By Ed Komarek
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My blog: http://exopolitics.blogspot.com/
Here is a case that fell though the cracks, that I had forgotten about for years. I just found it recently when going through old files. Apparently I did not give it much attention at the time because it came to me anonymously through the mail about the time Operation Right To Know was getting a lot of national media attention in the early 1990s. I am feeling a bit guilty that I apparently blew this very detailed case off at the time. I guess it is better late than never. Reading it now, it is obvious that if this very detailed story is true, somebody took a very great risk in sending it to me. Maybe it is the best that the story only comes out now because back in the early 1990's whoever wrote this would be in much greater trouble than today.
This is the kind of case that disturbs me greatly. Its cases such as these that appear to me to be flat out unadulterated, premeditated murder, involving a great many people in the US government. This along with other alien abuse cases prompted me to write my Crimes Against Aliens article that can be found at my blog site. Hopefully some serious researcher will take a little trouble to see if the names in the article are real, and if so, see if somebody involved will confirm the report. I had to type this whole story in by hand so I hope folks find value in this story. The report follows:
It was the night of May 23/24, 1974 at the height of the "Cold War". The men of the 4th Platoon, Bravo Company, B Battalion, 2nd Regiment of the 32nd Air Defense Command of the United States Army were deployed in a mountain pass northeast of Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. They were only a few kilometers from Landstuhl - a man-made mountain Adolph Hitler had created to protect his underground bunker/headquarters. Landstuhl was still in use in 1974 connected by an underground trolley to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) at Ramstein Air Force Base. The men were also very close to a multi-storied German Government Brothel.
First Lieutenant Robert Cardeni of Long Beach, CA was the 4th Platoon Leader and Captain Michael J. Shestak was commanding Bravo Company.
The men were all weary because they had been on this special duty for 10 days alternating every 72 hours with other units. Half of the men would be on duty while the other half slept. They alternated this pattern every 4 hours during their 72 hours of on-duty regimen.
These soldiers had been told the special duty was because the Russians and/or Warsaw Pact forces had been messing around trying out the Western Air defenses. This was a common tactic of both the NATO and Warsaw Pact alliances. Each would send aircraft into each others airspace to see how quickly the radar sites would come on, where they were located, and on what frequencies they were operating and how quickly the other side's fighter aircraft would intercept them. Usually the American forces would achieve missile and gun lockons on the hostile aircraft to scare them and armed American fighters would intercept the "hostiles" and give them the alternative of being escorted home or being shot down.
Up until that point in the "Cold War", the Western response had always been to scare and turn around. But now there seemed to be a big difference as the urgency of the mission was impressed upon the men and the fact that they brought live ammunition for the cannons and live Chaparral Antiaircraft Missiles.
In this eventful night, two Chaparral Missile emplacements were deployed in the valley not far from the whorehouse. The missile sites were linked by field telephones to observers on the mountainside.
Lieutenant Cardeni gave orders to the crews of the Vulcan 20 Millimeter Cannons to load canisters of live high explosive phosphorus rounds into their cannons and to maintain a steady alert. These orders were given about midnight local time.
The Vulcan Cannons had the capability of firing 2000 rounds a minute through their six rotating barrels at a kill and accuracy range of up to 6000 meters.
On the north side of the pass at about the 1050 foot level the Vulcan Cannon emplacement was manned by Specialist Houston "Tex" Thomas from Indio, CA. "Tex" was a big, jovial black man.
About 4000 meters south, the Vulcan Cannons across the pass at about the 850 foot level were manned by Private William Langdon from West Seneca, NY, the top gunner in the 4th Squad. Bill was of Quaker ancestry and was an enigma for not claiming "Conscientious Objector" status.
About 12:45 AM, Lieutenant Cardeni gave orders that something hostile was incoming and that the gunners were to shoot down anything coming through the pass. He stated that no "friendlies" would be flying below 2700 feet and anything else was to be shot down.
At that point, "Bill" Langdon suddenly came in touch with his Quaker upbringing, left his cannon and went back to awaken his squad leader, Aaron Yonts, from the San Francisco Bay Area of California. Langdon refused to shoot down anything with someone in it.
The Private said his piece and climbed into one of the auxiliary vehicles and went to sleep while Sgt. Yonts shook himself awake and climbed into the Vulcan Cannon and began adjusting his eyesight to the bright moonlight. Yonts then got on his radio and confirmed that Lt. Cardeni had indeed issued orders to shoot down anything flying under 2700 feet of altitude.
About 1:00 AM local German Time, Sgt. Yonts had his chance as something came down the valley headed for the pass. He described it as a flattened ellipsoid with rounded edges, about 30 feet long, and glowing with a silvery iridescence. He said it was moving at a rapid speed that was impossible to judge accurately as it was apparently trying to be evasive by zigzagging side to side.
It took a few seconds for Sgt. Yonts's Cannon's computer and Doppler radar to calculate a precise speed, range, and direction of travel and to achieve a lockon. When the cannon was locked onto the object and he was visually sighting the object through the reticule gun-sights he began firing. First a few rounds for effect and then three four second bursts of 110 rounds each into the side of the object which was at about eye level.
Sgt. Yonts was almost eye level with the object as he watched his rounds pouring into its sides. He was expecting to see the "blooming flower" effect of the phosphorus rounds exploding but he did not, although he could clearly follow the trail of his shots pouring into the side of the object. "It was as if the shells were being absorbed or being vaporized at the explosion by some sort of "force field"., Yonts said. Yonts' perception was that the rounds were going into invisible tubes that contained the detonations, so that he saw only pie-tin sized explosions but not phosphorus "blooming" that he expected. this was quite a remarkable containment of shells having a 35 meter kill radius.
Sergeant Yonts could observe "Tex" Thomas shooting down on the object from the higher elevation across the pass and he noted that Tex's rounds were trailing the object missing it.
At the same time as the shooting was going on, on the mountainside, Sergeant William McCracken from Pittsburgh, KS was inside the launch control console of a Chaparral Missile Battery in the valley was rotating his console according to directions supplied by his uphill observer (the operator in the launch console could not see out at night because of the reflections on the Plexiglas's bubble from the instruments on his control panel). Up until that point, McCracken had not painted anything on his radar screen. When he had rotated to the 10 o'clock position (a heading of about 300 degrees), Sgt. McCracken saw a green light flashing on his console and heard a warbling tone indicating an infra-red signature lockon. After tuning adjustments, the sergeant pushed the "launch" button and a bright fire ignited on one of the launch rails as a Chaparral Antiaircraft Missile streaked skyward.
The missile climbed to about 900 feet (near the minimum operating altitude of the missile), found the flying object, moved along side of it, turned close in front of it, and detonated its 75 pounds of high explosives warhead. (The Chaparral, designed to bring down conventional aircraft with cockpits near the front. always moved to the front of a target before detonating so as to potentially kill the pilots and disable a plane's engines by shutting off their air.)
The gunners and observers on the two mountain sides, missile crews in the valley, and anyone else not currently known about, saw the target start wobbling and then stop forward motion and finally wobble downward to the valley floor in what the observers believe was a controlled descent.
The cannon and missile crews were ordered to immediately drive their artillery back to the Ramstein Air Force Base Motor Pool which was highly unusual because the artillery was normally stored in its own area for rapid reuse if needed. The crews were also told not to take time to pick up their expended brass - also highly unusual. The crews were told to quickly get the cannons and missile launchers to the motor pool and go right to bed and not to talk to each other about the incident and they would have the next day off.
As the crews were packing, they noticed Air Force Personnel moving into the valley to secure the crash (or landing?) site.
As is expected when someone is ordered not to talk about something, the men couldn't wait to talk about what they had seen once they got back to the barracks. Specialist Thomas swore he was shooting at a MIG-25 and Sergeant Yonts held fast that it was not an airplane at all and neither could the other. Sergeant McCracken from the Chaparral mount said that for all the saw he could have shot down the Oscar Meyer "Wiener Wagon".
At the same time as the American Soldiers were shooting at something in Germany, other events were set in motion in the United States. Major Mike Andrews, from Silver Spring, MD, had spent a week on ready alert duty at McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, while his C141 Starlifter sat nearby, serviced and preflighted daily. The major was awaiting orders that would send him and his crew winging off to they knew not where. Now this was unusual because a transport like the C141 was not exactly a B52 bomber.
About 2025 hours (8:25 PM EDT), 1:45 in Germany, Major Andrews' waiting was over as he was handed typed orders. Quickly gathering together his crew, checking the weather, and filing a flight plan. Major Andrews and his crew were airborne at 2100 and flying South Southwest About 2200, they landed at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. They were met by an Air Force Brigadier general and a 50ish civilian bearing CIA identification.
Major Andrews was given sparse details of what was about to be his mission and was told he would be taking aboard air force personnel who would be arriving soon from Wright Patterson and Nellis Air Force Bases and that neither he nor any of his crew were to talk to any of the airmen they would be flying to Germany.
Shortly afterward, 26 airmen from Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Ohio arrived carrying large cases of equipment. As they boarded the C141, Major Andrews noted that the airmen were all sergeants of one grade or another and that they all wore blue berets and white ascots and were armed, not with traditional .45 caliber automatic service sidearms, but with ivory handled revolvers. Major Andrews was told that the officers had flown on direct to Germany in a faster jet. About a half hour later a jet arrived from Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, carrying 6 officers who were going along. They were waiting only for a helicopter from Aberdeen Army Proving Facility, Maryland that was bringing the last 3 passengers.
About 2300 (11 PM EDT) three army officers from the Army Vulnerability Assessment Laboratory in Alamogordo, New Mexico arrived by helicopter from Aberdeen, Maryland. At 23:30, Major Andrews was airborne and soon was winging over the dark waters of the Atlantic Ocean carrying a strange group of passengers to Germany for he knew not what.
