Robert Salas graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1964 and holds a master’s degree in aerospace engineering. In his seven years of active duty, from 1964-1971, he worked as a weapons controller, flew target drones, commanded inter-continental ballistic missiles as a launch officer, and participated as a missile propulsion engineer on the Titan III program.
In March 1967, Salas was working the night shift as DMCCC (Deputy Crew Commander and Missile Launch Officer in Charge) under Col. Frederick Meiwald, Crew Commander, at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. Salas was responsible for a battery of ten nuclear-armed Minuteman Missiles. While deep underground in the control “capsule,” Salas received reports from guard personnel at ground level. The increasingly agitated reports told of a large, red, glowing disk-shaped craft hovering over the Launch Control Center (LCC). A disturbing series of events then began to unfold, as the UFO hovered over the LCC and, one at a time, disabled the triple-redundant systems controlling each missile. Within a few seconds, the entire battery was off-line. The UFO then disappeared. It took technical crews most of the following day to return the missiles to online status—a task that had to be completed manually, one at a time, since the guidance systems had been affected by the UFO’s action.
Captain Salas was told to say nothing about the incident, which was deemed highly classified. As instructed, he told no one—other than his commanding officer—about his experience at Malmstrom. Upon leaving the Air Force in 1971, Salas worked as a safety and reliability engineer for Martin-Marietta Aerospace and Rockwell International on space shuttle design proposals. From 1974 until his retirement in 1995 he worked for the Federal Aviation Administration as an aircraft structures certification engineer. Returning to school for a teaching certificate, he has worked since 1998 as a mathematics teacher—his current occupation.
Salas decided to go public about the Malmstrom incident in 1994. In 2005 he published the book Faded Giant with co-author James Klotz. The book details the UFO incident at Malmstrom. On September 27, 2010, Salas co-sponsored a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, where he and six other ex-military witnesses testified to the reality of the UFO incidents at U.S. nuclear weapons bases. In May 2013, he participated in the Citizen’s Hearing on Disclosure at the National Press Club, Washington, DC. In 2015, Salas’s second book, Unidentified: The UFO Phenomenon, was published by The Career Press, Inc. He has been speaking publicly about his research and experience with UFOs at conferences and on radio and television since 1996.
The MOON: Will you please tell us about your UFO experience?
Salas: In 1967 I was a missile launch officer in Montana at Malmstrom Air Force Base. I had control over ten nuclear missiles. On the evening of March 24, I was underground with another officer—Colonel Fred Miewald—when I got a call from a topside guard, who said that he and his coworkers were seeing strange lights in the sky, which were making odd maneuvers, stopping on a dime, and that sort of thing. The guard didn’t think the lights were aircraft; nevertheless, he and his coworkers thought they should report it. I kind of dismissed the call, but five minutes later the guard called back, only now he was screaming into the phone. He said that there was a glowing red object hovering above the front gate. It gave off a reddish, pulsating light, oval shaped. He and his fellow guards were scared to death; they were all present with weapons ready; they wanted me to tell them what to do. I told them to make sure nothing entered the gated area and I hung up the phone. I was about to tell my commander about it when the missiles started shutting down. All ten of them went into what we call a “NO-GO” condition. Astonishingly, they’d been disabled—from outside the control capsule. We were unable to bring them back on alert.
The MOON: How did you know they shut down? Did you hear them?
Salas: Yes. You don’t shut down the nation’s weapons systems without calling attention to the fact. Bells and alarms and klaxons went off. We also had a board that showed the status of the missiles, with a control system that enabled us to query what was wrong. We were getting the same message on each missile: “Guidance and control system failure.” Within the span of a few seconds all ten missiles shut down, while this object hovered overhead. When my commander called the incident into the Wing Command Post, he was told that the same thing had happened to another flight of nuclear-armed missiles about a week earlier, on March 16. So, in the space of eight days, twenty nuclear-armed missiles had been disabled while UFOs were in proximity, as was reported by many, many witnesses. That’s what got me started into researching this field.
The MOON: Where did the other incident happen?
Salas: The other incident was at a very similar location, about thirty-five miles to the northwest of where we were. The same kind of thing was reported as I described, except that at the Echo Flight incident there were guards and security and maintenance people at two of the launch facilities where the missiles are actually located. All of them reported seeing this object overhead, a UFO, during the missile shutdown. First one missile went down and when personnel called in the report of a UFO overhead, the other nine went down in very rapid order.
These missiles are not like Christmas tree lights, where one goes out and they all go out. Each was an individually cabled system on its own auxiliary power. Their disabling was not caused by a power failure. As you can imagine, the U.S. military has redundant systems supplying power to its weapons. These missiles had power at all times. What happened was that their guidance systems were disabled.
The MOON: What do you make of these events? How do you interpret them?
Salas: I think we were basically being given a message, by beings of superior technological capabilities and intelligence, which was “Get rid of your nuclear weapons.” The craft that disabled our missiles had to have been of extraterrestrial origin. They couldn’t have been constructed on Earth because of what they were able to do. We had no aircraft that could fly like they could—silently and at extreme speeds; stop on a dime, reverse course, hover—all without making any sound. And the technology to disable our weapons—which required penetration of sixty feet of earth and concrete and a triply shielded cable system and sending a specific signal to each and every missile, which were miles apart—I don’t think we have anything even close to doing that today. So I think these were extraterrestrial objects, intelligently controlled, sending us the message to get rid of our nukes.
As it turns out, years later when I did the research on this, 1967 was the year the world’s nuclear powers had the maximum number of nuclear warheads—about thirty-eight thousand. Thirty-eight thousand. And that was just among the USSR, the US, the UK, and France. China was just starting to develop them; the Chinese really didn’t have an arsenal yet. But just between those four or five countries we had about thirty-eight thousand nuclear warheads. We were also in the middle of the Cold War, and we were fighting in Vietnam. In other words, it was a very dangerous time for the possibility of a nuclear war. So like I said, I think the extraterrestrials were telling us, “Get rid of your nukes.”
By the way, these aren’t the only two instances where UFOs seem to have had a focused interest on nuclear installations. I recently published a second book called Unidentified: The UFO Phenomenon in which I identify about a dozen other cases involving nuclear weapons and UFOs.
The MOON: It doesn’t seem as if we’re getting the message, does it? The world still has thousands of nuclear weapons and now the U.S. is planning to spend billions to upgrade and refurbish ours.
The MOON: So have there been any more recent incidents to send us another warning?