Go Back Report # 1126
05-00-1952

05-??-1952   
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Canadian Naval Officer Has Close Encounter in Hawaiian Waters
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As reported to Gavin McLeod
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Witness: George R. MacFarlane, Commander Royal Canadian Navy, Retired
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This is an account of a sighting of flying saucers that I saw when travelling from Pearl Harbour, Hawaii to Guam in the Canadian Destroyer H.M.C.S. Iroquois in May 1952.    
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Canadian Destroyer H.M.C.S. Iroquois

With thanks to “Veterans Affairs Canada”

http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/general/
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The ship left Pearl Harbour around 1800 [6 PM] and proceeded on a westerly course at about 14 knots. I was the Officer of the Watch on the bridge, having taken over the watch at 2400 [midnight]. The ship was in three watches and proceeding under normal routine conditions. There was a thin layer of mist overhead; the stars were not visible. The temperature was warm and there was no wind.          
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At about 0100, I saw a single white light on the port bow at about 30 degrees elevation at a visual estimated range of about a mile. It moved from right to left at a rapid rate. It had a halo around it due to the mist. I assumed it to be a low flying aircraft. It did not appear on the Sperry Navigational radar. The air defence radar was not in service due to a major maintenance routine.           
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I thought it unusual to see a low flying aircraft which at this time was about 100 miles from Hawaii. There were no military aircraft listed on the operational schedule for this area. A short time later another light appeared from the same direction passing at high speed. It was not picked up on the navigational radar either which was not surprising as the radar detection lobe covers the surface but not the sky. By now the mist had dissipated and the sky was clear. These two incidents were not similar to subsequent sightings. They are recorded only to give a complete picture of events.    
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At about 0200 I saw the first of many strange lights in the sky. The vast majority were in formation, usually quarter line, and all appeared on the port side [toward the south]. Many were in groups of three, some in groups of five or six. They appeared and disappeared instantly at the same speed a computer screen operates.    
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Reporter’s Note: A quarter line refers to a formation which could be called half of a Vee formation. Example:

                                                <

 

                                                      <

 

                                                          <
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The reference to "a computer screen" was explained as meaning that the lights would be moving slowly then suddenly jump ahead at incredible speed and then stop, almost as if disappearing and reappearing.

They moved from time to time and the numbers changed frequently. At one time I counted more than thirty. I recall discussing the possible identity of these lighted objects with the signalman on watch with me. He thought they were very strange.        
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Reporter’s Note: Commander MacFarlane related by phone that he had shared his binoculars with the signalman, thus providing the signalman with an excellent view of the unknown object.
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Suddenly one of these objects appeared at close range on our port bow at a low elevation. It was disc-shaped and consisted of a very bright light with black windows running around the whole side which was visible to us. It maintained perfect station on us for at least fifteen minutes. I scanned the object with binoculars attempting to see into the windows but saw nothing. I counted the windows and recall there were about two dozen. They were very large and close together and completely black.       
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Although the body of the object glowed very brightly, it did not prevent me from looking directly at it. The object appeared more oval in shape than round. And then suddenly it was gone. There was no sound made at any time.         
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There were still some objects visible far off on the port side. They also had disappeared by 0300. It was at this time that I realized that I hadn't informed the captain or anyone else. I did not debrief any of the watch who were at other stations.     
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It was conduct so unlike my usual practice that I was left quite disturbed. It must also be remembered that in 1952 there were a multitude of sightings of flying saucers, so many in fact that many doubted the truth of such sightings. A young naval officer certainly didn't want to be included with that group.        
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The problem then was what to enter in the ship’s log! I decided to state that many meteorites had been sighted during the watch. At 0400 I turned the watch over to Lieutenant Doug Tutte without mentioning the flying objects. He did not read the ship's log until he wrote up the record of his watch at 0800.   
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We met at breakfast. He said that I hadn't mentioned seeing meteorites on the turnover and wanted to know what they looked like. Eventually he described a similar experience and we discussed the subject at length. He also had failed to call the captain, and for similar reasons, he also reported sighting many meteorites during the watch in the log.       
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Lieutenant Tutte was a very reliable and professional officer and yet he couldn't explain why he also did not call the captain. After some considerable discussion we concluded that there was a possibility that we were under some sort of hypnotic control from the objects. We didn't want to be the subject of ridicule, and fearing the reaction of the captain, we agreed to say no more about the night’s activities.    
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It was very weird.       
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None of these lights had been reported by the lookouts who, when challenged, all replied that their sector was clear except for those "funny lights." They had not reported them because they were neither ships nor aircraft. These groups were visible as far as the horizon on the port side.        
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We were on our way to fight a war in Korea! 
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I have forgotten the names of the signalman and lookouts on that strange night, and I believe that Doug Tutte is now dead, so there is no proof that I have of the events that I described. The ship's log will be in the National Archives which will confirm the dates of the meteorite sightings!        
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Why have I written this account at this late date? A feeling of guilt or a sense of duty? Probably because I think it is important that it be recorded and that I am now old enough not to worry about being ridiculed. Finally, I have never seen any flying objects since. It must be noted that they acted in a non-threatening manner. I presume that they were just inquisitive. I have attached a rough sketch of the close object.  
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George R. MacFarlane, Commander Royal Canadian Navy, Retired    
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Final Notes: Commander MacFarlane expressed his regrets concerning the way modern movies such as "Independence Day" and "Mars Attacks" represent aliens as hostile and warlike. Commander MacFarlane explained that the object he had observed did not display the slightest tendency to hostile action, and he was convinced that peaceful observation was the only intent.   
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Background Information: The Iroquois was a member of the Tribal class of warship and was considered to be a "pocket cruiser." The keel was laid at Vickers Armstrong Shipyards in England in September 1940. She entered service on November 30, 1942, and served with distinction during the Second World War. When war broke out in Korea, the Iroquois was refitted for anti-submarine warfare. The Iroquois first arrived in Korea in June of 1952, where it completed three tours of duty before returning to Canada in December of 1954. Sadly, four of the Iroquois ship's company were killed and ten were wounded. These young men were to be the only Canadian naval casualties of the conflict.                                    

