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10 UFO Incidents Over Air Force Bases In The United States

by Marcus Lowth
fact checked by Jamie Frater

UFO sightings happen all the time all over the world. Depending on who you ask, stories of UFO encounters can be interesting, frighting, bizarre, or just plain nuts. Incidents that have taken place over the many Air Force bases in the United States, however, are some of the most intriguing on record.

Notably, unidentified and presumably intelligently controlled craft that can buzz military bases with impunity could certainly represent a direct risk to national security. Here are just ten of the best and most interesting UFO incidents to have taken place over various Air Force facilities around the US.

10 18 Silver Discs Hover Over Nellis AFB
October 1951

In October 1951, at a closed part of the Nevada desert reserved for nuclear testing named Yucca Flat, several military personnel witnessed 18 “silvery, rotating discs” hovering over the area for 15 minutes.[1] As the incident was not reported or spoken about until 13 years later in 1964, some of the details are a little hazy.

For example, the date was somewhere between October 22 and October 30, with the time of the sighting being somewhere between 6:00 and 7:00 AM. A scheduled nuclear test was due to take place later than morning. However, approximately a quarter of an hour before the test was to begin, the triangular formation of the glittering objects appeared overhead.

Furthermore, one of the main witnesses, a 19-year-old known only as “Mr. M,” would also claim to have witnessed several “strange creatures” in the area at the same time as the sighting, which disappeared just as quickly. The hovering objects would remain in a tight formation throughout the incident, not making a sound of any kind before disappearing in a matter of seconds.

Nellis Air Force Base would have several other sightings over the years, with some taking place more recently. However, one of these stands out from the others and would unfold a little over a decade after the Yucca Flat incident.

9 UFO Crashes In Nellis AFB
April 1962

According to newspaper reports at the time and subsequent investigations by UFO organizations since, an otherworldly craft came crashing to the ground on the evening of April 18, 1962, within the grounds of Nellis Air Force Base, no less.[2] It would come to light years later, when investigators pieced together several “different” UFO sightings that were, in fact, the same apparent object that would eventually crash-land.

It was spotted and monitored by various Air Force radars as it went over New York from the Atlantic before making its way west, with confirmed sightings over Kansas, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona before its flight finally came to an abrupt end. The Las Vegas Sun would report on the incident, using many local residents’ witness statements of a “weird unidentified object” that resulted in a “brilliant red explosion.”

When UFO investigators began examining such reports and declassified files, perhaps in particular the Project Blue Book reports, they discovered hints of a cover-up of the incident. For example, there was a record of an unidentified radar report which was then changed to being a case with “insufficient data.” What’s more, there was no reason stated for the change (as there should have been). Even more alarming was the fact that the records claimed there were “no visual” sightings, which, again, was clearly not the case.

By the time allegations of the Air Force scrambling jets in order to intercept and engage the strange craft surfaced, the incident took on a air of mystique that makes it one of the most intriguing apparent encounters in UFO history.

8UFO Deactivates Nukes At Malmstrom AFB
March 1967

What is perhaps most alarming about the Malmstrom UFO incident is the realization, at last in theory, that the power and intelligence behind the strange craft sighted apparently had the ability to disarm the United States military of its most potent weapons—arguably rendering it defenseless against such an intelligence should it prove hostile. And while that might seem outlandish to many of us today, that was not the case for many American citizens at the time, sandwiched between the ever-constant threat of the Cold War and these apparent visitors from another world.

On the morning of March 16, 1967, Captain Robert Salas received reports of a strange, glowing, red saucer-shaped object simply hovering above the Montana base. It would remain there for several minutes, with multiple military personnel viewing it. Then, as Salas watched helplessly, the ten nuclear missiles he was overseeing would go offline one by one.[3] The object then vanished. The missiles, however, would remain offline for several hours before returning back to normal.

Many UFO researchers have suggested that this action was a display of superiority regarding the military’s nuclear weapons and their apparent ineffectiveness against such advanced intelligence. The incident remains unexplained.

7 Glowing Object Hovers Over Loring AFB
October 1975

A similar incident would take place on the evening of October 27, 1975, over the weapons storage facility at Loring Air Force Base in Maine.[4] It was around 7:45 PM on the night in question when the glowing object was first observed by on-duty personnel. What is perhaps interesting about this is that the units were disguised and covered over. That the aerial anomaly “knew” weapons were there is perhaps a telling detail concerning its technical capability.

