Among the many, many UFO reports floating around out there, some of the more amazing are those that have been witnessed by trained military personnel. Even weirder still is when such unidentified objects are of incredible dimensions and seem to have physical effects on the witnesses. Out over the vast expanses of oceans of our world there have been numerous encounters with something very large and very strange, and which have served to cause physical effects on the ones who have seen them.
In the November 1981 issue of the Flying Saucer Review there is a curious case that was sent in a letter directly to the magazine by a witness who claims that she had had a very odd and terrifying experience out over the ocean with a massive, cigar-shaped unidentified object. The unnamed witness claims that at the time she had been working for NATO as an English language secretary based in Paris, and was aboard an Air Canada DC-8 aircraft on a military sanctioned mission with a party of fifty NATO personnel who were en route From Paris to Canada for the NATO Ministerial Meetings in Ottawa. At the time, the plane was deep over the Atlantic Ocean and the witness was in a window seat looking out enjoying the view of sky when something very strange and very large caught her attention. She describes it this way:
I was just reaching down to take a book from my hold-all, and was astonished to glimpse below the ‘plane something dark and absolutely tremendous that stood out in vivid contrast to the brightness all around. I could not believe my eyes. I pressed close to the window in unbelief and there, almost beneath the DC-8, was a gigantic dark grey ‘torpedo’. It seemed menacing and frightening, and I had the impression that it was stationary. It was utterly unlike anything that I had ever seen in my whole life. It looked as though made of steel. No portholes or windows were visible. No wings or projections. Nothing but the long perfect torpedo form, with its bullet-shaped head, and the rear end which was cut off sharply and squarely. The monster – and I emphasize that it was this terrifying size that impressed me – was well below us. I thought maybe 2,000 meters or so below us, but of course I had no way of being able to gauge this or to estimate the size of the thing. I looked down again quickly at the monster, and saw that a swathe of tiny clouds was beginning to pass over it, though it remained visible through them for a few seconds before being lost to my sight.
The sighting greatly disturbed the witness, but when she looked around the other passengers on the mostly empty flight were either asleep or lost in their books or thoughts, so it did not seem as if anyone else had seen that behemoth in the sky. At the time, she decided not to mention it, afraid that no one would believe her and that she would be ridiculed. The witness at the time had no real knowledge of the UFO phenomenon, and was rather confused and frustrated, but years later she would read several books on the subject that convinced her that she was not crazy. She would also begin to link what she had seen with a more frightening aspect of her experience that had happened after she had seen the object. She says of this:
After my glimpse of the monster ‘torpedo,’ I sat there brooding on it for half an hour or so, as I recall, when suddenly the DC- 8 started to shudder and pitch up and down violently, nosing steeply upwards, then steeply downwards, and this went on for a long, long time. I might explain that I had often encountered turbulence and ‘air-pockets’ when travelling by airplane, but it had never been anything remotely like this. This was as though we were in a gigantic lift that was shooting up and down madly. And, as though that was not enough, there now came a succession of reports like cannon-fire or thunder, filling the cabin.
Meanwhile the plane continued to shudder and ‘buck’ violently, and each time it came down I had the sensation that it was going to break in half. Throughout all this, everybody in the passenger’s cabin sat there petrified, absolutely silent, white-faced. After a while of this, I felt such panic that I rushed up front in search of a stewardess, and shouting “What’s going on? I’m scared!” I lifted a curtain in front of what seemed to be a sleeping-berth, and found a stewardess lying on the bed there, her hands covering her eyes as though she were weeping. She gave no response to my shouts, and all around there was total silence still, apart from the sound of the engines, overlaid by the repeated ‘claps of thunder’ and the continued bucking up and down of the plane.
