CLOSE ENCOUNTER AT WURTSMITH AIR FORCE BASE IN MICHIGAN
OCTOBER 1975 …….. WURTSMITH AIR FORCE BASE MICHIGAN
My name is Garel W. White, Retired USAF and now living in the Seattle Area. I don’t know if you will get this response, but over the years it has become more clear than confusing about the nature of the Wurtsmith UFO incident in October 1975. Reading about the incident in the early years suggested I was not telling the truth until I now read that 2 UFOs were in the area and split up while being chased by a KC 135 Tanker. One shot toward Saginaw and the other found its way over to our Capehart Gate Housing Area and Motor pool and Munitions Storage. This is where I became clear on the incident because even in your current story you key on the Capehart Housing Gate Flyover. Here is my story.
Garel W. White, Sgt, stationed at the Main Gate, Wurtsmith AFB approx. 1020 hrs.; almost ½ hour of initially being posted there for the Midnight Shift. I never really noticed the extra activity over the radio because I was busy controlling the small rush of vehicles entering the installation and was normal for that time. I got a call on the Hot Phone from the Command Post and answered it. The Command Post asked me if I saw anything over the Lake (Lake Huron) just like that! I looked and saw a bright white light that looked similar to the Planet Venus low in the sky. I reported that to the Command Post and they told me to keep an eye on it and they could give me no more information when I asked what was up? I thought nothing of that and continued to my duty with on-coming vehicle traffic entering the base. Approx. 10 minutes later the Hot Phone rang again. This time I glanced up and noticed it was not the Planet Venus low in the sky. It was larger and appeared to be coming toward landfall of the Michigan shoreline. I watched it for about a few more minutes as the traffic coming on base died down and I could pay more attention to it. I noticed another Security Police Vehicle approach with my Squadron Commander Major? I can’t remember his name but I can get it. The white light was approx. 5 miles away when the Major and I watched it approach. I noticed some red lights and a slight swooshing sound as it closed in and stopped almost centered over the Main Gate (Less than 100 feet to the right of the Main Gate) about 150 feet in the air. It was a piercing white light; so bright you could not see behind it, around it, over it, etc. I felt it was low enough I could pick up a rock and hit it. At this time no traffic entered the base. I stepped off the platform of the Entry Control area, walked about 100 feet from the Main Gate directly under the blinding white light. It stayed there for more than 5 minutes; whoosh, whoosh, whoosh in 3 second intervals was the only sound I heard. The Major walked over and we were both perplexed to what it was. We were both directly under it. This was for a little less than 5 minutes. I walked back to the gate and it began to move slowly approx. 2 to 3 mph down the roadway direct line toward the flight line, about 2 miles away from the Christmas Tree Alert B-52s and Alert KC-135 Tankers, illuminating the roadway as it went until approx. 3 blocks away the light went out, then lots of radio traffic. I don’t know where Michael Meyers was, but he did stop by and compared notes with me. The Major departed after the lights went out to the Command Post. I was told not to speak of the incident, and I didn’t until I was going to retire at Grissom AFB, INDIANA in 1990. I told a batch of new 1st year troops of the encounter with a UFO when I was in my first 4 years of service. They said I was pulling their leg until one of them went to his room and came back with a “TIME LIFE” Book on UFOs and listed under Malstrom AFB UFO was word for word of the UFO account except it only said Capehart Housing and not the Main Gate encounter. I’ve sort of kept my mouth shut until 2003 when I noticed the KC-135 was chasing 2 UFOs in a story starting from Loring AFB and wound up at Malstrom AFB. (I saw the 2nd one!). Now I feel better about the whole incident. NOTE: The above image is a rendering.
KENS NOTE: Some info on the long history of Wurtsmith Air Force base…..The Strategic Air Command‘s 4026th Strategic Wing was activated at Wurtsmith on 1 August 1958. The 4026th SW was a B-52’s dispersal wing, a part of SAC’s plan to disperse its big bombers over a larger number of bases, thus making it more difficult for the Soviet Union to knock out the entire fleet with a surprise first strike. The 920th Refueling Group’s KC-135 Stratotankers were transferred to the 4026th from Turner AFB, Georgia in July 1960. It was inactivated on 9 January 1961.
SAC’s 40th Air Division was reactivated in July 1959 and assigned to Eighth Air Force with headquartered at Wurtsmith AFB. The Division was the parent unit of four SAC wings and advisor to three Aerial Reserve Force units. The Division’s mission was to supervise and monitor the operation of the 379th and 410th Bombardment Wings, the 305th Aerial Refueling Wing, the 351st Strategic Missile Wing, the 128th Aerial Refueling Group, and the 931st Aerial Refueling Group. SAC also began to extended the runway to 12,000 feet in 1959 to better accommodate the B-52. Along with the runway extension, a “Christmas Tree” alert pad area was constructed on the north side of the 24 runway end to accommodate 9 alert aircraft, and a “Mole Hole”, where alert crews would live on shifts ready to man the alert aircraft and take off within a few minutes notice.