Go Back Report # 1569


These reports are of Intermediate stature. They are UFOs in the sense that we don't know what they are, but for a variety of stated reasons, they are not worthy of the closest scrutiny. Note: UFOs (and IFOs) can fail to appear on radar for a wide variety of reasons.  

CASE: 3-7-1    
TYPE: CE 1/ implied radar       
DATE: 5-15-78
TIME: 1AM      
DURATION: 3-4 min. 
WITNESSES: 2          
Wewahitchka, FL        

   The petroleum tugboat "Lisa C" was moving 10-12 knots southbound on the winding Apalachicola River about 5-6 miles north of Wewahitchka (50.5 river miles from Apalachicola, FL) in a decidedly rural area of Florida. The 24-year-old pilot spotted a domed disc, the apparent size of the moon, steep in the SW sky. The disc was surrounded by what appeared to be 8 to 10 illuminated windows, 4-foot square, colored frosty pink. The whole river bank was lit up as if by moonlight. The pilot was so distracted by the sight that he almost missed the bend in the river. The disc then settled down behind the trees but the light could still be seen; the boat pilot felt that the object was set back about 150 feet into the woods and was on the order of 30 to 50 feet in size. The pilot went to get another sailor who saw it only through the trees. The location of the site was marked by a log jam in the river; once the boat was 15 minutes away from the site, the ship's radar (displaying returns from both banks) showed a strong return from something appearing over the dark image of the river bend behind them. The image stopped momentarily, then streaked off of the screen in 2 seconds.  

COMMENTS: Checks were made with the Panama City Coast Guard, Tindell and Eglin Air Force Bases, the Jacksonville FAA and the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center without obtaining additional word on the event. The case does not qualify as a true Radar/Visual, alas, as the object was not seen visually at the same time as "it" was viewed on radar. It is of interest to note the proximity in time and location to the Radar/ Visual sighting in Ocala, Florida, on May
14 at 10:30 PM chronicled in last month's IUR. To be on the safe side, IUR checked with several advertising plane companies in the area, but none of them were operating that late in such a rural area. The radar rig was described as a $10,000 Decca unit with a 1/2-mile display, 30 r.p.m. antenna sweep rate, 300-foot ceiling and a maximum 48-mile range. The radar antenna was positioned 25 feet above the water; the trees on both banks stood about 50 to 75 feet tall. Discussions with the ship's captain (asleep during the sighting) revealed that he had watched a radar target following them earlier in the evening for 20 miles; this was not seen visually by him, though.     

(Sources: Allan Hendry, International UFO Reporter, July 1978, pp. 2-3; UNICAT, case # 161.)           

Reference for the above text is: IUR (
International UFO Reporter), (CUFOS), July 1978, p. 2.          

UFOCAT PRN – 108213        
UFOCAT URN – 191839
UNICAT computer database by Willy Smith (820), #161, no © date  
UFOCAT URN – 108213 IUR (International UFO Reporter), (CUFOS), July 1978, p. 2    
UFOCAT URN – 167535 *U* UFO Computer Database by Larry Hatch, # XXXXXX, © 2002      

North America – United States, Florida, Gulf   
Wewahitchka   Latitude 30-06-46 N, Longitude 085-12-02 W (D-M-S) [populated place]        
Apalachicola River   Latitude 29-43-36 N, Longitude 084-58-39 W [stream - Franklin]
Reference: http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/f?p=154:1:1765846258792399         

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