by Joseph Foster
EDITOR’S NOTE: A witness came forward recently – formerly with the U.S. Coast Guard – to detail a 1969 UFO incident that occurred while his ship was on station providing radio navigation data for ships and aircraft near Japan. I also included two sidebars – one that lists other anomalous events in his life; and the second gives a more detailed description of his location at the time of the UFO sighting. Case 54584 is told in his own words.
Approximately Lat 34.00N / Long 165.00E -visual sightings - 44’ above sea level.
Sighting consisted of visual and radar contact of three bright white lights flying in a triangular formation from northeast to southwest. Speed corroborated at between 3,200 and 3,500 mph (radar and visual). Sighting took place during midwatch shift change with approximately 20 people involved between bridge and CIC and radio.
Objects consisted of triangular pattern of bright white lights flying with the single point in front flanked to the rear by the remaining two lights.
Weather was a typical clear South Pacific night. Temperature approximately 70 degrees, clear skies with little if any discernible cloud cover. Horizon to horizon was covered with stars against a jet black background. There was only a slight breeze. The swells were less than one foot and seemed almost lake like.
Ship was on-station providing radio navigation data for ships and aircraft. On-station consisted of staying within a 10 square mile grid and transmitting which grid coordinates were appropriate. Ship was capable of helicopter operations and we carried a doctor and had a fully equipped emergency operating room. We actually stayed on location for 20 days and took another 25 for going to and returning from OSV.
This sighting took place 45 years ago. The event including personnel in CIC (oncoming and off going shifts), the Bridge (oncoming and off going shifts), the Captain and Radio Officer for a total of perhaps 20 people. No debriefing provided. In July 1969 I pulled my first Ocean Station Victor patrol. It was during this patrol that Apollo 11 took place. The weather (I cannot remember the actual date) was clear and mild. There was no cloud cover and weather and sea conditions were perfect and comfortable. The sighting took place during shift change (I was on the ongoing shift so the time was approximately 23:45 (11:45 p.m.)
The shifts consisted of one OOD, one QMOC, and four other bridge watch standers. The off-going shift consisted of the same. Also on the bridge was the skipper (senior Captain - O6) in the Coast Guard - Master Mariner. While going through the correct procedures for assuming shift responsibilities the bridge was “squawked” by CIC (Combat Information Center) by our air search radar operator who reported that there were “targets” closing on the ship and that there were three targets approaching out of the northeasterly direction and a course heading of southwest. Speed was reported incredulously as being approximately 3,500 mph.
Having been given the vector, everyone on the bridge ran out to the Starboard bridge wing (ship had a heading of roughly north) which put that wing facing the oncoming targets coming out of the northeast. The targets were picked up roughly on the horizon and viewed as they flew directly over the ship during which time most of the personnel on the bridge headed through the bridge to the Port in order to see the targets (three bright white lights) disappear on the horizon. Because of the height of the bridge wings (44 feet above the waterline) by using ing some spherical trig, the speed was able to be determined (3,200 mph), again radar had it at 3,500 mph). After the sighting, it was determined that a sitrep (Situation Report) be submitted via protocol which was done by the ship’s Radio Officer (Mr. Curry).The report after being duly completed was sent to the radio shack where it was I assume encrypted and transmitted.
Anecdotal sidebar comment
After I returned from Vietnam, I was sent to Fleet Training Group - Pearl Harbor, where I attended three months of Quartermaster A school and Signalman A schools. I stayed in the old barracks on Ford Island (complete with the bullet holes from December 7th, 1941) and during my time off I played tennis with a Navy yoeman who worked at an operation known as FICPAC (Fleet Intelligence Central Pacific). I told him of my experiences while in the Coast Guard, specifically the sighting mentioned above. He listened to the story and then laughed! The reason that he was laughing was because he said that the Navy received over a thousand such reports just from U.S. Navy (and Coast Guard) vessels every year. He said that they have reports such as mine but also objects taking off out of the ocean, entering into the ocean and other strange sightings. This again was late 1970.
Since my time in the service and my time working for FBI Tech Services (data-center ops), soon afterwards I ran a data center for Merrill Lynch where we cleared the first government security for the parent company ML & Co. directly with the Federal Reserve Bank of NY (historical first since the Great Depression). I was part of a support cell evaluating new technologies for the digital force during TFXXI during which time I spent several months in the Mojave Desert (Fort Irwin, CA) helping test, develop and deploy these new technologies. I was also an IT Project Manager (end to end) for AT&T whereas we brought in the largest quarterly release in the history of AT&T. This project was 13,000 person weeks of effort and at a cost of $40M. Then I worked for defense contractors in business development and program management for the DoD as a technology project manager and program manager.
