UFOs and Rockets

MOST UFO INVESTIGATORS AGREE that UFOs represent a superior technology. In case after case, UFOs easily outdistance our fastest aircraft and are able to perform maneuvers that seem to defy the laws of physics. The craft are typically silent and show no evidence of any propulsion systems involving fuels or propellants. And yet the metallic surfaces so often described by witnesses seem to indicate that we are dealing with some type of vehicle.

If UFOs are truly intelligent visitors from other planets, then their behavior should reflect this fact. And to some extent, they do. While many people believe UFO sightings are random, they are not. UFOs exhibit numerous patterns of behavior. Often they are attracted to particular areas including, but not limited to: nuclear power stations, military bases, technological installations, areas containing high tension wires, bodies of water, graveyards, mines, and other specific locations.

There is one thing, however, that UFOs seem to be particularly drawn to: rocket launches. Dozens of well-authenticated cases have occurred in which UFOs have shown up during rocket launches. In a few of these cases, the UFOs have even intervened.

These types of cases are different from most others in one important detail: the witnesses are trained observers, typically scientists and military personnel. Because of their high level of credibility, and because these objects are seen by large groups of witnesses, these cases provide a unique opportunity to obtain an objective scientific look at a phenomenon that is often shrouded in ridicule and disinformation.

Invasion of White Sands

The events that have occurred over White Sands involving UFOs are not well-known, and yet they remain among the best verified in UFO history.

On May 15, 1947, a team of rocket scientists launched a V-2 (A-4) rocket at White Sands Proving Grounds. At first the test was routine. The missile climbed to an altitude of 40 miles. Then something strange happened. Radar technicians tracking the rocket were amazed to see another target appear next to the missile. At this point, the V-2 veered 40 degrees off its normal flight path and crashed two minutes later.

Lieutenant Colonel Harold R. Turner was the commanding officer and told intelligence investigators that he could not explain why the missile went off course other than the “peculiar phenomena” that were observed by the radar technicians. He later told reporters about this incident. As one journalist wrote, “Lt. Col. Harold R. Turner, commanding officer at White Sands, said he had received reports that a track walker [radar technician] said he had seen a falling object near Engle, NM, and an Army captain flying his own plane reported seeing an object falling from the skies near Tularosa.”

C. Jon Kissner, a former Republican State Representative from Las Cruces, investigated the incident in detail and says that it “began an episode that would evolve over the next half-century into the most highly classified military and scientific research and development project in world history.”

According to Kissner, “Whatever had mysteriously appeared and vanished after observing a V-2 in flight and affecting its trajectory at a highly classified missile range became an immediate priority within a small closed circle. It involved highly ranked general staff officers and civilian scientists assigned to the Office of Scientific Research and Development and the Joint Research and Development Board of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, under whose authority White Sands Proving Ground was established and operated. Both of these national weapons research and development organizations were headed by one key man—Dr. Vannevar Bush.”

Incidentally, Dr. Vannevar Bush would later be implicated as one of the members of the controversial and super-secret UFO study group, MJ-12, said to be in charge of UFO crash/retrievals and the reverse engineering of UFO technology.

Later, Lt. Col. Harold R. Turner released an official statement in which he said that the sightings of the UFOs were actually caused by jet planes. He explained that the jets have circular exhaust pipes, and that these pipes, when heated, might give an illusion of disks.

While the above May 15th encounter was causing waves, the invasion of White Sands had only begun. About one month later, on June 29, 1947, three naval research scientists had an incredible sighting while waiting for a test involving a captured German V-2 rocket.

At 1:30 p.m., three scientists, Dr. C. J. Zohn, Curtis C. Rockwood, and John R. Kauke, were out on the grounds when they observed a bright flash of light from above. Says Zohn, “We noticed a glare in the sky. We looked up and saw a silvery disc whirling along. We watched the thing for nearly sixty seconds and then it simply disappeared. It didn’t go behind the mountain range. At one time it was clearly visible, and then it just wasn’t there.”

