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FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
LAWSUITS
(1978)

UFO Visits to SAC Bases in 1975


(with hyper linked commentary by Brad Sparks)

Introduction

Last December (1998), Brad Sparks, cofounder of CAUS (Citizens Against UFO Secrecy), prime consultant on the Freedom of Information (FOIA) suits against the CIA and NSA, and one of the first people to review those original FOIA documents in Dec. 1978, wrote me concerning errors that that appeared in the Newsday/Washington Post articles I had posted on my website. In light of the events this year regarding Peter Gersten and CAUS, it is very important that accurate information be posted on the net regarding the releases of the FOIA documents in 1978 & 1981 and the results of the studies on same. Therefore, I am in the process of correcting what I had written. ( jc 1/14/2008: Corrections have been accomplished)

What I did find interesting was that _he_ was the only one that had written me in this regard. (i.e. UFOs at SAC bases) One would think that today's skeptics would have had plenty to say concerning the 1975 SAC base UFO sightings if they were completely informed concerning what transpired back then. Not _one_ had written me to counter what I had posted well over a year ago. Therefore, it is apparent to me that, due to the passage of time, people may have either forgotten these highly publicized events or consider them diminished in importance.

Incidentally, prior to posting, I had snail-mailed CAUS re: same and received no response. Brad informed me that Peter Gersten and Barry Greenwood had a falling out and that I had probably mailed my letter about the time their problems had reached a crisis point. (As I found out later, the reason for that breakup is history making of its own accord and its outcome will most certainly deserve future close scrutiny.)

Additionally, since the Newsday/Washington Post articles in question are also an important part of factual UFO history, they too need to be preserved. Therefore I am making corrections to the original using editor's brackets so that one can be fully apprised of both the articles and the corrected information.

I wish to thank Brad for taking the time to read the entirety of my FOIA information and detailing the corrections for me via email. He was at the epicenter of a major ufological occurrence, and therefore, his observations concerning the proceedings certainly deserve preservation as well.

As a point of information, Brad was extremely disappointed that the credit for uncovering this hard-earned information had been given to GSW since: 1) GSW was a one man organization and the person running it left much to be desired. 2) GSW didn't file the lawsuit; CAUS (Peter Gersten) filed it on behalf of GSW. Although GSW's name is on the suit, Gersten essentially did everything and had picked GSW to set up a test case. Brief information regarding GSW

I am publicly apologizing to Brad for not getting to this sooner, but some changes in my own life, the amount of work involved and a major computer crash kept me from doing it. Since this is an ongoing project, please bear with me as I complete my research into the important material he sent and gradually add-in various items. Anyone else with documented support to their discussion or general comments is welcome to forward that information to me for possible inclusion in the proceedings.

Jerry Cohen

 



* * *

Washington Post/Newsday Article

Forward

The following 1/19/79 Newsday article concerning UFOs at SAC bases, and lawsuits concerning same, was actually a reprint of a Washington Post article. All the information was printed accurately from source to source. As we mentioned above, Brad informed me this particular "Freedom of Information" lawsuit was filed by CAUS, not GSW. As far as he knows, it was incorrect that the Washington Post assisted in follow-up lawsuits. However, it is true that various government agencies were sued...... By 1981, GSW's lawyer, Peter Gersten, had received approximately 3,000 pages (approximately 1000 documents). Researchers should be well-apprised of the following:

Two statements:

a) The CAUS lawsuit is on legal record as indicated.

b) Although the information detailed in the Newsday/Washington Post article has some inaccuracies which I will itemize, the information uncovered still reveals important details which, at least to me, apparently confirm UFO visitations to the northern tier USA SAC bases and provide supportive background regarding other possibly UFO-related reported occurrences in areas surrounding the bases within that immediate time period.

And two important related questions:

1) Do we really have a valid, truly logical explanation as to how the combined efforts of approximately five (5) Air Force bases could not catch the intruders to those northern tier SAC (Nuclear) bases in 1975 when during the first incident, all the bases were put on a Security Option III national alert?