I went back to my seat, and suddenly found myself bathed in perspiration. Every pore in my body seemed to be hard at work. And yet I noticed that the light dress I was wearing was still completely dry. A second time, I ran forward to the stewardesses’ quarters but there was nobody there. I hammered on the door leading to the cockpit, and shouted again, asking what was happening, as I was scared to death. The other stewardess came out and looked at me as though I were an idiot, and for a while said nothing. Then, calmly, she announced ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, do not be alarmed: the cabin is being depressurized.’ Shortly afterwards, the Captain was heard to make the same announcement.
Although at the time she had not put the two events together, upon learning more about UFOs she said that she was fairly convinced that they were intimately connected. Additionally, she expresses suspicion that the crew may have even been trying to cover something up about the incident. She explains:
I should like very much to know whether all that I have just described, about the violent behaviour of the aircraft and the loud reports, is explicable as being due to the process of ‘depressurization’ and, if so, what are the circumstances that are likely to have made it necessary for such alarming and drastic steps to be taken? Is this sort of thing usual and normal – as the calm behaviour of the second-mentioned stewardess seemed to indicate? And why, in that case, had the other stewardess – as it seemed – been weeping? Was this simply because she, like all the rest of us, found the turbulence just a bit too alarming? ‘Or is it possible that she was still suffering from shock after seeing the gigantic ‘torpedo’? It certainly would be interesting to know the answers to these questions.
As for the plane’s crew, there was only the one stewardess who seemed upset. What is certain is that the pilots up in the nacelle certainly would have had abundant time in which to see the ‘cigar,’ as it cut slightly diagonally across their route from their port side and well below them. No explanation or comment whatsoever about the ‘cigar’ was given by the Captain or any other crew member, and no statement was made by the authorities when we landed in Canada. We were flying under NATO auspices and in that sense we were under military control. In such circumstances it would not be surprising if the cockpit crew and the stewardesses were less forthcoming about a UFO than perhaps they might have been, were it an ordinary passenger flight.
What was going on here? Another case involving a similarly enormous craft that had physical effects on a military vessel allegedly occurred on July 2, 1971, rather fittingly in the Bermuda Triangle, southeast of Florida. On this day, the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, USS John F. Kennedy CVA-67 was returning to Norfolk, Virginia after completing a two-week operational readiness exercise in the Caribbean, where they were to take some leave time before heading off for duty in the Mediterranean for six months. This main witness in this account, who reported it to the National UFO Reporting Centre, was at the time assigned to the communications centre monitoring teletypes printing the Fleet Broadcasts. On this evening at around 8:30 p.m., his equipment suddenly began going haywire, after which he soon learned that all communications on the ship were malfunctioning. Soon after this, there was someone shouting that something was hovering over the ship, and when he went up with some other personnel they saw something their training had never prepared them for. The witness would say:
As we looked up, we saw a large, glowing sphere. Well, it seemed large, however, there was no point of reference. That is to say if the sphere were low; say 100 feet above the ship, then it would have been about two to three hundred feet in diameter. If it said 500 feet about the ship then it would have been larger. At arm’s length it was the size of a beach ball. It made no sound that I could hear. The light coming from it wasn’t too bright, about half of what the sun would be. It pulsated from yellow to orange slowly. We didn’t get to look at for more than about 20 seconds because General Quarters (Battle stations) was sounding and the Communication Officer was in the passageway telling us to get back into the Comm Centre. We returned and stayed there (that was out battle station). We didn’t have much to do because all the communication was still out.
After about 20 minutes, the teletypes started printing correctly again. We stayed at General Quarters for about another hour, then secured. I didn’t see or hear of any messages going out about the incident. Over the next few hours, I talked to a good friend that was in CIC (combat information centre) who was a radar operator. He told me that all the radar screens were just glowing during the time of the incident. I also talked to a guy I knew that worked on the Navigational Bridge. He told me that none of the compasses were working and that the medics had to sedate a boatswain’s mate that was a lookout on the signal bridge. I figured this was the one yelling it was God. It was ironic that of the 5,000 men on a carrier, that only a handful actually saw this phenomenon. This was due to the fact that flight Ops had just be completed a short time before this all started and all the flight deck personnel were below resting. It should be noted that there are very few places where you can go to be out in the open air aboard a carrier.
