Why do UFOs appear to study nuclear sites?

Do they come in peace? The question has hung over the UFO mystery forever, but a new study comes closer to an answer than ever before.

Since the United States detonated its first atomic bomb at the Trinity test site in 1945, dozens of accounts of UFOs have been logged by military witnesses and government scientists working with America's sensitive nuclear arsenal.  1/1 Skip Ad Continue watchingafter the adVisit Advertiser websiteGO TO PAGE

Skeptics have often turned to questioning the veracity and the memories of these military witnesses, or blaming faulty equipment. 

But the connection between UFOs and nuclear sites has persisted in India, Russia and elsewhere across the globe, leading many to wonder: are aliens stopping us from exterminating ourselves? +9 View gallery
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UFO sightings over America's nuclear arsenal appeared to shift their interest from the making of the bombs to silos and bomber bases as the Cold War arms race grew (above)

Now a new, decades-long study has analyzed over 500 of the best supported UFO cases from the heights of the Cold War and hauntingly concluded: 'This intelligence understands atomics, and they understand atomic weaponry.'

UFO reports over America's nuclear arsenal appeared to shift from sites where the bombs were made to missile silos and US air bases as the Cold War arms race grew.

That's one of the key findings from the new work, a series of three studies led by a retired US Air Force staff sergeant, Larry Hancock, and a data analyst affiliate with Harvard's UFO-hunting Galileo Project, Ian Porritt, along with their research team.

The group focused their analysis on official military and police reports of UFOs from 1945 to 1975, avoiding poorly supported accounts and ambiguous newspaper stories, to focus on cases with multiple witnesses and signals evidence, like radar.

Their study, which only covered US cases, also used reports of UFOs spotted above non-nuclear army bases and nearby civilian centers to act as control groups to test against their findings of any UFO trends at America's sensitive nuclear installations. 

Their qualified, but haunting conclusion: Data from this three decade-long period lends credence to the idea that extraterrestrials, or some other intelligence, has methodically surveilled America's rise to a nuclear power

'This intelligence understands the developmental cycle. They have some contextual knowledge of what they're looking at and what they're looking for,' Hancock told DailyMail.com, given these shifts in reported UFO sightings over time. TRENDING Why haven't aliens contacted us? Scientists reveal their theories 20.7k viewing now Warning to all iPhone users to check device NOW amid security risk 12.5k viewing now Scientists discover 'Gateway to Hell' in Siberia is expanding rapidly 3k viewing now

Hancock and Porritt's most recent report on the connection, 'UAP Activity Pattern Study 1945-1975 Military and Public Activities,' was published in March and presented before the Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies this past weekend. +9 View gallery
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Above, an officially 'unexplained' UFO case from the Air Force's Project Blue Book files, a July 16, 1952 encounter photographed by Coast Guard seaman Shell Alpert of four UFOs seen through the window of a photographic laboratory near Salem, Massachusetts

Among the hundreds of cases included in their analysis was the infamous March 16, 1967 Malmstrom case in which Air Force witnesses reported that ten nuclear missiles were switched off by a UFO, confirmed by a US Strategic Air Command report.

It is the third study by Hancock and his coauthors, who told DailyMail.com that future work on this connection between UFO sightings and nuclear sites is on the way.  +9 View gallery
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A Strategic Air Command document released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) says 'all ten missiles in echo flight at Malmstrom lost strat alert within ten seconds of each other' and notes a 'grave concern' about the case

From 1948 to 1952, as America's production of atomic weapons first ramped up, waves of UFO sightings began cropping up over Washington state's Hanford nuclear production complex, as well as Los Alamos and other sites for the Manhattan Project.

'What we know now is that, inside the Air Force for the first seven to 10 years they sincerely believed it was the Russians,' Hancock told DailyMail.com.

'And when they couldn't prove that,' he said, 'it became very political.'

This phase of the Air Force's official UFO investigations, when paired with that era's police UFO reports, documented over 40 cases of UFOs seen near these facilities. 

In one illustrative case from May 21, 1949, Hanford personnel spotted a 'silvery, disc-shaped' UFO hovering over the plant, whose B Reactor had generated the plutonium used in the first atomic bomb test at Trinity.

The UFO was simultaneously tracked on radar by nearby Moses Lake Air Force Base, which scrambled an F-82 fighter jet to 'intercept it in hopes that it might be a disk,' according to a now declassified Air Intelligence Information Report.

'UFO's were faster than jet,' Air Force investigators noted of the failed pursuit.    +9 View gallery
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These patterns in the historical UFO record, according to the researchers, was also accompanied by another clear trend: As the UFOs appeared more and more over armed and ready nuclear weapons sites, the apparent craft also started to appear more at night (above) +9 View gallery
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In one illustrative case from May 21, 1949, Hanford personnel spotted a 'silvery, disc-shaped' UFO hovering over the plant, whose B Reactor had generated the plutonium used in the first atomic bomb test at Trinity. 'UFO's were faster than jet,' Air Force investigators noted (above)

These years of strange encounters were much more likely to have occurred in broad daylight than later years of UFO sightings and often involved multiple UFOs in formation performing dazzling maneuvers, Hanford and his co-authors found.