2) **Should both the first-hand recorded descriptions given by named military personnel at the time of the incidents and some of the other fascinating cases reported in the same general time proximity be completely forgotten as though it all never happened? This author is of the opinion, at least at the present time, that it should not.

The following article and links to both statements released in those FOIA documents, and additional reported police sightings seem to indicate that the reported sightings may well have been something other than either normal (or new-type "silent") helicopters.

Paragraphs in the following have been numbered to make it easier to cross-check the accuracy of the information derived therefrom which was used to create a shortened extract of the article.

(1/19/79)
The Newsday Article

[with some factual corrections by Brad Sparks noted]


skip to reduced extract of the 1978 released information

UFOs Seen at Air Bases in 1975 Pentagon reports say
Air Force tried, but failed, to track and detain the objects

The Washington Post
 

1. Washington--During two weeks in 1975 a string of the nation's super sensitive nuclear missile launch sites and bomber bases were visited by unidentified, low-flying and elusive objects, according to Defense Department reports.

Brad Sparks says the number of bases was approximately 5 plus a Canadian base

2. The sightings, made visually and on radar by air and ground crews, occurred at installations in Montana, Michigan, and Maine. They led to extensive but unsuccessful Air Force attempts to track and detain the objects.

Click here for an excellent book regarding the 1975 FOIA documents & cases

3. Air Force and Defense Department records variously describe the objects as helicopters, aircraft, unknown entities or brightly lighted, fast-moving vehicles that hovered over nuclear weapons storage areas and evaded all pursuit efforts.

Click here for a "Sample documented military case" from "The UFO Cover-Up

4. In several instances, after base security had been penetrated, the Air Force sent fighter planes and airborne command planes aloft to carry on the unsuccessful pursuit.

5. The records do not indicate if the fighters fired on the intruders.

6. The documents also give no indication that the airspace incursions provoked much more than local command concern.

This is not correct. A "Security Option III" alert indicates it involved the NMCC (National Military Command Center) and therefore was national not just local

7. But a Nov. 11, 1975, directive from the office of the secretary of the Air Force instructed public information staff members to avoid linking the scattered sightings unless they were specifically asked .

8. The Defense Department position, cited in the memo and reiterated yesterday by a departmental spokesman, is that formal investigation of unidentified flying objects ended in 1969 and that there were no plans for renewed Air Force investigation.

Brad Sparks says the Air Force has been misrepresenting the ending date of Project Blue Book. He says Blue Book was actually terminated January 30, 1970

Also: Few, if any of the 1975 cases were "cc"ed to Foreign Tech Division/Wright Patterson AFB

9. Yet another Air Force intelligence report indicated extensive interest in a 1976 incident over Iran, when two Iranian Air Force F-4 Phantom fighter planes encountered a brightly lighted object in the skies near Teheran. Also see an important in-depth workup on this case from Bruce Maccabee.

Click here for NICAP report on the Iranian case

jc 8/2/2008: . . . and now, totally removing it from the realm of simple hearsay, stunning testimony from one of the pilots from this case, at a 2007 press conference (in Washington, D.C., USA).

10. The object was traced by Iranian ground radar, seen by the crew of a commercial airliner and pursued by the F-4s. According to the report, the Iranian planes experienced a breakdown of their electronic communications devices when they neared the object.

Brad Sparks doesn't think "ground radar" tracked the UFO's in this incident.

He said the case revolved around the F-4's onboard radars' tracking & lock-on of the UFO(s)

[Some pertinent questions are:

If the Mehrabad (Teheran) ground radar _was_ out, exactly when did it go off & when did it come back on?
(jc 6/7/02 Another important question: What caused the Teheran ground radar to fail? Did it fail from natural causes or did it suffer the same problems as planes that tried to approach the UFO?)

At what time did the F-4 jet UFO encounter begin?

How long did the encounter last?

