– The U.S.S. Franklin D. Roosevelt
In April 1991, Leon Treadwll (sic?),
who served on the FDR from 1956 to
1958, wrote to Mr. Grusinski about his experiences. "I was part of the
crew that put the FDR back into
commission on April 6, 1956,
at Bremerton, Washington. She had the best radar in the fleet... [The]
FDR was to report to Mayport, Florida. We took
her around the 'Horn,' since she was too large to fit the Panama Locks. Our
last stop before Mayport
was Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
"At this time I was RD3 and on the night of July 26, 1956, I was duty
P.O. in the radar 'shack' - C.I.C., on anchor detail. One other 3rd class was
with me. Four lookouts were topside. While at anchor only surface radar was
on line. Our VL radar was down (height radar). One lookout and then another
called in that two strange objects were in the air but did not know what. I
put a VL into operation - went topside to see for myself. What you see in the
sketch is what I saw that night 35 years ago. [The sketch is too dark to
reproduce, but it shows two disk shaped objects, one above the other, with a
bright light in-between.] I called in the duty officer and he in turn called
"These objects...finally vanished with tremendous
sighted, the objects were suspended in mid-air over one another with several
hundred feet between them. A radar fix placed them several miles from
the FDR’s position at a height of
2000 ft. Two rows of bright, counter-rotating lights could be seen through
the middle of each object that made them appear to be round in shape. For
several minutes they never moved. Then the upper one released a fireball object that dropped into the
top of the lower one. Within seconds they both vanished with tremendous
speed. Radar contact was almost impossible. It was estimated the
objects could have been between 75 and 100 feet in length.
involved were told to keep a tight lip on what we saw. A report was filed,
signed and sent to the Defense Department, along with a color sketch by me of
what was watched that night by many.
"These things were watched by many for about 5-7
minutes...My original sketch went to the Defense Department...The following
names may help you if they are alive today: FDR Commanding Officer, Captain John T. Hayward, 6 April 1965 - 1
October 1956; Operations Officer Whitney Wright; Navigator Commander James R.
Mr. Grusinski had this sighting confirmed by another
witness, CWO4 John C. Hau, who wrote of the event in August 1983, as follows:
"At about 2130P/25 or 26 July 1956 (0030Z/26 or 27 July 1956), I was
standing a signal watch in (sic – on) USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA 42), then anchored in Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil. The sky was clear.
"As I recall, the signal bridge was called by
Combat Information Center asking for visual verification of an air search
radar contact in our vicinity, holding stationary. Inspection revealed a
cigar-shaped object estimated to be at 5,000 feet, close by the zenith. It
was displaying at least one row of white lights--I do not remember if any
"After about 10 or 15 minutes, it suddenly started
moving in a northerly direction, accelerating smoothly and rapidly, until it
disappeared from view in one or two minutes. It may have disappeared more
quickly than that, as C.I.C. later said it went off their radar scope 'in two
or three sweeps.' Unfortunately, I did not think to ask what range scale they
were using at the time."
Mr. Hau wrote that the sighting was reported to the officer of the deck and, he is sure,
to the Commanding Officer, Captain John T. Hayward, as well.
A letter was received from Captain Hayward dated
December 7, 1992, which reads, "Yes, I was the skipper of the FDR in Rio but have no knowledge of any UFO sightings."
This reference: MUFON of Ohio:
UFOCAT PRN – NONE
Note: There is a book which has been
published which lends credence to the above sailor's history of the trip.
Titled ...THE SEAS AGAIN: USS Franklin
D. Roosevelt CVA-42, April-October 1956, this book is a pictorial
chronicle of the voyage of the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt between April 1956 and October 1956 from the Puget Sound area to Mayport, Florida, following reconstruction
and recommissioning. For more description, including bookseller and payment
information, go to: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/ListingDetails?bi=921533611
North America – United States, The states are listed
Bremerton, Washington Latitude
47-34-02 N, Longitude 122-37-58 W (D-M-S)
Florida Latitude 30-23-36 N, Longitude 081-25-50 W
America – Brazil, State of Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro Latitude 22-54-00 S, Longitude 043-14-00 W (D-M-S)