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Minot Missile Base UFO


A major encounter with a very large orange UFO took place near Minot Air Force Base on this date in 1968. It was the middle of the Cold War. Active missile sites were peppered across the North Dakota landscape, and military personnel were on high alert.

At about 3 in the morning, Mike O'Connor was dispatched to respond to an alarm that went off at a nearby missile site. As he drove, he saw a bright light (quote) lift off the ground, and parallel us down the road, until we came to the missile site. (unquote) When he got out of the truck, he said, the light “just kind of hovered there.”

Back at the Air Base, the controller asked JAG 31, an airborne B-52, “…look out toward your one o’clock position for the next fifteen miles and see if you see any orange glows out there?”

JAG 31 responded, “Roger, roger glows, 31.” The controller said, “Someone is seeing UFOs again,” and JAG 31 responded, “Roger, I see a – ”

At that point the transmission became garbled. Navigator Capt. Patrick McCaslin, watched the craft on his radar screen and said, “This thing was climbing out with us and maintaining the same heading we were. That was unusual. But what really watered my eyes [was] when this thing backed away and allowed us to turn inside of it.”

No, this was no ordinary flying saucer. Co-pilot Capt. Brad Runyon said the “overall object was a minimum of 200 feet in diameter and it was hundreds of feet long. It had a metallic cylinder attached to another section...shaped like a crescent moon. I felt [this crescent part] was probably the command center. I tried to look inside the thing, but all I could see was a yellow glow.”

In his book Scientific Ufology, retired Air Force Captain Kevin Randle fully describes the incident and states, “What we have, then, was a group of sightings made by men on the ground, at the missile sites scattered around the base. There [were] radar sightings from ground and weather’s radar. There were visual sightings from the crew of the B-52, and an airborne radar sighting where the target traveled at 3,000 miles per hour. Scope photographs were taken...The object landed at location AA-43, and the entire observation lasted for 45 minutes. Fourteen other people in separate locations also reported the UFO. Security alarms were activated for both the outer and inner ring at the missile sites. When the guards arrived at the outer door, it was open and the combination lock on the inner door had been moved.”

On February 24, 2005, ABC News reported on Project Blue Book, a government program that seemingly investigated UFO sightings between 1948 and 1969. The report stated that despite overwhelming evidence surrounding the Minot event, Project Blue Book never sent anyone to make a first-hand investigation – despite the interest of several Strategic Air Command generals including Major General Nichols of the 15th Air Force. Contrary to its stated purpose, ABC reported, Project Blue Book’s real mission was to “explain away” UFO and alien contacts reported by witnesses – even if they were in the military.

Indeed, on November 13th, 1968, the Minot sighting was officially explained by Lt. Col. Hector Quintanilla, who wrote, “The following conclusions have been reached after a thorough study of the data submitted to Foreign Technology Division. The ground visual sightings appear to be of the star Sirius and the B-52, which was flying in the area. The B-52 radar contact and the temporary loss of the UHF transmission could be attributed to a plasma similar to ball lightning. The air visual from the B-52 could be the star Vega, which was on the horizon at the time, or it could be a light on the ground, or possibly a plasma. No further investigation by the Foreign Technology Division is contemplated."


Randle, Kevin, Captain USAFR. Scientific Ufology. Harper Collins: 1999.

“1968 - Minot Air Force Base, UFO Hovers, Seen by B-52 crew.” UFO Casebook. <http://ufocasebook.com/minotafbufo1968.html>

“The Secret of Project Blue Book.” ABC News. 24 Feb 2005. <http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/print?id=528712>

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm