The bizarre events that would unfold on the grounds of McChord Air Force Base in October 1972 in the state of Washington just south of Tacoma would perhaps be unbelievable to even the most ardent UFO and alien enthusiast if they didn’t come from the Air Force themselves from the files of Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI).
What is perhaps also interesting, after closing down the now infamous Project Blue Book investigations claiming there was nothing credible to UFO sightings and so ending the US Air Force’s interest in them at the end of 1969, the fact that AFOSI had files on such incidents showed this public stance to be false.
The report comes to us from alleged one-time AFOSI agent, Robert Collins, who would come forth with the account in 2001. And while it is likely that he would do so following the running out of a multi-decade official secrets clause (for example), the distinct lack of solid proof leads some to question the authenticity of the account.
That being said, there are certainly elements of the account that are very much in sympathy with other UFO and alien incidents on record.
A Standard Systems Check Turns Into Close Contact Incident
In the early afternoon hours of 14th October 1972, at around 1 pm, Airman First Class Steven Briggs and Airman Dennis Hillsgeck were making their way from McChord Air Force Base in Pierce County, Washington to the Tactical Air Navigational (TACAN) facility. The site was around eight miles from the base itself but still under the control of the United States government and, in turn, the US Air Force who were responsible for it.
The journey to the facility wasn’t a long one. Upon arriving, and after opening the strictly locked fence, they would enter the area before heading for the TACAN building itself. Once inside, and after performing all necessary security checks, the pair would carry out their preassigned systems checks of the TACAN facility.
The operation was running smoothly until around 2 pm when Briggs noticed a high-pitch sound coming from outside. He would later recall how it sounded similar to a small plane engine. However, as soon as he stepped outside came the realization that he wasn’t witnessing a small plane or any other type of conventional aircraft.
There in full sight, hovering over the top of the TACAN building was a “saucer-shaped object”. Furthermore, as he continued to watch, the began to descend to the ground, landing south of the main compound.
It was then that Briggs quickly stepped back inside the main building to alert Hillsgeck.
“Intruders” Attempting To Break The Boundary
After having composed himself mentally while inside, both Briggs and Hillsgeck were more than alarmed to see “two creatures” heading towards the fence which ran around the entire complex.
Once more, Briggs returned quickly inside the base, this time to alert base security and request backup. The person on the switchboard that afternoon was Sergeant David Holmes, who listened to Briggs state with alarm that, “intruders” were trying to enter the base.
A two-man unit received orders to attend the facility. Sergeant Dwight Reid and Airman First Class Michael Tash would arrive 17 minutes later. The scene around the compound was one of confusion and concern.
They would find Briggs and Hillsgeck both seemingly “in a daze” as they stood, almost aimlessly next to their vehicle. When the new arrivals to the scene asked the men what had happened neither of them could speak. Of more concern, however, was the burn marks on his face.
Reid examined the men further and made a request for a USAF Ambulance. Tash would begin to examine the surrounding area. He would discover strange markings in the soil, itself soft from the fall conditions.
Then, Reid’s voice rang out from behind him telling him to look up. He did so, and witnessed a saucer-shaped object, presumably the same that Briggs and Hillsgeck had witnessed. Reid would attempt to communicate further with the security police. However, his portable radio was essentially, dead.
Realizing all four of them were in potential danger, Reid would order Tash to help bundle the two dazed men into their vehicle before driving away from the scene with great urgency.
Six Shots At Close Range
Around a mile from the base Reid’s radio burst into life again. He would request further security police to attend the scene, which they duly did. One of these additional security police officers was Sergeant Darren Alexander along with Champ, his military dog, who would immediately head towards the TACAN compound to conduct a search. When they were around 400 yards from the base, however, Champ would begin to bark loudly.
When Alexander looked up he witnessed “two creatures” near one of the remote power stations around the complex. Unsure whether they would understand or not, Alexander called out for the strange figures to freeze and “raises their hands”.
Instead of doing so, though, they would begin walking towards him. He saw a strange device in one of the creature’s hands. Fearing it was a weapon he pressed down hard on the trigger of his revolver, firing six shots. He was unsure whether he had hit either of them or not. He returned to his vehicle to radio a report of the shots and to request further backup.
Security Alert Teams were swooping on the base within minutes. They would, with complete procession, search the base and the grounds. It was as they were conducting the operation when they suddenly noticed the saucer on the ground itself.
They would approach the craft cautiously, circling it slowly before reporting to their supervisor and awaiting further orders.
A Thorough Investigation Quickly Made Top-Secret!
Several moments later Captain Henry Stone would arrive at the base. The saucer-shaped object remained on the ground with the rest of his men, at a considerable distance, stood around it. Stone would take a step towards the object. However, when he got to a certain distance from it, the object would take off and disappear out of sight.
According to Collins, officials from the special investigations department would soon descend on the compound just outside McChord Air Force Base. They would gather molds, take pictures, and even take the shells from Alexander’s revolver.
They would also take full statements from all those involved. Then, following their investigation, they would label the incident “Top Secret”. One, officially unsolved but not to be spoken of or even acknowledged.
As we mentioned in our opening, there are many who cast doubt on Collins’ version of events. Despite his apparent connections to other whistleblowers such as Richard Doty, who as we have examined in previous articles, have, intentionally or not, seemingly become intertwined with disinformation.
However, as in other such cases, some of the smaller, seemingly trivial details would appear to be of importance in weighing up the credibility of the case. For example, radios mentioned in the report were claimed to be HT 220, which were most definitely produced just prior to the incident in 1969, meaning they were very likely to be used by the United States military.
Furthermore, the revolver used by Sergeant Alexander was an SW Model 15 .38 Revolver is also a detail that would check out with what the US military would have issued at the time.
Skepticism And Controlled Psyches
What should we make of the apparent battle with alien creatures at the compound near McChord Air Force Base? The skepticism of some aside, many details of the account ring true with others. Not least the apparently intense interest these creatures – whoever or whatever they might be – seemingly have in the military installations around the United States. And indeed, other similar military facilities around the world.
Collins has also appeared on the well-known and largely respected show Coast To Coast. Where he is described as “serving in the fields of Avionics, Ground Communication, Engineering Physics, and Intelligence”.
Furthermore, the account was a “legend” of those who would find themselves based at McChord Air Force Base. Even as far back as the late-1980s and early-1990s. Certainly before Collins went public with his account at the start of the twenty-first century. As we know, many legends, even urban legends of the modern age appear to have some grounding in truth. Might this also be the case with the apparent battle near McChord Air Force Base?
On the one hand, the account checks out with so many others, as we have examined above. And, given that the United States government has a long history of being economical with the truth concerning such matters. On the other, understandably, the lack of solid evidence or proof leads many to question the authenticity of such accounts.
That, however, is one of the ways, if we believe the conspiracies surrounding the UFO and alien question, how such dark and mysterious government departments keep the collective psyche doubting the authenticity of such accounts. As well as the entire circumstances surrounding such incidents involving UFO sightings.
Check out the video below which features Nick Pope discussing UFOs and the US Navy’s recent statements regarding the subject.