Strange Incident Near Conrad ICBM

Most Recent Sighting, One of Many at Nuclear Bases


When I lecture on UFOs, I am often asked, “When and where was the most recent UFO sighting at a nuclear weapons site?” Given that these incidents are ongoing, it's entirely possible that such a sighting occurred at one missile facility or another very recently—perhaps even last night. However, as far as I know, the last reported incidents apparently took place near Conrad, Montana, in December 2006.

On December 12th, an indivi-dual—not identified—posted an intriguing sighting report on the National UFO Reporting Center website. It seems that the previous night, while driving home, the anonymous source had sighted a UFO just east of Conrad, Montana. Moreover, according to the post, he also had another sighting, four days earlier, at almost the same location. Although there was no mention of nuclear missiles in this report, I knew that the town of Conrad is literally surrounded by Minuteman missile sites. On a hunch, I contacted NUFORC's director, Peter Davenport, and requested the source's name and contact information. Davenport then contacted Ryan Riewer, now a student at the University of Montana, who readily agreed to speak with me. 

In a telephone interview, Riewer told me, “I live on a farm nearly three miles east of Conrad. On December 7, 2006, I was driving home from work at around 10:30 at night. I was on Sollid Road, probably a mile away from our house, when I saw this light out of the corner of my eye, coming from the southwest. It was the fastest thing I've ever seen. It came racing up almost to the road. It stopped dead for a moment, then took off at a 90-degree angle to where it came from. It went southeast, over a hill on the horizon. A couple of seconds later, it came racing back toward me. Then it began to slow down and descended toward the ground at an angle. When it was about fifty feet up, the light shut off. It looked like it landed about a half-mile, or maybe a mile, from our house. That was really, really weird.”

I asked Riewer if there was a missile site in the area where the UFO apparently landed. He seem somewhat surprised by this question but confirmed that was indeed the case. “Yes, there is a missile silo out in that direction. I saw it one time when I was hunting with my dad,” he said, “I would say that the distance between the missile site and where the object landed was about a mile.”

Riewer continued, “Four days later, on December 11th, I was driving home after work again when I saw an extremely bright light in the sky, dead east, directly in front of me. As soon as I got home, I looked at the light with binoculars. By then, it was southeast of us. I saw blue lights on top, a red light on the bottom, and a white light in the middle that kept moving around. I couldn't make out the shape of the object, just the lights on it. My mom looked through the binoculars too.

The object remained stationary for half an hour or so. I would estimate that it was two to three miles southeast of our house. Then the lights shut off and I could no longer see them. About five minutes later, I saw another bright light. It looked exactly the same as the other one. The second object was the about the same distance away, but dead south of us.”

Riewer continued, “I put down the binoculars and called the sheriffs office. The person I spoke with just said, 'Thanks for reporting this.' He acted like it was no big deal. There have been lots of reports of weird stuff going on around Conrad. He had probably heard other reports like mine, so he wasn't too excited about it. After I got off the phone, I looked at the object again. By then, it appeared as three red lights in a triangular pattern. After a few minutes, the bottom right light shut off. Then the bottom left light moved up to join the top light. All of this took place over a half an hour or so. Then these lights disappeared too. After a few moments, I noticed another object farther off in the distance, north of where I saw the first light. It was northeast of our house, but dimmer, and I couldn't see it too well. About a half an hour later, it was gone.”

After speaking with Riewer, I consulted my large, Air Force-issued map of Malmstrom's Minuteman missile sites and discovered that the Papa Launch Control Facility, designated P-0, is approximately 2 miles north by northwest of his family's farm. I also found that the boundaries of three 564th Strategic Missile Squadron flights—Papa, Quebec, and Sierra—all converge nearby. According to the map, Launch Facility S-40 is approxi-mately 2.5 miles southeast of Riewer's house, and Launch Facility Q-15 is approximately 5 miles northeast of it. Riewer's estimate that the object southeast of his house on December 11th was “2 to 3 miles” distant seems to place it in the vicinity of S-40, while the dimmer object sighted northeast of his farm was conceivably near Q-15, although that is less certain.

I asked Riewer if he had heard or seen military jets either near the objects or in the general area during either sighting. He said that he had not. I then asked if he had noticed any unusual Air Force activity on the ground immediately after either sighting. He responded that he had not.

