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The first nuclear weapons were successfully tested in the 1940s and have been designed with increasing sophistication and lethality ever since. They allow great powers to dominate smaller ones. They also risk the lives of everyone on the planet as even a ‘small’ nuclear exchange by accident or war could trigger a catastrophic, crop-killing nuclear winter. Yet, since the 1940s, military personnel and investigators have raised concerns in secret about unidentified flying objects (UFOs) in or around sensitive nuclear weapons installations.
Robert Hastings is a world-renowned expert on the subject, having written the book UFOs & Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites, and produced the documentary UFOs and Nukes: The Secret Link Revealed. We asked for his thoughts on this important topic.
TIM COLES (TC): Tell us a bit about your background and how you became interested in UFOs and nukes.
ROBERT HASTINGS (RH): My interest in the topic of UFO activity at nuclear weapons sites began in March 1967, when I was a teenager living in Montana. Although I was never in the military myself, my father, Senior Master Sergeant Robert E. Hastings, was stationed at Malmstrom Air Force Base, where 200 nuclear missiles were deployed in the surrounding countryside. After witnessing a radar tracking of five unknown aerial craft at the base air traffic control tower, where I worked as a janitor three nights a week after high school, I excitedly told my dad about the incident. He subsequently made inquiries at his workplace – the main radar facility on base – and was told that five UFOs had indeed been tracked by multiple radars that night. Moreover, he was told, they had been manoeuvring near nuclear missile sites southeast of Malmstrom. When my dad later conveyed all of that to me, I was hooked! UFOs are real?! They’re flying around our ICBMs?! Wow!
Years later, in 1973, I read a magazine article by Dr J. Allen Hynek – the Air Force’s civilian, scientific UFO consultant – in which he openly discussed UFO incursions at nuclear missile sites at another base, Minot, in North Dakota. At that point, I knew that the situation at Malmstrom had definitely been real and quite serious. Shortly thereafter, at first to satisfy my curiosity, I began seeking out and interviewing Air Force veterans to learn all I could about UFOs’ apparent interest in nukes. Over time – 46 years and counting – more than 160 of those individuals have told me about their personal involvement in such incidents.
TC: Why do you think that UFOs at nuclear weapons sites, as opposed to say non-nuclear military installations, are so important?
RH: Nuclear weapons have fundamentally changed the nature of warfare, given their nearly unbelievable destructive power and ability to radioactively poison the environment on a planetary scale. As we all know, during the Cold War the US and the USSR effectively held humanity hostage with their unending, nuclear sabre-rattling. The Cuban Missile Crisis, in 1962, demonstrated just how fragile our collective security really was, and how quickly a potentially civilisation-ending conflict might erupt. Apparently, someone else – an outside third party possessing revolutionary aerial craft – became interested in this existential situation and, at some point, began intervening in a limited, covert manner. Dozens of US Air Force veterans – most of whom were initially interviewed by me – have now openly discussed UFOs tampering with American ICBMs, rendering them temporarily inoperable. Documents smuggled out of Russia, in 1993, confirm that similar incidents occurred in the Soviet Union in the 1980s.
So, for whatever reason, the outside third party – which I believe to be aliens from another world – surreptitiously made their presence known to the superpowers’ military leaders during a dangerous period in history, perhaps as a heavy hint or a warning: “Hey, humans! Nukes pose an unprecedented threat to your species and your planet. Get rid of them!” But I am, of course, speculating. Regardless, the now well-documented UFO incidents at our ICBM sites are longstanding, widespread and, I am told by my sources, ongoing.
TC: You say that the UFOs are intelligently operated, but is it possible that they are unexplained terrestrial phenomena such as electromagnetic lights or some kind of as-yet undiscovered lifeform living at high altitudes?
