Wednesday, 16 January 2019

UFO Report:
“The 1966 UFO Chronology”

Created: 7 September 2006
Updated: 6 November 2018

Quote from the UFO report:
“This is a 34-page chronology (increased from 11-pages) of UFO incidents and events for 1966, the beginning of the ‘Mother of All UFO Waves’, which lasted throughout 1966 and 1967. Our thanks for these chronologies must go to our documentation team: Richard Hall (the original chronology from UFOE II), William Wise (Project Blue Book Archive), Dan Wilson (archive researcher), and Brad Sparks (Comprehensive Catalog of Project Blue Book Unknowns). Last, but not least, our thanks to Jean Waskiewicz who created the online NICAP DBase (NSID) that helped make it possible to link from the cases to the reports themselves.

Three notable events stand out among the others are two sightings; the Dexter and Hillsdale (MI) sightings of March 20-21 (Frank Manor [sic], etc.) and the Portage County (OH) incident of April 17 (Deputies Spauer and Neff), and the event being the writing of the ‘Trick would be’ memo by Robert Low on Aug. 9th. It is extremely interesting that both 1966 and 1967 include many sightings near missile sites, and in 1966 the US reached a peak of 31,700 of stockpiled nuclear warheads. For more on the 1966-1967 sighting wave, serious researchers should get their copy of this report: ‘Alien Invasion or Human Fantasy? The 1966-67 UFO Wave’ (Richard Hall). For information on missile deployment, see To Defend & Deter. (1)

Francis Ridge
NICAP Site Coordinator

Jan. 1966; Popular Science Article
‘Why I Believe in Flying Saucers’, by MacKinlay Kantor, Pulitzer Prize winning author of ‘Andersonville’. The noted writer, co-author with Gen. Curtis E. Lemay of ‘Mission with LeMay. My Story’, tells of the strange personal sighting that convinced him that UFOs are real. (Copy provided by Ole Jonny Brænne)

Jan. 12, 1966; Sagan Requests Materials
Dr. Carl Sagan requests information from Blue Book on sightings. The Tridade Island case is referred to and the Kelley/Hopkinsville case was requested also. 

February 1966
Dr. Brian O’Brien heads a panel of the AF Scientific Advisory Board that completes a review of Project Blue Book and recommends that the AF contract with several universities to conduct UFO studies. (Sparks)

March 31, 1966; JANAP 146(E)
Joint Army Navy Air Publication 146(E), changed from 146(D) of Feb. 1, 1959. Added that photographs should be sent to the Director of Naval Intelligence. Also added special reporting instruction for unidentifiable objects. (See JANAP 146 History and Evolution).

Minuteman II ICBM Deployed to Five SAC Bases
In 1966 the Minuteman II ICBM was deployed to SAC bases: Malmstrom Air Force Base, Ellsworth Air Force Base, Minot Air Force Base, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, and Whiteman Air Force Base. Malmstrom Air Force Base was also selected as the location for an additional Minuteman squadron, and LFs and LCFs were consequently constructed at this base. The first Minuteman II was deployed at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, in August 1965. In early 1966 UFOs were being reported at these same SAC bases.

April 5, 1966
House Armed Services Committee conducts the first and only public hearing by U.S. Congress ever held on UFO’s. Was a result of the nationwide controversy generated by AF consultant J. Allen Hynek’s ‘swamp gas’ explanation for the Hillsdale sightings.  AF is severely criticized by the Congressmen, including future President Gerald Ford.

The AF is slated to soon test a long-delayed highly classified sensor system which will obviate the need for collection of anecdotal UFO reports by an ever more embarrassing Project Blue Book. The plan for the sensor system and eventual closure of Blue Book was approved years before, on July 28, 1952, but numerous technical and budgetary delays kept giving Blue Book reprieves from termination.  Now, the AF command decides that for PR purposes after the tremendous beating it received in the press, from the public and now from Congress over its inept UFO explanations that it needs a scientific fig-leaf to cover its closure of Blue Book. This results in the contract to University of Colorado in October 1966. (Sparks)

Beginning on May 7, 1966, and throughout the rest of 1966 and into 1967, the Air Force replaced the Minuteman I Bs with Minuteman IIs at Whiteman AFB ICBM Complex.

June 6, 1966
AF Foreign Technology Division (FTD) officials decide to leak the AF-manipulated CIA Robertson Panel Report with Minutes and Comments report (Durant Memo) to visiting Navy scientist Dr. James McDonald, who was working under an ONR (Office of Naval Research) contract. The AF evidently wanted to make the CIA look bad when the report was inevitably hushed up by the CIA which complained that AF did not clear this declassification with the CIA. Fearing that McDonald was part of an ulterior Navy plot to make the AF look bad, this big show of AF openness and pretense of trying to overcome excessive CIA secretiveness would serve to make the AF look good instead. As an added bonus this sugar-coating of feigned AF openness in trying to release the Robertson Panel report actually covered a poison pill inside, since the Robertson Panel report was itself an AF-manipulated, virulently debunking anti-UFO document which set forth all of the AF's desired anti-UFO PR positions which had been systematically planted on the CIA and the Panel back in 1952 and 1953. (Sparks)

