Glowing red orbs dripping molten metal, giant cigar-shaped objects, and fully illuminated discs are among the descriptions of the unidentified flying objects that have been seen hovering over nuclear weapon sites for the last 65 years.

These seemingly sci-fi tales come from a group of retired airmen who spoke Monday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., recounting their testimonies in front of a group of journalists and alien aficionados.

UFO researcher Robert Hastings said witness testimony from more than 120 former or retired U.S. military personnel points to “an ongoing and sometimes alarming presence at nuclear weapons sites.”

“I believe – these gentlemen believe – that this planet is being visited by beings from another world, who, for whatever reason, have taken an interest in the nuclear arms race which began at the end of World War II,” said Hastings, noting that the last incident occurred as recently as 2003.

Seven of these individuals gathered together for the first time Monday to urge the U.S. government to come forward with the facts. Among these men was Airman 1st Class Patrick McDonough.

McDonough was stationed at Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1966 when, according to his signed affidavit, “a UFO came in from due north and stopped directly over the launch facility [of a Minuteman I missile].” The disc-shaped object hovered at an altitude of 300 feet for about 30 seconds before speeding off “at a tremendous speed … no noise or wind.”

He said incident reports were filed but ignored by brass. “It was like the incident had never happened,” he stated.

Talking in the succinct manner you’d expect from life-long military personnel, the airmen looked more like grandfathers than conspiracy theorists.

“This is real. It’s not science fiction. It’s not movie theater stuff,” Capt. Robert Salas told Discovery News.

While most of these encounters were reported as appearing like surveillance, in some instances, the UFOs actively engaged in tampering with missile systems.

Salas served nearly seven years active duty in the U.S. Air Force, including missile control at Montana’s Malstrom Air Force Base in 1967. One night Salas’ team reported strange lights making unusual maneuvers in the sky above the launch sites. At that point, alarms indicated that the missiles under their command had become disabled.

In another incident at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota in 1966, Hastings said, the launch countdowns of several missiles were activated just as a UFO was observed above the site, sending U.S. Air Force officials scrambling to override the command.

But for the airmen, these events are less “War of the Worlds” and more “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” the 1950s sci-fi classic in which an alien named Klaatu visits Earth to warn us about our penchant for violence and to refrain from taking our warring ways into space.

Hastings said that he doesn’t think this technology comes from another Earth-based civilization.

“If we or the Russians had that kind of craft since the 1950s, then why are we still spending money on fixed-wing aircraft?” Hastings asked. “The technology involved is far superior.”

His report also lists similar incidents at Soviet sites, including one in 1982 in the Ukraine when launch countdowns were activated for 15 seconds while a disc-shaped UFO hovered above the base, according to declassified KGB documents.

Captain Bruce Fenstermacher was a Minuteman III launch officer, also stationed at Warren Air Force Base, but in 1976, when he heard a call over the radio about a 60-foot UFO shaped like a “fat cigar” hovering above a launch site.

“As a serviceman who followed orders for 20 years, I have reservations about mentioning this incident,” said Fenstermacher. He said reading about testimonials like that of Salas and others helped him finally come forward.

“One of my concerns was that you all think I’m a kook,” he said. “And I’m old enough now that I don’t care anymore.”

From 1947 to 1969, the U.S. Air Force investigated UFOs under Project Blue Book. Of a total of 12,618 sightings reported, 701 remained “unidentified.”

The project concluded, however, that there was no evidence indicating that sightings categorized as ‘unidentified’ were extraterrestrial vehicles and that “no UFO reported, investigated and evaluated by the Air Force was ever an indication of threat to our national security.”

So are the aliens watching us or not? Are they friends or foes? To quote Klaatu: “The decision rests with you.”