nah, that can’t be it. This crowd will never admit—even to themselves—that their misguided, weak arguments are now untenable. May- be they are just lying low, realizing that they have nothing to gain by critiquing the film, in light of the overwhelming evidence it presents.1
Hastings is now on record that his film presents us with “overwhelming evidence” to the UFOs and Nukes connection. Prior to the film’s release, debunkers/skeptics were critical of his claims for many good reasons. While Hastings likes to criticize skeptics he often will ignore specifics in order to present only his version of events. The question on my mind, when I watched the film, was, “Would Hastings address the skeptics arguments in his film and would he provided new documentation to prove that some of these stories were true?”
Blowing your own horn
Another point raised by Robert Hastings in his rant about skeptics and his film was that his film has received “near-unanimous
praise” from everyone, who has viewed it. Considering the possibility that most of the viewers were UFO proponents, it would
be no surprise that he would receive favorable comments from people. However, do the facts really support his claim? The Vimeo site on the day I watched the film stated there were 4,835 “shares” on Facebook, 271 “recommendations”, and 12 comments.3 One of these was not that favorable:
Just mostly a very brief and recursive rehash of what i’ve seen before but with a bit more testimony, which is nice. However, this video isn’t really covering a lot of new material and, sorry to say, certainly not worth anywhere near the $13 i had to pay for it to watch it. Most of this material and lots more can be found on the internet in various places for free. I wish i had known - i wouldn’t buy this given what i know now, so buyer beware. This documentary should have been a lot longer and should have had a lot more previously undisclosed information in it. IMO, as it is, it rightfully belongs on Youtube for free.4
One wonders how the recommendations figure in relation to the number of individuals, who viewed the film. Does the 4,835 “shares” reflect the number of those, who viewed the film? If that is true, it seems that only a small percentage have considered it worthwhile enough to recommend. Without the total number of viewings of the film, we cannot really determine if Hastings is inflating his claims or if there really is a bunch of praise for his film. However, can we really call “271 recommendations” and “12 comments” (one of which was less than favorable) a landslide of approval for this film?
The quality of the evidence
While Hastings considered his evidence irrefutable, I consider it less than compelling. It is often anecdotal or selective inter- pretation of actual documents. If any documents indicate the anecdotal stories are not accurate, Hastings rejects them as part of a conspiracy to cover-up what transpired. In some cases, his “evidence” consists of nothing more than a newspaper clipping
or rumors. How can rumors, newspaper clip- pings, and selective editing of documents be “overwhelming evidence”? Apparently, Hast- ings hopes by presenting a bunch of uncon- firmable stories, he will make his case. Present- ing a large number of low quality cases may look impressive but for those who want him to prove his claims, it is not enough. Poor quality cases do not convince and can be considered bad evidence. No matter how much bad evi- dence is presented, the result is still the same.
In his opening presentation of evidence, Hastings presents us with a January 31, 1949 FBI memo that describes UFOs appearing
in December of 1948 near Los Alamos. The FBI memo does describe sightings around the Los Alamos area but most, if not all, of
these are not observations of “Flying saucers” but “Green fireballs”. While many consider these something related to UFOs, I consider them nothing more than bright meteors, which can be green. No evidence has ever been presented that they were alien spaceships as Hastings suggests.
FE Warren Air Force Base 1976
The first witness to appear in the film was a Captain Bruce Fenstermacher, who was stationed at FE Warren AFB in 1976.6 He stated that his Flight security controller (FSC) reported a UFO above the site for a few minutes and then proceeded to leave. According to Fenstermacher, when they came up the next day, the FSC was in his chair curled up in the fetal position. They could not calm him down. Fenstermacher was then told to be quiet and everything they were exposed to was classified Top Secret. In other re-tellings, Fenstermacher states that the Security Alert Team (SAT) refused to go to the missile sites because they were afraid of the UFO.7 It is important to point out that the only reason he knew the UFO existed was because of the report from the people topside. He never saw the UFO himself.
The FSC was usually the senior enlisted man in the shift and probably received additional training to rise to such a position of au- thority. The other security personnel assigned to the SAT were trained to protect the missiles with their lives. In Fenstermacher’s version of events, the enlisted personnel assigned to his flight were cowardly individuals, who refused to do their jobs, at the first sign of something unusual. This story indicates that the personnel responsible for the safety of nuclear weapons were not reliable at all. If we can’t trust them to do their jobs, how can we trust them to be “reliable observers”, who told Fenstermacher the truth about what they saw?