One of the witnesses, Danny Lewis, would later recall how it had a single red light and a separate white strobe light on its underside. The object circled the base several times before settling in over the weapons unit. In total, it remained visible over the base for around 40 minutes before eventually taking off and vanishing into the night sky.

The following evening, however, the strange object returned at almost the exact same time as the previous night. Once more, it would circle the base, as if surveying it, before settling into a hovering position over the weapons storage unit.

The base would remain on alert for several weeks following the incident, with several other sightings taking place as well. Then, they simply stopped as quickly as they had begun.

6 ‘Cat And Mouse’ UFO Chase Over Cannon AFB
January 1976

The incident over Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico on January 21, 1976, would not only stretch to a second night but was also witnessed by pure chance by a student journalist known only as “Bruce.”[5]

On the evening in question, Bruce was working for a local radio station, performing tests on their transmitters. It was while he was at such a transmitter overlooking Cannon Air Force Base that he witnessed the bizarre scene. First, he noticed lights which he later described as looking like “light bulbs on a string.”

When he observed them through binoculars, however, the light bulbs were decidedly “saucer-shaped,” with a red glow emanating from their undersides. While one of the craft remained in position, the other two would suddenly swoop downward toward the ground. The objects then moved out over a nearby town. Bruce would note how, from his perspective overlooking the area, he could see the streetlights dimming in turn as the UFOs passed overhead.

The following evening, Bruce would purposely return to the area, only this time, he and several fellow journalists would position themselves on buildings with a view of the military base, the scene of the bizarre happenings the night before. Just before 1:00 AM, the glowing objects returned, and this time, there four of them. What’s more, within minutes, several military jets also arrived, immediately giving chase to the aerial anomalies. However, the intruders would always manage to evade the oncoming jets. This would continue for approximately 45 minutes before each of the objects simply disappeared vertically in a matter of seconds.

Interestingly, Freedom of Information Act requests would show that several F-111s were scrambled from Cannon AFB on the night in question. Perhaps more worrying, at least according to Bruce, is that he would receive some extremely disturbing warnings following his decision to speak publicly of the incident.

5 Red Object Over Ellsworth AFB
August 1953

On the evening of August 5, 1953, several residents in the town of Blackhawk, South Dakota, would witness and report a glowing red craft overhead, seemingly heading toward Ellsworth Air Force Base.[6] What’s more, due to the environment of the Cold War, many of the witnesses were trained observers with the Ground Observer Corps.

The first account, for example, would come from such a volunteer observer, Mrs. Kellian, who would make a report directly to radar operators at Ellsworth Air Force Base. Not only did they have the object on their screens, but they sent several personnel outside to obtain visual confirmation (which they duly did).

A military aircraft already performing patrol duties was redirected to the area on an intercept mission. However, like many other similar cases, as soon as he began to get close to the UFO, it would move rapidly out of the way. After giving chase for several minutes, the jet returned to base. A second jet would scramble from the runway in an attempt to intercept but would ultimately prove unsuccessful.

The official conclusion of the United States Air Force was that the object was “unknown,” although no further (official) investigation took place. The case remains unexplained.

4 Alien Battle Over McChord AFB
October 1972

The alleged incidents that took place near Tacoma, Washington, in the skies around McChord Air Force Base remained largely buried away for almost three decades before a one-time government agent, Robert Collins, would finally reveal the account in 2001.

According to Collins’s account, on the afternoon of October 14, 1972, two US airmen, Steven Briggs and Dennis Hillsgeck, were at the Tactical Air Navigation (TACAN) facility, which came under the care of the nearby McChord AFB. While performing their duties, they suddenly heard a high-pitched whining sound coming from outside the building. Upon stepping outside, they were confronted by a “saucer-shaped object” hovering overhead. Seconds later, the futuristic, shining craft began to descend to the ground.[7]

The next thing the two men knew, two humanoid creatures had exited the craft and were seemingly headed for the building. They would urgently request backup, claiming that “intruders” were attempting to enter the facility. It would be a little over a quarter of an hour before another unit would arrive at the site. They would discover the two airmen confused and in a mild state of shock.

