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On Tuesday, August 5, 1997, Capt. Drew Sullins, of the Maryland Air National Guard was interviewed by Kenny Young of T.A.S.K. regarding the March 13th Arizona UFO reports.
YOUNG: Thanks for taking time from your busy schedule to talk this afternoon about Project Snowbird and the flare droppings over Arizona that generated some attention. One of the things I want to discuss is the TIME DELAY in announcing the explanation for this event, which was a duration of almost 4 to 5 months. Is there any reason to your knowledge for this delay?
SULLINS: Yes there is, and I don't think people are going to believe it, but it's the truth... it's a simple miscommunication. Apparently when the military in Phoenix was first approached, they looked at their flight logs, which are kept in two separate categories called "RESIDENT" and "VISITING" logs. These logs chart all of the incoming or outgoing air traffic. When the first inquiries of this went out, DAVIS-MONTHAN didn't check the visiting flight logs. The Public Affairs Officer down there called the people at operations who kept the flight logs, and they said, "we didn't have anything up that day." After several months, Captain Eileen Bienz was told by someone, and I can't remember who, that there was a project called Snowbird, which was an Air National Guard 'Op.' Bienz didn't have information on Snowbird, because Arizona units don't participate in it. Snowbird is an operation run during the winter when they take A.N.G. units located in the northern U.S. When it snows and the weather gets bad, they fly their units out there for a couple of weeks and train during the winter because the weather for flying is so good. Bienz put two and two together and checked the visiting flight logs, and sure enough it was discovered that there was an Air National Guard unit flying around.
YOUNG: So the miscommunication was due to Davis-Monthan?
SULLINS: Yeah, it wasn't on my part. Captain Bienz called me up and told me the whole story, just a couple of weeks ago and first I ever heard of it, and said, 'now can you confirm these things?' So I called our Ops guys of the 175th Wing & 104th Fighter Squadron, and they were able to confirm for me that they were flying that night in that area and dropping flares. The information was not held, as soon as we got it together it was released.
YOUNG: Why had the pilots in this unit, knowing they did this, not come forth in the hours after the publicity to announce the proper explanation?
Originally posted by Gazrok
While I am a firm believer that Snowbird does indeed resolve the 10pm event and videos...there still exists the strange sightings of an 8pm encounter that are NOT acknowledged to be flares, but which comprise the majority of the triangular craft sightings...
This can even be confirmed by official reports to NUFORC, which occurred prior to the Snowbird flight, so even with flares explaining the video taped event, we're still stuck with the mystery of what people were seeing hours earlier, and over a larger part of Arizona than just Phoenix....
Originally posted by jritzmann
reply to post by Frank Warren
Nice write up-and confirms what I've been told by MD National Guard as well.
However, with Lynn Kitei out there pumping the lights at every conference and TV show ya see, I fear this will fall upon deaf ears. I know I encountered flat-out rage from some over it.
And thats correct, it does nothing to diminish the structured craft seen earlier. For me it suggests the drop was meant to confuse the issue.
Originally posted by ZOOMER
I am really amazed at this flare business. Why would anyone,
including the Military, drop flares over the top of a city and suburbs
that contain 6 million or so people? Especially in the state of Arizona
where you can't even light off a sparkler over the 4th. of July.
And what do these supposed flares accomplish? A pretty light in the sky
to amaze the pilgrims? This flare business is totally nuts, at least to me.
Originally posted by ZOOMER
Good day Mr. Warren:
I really have read a ton of stories about all of this, so it isn't as if
I am uninformed or misinformed about it. The truth is, there is so
much being bantered about, that I can't decide what to believe. And
I assume, that is exactly the way the PTB want it. I am not saying
one way or another, as I can't possibly have too much to say about
it, except I have 3 children who live in the Phoenix area, and they
don't even know what to think about it.
Thanks for your reply.
It was obvious that Capt. Sullins was knowledgeable about the flight operations of the Maryland A.N.G. and familiar with the flare maneuvers.
He had clearly handled several of these questions previously, and had also indicated that he interviewed several of the pilots involved. He may have been briefed on how to handle these inquiries, as much of what he said was strikingly similar to comments made to me by a captain from the 178th Fighter Group and 162nd Fighter Squadron Flying Unit Fighter Operations division from Springfield Air National Guard base after a separate but identical incident happened in Southern Ohio on March 26. I found Sullins to be courteous and very professional.
However, I am uncomfortable by the fact that the pilots of the eight aircraft responsible, or the other airman involved in the unit operations of the 175th Wing & 104th Fighter Squadron, would supposedly have 'not heard' of the March 13th debacle involving UFOs over Arizona. I cannot fathom that these persons would not "do the right thing" and put the matter to rest as abruptly as possible.