Eglin Air Force Base, site C-6, 20th Missile Warning Squadron, August, 1980
“Level 1 alert!” The Senior Director shouted over the intercom as an alarm echoed throughout the complex. “Implement Confidence Reporting!”
The Deputy Director picked up a red phone, the Hot Line to NORAD and US Space Command.
“Missile Warning,” A voice answered immediately.
“Eglin implementing Confidence reporting, “The Deputy Director replied. “Stand by.”
“Maintenance and Cord report,” the Senior Director polled the sections for any possible internal generation of the alert.
“Maintenance here, no malfunctions found.”
“CORD here, no malfunctions found.”
The rest of the five man early warning crew scanned their monitors for anything to cause the alert. There were no scheduled re-entering objects, no launch platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, but launch alerts were being generated.
“Sir,” The Space Object Identification Tecnician called.” The objects don’t appear to be missiles.”
The Alarm sounded again and the Deputy Director shouted, “We have Launch and Impact Points!”
“Roger,” the Senior Director replied. “Pass a confidence of High!”
The Deputy responded immediately over the hot line to Missile Warning. “Confidence is high. Earliest impact ten minutes. Target MacDill Air Force Base.”
Four more launch and impact points were generated. A confidence of High was reported for each to Missile Warning. The Deputy Director swallowed hard before he announced the fifth impact being Eglin AFB. There was no time to run. No time to warn the base or families. Training kicked in and the crew was determined to complete their mission, to warn the rest of the military.
“Missile Warning to MacDill, are you still there?” The Missile Warning officer polled after the impact time.
At first there was no answer.
“Yes, we are still here!” A feeble voice sounded over the hot line.
I often thought of these incidents (this was not the only event). There was no computer malfunction, and no maintenance being performed that could cause such events. Yet, there was a group of vehicles launched from south of Cuba near the Yucatan Peninsula which should have impacted the United States, but the objects just disappeared. We would have detected any detonations. Finally, we were told by the expert analysts the alerts were due to lighting near the Yucatan, and special atmospheric conditions known as ducting. Somehow, that explanation never satisfied me. Were they UFOs heading back into space?
You will never find any records of these events, and you might wonder how I know about these incidents? I was the Deputy Director.