Tag: Boeing

Doubts Cast on 1967 Malmstrom AFB UFO Incident

Article by Ryan                                   November 6, 2020                                (topsecretwriters.com)

• In 2008, Robert L. Hastings published his book entitled: UFOs and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites, detailing the shutdown of ten nuclear missiles at the “Oscar-Flight” control center underground silos at Malmstrom Air Force Base near Great Falls, Montana on the morning of March 16, 1Post967. The same thing reportedly happened that same day at Echo-Launch missile control center twenty miles away.

• Hastings took most of his information from former Lieutenant Robert Salas, who was the Oscar Flight Launch control center commander at the time. Salas claimed that base security patrols on the surface above him phoned to report seeing UFOs hovering above one of the E-Flight silos at the Air Force base. Then an alarm sounded indicating that one of the Minuteman missiles had become ‘inoperable’. Then nine more missiles at Oscar Flight went inoperable as well.

• Salas acknowledged that members of the Echo-Flight missile and maintenance crew included Captain Eric Carlson and First Lieutenant Walt Figel. Salas indicated that they had also seen the UFOs directly above their base.

• James Carlson is the son of Captain Eric Carlson who was a maintenance officer at Echo-Flight. James Carlson contends that while ten of the Malmstrom missiles did shut down that day, both his father and retired Colonel Walt Figel denied seeing any UFOs. Hastings responded by saying that James’ father simply didn’t tell him the truth, and that James had never spoken with Figel at all. James Carlson responded to Hastings’ accusation by providing uncontroverted evidence of his correspondence with Figel. And James insisted that his father, Eric Carlson, “never lied to (him) about anything”. James Carlson states: “I can say with complete confidence today that both Robert Hastings and Robert Salas have knowingly mislead their entire audience into believing a lie they were well aware of in order to sell their books.”

• In his documented conversation with Walt Figel, James Carlson related that Figel had read Hasting’s book and he told the authors that “there are many inaccurate statements and events in the books”. He goes so far as to say that Salas was never involved with the Echo Flight, and that neither Echo-Flight nor Oscar-Flight at Malmstrom ever had any UFO incident “or any other equipment failures”. Figel confirmed that he doesn’t believe in UFOs, has no interest in Ufology, and he is not a fan of Salas, Hastings or the “whole UFO crowd”.

• James Carlson says that Hasting’s primary source for the UFOs over Echo-Flight base, according to Hasting’s own statements – is Walt Figel – and that Figel’s assertions are proof that Eric Carlson has lied about this event. James calls Hastings and Salas out accusing them of making knowingly false statements. James Carlson stated publicly that Hastings has said ‘over and over again’ that James’ assertions are lies, and that Hastings can easily prove this. And yet, Hastings has produced nothing to dispute James’ father Eric and Walt Figel’s account denying any UFO interference at Malmstrom.

• Walt Figel recalls that after the first missile silo shut down, he and Eric Carlson were ran maintenance checklists when the second missile shut down. Shortly thereafter, the other eight missiles shut down as well. Figel said that there was no “large gathering” of people on site that morning. No one from any UFO office in the Air Force ever interviewed or debriefed him or Eric Carlson. In fact, Figel said he didn’t even know that the Air Force had a UFO office that monitored “UFO sightings”. Back then, whenever someone mentioned UFOs, Figel just laughed it off as a joke.

• Then James Colson turned to his father, Eric Carlson’s account of the incident. “[T]here is no doubt in my mind that there were no reports of UFO’s and no incident at Oscar flight,” said Eric Carlson. “The report that we had lost ten missiles is accurate. It was not uncommon to lose one missile or even two to no-go status. It was unheard of to lose all ten.” Eric said that Figel never spoke to a security guard above them on the surface who told them about hovering UFOs, as Salas claims. And neither Carlson nor Figel were “visibly shaken” as Salas claims.

• Eric Carlson says that the “voice reporting system did report a guidance and control system malfunction”. But subsequent investigations by Boeing engineers turned up no explanation for what could have caused the shutdown, and some speculated that only a high-energy electromagnetic pulse could have entered the shielded system to cause the failure.

• Since the USAF frowned upon the reporting or even internal acknowledgement of UFO events or sightings, could it be that Air Force personnel would not provide an accurate accounting? “I never felt constrained in any way regarding reporting any unusual activities around missile sites,” said Eric Carlson. “In fact, I believe we were encouraged to report unusual incidents or events.”

• “The crew members of the 10th SMS were a tight group,” said Eric Carlson. “We were the first minuteman squadron activated and did a lot together. …At no time were UFOs mentioned to me.” Hastings has publicly questioned Eric Carlson’s memory, and stated that Eric Carlson told Hastings that his son, James, has suffered with “severe mental problems that have worried my family”, implying that James cannot be trusted. James says that he is “seriously considering a lawsuit directed at Robert Hastings for slander and defamation of character”.

 

                     Robert Hastings

According to Ufology researcher/writer Robert Hastings, on March 16, 1967, the appearance of UFOs at Echo-Flight nuclear missile facility allegedly shut down the missile silo. Robert Hasting’s information came from a man named Robert Salas who claimed he had witnessed the event.

Background of the Malmstrom AFB Missile/UFO Case

The son of one of the officers who was involved in the Echo flight incident, named James Carlson, took Hastings and Salas to task for those claims. Carlson contends that both his father and retired Col. Walt Figel, the other officer involved in the incident, both reported that there were no UFOs.

Hastings denied that James was ever in touch with the second witness, Col. Walt Figel. James Carlson provided us with records of his correspondence with Figel, which proved that Figel actually confirmed James Carlson’s interpretation of how the event actually occurred.

                   nuclear warhead

In March of 2010, James Carlson wrote:
Robert Hastings has made much of the fact that I have refused to interview his witness, Col. (Ret.) Walter Figel, Jr., regarding his recollections of the Echo Flight Incident on March 16, 1967.

I have, in fact, contacted Col. Figel, but didn’t feel that it would be very ethical to discuss in detail the event he recalls without securing first his complete cooperation, authority, and permission to do so. Having secured that this very evening, I am now prepared to discuss the matter in full. I can also add, very strongly, that my father never lied to me about anything, as Hastings claims, and that his recollections match exactly those of Col. Figel’s. I’ve “slandered and libeled” nobody, and I can say with complete confidence today that both Robert Hastings and Robert Salas have knowingly mislead their entire audience into believing a lie they were well aware of in order to sell their books.

James reported that Col Figel reported:
1. Col. Figel does not believe UFOs were “even remotely associated with the Echo Flight Incident, or any other equipment failures at Malmstrom.”

              Robert Salas

2. Col. Figel confirmed that he has no interest in Ufology and is not a fan of the UFO crowd.
3. Figel stated, “I have read both of their books. There are many inaccurate statements and events in the books. I have told them both that.”
4. He also stated that Salas was “never involved in any of them (the flights) at all.

The Figel Communications

In August of 2010, James learned that there were rumors floating about that his communications with Figel had never taken place. To set the record straight, James Carlson wrote the following commentary in a post on RealityUncovered (a now defunct UFO forum):
“I’ve discovered that there a lot of people out in the world who are convinced that I have not had any discussions with COL.(Ret.) Walter Figel, Jr., […] This is patently untrue and can be easily shown as such. Robert Hastings has knowingly published versions of this event that he has been told are false by both my father and Walt Figel, and his claims to the contrary are little more than silly attacks that are intended to delay the ruination of his and Robert Salas’ Echo Flight claims until after his pathetic little dog and pony show at the National Press Club in Washington, DC next month. The fact that he would do so at the expense of another man’s reputation doesn’t surprise me.

This back and forth between Hastings and Carlson set off a firestorm of debate on UFO forums at the time. Either Figel denied claims made by Hastings about the Malmstrom AFB UFO incident, or he didn’t.