RH: If one reviews the eyewitness reports relating to the nuclear missile cases, it is immediately apparent that they involved unknown aerial craft of some kind. Go to www.ufohastings.com/documents and read the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) log entries relating to the incidents at Malmstrom AFB in November 1975. For example, “The [Launch Control Facility] at Harlowton, Montana, observed an object which emitted a light which illuminated the site driveway.” Or, “[Missile Site] L-1 reports that the object to their northeast seems to be issuing a black object from it, tubular in shape.” Or, “[Malmstrom Command Post] reports UFO southeast of Lewistown, orange white disc object.” Or, “L-5 reported object increased in speed – high velocity, raised in altitude and now cannot tell the object from stars.” And then there is this entry, “From four different points: Observed objects and fighters; when fighters arrived in the area, the lights went out; when fighters departed, the lights came back on.” In other words, as security personnel at four different locations watched, the UFOs played cat-and-mouse with two F-106 jet fighters that had been launched to chase them, extinguishing their illumination as the aircraft approached their position and re-illuminating themselves after the fighters returned to base.
And I might add, the only reason jets were scrambled is because the UFOs were tracked on the base’s radar, just as any non-Stealth aircraft would be. This is only one of dozens of declassified documents that summarise similar incidents at other bases’ missile sites, or at nuclear weapons storage facilities. So, no, the UFOs themselves are not some undiscovered life form; the objects look like machines, act like machines, and are undoubtedly piloted or remotely controlled by someone who, in this instance, reacted to the attempted intercept of them by US Air Force fighters by taking evasive actions.
Are the craft terrestrial in origin? The first known UFO sightings at a nuclear facility occurred in January 1945, seven months before the atomic bombings in Japan. Declassified US Army documents confirm three separate incursions of unknown aircraft, which were tracked on radar, that hovered over the plutonium production plant known as the Hanford Site, in Washington State. US Navy fighters based nearby actually chased the objects. In 2009, I interviewed one of the pilots, Bud Clem, who told me that each UFO looked like “a bright ball of fire… so bright that you could hardly look directly at it.” The unidentified aerial craft easily outran the propeller-driven F6F Hellcat fighters sent up to pursue them.
Now, is there any credible evidence that any country on Earth was flying such an aircraft in 1945? No, there isn’t. Despite the exotic claims one sees on the internet, there is no verifiable information confirming that the Nazis manufactured a functional flying saucer. Nevertheless, someone was operating one – or, at least, a self-illuminated flying sphere – at the Hanford plant before the end of the war.
I again maintain that the UFOs seen at nuclear sites – from 1945 to the present day – are technologically superior vehicles being operated by some third party. According to the radar data, they can hover, perform tremendous accelerations, make instantaneous right-angle turns, and fly thousands of miles per hour. There might possibly be some secret, recently developed, ultra-sophisticated US aerial craft hidden at Area 51 capable of doing some or all of those things, but there sure as hell wasn’t any such airplane flying during World War II, or above the ICBM sites in Montana in the 1960s and ‘70s. And remember, we now know that the Soviets were being subjected to UFO incursions at their missile sites as well, some involving systems disruptions. We can’t point the finger at the Russians when attempting to explain the events at Malmstrom. No, those unidentified aerial craft were clearly not being operated by any government on Earth. So who does that leave us?
TC: What’s really impressive about your book UFOs & Nukes is your reliance on primary documentation: first-hand eyewitness accounts, military documents, FBI memos, and so on. But if I were in government counterintelligence, I would try to neutralise the anti-nuclear weapons movement by having people believe that some outside force is looking after us by sabotaging nukes. How do you check that military and other documents are not just disinformation?
RH: Respectfully, you misunderstand the situation. No military or intelligence group, hidden or not, was actively promoting the “UFOs are Here to Save Us” narrative by disseminating data that would further your hypothetical disinformation ploy. On the contrary, the documents confirming UFO activity at nuclear weapons sites were jealously guarded and only forcibly released to researchers via the Freedom of Information Act. Sometimes, decades passed before they became available to the public. Similarly, all of my US military witnesses only went public with their accounts after I implored them to do so. Like me, they believe that Americans – and the rest of humanity – deserve to know the truth about the UFO reality and their link to nuclear weapons.
The suggestion that the US government has been releasing bogus information to further a false history of events to influence public opinion in some manner is simply untenable. Actually, over time, the US Air Force has been doing the exact opposite, steadfastly claiming that UFOs don’t exist, even though they are secretly aware of, and are extremely concerned about, the nuclear cases. The last incident that I’ve heard about occurred at a Malmstrom-operated missile site in January 2018, so the situation is still active.
