Before his death, Colonel broke his silence on a 1967 mystery at ICBM base

Frederick Meiwald’s obituary in the Las Vegas Journal-Review last August was brief but distinguished. During a 28-year military career that included posts with Strategic Air Command and Space Command, he earned the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters and the Joint Service Commendation Medal. What it didn’t include, not surprisingly, was Meiwald’s eyewitness to a controversial nuclear-missile shutdown at Malmstrom Air Force Base in March 1967.

Capt. Robert Salas in an appearance on CNN discussing his encounter.

News of the colonel’s demise at 70 was widely circulated late last month by 341st Strategic Missile Wing colleague and retired USAF Capt. Bob Salas. Salas and Meiwald were working side by side at an underground launch control facility when the Minuteman ICBMs began going offline, simultaneously with topside security chatter of a mobile unit reporting UFO activity outside the front gate. Both Salas and Meiwald were ordered to sign non-disclosure agreements by the USAF Office of Special Investigation. The men would eventually go their separate ways and talk no more about it for nearly 30 years.

But the potentially catastrophic event shook Salas to his core. He became an activist for UFO transparency and dared authorities to prosecute him for violating his security oath. He wrote a book in 2005 called Faded Giant, and spoke up in high-profile venues such as Larry King Live and at a 2010 National Press Club conference in Washington. Salas was also moved to seek out his old LCF supervisor, and connected with Meiwald on the phone in 1996. …

“All I can say is something happened and, to the best of my knowledge, Bob Salas has stated what he believes (to be) true and I’ve supported the majority of what he has said,” Meiwald [said]. “I have read his book and (although) I can not, you know, support what other folks are saying, I know what happened at (LCF) Oscar. I know that Bob has relayed what happened at Oscar very accurately. But, what goes beyond that, I am not in a position to even express a viewpoint. I certainly can’t question somebody else’s judgment. Uh, I think it would be best if I said no more.”


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