It is important to point out that we don’t have a date or month for this event or the names of the personnel. We are just told that the year was 1976. At the time, it could not have been consider that important of an event if he could not even give us a range of dates. I find this account to be more of ghost story or joke than an actual portrayal of what really happened. There may be a kernel of truth to it but how much we will never know. Like much of Hastings’ evidence, this story is missing verification. By itself, I would consider Fenstermacher’s story “underwhelming evidence”.
An ominous correlation
As the movie progresses, Hastings links a 1952 Look magazine article to unexplained sightings at nuclear sites. In that article, Ed Ruppelt, the head of Project Blue Book, implied that he had 63 good cases that were unexplained. Hastings then states there is a link between these sightings and nuclear weapons:
At that point, it was discovered that a...quote...Ominous correlation existed between some of the sightings and the location of various atomic weapons installations.8
However, there is no such statement in the Look article. The Look article actually states:
Lieutenant Ruppelt keeps 63 sightings on the top of his file. These are the most detailed and most mystifying They come from pilots, ship observers, an Air Force colonel, civilian scientists, weather observers and intelligence officers. None of these 63 can be identified with any certainty. If the Air Force tosses them off with some easy guess, there is always the fearful chance that they will be missing a dangerous bet.
These sightings were pinpointed on a map. Soon afterwards, it was seen by a Pentagon representative who noted that a number of con- centrations duplicated exactly the area of atomic energy installations. The Pentagon man excitedly reported back to his headquarters. A conference was called immediately in Washington....
Intelligence had to tell the Pentagon that they had no evidence that the flying saucers are spying on or threatening our atomic program....
In their search for an answer, intelligence men have tried, without success, to correlate the unexplained sightings with publicity about flying saucers, increased war tension, tides, or atomic bomb detonations. None of them fits. They offer no pattern, no explanation that satisfies the experts...9
Note that the article states that “a number of concentrations” were in the area of atomic energy installations. This did not say that all, or most, of these 63 sightings were linked to atomic installations It also did not state it was atomic weapons installations but atomic energy, which could be a different thing altogether.
Hastings uses this quote in several articles but never seems to give us where these actual words came from even though he uses quotation marks for it. In one posting on the Above Top Secret forum, he indicates it came from the Look article.
According to LOOK, the “ominous correlation” between such sightings and these top secret facilities had been brought to the attention of high ranking Air Force officers, prompting a meeting at the Pentagon to discuss the apparent UFO-nukes link.10
Hastings does not mention that, at this meeting, Intelligence stated there was no such link. This is how Hastings does his research. He selects what he wants to tell the reader and then edits out the sections that don’t agree with the conclusion he wants to present.
Looking at the Blue Book files, prior to May of 1952, there were about 100 unexplained sightings. Of all of those, three were made from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, two from Albuquerque, and one from Los Alamos. Many of the others were made from outside the country or various towns around the United States that were not related to any military bases. There seems to be little, or no, cor- relation between these sightings and atomic weapons.
This possible connection was presented to the Robertson Panel in 1953. They used the 1952 data as their source. According to the panel:
The map prepared by ATIC showing geographic locations of officially reported unexplained sightings (1952 only) was examined by the panel. This map showed clusters in certain strategic areas such as Los Alamos. This might be explained on the basis of 24-hour watchful guard and awareness of security measures near such locations. On the other hand, there had been no sightings in the vicinity of sensitive related AE establishments while there were occasionally multiple cases of unexplained sightings in non-strategic areas.11
Examining the 1952 data from Blue Book, there were two unidentified sightings near Los Alamos, six near Albuquerque, and two near Oak Ridge.12 Considering that there were over 300 unexplained sightings from this time period, it seems that only a small frac- tion of the sightings appear to be near nuclear facilities.
If there was an “ominous correlation” prior to 1953, it is not obvious. Perhaps, Mr. Hastings can explain his statement with some specific data that supports it instead of “because I said so”.
The precursor to the Robertson Panel
In another selective editing moment, Hastings presents us with a quote by Dr. H. Marshall Chadwell, from a CIA memo dated De-
cember 2 1952. It makes no mention of UFOs and nuclear weapons. It only states
that UFOs have been sighted in the vicinity of defense installations and they can not be identified as aircraft or natural phenomena. What Hastings does not tell the viewer is that, this memo was one of the reasons the infamous Robertson panel met in Janu- ary of 1953, A key item in that panel’s findings was:
2. As a result of its considerations, the Panel concludes:
That the evidence presented on Unidentified Flying Objects shows no indication that these phenomena constitute a direct physical threat to national security.