This reference: http://www.ufobc.ca/Beyond/iroquois.htm .With thanks to Gavin McLeod andUFO*BC: http://www.ufobc.ca/index.html  for permission to post to this website.    
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AND THEN...-CF-        
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E-mail received from Gavin McLeod, dated April 04, 2008:   
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Hi Carl, it looks good to me; I am forwarding an email I received re the incident. I am in process of tracking down the log book to confirm statements made by (name 1 deleted).     
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E-mail from Gavin McLeod, UFO*BC, to (name 1 deleted) dated November 12, 2007, in response to name 1's e-mail below:   
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Hi (name 1 deleted), thank you for the email. I will have your information added to the report. The report was from the hand of George R. MacFarlaneand not edited by me in any way. If you can connect me to Lt. Tutte, I would be greatly appreciative. Thank you.      
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Gavin McLeod

President

UFOBC
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E-mail received by Gavin McLeod from (name 1 deleted) dated November 11, 2007, in response to UFO*BC’s original posting.          
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Re: UFO sighting aboard HMCS Iroquois, May 1952    
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I happened onto this site by a search for HMCS Iroquois and read the account of a UFO sighting by George R. MacFarlane aboard HMCS Iroquois enroute from Pearl Harbour to Guam in May 1952.  
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I don't believe a word of it. I was a signalman aboard Iroquois on that voyage and never heard of such a sighting. Although MacFarlane says he didn't discuss it with anyone other than Lt. Tutte and can't remember the lookout or signalman on duty at the time, surely some word of such a strange sighting would have spread throughout the ship from one of the sailors on watch at the time. By the way, the captain was (name 2 deleted), the yeoman was (name 3 deleted) and another of the signalmen was (name 4 deleted). The background story is incorrect as it implies that the Iroquois completed three tours of duty before returning to Canada in December of 1954. Actually the Iroquois returned to Canada in December 1952 (west coast) and January 1953 (Halifax). The ship made two more trips to Korean waters, returning to Canada after each trip.           
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The background material is also incorrect in that it says that four men were killed aboard Iroquois. The correct number is three - (name 5 deleted), (name 6 deleted), and (name 7 deleted), who were on B gun deck where the Iroquois was struck by a shell from a North Korean shore battery.            
I joined HMCS Iroquois in January 1952 and left in early 1953 after the ship returned to Canada. I left the RCN in 1955.
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Signed (name 1 deleted).       
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UFOCAT PRN – NONE           
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Pacific Ocean – United States, Honolulu, Hawaii

Pearl Harbor    Latitude 21-21-18 N, Longitude 157-58-20 W (D-M-S)

Reference: http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic.
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Pacific Ocean – Position unknown – Near Guam (Territory of Guam)

An organized, unincorporated territory of the United States.-CF-

Guam               Latitude 13-26-40 N, Longitude 144-44-12 E (D-M-S)

Reference: http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic.
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Ship’s history in 1952

... After workups were completed at Norfolk, Virginia, Iroquois returned to Halifax for a pre-Korea refit on 15th March 1952. When storing and ammunitioning was completed, Iroquois left Halifax on 21st April and arrived in Sasebo, Japan, (via the Panama Canal) on 12th June that year. This was the first of two tours of duty for the ship. While in Korea, her main duties were to provide screening for aircraft carriers, attacking coastal defence batteries, and destroying trains. Iroquois was the only Canadian destroyer to sustain casualties in Korea. During an exchange of fire with a shore-based North Korean artillery battery near Songjin, she sustained damage to the 'B' mounting on 2nd October 1952. The resultant explosion killed three of her crew, severely injured two, and left eight others lightly wounded from splinters. In total, eight Canadian destroyers took part in the Korean theatre.

Reference: http://www.jproc.ca/iroquois/history.html            

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