In 2007, as a program manager I worked for a company called MTC Technologies (soon to be acquired within two years by BAE Systems) that was then headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, and serviced primarily the AF contracts including AFRL etc. My President and Chief Operations Officer at this time was Col. Mark Brown (USAF ret). Mark was also an astronaut who had two shuttle missions to his credit. The most interesting was STS-48 on which he served as the Mission Specialist. During my tenure (and his) with MTC, I was the program manager for pursuing a multi-billion dollar ID/IQ Dept of the Army contract. As part of my duties I assembled a team of over 70 defense contractors and just prior to pursuing this contract I ran a kickoff event or conference at which all of the teammates were invited for two days. I had Mark as my keynote speaker during the main event. However, because of negotiations with a large defense contractor (we were being bought and negotiations were ongoing) Mark had to leave the event early in order to catch a flight for these critical discussions.
I offered to give him a ride to Newark Airport and during that ride knowing that he was part of the STS-48 crew, I asked him what he thought about my 1969 reported sighting. He thought and threw out the only thing he could think of (at least what he could discuss I assume) and that was a Marine Spy satellite program originating from Vandenberg AFB. This program, according to Mark, launched simultaneously three satellites that would have replicated a southwesterly course. However, when we looked again at the sighting date (July 1969), he said that couldn’t have been the cause because the spy satellites were much later in the 1970s. Lastly I asked him candidly about STS-48 and he said that because he was the Mission Specialist, he was asked by mission control to grab the still camera that they had on-board and try to get a picture of the “objects” as they approached from a certain direction. He said that the speed was so great that he could not even see the objects approaching, let alone take pictures. He said that he could not say what the objects were, only that they were not frozen droplets of condensation as NASA maintained.
After discussing this sighting with the Yeoman from FICPAC in 1970 and Mark Brown several years ago, I must confess that this has all of the earmarks of a legitimate documented (albeit under wraps) sighting. According to the Navy Yeoman, this one of many reports that the Navy was receiving back in those early days. What were these objects? You could not tell from either radar or visual, however, enough data emerged that should confirm the validity of the phenomenon.
Coast Guard ship location and mission detailed
EDITOR’S NOTE: The witness provided more information about where his ship was located and its mission.
All Ocean Stations including OSV were located in international waters, Ocean Station Victor being one of several Ocean Stations manned year round by the U.S. Coast Guard (back then anyway). Ocean Stations were located in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and in the case of OSV, it was in proximity to the year round shipping and air lanes connecting the U.S. to Japan. As I said, there were several other OS's that provided the same services for traffic to and from Europe.
Our mission was to provide navigational assistance to transoceanic traffic as well as acting as an emergency way station for medical and other emergency assistance that may have been required. We also provided pertinent intel relating to U.S. National Security, hence the use of reporting procedures as mentioned in my report.
OSV being located roughly halfway between Midway Island and Japan approximately 34.0N by 165.0E, consisted of a 10-mile by 10-mile grid broken down into one nautical mile segments, each with its own unique identifier. Each segment represented a grid designation that when the ship was in that grid, it broadcast that location via radio beacon. This way ships and aircraft could get a fix on our beacon thus help with their navigation and to provide a point to intersect us if they needed assistance. In addition, we had sophisticated air search radar to aid in navigation but also to provide picket ship-like service for National Security purposes. Even though Loran A and C (the B-52’s used Loran D) were widely used both by the military as well as the commercial sector, an additional navigational aid was provided by the Coast Guard for emergency purposes such as shipboard medical emergencies etc. in addition.
OSV is located in international waters and has been a critical function provided by the Coast Guard since the late 1940’s through the 1970’s when it was discontinued. In the Pacific Ocean we also had OSN (located between Hawaii and the mainland USA.) In the Atlantic you had primarily Ocean Station Bravo (in the North Atlantic). There were others as well in both the Atlantic as well as Pacific.
Coast Guard witness details anomalous life events
EDITOR’S NOTE: The witness provided a list of other anomalous events in his life, including the UFO event detailed in the main story, that impacted his life.
1. 1950-1: East Hampton, Long Island, NY - Visitation-like experience - parents bedroom, caricature of small creature - grotesque clown’s head on lobster body - on my crib railing.
2. 1953-4: Bridge Hampton, Long Island, NY - sighting while at a drive-in movie with parents and sister - Extremely bright, zigzagging white light in direction of Brookhaven, National Labs.
