Go Back Report # 507
04-10-1977

04-10-1977  

THE STRANGE OBSERVATION OF THE M. V. DOLPHIN

       NICAP received the following report through the courtesy of Mr. Dave Squires, the operations officer of SEAN, the Scientific Event Alert Network. SEAN is a division of the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History and it deals with the researching of short-lived phenomena such as volcanoes, earthquakes, and meteors.

       The sighting report involves the captain and seven members of the crew of the Hellenic M.V. Dolphin. The vessel was in route from Koper, Yugoslavia, to Ashdod, Israel, on the evening of April 10, 1977, when the strange observation took place. 

FIRST APPEARANCE OF THE LIGHTS

       The observation that Ioannis S. Michalos, master of the Dolphin, registered upon his arrival in the port of Ashdod, two days after the event had occurred, revealed that at approximately 8:10 P.M., he, a lookout, and the cook witnessed three bright objects directly above the sea's surface. The objects were in a straight line and each one was as big as a size "A" star. The captain estimated their diameter to be about five centimeters. Their height, measured by sextant, was five degrees. A bearing on a gyro compass repeater placed the objects at 181-182-183 degrees.       
       The three objects remained steady and visible for ten minutes. At 8:20 they disappeared one after the other only to reappear five minutes later on bearing 189-189.5, altitude 2.56 degrees. Only two of the objects reappeared and both of their lights were a very bright orange.           

       The two objects began to move toward one another. At 8:29 one of the objects disappeared. The other was at bearing 188 and at 8:31, it too disappeared,

       The strange observation was not yet over. At 8:33 a single light became visible on bearing 189, altitude 2.56 degrees. At this time the first electromagnetic effects were observed. The captain's personal television, located in his office, stopped working. When the single light disappeared at 8:38, bearing 189, altitude 2 degrees, the television resumed normal functioning. Neither the electrician nor any other member of the ship had tampered with the A.C. motor. Also, during the five minutes of this sighting, the magnetic, compass was 20 degrees further east than normal. The compass was again working correctly at 8:38.         

POSITION OF THE SHIP

       On the evening of the sighting, the position of the Dolphin was approximately 32.13.0 north; 33.31.0 degrees east. Its course was 110 degrees; its speed 8 miles. The weather conditions were excellent with the wind ESE at 2-3 knots and the visibility at 15-20 miles. The ship's bearing was 075 degrees and had been checked with another vessel 18 miles away. The Dolphin's radar was working and showed a very thin cloud covering 12-14 miles 090 degrees east of the ship's course.       
       As the readings were being calculated, two of the objects on bearing 177-178, altitude 1.53, again appeared and began to approach one another. This time the chief engineer was called to the bridge to observe the event, and the second officer as well as the electrician followed him up to watch the sea's horizon and to witness the strange lights.         
       The two objects had reappeared at 8:45. At 8:52 one light disappeared. At 8:53 the second light followed the first and disappeared. At 8:56 one object again appeared, this time on bearing 180, altitude 1.13. The single light vanished at 9:01 still on bearing 180, altitude 1.23 degrees. At 9:05 three objects arranged in line formation became visible on bearing 187-187.5-188, altitude 1.53.0-1.53.5-1.54.0. The center light was moving steadily toward the left.           
       The three lights did not remain in position for long. At 9:08 the two end lights vanished, but the middle light ceased moving and remained visible. While the center light held its position, a second light appeared at sea level, on bearing 180 degrees. This sea level object disappeared at 9:11, but the center light remained steady. It was now on bearing 187, altitude 2.03.0. Then, at 9:21, this last light disappeared. Neither it nor any of the other lights reappeared again.      

NEW OBJECT APPEARS

       This was not the finale of the sighting, however. Not only had the bright orange lights gone, but the light cloud cover that had been observed on the radar screen also disappeared. Also, at 9:40, a new object suddenly came into view. It was a bright silver color, and at one second intervals, it emitted a bright bluish-white light.

       The bright silver object was on bearing 082 degrees, sextant altitude 25 degrees. It remained steady for three to four minutes when it unexpectedly zoomed downward with a tremendous speed, continuously emitting the bluish-white light, heading directly toward the sea. The object reached the sea's surface at 9:45 and was on bearing 087 degrees. It remained on the surface for about two minutes still giving off its light. The ship's radar was unable to pick up a return from the object. Then, at 9:47, this object also disappeared. The crew members searched the sea's surface and the sky carefully, looking for any reappearance of the objects they had seen during the past hour and a half. The captain and crew remained on the bridge through the rest of the night and into the next day.

       Only one last observation was made. At 1:05 A.M. a bright silver object appeared on the sea's surface, on bearing 092 degrees. It emitted the same bluish-white light and it vanished for the last time at 1:10 A.M.  

       Captain Michalos ended his report with the fact that, upon reaching Israel, he had checked with the proper authorities and had found that no Marine or Air military exercises had been executed at the time and date and position of his and his crew members' sighting.

       All eight of the eyewitnesses signed their names to the captain's report of the strange lights, They included the captain, the engineer, the second officer, the third engineer, the electrician, two watches, and the cook.                                                                                                          

This reference: The UFO Investigator (NICAP Publication), June 1977, pp. 1 & 3

With Thanks to Larry Hatch’s *U* UFO DATABASE, see http://www.larryhatch.net    

UFOCAT PRN – 103588

UFOCAT URN – 103588 J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies, January 12 1977

UFOCAT URN – 108937 The UFO Investigator (NICAP Publication), June 1977, pp. 1 & 3       

Mediterranean Sea

Koper, Yugoslavia        Latitude 45-33 N, Longitude 13-44 E (D-M)

Reference: Yugoslavia gazetteer, Published by the Defense Mapping Agency, Washington, D.C., March 1983.    

Ashdod, Israel Latitude 31-49 N, Longitude 34-39 E (D-M)

Reference: Israel gazetteer, Published by the Defense Mapping Agency, Washington, D.C., September 1983.        

UFO Location (UFOCAT)           Latitude 32.21 N, Longitude 33.52 E (D.%)

                            (Text)           Latitude 32-13-00 N, Longitude 33-31-00 E (D-M-S)

 



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