Debate and drama aside, this was the one issue that needed to be confirmed or denied — because such a source denying Hastings claims cast doubt upon all of the rest of the claims about the incident.

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Virgin Galactic to Help Train Astronauts for NASA

Article by Paul R. La Monica                          June 22, 2020                              (weny.com)

• On June 22nd, Virgin Galactic announced that it has signed a deal with NASA to train private astronauts and coordinate trips to the orbiting International Space Station. Virgin Galactic will develop a new private orbital astronaut readiness program to identify candidates who will pay for a trip to space, arrange for their transportation and provide ground and orbital resources.

• Virgin Galactic will probably use the services of SpaceX or Boeing to actually get astronauts to the space station. Boeing has invested $20 million in Virgin Galactic. The company’s own SpaceShipTwo is a suborbital spaceplane that is incapable of making it to the cislunar ISS. Virgin Galactic says it has already received about 600 reservations for suborbital flights at the approximate price of $250,000 per seat.

• Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic will continue to use SpaceShipTwo for suborbital training flights, ranging from private citizens to government-backed scientific and technological research missions, to allow passengers to become familiar with the environment in space, such as G-forces and zero-G.

• Enthusiasm for space commerce is apparent in the stock market. Virgin Galactic stock shares have soared, even though the company continues to lose money. There is even a publicly traded investment fund with a ‘UFO’ brand that invests in companies catering to the business of space travel and exploration, having Virgin Galactic at the top of the list. Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s ‘SpaceX’ and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ ‘Blue Origin’ also have space travel companies.

 

      Virgin Galactic’s ‘SpaceShip Two’

SpaceX won’t be the only private company bringing people to the International Space Station. Virgin Galactic announced Monday that it has signed a deal with NASA to train private astronauts and coordinate potential trips to the ISS.

Shares of Virgin Galactic soared more than 10% on the news. The stock has surged nearly 45% so far in 2020, largely due to optimism about demand for private space travel, even though it continues to lose money.

As part of Virgin Galactic’s deal with NASA, the company will “develop a new private orbital astronaut readiness program,” it said in a statement.

                   Sir Richard Branson

“This program will include identifying candidates interested in purchasing private astronaut missions to the ISS, the procurement of transportation to the ISS, on-orbit resources, and ground resources,” the company added.

Virgin Galactic will likely need the services of SpaceX or aerospace giant Boeing, which is developing the Starliner space capsule and has invested $20

million in Virgin Galactic, to actually get astronauts to the space station.

Virgin Galactic’s own SpaceShipTwo is a suborbital spaceplane that is incapable of making it to the ISS, and the company has only sent five people to space on two suborbital test flights. The company says it has already received about 600 reservations for suborbital flights at the approximate price of $250,000 per seat.

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Space Law and the Galactic Economy

Article by Abdulla Abu Wasel                               June 8, 2020                            (entrepreneur.com)

• Fifty years ago, outer space was reserved for the most powerful of nations and the most dominant of governments. Today, it is private commercial industry that is inching us closer to the cosmos. There is a growing interdependence between what is happening in space and what is happening down below on Earth. The commercial space industry, with its multi-million-dollar rockets and satellites, is now worth about $400 billion. Space commerce is increasingly playing a part in our everyday lives.

• The International Civil Aviation Organization governs ‘air’ altitudes. So where does ‘space’ begin? The international community has not been able to agree on a common definition. Australia is the only country in the world that defines space as anything beyond 100 kilometers above the ground. While nations may own the ‘air’ over them, ‘space’ is for everybody. No nation can own property in space, and no nation can make any territorial claim in space. You need consent to fly over another country’s airspace. But if you are in ‘outer space’, you can fly over any country without consent, and even legally engage in espionage.

