Water Wheels and Other Luminous Marine Phenomena

For examples and sketches see the Science and Water UFOs section under:


A Bibliography of this topic can be found at the end of this section.

       Water Wheels are in my opinion, one step above the bottom of the UFO barrel, which is the Totally Submerged page in this site. While lights have been seen to exit or enter water, I have not found an instance where a water wheel did the same.

       Yet, in Ufology several examples of this have been put into the books on UFOs and therefore continue to add the fascination of a “perhaps” factor. Being circular, they of course fit our idea of a saucer shape. Their speed in rotation and forward motion makes us ask, what natural fish or group of fishes/mammals could do the same? However, until one comes out of the water, and is recognized as a flying object, I feel that we have to put such reports at arms length, and wait for a more viable answer.

       In the following introduction to Water Wheels in his book “Remarkable Luminous Phenomena In Nature: A Catalog Of Geophysical Anomalies”, Mr. Corliss, has a similar problem in assigning the phenomena to a natural cause:         

“Possible Explanations. Certainly bioluminescence is the most likely source of

light, although observers frequently remark that the ship's wake is not luminous

during wheel-type displays. The aerial wheels of luminous mist, if not illusory,

would require air-borne organisms in cases where no wheel is visible in the water

proper. Earthquake tremors may stimulate bioluminescence, with the interference

patterns created by multiple sources accounting for the complex display

geometries. The persistence of intricate geometries over many minutes seems to

militate against this theory. Again, as in GLW3, the strong similarity of some

marine phosphorescent displays to the so-called low-level auroras (GLA4) is

striking. Some wheel observers have noted this, and electromagnetic forces

should not be dismissed off hand.”        p. 346

I would like to play the Devil’s advocate here to mention that in much of our UFO literature “electromagnetic forces” are the crux of the explanations given for many of the physical properties observed in connection with the UFO. This could then – in our way of thinking – be the very reason for the stimulation of the marine creatures responsible for the phosphorescence. But I reiterate here, that no “craft” has been seen in connection with this phenomenon, either under, over or entering or exiting the water, so speculation is all we have.

Mr. Corliss’s overview of the phenomenon on pages 357-359 is quite interesting and puts the problem of these light sources clearly in the “unsolved” category. Hopefully we can share the information gleaned from ancient and current texts, to solve this riddle together.       

For an incomplete listing of sources on this phenomenon see Bibliography