Being trained observers, the scientists quickly estimated that the disk was flying at an altitude of about 10,000 feet. They were very impressed by its silver mirror-like surface and its flat, elliptical shape. Dr. Zohn was a rocket expert and made a report of the incident to Army Intelligence in which he said that the object was unlike any rocket he had ever seen, and that it could not have been a balloon.

UFOs Tracked by Theodolites

From 1947 onward, White Sands was continually targeted by UFOs. On April 6, 1949, several unknown objects were observed flying over the base. The witnesses were scientists and trained observers. Furthermore, they were able to observe the object through a theodolite.

A theodolite is a telescope that can rotate on horizontal and vertical planes, allowing the user to accurately measure angles. It’s often used in surveying and meteorology. At White Sands, it was routinely used to observe rocket launches.

The first incident to be captured on a theodolite occurred at 10:30 a.m. on April 24, 1949, over Arrey at White Sands proving grounds. Commander Robert B. McLaughlin (chief of the Navy’s guided missile program at the base) was supervising an experiment involving the launching of General Mills skyhook research balloons. One of the members of the crew, Charles B. Moore, watched the small 350-gram weather balloon as it ascended. Suddenly he noticed that another member of the group had the telescope trained on another location in the sky.

Moore confronted the man, berating him for having lost the balloon, which Moore could still see. The man protested and said, “But I’ve got it right here!”

Moore looked and with his naked eye suddenly noticed another “whitish spherical object” flying directly over the balloon, only at a higher altitude and moving in a different direction. He quickly took over and trained the ML-47 theodolite built around a 25-power telescope onto the object. The instrument revealed that the unknown object was actually a flat oval-shaped disk with a whitish-silver color. Moore kept the theodolite trained on the object for at least sixty seconds. During this time, he was able to determine that the object was 56 miles in altitude moving at an astonishing speed of seven miles per second or 2,200 miles per hour. They estimated that the craft was 40 feet wide and 100 feet long.

As they watched, the unknown object suddenly dropped in altitude until it was below the horizon line of the nearby mountain range. Then it stopped, swung upwards, and zoomed out of sight. The group of scientists were stunned and easily concluded that they had seen an actual craft and not a meteorite. Says Moore, “As I remember the object that I saw through the theodolite, its edges were sharp and not diffuse.”

Air Force Intelligence officers from the famed Project Blue Book were brought in to investigate, and unable to find an explanation, reluctantly labeled the case unidentified, the second such case in New Mexico (see Blue Book Case #358.)

The astronomical consultant to Project Blue Book, J. Allen Hynek, was assigned to research the case, and admits that he and the other officers did not give it the time and attention it deserved. As he later wrote, “Moore was disgusted with the Air Force’s and my lack of attention to this sighting. Who can blame him? It was typical of the Air Force’s practice of spending a great deal of overkill effort pinning down cases for which there seemed to me an immediate logical explanation in sight and devoting only modest follow-up to a case that was truly baffling.” Hynek later became a leading proponent of UFO reality, writing several books criticizing the Air Force’s handling of the UFO situation.

Despite receiving almost no investigation, this sighting had far-reaching implications. Researcher Michael David Hall writes that the sighting “stands as one of the most credible from the early years.” Researchers Brad Sparks and Jerome Clark wrote, “With good reason this sighting convinced many influential persons that UFOs were real and extraterrestrial.”

Within three days of the incident, the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board arrived to investigate. The purpose of the visit, as revealed in a declassified memo, was to look into reports of “unidentified aerial phenomena that have been observed in this area during the last five months.”

Shortly afterwards, this incident and others were leaked to the press. Documents from the now declassified Project Grudge (the precursor to Blue Book) show that the Air Force officials were apparently more concerned that the news articles were revealing too much information about the objects and the Air Force interest in them, than about the incident itself. According to Brad Sparks and Jerome Clark, the AFOSI “went into a frenzy to try to hunt down the source of the leak.” To their shock, they learned that Commander McLaughlin himself was the main source, but not the only one.