When asked if he had seen other unusual lights or objects in the sky on other occasions, Riewer  replied, “Yes, one night, maybe a year or so before my other sightings, my step-father and I heard what sounded like a helicopter flying really low. It was really loud. We went outside to see what was going on. We saw what looked like a helicopter, but really high up. That was puzzling because we expected it to be close to the ground. It was so high we could only see the lights on it. Then another helicopter came into view. The two met up and just stopped in the sky, really close to each other. Then the noise quit and both of them were silent! By then we figured they weren't helicopters. Then all of the lights slowly faded away, like they were going out. They just disappeared. Those two objects were southeast of the house, in the same general direction where I saw the other objects [on December 7 and 11] and about the same distance away.”

Riewer continued, “I mentioned my sightings at school and got laughed at, but one of my teachers backed me up and told us about his own UFO sighting, which happened while he was out hunting. After that, some other students got brave and told us about their sightings. So I'm not the only one around Conrad who has seen things.

In his posting on the NUFORC website, Riewer had mentioned that a mutilated cow had been found on his grandparents farm at the end of October 2006. He told me, “My step-grandpa and grandma have a farm near us, five miles east of Conrad. About a month or so before my sightings, a neighboring rancher had his cows grazing on their land and one of them was found mutilated. Its genitals were missing and the skin on one side its face was peeled off. As far as I know, that was the last time that kind of thing was reported in the area, but cattle have been found that way [on other occasions] in the past.”

According to the Montana press, cattle mutilations were first reported on ranches around Conrad, and elsewhere in Pondera County, in the mid-1970s. Then, after a nearly-three-decade lull, more mutilated cows and steers began to be discovered in the county beginning in 2001. 

Robert Hastings, author of UFOs and Nukes, Extraordinary Encoun-ters at Nuclear Weapons Sites, is a researcher and lecturer who has interviewed nearly one hundred U.S. Air Force veterans involved in nuclear weapons related UFO incidents.

Note: At the time of their experiences, the former or retired USAF sources who Hastings interviewed held positions ranging from nuclear missile launch and target-ing officers, to missile maintenance personnel, to missile security police. The incidents described and documented occurred between 1963 and 1996 at the following  Air Force bases: Malmstrom (Montana), Minot (North Dakota), F.E. Warren (Wyoming), Ellsworth, (South Dakota), Vandenberg (California), and Walker (New Mexico, aka: Roswell). Other sources were stationed at Wurtsmith (Michigan) and Loring (Maine), where B-52 nuclear bombers were based during the Cold War era. 

In 1966-67, when Hastings’ father was stationed at Malmstrom, and during the time of the reported UFO activity at the nearby Minuteman missile sites, he witnessed five UFOs being tracked on radar in the air traffic control tower (having befriending a radar technician). The incident led to his decades long project and documentation of UFO inci-dents related to nuclear weapons sites. A portion of that documen-tation includes reports from at least six former or retired USAF personnel—Minuteman missile launch officers stationed at Malmstrom in 1967 who divulged their knowledge of UFO involvement in two separate, large-scale missile shutdown incidents. Despite the testimony of missile launch officers, the United States Air Force formally denies UFO-involvement in the officially acknowledged missile shutdown incident at Malmstrom AFB. The official disavowal is found in the 341st Strategic Missile Wing’s “unit history.”  Significantly, according to Hastings, the unit historian, David Gamble, reported that while compiling material for the official history, he had learned of reports of UFO activity within Malmstrom’s missile fields. When he made inquiries, Gamble received “no cooperation” from those in-the-know. He further said that written changes regarding “the UFO aspect of the missile shutdown incident” had been made by superiors. The final version of the unit history states, “Rumors of Unidentified Flying Objects around the area of Echo Flight during the time of the fault were disproven.”

Hastings presents his findings to colleges and universities nationwide and encourages former and retired military personnel to contact him regarding UFO  incidents related to nuclear weapons launch or storage facilities (email: hastings444@

For a more extensive presentation of Robert Hastings’ findings, including many eyewitness accounts by airmen stationed at Malmstrom Air Force Base and other bases that store or deploy nuclear weapons in the United States, see ufohastings .com.








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