Coast Guard Cutter "Sebago" RV Case
November 5, 1957
Gulf of Mexico

Updated by Thomas Kirk 5/11/2007:

Just after 5:00 a.m. the U. S. Coast Guard Cutter Sebago was about 200 miles south of the Mississippi delta. At 5:10 the bridge (correction, shipboard) radar suddenly showed an unidentified target at 246 degrees true, moving N to S., range 12,000 yards (almost 7 miles). On duty were Ensign Wayne Schotley (Shockley), deck officer, Lt. (j.g.) (LTJG) Donald Schaefer, first class quartermaster Kenneth Smith, and radioman (radarman) Thomas Kirk.

Interviewed in New Orleans, Ensign Schotley (Shockley) was asked how good the radar target was.

Schotley: (Shockley) "The ship's combat information center confirmed the sighting. At that point it was reported falling astern rapidly. It was a good pip [target]. It was a very strong contact, considered good."

Cmdr. James N. Schrader, spokesman in New Orleans, said that at one point "in two minutes it went 33 miles straight away from the ship." (About 1020 mph.)

At 5:14 contact was lost.

At 5:16 contact was regained, object about 22 miles north.

At 5:18 Object faded off radar screen, range about 55 miles.

At 5:20 contact regained, object appeared stationary, seven miles due north.

About this time, A/lC William J. Mey, an Electronics technician at Keesler AFB, Mississippi (about 320 miles to the north on the Gulf Coast) spotted an elliptical UFO. In his signed report to NICAP, A/lC Mey gives the time as approximately 5:20 a.m. Looking south, he saw the UFO approach on a northerly course at about the speed of a propeller airliner, then accelerate rapidly and disappear into some clouds.

This suggests that more than one UFO may have been operating in the area, and that the Sebago's radar may have tracked more than one of them. A/1C Mey's report is fairly consistent with the 5:18 radar report of the UFO headed north at over 1000 mph. If Mey actually saw the UFO at 5:28, it would have averaged about 1590 mph., from the time it faded from the Sebago's radar screen. If he saw it precisely at 5:20 a.m., it would have had to accelerate to nearly 8000 mph. to cover the distance in that time).

At 5:21 the Sebago regained radar contact, and also saw the UFO visually for 3-5 seconds as a brilliant white object with no distinguishable shape. It was at a bearing of 270 degrees true (west), elevation about 31 degrees, moving horizontally from south to north. (A navigator obtained the elevation by noting a star at the same angle and taking a sextant reading of it). The UFO finally entered a cloudbank and disappeared.

At 5:37 the cutter reported its last radar contact with the object, about 175 miles to the north, traveling about 660 mph.

NICAP UFO Evidence, 86
[See Section XII, November 1957 chronology, for other reports during the same period.]