3. 1960: Colts Neck, NJ (Dorbrook Farm) - While living on this farm (my father was a farmer) approximately 10 people witnessed a daylight, shiny silver sphere with red and white blinking lights all around it slowly making its way to the main ammunition storage facility approximately two miles away (nukes were stored there at the time - even though never acknowledged). Object followed Normandy Road (Navy road) from Leonardo Navy pier to Colts Neck Naval Ammunition Depot (NAD) Earle (now known as Naval Weapon Station - NWS Earle) - date and time of sighting approximate: mid July, 1960, around dusk (after sundown but as light as day). Weather was clear with 20-25 percent cloud cover. Note: Dorbrook farm (now Dorbrook Park) is only located about two miles from Fort Monmouth as well as about two miles from Earle. It is also about six miles away from the original Bell Labs located in Holmdel, NJ.
4. July 1969 - Ocean Station Victor – U.S. Coast Guard (CGC Mellon - WHEC717) - this was a radar and visual sighting - reported via prescribed procedures (JANAPS). See main story.
5. May 1970 - Operation Market Time, U.S. Coast Guard (CGC Mellon - WHEC717) - While at anchor several miles off RVN southeastern coast - swim call - large dark shape (approximately 100-foot-long by 30-feet-wide, depth, approximately 25 feet - duration of sighting 15 seconds (bridge watch and shark guard). Sea conditions choppy, cloud cover approximate 30 percent, wind 10 knots out of the east (from recollection).
6. June 1970 - Enroute Honolulu at end of Westpac Deployment - location approximately one day’s sail from Guam, several hundred miles north of Eniwetok Island - Daylight Mercury colored sphere - estimated 100 feet in diameter. Flying approximately 500 feet in altitude, course reciprocal to that of ship (we were great circling back to Honolulu from Guam). Myself (Quartermaster of the Watch), my chief QMC Harten, the OOD (officer of the Deck) and my ship’s Captain - (Otis Abney) were on the Starboard Bridge wing shooting morning stars (one-half hour before sunrise) when the object approached us on a reciprocal course dead on heading in the opposite direction. Estimated speed (visual) approximately 100 mph, altitude, approximately 500 feet. Sea conditions calm, cloud cover 15-20 percent (cumulus), temperature approximately 70 degrees, slight westerly wind (per recollection). Duration of sighting, 25 seconds (passed ship on Port side), we were on Starboard, masts and stacks obscured vision (we resumed at the captain’s order shooting morning stars) - no report filed, captain watched for 20 seconds, shrugged his shoulders and resumed using the sextant. No log entries made.
7. 1971 - While still in the USCG and stationed at COMLANT area, Governor’s Island, NYC, NY - while living at home between shifts. - Entity appeared in my bedroom at 3:05 a.m. - manifested as a soft glowing ball of hazy light.
Apparition appeared in upper corner of bedroom where wall, ceiling and closet door met. I was fully awake because of my odd rotating shift. I was shift supervisor for AMVER (Automated Merchant Vessel Emergency Reporting system). Utilizing what for then were state-of-the-art computer systems and comms, we provided sophisticated worldwide search and rescue data and tracked 72,000 ships kept on active plot. Ball of light lasted maybe 15 to 20 seconds until it slowly faded away. During the manifestation, the room was bathed in that soft glow of light fully illuminating everything in the room. Clock again said 3:05 a.m. Even though a brief encounter, it had a profound affect on my life and my life was never the same since.
8. 1978-9? - After CG tour, I worked as an Athletic Director at Fort Monmouth, NJ, at the Post Fieldhouse. At this time I made the acquaintance of one of the local RA (resident agents) of the FBI out of the Red Bank office. Late one day, this agent came in looking somewhat out of sorts and he told me that someone was just killed on a military base close by. Nothing more was said and I immediately assumed that it happened at NWS Earle being that people were always making threats about the military at that time. Earle seemed to make sense because of what was (or not) stored there. I thought that someone was shot trying to break in to do damage to a very secure facility. Years later after reading about the alien that was allegedly shot and killed at McGuire AFB/Fort Dix, it fell right in the timeline I believe and it very well may have been that incident because there was never anything about a shooting of an individual in any of the local papers that I read. My friend afterwards convinced me to put my application in with the Bureau for a job at the new facility that the FBI was building at Fort Monmouth. I did this and worked for the bureau for three years (1982 - 1985).
9. 2002 - Dorbrook Farm (now county park) - Crop circle - Asbury Park Press - aerial photograph.
10.Since these events, my life has been most interesting and fulfilling. I don’t know whether to attribute my life to these events or not, however, they have definitely had an impact.