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As we close out another year and hope for the best in 2011, retired Air Force staff sergeant Bill Smith looks forward to resuming his teaching gig at one of Columbia (Mo.) College’s 34 nationwide campuses. Smith, an adjunct professor from Arlington, Tex., covers topics as diverse as ethics and philosophy, sociology and criminal justice. But his wide-angle interest is in social change, due in part to what he calls his “unique experience.”

On the early morning of October 24, 1968, following several weeks of watching strange lights maneuver across the night skies of above a nuclear missile base in Minot, N.D., Smith got an expanded world view. A mobile “camper team” unit reported UFO activity near a launch control facility designated Oscar-6. Smith took a look for himself, saw the reported “large glowing object,” and phoned it in to security control with the 91st Strategic Missile Wing.

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