In a public press conference, Commander Robert McLaughlin told reporters: “Flying disks have nothing to do with any experiments carried on by American scientists or, for that matter, by anyone on Earth. If these things are real, they come from another planet, where creatures are far ahead of us in science. I have heard it said that they are space ships from Mars which have been attracted to the Earth by our atomic bomb explosions and, fascinated by what they saw, have continued to keep an eye on us.”

Later McLaughlin told “True Magazine,” “I am convinced it was a flying saucer and, further, that these disks are space aliens from another planet, operated by animate, intelligent beings.”

Whatever the case, the leak proved to be a thorn in the Air Force’s side, particularly because the sightings at White Sands were still ongoing. It seemed that whenever they launched a rocket, the UFOs swooped down to investigate.

Following this incident, an article written by journalist Austin Conover revealed several new sightings over White Sands. Conover wrote that during a visit there he was told by a top Navy officer who had long experiences in observing high-altitude missiles: “While sunbathing recently one day, I saw a mysterious object cavorting high in the air above us. Just before that, I turned in a report to Washington that two such objects were observed by a party of rocket experts visiting here. At that time I was skeptical. They insisted that I make the report.”

Meanwhile, the sightings continued. About one month later, in May of 1949, Commander Robert McLaughlin revealed another sighting at White Sands. He and two other officers were observing the launch of a rocket when they saw another white glowing object pass slowly overhead, then suddenly accelerate at high speed and move behind some hills.

One month after that, on June 10, 1949, there was another similar sighting at the base. Two small white disk-shaped objects were observed from five separate observation posts. The two disks appeared alongside an Army rocket, maneuvered around it as it launched and then accelerated vertically into the distance at speeds estimated around 1,300 miles per hour.

Commander McLaughlin later revealed that he had been witness to this and other similar UFO events. Says McLaughlin, “Many times I have seen flying disks following and overtaking missiles in flight at the experimental base at White Sands, where, as is known, the first American atom bomb was tried out.”

On August 31, 1949, the “Los Angeles Times” printed an article by Marvin Miles titled, “U.S. Officers Report Seeing Flying Disks.” The article said that on August 29, “flying saucers or at least some mysterious objects” were seen by service personnel at White Sands Proving Grounds. Writes Miles, “One officer believes the objects were space ships … Observation made through a photo theodolite showed the ship to be egg-shaped, fantastic in size, traveling at possibly three to four miles a second.”

The invasion of White Sands continued. In Fall of 1949, “Life” magazine reported a sighting over a “key atomic base” (presumably White Sands), during which a high-ranking air force officer and others visually observed and tracked on radar five metallic disks which flew over the base at “tremendous speed and great height.” They were reportedly at 100,000 feet of altitude moving at 4,500 miles per hour. The case is conspicuously missing from Blue Book and the only apparent documentation comes from the “Life” magazine article. Despite any official corroboration, UFO researcher Hynek says that there is “no doubt about its authenticity.”

Another UFO-caused Rocket Malfunction?

While White Sands seemed to be the main target of UFOs, it wasn’t the only one. On April 27, 1950, a team assembled to gather information on a recent wave of mysterious fireballs over New Mexico was on duty at Holloman Air Force Base. They had just observed a test missile launch and then fall back to Earth when they also observed four unknown objects swoop down as if to examine the event. They trained a theodolite on the objects and were able to determine that the objects—whatever their origin—were around thirty feet in diameter, hovering at an altitude of 150,000 feet. After several moments, the objects darted away at high speed.

On that same day, apparently the same time, an officer at White Sands visually sighted an object streaking across the sky. He grabbed his camera and was able to capture a photograph of the object. Unfortunately, the photograph was labeled inconclusive.

