A summary of this incident was initially posted online by Roger Marsh, Communications Director for the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), and designated Case 60648. I sought and received permission to contact the witness.
On Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1982, U.S. Army Military Policeman (M.P.) Christopher Grooms was on guard duty in Tower 5 at the U.S. Army Special Weapons Depot at Kriegsfeld, a nuclear weapons storage and maintenance site in Rhineland-Palatinate, West Germany.
In his statement to MUFON, Grooms wrote,
I observed [for over 10 minutes] a very dark triangular-shaped craft fly from the southwest, over the valley, over the town of Gerbach, and directly over my watchtower flying in a [northeast] direction.
It was a natural occurrence to see military aircraft … during hours of daylight. I often observed A-10, F-4F, F-111 and OV-10 aircraft in the area and was quite familiar with all military aircraft of that era. It was a hobby for me to watch them and could easily identify aircraft by sight and often just by the noise of their engines.
This dark aircraft peaked my attention [sic] because it was flying very slowly and very straight. It was normal to see the aircraft … have some movement, however slight, on all three [axes] of movement. This unknown craft flew as if it were on rails—slow, steady, with no appreciable movement outside of the [northeast] direction of travel until it actually flew above me.
I would estimate that due to the height of my watchtower and the location of the Army depot on the highest hill in the area, and perched at the edge of the hill where I could observe the valley that stretched out in front of me, that I first saw the aircraft at least 15 km distant to me, possibly even further. It took at least 7 to 10 minutes for the craft to fly that distance until it was directly above me.
As it flew directly overhead, I stepped out onto the tower landing with M-16 in hand and looked straight up at this object. I could not identify its manufacture as any aircraft I had ever seen … I noticed a marked absence of noise of any kind at that moment.
I later thought of it as a type of tunnel vision, as I was concentrating so hard to identify the craft. The other notable event, that no aircraft could do, was as it flew directly over me. As it passed over, the craft rotated 360-degrees nose down. It pointed directly at me during this … rotation [and] ended up pointing in the same direction it had originally been pointing. I must also note that the aircraft at no time lost its forward momentum of travel while undergoing this maneuver. I had the overwhelming feeling that it was acknowledging my presence with this maneuver or was ‘checking me out’ as it did it.
The craft continued in the northeast direction and made a slight direction change to the north that would have taken it over another ‘non-nuclear’ depot just up the road.
Because of my security clearance and status under the personal reliability program I just buried the incident and didn’t report it to anyone. I can only presume the other Military Policemen in towers 2, 3 and 4 either suppressed their sighting of the aircraft, for the same reasons as I, or they did not observe the craft because they were asleep. It was not uncommon for guards to sleep in the towers. The morale of the unit was very low and the duties there were tedious and at time quite harsh.
I had long forgotten the incident until watching a program on the History Channel, when the sighting in Brussels was brought up … It has been many years but I am sure I could trace the flight path over a map of the area. The Army depot is still there. It has been converted into a windmill power station now.
I contacted Grooms via email—he still lives in Germany—and asked him to elaborate on a few points. I first asked, “What type of nuclear weapons were stored at the Kriegsfeld Army Depot?”
He responded, “The M.P.s were not given a definitive answer as to the exact types of weapons on a formal basis. We all knew, however, that we had some very antiquated weapons in storage dating back to the Korean War era, such as the Honest John missiles...North Point [as the depot was informally called] was unique in its character. It was not a battery or permanent storage area. It was the maintenance depot for the special weapons. They had to undergo scheduled maintenance just as any other type of weapon or system in the military. We often transported these special weapons throughout Germany.”
I asked, “Did the feeling you had, regarding someone in the craft looking at you, seem like a psychic impression—like some mental communication was occurring—or just a sense that someone had to have seen you when the nose of the craft was pointed in your direction?”
I also asked, “Similarly, did the tunnel vision that you report seem like an actual physical effect imposed upon you whereby your field of view was seemingly channeled into a very narrow area or, on the other hand, did it seem more like you were so focused on the object that all other visual objects faded into nothingness due to your intense concentration?”
