Thursday, April 18

Big Sur UFO Film: Government Whistleblower Reveals He Watched It

The very interesting backgrounds of the UFO “skeptics” who attempted to
debunk the Big Sur UFO Incident after it was first publicized in the media
by former US Air Force officer Dr. Bob Jacobs

     Part 1
of this article discussed former Advanced Aerospace Threat
Identification Program (AATIP) director Lue Elizondo’s recent admission
that he had watched the Big Sur UFO film—actually, a video copy of
it—while heading-up the once-secret Pentagon UFO project from 2008 to
2017. (Funding for the group officially ended in 2012, but Elizondo
maintains that its work was still ongoing at the time of his resignation
from government service.)

Briefly, in the early 1980s, two
former US Air Force officers—Lieutenant Bob Jacobs and Major Florenze
Mansmann—confirmed that, on September 15, 1964, a domed-disc UFO had
been inad-

Robert Hastings -

By Robert Hastings
The UFO Chronicles

vertently captured on motion picture film as it paced and then shot down a dummy
nuclear warhead—using mysterious, plasma-like beams—that had been carried aloft
by an Atlas ICBM during a test flight over the Pacific Ocean. The missile launch
took place at Vandenberg AFB, California, and the telescopic-camera team had
been located a hundred miles northwest of the base, up the California coast at
Big Sur, so that it could film such launches from a side view.

According to Major (later Dr.) Mansmann, he, Jacobs, and two CIA officers
attended a highly-restricted screening of the film at Vandenberg two days
after the dramatic incident occurred. At the CIA officers’ direction, the
footage was immediately classified Top Secret. However, Lieutenant (later Dr.)
Jacobs was apparently only told by Mansmann not to discuss the event with
anyone and that “it never happened”. That verbal admonishment occurred just
before Jacobs left the screening room and apparently prior to the Top Secret
designation being assigned to the case—about which Jacobs says he was unaware.

In any event, in 1982, thinking that enough time had elapsed since the 1964
incident took place, Jacobs—by then a university professor—wrote an article
about it which, after first being rejected by OMNI magazine, was
published in the National Enquirer tabloid. Shortly thereafter, the
former lieutenant began getting anonymous death threats over the telephone
and, independently, was subjected to other forms of pressure by certain
individuals who turned out to have rather suspicious, if not clearly
incriminating backgrounds.

In 1989, Jacobs wrote a lengthier, more detailed
article on the Big Sur
UFO Incident, which was published by the MUFON UFO Journal. In it, he
complained that following his revelations about the case he had been harassed
by UFO debunker James Oberg, a leading member of the organization responsible
for publishing Skeptical Inquirer magazine, then called the Committee
for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), now
renamed the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI).

Another CSICOPer, Philip J. Klass, soon piled on, attacking Dr. Jacobs in a
series of rebuking letters. Klass went so far as to contact Jacobs’
Communications Department chairman at the University of Maine, to allege that
the professor was behaving in a manner inappropriate for an academician.
According to Klass, anyone who contended that flying saucers existed and were
shooting down U.S. dummy nuclear warheads in flight was unfit to teach the
school’s students.

In response, Jacobs circulated a strongly-worded
retort, Low Klass: A Rejoinder.
At one point, wrote Jacobs, Klass had told him in a letter that if he were
uneasy about communicating with the debunker, Klass would provide as
references Admiral Bobby R. Inman—the former Director of the National Security
Agency, who also held Deputy Director positions at both the Central
Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency—and Lt. General Daniel
O. Graham, the former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and former
Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Klass not only provided
Jacobs with their names, but home addresses as well, and told him, “Both men
have worked with me and gotten to know me in my efforts for
Aviation Week [magazine].” Jacobs, viewing this offer as a veiled
threat and suspecting that Klass was attempting to set him up for a security
violation, consulted an attorney who told him not to respond directly to the

Klass, now deceased, was often accused of being a disinformation agent for the
U.S. government—a charge he always vehemently denied. And yet, in a private
letter to Jacobs, the long-time UFO debunker openly bragged about his
high-powered intelligence community associates, presumably because he never
thought that Jacobs would actually publish portions of the letter, which he
nevertheless did.

For his part, Jim Oberg, the high-profile CSICOP/CSI debunker mentioned above,
repeatedly attempted to discredit Jacobs’ and Mansmann’s amazing story.
Interestingly, he also made self-incriminating comments to Jacobs in a letter
obviously never meant for public view. Unfortunately for Oberg, Jacobs later
published excerpts from that letter as well.