Astronomers See UFO

Perhaps the best witness of a UFO might be a professional astronomer, someone trained to identify objects in the sky. In 1954, Robert D. Schaldach (a former astronomer for Lowell Observatory) was working in a civilian capacity in the Technical Service Unit at White Sands Proving Grounds. His duty involved the camera monitoring of missile launches. At 10:00 p.m. on the evening of January 25, 1954, he was setting up his ballistic camera to monitor a launch. As he looked at the stars to calibrate his instrument, he noticed a “yellow-white” light moving from the northeast to the southeast in a shallow arc. The object pulsed in brightness at regular intervals.

Meanwhile, seventeen miles southeast of Schaldach, another White Sands employee viewed the object. Both trained observers, the witnesses were able to perform triangulation measurements and determine that the object was about twelve miles distant, and moving at 12,000 miles per hour. Says Schaldach, “I have observed many thousands of meteors and can definitely state that this object was not any kind of meteor.”

Schaldach worked with famed astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, and quickly alerted him of the sighting. Tombaugh, in turn, encouraged the gentlemen to report their sighting to Project Blue Book, which they did. However, despite the fact that the astronomers insisted that the object was not a meteor, Blue Book investigators wrote in their official conclusion of the case: “Was astronomical (Meteor).”

China Lake, California

While much of the early Rocket research occurred in White Sands, as time passed other areas also became locations of research, such as China Lake, north of Los Angeles in Southern California. Throughout 1955, physicist Dr. Elmer Green worked as the chairman of the Optical Systems Working Group, whose job it was to photograph and record trajectories of rockets and other advanced aircraft. According to Green, UFOs were an everyday part of his job.

Researcher Richard Thompson, who interviewed Dr. Green, writes: “In his position, Green frequently heard about incidents in which UFOs flew into camera range during weapons testing and were photographed. He heard about good-quality films that had been made of UFOs, and he personally saw black and white still photos of UFOs that were made by people in his group. He was aware of some 40 to 50 professional people who had some connection with UFO sightings made during weapons testing.”

Green himself had a sighting with his co-worker, photographic officer Jack Clemente. While watching an AJ bomber come in for a landing at the base, they saw a sixteen-foot disk fly about 400 feet underneath it. Suddenly, the disk “flipped up” to the wing of the plane, paced it for a moment, and then darted away. The entire incident was captured on film. Later, however, when Clemente tried to obtain records of the incident, he was told that no such report existed.

Rocket Scientists See UFOs

It is a common misconception among skeptics that only uneducated people report UFOs. Nothing could be further from the truth, as the following two cases show.

On November 4, 1957, at 1:10 p.m., James Stokes (a Holloman AFB high-altitude missile engineer and a Navy veteran) was driving south from Alamogordo near Orogrande at the southeast corner of White Sands Proving Grounds when his car radio faded and then failed completely. Seconds later, his car engine stalled. As he rolled to a stop he noticed that several other cars were also stopped. Some of the drivers exited their cars, and were pointing and looking at something to the northeast. Looking in that direction, Stokes saw a glowing, pearlescent egg-shaped object of “huge proportions”—he estimated about 300-500 feet—performing incredible maneuvers.

Says Stokes: “I saw a brilliant egg-shaped object making a shallow dive across the sky. Then it turned and made a pass at the highway and crossed it not more than two miles ahead. Then it moved away towards White Sands Proving Grounds. As it passed, I could feel a kind of heat wave, like radiation from a giant sun lamp. There was no sound and no visible portholes. When I got back to my car and checked the engine, I found it intact but the battery was steaming.”

There were also other witnesses, including Allan Baker, who worked at White Sands Proving Grounds, and a resident of Las Cruces who said that when the object appeared he took photographs of it with his 35mm camera. The witnesses noticed that as the object maneuvered, the low-level clouds around it dissipated in its path.

After it departed, everyone’s vehicles performed normally, and they departed the scene. Afterwards, James Stokes discovered that his face had been sunburned by the object. He reported his sighting to his military superior at Holloman AFB who told him it was all right to talk publicly about his sighting. Air Force officials did request that Stokes receive a physical examination from the Base doctors.