Why aren't any of those important details included in any of the documents released?]
(jc 6/7/02: One obvious possibility is that for military reasons, they don't want anyone knowing about their radar; but certainly, not the only possibility if we take the incident at face value.)

11. The report, compiled by American officials, said that the electronic weapons system of one of the planes went dead when its pilot prepared to fire an AIM-9 missile at a smaller object that appeared to roar out from the larger vehicle. ( jc 5/8/2008: A history channel program "UFO Hunters" interviewed a pilot from this encounter and conducted actual flight recreations of same at a jet pilot school in California, USA. The pilot still swears it happened and added that his plane was circled by "something" that appeared to be shot at him while he was traveling at it, at over 1000 mph. It flew back and rejoined the craft that released it. The interviewing group was in agreement this was technologically "over the top." They also interviewed a pilot from Peru concerning a similar encounter he had 4-5 years later, and recreated that one as well. Both cases, as analyzed, are truly well-beyond the boundaries of even present-day aviation. Both pilots are still well-respected to this day, and these cases happened approximately 30 years ago.)

12. The planes' electronic equipment reportedly became operative after they veered away from the smaller object, which had returned to the larger light, the report said. Iranians said the larger object had colored, fast-flashing lights and was the size of a Boeing 707 jetliner.

13. The information on the 1975 and 1976 sightings--in records from the Air Force and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)--was turned over to Ground Saucer Watch (GSW), a Phoenix-based organization that monitors UFO reports.

Brad says this is not correct. He and other researchers had uncovered this years earlier. Incidents were originally leaked to NICAP president Jack Acuff

14. GSW obtained the information through a Freedom-of-Information request to the Air Force, one of several it has made to government agencies involved in UFO investigations.

Again, as per above

15. As a result of a similar request by the Washington Post and GSW, the CIA turned over almost 900 pages of document related to its monitoring of UFO reports since the 1950s.

Click here: Brad says also "not correct." Brad was the researcher doing the actual in-depth research on the CIA documents, and the CIA documents actually went back to at least 1949

16. The CIA was directed by a U.S. District Court judge here last year to turn over to Ground Saucer Watch UFO data unrelated to national security. The agency, according to GSW officials and attorneys, apparently has withheld some UFO records, and GSW says it intends to seek further court action in the case.

A reminder as to who was actually filing the lawsuit

17. The CIA documents are largely a collection of worldwide intelligence reports, newspaper articles and agency memoranda relating to UFO sightings and theories of extraterrestrial life.

18. The CIA's position is that it has had no involvement with UFOs since 1953, when a special study panel concluded that they presented no threat to national security.

CIA historian Gerald Haines has demonstrated the lack of truth in this statement

19. While memos dated as recently as 1977 are included in the 879 pages, the CIA spokesman said the agency continues to be "a passive recipient" of UFO data.

This statement was also not true

20. Todd Zechel, a GSW investigator and director of another organization, Citizens Against UFO Secrecy, said: "We've had to pry loose every item of information we have. I am inclined to believe the government doesn't know any more about UFOs than we do, but if UFOs are what they say--nothing--why don't they open their files totally?"

21. Zechel and William Spaulding, a Phoenix engineer and director of GSW, said that the Defense Department, the Air Force and the National Security Agency (NSA) have refused to turn over other information that would shed more light on military encounters with unidentified flying objects.
 

        [However, the researchers themselves have correctly pointed out that giving out _some_ of the information could possibly tell an enemy the facilities and techniques we have for collecting data which, in certain cases, could jeopardize the security of our nation. A "Catch-22" situation of sorts exists in this area.]


        22. Zechel, a former NSA employee who now lives in Wisconsin, said that the 1975 incidents at the missile and bomber facilities would not have been revealed, had it not been for a "leak" from a Pentagon source.

        Brad's correction on where Todd Zechel worked

        As stated previously, incidents were originally leaked to NICAP president Jack Acuff

        23. That tip, he said, led to the information request that produced the reports on the "flap"--as a rash of UFO incidents is called--in the last days of October and the first two weeks of November, 1975.

