Case Directory
  Category 2, Close Encounters 
Rating: 5  

A Hynek Classification of Close Encounter is usually an incident involving an object less than 500 feet from the witness.  The size of the object,  viewing conditions, or stereoscopic vision (depth perception)  may render the object in greater detail and still qualify the sighting as a Close Encounter even though the object may have been beyond 500'.  The incident depicted in the logo was encountered during an intense storm near Princeton, IN,  Aug. 1973.

Orb Approached Forklift Aboard U.S.S. Maunakea
Jan 15, 1973
South China Sea

Robert Speering:
Jan 15, 1973; South China Sea
Bt. 2:00 and 4:00 a.m. The U.S.S Maunakea was an ammunitions boat designated AE22. It docked at sea with the U.S.S. Oklahoma City to hand over its arsenel of nuke tipped missiles to the Oklahoma. Witness was on the Maunakea loading nukes with a forklift on deck. Orb approached to within 10 feet of witness. It was car sized. Witness felt chills and felt he was being observed. Seaman Bill Sleuter and three others were also witnesses. Witness checked radar room later. No images of object registered. Size remained static even though object came in close to ship and should have enlarged. Saw object 10 minutes up close then it disappeared. Total length of sighting over an hour. When first seen it was 30 feet off the sea and about 100 to 500 feet off the stern. Pulsating orb of varying colors including red green and white. Ship was moving at 18 knots and object kept up. At the time witness was emptying hold number 4 of 5 holds which was the hold with the nukes. They had no escort but may have been trailed by a sub for protection. Bill Sleuter may have been from Plains, Nebraska but I could not find him in legal records on.

ery suspicious encounter especially concerning nuke tipped missiles which were a secret during the war. There is, of course, the possibility it was a plasma ball like ball lightning which was carried along by being magnetically linked to ship hull. However duration of sighting is too long for ball lightning. Additionally, the majority of MUFON reports from Vietnam in the CMS were reported by U.S. Sailors during the war. Technically, this is an orb and falls under Unknown -  Other category. However, object displayed intelligence and may have been some sort of vehicle. 3/7/2020

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