by Patrick Huyghe
The New York Times Magazine
14 October 1979, p. 106
Though officials have long
denied that they take 'flying saucers' seriously,
declassified documents now reveal extensive Government
concern over the phenomenon.
object reported to have hovered over Santa Ana, Calif., in 1965,
was the subject of
many government inquires.
The Defense Department message bears the classification
CONFIDENTIAL. "Subject: Suspicious Unknown Air Activity."
Dated Nov. 11,1975, it reads:
"Since 28 Oct 75 numerous reports of
suspicious objects have been received at the NORAD COC [North
American Air Defense Combat Operations Center]. Reliable
military personnel at Loring AFB [Air Force Base], Maine,
Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan, Malmstrom AFB, [Montana], Minot AFB,
[North Dakota], and Canadian Forces Station, Falconbridge.
Ontario. Canada, have visually sighted suspicious objects.
"Objects at Loring and Wurtsmith
were characterized to be helicopters. Missile site personnel,
security alert teams and Air Defense personnel at Malmstrom
Montana reported object which sounded like a jet aircraft. FAA
advised 'There were no jet aircraft in the vicinity.' Malmstrom
search and height finder radars carried the object between 9,000
ft and 15,000 ft at a speed of seven knots....
F-106s scrambled from Malmstrom
could not make contact due to darkness and low altitude. Site
personnel reported the objects as low as 200 ft and said that as
the interceptors approached the tights went out. After the
interceptors had passed the lights came on again. One hour after
the F-106s returned to base, missile site personnel reported the
object increased to a high speed, raised in altitude and could
not be discerned from the stars....
"I have expresses my concern to SAFOI [Air Force
Office Information] that we come up soonest with a proposed
answer to queries from the press to prevent overreaction by the
public to reports by the media that may be blown out of
proportion. To date efforts by Air Guard helicopters, SAC
[Strategic Air Command] helicopters and NORAD F-106s have
failed to produce positive ID."
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