|Occurred : 6/30/1967 22:00 (Entered as : 1966/1967 22:00)
Reported: 7/1/2020 8:42:03 PM 20:42
Location: Vandenberg AFB, CA
Duration:30 minutes +/-
|Unknown object approached icbm silo from Pacific Ocean and hovered over Minuteman silo.
This occurred in during my time in the US Air Force while stationed at Vandenberg AFB, near Lompoc, CA. I was a member of a geodetic survey squadron that brought highly accurate geodetic, astronomic data to icbm silos, and other assets (SR 71, X 15, down range splash downs, etc) of the USAF, at VAFB, Edwards AFB, and Eniwetok. We usually worked in teams of three individuals. One person was an observer who actually made the measurements off the north star and triangle or quadrangle survey network at each missile silo. A second person is the recorder. The recorder simply documents the 16 measurements and time lapse of each for each station run. The third person usually was backup for either position and also made sure the target lights on each station continued turned on. We did this at VAFB and also for the 18 Titan around Tucson Arizona, and other areas.
This particular event took place in late 1966 or early 1967 at the far north end of VAFB. I previously reported it as February 1967, however, frankly, after these years my recollection may be off 2 or 3 months. I was assigned to VAFB in September or October of 1963 and was honorably discharged in May of 1967.
Since our 1st Order survey measurements required optimal weather conditions, our work was done at night to minimize distortion and parallax by heat waves. We would leave the Dayroom early evening about 6 or 7 pm. This would allow us to set up our target lights on each concrete monolith then finally set up our Wild T3 theodolite while there was still enough light. At dusk we would start our measurements of 16 positions at each of the 3 or 4 survey stations at each icbm silo. Typically, we would finish one silo site per evening and return to the Dayroom about 10:00 or 10:30 pm.
On the night of question, we were working an icbm silo at the far north end of VAFB near Lospe Mountain. We were taking astro measurements on the north star, Polaris. Therefore, please note that we were observing and focused completely toward the north with our backs to the south. Most of the base and other icbm silos were to our rear, south of us.
We completed our work and returned to the Dayroom. When we arrived at the office, our Party Chief was waiting for us at the door. Upon arrival, he immediately asked us whether we had observed what had happened at the silo in question. We responded that we had not seen anything. He then told us the Air Police at Headquarters, seeing an apparent ‘light show’ at that north end silo had at first thought there had been a missile launch. He said that silo had been lit up as if there had been a launch. Then, he said, they realized it was not a missile launch. He said an object had approached that silo from the ocean side low and slow until it was over the silo. There, he said, it hovered directly over the silo. The Sgt, while a nice fellow, was no one to kid around or play jokes on anyone. He was a very serious person who did not play around.
I expected to hear more reports the following morning, however, the next day it was as if nothing had happened. There was not even a hint of what had happened the previous night.
It was not until many years later in the early 2000s that I heard of the report of a similar event in Montana around that approximate time. Those two events appear similar in that both involved an unknown object hovering or next to an icbm silo.