Importantly, at the present time, we have no assurance that the disruptive activity at ICBM sites – UFOs tampering with our missiles – necessarily indicates that whomever is operating the craft is “looking after us,” as you put it. Other scenarios can be advanced to explain what has been reported by the veterans whom I’ve interviewed. For example, it’s entirely possible that the UFO beings have some nefarious plan for humans, even an invasion of Earth, and are investigating whether they can disarm us before they strike. I don’t think that’s even remotely true, but we can’t rule it out at the moment given the limited evidence in our possession.
TC: Can you tell us more about the 160 eyewitnesses: their rank, how you approached them or vice versa, and how the famous Press Club conference in 2010 was arranged?
RH: My sources are mostly US Air Force veterans, although a handful were in the Army or Navy, and range from low-level airmen to colonels. Usually, they worked with or guarded nuclear weapons, but some were radar operators, counterintelligence personnel, or pilots. In every case, they directly witnessed or were involved in follow-up activities related to UFO incursions at ICBM sites, missile warhead or bomb storage facilities, nuclear materials production sites or weapons test areas.
In the 1970s and 80s, I asked every pertinent military veteran I encountered if they had any information they would be willing to share. From the mid-1990s onward, I’ve used the internet to locate potential witnesses who are members of Air Force alumni groups, who can be contacted via email. In other cases, the veterans had attended my lectures and approached me afterward or read one of my articles or my book, and subsequently contacted me. Not surprisingly, most of the individuals whom I randomly approached over the years had no knowledge of UFO incidents at the bases where they worked. However, slowly but surely, I amassed a body of testimony from scores of veterans who knew about such incidents, occurring from the 1950s onward. I always secured their military history record, called a DD214, before interviewing them, to confirm that they had indeed been missile officers or missile guards, and so on. In other words, all of my sources are vetted.
Regarding the 2010 press conference, one of the veterans, former Minuteman missile launch officer Captain Bob Salas – whose ten missiles were shut down by a UFO at Malmstrom AFB in 1967 – and I decided to try to get the media’s attention by co-hosting the event. CNN streamed it live and a number of major US news organisations covered it as well, as did several in foreign countries. I think we succeeded in our efforts to get some publicity for the UFO-nukes topic. But, as is the case with most news stories, it faded quickly and had no lasting impact on public perceptions, at least to any significant degree.
TC: What is the most extraordinary case discussed in your book?
RH: Another former Air Force missile launch officer, Captain David Schuur, revealed his involvement in an ICBM-activation incident at Minot AFB, North Dakota, in 1967. His security personnel reported seeing a bright aerial object moving from missile to missile, among the ten that he controlled. Meanwhile, down in the underground launch capsule, Schuur was horrified to see that the ICBMs began going into launch mode, one by one, just as the UFO hovered over a given missile. He had to flip an “Inhibit Switch” to deactivate the countdown in each one. This type of incident was also reported by another former launch officer, Captain Larry Manross, who witnessed an identical event at Minot on a different occasion. Moreover, one of the Soviet UFO-related documents smuggled out of Russia by investigative reporter George Knapp, in 1993, confirms such an incident occurring at a missile base in Soviet Ukraine in October 1982.
Now, I don’t think that those aboard the UFOs were trying to start World War III by launching the superpowers’ ICBMs; more likely they were activating the missiles to see how the systems worked – assuming that they had the ability to monitor them remotely – probably knowing that the launch officers could disrupt the countdowns if they needed to do so in an emergency situation. Or perhaps the entities merely wished to scare the hell out of the military in both countries, in effect sending the message that they could control the ICBMs if they so chose. But I obviously don’t know the reason for the missile activations and am of course speculating.
TC: Please tell us about your film UFOs and Nukes: The Secret Link Revealed. How did it come about and what is the strongest evidence in the film?
RH: A wealthy benefactor provided the funding for the film. Between 2008 and 2015, I had declined offers to participate in 18 different UFO programs on American, British, Canadian and French television because I would have had no control over how my material was presented. When broadcast, I saw that most of those shows were factually inaccurate and sensationalised, just as I predicted. I didn’t want to lend my work to a dumbed-down presentation on UFOs meant to entertain the public. When I mentioned all of this to my benefactor, he generously gave me the money to make my own film. I’m quite happy with the result; it’s available at Vimeo.com.
