Seattle on November 2, 1957,
the Japanese freighter S.S. Meitetsu
Maru sighted a fishing boat afire from bow to stern. The location was
about thirty miles west of Vancouver Island.
freighter stood by and a boat was rowed around the blazing craft. There was
no sign of survivors. The wooden, white-hulled vessel was around seventy feet
in length, and fishing boats of this size usually carry a crew of at least
Part of a
registry number was visible: K-13-AC. The letter "K" indicated the craft
was Canadian, but a later check revealed that all ships with a "K"
registry were accounted for.
Coast Guard and Canadian vessels launched a five-day search that covered 13,000
square miles of sea. No charred debris was observed, and only two objects
were found. One was a crude chopping block imbedded with fish scales; the
other was a ruptured fuel tank measuring 18x24x40 inches. The tank had an
odor of naphtha, which is frequently used on the galleys of foreign boats but
seldom by Canadian or American vessels.
The crew of
the freighter reported that
an unidentified white light or object had been observed near the burning boat
from afar, but as the freighter approached, it moved away rapidly and disappeared.
A number of
fishing boats were in the general area, but only one reported seeing a glow
in the night. This could have been the vessel, the mysterious white object,
or flares dropped by search planes.
conditions throughout the search were excellent. If anything had been there
to find," said Coast Guard Captain Frederick G. Wild, "we'd have
burning boat was reported, there have been no reports of overdue vessels of that
size, no claims for insurance, and no inquiries from the families of missing
Note 2 original references: Seattle, Washington, and
British Columbia newspapers, November 3, 1957.
This reference: Invisible Horizons by
Vincent Gaddis, p. 99, © 1965
UFO OVER BLAZING FISH BOAT - November 1957
From the Victoria Daily Colonist [Date
unknown-CF-] (source - Canadian UFO Report)
The strange case of the "KC-13" goes back to
November 1957, when the Japanese freighter Meitetsu Maru steamed slowly through the darkness in calm seas,
30 miles off the west coast of Vancouver Island. For hours the Maru proceeded without sign of another
ship when, suddenly, a
wavering tower of light attracted her lookout's attention. Immediately
ordering increased speed, Capt. Ohuchi headed for the scene, some four miles
off, and, as his ship neared, he could see the blazing remains of a fishing
boat. But it was not the fiery wreckage which held his eyes captive. It was the glowing, circular
white light that hovered over the wreck at which they stared,
hypnotized. As their freighter inched closer, the eerie light retreated swiftly in a great, upward
arc, vanishing into the dark skies.
After unsuccessfully searching for survivors, the
Japanese radioed the alarm. Because the dying vessel was ablaze from bow to
stern, Capt. Ohuchi made no attempt to have his men board and continued on to
Vancouver as the United States Coast Guard and aircraft of the RCAF began an
intensive search of the area. Aided by unseasonably fine weather, both forces
covered more than 6,000 square miles of ocean.
However, although numerous fishing vessels were in the
area, none had picked up any survivors. Only one, in fact, had reported an
incident which could have had any connection with the burned vessel: That
report mentioned the strange white light which the Japanese merchantmen had
seen, arching upward from the sea.
All that the vast, two-day search uncovered of the
vessel, described as . . . of about 50 tons gross and about 70 feet long, was
a medium-sized gasoline tank to which were attached some pieces of charred
In the way of further identification, all Capt. Ohuchi
had been able to offer authorities were the figures "KC-13-AC" on
the side of the burning hull.
Fifteen years after, the mystery of KC-13 remains just
that, for no Canadian or American fishing vessels had been reported as
missing or overdue at the time of the loss, and the figures
given by Capt. Ohuchi did not correspond with numbers of fish boats of either
nation. The only tangible clue, the gas
tank, was forwarded to the RCMP in Vancouver and eventually identified as
having come from the Nanaimo fishing craft Jo-Joe which went missing off Vancouver Island's west coast on
October 30, 1957.
At first thought to be a company listing, KC-13-AC has
never been identified. RCMP officials, when contacted in 1963, said they had
no record of the white light. Up to that date, the Jo-Joe's owner had not turned up, and it had been assumed that he
was lost with his boat. There was no mention of others having been
Today, in 1972, the original questions are
still to be answered: What was the cause of the fire that destroyed a 70-foot
craft in minutes? And, even more intriguing, what was the mysterious white
light that hovered over the scene, only to zoom away at the Meitetsu Maru's chance arrival?
This reference: UFO*BC:
UFOCAT PRN NONE
UFOCAT URN NONE Seattle, Washington, and British
Columbia newspapers, November 3, 1957
UFOCAT URN NONE Invisible Horizons by Vincent Gaddis, p. 99, © 1965
UFOCAT URN NONE Victoria Daily Colonist [Date unknown-CF-]
Unknown position in the Pacific Ocean
North America Canada, British Columbia
49-30-00 N, Longitude 125-30-00 W (D-M-S)