We firmly believe that there is no residuum of cases which indicates Phenomena which are attributable to foreign artifacts capable of hostile acts, and that there is no evidence that the phenomena indicates a need for the revision of current scientific concepts.14
Chadwell would write to Dr. Julius Stratton, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technol- ogy (MIT), on January 27, 1953 about the panel. He would state in that letter:
“We concur in the conclusions and recommendations of the panel.”15
It seems that Chadwell, after having the evidence to date examined, recognized that
UFOs were not as significant as originally thought. Why wasn’t this letter/information placed in the film?
Do nuclear detonations attract UFOs?
In the film, Hastings tells us that nuclear weapons testing areas in Nevada and the pacific were seeing UFO activity in the early 1950s. The only document he presents is a newspaper clipping. Hastings adds that soldiers being exposed to these tests also saw UFOs but provides us with no documents indicating this was true.
The idea that the nuclear explosions were attracting UFOs appears to be rebutted by one of Hastings’ favorite sources, Ed Ruppelt. He states that in the fall of 1952, no UFO reports were made in the pacific test shots:
Our proposed trip to the Pacific to watch for UFO’s during the H-bomb test was canceled at the last minute because we couldn’t get space on an airplane. But the crews of Navy and Air Force security forces who did go out to the tests were thoroughly briefed to look for UFO’s,
and they were given the procedures on how to track and report them. Back at Dayton we stood by to make quick analysis of any reports that might come in — none came. Nothing that fell into the UFO category was seen during the entire Project Ivy series of atomic shots.16
There are very few, if any, Blue Book unknowns associated with any nuclear weapons tests. If Hastings is going to make such claims, he should provide actual data/statistics, that can be independently verified, which demonstrate they are true.
Walker AFB, New Mexico 1964
Lt. Col Phillip Moore described his UFO event, while stationed at Walker AFB. As usual, there is no date or time for this event
(although other sources give a date “fall of 1964”). Documentation is also missing. Moore was at site 7 and received a report
from the crew commander at site 6 that there were something hovering above his site. They sent three enlisted men topside, who reported seeing a light going rapidly from site 6 to 8 and back again. According to Moore, it was “instant go and instant stop”. From this verbal report, he concludes, “It had to be....not of this earth”. 18
This report sounds like another story based on something that probably happened but now bears little resemblance to the actual event. The sites mentioned by Moore are ten miles to the SE and SSW of his location . How can they be sure that this UFO was over those sites? For something to be seen from such a distance, it would have to be exceptionally bright and visible over a wider area. However, no reports were filed by the civilian population to Blue Book. Neither Moore, or any other personnel at those sites, filed a UFO report to Blue Book. Was the event that unimportant at the time or did its importance suddenly increase when Moore decided to contact Hastings? This story is not that compelling.
UFO radar tracks and intercepts
In order to emphasize that UFOs are some form of craft from outer space, Hastings describes how radar was used to track UFOs at high speeds and making incredible maneuvers. According to the film, it was common for fighter jets to attempt interceptions of these UFOs and they usually ended in the UFO darting away at incredible speeds.
This kind of story is common in UFO folklore but radar is far from perfect and pilots are known to make mistakes. Blue Book has records of pilots confusing astronomical objects for UFOs (see UFO evidence under review on P. 21 for an example) and how radar gave false returns that produced these exotic maneuvers and speeds. Hastings fails to even provide us with one compelling case, with actual data, that demonstrates this claim to be true. Instead, Hastings hopes the viewer will accept this as fact because “he said so”.
Milking the Big Sur cow
It was no surprise to see that Hastings promoted the Big Sur case in his film. Most of what Hastings states about the film and capa- bilities of the telescope was based on what Robert Jacobs told him and not what Kingston George had written. In fact, Hastings provides not one official document to support the claims made in the film.
Compare this to the documents I presented in SUNlite 6-4 that essentially debunked the entire Big Sur story.19 The actual record demonstrates that the dummy warheads of all Atlas launches that September successfully made it to the impact area and were not shot down. Additionally, the documentation indicates that the only launch that matches the description given by Jacobs was the Buzzing Bee launch. The Butterfly net launch, which Hastings has championed as the launch Jacobs described, was not recorded well because of the time of day and weather conditions prevented imaging the deployment of the re-entry vehicle.
