That was the allegation based on eyewitness testimony of several former Air Force officers who came together Monday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to tell their remarkable stories and to urge the government to finally make this information available to the public.
Co-host of the news conference, author and researcher Robert Hastings, told AOL News, "The purpose of the press conference was to draw worldwide media attention to the reality of UFO incursions at nuclear weapons sites, which have been going on since the 1940s."
"The documents that have been declassified through the Freedom of Information Act and the witness testimony from over 120 former or retired military people who I've interviewed conclusively proves that UFOs are interested in our nuclear weapons, and have not only monitored them decade after decade but have, on occasion, tampered with them, have temporarily activated missiles and have shut down missiles on a number of other occasions -- some pretty dramatic stuff," Hastings said.
"We simply think that the public's right to know the facts trumps military secrecy and so, we're attempting to bring these very credible witnesses -- persons who had experiences at missile sites, at weapons storage areas -- to tell their stories."
One former Air Force officer on hand in Washington was Col. Charles Halt, who, in December 1980, was the deputy base commander at joint British/American airbases, Bentwaters and Woodbridge, in the Rendlesham Forest in England. Over the course of several nights, UFO activity was high at the base, including reports of unidentified objects near the nuclear weapons storage area.
On one evening, Halt was summoned into the forest near the base to investigate a UFO sighting.
"There was a glow in the forest near indentations from where a supposed object had rested two nights before," Halt told AOL News.
"So we went into the forest, and we were examining things, and suddenly, we saw something. We looked out in the farmer's field and there was this almost elliptical object with a black center. It appeared to be winking, is the best way I can describe it, and it was dripping, like, molten metal off it, just like it was shedding something.
"It wasn't perfectly round, it was a little bit flattened, and it moved from side to side, then it came into the forest, moving through the trees, avoiding the trees, it bobbed up and down a bit in the process, and at one point, it actually approached us."
Halt, understandably, became concerned with this chain of events, trying to determine a rational explanation.
"I was thinking ball lightning, what could this be? And then it receded back out into the farmer's field, and suddenly, it just silently exploded into five white objects and they disappeared."
But as Halt would shortly discover, the UFO encounter was far from over.
"Across the road, we stumbled through a creek, got all wet and went out into the plowed field, just looking around, and we looked in the sky and there were objects in the sky -- several to the north and several to the south.
"The ones in the north changed from elliptical to round and had multi-colored lights that were blinking and flashing. They moved at very high speed and sharp angular movements, as though they were doing a grid search or something."
"One of them approached us at very high speed -- I'd say it was at 2,000 to 4,000 feet in altitude, and it came almost directly overhead and sent down the equivalent of a laser beam -- it's the best I can describe it. It did not go like a light beam and fan out; it came straight down, maybe 8 or 10 inches in diameter, and fell just 8 or 10 feet from our feet.
"We stood there in awe, you know, 'Is this a warning, is this a signal, is this a communication? What is this? A weapon?' And just as suddenly as it appeared, it disappeared, and the object moved back away from us a bit, and while we were standing there, then we noticed another object over the Woodbridge base, sending down the equivalent of similar beams."
Whatever it was that appeared in the skies over Bentwaters-Woodbridge in December 1980, Hall points out, wasn't just seen by several Air Force personnel.
"I found out later that British radar had actually picked up some things on a screen -- I didn't know this until recently, because people had come forward after they'd retired. There were two radar confirmations."
Hastings says that reported UFO incursions on nuclear weapons sites haven't been limited to American facilities; Russia has had its own similar cases.
"We know from declassified KGB files that the same thing was going on in the former Soviet Union. As recently as this past June, a major Russian newspaper, Life, reopened a UFO incident at a nuclear missile site -- the same kind of thing happened that has been described by U.S. military sources:
"A saucer hovers over a missile site, suddenly missiles are temporarily activated, everybody's horrified while trying to figure out what to do, and then, seconds later, everything returns to normal. That happened on Oct. 4, 1982, in the Soviet Ukraine."
One key element in UFO testimony is the question of why more military or scientific voices haven't come forward in the past to discuss the possibility of UFO reality. Halt has a simple, straightforward answer.
"Because it's a career killer," he said. "I tried to keep it all quiet and quite frankly, at the time it happened, I really didn't want any publicity, didn't want to be involved in it. Hey, I was coming up for promotion, and this was not a positive thing. My boss wanted nothing to do with it; he kept it at arm's length."
What did Halt and the other former Air Force officers at Monday's news conference conclude about the UFO events they separately experienced during their service careers?
"This was something of intelligent control beyond any technology we know. It's my firm belief that it was extraterrestrial or from a different dimension."
And how does Halt feel about allegations that the Air Force has engaged in a specific routine of disinformation regarding UFO reports?
"How do you kill a story better than making it so ridiculous that everybody laughs when they hear it? And I can tell you, the military has it down to a science."
But a big question still remains: If it's true that some UFOs may not be from our earthly neighborhood, why would the military want to keep all of this a secret?
"Well, that's a good question," Halt said. "The only thing I can think of is they're afraid that the public couldn't handle it. Or that we may have some type of contact."
And why did Halt agree to join with other Air Force colleagues in Washington to put themselves on the line and talk about possible alien UFOs?
"I'd like to get the truth out there, that we push people a little further to true disclosure. Is that going to happen? Probably not, but this might be another step."