- This afternoon I spoke with a Marine Corp. Major with
NORAD and the United States Space Command, Major Mike Snyder. Major Snyder
is a command spokesman for both NORAD and the US Space Command. He was
reached through the Peterson Air Force Base operator at 719-556-7321,
- When asked about the event taking place near Washington
D.C. on Friday morning, July 26, 2002, Major Snyder said that he could
handle some brief questions. Although he was unfamiliar with specific details
such as the exact time NORAD detect the unidentified aircraft, he said
that he knew the object was tracked by radar. When asked if the radar detection
was from more than one radar sensor, he said "I don't know."
Major Snyder was not aware of any other method of detection employed by
NORAD in this instance, such as pilot, tower controller or satellite observation
- He was not briefed on the estimated location of the object
when first detected and would not disclose the estimated speed or altitude
of the object when first detected, saying only that it met the criteria
of a 'small private aircraft.'
- Major Mike Snyder was not aware of any video or photographic
documentation of the unidentified aircraft.
- "Keeping things at the NORAD level," Major
Snyder said, "this was a track of interest. It was viewed as a reasonable
security precaution to ascertain the intentions of the track and implement
a graduated response."
- Major Snyder said that in extreme circumstances, such
a response may include use of lethal force.
- "It never entered restricted DC airspace,"
Major Synder said while refusing to comment further about what point the
radar track ultimately raised concerns.
- Major Snyder did not think that the Secret Service was
alerted to the situation at any point.
- "NORAD is absolutely not concerned about this situation,"
Major Snyder said. "We posture our forces according to the threat
and at no time did this incident involve any threat to our country. It
was an innocuous happening."
- When asked if NORAD was aware of civilian sightings of
a UFO before, simultaneous or after their detection of the unidentified
aircraft, Major Snyder said: "I don't have any info on that."
- Major Snyder was also asked if he felt the civilian sightings
of a UFO were correlated to the jet dispatch or if the news media had drawn
an inappropriate linkage. "I don't have any opinion on it, but since
911 we've been operating 23,000 sorties and many of these missions will
generate requests for info," he said, "and whenever people see
something since 911 they call the media. The media calls us and word gets
- When asked if he could recall the first news media operation
to contact him regarding the story, he said: "I can't recall. All
the big names have been calling though."
- When asked for his opinion on the discrepancy between
civilian reports of the jets in pursuit of a UFO and pilot claims to have
seen nothing, Major Snyder said: "People see what they want to see.
What these people reported could have been exhaust from the jet itself,
depending on whether or not the pilot was on or off afterburners. We don't
think it was a UFO."
- When Major Snyder was asked if there was an explanation
for the unidentified radar track, he said: "In this situation we found
nothing at all. The radar return may have been caused by a small plane
flying low, and sometimes that will cause them to drop on or off the radar."
- Major Snyder was asked of a Washington Post report that
states the radar return 'faded' from sight, and he said: "I don't
have any info on this. But it's not uncommon for either routine or unidentified
radar returns to fade. Sometimes a plane will simply come down and land
on a small airport in the area or on a grassy strip."
- The Command Spokesman was then asked if he could inform
of a location, speed and altitude the object was last observed, and he
said: "I cannot get into this with any specificity."
- Our discussion then focused on the dispatch of the ANG
jets of the 113th Fighter Group out of Andrews Air Force Base and he suggested
that I consult with ANG public affairs in this regard. I inquired if the
radar returns of the responding fighter jets were visible simultaneous
to the radar observation of the unidentified object and he said: "You
know, I don't know the answer to that. It's a good question. I don't know
if the jets appeared simultaneous on radar with the object but would not
be certain if that information is even releasable due to operational policy."
- Major Snyder went on to add that there are many issues
of operational policy and readiness that can't be discussed for security
reasons. He was thanked for his time and I asked that he research the radar
issue concerning the simultaneous track of the jets and the unidentified
aircraft and that I would call him back next week for follow up.
- Filed, Saturday July 27, 2002 KENNY YOUNG
- UFO Research http://home.fuse.net/ufo