The documents obtained by Joel Carpenter also demonstrate that the claims about the film’s resolution were exaggerated. The rocket did not “fill the frame” and the belief that “nuts and bolts” could be seen appears to be an exaggeration. The actual images from the film are very much like what Kingston George described many years ago. Looking at these images it is hard to believe that one could put a magnifying glass to the film and see the shape of anything once the rocket was down range.
Hastings has these documents in his possession but he never mentions them in his film or addresses the implications of what they contain. Thanks to the work of Joel Carpenter and testimony of Kingston George, one can consider this UFO story nothing more than a myth.
FE Warren AFB August 1, 1965
On August 1st, 1965, there was a large number of UFO reports made at FE Warren AFB. The source of this information comes from Dr. Hynek. In his book, the UFO experience, he states he approached Hector Quintanilla and his response was that as- tronomical objects were the source of these sightings. 20 I have to question that conclusion but one has to wonder if astronomical objects played a role. Some could have been observations of the rising planet Jupiter.
Captain Jay Ernshaw recounts his story associated with that series of sightings. He was at Echo-1 and got a call at 3:30 AM from his FSC. He reported seeing 5-6 oblong lights stacked upon each other. They did nothing but hover in place. He states that the paperwork regarding this incident conveniently disappeared.21 As in the previous cases, Ernshaw’s story is based on what somebody told him.
It is important to note that these UFOs did not do anything at all. There were no adverse effects reported. Considering the fact that most UFO reports can be explained, is this really something to be overly concerned about? At best, this is hearsay evidence, which is often inadmissable in criminal trials. If this is the “overwhelming evidence” Hastings promised, it is a disappointment.
Ellsworth AFB 1966
Hastings appears to try and paint an escalation of UFO interference as he brings out his witnesses one-by-one. The next witness
is Major Gaylan King, who was at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota in 1966. According to King, strike teams responded to missile
alarms in his flight and reported a flying saucer hovering over the missile. It was shooting a beam of reddish light at the missile silo, which he interprets as “them” collecting data from the missile. Of course, Major King never saw this and the enlisted men are nameless. There is also no documentation to support this story. Without a date or confirmation, such evidence is “underwhelming”.
Minot AFB 1966
The next major event was reported by Captain David Schindele, who was at Minot AFB in 1966. According to him, the missiles at November flight had gone off alert. When they went to the missile site, the topside personnel reported that an object, 80-100 feet in diameter, had been seen with flashing lights hovering over the main gate, The missile crew were told never to speak about it again. 23
The strange thing about this story is that, once again, it is nearly impossible to confirm. There are no documents to support the report of a UFO that Schindele never saw with his own eyes. Additionally, no records are presented of missiles going off alert at Minot AFB in 1966. The only document Hastings appears to have is a news paper clipping describing a sighting of a UFO on August 25, 1966.24 This did not involve any missiles shutting down and consisted of nocturnal lights and radio interference. I find this story questionable and one has to wonder if Schindele is confusing events with what would happen at another AFB in March of 1967.
The Echo flight shutdown
Robert Hastings now presents the Echo flight incident as an event where those on the craft were interested in interfering with the missiles and their nuclear warheads. Hastings’ evidence to support this is an interview where Walt Figel states that the Security Alert Team had seen a light hovering over one of the sites.
Missing from the presentation are statements later made by Figel that he thought the report was a joke. There are also comments made by Figel and Carlson, who were both at Echo flight, that the event was not produced by a UFO. The official history states:
Rumors of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) around Echo flight during the time of the fault were disproven. A mobile strike team, which had checked all of November flight’s LFs on the morning of March 16, 1967, were questioned and stated that no unusual activity or sight- ings were observed. 25
In order to refute the arguments that no UFOs were present, Hastings uses technician Henry Barlow, who was supposedly involved in restarting these missiles. Barlow says that he was told that the UFO caused the problem and that UFO activity was present after the missile shutdown. Despite making these claims, Barlow also made it clear that he never saw any UFOs. So, what we have with this “evidence” is Barlow hearing these same rumors mentioned in the official history. Rumors are not proof of anything.
Hastings also relies upon Missile engineer Robert Kaminski, who headed a Boeing team investigation of the incident. Kaminski wrote to Jim Klotz that his group had found no technical explanation for the incident and that he heard a rumor that a UFO had been in the area. However, he never stated that he had heard the UFO had caused the Echo flight shutdown. Kaminski’s exact words were:
Meanwhile I was contacted by our representative at OOAMA (Don Peterson) and told by him that the incident was reported as being a UFO event--That a UFO was seen by some Airmen over the LCF at the time E-Flight went down.26
Kaminski would add that there was another effort to evaluate the event at Hill AFB and at Seattle. He was not part of this evaluation and did not know any details or conclusions. His only statement was that he did not recall an explanation being made for the anom- aly. It seems that Kaminski’s role in the investigation was just a part of the entire process in evaluating the fault. He may not have had a “need to know” about the final conclusions. Contrary to what Hastings states, Kaminski’s letter only indicates that he heard these same rumors everybody else had heard and that he was not aware of any explanation being reached.
