December 13, 1977
By Bob Pratt
Mysterious UFOs flew near or hovered over nuclear bomb storage areas of two Strategic Air Command (SAC) bases and near at least 10 missile sites during a three-week period in 1975, The Enquirer has learned.
Several times the Air Force scrambled jet fighters and helicopters to chase down the UFOs but failed to intercept them.
One pursuing helicopter was guided to within 1,000 feet of a UFO hovering over a SAC base, but the men aboard said they couldn't see the intruder object - even though men on the ground could see both craft.
In several instances the mysterious UFOs were first reported to be helicopters, but an Air Force spokesman admitted: "The overflights were not identified as helicopters. Unsuccessful attempts were made to trace the craft."
The Enquirer uncovered these UFO sightings by digging through official Air Force documents available under the Freedom of Information Act.
On October 27, 28 and 31, 1975, a UFO invaded the security of Loring Air Force Base in Limetone, Maine, hovering over the weapons storage area.
The first night the UFO was seen visually for 35 minutes and tracked on radar for 40 minutes more. The next night the object hovered only 150 feet over the weapons storage area. A helicopter was sent up and flew to within 1,000 feet of the UFO - but the crew could not see it.
On October 30, a UFO was also seen over the weapons storage area of another SAC base, Wurtsmith Air Force Base at Oscoda, Mich. It was tracked by an Air Force plane on radar. Later the plane's crew reported "visual contact" with two UFOs. But as the plane approached the UFOs they sped off.
On November 7, officers at a minuteman missile launch control facility near Lewistown, Mont., were startled to see a large UFO with red and white lights hovering 10 to 15 feet off the ground.
The next night, after a UFO was spotted at eight missile sites in Montana, two F-106 jet fighters were scrambled. But as the jets got close to the UFOs, their lights went out - then went on again when the jets left.
On November 10, a bright object the size of a car passed silently 1,000 to 2,000 feet above a radar station at an Air Defense Command installation, Minot Air Force Station, Max, N. Dak. Three people saw it, the Air Force reported.
Two days later, November 12, Air Force headquarters in Washington, replying to a question from the North American Air Defense (NORAD) headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., regarding "unknown air activity," instructed NORAD and SAC on how to handle queries about the sightings. The message said, in part:
"Unless there is evidence which links sightings or unless media queries link sightings, queries can best be handled individually at the source and as questions arise. Responses should... emphasize that the action was taken in response to an isolated or specific incident."
Thus, newsmen inquiring about UFO incidents at one base were not told about similar incidents at other bases.