Around and Around We Go

By David Pengilly (UFO*BC Quarterly - Summer 98)


On Monday, April 20, 1998, UFO*BC received the following e-mail:

"On Sunday morning March 29th I was walking on the shore of the Thompson River by Ashcroft about one half km south of the Bonaparte River when I heard a rush of air beside me, and looking over observed what I first thought were jets but realizing they had no wings or tail, assumed they were missiles. They were within 500 – 600 feet of me and were flying side by side continually moving up and down as if trying to maintain a constant distance between them. No sound except for rushing air. Length about 15 to 30 feet. Speed 500 - 600 mph. Observed them for less than 2 seconds. Both of the missiles turned sharply up the Bonaparte River simultaneously as if controlled together. The exact time was 10:25 am Mar. 29 1998. Was this possibly a radar evasion practice or was it an unauthorized use of Canadian air space by the US. I was within 500- 800 ft of these missiles and they were 200 –300 feet above the river. Sighted at 50 degrees 44' 30" N and 121 degrees 15' 30" E.

Could be similar to a Tomahawk missile."

Not your typical UFO sighting, but very interesting none-the-less. Missiles sounded military, so I thought I should give them a call and see what they had to say.

Looking in the Blue Pages I found "National Defence – Base Public Affairs Officer – Chilliwack". This sounded like a good place to start so I placed a call to (604) 858-1002. A recorded message answered saying that this office was now closed and please phone the "Regional Public Affairs Office" in Vancouver at 666-0266. It also advised not to leave a message as no-one would be listening to the recordings. I thought it strange that instead of having the call electronically re-directed, they had apparently bought a $30 answering machine. Oh well, on to the next call.

The call to the "Regional Public Affairs Office" was answered by a very agreeable gentleman who listened politely to the details of the story. Although he strongly doubted any missiles would be flown that low near occupied areas, he also could not come up with any other explanation. I mentioned the cruise missile testing a few years ago, and he countered by saying that the testing was much further north and that "cruise missiles have wings". I countered back with a brilliant "Yeah, but only short, stubby wings". He suggested that anything to do with missiles would be known to NORAD and that I should call a Major Jamie Robertson in Colorado. He said that the NORAD second-in-command is always a Canadian (I hadn’t known that!). This sounded promising, so I called (719) 554-5816 in Colorado Springs.

A woman answered the phone and I asked her if I could speak to Major Jamie Robertson. She informed me that he was not in and did I wish to leave a message? I said that it probably wasn’t necessary as she could probably help me. I explained about the low level missile-like objects being sighted and she asked "Why did you call us?". I told her about my call to the Department of Defence and she told me that "NORAD only deals with objects entering or leaving the upper atmosphere" (I hadn’t known that either!). She advised calling the "Strategic Air Command" and gave me their number. Finally, I was getting somewhere.

My call to Omaha, Nebraska, (402) 294-5964, was answered by a woman also. I told her the story of the missile sighting and she asked, "Why did you call us?" I told that NORAD had suggested I call the Strategic Air Command if I wanted information about missiles. She commented about them "always passing the buck" and then stated "First of all, we are no longer called the Strategic Air Command, just "Strategic Command". Second of all, I don’t know how you expect us down here in Nebraska to know about missiles way up there." Exasperated, I said "Well, somebody must know!" She replied, "Those with a "Need to Know" would know, but I am not one of them." She left me with "Leave me your number and I will try and find some information for you and phone you back later today or tomorrow."

Exactly four weeks after my call to the Strategic Command, I arrived home from work to have my wife tell me, "Some lady called to say that she could not find out any information on the missiles and suggested you call the Department of Defence." I looked at my Call Display and, sure enough, it was from Nebraska. I was pleasantly surprised that the lady from Strategic Command actually called back after all that time, but also disappointed that there was no new information.

So, after all that time, and all those phone calls, it had come back to the Department of Defence. Full circle.