Seattle-bound crew saw U.F.O.
A document signed by four crewmen aboard the vanship1 President Johnson describes an unidentified glowing object seen in the Pacific as the ship was en route from Yokohama to Seattle.
The time of the sighting coincided generally with reports of U.F.O. sightings off New Zealand.
Four men on the Johnson’s bridge, including Third Mate Billie D. Norton, said the object appeared as a light which Norton considered to be from a vessel, but nothing appeared on the Johnson’s two radars.
Norton fixed the sighting at Latitude 36 degrees, 18 minutes North and Longitude 147 degrees, 29 minutes E or W2
The watch was changing just before 8 p.m. ship’s time December 30.
On December 31, news services reported unidentified flying objects popping up again over New Zealand and accounts of an Australian television crew filming elusive glowing spheres.
Norton said the first appearance was only a glow. At 8:12 p.m. the light appeared on the horizon, very bright and round like a white, frosted electric light bulb. It appeared about half the size of a full moon, if one had been on the horizon.
The Johnson’s captain Dxxxeri K. Coppock was called to the bridge.
At 8:27 the light was on the Johnson’s starboard beam, appearing to be 3 to 5 miles off, still not showing on the ship’s radars.
“Our vessel was in force-8 seas and winds up to 35 knots. The ship was rolling 15 degrees, but the light was showing no motion in any manner. It seemed to be a fixed object such as a rock or a land mass, or hovering close to or above the water,” Norton said.
“Our navigational charts showed no land within hundreds of miles from our position.”
Norton said men in the wheelhouse watched the light through binoculars, and it appeared to be suspended and “attached to nothing.”
The document, dated January 1  at sea, was signed by Norton and able-seamen Alfred Kroll, George Williams and Howard Bethell, who was at the helm.
Norton said the Johnson’s Captain Coppock also observed the object.
The Johnson was at sea yesterday and none of the men was available for further comment.
An official at American President Lines offices here said he had spent considerable time with the captain and other of the ship’s crew, but nobody mentioned the incident to him.
Reference for the above text is: MUFON UFO Journal, #134, March-April 1979, p. 19, “In others’ words” by Lucius Farish.
Original reference: Times, Seattle, WA – Jan. 18, 1979.
UFOCAT PRN - 110602
UFOCAT URN – 110602 MUFON UFO Journal, #134, March-April 1979, p. 19, “In Others’ Words” by Lucius Farish.
North Pacific Ocean
Eastern Asia - Japan
Yokohama Latitude 35-28-00 N, Longitude 139-42-00 E (D-M-S) [Harbor]
North America – United States, Washington, King
Seattle Latitude 47-36-49 N, Longitude 122-21-11 W (D-M-S) [Harbor]
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