During a later interview with Coral and Jim Lorenzen, Stokes seemed more reticent to discuss his sighting, and tentatively advanced a theory that perhaps he had seen “some kind of atmospheric phenomenon.”

Coral and Jim Lorenzen believed he had been pressured by his military superiors. Writes Coral Lorenzen, “It was generally agreed later that Stokes had changed his story somewhat after his interview with the military authorities.” They met with Stokes again two months after the incident. By this time, his case had been widely printed in newspapers, and had, in some cases, been viciously attacked as a hoax. Stokes told the Lorenzens that he was quite upset about the hoax accusations, and said that if he ever saw anything out of the ordinary again, he wouldn’t tell anyone. In a taped interview on station KALG, Stokes did say that what he saw was “definitely a solid object.” He refused to elaborate and said only, “I just hope we’re ready for whatever it is.”

Interestingly, Air Force public information officer Lt. Col. John McCurdy at the Missile Development Center revealed that he had questioned Stokes extensively regarding the incident and was convinced that Stokes had, in fact, seen a genuine UFO.

Later Coral Lorenzen learned of additional witnesses to the event. One witness was reportedly located by an officer at Holloman, however, the witness declined to come forward. Lorenzen also spoke with a nurse at the local hospital who told her, “I know a couple who were on the highway near Orogrande when that engineer saw that saucer last November.” The couple refused to come forward for fear of ridicule, but told the nurse that the thing they saw was a machine of some kind, and a real flying object, not a “natural phenomenon” as some newspapers had reported.

UFO Buzzes Radar Installation

In July 1962, a group of twelve engineers and technicians were at a radar installation located on top of a small mountain called Twin Buttes, adjacent to Holloman Air Force Base. The group was outside during broad daylight when they saw a shiny, silver, disk-shaped object approach the radar installation and begin to circle it. The object looked like two bowls put together rim-to-rim, and had no windows or other markings. It appeared to be about 50 feet in diameter, and circled the building only a few hundred feet above.

The job of one of the engineers was to take moving films of missile launches, so he always carried a 35mm movie camera. He quickly pointed his camera at the object and shot 90 feet of color film. Two days later, officials from the Air Force arrived and confiscated the film.

Vandenburg AFB California

While military scientists grappled with UFOs in New Mexico, things began to heat up in southern California. On September 15, 1965, a crew of 120 military personnel at Vandenburg AFB prepared for the launch of an Atlas F missile. The launch took place as scheduled. Dr. Robert Jacobs (then a lieutenant) was put in charge of filming the missile in flight. He used a telescopic camera hooked up with a radar display that kept the viewfinder locked on the missile.

The launch was initially successful, however, at about 60 miles of altitude, the missile mysteriously lost control and plunged into the Pacific Ocean, hundreds of miles short of its target. Little did Jacobs realize, he was about to begin an ordeal that would haunt him for the rest of his life.

At the time, he didn’t notice anything unusual. However, the next day, he was called into the office of his superior, Major Florenz J. Mansmann, where two plain-clothed men from Washington, D.C., waited. Jacobs was instructed to watch the film of the missile launch and explain what he saw. Says Jacobs, “Suddenly, we saw a UFO swim into the picture. It was very distinct and clear, a round object. It flew right up to our missile and emitted a vivid flash of light. Then it altered course and hovered briefly over our missile … and then there came a second vivid flash of light. Then the UFO flew around the missile twice and set off two more vivid flashes from different angles, and then it vanished. A few seconds later, our missile was malfunctioning and tumbling out of control.”

