This is the transcript of an interview between Kathy Smith and James Easton for ‘Pulsar Newsletter no.4’ 6/4/1999. Kathy is the wife of Randy D. Smith, a witness to events on the second night
In the past it’s been claimed that RAF Bentwaters held a ‘tactical nuclear weapons’ stockpile, a fact not acknowledged by the respective US and UK governments. Some 20 years later, there’s no obvious reason why that should remain a vital secret and as one former serviceman was on record as alleging that Bentwaters held the largest ‘NATO nuclear weapons dump’, I asked if this entire issue might now be clarified.
Randy’s wife, Kathy, provided considerable assistance in obtaining answers to what at times seemed an unreasonable amount of questions. Fortunately, she fully appreciated it was necessary to understand the context of this new evidence and her patience, diligence and knowledge of the issues were invaluable.
“Yes, of course there were small, ‘hot’, tactical nuclear weapons at Bentwaters, as used on an F-16, not large as used on B-52′s and B-1′s. However, Bentwaters probably had the least weapons, not the ‘largest NATO dump’ by any means. The WSA is the highest security area on the base. In a ‘hot’ nuclear area, you employ the two man concept throughout the entire area, no single person ever allowed around nukes”.
“The bunkers would look like small hills. They were covered with dirt and had grass growing on them sloped front to back. There were about 10 bunkers total, the two large on the ends and 8 all within the long middle section. All of these contained ‘hot’ nuclear weapons. This was Rand’s posted position that night”.
“Use of deadly force was authorised”.
“The bunkers on each end were defensive fighting positions. That was where Randy believes (98% positive) he was when Tsgt.[Technical-Sergeant] Clarence George, the area supervisor, approached him and asked if he wanted to go up in the tower. That was where you would take position if you were ever under attack, not where you’d ever be under normal conditions”.
“The bunker is the weapon storage facility itself, where the nukes are stored. It has thick steel, double doors, 2 high security padlocks, and the Munitions Maintenance Squadron were the ONLY people authorized to enter these structures. Up on top, the SP’s [Security Police] had a defensive fighting position – 2 short steel walls, with sandbags in between the walls. The only time anyone ever went up there was during an exercise to prepare for an attack. In case of an actual attack, you would follow the procedures practiced during the exercise. It was training or it was real, no gray areas. He knows they weren’t training that night. He has tried to recall why he was there that night but simply can’t”.
I pointed out that if his supervisor had found Randy in a defensive position, rather than inviting him to watch some ‘strange lights’, wouldn’t he first have enquired why Randy thought the WSA was under attack?
“Regarding the inability to recall what happened after Randy left the tower, and the less than 100% assuredness of being on the bunker when Tsgt. George invited him to the tower. What if he isn’t sure because it was after he left the tower that he took that position up on the bunker? Maybe at that point the area supervisor would have joined him at that location. He would be the one to be in charge of what actions to take if the WSA was penetrated”.
If Halt is correct and those ‘beams of light’ described on tape were being directed near the WSA, then it’s evident from the timing documented in Halt’s recording and Randy’s statement, that this occurred after Randy had left the observation tower.
Questioned about the exact timings, although realizing it was so long ago, Kathy provided more details:
“He believes he heard the radio traffic re. Ball crossing active, ‘around’ midnight, could have been as early as 11:30. He would have begun hearing about the light-alls having problems around 1:00am. He would have gone up in the tower between 1:50-2:00am. Stayed until 3:00-3:30, and doesn’t recall anything else, until riding bike home”.
We know from Halt’s crucial documentation that the most puzzling ‘aerial phenomena’ occurred between 0300 and 0330. If Randy and his colleagues were conceivably observing the same objects and aware of their evidently sudden, rapid departure, then during this time – 0300 to 0330 – Randy would have to be in the tower.
It looks like he possibly was and may have left directly after that ‘excitement’ had passed. Whilst it’s impossible to be certain about this, the timings are at least coincidentally close, perhaps surprisingly so if there’s no relationship.
Assuming Randy’s claims are accurate and two of the ‘objects’ being observed from the tower departed rapidly or were no longer visible, then as noted, we have people in the security tower who are experiencing similar misperceptions at around the same as Halt’s group, who were some two miles away. It’s something which might be further clarified if we had accounts from the dozen or so others who were in the tower. Asked for any additional information in this respect, Kathy cited:
“The tower operator was Sgt. Rick Bobo. Others that could possibly have been there were: Mike Dahl, Dan Grogul, Jim Gouge, Jim O’Farrell, Mike Christian, Mike Smith. The 15 men with clearance to be in the tower would be a vehicle searcher from the entry control point, the shift supervisor, tower operator, 8 in the alert fire team facility, and two 2-man patrols. The entry controller and the alarm monitor were the only 2 people in the area that could not leave their posts, as far as he knows, bringing the total to 17 people within the WSA”.
Asked for her own recollections, specifically if Randy confided details at the time of what he observed, Kathy related how Randy was visibly shaken when he returned home and
confirmed, “Yes, he told me the description of the crafts early in the morning following his shift”. Randy never considered his information to be all that important because so many saw the same thing from the tower and others had more rank and authority”.
James Easton forwarded an Ordnance survey map showing both bases and asked Randy if he would indicate on this where the WSA was, plus the direction of his observation. He has also provided a detailed sketch of the WSA, identifying where the objects were observed.
The three objects were in close proximity, as Kathy explained: “He said he could estimate the distance to the craft a bit more accurately if he KNEW how big the craft were up close and then compare to the apparent size due to distance. He obviously could not make that comparison. They could very well have been much closer, perhaps as close as 1-2 miles. It’s very difficult to judge distance due to so many unknown variables.
He states, ‘They weren’t real close, and they weren’t real far away’.
They shimmered like large bright stars to the naked eye. Randy directed the binoculars to the one on the far right, focused, and could immediately distinguish the triangular shaped craft with the bank of shimmery lights underneath. He got the impression of colors shimmering in the silvery white light. Then scanned slightly left and saw identical 2nd craft,
scanned further left and saw the 3rd identical craft. The 2 on the right were closer together than the one to the left. No two could be seen simultaneously. He spent at least 15 minutes scanning back and forth, they seemed to hold their positions in a ‘hover’. Passed the binoculars, next time around, not sure how much later, on 2nd turn, all 3 craft were still visible seemingly in the same positions. After several minutes, passed the binoculars to, perhaps, Rick Bobo, he was next to Randy, and he may have been the one to say, ‘WOW, they just TOOK OFF!’, implying with great speed”.
“Not sure what it was hovering over, his best guess would be the forest. He does not know if they showed up on radar or not, does not know if Lakenheath or Heathrow were called. Not aware of anything in the local or base press”.