• With the establishment of the United States’ Space Force, we will likely see the rules of war extended into outer space. The language in the Outer Space Treaty about the use of outer space for exclusively peaceful purposes needs interpretation. ‘Peaceful purposes’ only prohibits the aggressive use of military force. So non-aggressive military force is okay? Has the establishment of the U.S. Space Force made the militarization of space perfectly legal?

• At the end of the day, the Space Force is about building political constituency for orbit, while investing in spacecraft that can defend and attack, if necessary. This represents a great deal of money for private companies, with almost half-a-dozen government defense agencies already pumping millions of dollars into space startups to build everything from radar networks to high-tech materials.

• The majority of the money to be made in space lies in satellite-provided services, and these services are likely to surge the space economy. The significant increase in satellites, far beyond the 2,300 operational satellites in space now, will bring a multitude of costs and benefits. We have seen venture capitalists directing millions of dollars towards small satellite companies with big aspirations, such as Spire, Capella Space, Hawkeye360, and Swarm.

• These space economy companies vary in their business models, from communicating with internet devices to tracking radio signals in order to gather radar data, and imaging every angle of the Earth. This all depends on the cost of building and operating the spacecraft needed to accomplish the work that they desire. SpaceX and Boeing are in the final phase of their private space transportation service in cooperation with NASA. Soon, both companies will have permission to start flying wealthy space tourists and corporate point men into space.

• On June 3rd, NASA launched astronauts into space from U.S. soil for the first time since 2011, and took them to the International Space Station via Falcon 9, a vehicle that was purchased from SpaceX. For $250,000, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic will take tourists to the edge of Earth’s atmosphere in space. But NASA’s aim is the Moon. Since ice water was discovered on the Moon, starry-eyed space seekers would like to see NASA establish a sustainable human presence on the Moon rather than hiring private companies to build rovers, landers, and spacecraft to carry scientific instruments to the Moon.

• But, as we have seen, the commercial economy benefits greatly from scientific advancements gleaned from space exploration, such as transistors, solar panels, and batteries. It has brought forth the smartphone revolution, the evolution of broadcast media, telecommunications, commerce, and the internet as a whole. The new era of space exploration may be one small step for man, but it is one giant leap for the private sector economy.

 

The commercial space industry is heating up– 50 years ago, outer space was reserved for the most powerful of nations and the most dominant governments, but today, there is a democratization of space. Commercial industry is inching us closer to the cosmos, and in the process, there is a growing interdependence between what is happening hundreds of miles up into space and down below on Earth. Currently, the space market is worth approximately US$400 billion, and the commercial space industry, using multi-million-dollar rockets and satellites, is increasingly playing a part in our everyday lives. Although you may have been hearing about this phenomenon in recent years, this launch into the new world has been ongoing for decades.

This brings about the question of property rights. Where does space begin, and if there is a dispute in space, who decides it? Australia is the only country in the world that defines where space begins; defining it as 100 kilometers up. However, where the air ends (and the air law regime, which is governed by the International Civil Aviation Organization), and where space begins is a matter that the international community have not been able to agree on. People either want to set limits- set a height based on kilometers like Australia has done, or they take the approach of the United States who look at it as a use, i.e. what did you use, are you launching a rocket that is intended to go into orbit, or are you just launching a plane that is going to go high into the air. This is important, because nations own the air over them. Right now, space is for everybody. No nation can own property in space, and no nation can make any territorial claim in space.

You need consent to fly over another country if you are in the airspace, but on the flip side of that, if you believe that you are in outer space, you can fly over any country without consent, and even engage in espionage legally. Espionage is one part of the political military contest, but how else is space dealt with from a military perspective? With the recent establishment of the United State’s Space Force, we will likely see the same rules of war extended into outer space. The language in the Outer Space Treaty about the use of outer space for exclusively peaceful purposes is beautifully aspirational language, but the devil is in the interpretation: what does it mean to use space for peaceful purposes? The way that this has been virtually explained is that peaceful purposes only prohibit the aggressive use of military force, and as long as you are not engaged in naked aggression, then you are peaceful in your use of outer space.

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