While an U.S. Air Force Captain, Oberg did classified work relating to nuclear
weapons at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory, located at Kirtland AFB, New
Mexico. While there, in 1970-72, he had also been a Security Officer for his
immediate group within the lab’s Battle Environments Branch, meaning that he
was responsible for monitoring the security procedures used to safeguard the
classified documents generated by it. In his letter to Dr. Jacobs, Oberg
chastised him, saying, “Since you obviously feel free to discuss top secret
UFO data, what would you be willing to say about other top secret aspects of
the Atlas warhead which you alluded to briefly?”

This is rather curious given Oberg’s public face as a UFO debunker who claims
that the mysterious craft do not even exist. One may find numerous articles he
has written over the years in which he pooh-poohs UFO sightings and ridicules
those who report them. And yet, in his private letter to Jacobs, Oberg angrily
railed at the professor’s unauthorized release of “top secret” UFO
information. Once a security officer, always a security officer, I guess.

And the “skeptical” attacks on Jacobs’ credibility continued as time went on.
Skeptical Inquirer (SI) magazine featured an
in its Winter 1993 issue, titled “The Big Sur ‘UFO’: An
Identified Flying Object”, written by Kingston A. George. In 1964,
George had been the project engineer for the experimental telescopic-tracking
and filming of missile launches at the Big Sur site. In that role he had
worked directly with Bob Jacobs.

Given CSICOP’s well-established position of debunking all UFO sightings, it is
not too difficult to guess the tone of George’s article. He begins by
dismissing Jacobs’ “weird claims” and then offers an alternate, prosaic
explanation for the events captured on the film in question.

George claimed that the supposed UFO that Jacobs had inadvertently filmed was
actually an experimental package of decoys, housed in the missile’s nosecone,
designed to be released in flight to confuse Soviet radar as they flew along
near the actual nuclear warhead. This would make it more difficult for Russian
anti-missile missiles to shoot down the incoming threat. According to George,
it was these released decoys that Jacobs mistook for a UFO.

And how did George know this? He claims he viewed and analyzed the specific
film “weeks later”, after Jacobs and Mansmann had already screened it.
Therefore, George insists, he unquestionably knew what it showed—and it was
definitely not a UFO. The only problem with this assertion is that
Mansmann—who by his own account had sole custody of the film—has
that immediately after the screening in his office, the key frames of the
projectable 16mm copy of the film, as well as the 35mm original, were signed
out to the CIA officers present, who then left the base. Mansmann added that
the film was “rushed East on a special aircraft when we released it.”

Consequently, George could not possibly have viewed the same film at
Vandenberg AFB “weeks” after the missile launch, as he claimed in his 1993
article in Skeptical Inquirer, because it—both the original and the
only copy ever made—had long since left the base.

The fundamental error made by George is that he chose the wrong launch date,
mistakenly selecting another one, September 22, 1964. In his 1989
Mutual UFO Journal article, Jacobs had written that his personal
missile test log—which he kept after leaving the Air Force—strongly suggested
that the launch in question—and the UFO incident—occurred on September 15th.

In an effort to establish the actual launch date I consulted the definitive
aerospace history archive, Encyclopedia Astronautica (EA), and reviewed
records relating to all Atlas launches at Vandenberg AFB during September
1964. There were two such launches which were noted as:

1964 Sep 15 – 15:27 GMT – ABRES LORV-3 re-entry vehicle test flight Vandenberg
Launch Pad: 576A1 – Launch Vehicle: Atlas D 245D

1964 Sep 22 – 13:08 GMT – NTMP KX-19 Target mission Vandenberg Launch Pad:
576A3 – Launch Vehicle: Atlas D 247D

The cumbersome acronyms for the September 15th launch translate to “Advanced
Ballistic Re-entry System” and “Low Observable Re-entry Vehicle”. In plain
English, this is precisely the type of test described by Bob Jacobs all along.
The Air Force had hoped that the warhead, within the RV, would be difficult to
distinguish from the cloud of metallic chaff—aluminum foil strips—accompanying
it through space. If this test was successful, the experimental system might
defeat an enemy’s radar, by effectively rendering invisible the incoming
nuclear warhead.

According to Encyclopedia Astronautica, the September 22nd launch—the
one picked by George—was designated a “NTMP KX-19 Target” mission, which means
Nike Target Missile Program, flight number KX-19. Unlike the earlier test on
September 15th, which was designed to evaluate the experimental Re-entry
Vehicle itself, the purpose of the target test was to determine whether the
U.S. Army group on Kwajalein Atoll would be able to track the RV on radar. It
was hoped—if such tests were successful—that incoming Soviet warheads might be
targeted with Nike anti-missile missiles.