At 1030 German time, Major Andrews landed his C141 Starlifter at Ramstein Air Force Base in Southwestern Germany only about an hour's drive from Belgium. The disembarking passengers were met by a delegation of ranking air force officers including a few generals.
The men of Bravo Company had been told they would have Friday, May 24, 1974 off to catch up on their sleep. they were a little edgy when they were awakened before noon for a "debriefing".
The soldiers who had a direct active part in the mission less than 12 hours earlier met individually with the debriefers. The first debriefing was handled by the three officers from the Vulnerability Assessment laboratory in Alamogordo, NM. they wanted minute specific details about every phase of the operation from what kind of shells were being used to opinions on what type of damage was being done to the target.
The debriefings continued the rest of Friday afternoon and Saturday morning by groups of Air Force Officers. One central theme was repeated over and over to the debriefees: "You weren't up there, nothing happened, and don't ever talk about this to anyone."
The men were warned that if they ever told anyone about what they imagined had happened that they would never work for the government or any government contractors and warned of unspecified dire things that would happen to them should they ever talk. They were told that in following years people would question them about the night and these people would be testing them to see if they would divulge any details and if they did, "Too Bad". Then the men were required to sigh a security oath to never divulge the details of the night and if questioned in the future to deny it ever happened.
The men of Bravo Company felt confused and very irritable for about a week after the incident. The soldiers noted that they did not recognize any of the Air Force officers who debriefed them and they felt that although the officers were all in uniform they did not act like military. The debriefees felt that they were being questioned by civilians in air force uniforms.
More questions are raised about the incident than can be currently answered. Why had the men been on alert in Germany for a week and a half at the same time as a C141 crew was kept on alert in New Jersey for over a week?
Why was the object not picked up on the control tower radar at Ramstein Air force nor by the Chaparral Missile launcher? Was it because both used radio frequency radar whereas the Vulcan Cannons used Doppler radar?
Why would the Army and air force risk showing secret wartime defense emplacements to an incoming MIG?
What could have totally fried the IFF receiver on the Chaparral Missile? (All NATO aircraft then and today carry radio transmitters that emit a specific signal on a specific frequency. Other friendly aircraft and defense emplacements are fitted with IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) receivers that interrupt firing mechanisms on the guns or missiles from firing at each other.)
Why was it that when the soldiers of Bravo Company first saw their weapons systems at the tactical site a few days later, everything had been overhauled and cleaned? Sergeant Yonts' and Tex Thomas' Vulcan Cannons had been totally cleaned and the multiple barrels had been replaced so as no one could tell they had been fired. Sgt McCracken's Chaparral system was cleaned up and the burned up IFF unit replaced.
The official explanation for the incident was that a firepower demonstration was being conducted. But why would live ammunition be used in just a demonstration? Why would live ammunition and missiles be used near a civilian populated area?
Why was a first lieutenant the only officer at the scene? It is obvious that a first lieutenant did not have the authority to order firing live ordinance in peacetime.
Why had the army's chain of command been short circuited, and who gave Lieutenant Cardeni the orders to fire?
Perhaps the answers can be partially found on the afternoon of Saturday, May 25, 1974. Major Andrews and his crew were told to report to their aircraft which was then at a remote spot on the air base.
Major Andrews was shocked to see that a set of metal supports had been constructed on the wings and fuselage of his Starlifter and that something large and ellipsoid had been attached to the supports. Whatever it was was covered with olive drab green canvas tarpaulins with dangling ropes. The airmen returning to the US were already on board the plane.
Mike Andrews noted, when he prepared for takeoff that he had only a minimal fuel load aboard because of the weight on top of his bird. A motorized tractor called a "mule" towed the aircraft to a runway turn on position accompanied by armored security police vehicles with flashing red lights.
Once clearance for takeoff was obtained, the tarpaulins were pulled away and Major Andrews began his takeoff roll. His fuel supply dwindled rapidly as they took off with the heavy load. When they had achieved cruising altitude, a KC-135 was waiting to refuel the C141 with a much larger fuel load.
Major Andrews' orders were that he was not to land until he reached Wright Patterson Air force Base in Ohio and that he would be met by refueling tankers at strategic points across the Atlantic.
It was dark in Ohio when Major Andrews landed to disembark the airmen - all but 4 who were to remain aboard and who then were carrying M16 rifles in addition to their sidearms. The pilots and crew of the C141 were not allowed out of the plane while on the ground and they did not refuel.
Taking off again with a minimal fuel load, the were once again met at altitude by another KC135 tanker and flew on direct to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada where the crew was once again not allowed outside the aircraft as their wing-top cargo was offloaded and taken away again covered completely.
Upon returning to McGuire air Force Base, Major Andrews and his crew were debriefed by an Air force Colonel who told them they had just participated in a highly classified mission and they were never to talk about it to anyone.
For eighteen years they did not nor did the soldiers of Bravo Company.