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Peace-minded aliens from outer space may be sabotaging American nuclear missiles in an effort to save the Earth from itself, a UFO researcher says.

Robert Hastings told a crowd of 250 at Weber State College that many former U.S. Air Force officers have reported malfunctions occurred on nuclear missiles after reported sightings of flying discs in the area.An advanced extraterrestrial civilization bent on preventing our planet's destruction in a nuclear holocaust would have little difficulty sabotaging the missiles, Hastings said.

Hastings' two-hour lecture and slide show also focused on alleged abductions by aliens, the sighting of a UFO by President Jimmy Carter and the suggestion the government is hiding alien ships and bodies that crashed in New Mexico.

"This may seem like science fiction or paranoid delusion . . . it is not," he said Thursday.

The theme of the convocation lecture was the United State's "policy of secrecy" regarding alleged UFO sightings the past 40 years, Hastings said.

While agencies like the Air Force try to debunk the allegations or dismiss them as "small meteors and swamp gas," they conduct large-scale studies on UFOs that they keep secret from the public, he said.

Many of those secret files recently were made available through the Freedom of Information Act, Hastings said. The documents show that so-called flying saucers "do exist (and) they are not American or Soviet secret weapons," he said.

One of the documents Hastings presented was a 1950 letter to FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover from an agent discussing the recovery of three flying saucers that crashed in New Mexico.

The ships were 50 feet in diameter and each contained three dead aliens who were three feet tall and wore metallic cloth, according to the letter.

But the assertion can't be verified today because all the names but Hoover's have been blacked out, Hastings said.

"The U.S. government publicly dismisses such allegations so it won't cause a stampede," he said.

Hastings said he first became involved with UFO studies when five unidentified objects appeared over a Montana Air Force Base where he was living in 1967. The objects hovered and conducted quick maneuvers over the area for 30 minutes before they zoomed away at speeds of 4,800 mph, he said.

Hastings called his presentation "grassroots public information" designed to show that such organizations as the Central Intelligence Agency are serious about investigating UFOs.