Dakota Datebook

Minot UFOs Return

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


An unbelievable UFO sighting occurred on this date over the Minot Air Force base in 1967.  Unbeknownst to many North Dakotans, the state has proved fertile ground for UFO sightings for several decades.  In fact, the state even has a connection to the first UFO sighting in history, when the term “UFO” was first coined.  That 1947 event began over Washington state, when pilot Kenneth Arnold “…spotted nine unidentified objects flying near Mount Rainier.”  Arnold’s report led reporters to term the entities, ‘unidentified flying objects,’ or UFOs.  Arnold grew up in Minot, attending grade and high school there during the 1920s and ’30s.  After the initial description and media coverage, UFO sightings became much more common.  In response, the Air Force created a catalog of UFO sightings in an attempt to chronicle and explain the phenomenon.  Referred to as “Project Blue Book,” the catalog documents dozens of UFO reports from North Dakota, most taking place near the Minot and Grand Forks Air Force Bases.

The UFO sighting on March 5, 1967, took place only three days after two sightings were reported near Mohall and Velva.  Then on March 5, Minot Air Force Base security teams were alerted when Air Defense Command radar detected an “…unidentified target descending over the Minuteman missile silos of the 91st Strategic Missile Wing…”

When security police responded to the call, they saw a large metallic disk hovering over the missile silos.  The disk was ringed with bright flashing lights.  Before F-106 interceptors at the base were scrambled, the UFO left the silos, moving first over the launch control facility, and then climbing straight up into the air before taking off at an “incredible speed.”

Between the years of 1967 and 1968, a number of UFO incidents occurred at or near the nuclear missile sites in North Dakota.  One eyewitness, Lt. David Schuur, claimed in interviews that a brightly lit UFO hovering near missile sites in 1967 was responsible for initiating a launch sequence at the Echo Launch Control Center.  Once the glowing object left the vicinity, Schurr was able to activate the launch inhibit switch.  Robert Hastings, the professional UFO reporter who interviewed Schuur, called the interview “one of the most disturbing” of his career.

Dakota Datebook written by Jayme L. Job



Darnay, Keith.  “N.D.’s Connection to UFO’s.” The Bismarck Tribune.  June 25, 2012.





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Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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