Micah Hanks' new post - on a 1984 UFO encounter in the seas of Chile - makes me realize even more that when seeking the truth behind the UFO phenomenon, perhaps we should be looking under the oceans, rather than into the skies. Or maybe both. Whatever the case, there is an undeniably huge body of data on record of UFOs seen hovering, and flying, over the oceans and/or coming out of them. Here's just a couple of many examples from my files...
Nineteen sixty-six saw an unusual event occur at Pasajes, Northern Spain that caught the attention of the British Ministry of Defense. From a radio officer attached to the S.S. Patrick M. Rotterdam, came the following: "Perhaps the following will be of some interest to you or Jodrell Bank. Whilst at Anchor at Pasajes, North Spain on 22 April at 2100 Bst in a very clear sky, one of the crew noticed a bright patch in the sky and drew my attention to it. It appeared stationary and squarish, the area being about 4 times the size of a full moon. Several of the crew watched, being interested and of course at anchor, there is very little to do.
"The patch elongated and became brighter and to our amazement a complete ring, similar to pictures of flying saucers, bright and distinct with dark centre. For several minutes this object remained visible then returned to a patch, receding elongated again. Then it branched out to form a letter M. When the ring was clear it was about [the] same size as a full moon. We know it was not the moon because the moon was in another quadrant and lying on back at [the] same time. The patch receded away into distance. I can assure you none of us were drunk."
In this particular case, a conventional explanation seems unlikely. Fortunately for the MoD, as the sighting had occurred outside of the confines of the United Kingdom, it was deemed that no investigation was necessary. Moving on, but still on matters of a sea-based nature...
Throughout the course of 1971, the Ministry of Defense, by its own admittance, received almost four hundred UFO reports – a figure that remained unsurpassed until 1977. There are indications, however, that it was not just the MoD that was undertaking investigations into unidentified aerial activity during that year.
It was shortly after midnight on a Saturday night in August 1971, and a couple in a car on the cliff-top at Joss Bay, Broadstairs, Kent, had a close encounter of a kind that they certainly did not anticipate when they drove to the site. According to Keith Young and his girlfriend Linda Catt, the first thing that struck them as being odd was a "glowing red ball" that could be seen over the deep waters of the English Channel and that was moving "at great speed" in their direction.
According to Young: "A huge glowing ball suddenly appeared from the direction of the sea. It seemed to be making straight for us. It seemed to be only a few feet away when there was an explosion. It was a miracle that nobody was hurt." Indeed, local residents stated, the explosion was heard at a distance of no less than three miles.
Interestingly, according to the Kentish Express newspaper, a host of official bodies took note of what occurred: Kent police officers got involved; the coast-guard launched an inquiry into shipping activity at the time; and the Royal Air Force checked for any possible aircraft movements. All drew a blank.
"In view of the mysterious nature of the incident we can only log it as an unidentified flying object," said a police spokesperson. But, in this case, there was another player too: the Atomic Energy Authority at Harwell. Further information obtained by the Kentish Express revealed that the Atomic Energy Authority was launching "a full scale investigation" that would possibly involve scientists from the Harwell facility inspecting the scene of the encounter.
To what specific extent Harwell played a role in this particular episode is still to this day unclear; however, the newspaper learned further that in the days that followed the mysterious event, Atomic Energy Authority personnel "were busy collecting statements from eye-witnesses" in the vicinity.
The tone of the article suggested that the object might have been some form of rare natural phenomenon (although it should be noted that the AEA had ruled out lightning as the cause). What was perhaps the most illuminating aspect of this case, however, was that the Kentish Express discovered that the AEA had in its employ "officers with special responsibility" who were mandated to conduct such investigations.
This, of course, raises an important question: how many more incidents of a UFO/sea-connected nature was the Atomic Energy Authority involved in? One? Ten? A hundred? The possibilities – and the implications – are endless. More significantly, these are just two of many reports I have on file of what I call "sea-based saucer sightings". Perhaps we really have been looking in all the wrong places all these years...