Go Back Report # 1640



Seattle, Wash.

Mr. Ivan T. Sanderson

RE: your article in March 1970 issue of Argosy Magazine:        

Ship: James S. Lawson; agent, Northland Transportation Co., Seattle. This firm has since been acquired by Alaska Steamship Co., Seattle.           
   I was one of several witnesses as a crew member to the following event that occurred during the last part of September or the first part of October 1945 at about 11:00 P.M. The James S. Lawson was a Liberty Merchantman returning to the U.S. from Iwo Jima-Guam-Midway after having discharged cargo. The Japanese surrender had signaled the return of the ship to the U. S.
   The return voyage up to this point had been uneventful and pleasant. The weather was calm, warm and clear. We had been running parallel and about 8 miles off shore of the coast of Costa Rica and still under total "Blackout" due to rumors of renegade Japanese submarines being in the area. Several members of the crew were on the foredeck relaxing in the open and balmy air.     
   The sudden appearance of a strong orange-colored disc-shaped object directly off the starboard bow about fifty feet and about twenty feet submerged alerted the relaxing sailors. The light was at first thought to be a light leak from one of the several porthole wind-scoops or from a ship’s light near the bridge. A quick check proved no light leaks and no reflected light from the ship's bridge. 
   The orange disc maintained an even pace off the starboard bow for about twenty minutes and did not vary in depth nor show any independent movement nor were there any identifications on the object. It appeared simply as a large orange-colored 25 to 30 foot diameter disc, and it maintained its absolutely even pace of the ship in a fixed and rigid position. After the twenty minute period it rapidly outpaced the ship still submerged and disappeared. It did not change shape or color as would seaweed or fluorescent algae or a school of fish.    
   Several members of the crew that observed the object stated that though some had sailed for many years, they were not able to identify the strange light. The light remained constant in brightness and did not vary nor was there any electrical display.  
   The event was not logged as is indicated in the attached Xerox copy of the letter from the Historical Dept. of the U. S. Maritime Commission.        
   I have long ago lost contact with any members of the crew that were witnesses.            
   This event occurred before the present U.F.O. problem though at that time we heard many
references to “Foo Fighters” in the Pacific Area, no connection to the two types of mysteries were considered.     

Thank you for your attention, I hope the report will be of value to you.


Reference for the above text is: Ivan T. Sanderson’s archive of papers sent to me (CF) by Jan Aldrich.     


Asia – Japan    
Iwo Jima           Latitude 30-48-00 N, Longitude 130-18-00 E (D-M-S) [island]      
Reference: http://geonames.nga.mil/ggmaviewer/    

Pacific - organized, unincorporated territory of the United States       
Guam               Latitude 13-26-40 N, Longitude 144-44-12 E (D-M-S) [island]           
References: http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/f?p=154:1:1765846258792399       
and: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guam         

Pacific - unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States   
Midway             Latitude 28-12-19 N, Longitude 177-21-41 W (D-M-S) [island]                    
References: http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/f?p=154:1:1765846258792399 and:           

Would have come through the Panama Canal 

Central America          
Panama Canal   Latitude 09-20-00 N, Longitude 079-55-00 W (D-M-S) [navigation canal(s)] 
Costa Rica         Latitude 10-00-00 N, Longitude 084-00-00 W [independent political entity]       
Reference: http://geonames.nga.mil/ggmaviewer/    

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