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Early UFO cases:

The case of the USAT. Delarof, 1945:


NICAP report:

Most Detailed Case

The most detailed of these cases involved a large UFO seen in 1945 by crew members of the U.S. Army Transport "Delarof," which had been hauling munitions and supplies to Alaska. The reporting witness, recently interviewed, was Robert S. Crawford, now a consulting geologist with the Indiana Soil Testing Laboratory, Griffith, Ind. Crawford is a graduate of the University of North Dakota, and while at the college he reported the sighting to Prof. N. N. Kohanowski, Dept. of Geology, who is a NICAP adviser. In 1967, Mr. Crawford was interviewed by Dr. James E. McDonald, a scientist at the University of Arizona, who under a university grant has personally investigated numerous UFO reports.

The Delarof incident occurred in the summer of 1945, while Crawford was serving as one of the Army radiomen aboard. The ship, heading back to Seattle, was in the open sea past Adak. It was about sunset, and Crawford was on the port side near the radio room. When he heard shouts from some of the crew, he turned and saw a large round object which had just emerged from the sea. (Several crewmen saw the UFO actually appear from underwater, an estimated mile or so from the "Delarof")

The unknown craft, showing darkly against the setting sun, climbed almost straight up for a few moments, then it arced into level flight, and began to circle the ship. All the observers were convinced it was a large object. Comparing it with the width of a finger held out at arm's length, Crawford estimated the UFO to be 150 to 250 feet in diameter.

As it circled the Delarof, the flying object was in easy range of the ship's guns. But the gun crews held their fire, though on tight alert for any sign of hostility.

The UFO circled the vessel two or three times, moving smoothly and with no audible sound. All the witnesses felt it was self-propelled; otherwise, the strong winds would have visibly affected its movements.

After several minutes, the flying object disappeared to the south or south-southwest. Suddenly the crew saw three flashes of light from the area where it had vanished. The Delarof captain posted an extra watch as the ship moved through that sector later, but nothing was seen.

At Seattle, 14 crewmen signed a summary of the sighting. Attempts are being made to locate the report, mainly so as to interrogate other witnesses and perhaps learn more details.

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This page was last updated on February 17, 2002.