Jacobs was instructed to study the film closely and give his professional conclusions. He did so and told Mansmann that he believed the object was a UFO spacecraft. Mansmann replied, “You are to say nothing about this footage. As far as you and I are concerned, it never happened. Right? … I don’t have to remind you of the seriousness of a security breach …”

In another interview, Jacobs elaborated on the incident. “I watched the screen and there was the launch … and into the frame came something else. It flew into the frame, and it shot a beam of light at the warhead. Now, remember, all this stuff is flying at several thousand miles per hour. So this thing fires a beam of light at the warhead, hits it, and then it moves to the other side and fires another beam of light, then moves again and fires another beam of light, and then flies out the way it came in. And the warhead tumbles out of space. The object, the points of light that we saw, the warhead and so forth, were traveling through subspace about sixty miles straight up. And they were going in the neighborhood of about 11,000 to 14,000 miles an hour when this UFO caught up to them, flew around them, and flew back out. Now, I saw that! I don’t give a goddamn what anybody else says about it. I saw that on film! I was there!

“Now Major Mansmann said to me after some discussion about it, you are never to speak of this again. As far as you are concerned this never happened. And he said, I don’t need to emphasize the dire consequences of a security breach, do I? I said, no sir. And he said, fine, this never happened. As I started for the door, he said, wait a minute. He said, years from now if you are ever forced by someone to talk about this, you are to tell them it was laser strikes, laser tracking strikes. Well, in 1964 we didn’t have any laser tracking strikes.”

Stunned, Jacobs concurred and kept his silence for more than seventeen years. He finally revealed his experience saying, “I have been afraid of what might happen to me. But the truth is too important for it to be concealed any longer. The UFOs are real. I know they’re real. The Air Force knows they’re real. And the U.S. government knows they’re real. I reckon it’s high time that the American public knows it too.”

Jacobs had good reason to be afraid of reprisal. As a result of his going public, he was ridiculed by arch-skeptics James O’Berg and Phillip Klass. He also received numerous anonymous phone call death-threats in the middle of the night. On one occasion, his mailbox was destroyed with skyrockets followed by another threatening phone call. He even lost his job as a result of going public.

Investigators, however, tracked down Mansmann who surprisingly confirmed Jacobs’ testimony in a written letter saying, “The events you are familiar with had to have happened as stated by both Bob Jacobs and myself because the statement made from each of us after seventeen years matched. What was on the film was seen only twice by Bob Jacobs, once in Film Quality Control and once in my office at the CIA attended showing. I saw it four times. I ordered Jacobs not to discuss what he saw with anyone because of the nature of the launch [and] the failure of the launch … The object was saucer-shaped.”

Mannsman was suffering from a recurrence of cancer at the time he wrote the above letter. He refused to reveal much more detail for fear of jeopardizing his security oath. He died shortly later.

Seal Beach, California

As revealed by researcher Steven Greer, a pioneer in the UFO disclosure movement, two years later, in April, 1966, designers of the new Saturn rocket at Seal Beach were examining the rocket when they realized somebody else was also expressing an interest. One of the scientists involved, “Dr. B.” reports the incident: “The first night we are bringing the Saturn rocket out of the hanger I get a shake. I’m sitting there at the computer console, sound asleep, it’s 4:00 in the morning. One of my engineers comes up and shakes me. Mr. B, come outside, there is something big happening … They had just pulled the bird [the Saturn rocket] out and were taking pictures. And a big disk came down. I don’t have a picture of the ship hovering over it, but the disk came down and 400 employees saw it at 4:00 in the morning, early spring. It was April, 1966.”

Incident at Malmstrom

One of the most alarming cases of UFOs and rockets was first revealed by Captain Robert Salas, who was employed at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. Lest anyone question his credentials, Salas also held positions at Martin Marietta and Rockwell and spent 21 years at the FAA. In the Air Force, he was an air traffic controller and a missile launch officer as well as an engineer on the Titan 3 missiles.

On the morning of March 16, 1967, Salas was on duty at Malmstrom AFB when he received a call from the topside security guard saying that he and the other guards were looking at “strange lights” circling above the launch control facility.

“You mean UFOs?” Salas asked.

The guard said that he didn’t know what the objects were, except that they were totally silent and performing strange maneuvers.

