NOTE: Although this should be in the “Totally Submerged” category, the use of sonar and size, I feel, earns this case the distinction of being in the “Radar/Sonar” section.
The following text is from what appears to be a very sincere gentleman regarding an event passed down to him by his father. Although this is secondhand information, I find it very interesting in that there was a book I had read which almost duplicates this story. The name of the book is Invisible Horizons: Strange Mysteries of the Sea - True stories that defy logic... by Vincent Gaddis, © 1965, and Chapter 2, “Vanishing Islands,” has a story very much like what follows (p. 42, United States freighter American Scientist).-CF-
USS MAURY AGS16
With thanks to: http://www.ussmauryags16.org/Photo_Gallery.html
Thank you for emailing me back.
The USS Maury was a survey ship. My father was a crewman in 1946 and 1947. I typed the date wrong on my first email [original was 1945~1946].
I heard you on a podcast and visited your website. I have always been interested in underwater objects and have seen a few things on [the] Discovery and History Channels.
My father passed away a couple years ago. He was a truthful and religious person, and I have no reason to doubt him.
He first told me this story as a kid. He told several family members. There is no documentation or proof―only my recollection of his story. I thought you would find it interesting, and I assure you I am not looking for publicity.
He was traveling from Hawaii to San Francisco on the AGS16 USS Maury. This was not the destroyer but a survey ship named after the destroyer. They have a website. I believe it would have been 1946, maybe 1947. They had left Norfolk and went through the canal1 and up to San Francisco. They stopped in Hawaii before going on to Truk Island where they were stationed for a while. During the trip from San Francisco, they mapped what they thought was an underwater mountain top or a solid object of some sort. It was very large2 and they made several passes over it with their sonar. My father was not in the sonar department. He was used sometimes as a helmsman and the captain’s driver in port. I am not sure, but he may have been on watch or on the bridge―I don’t know for sure.
He says after several passes the object accelerated to a fast speed and disappeared into the depths and they lost it. They searched for some time and never located it again. They did not know what it was. He did not know speeds or the size of this―only that it was very big and totally stationary for a lengthy period of time during their initial sonar mapping. He said it was big enough; they stopped to map it and thought it was solid. I do not know its depth.
I wish I had more details, but I only recall what I have written. I have heard him tell it many times, and he never wavered from the original story I heard as a kid until he died.
After hearing your podcast, I thought you would find it interesting. You sounded very reasonable and professional during your interview, [and] for this reason, I felt comfortable sharing this sea story with you.
Please―do not post our name―I am not looking for publicity of any sort.
Thank you for emailing me back!
Reference for the above text is: E-mail to me (C. Feindt) dated December 27, 2007.
Note 1: This would be the Panama Canal. –CF-
Note 2: There are many stories of very large UFOs, for instance, December 11, 1996, location, Klondike Highway in the Yukon Territory, in which 22 witnesses saw a UFO which was found to be, through triangulation, anywhere from 0.88 km (0.55 miles) to 1.8 km (1.1 miles) in length!
Thanks to: http://www.ufobc.ca/yukon/22index.htm
Then several years later, I received an interesting letter from the same gentleman. He told me that he found an entry on the USS Maury AGS-16 Association website’s “Maury’s Memories” from another crewman which appears to corroborate the story that his father had told him:
YN-3 Wayne Anderson
I boarded the Maury back in 1946 in the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard when she was being converted. I joined the Navy in July of 1946 and went through boot camp at Great Lakes Naval Station, IL. During conversion I was standing a fire watch for a welder when I was called to the captain's quarters and interviewed as a yeoman for the captain because I had taken shorthand in high school. I got the assignment and for the rest of my tour. My captain was Francis Dow Hamblin.
After the Maury was converted we did a shakedown cruise in Chesapeake Bay up to Annapolis. Then to the Panama Canal, with liberty in Panama City. From there to San Francisco for a short stay and supplies. When we left San Francisco for Hawaii, we spent a few days checking the ocean bottom for what was reported as a large mysterious item. As far as I know, nothing was found. But I've heard other reports that something was there but not identified.
We were then in a storm for six days before reaching Pearl Harbor. I experienced my first "sea sickness," for six days & nights.
After leaving Pearl, we headed for Truk Atoll, in the Caroline Islands. Spent several months there recharting the whole atoll. We carried at that time 4 soundboats. There were two 40 and two 52 footers. While we were charting the atoll, I worked on one of the soundboats shooting sextant angles and helping to records depths, and even painting buoys.
Three small yard mine sweepers accompanied us to Truk to assist and sweep the atoll for mines. There were all kinds of Japanese planes and ships sunk and wrecked there.
The ships that accompanied us were:
USS John Blish AGSc-10
USS Dutton AGSc-8
USS Littlehales AGSc-7
When we returned in early 1948 to San Francisco, we docked at Treasure Island and I received my discharge in May 1948, but was required to serve 5 more years in inactive reserve then another year added due to the Korean War.
I married my high school sweetheart in September 1948 and after two children we’re still married after 60 years.
Reference for the above text is: USS Maury AGS-16 Association website’s “Maury’s Memories.” See: http://www.ussmauryags16.org/memories.html
UFOCAT PRN – NONE
North America – United States
Norfolk, VA Latitude 36-50-49 N, Longitude 076-17-07 W (D-M-S) [populated place]
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, VA Latitude 36-48-04 N, Longitude 076-18-05 W [military]
San Francisco, CA Latitude 37-46-30 N, Longitude 122-25-10 W [populated place]
Treasure Island, CA (Naval Station-historical) Latitude 37-49-29 N, Longitude 122-22-11 W [military]
Pacific Ocean – United States , Hawaii , Honolulu
Pearl Harbor (Naval Station) Latitude 21-21-09 N, Longitude 157-59-44 W (D-M-S) [military]
Central America – Panama
Panama Canal Latitude 09-20-00 N, Longitude 079-55-00 W (D-M-S) [canal]
Pacific Ocean – Federated States of Micronesia, Chuuk
Truk Island Latitude 07-25-00 N, Longitude 151-47-00 E (D-M-S) [island]
Partial Ship’s History.
With thanks to: http://www.ussmauryags16.org/Maury's_History.html
With San Francisco as her terminus, she completed two more "Magic Carpet" runs by mid-January 1946.
The next month [February 1946] she sailed for the East Coast, arriving at Norfolk on the 26th. In June she entered Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for conversion to a survey ship and on 12 July was renamed USS MAURY (AGS-16). As Maury she emerged from the shipyard in October with a new silhouette. Electronic survey and sounding equipment, as well as photographic, printing, and repair shops had been added within her compartments, and a helopad, helicopter, drafting room, and sound boats, [had] been provided topside. The boats would be used in charting positions and depths accurately, while the ship’s helicopter would transport surveyors and their equipment to points ashore and perform aerial photographic missions.
On 6 January 1947, Maury got underway for the Pacific and her first hydrographic mission, the charting of waters around Truk and Kwajalein. Having added navigational knowledge of those areas, she sailed for San Francisco, arriving 13 September and remaining until 11 July 1948. She then got underway for New York City where she reported for duty with Service Force, Atlantic Fleet, 10 August.
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