When I informed Jacobs about the published data, he responded, “Well, Robert,
I think you’ve found the launch. The timing is exactly right [according to my
personal records]. The date, September 15th, is one of the three [possible
dates that] I mentioned. I never believed the launch took place on September
22nd, which is what George keeps saying. The stated mission of
that launch had nothing to do with the experiment we were doing the day
of the incident. We were testing a re-entry vehicle, just as [the published
summary] says.”

I gently challenged Jacobs on this point, to gauge his level of certainty. His
response was emphatic, “No, we were testing the RV itself. It was not a target
test.” He then elaborated, “There were several interesting aspects of the
anti-missile-missile tests. This particular one involved a dummy warhead and a
bunch of radar-deflecting aluminum chaff. The dummy warhead was targeted to
splashdown at Eniwetok Lagoon…As far as I know Kwajalein [played no part in
this test] aside from radar tracking. There was no planned Nike launch
[involved with it].”

(Significantly, as I mentioned in Part 1 of this article, while a member of
the UAP Taskforce, from 2019 to 2021, government whistleblower David Grusch
tasked a colleague with finding corroborating evidence for the Big Sur UFO
event. That individual had discovered, in a Department of Defense archive, a
radar data summary of the launch on that date selected by Jacobs—September
15th—that revealed the apparent tracking of an anomalous object flying near
the dummy warhead.)

So, it’s quite clear that Kingston George chose the wrong launch—and the
filmed record of it—as the basis for his skeptical attack on Bob Jacobs. But
was this an honest error or, on the other hand, part of an intentional effort
to cast doubt on Jacobs’ public summary of the Big Sur Incident? After
extensive evaluation, I have concluded it was the latter. Indeed, George’s
Skeptical Inquirer article is so riddled with other suspicious
factual errors that I cannot help but think he was purposefully engaging in
disinformation intended to discredit Jacobs. And Dr. Jacobs agrees with this

Moreover, importantly, Kingston George devotes not a single word to Dr.
Florenze Mansmann’s unreserved endorsement of Jacobs’ published account of the
Big Sur UFO Incident. Perhaps George was unaware that, by the time he wrote
his debunking article in SI, Mansmann had already
to several people that Jacobs’ account was completely factual.

Regardless, a full exposé of George’s demonstrable misstatements, misquotes of
Jacobs’ published commentary, and off-base assertions appears in my 2007
“A Shot Across the Bow: Another Look at the Big Sur Incident”, published by the Center for UFO Studies.

My suggestion that George may have deliberately, unfairly tried to spin the
facts to cast doubt on Jacobs’ credibility is not just idle speculation.
Indeed, George’s choice of publisher for his article is, I think, telling.
Although not widely known, the person orchestrating George’s attempted
debunking of the Big Sur UFO Incident, leading CSICOP/CSI member and
Skeptical Inquirer magazine editor Kendrick Frazier, worked for over
two decades as a Public Relations Specialist for Sandia National Laboratories,
which has been instrumental in manufacturing many of the U.S. government’s
nuclear weapons since the 1940s.

Curiously, one has to search diligently to discover this highly-relevant fact,
given that the magazine has consistently referred to Frazier only as a
“Science Writer” in its Publisher’s Statement, which appears in every issue.
Moreover, Frazier chose not to mention his day job as a PR guy for the U.S.
government’s nuclear weapons program in his online biography, even though an
earlier editorial position he held with Science News magazine was
readily acknowledged by him. So, for some reason, Frazier seemed to be
exceedingly shy about openly admitting his long-term government Public
Relations job to his magazine’s readers as well as the general public.

So, to recap, among the top CSICOP/CSI UFO “skeptics” who have publicly
blasted Bob Jacobs’ and Florenz Mansmann’s revelations about the Big Sur case
we have:

● A journalist (Klass) who worked for decades for an intelligence
community-friendly publication, Aviation Week, and who privately cited
as personal references two of the top figures in the NSA and CIA

● A former Air Force officer (Oberg) whose job included protecting nuclear
weapons-related secrets

● A long-time Public Relations Specialist (Frazier) who worked for the U.S.
government’s nuclear weapons program for more than 20 years.

Supposedly, all three of these individuals object to Jacobs and Mansmann’s
unauthorized disclosures about the still-Top Secret incident only because they
are “skeptical” that it actually happened.

Yeah, right!

Part 3 of this article will be posted soon. It examines other incidents of
UFOs closely monitoring US missile launches, as confirmed by declassified
documents, military witness testimony, and various, credible media accounts.
In short, the Big Sur event was not unique.

UFOs and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites -
Robert Hastings’ book, is
UFOs and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites, available at
His documentary film,
UFOs and Nukes: The Secret Link Revealed is available at
UFOs and Nukes: The Secret Link Revealed -