        Again, these incidents are detailed in the 1984 book "The UFO Cover-Up"

        24. The Air Force and NORAD data provided detailed accounts of sightings of unexplained objects from Loring Air Force Base in Maine, Wurtsmith AFB in Michigan and Malmstrom AFB in Montana, all within a two-week period.

        25. At those and other missile-launching sites in the northern tier of states, military personnel reported that the objects hovered over nuclear weapons storage areas, in some cases as low as 10 feet from the ground, and over missile silos before they departed.

        26. In some reports the objects were called "helicopters," although no witness made a positive identification. The sounds the objects emitted were described as being similar to helicopter noise.

        27. In one report--on Nov. 7, 1975, at Malmstrom AFB--Capt. Thomas W. O'Brien had just left duty as a missile launch officer when he saw an aircraft resembling a helicopter approach the silo area.

        28. He and his deputy heard what they thought was a helicopter rotor over the building where they were resting. The unidentified deputy looked out the window and saw "the silhouette of a large aircraft hovering about 10 to 15 feet above the ground" and about 25 feet from the launch-area fence.

        29. He reportedly saw two red and white lights on the front, a white light on the bottom and another on the rear. Darkness prevented him from seeing the object's markings or personnel. Military crews at two other nearby launch facilities reported moving lights in the air on the same evening but said they heard no sounds.

        30. NORAD commanders' activity logs during that period reported a sighting at another unidentified launch facility in which witnesses said they saw the object "issuing a black object from it, tubular in shape." Standard radar surveillance did not indicate its presence.

        31. More detail appeared in reports of sightings on Oct. 30 and 31 over Wurtsmith AFB, where an "unidentified helicopter" flew around the base and hovered over weapons-storage bunkers.

        32. Investigators subsequently determined that no military, commercial or private helicopters known to be based in the area could have been around Wurtsmith at those times.

        33. Several sightings occurred at the Maine air base as well, where objects hovered over the weapons area. Radar and visual sighting were made, and another KC-135 was sent aloft to oversee pursuit efforts by a helicopter borrowed from the Maine National Guard.

        34. The object eventually disappeared toward the Canadian border, where Canadian air force jets were on alert. There was no indication whether the Canadian planes spotted the object.


        **jc 4\24\02: We eventually learn what was on Peter Gersten's mind when he regained control of the helm of the CAUS organization from Barry Greenwood. There are a large number of witnesses who have and will testify to some of these sightings, a major effort to collect their testimonies, and get this information out to congress and the public. It's known as The Disclosure Project. Peter Gersten has united with Steven Greer.

        ***Coincidentally, an incident known as the Travis Walton case took place at approximately the same time these governmental verified 1975 military events were occurring.

         

        + + +

        Short Extract of 1979 Newsday Article
        [with some factual corrections noted]

        1. GSW and the Washington Post made some "Freedom-of-Information" requests [§ 14, 15]

        The Freedom of Information lawsuit was filed by CAUS, not GSW. As far as Brad knows, the Washington Post did not assist in the lawsuits in any meaningful way

        Brad, Bob Todd, and Todd Zechel were the researchers doing the actual in-depth research; and documents actually went back to at least 1949

        2. The Air Force and NORAD (North American Defense Command) gave them 900 pages of documents [§ 15]

        [The 900 pages actually referred to the CIA documents,
        "not" the Air Force/NORAD documents]

        3. UFOs were at a string of nuclear missile Air Force bases
        in 1975 [§ 1]

        Brad says the number of bases was around 5 plus a Canadian base

        4. They were unidentified, low flying and elusive
        [§ 1, 3, 25-29, 31, 33-34]

        5. Sightings were both visual and radar [§ 2, 10, 27-33]

        6. Sightings led to unsuccessful attempts to track and detain
        the objects [§ 2-4, 9-12, 34]

        7. Objects described as unidentified helicopters, aircraft, unknown entities or brightly lighted, fast moving vehicles that hovered over nuclear weapons storage areas and evaded all pursuit efforts.
        [§ 3, 24-29]