Not long after that, a security police officer, Sergeant Darren Alexander, was searching the area with a dog. He would not only witness the saucer-shaped craft but one of the apparent humanoid occupants on the ground as well. He would draw his revolver, and after seeing a strange device in the creature’s hand, he fired all six shots at almost point-blank range. In the chaos of the moment, the creature seemingly disappeared, leaving Sergeant Alexander quite confused.

The account is one that certainly divides opinion within the UFO community, with many perhaps understandably skeptical of the claims.

3 Abductee Crash-Lands At Edwards AFB
Summer 1971

If claims of alien abduction are just too unbelievable for some people to take seriously, then an abduction that results in a UFO crash at a military installation is perhaps even more unbelievable. However, one summer’s evening in 1971, or so the story goes, that is exactly what happened to a young woman eventually named as Lorraine Dvorak Cordini.[8]

According to witnesses, the calm California night was suddenly disturbed by a sudden unearthly roar that ended in an equally frightening crashing sound. As people rushed out of their homes, a large cloud and evidence of flames was visible a short distance away, near Edwards Air Force Base. Even more bizarre, several people would claim to see “three grey humanoids” as well as a human female, herself wearing a strange, tight-fitting pink suit, among the ruins of a crashed vehicle of some sort.

Before anyone realized what was taking place, however, a legion of military trucks and other vehicles arrived and quickly sealed off the area. Furthermore, they would remove the wreckage and any sign of it, as well as taking the humanoids and the woman with them. Residents assumed they were taken to Edwards AFB.

The military would eventually claim that the downed craft was a military vehicle that had crash-landed. However, UFO researcher Albert Rosales would track down the mystery female, eventually revealing her identity as Lorraine (as mentioned above). What’s more, she would agree to undergo hypnotic regression in order to unlock the events of the night in question.

Lorraine claimed that after being abducted from her home and given the pink clothing to wear, she was taken to a larger ship in Earth’s orbit, where an examination took place. She was then placed in a smaller craft—the one that crashed—and sent back to Earth with several of the strange creatures. She would awaken in a military hangar. Even more bizarre, at least according to the hypnosis sessions, is that while here, she saw military personnel and strange large-headed creatures, different from the ones that had taken her from her room.

Needless to say, there are many who remain skeptical of the incident.

2 UFO Sighting Over Larson AFB
December 1952

Photo credit: NICAP

While driving back toward Larson Air Force Base in Washington state on the evening of December 22, 1952, an off-duty technician witnessed a bizarre, vaguely hat-shaped object hovering over the base.[9] He reported the object to his superiors and then continued on toward the base. However, shortly after, with the object now clearly visible through his windshield, he decided to pull the vehicle to the side of the road and exit it so that he could get a clearer, steadier view of the strange craft.

It would perform bizarre and breathtaking maneuvers, seemingly glowing brighter the faster it moved through the air. On occasion, the witness claimed to see the object “roll” in the air, apparently exposing an underside that had a red glow to it.

After several moments of these strange but impressive aerial movements, the UFO came to a stop and would hover for approximately a quarter of an hour. At that point, eager to get back to base and satisfied that nothing more of consequence would take place, the witness returned to his vehicle and set off once more.

1 UFO Incident Over Minot AFB
October 1968

Unusual UFO activity is particularly persistent over Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. However, the incident that perhaps sticks out the most took place a little after 2:00 AM on October 24, 1968. While acting as “aboveground security” for an operation taking place underground, a small military unit spotted a “large glowing object” hovering in the sky. A short while later, reports would come in from several locations around the base. And what’s more, they would continue to do so right through the night until the early hours of dawn.

At around 3:30 AM, a B-52 bomber witnessed the UFO from above.[10] In later declassified documents, the operators of the B-52 described the craft as being like a “miniature sun placed on the ground.”

Although Project Blue Book would investigate the incident, by this stage in the program’s existence, any pretense of genuine investigation was largely gone. Needless to say, it remains unexplained and, for the most part, unacknowledged.

Incidentally, two years earlier, a very similar incident took place over Minot Air Force Base, at least according to an apparent whistle-blower named David Schindele. Like the aforementioned incident over Malmstrom in March 1967, all of the base’s nuclear weapons were deactivated. While the Air Force denied such an incident, newspaper reports at the time regularly reported UFO sightings in and around the base.

fact checked by Jamie Frater
Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a passion for anything interesting, be it UFOs, the Ancient Astronaut Theory, the paranormal or conspiracies. He also has a liking for the NFL, film and music.

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