The witness in the following report wishes to remain anonymous. The case is rather old, and therefore memory makes the event a bit cloudy. So. . .
USS ARNEB (AKA-56)
Originally known as Mischief [July 06, 1943]
To anyone who remembers this incident, I would sure like
and to make this a multiple-witness case.-CF
I was told of this incident by a friend of mine and met the witness at a conference. The witness seems quite sincere about what he had heard while serving onboard this vessel. If you care to insert “Messina” to the search engine on the List of Sightings page, you will find that it is an active place for UFO sightings, judging by the number of cases reported there. – CF-
E-mail dated June 2, 2011
I am not sure if it would help your research but the designation of the ship was changed from AKA to LKA at one point [January 01, 1969] to soften the language (Landing Cargo vs. Attack Cargo). Also, I cannot claim to have personally seen the sighting. I was on a watch in the engine room and couldn’t get anyone to relieve me long enough to go up and see. By the time my watch was over, they were gone. All I know about it was secondhand information and descriptions. Also, I have seen the name of the ship spelled with both one and two A’s as in Aarneb or Arneb.
The witness did not feel that he had much to say about the incident; however, I mentioned that perhaps at some future point someone who was on the deck that evening might stumble across this report and add to it. From this point on, all communication was done by e-mail.-CF-
E-mail dated June 3, 2011
Ok, I will try to put something together for you. I only made one winter cruise to the Med. [Mediterranean Sea] and I don’t recall it being cold that trip, so it must have been a spring or summer event if that is helpful.
E-mail dated June 3, 2011
It was, to the best of my recollection, the 8:00 p.m. to midnight watch, best guess or memory, spring or summer. Now that I think on it a little more, it was most likely ’70. I was on the Throttle watch in the engine room (below decks and obviously no windows). Throttles is a hot, generally less than desirable watch because you can’t move more than about five feet in any direction… you need to be near the throttle wheels controlling speed by watching the engine RPMs. We were in the Straits of Messina off the coast of Italy. Word started to circulate sometime after dark about, I believe, three lights in the sky. They supposedly were doing some weird movements and, again I am told, not picked up on radar; or as I heard it reported, radar didn’t work properly while they were up there1. I don’t know how high they were, not having seen them personally and it never occurred to me to ask anyone. I couldn’t get anyone to relieve me long enough to get up on deck to see them (throttles being not something you trade off easily). Sometime before midnight, they just took off as those things are often reported to do… way too fast for anything we know about...and didn’t return.
Reference for the above text is: Short interview with the witness, followed by e-mail exchanges. Case investigation files of Carl Feindt.
Note 1: In my book UFOs and Water, I have several cases where UFOs have NOT been detected by radar, even when seen visually by witnesses. The proximity of a UFO may render a ship’s radar inoperable and could also cause the failure of other electronic instruments onboard. A UFO may also interfere with car engines, TV sets, etc. Usually these outages only last while the UFO is in the area. Of course regarding this particular sighting, to say that UFOs are responsible for what happened with the ship's radar is speculation on my part as there is no confirmation of it by the ship's radar operators at present.-CF-
UFOCAT PRN - NONE
Europe – Italy, Sicilia (Sicily). Body of water is the Strait of Messina.
Strait of Messina Latitude 38-15-00 N, Longitude 015-35-00 E (D-M-S)
Between 8 February and 22 February 1967, Arneb was in dry dock at the Bethlehem Steel Corp., in Baltimore. She then moved to the Berkeley yards of the Norfolk Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. for the remainder of her overhaul. With the overhaul completed and following refresher training during the summer of 1967, Arneb resumed her standard operating schedule of local Atlantic coast operations.
Arneb deployed to the Mediterranean in January 1968 and spent five months there as part of the 6th Fleet's Amphibious Ready Force. In August 1968, the cargo ship became the first amphibious ship and the first AKA qualified for spacecraft recovery duty, and she was on station as the secondary recovery vehicle for the Apollo 7 flight in October.
On 1 January 1969, Arneb was reclassified as an amphibious cargo ship, LKA-56. Arneb made three more Mediterranean cruises in 1969 and 1970 and participated in numerous Caribbean exercises before the Navy decided to end her naval service. Rather than inactivate and preserve the worn old ship, the Board of Inspection and Survey for the Atlantic Fleet recommended that Arneb be disposed of by sale.
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