June 8, 1966
McDonald blows up at Hynek. After two days (June 6-7) of examining hundreds of Blue Book files and discussions with top AF generals, officers and scientists at FTD, McDonald concluded that the Blue Book effort was incompetent and scientifically next-to-worthless. McDonald visited Hynek, Dr. Jacques Vallee and William Powers at Northwestern University, expecting to join forces to confront the AF over its UFO policies, after McDonald had been falsely told by Prof. Charles B. Moore on April 28, 1966, that Hynek supposedly wanted to confront the AF over UFO’s. Instead, Hynek was flabbergasted at McDonald and had no intention or idea of confronting the AF, which increasingly frustrated McDonald until he blew up at Hynek and pounded on the table. Vallee commented in his diary that ‘an entire era has come to a crashing end. This man [McDonald] has many contacts, many ideas, and is afraid of nothing.’  Afterward McDonald phones Moore and demands to know what was going on and Moore admitted he ‘had not been entirely honest’ (=lied) about Hynek wanting to confront the AF, as McDonald later recorded. It was all a setup by Moore, evidently designed to get the two leading scientist investigators of UFO’s at each other’s throats so they would not join forces. Had McDonald and Hynek formed an alliance it would have threatened to turn official UFO policy into dust. (Sparks)

Aug. 9, 1966; Low ‘Trick Would Be’ Memo
The half-million-dollar ‘trick’ to make Americans believe the Condon committee was conducting an objective investigation. Memo written by Robert Low to James Archer and Thurston Manning, University of Colorado, to take on the evaluation of the Air Force Project Blue Book investigation, with the negative conclusions already planned.

Aug. 16, 1966; Various states - Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin
Sightings and radarscope photo? Newspaper clippings are the apparent source, but no details this date for events in Wisconsin. (See below for Minnesota and North Dakota incidents possibly related to news release.)

Aug. 24, 1966; Minuteman Missile Site, Minot AFB [Grano? Carpio?], ND (BBU)
10 p.m. Airman saw and reported by radio a multi-colored light high in the sky. Strike team sent to his location confirmed the object. Second object, white, was seen to pass in front of clouds. Radar detected and tracked an object. Sightings made by 3 different Minuteman ICBM missile sites. Radio interference was noted by teams sent to locations where object was hovering at ground level. (Vallée Magonia 791; FUFOR Index)

October 7, 1966 - University of Colorado UFO Project Announcement
Formation sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.
Background: Two official Jan. 1967 letters (and press release) illustrating the purpose of the CU Project

Oct. 14, 1966 - Operations and Training (re-issue of previous versions)
The Inspector General Brief - Number 21, Volume XVIII, 14 Oct. 1966
Unidentified Flying Objects (CUFON)

November 1, 1966 -  Colorado Project Begins
Official beginning of the University of Colorado UFO Project study sponsored by Air Force Office of Scientific Research.
Background: Two official Jan. 1967 letters (and press release) illustrating the purpose of the CU Project

Dec. 17, 1966: Saturday Evening Post article, ‘Are Flying Saucers Real?’

Dec. 19, 1966 - Department of State AIRGRAM
Sent to Embassy, Buenos Aires, for Scientific Attaché, reporting the Nov. 12 sighting by local astronomer. (John Schuessler)”

Wikipedia article: “Minot Air Force Base”:

Related posts:

Aerial view of Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota
( photo)

Active LGM-30 Minuteman (ICBM) deployment, 2010
(text by Wikipedia) (
( image)

Satellite photo of Minot, North Dakota (
( photo)

UFO Case Directory (Animal Reaction Catalog):
“Michigan Sightings & Radiation
March 21, 1966
Hillsdale, Michigan”


The whole UFO case report:
Brad Sparks:
March 21, 1966. Hillsdale , Michigan (BBU)
10:32, 11 p.m.-4:30 a.m. 17 Hillsdale College students including Barbara Kohn [Cole?] and Cynthia Poffenberger saw a football-shaped object with red-green-white pulsating lights descend from the NE pass close to their dorm then disappear to the S as if crashing to the ground, then return at 11 p.m. William Van Horn, Civil Defense Director and rated commercial pilot, and police arrived and conducted a ground search 1/2 to 2 miles away to the E but found nothing until Van Horn reached the college dorm where he, using binoculars, and [87?] students saw a maneuvering lighted 20-25 ft object on or near the ground about 1,500-1,700 ft away to the E, with a dirty-white light on the left and dim orange on the right, which brightened after 10 mins to white and red and began to rise at a rate of 25-30 ft/min to a height of 100-150 ft (about 3-6 mins), stopped momentarily then descended and repeated the motion several times. At one point on a descent a ‘convexed’ surface (between?) the lights could be seen. Radiation was later detected at the landing area about 330 to 600 microroentgens/hr [milliroentgens/hr ?], roughly 10-60x background level, and possible boron contamination. (Sparks; Vallée Magonia 732; Todd Lemire; etc.)

Related posts:

Satellite photo of Hillsdale, Michigan (
( photo)