Sergeant (Ret.) Dyson A. Devine's United States Air Force witness testimony as provided to the Disclosure Project


I am prepared to swear under oath that what I state here is true to the best of my recollection. 

After some background context, I relate what I was told the unofficial procedure was by the USAF when dealing with radio recordings pertaining to UFO encounters, and the consequences of defiance of these procedures by personnel involved. 

I enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1968, and after about a year of training in the States, I was employed as an air traffic control radar technician in Europe until I was relieved of active duty in 1972. I elected not to return to the U.S. and migrated to Australia. After my required two subsequent years as a "ready reservist" I was honourably discharged in 1974. I became a naturalised Australian citizen in 1977. 

I served for about three years with the Air Force Communications Service (AFCS) in Detachment 9 of the 2063rd Communications Squadron. I was stationed at Echterdingen Airfield, which was on the other side of the single runway that we shared with Stuttgart civil airport. I was a sergeant. 

It was my responsibility to maintain and repair an MPN -13 search and precision Ground Controlled Approach (G.C.A.) radar unit positioned very close to the edge of the runway, at least a mile from our barracks. The "M" designates that we were a mobile unit, consisting of a main operating van and a back up van (for our spare sub-units) that were ganged together as wheeled units that could be towed. We provided support for the Stuttgart based U.S. Army Headquarters in Europe, but our ancient radar unit was already technically redundant due to the introduction of Instrument Landing Systems (I.L.S), so we had very little military traffic and we primarily served as an aid to training and as an emergency resource for the occasional light civilian aircraft lost in the fog. My two to four fellow specialists and I took great pride in our work and were formally recognised for the very high technical quality of our old unit. 

In all but the first part of my tour of duty there I worked as the only rostered on repairman, doing a 24-hour straight shift from 0800 to 0800. I usually had the company of at least two radar operators who initially worked days only, but eventually were rostered swing shifts until 2300 hrs. For the most part the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, with plenty of time for bored career operators to tell their war stories. Apart from the aforementioned units, we had another trailer which we repairmen used as a maintenance van, and there was a fourth trailer, known as the creature comfort van, which is where the operators and occasional ground power crew stayed when they were not required elsewhere. 

I did not believe in flying saucers, and attributed the regular appearance of large, crisp, single sweep returns on my search scope as inexplicable random intermittent electronic artefacts of the hardware, which we repairmen naturally had no desire to call anyone’s attention to. We never spoke about it, even to each other. One other reason that I could not imagine that a real object could be providing such a return, aside from the fact that I never remember seeing more than one at a time (one sweep of the radar beam) was that they were invariably very large and crisp. Sometimes a big aircraft can show a slightly asymmetrical blip, caused by - for instance - a large tail assembly, but these were always wonderfully uniform, as if reflecting off a large radially symmetrical metal object. I never tried to establish a pattern, but with the benefit of hindsight, I believe their occurrence became more common as the war escalated and our airfield became much busier. 

One particularly quiet evening, apropos of nothing much in particular, I innocently asked the three on duty radar operators, "What is all this stuff about UFOs anyway?" I was at least as surprised by the reaction I got, as they appeared to be by my question. The atmosphere instantly turned icy, and nobody moved a muscle except long-serving Master Sergeant Graham, who simply slowly and wordlessly got to his feet and left the van without looking at me to go out and sit in the radar unit. After some more gentle prodding from me, Technical Sgt. Green started to tell me about the de facto standardised USAF procedure for dealing with this matter. The other operator, whose name escapes me, initially objected to Sgt. Green telling me anything, but gave up and ignored us, not being drawn into the conversation. 

Sgt. Green proceeded to outline in great detail how the record of these incidents were erased from official scrutiny, and why. 

Radar operators, unlike technicians, were not tested and selected for intelligence, but they naturally had to be very down-to-earth and dependable individuals. Because they had a disproportionately large responsibility for the S.O.B.s (souls on board) the aircraft they were "talking down" to the runway, they were the only "ground-pounders" that I knew of who also received flight pay. I believe this accounted for about a third of their salary, and they also were apparently entitled to many of the other perquisites allocated to flight personnel like better services, etc. 

Sgt Green told me when there was a radio conversation regarding a UFO contact among the pilot/flight-crew members, the GCA unit, and/or the Control Tower, and/or Base Operations, that once the incident had ended, by unspoken agreement the reel of two inch wide, slow moving audio tape within the GCA unit which recorded all radio communication would be removed by the operator, bulk erased, and replaced. This is grossly improper behaviour, but even though they were located in my van these magnetic tapes were not part of my responsibility.

When I asked why this was done, I was simply told that that was how it was because the Air Force doesn‘t believe in flying saucers. I asked what would happen if the operator insisted that he would not break the written rules and continued to insist on the truth. The sergeants acted surprised that I could even imagine such a thing. 

Sgt. Green seemed to be very familiar with the procedure, as if it were common knowledge in his speciality. He explained that the first thing that would happen is an immediate removal from regular duty and a loss of flight pay and all associated benefits. Given that most Non-commissioned Officers had families to support and their expenditures equalled their income, that was a powerful deterrent. I kept asking, "But what if he stood his ground?" I was informed that then the operator would be told what he could expect, and might be given a chance to change his mind, but the implication was that the damage would have already been done. 

Since UFOs don’t exist, the operator could only be hallucinating. A hallucinating radar operator is intolerable, and would minimally be given another career, and certainly an unsavoury and probably very dangerous one. This was at the height of the war in Viet Nam. Naturally, a full-time series of strict psychiatric examinations and medical tests would ensue, and it was made clear to me that all necessary action would be brought to bear in order to satisfactorily resolve the situation. I got the impression that there would be no hesitation to use powerful psychogenic drugs if that was what was necessary. I got the message, loud and clear, and I had been given far more food for though than I could comfortably digest. I never spoke about what I was told that night to anyone until many years later.




This yellowed snapshot taken by me from the window of my radar maintenance van on June 30th, 1970 shows my beloved first car, with the abovementioned "creature comfort van" on the right and the steps to the radar power van just visible in the lower left corner. In the distance is the village of Bernhausen, and it was in that direction that many of the UFOs appeared on my 200 mile radius search radar scopes.
Here are some more faded photos from that era of my life.



Left: a veiw of the radar unit I worked on. Right: another I took from the roof of the radio van. Note passenger jet on runway.


Left: a veiw into the radar van from within the power van. Right: a couple of comrades in the "creature comfort" van (standby area).


Below: this is a schematic of one of the many radar components I used to work on. It looked very complicated before I learned how it all worked.

Old electronics technicians can get sentimental about things like this. This was a dual trace synchroscope. A wonderful diagnostic tool.

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