As far as the most important case referenced in the film, I would say that the Big Sur Incident is unmatched for its shocking nature and historic significance. Two former US Air Force officers, Drs. Bob Jacobs and Florenz Mansmann, say that a telescopic motion picture camera inadvertently caught a UFO on film during a missile test launch at Vandenberg AFB, California, in 1964. Analysis of the film confirmed that a domed, disc-shaped craft manoeuvred near the missile’s dummy nuclear warhead in flight and then shot it down with weaponised beams of light! All of this was clearly visible when the film was analysed frame-by-frame with a magnifier. They say that the amazing motion picture was quickly confiscated by the CIA. Debunkers have unsuccessfully attempted to discredit the case by misstating the facts, but the available evidence substantiates that the event actually took place. Apparently, the entities operating the UFOs can not only tamper with the ICBMs in their underground silos but can also disrupt them in mid-flight. This is an incredible revelation!
TC: Have you been threatened or intimidated for the work that you’re doing? If so, what forms have they taken and who do you think is responsible?
RH: Yes, someone has been trying to intimidate me via my telephone for years. Often, when speaking with a military veteran about his particular UFO incident, shortly after I hang up I get a second, mysterious call where the person says nothing but breathes heavily into the phone before hanging up. I gather that they – whoever “they” are – want me to know they are keeping an eye on me and know to whom I am talking. This kind of harassment has happened dozens of times and has been going on since 1982. I suspect that the CIA is responsible but can’t prove that. Furthermore, emails between a given veteran and myself often disappear in cyberspace. We later discover, via follow-up phone calls, that our correspondence to each other never arrived. This happens routinely, always involving persons who witnessed UFO activity at nuclear weapons sites and is clearly suspicious. I knew that my activities would incur the displeasure of one or more US government agencies so none of this was unexpected. It’s so frequent that I’m used to it and not bothered by it these days. I just keep moving forward.
TC: What projects are you working on at the moment?
RH: I suspect that my answer will make some persons reading this very uneasy. The fact is, in addition to my research activities and public speaking relating to the UFO-Nukes connection, I have had, over the past 31 years, a series of unsettling-to-terrifying encounters with what I have come to believe are non-human entities. In other words, I am an experiencer or, stated more dramatically, an alien abductee. I wish this were not the case and deeply regret that this “thing” has entered my life. Whether it is a consequence of my investigations or some other factor is unknown, but I am convinced that these encounters are physical in nature and not merely misinterpreted prosaic events, or due to an overactive imagination, or the result of sleep paralysis – all theories advanced by the sceptics to explain away the abduction phenomenon.
Moreover, seven of the 160-plus veterans whom I’ve interviewed have revealed their own face-to-face alien encounters to me. Yes, I understand that all of this is rather bizarre and hard to believe, nevertheless it is unfortunately quite real. After decades of secrecy I have now “come out” about my secret life in a new book, Confession: Our Hidden Alien Encounters Revealed, co-written with Dr Bob Jacobs who witnessed the Big Sur UFO incident mentioned earlier. In the early 1980s, he began having entity encounters as well. When I learned this fact in 2012, we began updating each other after our independent visitation/abduction experiences, which are ongoing.
Finally, in early 2019, Jacobs and I decided to go public regarding all of this, even though we knew that our credibility would be negatively impacted and that some people – who had previously been interested in, and believed, our revelations regarding UFO incursions at nuclear weapons sites – would now recoil in sceptical disbelief at our new revelations. But it is what it is, and these strange, frightening experiences are continuing and obviously beyond our control. Openly talking about them, however belatedly, is no different than our previous efforts to publicly divulge the hidden nuclear weapons-related cases. Although not yet recognised as valid by most scientists and much of the public, the alien abduction phenomenon is real, global, and tremendously important. That these non-human entities are somehow part of humankind’s overall future seems clear to experiencers; one day it will undoubtedly be obvious to everyone.
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