UFO Disables ICBM — SEPTEMBER, 1964
Was the USAF facing an Interstellar "Act of Peace?"
An Atlas ICBM launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, during a test of a dummy nuclear warhead, took part in what now appears to have been a very significant mission, although the military would not realize its importance until the flight ended in failure. In fact, from a military standpoint, it seems to have ended in an act of interstellar war. However, there is another far less threatening interpretation of this event, and it may in fact have been just the opposite of an act of hostile aggression. Whatever the motive for this close encounter, nothing the USAF released hinted at anything out of the ordinary. Was the USAF even slightly aware of what was to happen that day? Or were they simply trying to establish the best visual coverage of a major test of the Nike-Zeus antimissile system? The latter was probably the case, but let's study the steps that led up to one of the most startling events in UFO history. Astonishingly, even today, few know anything about it.
The USAF Western Missile Testing Range at Vandenberg provides a testing range capability practically unmatched anywhere else on earth. It allows the launch of rockets across vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean 5,000 miles or longer. It also provides a chain of islands for tracking and launch of defensive missile systems tested against those fired from Vandenberg. It is a strong link in our national defense capabilities.
An important series of Atlas ICBM launchings were planned in the fall of 1964. The USAF, needing strategic data from each mission, required a scrutinizing look at each missile launched in that series. To be assured success, the USAF Western Missile Test Range received permission to borrow a state-of-the-art 24-inch Gregorian Telescopic Camera from their counterparts, the USAF Eastern Missile Test Range at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, located about twenty miles south of the USAF Cape Canaveral Missile Test Center. The Gregorian Telescopic Camera was a precise astronomical instrument built by scientists at Boston University, and was quite capable of delivering close-up views of the Atlas rocket during its most critical phases of flight.
USAF Lieutanant Robert Jacobs was assigned as Officer-in-charge of Photo-Optical Instrumentation for the 1369th Photographic Squadron at Vandenberg. His first responsibility was to locate a suitable, remotely located site to securely mount the camera. The site had to be high, stable, and located at a specific distance northwest of the launch site. It also had to be in an area not susceptible to the California early morning coastal fog which plagues most beach areas, usually drifting inland. Fog would obscure the vital view of the launch.
After days of extensive searching, Jacobs located a perfect remote site in Big Sur. He and his crew securely mounted the camera in place. What it captured was simply amazing.
The film began to roll, catching the Atlas missile in an awesome view that literally filled the camera frame from an amazing distance of 100 nautical miles! As the dummy nuclear nosecone approached T+400 seconds into the flight, a sufficient visual angle had been established to verify the rocket was locked into the camera tracking frame. As the camera automatically ran off the remaining 35 mm frames, Lt. Jacobs and his crew celebrated their success. Later that evening, Jacobs placed the film canisters in his vehicle and delivered them to Vandenberg for developmental processing. Jacobs had no hint what his camera had recorded. The next morning, Jacobs was immediately ordered to report to the office of Major Florenz Mansmann, First STRAT AD, of Vandenberg Air Force Base, a very intelligent and dedicated military officer.
When Jacobs arrived, he first noticed a 35 mm movie projector and large screen had already been set up. He eagerly anticipated seeing the film from Big Sur. Turning to scan the office, he noticed three solemn looking men dressed in gray suits, watching every move he made. None spoke a word, no Good-morning, no exchanges, nothing.
Soon, the Major greeted them with a Good-morning and started the projector rolling. Jacobs found himself admiring the clear, crisp frames showing the Atlas rising into space in all its glory. He was very proud of his team and their accomplishments. Every sequence of the rocket was clearly captured as it continued out over the ocean. The segment of the flight reached the point where the dummy nuclear warhead sequence was to take place. As the final frames of the film approached, Major Mansmann said, "Lt. Jacobs, now watch the screen carefully."
Suddenly the most remarkable thing Jacobs had ever seen came into view from right to left and joined the streaking Atlas. It approached the dummy warhead and began to maneuver around it. The strange visitor was actually orbiting the nosecone in flight. It dawned on Jacobs that this "thing" was intricately circling the warhead while both were traveling at 18,000 miles per hour! That is phenomenal maneuverability, even by today's standards of aviation.
Jacobs was shocked into realizing that as far as he was concerned, the US, better yet, the world governments, had no such capability to display this feat of technological showmanship. "Who did?" was Jacobs' silent question.
Then, something even more astonishing occurred. The "thing" circumnavigated the warhead while emitting four very distinct and bright flashes of very intense white light, hitting the warhead at approximately the four cardinal points of the compass as it related to the long cylindrical shape of the nosecone. These flashes were so intense that each strike on the warhead caused the image orthicon (television) tube to bloom or form a halo around each light burst. Following this unearthly display, the strange craft departed in the direction from which it came. Jacobs noted that the shape of the object was the classic saucer. On top, in the center of the disc, was a dome from which the four bright flashes of light emanated.
Subsequently, the dummy warhead's trajectory was obviously disrupted by the "attack." It malfunctioned, tumbling out of control into the Pacific, hundreds of miles short of where the Nike-Zeus was to intercept it in a crucial test of our missile defense capabilities. The mission's primary objective had failed.
The film ended. Major Mansmann switched on the lights and pointedly asked if Lt. Jacobs or his crew had been fooling around with the optical equipment. "No sir!" replied Jacobs. "Then," demanded Mansmann, "what the hell was that, Lt. Jacobs?"
Jacobs looked straight into Mansmann's eyes and said, "It looks to me like we got a UFO, sir." Jacobs had just committed a major mistake.
The three spooks in gray suits glared at Jacobs without saying a word. Their stare was cold and filled with grave concern over his remark.
Major Mansmann, observing their reaction, ordered Jacobs to forget all he had witnissed on the film, told him it never happened. Jacobs responded with his affirmation and left the room like any USAF officer would do if he valued his military career. Years later, Lt. Jacobs would feel guilty over keeping this astounding event from the public. He disclosed it in an article published in the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) Journal.
In 1998, I attempted to locate Major Florenz Mansmann, who had no doubt retired. After finding an address, I wrote a very polite letter and awaited an answer. To be honest, I did not expect one.
About two weeks later, to my complete surprise, a very cordial response arrived accompanied by photocopies of articles of the Major and his photographic crew, including Lt. Jacobs. It was obvious the Major was proud of his long military career and his numerous, impressive accomplishments. He also provided written approval to quote him and all he said concerning this incident, and verified that this strange craft had indeed downed one of the USA's strategic missile nosecones.
Was this an alien "act of peace?" "They" demonstrated a level of technology clearly capable of totally destroying the missile; or doing far worse; but instead, the UFO merely disrupted the guidance system by maneuvering in at extremely close range, and firing four pulses of light. Act of war? Why not just blast the missile out of the sky? Or pick a more logical military target? Perhaps "They" even knew it was only a dummy warhead, and chose precisely this mission to send their message. What would the military reaction have been to an "attack" on a live missile? More may be inferred by assessing the aliens' capabilities and looking at what they could have done but didn't do, than by examining what they did.
What are we to make of this particular incident? Two things are certain: 1) The "Other Intelligences", such as von Braun called them, downed that missile; and 2) if "They" had wanted to, "They" could have done far worse, judging by their level of technology.
The "Alien Message," if there is one, may not be one of peace, but at the very least, it seems to be one of antiwar. Or so we should hope.