Grooms responded, “It is very difficult to pin down the feeling I had as the craft passed overhead and ‘nosed down’ at me. I did feel not just tunnel vision but all of my senses seemed to focus only on the object. I no longer heard any of the ambient background noise of the area, I no longer felt the breeze or temperature. I had the distinct feeling that I was being observed or even studied. I did not raise my M-16 to an offensive position. My training would not allow that and for some unknown reason I really didn't feel threatened.”
He continued, “I was very startled when the craft pointed directly at me but I [also] felt a great sense of ‘stillness’. I really felt as if I were being acknowledged in some way for noticing the craft. I felt as if I were being observed just as thoroughly as I was observing the craft. I recall that I may have even noticed a slight change in atmosphere as the craft pointed at me; maybe like a very, very slight static aura were about me. As soon as the craft continued its rotation and was no longer pointing directly at me the tunnel vision and senses returned to normal. [It seemed] to me this could not have taken more than ten seconds or so.”
I asked, “Did you notice any unusual activity at the depot in the hours or days that followed: Routine procedures being disrupted by unexpected inspections of the weapons, interviews with the troops by your commander or other military or civilian personnel not familiar to you? Or any other unusual development?”
Grooms replied, “I did not notice anything out of the norm afterwards. This was the holiday season and many of the Ordinance personnel were on leave, along with much of the administration. M.P.s were not usually in the information loop as far as weapons maintenance was involved. Our only contact with the weapons was at times of transport or on some occasions when certain items were dismantled for maintenance. As far as I know, this incident went unreported to anyone. We were in an environment where to do so would have caused even more hardship.”
I asked, “So, there was absolutely no discussion of the incident by you with anyone else, even later on?”
He responded, “I did not discuss it with anyone because of the harsh environment that we all worked in. I was one—still being young at the time—to follow all the rules and not take risks. This did not lend itself to endearment with my ‘more seasoned’ comrades who routinely took chances and disobeyed rules. Alcoholism and drug abuse were rampant with very little to no morale in the 558th M.P. Company. North Point was known as the worst duty station that an M.P. could draw. I got it straight out of basic training.”
I asked, “What, in your opinion, did you see? In other words, was this an experimental aircraft, an alien spaceship, or some other type of craft? Or do you have no opinion?”
Grooms replied, “I do not believe this [was] an experimental aircraft, at least not anything of the norm of the early 1980s. There was no noise of any kind. The flight was too perfect in nature. The maneuver overhead was not of a type that any aircraft using an airfoil for lift could have accomplished. The craft emitted no light or reflection of any kind and I could not make out any surface detail. Honestly, if anything, it appeared to absorb light rather than reflect it. If it were experimental in nature, then why would it risk flying in full view of the public? Where is the craft now? It's been far too long for something of this nature to not have had profound repercussions on science, the military, and the civilian world by now.”
He continued, “Was it alien? Probably. I can't say where it was from. I am not closed-minded to the idea of [other] dimensions. Maybe it was from Earth, just not an Earth I am familiar with. I felt a definite intelligence behind it. It was controlled. I feel it acknowledged my presence and even gave me a quick ‘look over’.”
Finally, I asked, “Why did you decide to write to MUFON after all of these years? Yes, you saw a TV show that jogged your memory, but why did you feel compelled to tell someone about your own sighting?”
Grooms replied, “The reason I decided to report this case is a sense of security now. I am retired and am not under the [Uniform Code of Military Justice] and do not work for the [Department of Defense]. I have told some friends in the past about the incident but not in detail and usually just in passing conversation. I think with all the vastness of the universe that it would be foolish to believe that we are the only sentient beings in it. I think that mankind is becoming more accepting of these events and I believe that the more people who come forward with their incidents will only add credence to everything that has been reported to date. As a former [law enforcement] investigator, I always felt that more information is better than too little information. I would rather sift through the chaff than to sift through nothing at all. So I feel it is my duty to mankind to share my sighting.”