Go Back Report # 1147


Francis Y. Kelson

PSC 450, Box 826

APO AP 96206

5 Dec 2008

Carl Feindt

119 Commonwealth Ave.

Claymont, DE


Dear Carl,       

I was directed to your website through the George Noory show which was last known as the Art Bell radio show. [Both hosts worked under the show title of “Coast to Coast.”-CF-]       

Although retired U.S. Army, I belong to an internet group of retired Navy personnel. The reason for this [is that] I was a member of an Army amphibious unit using LCM (Landing Craft Mechanized), which, in most undertakings, were carried on board an LSD (Landing Ship Dock). I also worked on tugboats sailing between Charleston S.C. and New York.    

Years later I served as a scout in Vietnam, so with this the Navy group figured that I could add a few points about the Army and my association with the U.S. Navy.

My story is enclosed for your benefit, and you have my permission to use it on your website.

I am now 76 years old, and it’s about time that this story will be told. I am no longer afraid of the men in black ... grins!! Nor was I ever debriefed by the U.S. Navy.          



Francis Kelson

E-mail address deleted by me. –CF-   




It was in the year 1952 that I found myself boarding a U.S. Navy vessel that was classified as an LSD (Landing Ship Dock). It was unique in that it held several amphibious boats within its rear hull. The concept was that the rear hull was capable of being flooded, the rear ramp dropped, and the LCM boats (Landing Craft Mechanized) simply driven off the mother ship. It was an unusual assignment for me since our crews were members of the U.S. Army.           

Members of our unit were assigned temporary duty to the U.S. Navy. Having received training at Little Creek, Virginia, and Fort Sherman, Panama Canal on these small boats, it posed no problem for us. We embarked from Hampton Roads, Virginia, since we were temporarily based at Fort Story, Virginia. We practiced the art of scampering up nets thrown over the side of stationary merchant ships anchored two miles off of Little Creek. Several days of embarking and disembarking, terminating in what I claimed to be a risky swim from the ship to shore wearing only our fatigue uniforms and no boots. This was to determine who the swimmers were or who couldn't, while the rest would be left behind for this operation. Savino and I, another Brooklyn bum, encountered a 16-foot shark during our swim, but that's another story. At the crack of dawn, around the month of April, I think. We were bound for Cape Chidly (sic-Chidley), Labrador. Many of our guys were draftees and were quite glad to know our destination, as we were originally scheduled to make the amphibious assault at Inchon Harbor, Korea.

This was a relief for many of us; our brother units that trained in Coronado, California were selected for the Korean mission.



LSD Shadwell (LSD 15) participated in several arctic expeditions.

Thanks to: http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/12/1215.htm

There was some type of base being established within the confines of the bay area, which was quite small, but very deep. Our mission was to meet merchant ships in the bay from which equipment and supplies would be loaded into our boats and delivered to the shore for offloading. This was to be a beehive of activity with the operation running 24 hours per day to beat the deadline of the coming winter in which the bay and its inlet would become clogged with icebergs.

We were now several days out of Virginia. One evening before retiring, me and my buddy, I shall call him Savino, came up on deck from the forecastle (meaning the forward part of the upper deck) to grab a quick smoke as it was not permitted in the small confines of our sleeping quarters.         

We were on the port side (left side of the vessel) and were conversing about our expected arrival at Cape Chidly (sic) the next morning; this was around 9 p.m. in the evening. At this time we both heard the sound1 of some type of very intense, high-pitched whirring, like a runaway electric motor. Savino exclaimed, “Hey!”         



As he pointed into the ocean right in front of our position, what became apparent to both of us were two white lights in the water. It was impossible for us to determine their depth, although the lights were not of beam intensity, rather a dull white, and appeared to be each around 5 feet in diameter. The lights were about twenty feet apart, with the nearest one to us or the hull of the ship being only about ten feet, at the same time keeping pace with the ship. I thought and said to Savino, “This is pretty dangerous for a submarine to be playing touch tag with us at this speed.”           

Savino replied, “I don't think that's a sub, Frank. No skipper would take a chance like this and jeopardize his and our vessel in this manner.” Suddenly to our left, having come up the ladder to our deck, appeared a Navy type. He yelled and asked us if we had seen anything in the water. When he got next to us, we pointed over the side and asked, “Is that what you're looking for?” He exclaimed, “Damned! Yes, that's it!” We lost track of it awhile back, but still could pick up the sound1 of its engine, so we knew it was very close, as he, the bosun, had just finished circumventing the vessel trying to make visual contact with this object. I again said to the bosun that this is a pretty dangerous maneuver for a sub to be making. The bosun’s mate looked at me and said, “Laddie, that's no submarine. It's been following us for the last two hours about 2 miles off our stern (the rear of the vessel).  

