As much as we may want to believe, it’s difficult to trust alleged UFO sightings. If nothing else, the photographic “evidence” is often too small and grainy, and the images that are clear always turn out to be hoaxes.
What makes the story below so remarkable is how believable the images are. And even if they aren’t depicting UFOs, well… the truth may be even more strange than you think.
In 1971, USS Trepang, an American Navy submarine, was on a voyage in the Arctic Ocean. It was supposed to be testing its weapons under the ice caps.
The vessel included Rear Admiral Dean Reynolds Sackett, Jr., who had spent the past year-and-a-half as the Trepang’s commanding officer, as well as John Klika, an officer who supposedly reported a very strange encounter.
An anonymous source claims that Klika was looking through the periscope when he saw an unusual object flying overhead. What did he see? It would be 40 years before that question was answered, startling people around the globe.
In 2015, the French publication Top Secret printed these images in an article, claiming that an anonymous source provided the photos.
There was very little information provided beyond the photographs themselves, although some were officially marked “not to be released” and “Unauthorized Disclosure Subject.”
Despite the warnings, Top Secret printed 11 of the pictures, each one showing what appears to be some sort of massive object hovering over and possibly crashing into water.
The Top Secret writer, confident that it was a UFO, wrote: “On this photo, we identify without a doubt a triangular-shaped UFO.”
The writer also describes it as a “cigar shaped” object surrounded by some sort of smoke or mist.
“Is it a ‘cigar’ that has been hit by a missile and is exploding at the surface of the water,” he pondered, “or a UFO that is coming out of the water and ready to fly?”
The crosshairs certainly seem to suggest that these photos were taken from a submarine periscope — like the Trepang in 1971 — though Top Secret made no effort to verify details.
Yet the story doesn’t end there. The photographs caught the eye of author Alex Mistretta, who has made a career out of investigating strange and unexplained phenomena, even publishing a book about UFOs.
Mistretta resorted to The Black Vault, an online tool that details declassified documents, to try to uncover this decades-old mystery. Through the site, he enlisted the help of Steve Murillo, a former US Navy pilot and the head of Los Angeles’s UFO and Paranormal Research Society.
In July 2015, with Murillo’s assistance, Mistretta tracked down Admiral Sackett. When asked about the images, Sackett claimed he “only saw ice.”
Disappointed — but not discouraged — Murillo then located officer Klika, who was identified by the anonymous source as the person who originally reported the UFOs. But while Klika expressed interest in the project, he denied seeing anything unusual during his time aboard the USS Trepang. It seems that someone was lying.
Time to fact-check. The Black Vault’s publisher, John Greenewald, Jr., confirmed that both Klika and Sackett were aboard the Trepang in March 1971. And using Hullnumber.com, a ship-tracking website, he verified that the Trepang was, indeed, on a mission in the Arctic when the photos were allegedly taken.
Mistretta realized that both Klika and Sackett had sound testimony, and that the photos didn’t have anything to do with the Trepang. It was likely that the names and other details were falsely attached to them to begin with.
Still, that begs the question: what were those strange shapes in the photos? Mistretta thinks he might have the answer after all. A search on the Library of Congress suggests that these were actually unmanned zeppelins, which may have been used as targets for testing the weaponry of the Trepang.
The massive balloons in the photos certainly look like they could be mistaken for “cigar-shaped” UFOs. Still, all of the photos of zeppelins that Mistretta found were taken prior to 1915. Is it possible that they were still being used in the 1970s? Additionally, wouldn’t Klika and Sackett remember seeing them?
We’re afraid the story of the Trepang and the UFOs remains a mystery. Users are still contributing their own theories on The Black Vault; hopefully we can finally expose the truth.
While we don’t want to accuse anybody of any wrongdoing, it’s hard not to suspect that somebody is covering something up here. We may never learn the truth, so until we do, this story can only remain fascinating!
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