On November 11th, 1949 in the Hormuz Straits in the Persian Gulf USN Commander Bodler and his team witnessed a strange USO - an Unidentified Submarine Object. The following event would be recorded, remembered, and wondered about by the UFO community ever since.
Commander J.R. Bodler wrote in an article that appeared in the United States Naval Institute Proceedings writing, “About four points on the port bow, toward the coast of Iran, there was a luminous band which seemed to pulsate. Its appearances suggested the aurora borealis, but much lower’ in fact on or below the horizon. Examination with binoculars showed that the luminous area was definitely below the horizon, in the water, drawing nearer to the vessel. With the approach of this phenomenon, it became apparent that the pulsations seemed to start in the center of the band and outwards towards its extremities.”
Imagine how stunningly strange this must have been to behold. These seafaring men were aware of the Aurora Borealis and the extreme beauty and power it had...and now they were seeing something similar, impossibly, below the horizon that seemed to be pulsating and moving closer and closer to the ship.
Commander Bodler continued, “At a distance of about a mile from the ship, it was apparent that the disturbance was roughly circular in shape, about 1,000 to 1,500 feet in diameter. The pulsating could now be seen to be caused by a revolving motion of the entire pattern about a rather ill-defined center; with streaks of light like the beas of searchlights, radiating outward from the center and revolving like the spokes of the gigantic wheel.”
I find it quite interesting that although this was originally compared to the Aurora Borealis, natural phenomena, it is clearly very different. Unlike the Aurora Borealis, this wheel of light is described in mechanical terms, almost like a machine although what its use would (or could) be baffled the Commander and his crew.
The vessel, at one point, occupied the center of the phenomenon which must have been initially terrifying to the crew. “Slightly curved bands of light crossed the bow, passed rapidly down the port side from bow to stern, and up the starboard side from the aft, forward. The luminosity was sufficient to make portions of the vessel’s upper works quite visible. The bands of luminance seemed to pass a given point at about half-second intervals. As may well be imagined the effect was weird and impressive in the extreme; with the vessel seeming to occupy the center of a huge pinwheel whose spokes consisted of phosphorescent luminance revolving rapidly as the vessel a hub.”
Commander Bodler did not specifically believe this strange phenomenon to be unearthly at first. In fact, he believed that “the actual illumination was caused by the natural phosphorescence in the water, periodically stimulated by regular waves of energy” and that the machine-like appearance could have been caused by “schools of fish, porpoises, or similar cause.”
This would happen two more times on this clear night, with the third and last being smaller and much less brilliant.
Commander Bodler ended the report with, “It is the present writer's conviction that he has been privileged to witness one of the rare instances of a most curious and impressive natural phenomenon. If other seafarers have had a similar experience, or [if] anyone of scientific bent can offer an explanation of the foregoing, he would be most interested to learn more on the subject.”
It does cause me to wonder...with a man with so much experience and a crew full of men who had been at sea for weeks, months, and years that they could not identify this phenomenon and could not even confirm it was fish. Although it happened three times and it was a clear night, there was never a clear answer to this strange phenomenon.
I am unsure if anyone ever reached out to Commander Bolder with a similar experience, or he had ever witnessed anything similar the rest of the time he spent at sea. One thing is certain...whatever was seen, whether it be natural or supernatural, was certainly astonishing.
Thank you to Marco A for this #Blogstonishing suggestion!
The above image is of the Aurora borealis in Torkilstöten, Ljungdalen by Arild Vagen licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0