And, for each of the four major US nuclear weapons-making facilities, they also collected and tracked UFO reports from nearby cities and non-nuclear military sites as control groups. 

These control regions — Santa Fe, New Mexico, for example to contrast with the Los Alamos nuclear site — helped ensure that any spike in sightings they was not a misinterpretation of their data.

'This period, here, we've got only four sites, that would be the key stuff that you would focus on,' Porritt told DailyMail.com. 

'And they are the four sites they [the UFOs] focus on. You get the same sort of pattern with with all four sites,' he said. +9 View gallery
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Above, documents from Project 1794: a Cold War-era US Air Force effort to build a supersonic flying saucer in collaboration with a Canadian defense contractor

But as the Pentagon began arming Air Force squadrons with its new nuclear bombs, and installing missile silos in the American heartland, UFOs appeared to follow the action there.  

'If you're wanting to do a survey of the US nuclear complex, that is what you would see,' Porritt noted. 

'You would see this interest in these sites at these times, and then the activity would drop off. And that's what we see.'

From 1952 onward, their study found, cases of UFOs probing near active US nuclear weapons took precedence, with a wave of sightings around America's new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) starting in the 1960s.

'When you get to those ICBM bases, from about 1965 to 1975, these things are occurring at night,' Hancock pointed out.

'And they are they are much more intrusive. They're very low altitude, they penetrate the security perimeters of the base,' he added.

Several of these UFO sightings, including incidents at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana in which Air Force witnesses say UFOs deactivated ICBMs, have become central to demands in Congress for wider declassification of military UFO data. +9 View gallery
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During the first public hearings on UFOs in over half a century, back in May 2022, Congress grilled Pentagon officials (pictured) over UFOs and America's nuclear weapons security. Air Force witnesses were 'shocked' to see those Pentagon officials plead ignorance on the events Officials questioned over report on UFOs shutting down ICBMs Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%0:00PreviousPlaySkipLIVEMute00:00Current Time 0:00/Duration Time 2:42FullscreenNeed TextVideo Quality576p540p360p270pForeground---WhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyan---OpaqueSemi-OpaqueBackground---WhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyan---OpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindow---WhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyan---OpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyDefaultMonospace SerifProportional SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional Sans-SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsDefaultsDone

During the first public hearings on the topic in over half a century back in May 2022, Wisconsin Congressman Mike Gallagher grilled Pentagon officials over Malmstrom.

Robert Salas, who was the on-duty commander for the base's underground launch in March 1967, told DailyMail.com he was 'shocked' to see those Pentagon officials plead ignorance on the events. 

The Strategic Air Command document released under the Freedom of Information Act, for example, has long publicly documented that 'all ten missiles in Echo Flight at Malmstrom lost [strategic] alert within ten seconds of each other.' 

The declassified report, much like Salas and his fellow veteran witnesses, noted 'grave concern' about the case. 

Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie, according to Salas, 'didn't seem to know anything about it – or if he did, he was wanting to avoid the topic.'

While skeptics of the Malmstrom case, led by the son of a former Echo Flight commander at Malmstrom, have long worked to poke holes in the veil of mystery over this incident, cases eerily similar to it have continued to surface. 

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Just this February, a bombshell report revealed that an ex-Pentagon UFO investigator had privately briefed Congress on a similar 1964 incident where a UFO blasted an Atlas missile carrying a dummy nuclear warhead out of the sky.

Both Hancock and Porritt were surprised to see that these witnesses or records failed to make it into this past March's unclassified report on 'historical UFO cases' put out by the Pentagon's UFO-hunting All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office.

'When they issued their most recent report, I was really excited because there was an index item for "atomic warfare,"' Hancock told DailyMail.com. 

'But when I went to that and there was no entry,' he said, to his confusion. 'It was just in the index. Like, 'Okay?''

Hancock, Porritt and their coauthors hope to extend their analysis on the connections between UFO sightings and nuclear sites from 1975 to the modern era, although that work faces some hurdles.

First, rigorous case reports from official sources drops off at around this point, due to the closing of the Air Force's Project Blue Book in 1969 and the a drop off in unsorted military UFO cases released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). 

'We could probably do a public study to extend it into current contemporary times,' Hancock said. 

'The problem is the military domain is just not accessible to us. Or,' he suggested, 'it would require a team of people to launch a totally new wave of FOIAs.' Best moments from new UFO government file release Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%00:00PreviousPlaySkipLIVEMute00:00Current Time 00:00/Duration Time 14:39FullscreenNeed TextVideo Quality576p540p360p270pForeground---WhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyan---OpaqueSemi-OpaqueBackground---WhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyan---OpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindow---WhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyan---OpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyDefaultMonospace SerifProportional SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional Sans-SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsDefaultsDone

But from just the 1945 to 1975 studies, Hancock believes that reasonable conclusions or theories can be inferred about these airborne mysteries: that they appear to show intentional study of America's most sensitive weaponry.

'I mean, focus implies intention. And focus obviously implies intelligence,' he said.

'The way it progressed from one type of facility to another type — I mean, it starts with manufacturing plants, moves on through assembly plants, storage, deployment, it's hard to read that as anything other than someone having an agenda,' according to Hancock. 

His research partner, Porritt, ventured even a little further: 'They may have a better understanding of the future, our future, than we do.' 

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