Friday, April 24, 2015

Air Force UFO Sighting, Nebraska 1958

According to NICAP’s (National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena) newsletter, U.F.O. Investigator (April-May 1961 issue), several “dramatic Air Force reports, formerly hidden, were disclosed to the organization by pilots and others involved in the cases.
The newsletter list a few brief accounts from the cache of reports, one I found particularly interesting:

On September 8, 1958, Maj. Duich and other Strategic Air Command personnel sighted a large rocket or cigar-shaped object near Offutt AFB, Nebraska.  As the object hovered, witnesses saw small black objects moving around it.  After these objects disappeared (perhaps taken aboard the large device), the rocket-shaped UFO tilted, moved out of sight.  Observers included 20-30 AF officers up to the rank of colonel, airmen, Inglewood missile personnel, and control tower operators.”
NICAP’s secretary, investigator Richard H. Hall gathered more details on the case in subsequent reports.

Major Duich was an Air Force Master Navigator and had clocked in 4000 hours of flying time and 300 combat hours during WW II.  He had witnessed the infamous “foo-fighters” while making bombing runs over Japan.
At approximately 6:40, on the evening of September 8th, Duich was crossing an open area on the Nebraska base when he noticed what he first believed was a vapor trail to the west.  Observing the object, he watched as it became a bright light like a flare.  Continuing to observe the object, Duich called over another officer who also began to watch the curious light.  Within a few minutes, a small crowd had gathered around and they all stood watching the odd light.

Duich rushed into a nearby office and called the tower, requesting that the operator look to the west and report what he saw.  Like Duich, the operator at first thought he was observing a vapor trail.  But suddenly the glowing object turned a dull red-orange.
By now, 10-20 people had gathered outside to observe the puzzling light.  According to Duich:

“…as we watched there appeared at the lower end of the object a swarm of black specks cavorting every which way, much like a swarm of gnats.  This procedure continued for a minute or so before they (the black specks) disappeared.”
The object then changed altitude from an upright position, to a 45 degree angle with the horizon.  Slowly, it started moving in a westerly direction.  The crowd continued to watch the object as it changed altitude again and moved slightly southwest.  It was observed until it vanished in the hazy atmosphere to the west.

According to Duich, those who had gathered to watch the object, were mystified about what they had seen, but they were convinced that it was not anything natural:
“The crowd was composed of airmen, officers and civilians (at least 25 officers and airmen were present).  Several of the officers, and possibly a few civilians, were from the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division in Los Angeles.  Several more, like myself, were operations personnel engaged in a SAC planning session at the time.  All except a few of the airmen were seasoned, veteran flyers or highly trained missile engineers.  We concluded that what was seen by all was no conventional vehicle, nor was it an atmospheric phenomenon.”

Duich called in and filed a report with the proper authorities.  He was informed that he would be receiving a call from ATIC (Air Technical Intelligence Center) for an interview and formal statement.  That call never came.
The observations of Duich and his fellow officers and airmen, and the mystery of what they witnessed remain unsolved.

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