Salas describes what happened next. “It wasn’t more than a few minutes—maybe a half hour later—and he calls back and this time he’s very frightened; I can tell by the tone of his voice he’s very shook up.

“He says, Sir, there’s a glowing red object hovering right outside the front gate—I’m looking at it now. I’ve got all the men out here with their weapons drawn … I immediately went over to my commander who was taking a nap—we have a little cot down there for rest periods—and I was telling him about the telephone call we just received. As I was relating this to him our missiles started shutting down one by one. By shutting down, I mean they went into a no-go condition meaning they could not be launched. So we get bells and whistles—a red light no-go condition … These weapons were Minuteman One nuclear-tipped warhead missiles. As they started shutting down, immediately he gets up and we both start querying the status board. We’ve got the ability to query and determine what the cause of the shutdowns were. As I recall, most of them were guidance and control system failures.”

Captain Salas talked to his guard upstairs while his commander alerted the command post. Says Salas, “When he finished talking to the command post he turned to me and said, the same thing occurred at ECHO Flight. ECHO Flight is another squadron, I’d say probably 50-60 miles away from our location but they had the same sort of thing happen. They had UFOs that were hovering, not at the launch control facility but at the actual launch facilities where the missiles are located. They had some maintenance and security people out there at the time and they observed the UFOs at those sites. Now they lost all ten of their weapons—all ten … It was the same morning. So that morning we lost anywhere from between 16 to 18 ICBMs at the same time UFOs were in the area and were observed by airmen.”

Despite the fantastic nature of Salas’ story, he is not alone. Colonel Don Crawford, who relieved the crew at ECHO Flight and was at the base at the time of the incident, confirms Salas’ account and says that all the missiles not only were shut down, but took all day to restore.

Salas reported the incident in his log and turned it over to his squadron commander, and that was the end of it. After remaining silent about the incident for many years, Salas has become very vocal and speaks regularly about his experiences.

Countdown to Launch

Three months later, the UFOs were back over White Sands. One morning in June, 1967, Edward P. Bedy (a rocket engineer who had overseen more than 850 rocket launches) stood with nine other people in front of Navy Headquarters, looking east of the White Sands Missile Range. They were waiting for a launch, which was about to take place. The countdown was in progress when somebody shouted out, “Look at that!” and pointed to an object that was flying in a circular pattern above the launch pad.

Says Bedy, “At times the object just appeared as a small black dot, except at the ridge and left edges of the orbit where it reflected the sun and appeared as a shining object. This is astounding because the whole valley is covered by numerous radars, including those at Holloman AFB. The skies over WSMR are restricted airspace, and if a plane or other object flies over the range, the range goes to red status and no one can launch anything.”

According to Bedy, the radar stations had not registered the object on their scopes and the countdown continued as normal. Seconds later, the rocket took off. Says Bedy, “We saw the rocket rising from the launch pad, and the quarter inch disk was pacing alongside the rocket, going straight up. All of us saw this, and I know we did not possess an aircraft at that time that could fly straight up and pace that rocket. I can’t explain it.” Bedy was interviewed by UFO researcher Chris Augustin, who convinced Bedy to go public with his account.

By now it was common knowledge that UFOs made regular appearances over the facility. According to pioneering UFO researchers Ralph and Judy Blum, an employee at White Sands found the following graffiti on a bathroom wall at White Sands Missile Range in 1967:

I saw a disk up in the air,
A silver disk that wasn’t there.
Two more weren’t there again today.
Oh, how I wish they’d go away.

Toy Model Rockets Attract UFOs

The theory that UFOs are attracted to rocket launches is strengthened by the following incredible accounts in which ordinary citizens have provoked UFOs into an appearance by launching toy model rockets.

On June 6, 1968, an anonymous witness traveled outside of Lake Havasu, AZ to indulge in his pleasure of launching model rockets. To his surprise, he got more than he bargained for.

