Go Back Report # 1127


       Inbound to 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.

       The 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 ten men.

       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.

       The U.S. 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.

       Weather conditions throughout the search were excellent. “If anything had been there to find," said Coast Guard Captain Frederick G. Wild, "we'd have found it."

       Since the 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 men.2                      

Note 2 original references: Seattle, Washington, and British Columbia newspapers, November 3, 1957.                                                                                                                                              
This reference: Invisible Horizons by Vincent Gaddis, p. 99, © 1965   



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 wood.         

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 aboard.    

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:

http://www.ufobc.ca/History/1950/japanese.htm and



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

Vancouver Island         Latitude 49-30-00 N, Longitude 125-30-00 W (D-M-S)

Reference: http://geonames.nrcan.gc.ca/index_e.php           


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