Occurred: 1957-08-09 00:30:00 Local
Location: San Diego (north of, at sea), CA, USA
Shape: Disk
Duration: 15 minutes
No of observers: 4
Reported: 2004-07-29 01:54:14 Pacific
Posted: 2004-08-11 00:00:00
Characteristics: Lights on object, Emitted other objects, Emitted beams

At least a hundred miles out to sea, a long time ago, in 1957, a very interesting sighting, after midnight. First report.

This is a very old sighting, and one of my reasons for reporting it now is that I have only recently begun to research UFO sightings. The specific reason is the vortex I will mention in the following report.

I was a signalman in the Canadian Navy, serving onboard HMCS Athabaskan, and our small convoy of seven ships had been on and excercise which carried us from Victoria, BC, Canada, to Honolulu, then San Diego, and home again.

On the night of this event, our seven ships were steaming in 'line abreast', at one thousand yards, or half a mile (between ships), and we were all observing radio silence and 'darken ship', which means no lights were visible on any of the ships, and all radar and radio communication was off. Our ship was the westernmost in the formation.

Approximately a mile, or perhaps more, further to the west, the bridge lookout and I both spotted a very bright, bluish light coming from somewhere low in the sky. With binoculars, we could make out a rather large, circular shape, with what seemed like portholes around the lower perimeter. Inside of this circle, near what appeared to be the forward part of the object, was the bright, bluish light, that appeared to be at least as bright as our carbon arc signal/search light, which was rated at twenty million candlepower. The light was shining directly down into the ocean.

Soon, two officers-of-the-watch and the Commanding Officer were all looking at the object through binoculars. At first, we all thought it might be a United States military helicopter on some sort of maneuvers, but we were well out to sea, and none of the 'Notices to Mariners' (sent to all ships at sea), indicated any sort of military exercises, save ours, in that area. Furthermore, no helicopter could be as large as this object appeared to be. By now, about ten minutes had passed.

Inside the beam of bluish light emanating from the bottom of the object, I personally noticed a vortex, or 'waterspout', (a waterspout is about the same as a tornado, with water inside of it rather than debris) swirling between the ocean surface and the object, and it was my thought that the object was taking on water. I observed this phenomenon for approximately a minute, perhaps longer.

The Commanding Officer ordered me to train the big carbon arc searchlight on the object, and to await his orders before switching it on. I laid my binoculars aside and trained the light. The three officers then took positions as far over the side of the bridge as possible, to avoid the glare which would reflect from the superstructure of the ship, rendering their binoculars useless. I was then ordered to turn the light on, which I did, keeping a close eye on the object. Of course, I was partially blinded by the aforementined glare, and all I could observe was the bright bluish light. It seemed that within a few seconds of opening the shutters of the searchlight, the object simply disappered. At the very least, the lights which had been visible around the object went out, including the bright light aimed at the ocean.

The Commanding officer then 'broke' radio silence and ordered the operations room personnnel to turn on the Sperry radar, set it to a twenty five mile range, and make exactly two 360 degree sweeps, and turn it off again, which they did. I would guess that two 'sweeps' would have taken another minute. Nothing showed up on the screen. The officers then held a brief conference amongst themselves, and that seemed to be the end of the matter.

The next day, on a whim, I looked in the ship's log, and found no mention of the sighting, and I joked with the lookout that we had seen a 'flying saucer'. In those days, 1957, the term UFO was just gaining popularity.

Many years later I thought seriously about what I had seen, and then the issue of Crop Circles began to appear in the press.

Here are a couple questions. First. Could it be that the object was taking on water to replenish a hydrogen supply? Or even as potable water for themselves? Second. As all crop circles seem to have similar characteristics, that is, the grass, or crop, is all neatly laid out in one direction, stems bent but not broken, and in a perfect circle, could it be that whatever made the 'vortex' or 'waterspout' mentioned above could also make these neat, precise, geometric shapes? I believe so. If that is the case, why hasn't someone else come up with the idea? I mentioned that I have only begun to think about UFOs seriously, so maybe I missed a report somewhere that provided a plausible explanation for how these patterns are made.

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