Malmstrom AFB Missile Incident

March 1967
4-minute listen
Aerial photograph of Malmstrom Air Force Base near Great Falls, Montana.
Aerial photograph of Malmstrom Air Force Base near Great Falls, Montana.

In early 1967, military personnel working at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana reported seeing unidentified glowing red objects in the sky on different dates, sometimes hovering over ICBM launch facilities. On at least two occasions, the operational status of nuclear launch facilities went offline.

On March 16, 1967, Deputy Missile Combat Crew Commander (DMCCC) Robert Salas and his commander Lt. Fred Meiwald were on duty at Oscar Flight Launch Control Center, near Roy, Montana, stationed in the missile launch bunker 60 feet underground. The two were responsible for monitoring and operations of ten Minuteman III nuclear Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs).

It was a clear, cold night with about three inches of snow on the ground. In the early morning hours while Meiwald was resting, Salas received a call from the Flight Security Controller, a Non-Commissioned Officer in charge of site security, who was stationed above the bunker. He reported seeing one or two bright objects moving in a sharp zig zag patterns across the sky. Salas initially did not give the report much thought, and told the officer to report back if anything of note happened. A few minutes after the first call, the NCO called with a more urgent tone in his voice, a said that he was now watching a glowing red object outside of the front gate. He described it as hovering, then flying at high velocity, and at times stopping abruptly and making sharp turns.

Salas woke up Meiwald and told him about the guard's report. While Salas was briefing Meiwald, the status of six to eight missiles suddenly switched into "No-Go" (not functional) position. Salas thought they were under attack. Salas reported the incident to the Command Post and then phoned the security guard above ground for an update. Another of the security guards had sustained a minor injury when he tried to approach the UFO and was being evacuated from the base. Later Salas went above ground, and the security guard reported the the UFO had a saucer-shape, a red glow, and did not emit any noticeable sound.

A security patrol was dispatched to check the launch facilities, and they reported seeing another UFO while out on patrol, and that they lost radio contact with the base right after calling in their report of the UFO.

This incident at Oscar Flight Launch Control Center was not an isolated incident, according to Salas and other military personnel who were present in the area at the time. Earlier in the day, at Echo-Flight Launch Control Center about fifteen miles north of Lewiston, Montana, a similar strange event transpired. Multiple crew members witnessed a UFO, reporting that one had hovered directly over the Echo-Flight launch facility. Later, ten ICBMs switched to "No-Go" condition almost simultaneously. Strike teams were sent to survey some of the ICBM sites, and they reported seeing UFOs hovering over two of the sites.

In the weeks preceding March 16, 1967, civilians near and around Chester, Montana reported seeing strange glowing red objects in the sky, and personnel at the launch facilities north of Lewistown, Montana reported seeing a large, glowing UFO hovering over a launch facility.

The U.S. Air Force conducted extensive investigations into the non-operational status of the ICBMs, along with military defense contractors who worked on the systems at the facilities, with no official explanation provided.


Official Explanation


Counter Argument

UFO disabled ICBM launch equipment.


Credible eyewitnesses; ICBM failures.

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