Easton Plantetarium To Host Presentation on 1975 Loring AFB UFO Incident
It's "Close Encounters of The 1975 Kind" at the Francis Malcolm Science Center in Easton on Saturday, Novermber 5th.
The new digital planetarium theater at the Francis Malcolm Science Center hosts their seasonal remembrance of the eerie UFO Encounter at the former Loring Air Force Base in October 1975. The Center says local testimony will add special excitement and zest to this still-unsolved mystery.
National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) describes the incident this way:
7:45 p.m. Staff Sgt. Danny K. Lewis was patrolling the weapons dump when he saw an unidentified aircraft nearing the north perimeter of Loring at a low altitude of about 300 feet. Lewis noticed what appeared to be a red navigation light and a white strobe light on the aircraft. As Lewis watched, the craft entered the perimeter of Loring.
Meanwhile, in the control tower of the air base, Staff Sgt. James P. Sampley of the 2192nd Communications Squadron was on duty at the radar screen. He got a radar return from an unknown aircraft ten to thirteen miles east-northeast of Loring. Sampley made numerous attempts by radio on all available communications bands, civilian and military, to contact the craft, but he got no response.
The unidentified craft began to circle, and came to within 300 yards of the restricted nuclear storage area at a low altitude of 150 feet. Back at the nuclear weapons dump, Lewis notified his Command Post of the of the 42 Bomb Wing that an unknown aircraft had penetrated the base perimeter and was within 300 yards of the nuclear weapons area.
The base was immediately put on major alert status, a a Security Option 3, and Security contacted the tower.
Oct. 27, 1975; Loring AFB, ME
8:45 p.m. Sgt. Grover K. Eggleston of the 2192nd Communications Squadron was on duty at the tower when the call from the Command Post came. He began observing the unknown aircraft. Six minutes later, while watching the radar screen, Eggleston noted that the unknown craft appeared to be circling approximately ten miles east-northeast of the base. This action lasted for forty minutes when, suddenly, it disappeared from the screen. Either the object had landed, or it had dropped below the radar coverage.
The Wing Commander arrived at the weapons storage area seven minutes after the initial sighting was made. Immediately, other units of the 42nd Police began pouring into the area. Security vehicles with blue flashing lights were converging from all over the base.
Through the Loring Command Post, the Wing Commander requested fighter coverage from the 21st NORAD Region at Hancock Field, New York, and the 22nd NORAD Region at North Bay, Ontario, Canada. However, fighter support was denied by both regions. The Wing Commander then increased local security posture and requested assistance from the Maine State Police in trying to identify the unknown craft, which they presumed was a helicopter. A call was made to local flight services for possible identification, without results. The 42nd Security Police conducted a sweep of the weapons storage perimeter inside and out. An additional sweep was made of the areas that the craft had flown over. All actions produced no results.
The craft broke the circling pattern and began flying toward Grand Falls, New Brunswick, Canada. Radar contact was lost in the vicinity of Grand Falls bearing 065 degrees, twelve miles from Loring. Canadian authorities were not notified.
Priority messages were sent to the National Military Command Center in Washington, D.C., the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, the USAF Forward Operations Division at Fort Ritchie, Maryland, and Strategic Air Command headquarters at the 8th Air Force and the 45th Division informing them of what had taken place. The base remained on a high state of alert for the rest of the night and into the early morning hours of October 28.
The program was originally produced by students of the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in 2009. It's proven a popular draw every Halloween season since.
A second presentation “2 Small Pieces of Glass” will celebrate civilization's discovery and adventure with astronomy's greatest tool: the telescope.
Weather permitting, sky watching will follow the program. Bring your telescopes or binoculars, and dress appropriately.
The Malcolm Science Center is located on US Route 1A (the Houlton Road), just past the Fort Fairfield town line in Easton.
For reservations or further information call (207) 488-5451. Admission: $5.00 adults/$3.00 students.