For 30 years Robert Hastings has traveled the college circuit with an out-of-the-ordinary lecture: UFOs exist, our government knows it and is keeping it secret.“There’s a sort of taboo on the topic of UFOs. If you see something and report it, or even have an interest in the topic, you’re viewed as suspicious,” says Hastings, 61, who will present “UFOs: The Secret History” at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the University of Idaho Administration Building auditorium.
His lecture and slide show is based on thousands of Air Force, FBI and CIA documents and the testimony of more than 120 former or retired U.S. military personnel he has interviewed.
Hastings’ interest in UFOs began in 1967, when he was 16 and worked three nights a week as a janitor at an air traffic control tower at Montana’s Malmstrom Air Force Base where his father was stationed.
One night a supervisor called him over to a scope he was hunched over and told him they were tracking five unidentified objects. Hastings was excited and wanted to know more. The supervisor sent him away telling him to come back later, but later the supervisor didn’t want to talk.
When Hastings asked his father, he was told jets tracked unidentified objects over the base’s Minuteman missiles.
A few years later Hastings read an article in the Saturday Evening Post about UFO reports at other missile bases.
“When I read this article I realized this was real and not unique. I began seeking out and interviewing ex-military personnel,” says Hastings, who lives in Salida, Colo., and is the author of “UFOs and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites.”
He began with a pool of friends and acquaintances of his father. Most knew nothing, he says, and some cryptically said they knew something but couldn’t talk about it. Eventually he found people willing to say on the record that UFOs are real objects of vastly superior capabilities. Some of these people had worked at nuclear missile sites and told stories of missiles malfunctioning during UFO sightings.
“Like myself, all of these persons believe the public has the right to know the facts,” he says.
“One of the things I say is that I’m not saying all this. I’m merely reporting what people trusted by the U.S. government to launch these weapons are saying,” says Hastings, who points out that people who work in missile control have had extensive psychological profiling and background checks. “Clearly these people are not flakes or psychotic or untrustworthy. They are slowly, but surely, coming forward.”
Documents released after the collapse of the Soviet Union contain similar stories concerning their nuclear weapons, he says.
Hastings spoke about his UFO research on “Larry King Live” in 2008 and in 2010 he sponsored a “UFOs and Nukes” press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., during which seven former or retired U.S. Air Force officers discussed the reality of UFO incursions at nuclear weapons sites. CNN streamed the event live. It was the most attention Hastings’ work had ever received.
“There aren’t a lot of people I can discuss this with at length,” Hastings admits. “At the same time, I feel this overwhelming need to do what I do. I understand that throughout the history of time, when you are overturning an existing paradigm, most people are not going to get it for awhile.”
Within a month of the “UFOs and Nukes” press conference, the Atlantic published a story that the U.S. military had temporarily lost contact with 50 of its nuclear Minuteman III missiles at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming.
Hastings started making inquiries among his sources and traveled to the remote area knocking on farm doors to ask if anyone had seen anything unusual. He says he gathered multiple reports of “a huge, cigar-shaped object” sighted multiple times around the 9,600-square-mile site.
“In my view what we have are visitors from somewhere else,” he says. “How they get here and who they are, are the questions we have yet to answer.”
If you go:
What: “UFOs: The Secret History”
Who: Robert Hastings
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday
Where: University of Idaho Administration Building auditorium, Moscow