Dr. Robert Jacobs, a professor at Bradley University with a PhD in dramatic art from University of California Santa Barbara, started in television and film while still in college. Like many other USC students at the time, he worked at the major studios, including Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, MGM, and as a contract player for 20th Century Fox, where he had a speaking role in the award-winning film South Pacific (1958). After graduation, he worked for Disney as a cameraman/unit director on the quasi-documentary “true-life adventure” television series.
Just as his career was blooming, he was drafted into the armed forces, where he became a motion picture officer in the U.S. Air Force. He served five and a half years as a lieutenant, during which time he was involved in what is today known as the Big Sur UFO case. Early one morning in September 1964, an Atlas D Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) was launched from Vandenberg AFB, California, carrying an experimental enemy radar-defeating system and dummy nuclear warhead. As the warhead sped toward a targeted splash-down in the Pacific Ocean, it was approached by a disc-shaped UFO. The saucer chased and then circled the warhead; four bright flashes of light emanated from the craft whereupon the warhead fell into the ocean hundreds of miles short of its intended target.
Then Lt. (now Dr.) Robert Jacobs asserted that the entire encounter was captured on motion picture film. According to Jacobs, while the UFO’s maneuvers were readily discernable, minute details such as the craft’s shape were only discovered during an in-depth analysis conducted at Vandenberg. Dr. Jacob’s account of the Big Sur incident has been verified by other military personnel.
After his military service, Dr. Jacobs returned to Hollywood and worked as a writer, director, cameraman and editor on a number of small films, television programs and commercials. He has also produced three full-length feature films, and directed two of them and has written dozens of magazine and newspaper articles and stories, two trade books about television producing and one published novel. Among his collection of over twenty national and international awards for his work, he has one Emmy Award and seven Emmy nominations. Dr. Jacobs is currently working on his second and third novels.
Retired Air Force Captain David Schindele previously served as an ICBM Launch Control Officer for both the Atlas and Minuteman weapon systems, which were part of the U.S. nuclear deterrent force during the Cold War. Minuteman missiles still surround outlying areas around Minot AFB in North Dakota where he served, and they are still “on-alert” and ready to launch with an appropriate order. In 1966, he was involved in a UFO incident that took ten of those missiles “off alert,” causing them to become unlaunchable. This was a highly significant event, but not the only one that occurred during this time. Captain Schindele was sternly instructed, “As far as you are concerned, it never happened.”
For decades after his unearthly experience at Minot, he maintained the secret of his experience as instructed, but that changed in 2001 after learning that retired Air Force Captain Robert Salas had an almost identical experience. Shindele was contacted in 2010 by UFO researcher Robert Hastings, and in May 2013, he and Robert Salas spoke at The Citizen Hearing on Disclosure in Washington, D.C., where they testified before six former members of Congress. Schindele is also featured in Hastings’ documentary UFOs and Nukes: The Secret Link Revealed.
Schindele grew up in Seattle, WA, and attended Washington State University where he received a B.S. in physical science in 1963. He then entered the Air Force, attended Officer Training School, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in February 1964. He was stationed at Fairchild AFB in Washington State and assigned to the 567th Strategic Missile Squadron as an Atlas E Launch Control Officer. He was on duty at Site 7 when the last Atlas missile was taken off alert status in June 1965. He was transferred to Minot AFB and assigned to the 742nd Strategic Missile Squadron with the Minuteman system.
In May 1968, Schindele was hired by Hamilton Standard in Connecticut as a senior experimental engineer on a project to develop an environmental system for the Air Force Manned Orbiting Laboratory, which the government later cancelled. He then worked briefly on final development of astronaut back packs that astronauts subsequently wore on the moon. Schindele then settled into a 32-year career as a computer systems analyst, retiring in 2002.