The bosun’s mate at this time took his flashlight and blinked it several times on the bridge window, which was directly above us. Some type of officer appeared out on the wing of the bridge. He inquired of the bosun if he had seen it, meaning the submersible. The bosun said yes that it is only ten feet from our hull. The officer replied, “Yes, I can see its outer running light now. Blink us again if it gets any closer or changes course,” at which time the bosun replied, “Aye, aye, Sir!” meaning will do, confirmed.   



I asked the bosun at this time what did he think it is? He replied, “We don't know; they are classified as unknown, and several ships have had encounters like this in these waters.”

I said, “Well! It's not a flying saucer as they are airborne vehicles.” He replied, “Ha! Don't discount it, Laddie! Some of those things have been seen coming out of and entering the ocean and are reportedly very large.

We stood there with the bosun for about another twenty minutes, joking about the situation, when suddenly the intensity of the high-pitch whirring suddenly increased dramatically, and the lights pulled forward of our vessel and veered out to the left of the open ocean and towards the land. We watched the lights for about two minutes, until visual contact was lost.          

Sketch map indicates our approximate position when we were

tracked by a UFO for two or more hours. See text for details.



The bosun’s mate then blinked the bridge again with the officer appearing. He, the bosun, told him about the object, and the officer replied yes that the sound1 of its engines is fading, to come up to the bridge, and make his report, at which time the bosun left us. Prior to his departure, he informed us not to say anything about the incident as they didn't want the rest of our people rushing out on deck in the darkness.   

I did not have any idea whatsoever what our position was or where we could be on any chart. I simply didn't have the interest at the time and didn't even think about it. Savino and me went back below to get some sleep for the next day’s events; it was around ten p.m. Just before our departure, the duty officer out on the bridge called down to us. He told us that under no circumstances were we to reveal what we had seen to the men below. He also didn't want a stampede out on the deck in the dark.           


This reference: Letter to researcher Carl Feindt dated 05 December 2008    

Note #1: Near the beginning of this text, the witnesses (on the deck) say they heard a “very intense, high-pitched whirring.” The objects were underwater, but were still heard above the water’s surface.

            Later we are told by an officer from inside the ship, “We lost track of it awhile back, but still could pick up the sound,” and as the objects depart, we are told, “The officer replied yes that the sound of its engines is fading.” What else inside the ship could these people “hear” without the instrument called SONAR. So although left out of the text, we can certainly assume that this was why the officer was able to determine that, “It's been following us for the last two hours about 2 miles off our stern.” INSTRUMENTS TRACKING UFOs.   
            Another reason for assuming SONAR tracking is because of the statement, “He exclaimed, “Damned! Yes, that's it!” “We lost track of it awhile back.” At this point the UFOs were practically next to the ship, “with the nearest one to us or the hull of the ship being only about ten feet.” At this distance the SONAR was probably confused by the noise of the ship’s own engine and the UFO’s, and this might be the reason it was “lost.” –CF-

UFOCAT PRN – NONE           

North America – Canada, Labrador. Body of water is the Atlantic Ocean

Cape Chidly (sic)

Cape Chidley is actually on Killinek Island separated from mainland Labrador by the McLelan Strait which has a fearsome reputation for strong tidal currents.

Reference: http://www.wright-photo.com/northlabradorcoast1.htm

Killinek Island   Latitude 60-25-00 N, Longitude 64-40-00 W (D-M-S)

Reference: http://www.tageo.com/index-e-ca-v-10-d-m801376.htm

Ship’s history for this period:

20 Sept. 1950 Shadwell was again placed in commission at Orange, Texas.

              1951 Participated in the Arctic expedition Operation “Bluejay” at Thule, Greenland;

                        participated in Operation “Convex” in Newfoundland; and in “LANTFLEX_52” in

                        the Caribbean area.

              1952 Shadwell underwent yard period in Baltimore which produced a mezzanine

                        deck, super deck, flag quarters and helicopter landing deck.

              1952 Participated in two more operations north of Arctic Circle

Reference: http://chemistry.nrl.navy.mil/6180/6186/documents/HistoryofShadwell.pdf         


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