Contrast Kaminski’s two decade old memory to what was documented in the classified history of USAF ballistic missile programs for 1967-68. It states that the source of the problem was an internally generated noise pulse that went through the logic coupler of the guidance and control system. In order to prevent this from occurring again, the USAF installed a modification to filter out such noise pulses at all of the Minuteman bases. There is no indication that UFOs were ever involved in the missile shut down.
Tim Hebert has a wonderful examination of the Echo Flight event on his blog.27 It should be required reading for those interested in looking at the entire case and not just listening to Hastings’ myopic point of view. The Echo flight shutdown, which is one of the pillars of Hastings’“overwhelming evidence”for UFOs and Nukes theory, has a perfectly valid explanation and the documentation supports it. The “overwhelming evidence” is that it is highly unlikely that a UFO caused the missile shutdown.
Robert Salas and the Oscar flight shut down myth
No “UFOs and Nukes” program is complete without parading Robert Salas in front of the camera. Salas is the primary source for
the story about another ten missile shutdown event that, as he states, was caused by a UFO. This happened only a week or two
after the documented Echo flight shutdown. Unlike the Echo flight incident, there is absolutely no documentation that mentions the Oscar flight had a shutdown of any kind.
We are told that Robert Jamison confirms the shutdown because he had re-targeted the missiles some time in March of 1967. He claims that this was Oscar flight and that the missiles had been shutdown by a UFO. Of course, Jamison never saw the UFO but only reports he was briefed about the UFOs. Jamison could easily have been re-targeting the Echo Flight shutdown and there is no evidence to support his claims about UFO activity.
Like the Echo flight shutdown, Tim Hebert examined the Oscar flight story.29 His evaluation of the incident is that there are many reasons to question if the event even happened. The lack of any evidence to support Salas’ story makes it another case of “under- whelming evidence”.
The 1973 “ghost ship”
Mr. Hastings now jumps to an August 1973 event that appeared in an article that was published in several newspapers in June and July of 1974. According to the article, unnamed Army personnel, apparently associated with a missile defense system at Kwajalein, had seen a “ghost ship”, on radar, that was maneuvering near a dummy warhead from a Minuteman missile launch.30 The re-entry vehicle (RV) was not affected by this “ghost ship” but the implication was that it was monitoring it.
The article also mentions that all records of these flights had been routinely destroyed. This is not quite accurate. There are public re- cordsofmissilelaunchesandtheirpurpose.ThemonthofAugust1973hadthreeMinutemanlaunches.31 Themostprobablesource of this story is the August 9th launch of a Minuteman 1B. The purpose of that flight was to test the Safeguard system. Safeguard was an anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system being set up in North Dakota. Elements of that system, including missiles for intercepting incoming warheads (Spartan and Sprint), were being tested at Kwajalein’s Meck island.
There really is not enough information to determine what this “unknown” was. These rumors of size and shape cannot be verified and may not be accurate. One can speculate that it might have been the remains of the booster rocket or something else associated with the payload. The Bell Labs Project history for ABM development references studying tank break up from the booster rockets since they would probably interfere with an interception by the missile.32 Without more data, we are left speculating as to what the unknown object, if it really existed, was.
Like most of the stories being told in the film, this is more rumor than fact. It was a story that was never investigated beyond what was reported. It is another case of flimsy evidence that is “underwhelming”.
The 1975 SAC incursions
In SUNlite 8-5, I took a look at the 1975 SAC incursion incidents.33 I tried to look at all the contemporary documents that recorded the events shortly after they happened. Many of the sightings may have been caused by astronomical objects including the Lor- ing AFB event, which was the initial sighting that started the wave of sightings in October-November 1975.
Instead of discussing that documentation, Hastings decides to rely upon the story told by Steven Eichner, which is an unconfirmed story told in 1981, six years later. We do not know how accurate that story is and the documentation from 1975 does not describe the incident he recalls. It is no surprise that Hastings uses this report because it is much more exciting than the observations report- ed in the message files.
