It was the
night before Joe Pickens' turn as lookout aboard a 125-man Coast Guard ship
on routine duty 625 miles east of Bermuda. The ship had just been outfitted with sophisticated new
On this night in 1964, the lookout,
whose duty it was to scan the sea for anything and everything, called down to
the wheelhouse through the nearby voice-tube that he had spotted a
"light on the horizon." The radar officer below reported a clear screen, no bogies.
later, the lookout once again called down that it was ship. Moments passed
and he repeated his statement, adding that it was getting closer.
Still, radar wasn't tracking
time later, officers in the wheelhouse could hear the lookout screaming,
"Help! They're coming after me!"
for the lookout eventually located him, clinging to a 24" searchlight.
He was rescued, taken to sick bay, then eventually
shipped off to a hospital.
all thought the guy had gone crazy or was just trying to get out of watch
duty," Joe recalls.
next night was Joe's turn as lookout.
told my buddies I was going to take a gun with me," he laughs.
night, however, he wasn't laughing.
worried. I saw a light like the other man had seen, off the starboard bow. I
reported it, and the guys in the wheelhouse started kidding me. But it got
closer and closer. It sort of looked like a star on the horizon. There was nothing on radar.
thing I knew, it started getting real close, and it came up to within 300-400
yards of the ship!"
time, many men were watching, some taking pictures.
set there for about five minutes. I could see it move, but I couldn't tell its
shape or size. At one point, a 100-foot long, illuminated tube, like a
flexible fluorescent light or a rubber hose, lit up and came down out of this
thing. And then, all at once, it took off quickly at two or three times its
"Later, the CIC (Combat
Information Center) guys said they tracked it at 1,800 m.p.h. as it went out.
There was nothing in 1964 that could go that fast," he says, adding he
heard later that the ship's captain had radioed the sighting to a base on
Bermuda, and three jets had been scrambled.
This reference: West
Virginia UFOs: Close Encounters in the Mountain State by Bob Teets, pp. 137-138, © 1995
UFOCAT PRN – NONE
Atlantic Ocean – 625 miles east of Bermuda - Position unknown