Awesome or Off-Putting is a weekly delve into cryptozoology, ufology, medical marvels, scientific wonders, secret societies, government conspiracies, cults, ghosts, myths, religion, strange facts or just the plain unexplainable.
This week: Ufology
Everyone knows what a UFO is – it's an unidentified flying object – but few people are familiar with it's sister phenomenon the USO – the unidentified submerged object. USOs are reported far less frequently than it's relative, as so few people have access to underwater visuals. The encounters do happen however, and we've a small collection of them for you right here.
You're welcome, no seriously, you're welcome.
A USO is an unidentified submerged object which is to the water what UFOs are to the sky. Although USOs are reported far less frequently, they are reported. They're generally seen by fisherman, naval radar or locals in the vicinity of a body of water.
One sighting comes from an area just 20 miles south of Malta, where some men were fishing in their own small ship. They saw what they first took to be a monster (which they later described as looking a bit like a black submarine) floating on the water's surface, and panicked. They brought in their nets and started their engine when a bright light flashed from the craft. When it did, several creatures were seen running around on its deck. The men said the creatures were about the size of a ten-year-old boy, and had an apparatus around their waists that could only be seen during the ship's periodic flashes of light. When the small creatures clambered back into their craft, it glowed so bright it couldn't be looked at, and submerged under water.
In 1973 a Mississippi fisherman had an encounter with a submerged craft. It was after a month of unusually high UFO sightings, and happened in the Pascagoula river later in the day. The man claims there was a bright metallic object 4-6 feet below the surface. The craft was moving at a speed of 4-6 knots, and was emitting an amber beam of light. In a somewhat funny twist, the fisherman also claims to have had to beat it back with an oar as it kept coming in too close to his boat.
A sighting often considered the mother of all USO sightings happened in Nova Scotia's Shag Harbour circa 1967. A 60' ship had been hovering in the air flashing yellow-ish lights when it suddenly crashed (or flew) into the harbour. After it submerged, a yellow light could still be seen underwater – moving and leaving a trail of air-bubbles and yellow foam on the surface. The Canadian Coast Guard were called in thinking the crashed craft could have been an airplane. By the time they got there the only sign left was the 80' wide, half mile long trail of yellow foam. A thorough search in the water by divers, and on land for possible missing planes was conducted, but both searches turned up nothing.
Other reports claim that a second ship later dove into the water alongside the first. Speculation has it the second ship was helping repair its fallen comrade, and when those repairs were complete, the two ships flew off into the atmosphere. The actual crash had a witness list comprised of at least 11 people, and was reported to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In fact, three mounties were on site to see that first ship's yellow light moving about underwater.
The ocean is deep and relatively unexplored. Some think USOs to be the inhabitants of the lost Atlantis scoping us out, as opposed to extraterrestrials in for an inter-stellar visit. We think that whatever they are, they add to Earth's mystique – and that makes us a fan.
[story by Shawn Lindseth]