High Strangeness: Strange Goings On In The Gulf of Guinea

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Strange Goings On In The Gulf of Guinea

When one studies unexplained phenomenon, one develops a heightened awareness of patterns that suddenly occur within otherwise random data.

Take this weekend, for example. The MUFON "UFO Stalker" Twitter alert has been hyperactive for the past couple days, sending out multiple tweets every hour or so all day. That's not so odd in and of itself, but none of the tweets contain any text. Seemed kind of weird to me, so tonight I decided to click the links on the tweets to see what all these sighting reports were about... Turns out every last one of these dozens and dozens of tweets I've been receiving links to the same spot on the UFO Stalker map, and it's in the middle of the Gulf of Guinea off the west coast of Africa.

Each tweet shows up with a different MUFON case file number, but with absolutely no description of what was supposed to have been reported. So far no message from MUFON about any problems with their twitter feed, so either they are unaware or they are hoping no one would notice.

What is going on in the Gulf of Guinea? Here's a clue: I have found a reference to a strange sighting made from the steamship Fort Salisbury as it was sailing across the Gulf of Guinea in October, 1902. The lookout and the second officer saw a dark object that was at least 500 feet long, with lights at both ends, make a commotion in the calm sea and then submerge. Technically, this makes it an unidentified sinking object, but two out of three ain't bad.

The Fort Salisbury: does this ancient steamship hold the key to this weekend's MUFON twitter mystery?

Until MUFON can provide some explanation as to why the same thing keeps getting reported over and over and over, I will have to proceed with caution. Something is amiss, but who's messing with who?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's the position? I've got some really strange experiences very similar to Fort Salisbury from that area when I was a captain on a container vessel routing there and I have been looking for clues ever since!

Mark OC said...

I am sad to say that I can no longer find this case on the MUFON "UFO Stalker" sighting map, so I have no way of knowing the exact location. I'll see if I can find anything else, but since I wrote this a few years ago I can't promise anything.
I'd love to hear about your experiences, however! Is there a history of strange occurrences in the Gulf of Guinea?

Anonymous said...

Though I'm not so sure about the history of strange occurrences in the area -you have to have in mind the present development in the nearby countries (low), therefore even if there have been occurrences internet is not the place for them to show up. The seas are often desolate and empty if you compare to Europe for example, where loads of oil-rigs, traffic and leisure boats are everywhere. Gulf of Guinea and nearby countries are almost totally dark on satellite night pictures. Anyway, in 2012 when I had a bridge watch (early night) on my vessel I sat in my chair as usual and for a long time it seemed like a full moon or similar was shining through the low cumulus clouds, reflecting and enlightening a big part of the sea close to the ship port bow. I didn't pay it any attention for a while since it was "stationary" I took for granted it was the moon. But when I in a passing moment noticed the real moon on the other side of the ship I quickly grabbed my binoculars and saw to lights (warm yellow) first kind of hovering 100 m up in the air or so in-between the clouds, I couldn't se very clearly so I went out to the bridge wing. When i did this the twi light (which I followed with my eyes during my walk out) moved out from the clouds getting close to the port side of the ship. They were super quick, smooth movements and totally quite. I looked through the binoculars again and this time I saw that the two lights were the ends of a huge vessel, as big or bigger than my own ship (216m), in the binoculars I could outline details, many small lights (whiter in color), like windows and i could see the vessels border around it, I presume it was dark in color. At this time I actually started shaking because the sight in front of me was breaking every physics rule i know. It was huge, quite and fast and it was flying close to the sea surface. As soon as I went out to the wing it changed course, I followed it in the binoculars and it flew away towards the horizon (away from land) until the light went out. I waited, nothing. I went inside continuing my work always with one eye outside. In a moment of spare time I just stood and watched the spot and suddenly the same yellowish light (one light this time) far of in distance glowed up and after a second it started falling, behind a low cloud, reappearing on the other side, continuing to fall and in to the ocean and then gone. I wrote every detail down of course, time position and the events. I have gone past this spot many times after this but never seen it again. Some times I search the net for fun and the only event in the area that I have found is Fort Salisbury and the fun thing is that is also very similar to mine! 100 years off in time!
As I am very used to different kinds of observations in my profession I can say this, there's no routes in that direction where this thing was going, no rigs, nothing, no ship or plane goes that course straight into nothing because its not the shortest path and it doesn't connect to spots or anything at all. I can very well judge size and distances. The only thing I regret today is that I never watched the radar. I was so busy following the thing with my binoculars... And yes, the depth of the sea in that area is 4500 m ca. Isn't so that we know more about areas in space than in our own seas...;) Have you heard similar stories but at other places?

Mark OC said...

Now, that's a fascinating story, and you tell it well. Clearly, someone in your position knows what does and does not belong in the night skies above the ocean... What's the procedure in such a situation? Are you required to log the sighting or to report it to your captain, your employer or whatever maritime authority under which you operate?

Anonymous said...

Thanks :) There's no procedure! There's no need to report anything in the log that doesn't affect the ship... A crew member must report to the captain if a situation seems to be a danger to the ship. No other obligations. Maritime shipping is a complex and very international business, in one shipment there could be twenty countries involved from cargo owners, flagstate, manning country, territorial waters country etc etc. It's kind of fluid, and in this case I was personally, highly interested to follow up the observation of completely selfish reasons :) Anyhow, if you happen to find that position some time, I'd be grateful!