Hastings also presented a highly selective version of the Malmstrom AFB series of sightings from that November. The film states that seven UFOs were sighted and tracked on radar. This is not quite accurate because the documents never describe seven objects being seen at one time. There was one entry indicating that radar had seven contacts but they were not confirmed visually. Ex- amination of all of the sightings recorded during that time period reveal that some of these sightings probably involved the planet Venus and others had potential astronomical explanations. The documentation describes the radar tracks as slow moving (7 and 3 knots) as if they were weather related.34
Hastings states that the documents surrounding these sightings were involuntarily released via FOIA. I am not sure what he means by “involuntarily”. They were released once the records were requested. Usually, the military is not interested in doing this kind of research. Any reluctance to release the records probably had more to do with not wanting to waste the time finding the records and having to go through the necessary declassification process required to release them.
Repackaging another UFO tall tale
The retelling of the Rendlesham event was very one-sided. Not surprisingly, Hastings focuses on the stories told by Penniston over a decade later and does not even mention the actual witness statements made a few days after the event, which describe the airmen chasing the Orford Ness lighthouse.35 His description of Halt’s story was equally selective and omitted key facts that demonstrate the light Halt described in the trees was the Orford Ness lighthouse.36 According to the film, Halt heard excited com- munications by security personnel that the UFOs were over the weapon storage area (WSA). This appears to be in disagreement with the tape Halt made that night. There is no mention of “excited calls” from the WSA by Halt in the tape or in his memo.
In order to provide confirmation of the Rendlesham incident, Hastings played interviews with air traffic controllers at Bentwaters, who state they saw the UFO on radar and visually.37 One of the witnesses states he saw a dot move across the radar screen in three sweeps of the radar. It then returned and made a right angle turn towards the base. The other apparently saw it visually come in, stop and hover for a short period of time, and then depart rapidly. Their descriptions of the UFOs activities on their radar and visual- ly disagree with the stories told by Halt, and the others, where the UFO was present for a significant period of time. How can one call this confirmation when there is nothing presented to support their claims? It took decades for these men to come forward with their stories and one has to question their accuracy since, as usual, there is no documentation to support them. The evidence is weak and “underwhelming”
Back in the USSR
Hastings then tells about two incidents in the USSR that involved UFOs and nukes. The first event was at Kapustin Yar on July 28, 1989. It is stated in the film that a disc was seen hovering “briefly” over “the nuclear missile warhead depot” and firing a beam towards the buildings where the weapons were kept.38 The UFO then “raced away”.
This is not quite accurate. Paul Stonehill gives us the account of the officer as follows:
I climbed the aerial support and observed the object from a height of six meters [20 feet] above the ground. One could clearly see a powerful blinking signal which resembled a camera flash in the night sky. The object flew over the unit’s logistic yard and moved in the direction of the rocket weapons depot, 300 meters [1000 feet] away. It hovered over the depot at a height of 20 meters [66 feet]. The UFO’s hull shone with a dim green light which looked like phosphorus. It was a disc, four to five meters [13 to 16 feet] in diameter, with a semispherical top. While the object was hovering over the depot, a bright beam appeared from the bottom of the disc, where the flash had been before, and made two or three circles. The object , still flashing, moved in the direction of the railway station still flashing. But soon it returned to the rocket weapons depot and hovered it at a height of 60 to 70 meters [200 to 230 feet]. Two hours after the first sighting the object flew in the direction of the town of Akhtubinsk and disappeared from sight. The light at the bottom of the disc did not flash regularly; it was as if photographs were being taken. Nor did the object move evenly. Sometimes it rushed sideways or upward and sometimes it moved smoothly and hovered here and there. I attach a drawing of the UFO’s outline and the beam.39
The UFO Evidence.org website has two versions of the story from the same witness. The first is very similar to Stonehill’s translation:
One could clearly see a powerful blinking signal which resembled a camera flash in the night sky. The object flew over the unit’s logistics yard and moved in the direction of the rocket weapons depot, 300 meters [1,000 ft.] away. It hovered over the depot at a height of 20 meters [65 ft.]. The UFO’s hull shone with a dim green light which looked like phosphorous. It was a disc, 4 or 5 m. [13-17 ft.] in diameter, with a semispherical top.
