Location: Hardheim (West Germany), , Germany
Duration: 10+or - mins
No of observers: 7
Reported: 2021-01-26 12:08:30 Pacific
Posted: 2021-03-02 00:00:00
Nike Hercules Firing Battery Track of UFO in Germany
By Retired Chief Warrant Officer ((witness's name deleted by NUFORC))
26 January 2021
Recent disclosures of UFO sightings have made me want to reveal an event that took place while stationed in the Army in Germany from 1968 to 1971 at a Nike Hercules Missile Battery (Charlie Battery 3rd Battalion 71st Artillery). Along with one Battery Control Officer (BCO) and 9 operators and maintenance crewmen we identified, selected and auto tracked what we believed to be an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO). As a crew we acquired, tracked and documented all its movements during approximately 10 minutes (could be more or less time, just don’t remember).
After 52 years I wanted to explain and document our manning crew’s experience selecting, tracking and recording this UFO event. This tracking event took place in the year 1969 or 1970. Memory does not serve me on the exact year and date. Although I think it may have been 1969. However, the UFO tracking event took place around midnight. It starts by saying that the on-duty manning crewmembers were responsible for checks and adjustments and the operational condition of all assigned radars, vans, equipment and the integration of the system as a whole. The system was kept ready to identify, track and launch a missile at a target in a specified time at the direction of Battalion Operations Center. This was basically the mission of 3rd Battalion 71st Artillery Air Defense mission as part on North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
As part of this UFO event, I think it is necessary to provide background description of the overall system and manning skills of a Nike Hercules Missile Firing Battery: The Firing Battery consisted of an Integrated Fire Control (IFC) and a Launch Area (LA) which were separated by approximately one mile. That night we were manning the IFC which included the Low Powered Acquisition Radar (LOPAR), High-Powered Acquisition Radar (HIPAR) (not sure the HIPAR was on site at the time of the event) and the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transmitter and receiver, these two radars and IFF were controlled by the Battery Control (BC) van.
The BC van was manned by the Battery Control Officer (BCO) and an Acquisition, Computer, Switch Board, and Early Warning Plotting Board operators. These positions were all Military Occupational Specialty (MOSs) 16C Integrated Fire Control Crewmember and a Defense Acquisition Radar Mechanic 24P.
The RC van controlled the Target Tracking Radar (TTR), Target Ranging Radar (TRR) and Missile Tracking Radar (MTR) and was manned by 16Cs and a 24Q Integrated Fire Control Mechanic MOSs. Manning for the RC van included Tracking Supervisor, Azimuth, Elevation and Range and MTR operators in the MOS 16C and a 24Q maintenance man. All these men as I remember participated and witnessed the event discussed below.
That night our crew was performing 6 hour checks and adjustments. Which we performed every 6 hours during our 24- hour manning period. After all the equipment was adjusted to a specific tolerance in accordance with the Technical Manuals (TMs) and to ensure everything was working together as a system, we would perform a simultaneous tracking test where a target was selected by BC van and electronically given to RC van and the tracking radars console operators in the van. This test ensured all tracking radars were accurately auto tracking together in range, azimuth, elevation and speed. This was then verified by the Computer in the BC van.
On this particular night I was the Acquisition Radar operator 16C/On the Job Training (OJT) 24P Acquisition Radar Mechanic in the BC van. For this particular simultaneous test, I selected a random target traveling in the direction of about 120 to 150 degrees in azimuth and at a range of 20-30 miles from our site and it had a good strong return signal from the Acquisition Radar and as displayed on the Planned Position Indicator (PPI) in the BC van. I passed the target (UFO) off to the BC van where TTR, TRR and MTR operators auto locked on to the UFO and started auto tracking it. At first it seemed to be a normal track, then it stopped in range and speed as shown on the tracking radars and verified by the Computer dials in the BC van. The UFO continued to showed a signal return (we called radar blip) on the PPI in the BC van. At this point it was challenged with the IFF. It did not respond to the challenge. Then the UFO started moving left and then right in azimuth within one or two PPI sweep revolutions. It showed no speed, very little change in elevation movement on the tracking radars and verified by the computer dials. The elevation was around 15 thousand feet. We reported the UFO to the Battalion Operations Center which I believe had us to go to Battle Stations, if memory serves me). When I realized that this was not a normal target but what I perceived to be an UFO, I turned on the Horizontal and Vertical Plotting Boards. The Horizontal Plotting Board showed the position of the tracked UFO, in azimuth and range as plotted by computer-controlled plot pens. The Vertical Plotting Board plotted the altitude of the target as well as the calculated time for missile interception should we be directed to fire. I also turned on the Multi-Channel Data Recorder (MCDR) which recorded data of the entire engagement for later analysis. The computer compared the position, course, altitude and speed of the UFO and in case we were directed to engage.
After moving right and left the UFO stopped moving all together and started to go up in elevation (altitude). It started slowly and then picked up speed. In the end it was going up so fast in elevation that the Computer dials were just zinging and the numbers printed on the dials looked like a blur. The tracking radars lost the UFO around somewhere around 100K feet and it was no longer displayed on the PPI. It took about 5-10 seconds to reach that altitude. After the event was over, the crew all agreed that it was probably a UFO. We had never experienced such an unexplained target before or after this event.
The next morning after our final 6 hour checks and adjustments and before we got off manning an Air Force Major (I think) and an Air Force Enlisted person showed up at the Interconnection building which provided entry to BC, RC and Maintenance vans. They asked and received the Plotting Board papers and the Event Recorder paper and they left the tact site.
In summary, we never heard anything about this event. This is why I am writing this paper after 52 years of wondering if our UFO event was documented somewhere and if not, I would like to submit this paper as proof that these events of that night on manning really happened as best as can recall. This UFO event can be independently verified by the on-duty crewmembers who witnessed the events above and as well documented by the Plotting Board papers and the Event Recorder paper taken by the Air Force.
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