Thursday, March 30

Strange Track at NORAD Control Center (1973) – My UFO Experience

“In winter(?) 1973, I was duty officer at a
control center, Murphy Dome AFS, AK. One of my
techs pointed out to me a strange track he had picked up. I watched it
for a while, deciding how we should classify it or not. It’s speed was
about 2,100 mph, heading about 150 deg. That’s significantly faster than
any jet plane we had data on in our aircraft recognition manuals.

We knew nothing about SR-71’s. It’s possible we had detected one
returning from Siberia. However, we had the flight plans (secret) for
our spy plane missions and normally watched them leaving and returning.
Nothing corresponded to this.

The abnormal appearance of the object’s
“paint” was what I focused on. Our (very primitive) computer could create
synthetic tracks and superimpose them onto our radar screens along with the
(analog) radar. These tracks could be “flown” from a console in another room.
They were used to let us perform simulated intercept missions of our jet
fighters vs “Soviet” aircraft . Given foul weather, it was often not possible
to meet our training requirements for intercepts using real aircraft.

First, the computer simulated “paints” had a recognizably different appearance
from real radar “paints” (imposed by the laws of physics). Second, there were
“bugs” in the computer software such that it occasionally
spontaneously-generated such tracks, with no one at the console.

This particular track did not look either quite like a real radar “paint” or a
typical synthetic track but more like the latter than the former. It
designated it a “bug” track with slight misgivings.

The thing about such computer generated tracks is that there are no physical
limitations on performance. Such a track could fly at mach 20 and make right
angle turns, etc. In sensor systems, you are never looking at raw focal plane,
etc., data. You are looking at a computer screen at computer processed data. I
would always want to know whether a potential UFO appeared simultaneously on
multiple sensors and/or was seen with the human eye. I’m a little suspicious
that a
Chinese electronic component
may have found its way into some of our systems and could be a source of some
observed phenomena.

Overall, I’m open to whatever hard evidence might show, but as an
astrophysicist and amateur astronomer, I spent a lot of time looking at the
sky. This one, probably explained, incident is the only one I’ve personally
experienced in a lifetime.

PS: There were a good number of
tactical nukes
in AK back then. There were never any tracks focused on these. (Our computer
system displayed all the integrated tracks from all the radars in the Alaska
NORAD region + part of Canada and Siberia.)

Editor’s note: The text in the report above is unedited and presented as it was received. TUFOC has not independently verified the account.