While the object was hovering over the depot, a bright beam appeared from the bottom of the disc, where the flash had been before, and made two or three circles, lighting the corner of one of the buildings... The movement of the beam lasted for several seconds, then the beam disappeared and the object, still flashing, moved in the direction of the railway station. After that, I observed the object hover- ing over the logistics yard, railway station and cement factory. Then it returned to the rocket weapons depot, and hovered over it at an altitude of 60-70 m. [200-240 ft.]. The object was observed from that time on, by the first guard-shift and its commander. At 1:30 hrs., the object flew in the direction of the city of Akhtubinsk and disappeared from sight. The flashes on the object were not periodical, I observed all this for exactly two hours: from 23:30 to 1:30.40
The second version of the story contains some more variations:
I climbed up to the watchtower and watched the object at a height of 18 feet. I could clearly make out a glaring blinking signal, bright as a camera flash. The object flew over the stores of the unit and moved in the direction of the missile arsenal, about 1,000 feet away. It floated at a height of only 60 feet above the depot. The UFO glowed in a kind of phosphorescent green. It was a disc 12 to 15 feet in diameter with a semi-spherical dome on it.
While the object was hovering above the arsenal, a bright ray appeared on its underside where the light had been flashing before, and drew 2 or 3 circles. Then the object moved towards the railway station, still flashing. Soon, however, it came back to the missile depot and hovered at a height of 180-200 feet above it. Two hours after the start of the sighting, the object flew in the direction of the town Akhtubinsk and disappeared out of our sight,”41
If these translations are accurate, the UFO was not visible “briefly” but loitered over the area for almost two hours. Neither transcript mentions nuclear weapons. Instead it is called a “rocket weapons depot” or “missile arsenal”. The idea that a beam was being pro- jected specifically into a weapons bunker seems exaggerated as well. The only translation that mentions this only states that the beam lit up part of a building. It then went towards the railway station and cement yard. Were the pilots of this UFO interested in railway cars and cement as well?
Assuming that Kapustin Yar had nuclear weapons at the base in 1989, it would have been in a storage area where it would have been surrounded by Surface to Air Missile (SAM) batteries. If a UFO was hovering over the nuclear weapons storage area, one would think the Soviets would have responded with a SAM launch instead of allowing this intruder to loiter around the complex for two hours “taking photographs” or “shooting beams” at them. Is it possible that what was seen was something else? We are told the file was incomplete, which indicates that a possible solution might be possible if that information was made available.
The other case presented by Hastings was a bizarre story, where a UFO almost started World War III. On October 4, 1982, in the Ukraine, a UFO appeared over a Russian IRBM complex.42 At some point, several of the missiles went into countdown mode and were, apparently, going to launch. After 15 seconds, the anomaly ceased and the missiles returned to normal. It is assumed that the UFO caused this but there is no proof other than the account that a UFO hovered over the base for a significant amount of time. Once again, we are left with a docile Soviet military that ignored this threat and made no effort to retaliate. In 1982, tensions between the US and the USSR was at an elevated level. US Military weapon deployments (Pershing and cruise missiles) to Europe were planned/underway and the USAF had been testing Soviet air defenses on a regular basis. The Soviets were on a hair trigger alert and would be gravely concerned about an unknown force, presumably flown by the United States, was hovering over their missiles. Less than a year later, the Soviet Union would shoot down a Korean airliner because it had inadvertently wandered into their air space. Are we supposed to believe that the Soviets simply let this UFO interfere with their weapons systems without even attempting to respond?
Hastings compares the second event to the story by Captain David Schuur.43 He said that a UFO had activated several of his missiles at Minot AFB in 1966 and initiated a launch signal. The commander, struck an inhibit switch to prevent the missile from launching. Tim Hebert has stated that it is unlikely it happened this way.44 Like all the stories being paraded on this program, there is nothing that verifies that these stories are true or that a UFO actually caused the events. They all can be considered “underwelming evidence” for Hastings’ UFOs and Nukes connection.
Ambassadors of peace....or war?
At this point Hastings reveals what he thinks is happening. According to Hastings, the “pilots” of these UFOs are trying to warn
us about the dangers of nuclear weapons. I find this amusing because their behavior described by Hastings, if accurate, is
more in line with the pilots trying to start a nuclear war. Shutting down missiles, intercepting warheads on test launches, intruding on nuclear weapon storage areas, or trying to launch weapons is the kind of actions one would expect from a hostile race and not a benevolent one. A trigger happy leader might suspect somebody (another nation) was trying to interfere with their arsenal and not trying to send a message to disarm. Such actions would trigger a hostile response and possibly start a nuclear war. Either Hastings’ “pilots” are the dumbest race in the galaxy, who underestimate human psychology, or they are trying to have us wipe each other out.