        Click here for a typical sample military case

        8. In several attempts, the Air Force sent fighter planes and airborne command planes aloft to carry on the unsuccessful pursuit. [§ 4]

        9. Documents mention Air Force concern about a 9/19/76 incident where 2 Iranian F-4 Phantom fighter planes encountered a brightly lighted object in the skies near Teheran. [§ 9-12]

        10. The Iranian planes experienced a breakdown of their electronic communications devices when they neared the object. [§ 10]

        Click here for NICAP report on the Iranian case

        11. The electronic weapons system of one of the planes went dead when its pilot prepared to fire an AIM-9 missile at a smaller object that appeared to roar out from the larger object. [§ 11] (No longer hearsay. Click "pilot" in this paragraph to see pdf file of a November 2007 testimony by pilot Parviz Jafari, retired General of Iranian Air Force, at a Washington, D.C. USA press conference.)

        12. The plane's electronic equipment became operative again after they veered away from the smaller object. [§ 12]

        13. The larger object had colored fast flashing lights and was the size of a Boeing 707 jetliner [§ 12]

        14. Some UFO records have apparently been withheld. GSW and the Washington Post are going to court to try to get them. [§ 16]

        Again, as Brad Sparks indicated previously, this is incorrect

        **jc 4\24\02: We eventually learn what was on Peter Gersten's mind when he regained control of the helm of the CAUS organization from Barry Greenwood. There are a large number of witnesses who have and will testify to some of these sightings, a major effort to collect their testimonies, and get this information out to congress and the public. It's known as The Disclosure Project. Peter Gersten and Steven Greer have united in this goal.

        ***Coincidentally, an incident known as the Travis Walton case took place at approximately the same time these governmental verified 1975 military events were occurring.


        Back To Main "Newsday/Washington Post" Article


         
         

     

    * * *
    Attorney Peter Gersten: Director of Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS);
    manager & financier of the CAUS FOIA lawsuits.


    Peter Gersten


    "The UFO Cover-Up"

    (formerly titled "Clear Intent")


    The following two individuals, Larry Fawcett and Barry Greenwood, co-authored a book published in 1984 titled "Clear Intent" ("UFO Cover-up") which speaks in depth concerning the Peter Gersten CAUS lawsuit and the materials they received from nine different government agencies. Dr. J. Allen Hynek wrote a forward to the book.

    Click here for a sample case

    At the time of publishing, the following information concerning the authors appeared on the first page of the paperback.

     



    Lawrence Fawcett

    Lawrence Fawcett, a UFO investigator for twenty years, has held memberships in the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) and the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) and has also served as the Early Warning Coordinator in New England for the Air Force-sponsored "Condon Committee" UFO study. Currently, he is on the National Board of Directors for the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) and is the assistant director and chief investigator for Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS).


     
     
    ..Barry Greenwood

    Barry J. Greenwood, involved in UFO research since 1964, is currently the historian, archivist, and Middlesex County director for the Massachusetts Chapter of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON). He also served on the Board of Advisors of Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS) and is a member of the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS), the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO), and the British UFO Research Association (BUFORA). He holds associate memberships in the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Astronomical Society.

    jc - Important notice from Barry: "Effective January 18, 1998, I have resigned as editor of its newsletter Just Cause." Peter Gersten had decided to use CAUS to support the organization CSETI (Director, Steven Greer) and Greenwood and Gersten had a falling out. To see the complete details in his letter of resignation, click Barry's name above.

    Two other addresses for Greenwood material:
    Barry Greenwood-SIGN (J. Aldrich)
    Barry Greenwood-CUFON on-line


    * "The UFO Cover-Up" (Clear Intent) . Fireside (Simon & Schuster) 1984 . available at the Library of Congress, Washington D.C., USA if you are unable to find it, or try the Glenn Campbell bookstore.
     

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