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May 18th 2024 - 00:43

Thread #144

Portrait for kpbosun

by: kpbosun
July 24th, 2005
wheels of light
I ran across weird tales in books many years ago, by Edgar Casey. They were of the Bermuda Triangle ilk, but fun to read. Most of the stuff was a little off the wall. One of the tales was about giant spoked wheels of light rotating in the Indian Ocean/Sumatra Straits area. He was trying to make a case for them being beacons for aliens or something. I had to laugh because I had seen them myself and knew what they were, but it showed how these stories get started.
I was Third Mate on the USNS Maumee. We were eastbound in the Sumatra Straits on a run to Okinawa with jet fuel and motor gas for the US Navy. I was on the 12 to 4 night watch. It was a quiet night with a following wind and probably three foot seas. I donīt remember if it was cloudy or moonless, but it was very dark. Unfortunately I donīt recall the month, but I will guess August or September based on the trip as I remember it.
Over time I noticed bands of light, in the water, approaching from the stern, passing the ship and dissappearing into the distance ahead. When I looked on either side of the vessel, the bands appeared to converge at two distant hubs or points, one to port and one to starboard. It looked for all the world as if the ship was sailing between the teeth of two giant gears. I was so impressed that I actually made a log entry about it. I have often wondered what the port captains thought about it when they reviewed the logs months later.
I did figure out what I had been seeing, but not for a day or so. Every sailor has seen the bow wave glow with phosphoresence at one time or another. They have seen the churning light in the wake. What I had seen was the glow in the crests of the following seas passing by in parallel bands. The perspective view of parallel lines converging in the distance, gave the impression of "hubs" off toward the horizon. At the time I did not think it spooky, but, Casey certainly did his best to make it so in his book.
The oceans are a wonderful world and offer much to those who will take the time to look.
Have you ever rowed a dinghy on a dark night just to see the flashing lights?
It has been so many years since I have had a chance to do this that I wonder if anybody still bothers.
67% (2)
No, It never crossed my mind
33% (1)
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