Go Back Report # 1083


U.S.S. Franklin D. Roosevelt – Chester Grusinski   


UFOs shadowed US Aircraft Carrier

By Jon Baughman

In the year 1958, we were on a shakedown cruise when there was a small light that was following our ship. Then the light came right at us; it came in close enough to us so you could see the shape of the object and also see that there were figures inside of it. The impression that I got  was that those figures were not human beings.”  -- ·Chester Grusinski of Clinton Twp., Michigan.

Inset: Chester Grusinski. Bottom:

USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, first Navy

carrier to carry nuclear weapons.

       Since my series on UFOs, a number of reports have been mailed to this writer. As I suspected, many of you have seen UFOs and some are only now mounting the courage to describe what you saw.

       One such person is Chester Grusinski of Clinton Twp., Michigan, who served in the US Navy and, in recent years, has come forward to witness about UFOs. Grusinski has been featured in several Michigan newspapers and also appeared in (sic-on) the TV program, Sightings. Many have doubted his story, but his determination shines through. He wants the US government to admit that there has been an intentional coverup of UFO reports and that the public deserves an explanation.

Aboard Carrier

       The year was 1958. Grusinski was only 18, a crew member on the USS Aircraft Carrier Franklin D. Roosevelt, cruising the Carribean (sic) near Cuba.

       Notes Grusinski, "I was down below when I was told to go topside to see something strange," says Chester, now 56. "So I went up and couldn’t believe my eyes."

       “I saw a bright white ball of light. [Note: Chester had hand written “cigar shape” in the margin.-CF-] It headed straight for us, getting bigger and brighter. It was spherical, approximately 75 to 100 feet long. It turned red orange and I could feel the heat on my face."

       As this was going on, the man on watch was yelling into the intercom for an officer to get up on deck.

Sketch by William Scott inserted here for illustration.

This was received by me (-CF-) from Chester Grusinski

      Grusinski continues, “I could see silhouettes of figures looking at us. They had no features and you could tell they weren’t human. Then the bottom turned cherry red and it vanished in a flash.”

       Soon after the incident crew members who talked about it were transferred. Then the CIA came on board to investigate a so-called "gambling problem."

       "It was a massive coverup," notes Grusinski. "There was no gambling."

       Over the years he remembered the strange sighting. Then about 1977-78 he read in a newspaper clipping that a citizens’ group in New York had hired a law firm to go after the CIA and the US government to release top-secret UFO information. He sent them a letter about his sighting. The group attempted to get him some information with little success.

       Then, Grusinski pointed out, other researchers uncovered a UFO sighting in which three photographs were taken of a flying disk, also from the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. This was during Operation Main Brace in which the UFO overtook the NATO fleet.

       Grusinski was visiting libraries and doing research. He decided to try and locate fellow crew members who had also witnessed the 1958 event. He ran ads in Naval Affairs and other military magazines. Then in 1988 he learned from DAV Magazine about a USS FDR reunion.

       The reunion revealed that 8 to 10 separate UFO sightings were connected with this ship. He located several witnesses.

       One incident took place off Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 26, 1956. Grusinski says, "Two disk objects were suspended in mid-air. They were over one another; they had two rows of counter-rotating lights. The upper disk released a fireball object that dropped into the top of the lower.

Within seconds they both vanished with tremendous speed. These were seen by Leon Treadwell, Petty Officer Third Class. All involved witnesses were told to keep a tight lip. Treadwell had to sign papers that he would tell no one for 20 years. Another one for the same time period, the 25th or 27th of July, 1956, a cigar-shaped object was seen and tracked on radar. And the CIC radars said it went off the scope in two or three sweeps. That was witnessed by John C. Hau, Chief Warrant Officer."

       Why were so many sightings attached to the FDR? Grusinski has his own reasons for this. He said the FDR was the first US carrier to carry nuclear weapons and, at the time, the only one th (sic – to) carry the hydrogen bomb. UFO sightings are common around military installations where nuclear devices are stored. This is especially true of NATO installations.        

       Strangely, these incidents have been removed from the ship's logs.