Writes the witness: “It was a hot day and a clear blue sky. I had just shot up a three-stage model rocket with a lizard payload and was walking through the desert trying to recover it. I saw a flash of light come from behind me. When I turned around, there was a chrome cigar shaped object with no lights or markings just hanging there right in front of me. It was shaped kind of like a tiny two-man submarine. It was totally silent. I stared at it for about ten seconds thinking maybe it was a balloon. Then it dipped to one side (north) and disappeared in an instant. It was too close to be an illusion. I remember saying to myself that was not of this Earth!”

The witness later reported his sighting to the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC), writing, “I didn’t tell anyone or even remember this until the late ’90s. Now I remember it very clearly. Haven’t had anything like that happen ever again.”

protonYears later and thousands of miles away, another toy rocket launch also called down a UFO. On September 2, 2001, a Lynbrook resident and father of three kids went outside to shoot off ten model rockets with class B engines. At 5:35 p.m., he saw a few strange white objects moving around one of the rockets. At first he assumed the rocket had malfunctioned and that the wadding had come loose. However, looking through the binoculars, he was shocked to see several UFOs.

Says the witness, “They were roundish with a red light, but the red light was not sharply defined. Then my sons witnessed the light change from one big light to smaller lights. Tprotonhere were many small UFOs and two bigger ones. They seemed to hover and then move quickly in different directions. One even went in the opposite direction without slowing down. Then, after ten minutes, they started to disappear. The closest one was shiny aluminum.”

Coming in for a Landing

While more cases could be presented, by now it should be clear to even the thickest-skinned skeptic that rocket launches attract UFOs. While these cases remain controversial, they do provide persuasive and compelling evidence of UFO reality. The credibility of the witnesses, their advanced training, the use of instrumentation, the fact that the witnesses are often in large groups when they observe these objects—all of this makes it difficult to dismiss these cases as hoaxes, hallucinations, or misperceptions.

What is the reason behind the UFOs’ interest in our rockets? With their advanced technology, why should they even care?

As the above incidents show, UFOs have not only monitored our rocket launches, in some cases they have intervened and disabled them. Clearly they have moved beyond the stage of just observing. Are the occupants putting on a display of their power and superiority? Are they trying to warn us that we are endangering ourselves? At this point we can only speculate.

Whatever the answer, these types of cases provide a unique opportunity for UFO research. If rockets have the ability to provoke a UFO sighting, then it’s possible to not only predict a UFO sighting, but to initiate one.

And just in case anyone thinks the UFOs’ interest in rocketry is waning, consider the following recent incident which occurred on June 19, 2012, during the launch of China’s Shenzhou 9 Spacecraft.

At first the launch went normally. The missile soared smoothly upward. Then at the four minutes and eleven seconds mark, when the rocket had reached an altitude of 15,000 meters, infrared cameras tracking the launch captured two apparent unidentified objects moving swiftly past the rocket.

The lift-off was televised live on TV across China, and many viewers observed the two mysterious objects flying horizontally in front of the rocket. Experts and officials, however, declined to offer an explanation.

More recently, on May 15, 2014, the Russian Proton-M rocket was launched from Baikonour in Kazakhstan, carrying the sophisticated communications satellite, the Express-AM4R, which had been designed to provide Internet access to remote Russian territories.

Again, the launch began normally. Then, nine minutes into the flight, immediately prior to the third stage and the releasing of the satellite, an unidentified orb-shaped object crossed paths with the rocket. The strange object was viewed by all those observing the launch. At the moment it crossed paths with the rocket, the Proton-M exploded.

As in the above case, the film footage of the launch clearly shows the presence of an unidentified object. [Above, left, the UFO is the tiny dot to the right of the Proton-M fireball.]

When the public and the media clamored for an explanation, Oleg Ostapenko, Representative of Roscosmos (the Russian space agency) released a statement, saying in part: “The exact cause is hard to establish immediately; we will be studying the telemetry. Preliminary information points to an emergency pressure drop in a steering engine of the third stage of the rocket.”

Not surprisingly, no mention was made of the unidentified object.

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