FE Warren AFB 2010
Probably the ultimate insult to the viewer’s intelligence is Hastings attempt at trying to link the FE Warren AFB missile shutdown in 2010 to UFO activity. Despite there being an obvious technological explanation of what transpired, Hastings generates a fantastic story that a UFO was responsible. His evidence for the UFOs is in the form of “confidential AF sources known to Robert Hastings” that told him missile maintenance personnel, who went out to the sites, saw a floating cigar shaped UFO in the sky. This object was confirmed because these same sources state that these teams were ordered not to discuss these sightings with the press or investigators.46
Strangely, there is no evidence in the MUFON47 and NUFORC48 databases from October of 2010 that independently support his claims of many UFO reports being made in the area. These missiles are deployed over a large area, where civilians, who are not under orders, reside and travel. Are we supposed to believe that the UFO was only visible to his mystery witnesses and not to the rest of the population?
Hastings refers to “multiple independent reports” known by “key personnel” and “suppressed” by the chain of command. However, these “reports” are those he has received personally and cannot be independently confirmed. They can be considered nothing more than unconfirmed rumors being paraded as facts. How can we tell if the story being presented is just something that was fabricated by his source? This evidence is so feeble, it is essentially “non-existent”.
Blue Book lies
Robert Hastings spends a certain part of the film criticizing Blue Book and secretary of defense Brown for saying that no UFO ever
posed a threat to the national security of the United States. His argument is that these events indicate that UFOs are a threat
and are going out of their way to interfere with anything associated with nuclear weapons. This argument fails because everything he presented in this film, and his book, is speculation based on rumors and unconfirmable stories told years, or decades, after the event. In light of such suspect evidence, it is understandable why Blue Book and the defense department reached their conclusions.
As we have seen, Hastings has a tendency to reach conclusions based on anecdotal evidence that can not be verified and he omits mentioning the documents that suggest another solution. One could draw the conclusion that is Hastings that is not being honest with public, which makes him a hypocrite.
Mr. Hastings’ approach to his documentary is that the stories told by these witnesses are 100% accurate. The skeptics argue that one cannot accurately determine if they are telling a fabricated story, a false memory, or the truth. Which is the most accurate cannot be resolved but, without proof, one has to put the weight towards which is more probable. Since there is no hard evidence that alien spaceships actually exist, one must look elsewhere for possible answers.
Since all of the witness rely on their memories to recount what transpired, we must examine that aspect and how reliable it can be. Many of Hastings’ witnesses appear to be familiar with stories told by the others before coming forth. He makes a habit of urging former missile crew members to contact him after telling his UFO and Nukes stories in these venues. This introduces contamination and can create false memories as Dr. Julia Shaw states:
Studies have shown people alter their own recollections when they compare experiences with others. We take on the memories of others as our own, intentionally or not, and whether details are accurate or not. They’re contagious.
One reason is that when you hear a different version of an event, your brain may make new connections that interfere and overlay your own original memory.
We can also forget the source of the information we remember, so go on to assume we must have experienced it ourselves.50
Dr. Elizabeth Loftus also tells us how memories can be contaminated by outside sources:
During the time between an event and a witness’s recollection of that event -- a period often called the “retention interval” -- the bits and pieces of information that were acquired through perception do not passively reside in memory waiting to pulled out like fish from water. Rather, they are subject to numerous influences. External information provided from the outside can intrude into the witness’s memory, as can his own thoughts, and both can cause dramatic changes in his recollections.
People’s memories are fragile things. It is important to realize how easily information can be introduced into memory, to understand why this happens, and to avoid it when it is undersirable.51
It seems a reasonable hypothesis that, in some cases, these witnesses are telling their stories because Hastings, and others, have contaminated the witness pool with stories of alien spaceships interfering with nuclear weapons. A good example of this can be found in a letter that Fred Miewald wrote to Robert Salas in 1996:
“The info you provided is very interesting but I have slightly different memories...” 52
Exactly what memories were different is not clear but his memory could have been contaminated by Salas, who had already sent him his version of what transpired. Miewald’s later recollections may have no longer been accurate. Like Dr. Shaw stated, false memories can be contagious and there is no way to tell which details come from Miewald’s original memories and which details were influenced by Salas.
At the end of the film, Hastings urges people to contact him with their “UFOs and nukes” stories because of the historical nature of these events. Soliciting testimony of this kind invites all sorts of story tellers and can contaminate the memories of others. How can Hastings tell the difference between a fabrication, a false memory, and a story that is entirely accurate? He can’t and this is why his film, and his evidence, is underwhelming.
Quelle: SUNlite 6/2016