       The FDR was decommissioned in 1977. He says, "Myself and other UFO researchers have searched the logs; we also used the Freedom of Information Act, going as far back as 1980..... I had also got a copy of the ship's deck logs from the year 1958-59; a lot of information was blackened out."

       After his story appeared in UFO Magazine, he was contacted by Sightings. They also interviewed a gunnery officer who was a witness to the 1952 UFO sightings on the FDR. Grusinski located this man through the FDR reunion. Overall, Grusinski felt the TV presentation was very good.

       He is still looking for other witnesses who were on board the USS FDR. They may contact him at 19780 Vermander Street, Clinton, Michigan.                                                                            

This reference: The Broad Top Bulletin, Saxton, PA. 16678, dated Wednesday, December 01, 1999.  


Interview: Chester Grusinski Selected text by me-CF-

Around September or October we were on a shakedown cruise near Gitmo [ed. note: Guantanamo Bay and Naval Base], Cuba. It was dark outside, and I was down below decks at the time. There was a bunch of men who came running up from the engine room, and a couple of minutes later another bunch came running up and I followed them.          

How many different sightings have you been able to link with the F.D.R.?

About six UFO sightings on the same ship. [On the copy, six is lined through and 8-10 inserted. -CF-]                                                                                                                                       

This reference: Michigan MUFON Newsletter, date unknown, p. 11.   

As the light came closer, Grusinski said, it appeared to be a "cigar-shaped" figure about 75 to 100 feet long. He said the UFO floated midair for several minutes and he could feel the heat on his face.

He was featured on Sightings, a television program out of Sterling Heights, in 1995 with other UFO witnesses and has written a screenplay about his experience.                                      

This reference: The Macomb Daily, dated Wednesday, January 29, 1997.      

From letters sent to Chester Grusinski:       

       An undated letter from John S. Lawrence to Mr. Grusinski provides some information about at least one "Gitmo" sighting. "I first went aboard the FDR in the fall of 1950 and served on her until my discharge in May of 1953. I was an electronics technician and was responsible for the maintenance and repair of the Mark 25 Gun Fire Control radar, of which there were two, one above the bridge and one on a tower aft of the island structure...I do not remember the month or year, but the ship went on a shakedown cruise to Gitmo immediately after leaving the shipyard at Portsmouth. The ship was anchored in GITMO BAY after a day of training maneuvers. As I mentioned, our berthing compartment opened up to the catwalk around the flight deck, and one night I was in my bunk reading when my compartment buddies, who were outside, called for me to come out quick. They pointed an object out to me that was in the sky. It looked like a very bright star that moved in an erratic pattern, accelerating VERY rapidly, would stop for a short period of time, and again accelerate VERY rapidly and again stop. We followed the object across the sky, with this same start-stop action and not in a straight line, until we lost it in the light of the moon, which was just starting to come up...To this day I am not sure what we saw...I think we mentioned it to our electronics officer but, to my knowledge, no official report was ever filed."

The FDR was decommissioned in 1977 and later scrapped. The ship’s logs have been searched and no UFO reports were found. FOIA requests to various agencies have all resulted in negative responses.

Reference: http://home.columbus.rr.com/threeemusic/mufono/USS_FDR.html           

UFOCAT PRN – NONE           
UFOCAT URN – NONE    News clipping, The Broad Top Bulletin, Saxton, PA., dated

                                        December 01, 1999

UFOCAT URN – NONE    The Macomb Daily, dated Wednesday, January 29, 1997

UFOCAT URN – NONE    The New York Post, dated Sunday, November 17, 1996        

Central America – Cuba, Holguín

Nicaro - Latitude 20-42-17 N, Longitude 75-33-02 W (D-M-S)

Reference: http://geonames.nga.mil/ggmaviewer/    


Franklin D. Roosevelt supported the transport USS Kleinsmith (APD 134) in the evacuation of 56 U.S. citizens and three foreign nationals from Nicara (sic-Nicaro), Cuba, 24 October 1958, as the Cuban revolution came to a climax.

Reference: http://www.historycentral.com/NAVY/CVB42FDR.html      


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