Aliens are trying to save us from self-destruction.
So goes UFO researcher Robert Hastings' theory. On Monday, as Ledyard King of the Gannett Washington Bureau reports, Hastings convened a group of former Air Force officers at the National Press Club in Washington who went public with an assertion kept quiet for decades: that UFOs visited the bases they were stationed at—including Montana's Malmstrom Air Force Base—and caused nuclear weapon systems to temporarily malfunction.
Hastings said he believes that visitors from outer space are fixating on nuclear weapons because they want to send a message: Disarm before the world destroys itself.
Robert Salas, a former missile launch officer at Malmstrom Air Force Base, said that 10 nuclear missiles were suddenly and inexplicably disabled in March 1967 at the Montana installation after members of his flight security team saw a "large glowing, pulsating red oval-shaped object" about 30-40 feet in diameter hovering over the front gate. When he reported the incident to his superiors the next day, he was told to keep quiet.
"What you have heard today is evidence of a phenomenon. It sounds fantastic, and it is fantastic," said Salas, after he and his fellow officers from other bases in the Western U.S. shared similar accounts. The government, Salas said, is "deliberately withholding the facts, continuously since 1969 and, by doing so, do not allow the people of this country to engage in the decision regarding events that are clearly a national security issue for concern all of us. We're simply asking for the truth."
King's article goes on to report that between 1947 to 1969, the Air Force investigated UFOs under what was called Project Blue Book. Of a total of 12,618 sightings under the program, 701 remained "unidentified."
Hastings presented declassified government documents at Monday's event, including affidavits from four Malmstrom Air Force Base airmen who witnessed or experienced the events surrounding alleged 1960s UFO visits to missile silos in the Great Falls. The Tribune has posted the documents online, here and here. Here's an account from Robert Salas, a former nuclear missile launch officer at Malmstrom, describing a UFO sitting in 1967:
Sometime during the evening I received a call from my Flight Security Controller (FSC), the ranking NCO of the security team topside. He reported to me that he and other members of the flight security team had been observing some "lights" In the sky making unusual maneuvers. He stated that he did not think they were aircraft since they were traveling at a very high velocity and making unusual directional changes. He also said there was no engine noise. He said he thought that this was so unusual that he thought he should report It to us. I thanked him for his report but I did not consider It significant at that time and terminated the conversation.
Within minutes, I received a second call from the FSC. His voice was highly agitated and he was screaming as he told me he was looking out the large window facing the front gate of the facility. He said there was a large glowing, pulsating red oval shaped object hovering over the front gate. He told me it was about 30-40 feet in diameter. He also said he had his men outside with their weapons drawn observing the object. I asked him if there was a structure to the object and he said he was having difficulty seeing any structure because of the glow of the light. He then asked If I had any direction for him. I simply told him to not to allow anything inside the perimeter fence. He then abruptly cut off the conversation and said he had to go because one of his men was injured.
I immediately turned to wake my commander Lt. Melwald and began telling him about the phone calls from the FSC. As we were talking, alarms and indicators at the commander's console which showed the status of the missiles under our command began to go off...
The UFO witnesses had been reluctant to come forward earlier out of a fear of being considered, as one former missile combat crew commander put it, "a kook."