He would soon after learn that not only the communications equipment, but many other pieces of equipment on board, including even aircraft had ceased to function when the mysterious object had been looming there. Even more ominously, it would also seem that there were “men in trench coats” soon aboard interviewing witnesses on what they had seen and that there was an air of secrecy about the whole thing. The witness would explain of all of this:
From what I could learn, virtually all electronic components stopped functioning during the 20 minutes or so that whatever it hovered over the ship. The two Ready CAPs (Combat Air Patrol), which were two F-4 Phantoms that are always ready to be launched, would not start. I heard from the scuttlebutt (slang – rumour mill) that three or four “men in trench coats” had landed, and were interviewing the personnel that had seen this phenomenon. I was never interviewed, maybe because no one knew that I had seen it. A few days later, as we were approaching Norfolk, the Commanding and Executive Officers came on the closed-circuit TV system that we had. They did this regularly to address the crew and pass on information. During this particular session, the Captain told us how well we did on the ORE and about our upcoming deployment to the Mediterranean. At the very end of his spiel, he said “I would like to remind the crew that certain events that take place aboard a Naval Combatant Ship, are classified and are not to be discussed with anyone without a need to know”. This was all the official word I ever received or heard of the incident.
An account that involves an even more gargantuan craft purportedly occurred on October 24, 1989, with a report made by a sailor aboard the Naval submarine USS Memphis (SSN-698), operating out of Cape Canaveral, Florida. At the time they were on Special Assignments protecting the Space Program, on patrol about 150 miles of the Florida coast when the submarine began experiencing a deluge of technical problems. Numerous electronics systems were going haywire, communications were totally shut down, tanks were blowing out of control, navigation ability was lost, and even the controls in the reactor were on the fritz. It was a very dangerous situation, and so they surfaced and went to diesel engines. The witness says of what happened next:
It was raining and the entire sky was red like a red neon sign. I saw a large inverted V-shaped UFO off the port side. The executive officer told me to stand fast and he would speak to the captain. In a minute, the captain appeared on the tower and asked me for a distance to the craft. The laser range finder determined the closest point was 200 meters, and the farthest point was 1,000 meters off the port. The UFO was not perpendicular to our ship but at about a 45′ angle.
This huge vessel was over a half-mile across. The UFO made a half-circle around our ship then passed across the stern causing our electronics systems to go crazy. We had permanent damage in communications and the sonar room. As the craft flew over the stern, I could see the rain stop under its red glow. The water seemed to rise almost afoot as the UFO passed over silently. When the UFO finished its swing across the stern it paused – the sky got brighter red and it simply moved off at tremendous speed inside 15 seconds. When the UFO left, our boat returned to normal with the exception of the radio and sonar. We did a quick system check and the captain ordered us to return to reactor power and get underway.
He then explains that after they reached port they were pulled aside by their superiors and put into what he calls “protective custody.” The atmosphere was apparently very intense, and they proceeded to be told the “official story” and that they should not talk about what they had seen. The witness would say of this:
We reached port in about 7 hours where I was taken into “protective custody.” Two enlisted men and I agreed we had witnessed a real UFO. I was the one who shot it with a laser range finder, so I was the only one that had its exact sizes. I shot that vessel as it hovered and I got solid readings, not spotty like I would on debris. We were in holding for about three hours when an officer from the Air Force arrived and gave us a line of bull about an exploding weather satellite. The Navy then transferred virtually everyone on the crew to new assignments. This included the captain, the executive officer and the entire crew. They were split up which almost never happens unless one of them gets a promotion or a new command, neither of which happened.
It seems to be a pattern that such incidents are swept under the carpet, only adding to the eerie vibe of such cases. What was going on in any of these cases? Are there these massive craft roaming about over the oceans of our world? What are they trying to say with these physical effects they have put forth? It is hard to say, and these remain a very curious corner of the UFO phenomenon indeed.