UFOs Seen by Crew of an American Aircraft-Carrier
(1952 - 1958)

© By Chester C. Grusinski
(Michigan, USA)August 25 1994

Dear Mr. Creighton.

Would you be interested in details of several UFO sightings by crew members of the U.S. Navy’s 45,000 ton aircraft-carrier Franklin D. Roosevelt CVA - 42.

I was myself a member of her crew from 1958 to 1960, and I was one of the many eyewitnesses in one of the UFO sightings, in September or October of 1958. The ship was on a shake-down cruise off the U.S. Naval Base of Guantanamo in Cuba, at between 8.00 and 10.00pm, when a small light appeared and started following us and then headed straight for us. The sky was clear, the air warm, and, as I was not on duty I had gone up on to the flight-deck (where I should not rightly have been).

Suddenly the thing was overhead; it was cigar-shaped, with a row of windows, through which we could see the figures of people watching us. I could feel the heat from the craft on my face. It was quite silent. Altogether I estimate that up to 25 other men who were there on the flight deck also saw it.

Through the ship’s intercom someone from the bridge watch was screaming for the officer of the deck or bridge to get up there at the double. Then suddenly the object turned to a red-orange colour. (This was when, against the dark night sky, I was able to see its ‘cigar’ shape.) And it vanished rapidly. Meanwhile the ship’s own movement had stopped suddenly. I estimate that the sighting may have lasted five minutes or more.

Special investigators from the CIA subsequently came aboard the carrier. (On the pretext that they were allegedly investigating "gambling below-deck"!) But they questioned many sailors about this sighting. My own Petty Officer First Class questioned me about what I had seen and I replied that I did not know what it was. After that, I heard nothing more about the matter.

Years later, after I had left the Navy, I joined the FDR Reunion Group so as to be in touch with some of the others who had been with me on the flight-deck that night and who might help me to document the event.

The widow of one of my friends (he had since died) told me he had discussed it with her and had spoken of "a big red ball leaving the ship". And gradually I learned of quite a lot of other UFO sightings from aboard our ship.

One other such sighting --- now quite famous --- had been on September 20, 1952, when the F.D. Roosevelt was taking part in "Operation Mainbrace" with the NATO fleets, in the English Channel and North Sea. Three photographs of the UFO, a fast-flying disc, were taken at the time, by a journalist named Wallace Litwin who was aboard our carrier. The disc was following the NATO ships. Those who saw the disc were numerous. And there were also many other UFO sightings in Western Europe on that same day during the NATO exercise. One of these sightings was of a flying disc, seemingly metallic, at 7.30 pm over the most important military airfield in Denmark.

In the course of my enquiries, I discovered evidence of at least three and probably more, other UFO sightings from my carrier. One, in 1953, had been observed by the bridge watch and picked up on the Commander-in-Chief’s radar.

In 1956 there came another sighting, when the ship was anchored in the harbour at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and UFOs were seen by many of the crew, including officers. I learned that one of the witnesses drew sketches of the UFOs. The sketches were sent to the U.S. Department of Defence, and the witness was warned that he "should tell nobody about it for twenty years."

In that same year, 1956, came yet another sighting - by a Chief Warrant Officer, and it was also registered on the radar of the Commander-in-Chief. The radar operators said the UFO vanished off their ‘scope’ after only two or three sweeps. And I also know that there were more cases yet.

But we can be sure that the Regulation JANAP 146 (E) will have prevented details of any of these cases getting onto the warship’s log-books. However I possess letters of testimony from a number of crew members. I also enclose herewith, along with a photo of the carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, prints of two of the photos of the flying disc taken on September 20, 1952 by Wallace Litwin during "Operation Mainbrace", and a sketch of the scene on our flightdeck on the night in 1958 when, off the coast of Cuba, I saw the big ‘cigar.’ This sketch was made by my companion and fellow-witness William Scott. Along with the photo of our carrier, I also enclose a copy of the official U.S. Navy’s MERINT radio-telegraph procedure chart for reporting UFOs, and a copy of the letter of promulgation issued on March 31, 1966, by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in connection with JANAP 146 (E) instructions for the reporting of vital Intelligence sightings (incidentally still in force today.)

Finally I should mention that the F.D. Roosevelt was decomissioned in October 1977 and sold for scrapping in March 1978.

Yours sincerely Chet Grusinski
19780 Vermander Street, Clinton T.W.P.
Michigan 48035, USA
(USS FDR CVA 42, 1958-1960)


"Operation Mainbrace", designed as a NATO show of strength against Soviet Russia, comprised no less than 85,000 men and 160 ships including eight big aircraft-carriers from USA, Britain and Canada. Two of the American carriers, The Midway and the F.D. Roosevelt, were 45,000 tonners.

The same day, September 20, 1952, at Pitreavie, Scotland (according to an INS Press report) the RAF staff officers engaged on "Operation Mainbrace" held an enquiry into this UFO sighting, and at the same time they investigated another report that ten men in an RAF bombing plane had been followed, on the same day, by a circular silver object while they were flying over Yorkshire.

In Britain it is claimed today that all the official RAF Intelligence reports on "Operation Mainbrace" are now "missing" (just as the U.S. documentation on the Roswell crash of 1947 is also all "missing"!) The British Public Records Office is said to hold only a very little material on "Mainbrace", and even that is classified for 50 years.

In the USA, Mr. Chester Grusinski tells us that he availed himself of the provisions of the much-vaunted "Freedom of Information Act" and asked the National Security Agency (NSA) for details about his sighting, and was informed by them on November 3, 1992, that there is no record at NSA of the "incident concerning the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CVA - 42".

Larry Bryant of CAUS (Citizens Against UFO Secrecy) also wrote, on July 27, 1980, to the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Dept, Washington, D.C., and he too received no satisfaction.

So far as I am aware, the only books in which reference is made to the "Operation Mainbrace" sighting of 1952 are:-

1. Aimé Michel: The Truth About Flying Saucers. (Translation, American edition, Criterion, New York, 1956).

2. Dr. Jacques Vallée: Anatomy of a Phenomenon (1965).

3. Timothy Good: UFO Report, 1992 (published by Sidgwick and Jackson, London).

As regards Mr. Grusinski’s 1958 sighting, so far as I am aware, there is nothing else published yet except for a slightly shorter account, also furnished by Mr. Grusinski himself, on pages 21/23 of Issue No. 9 (1995) of the excellent Ohio UFO Notebook, Editors W.E. Jones and I. Scott, Box 162, 5837 Karrie Square, Dublin, Ohio 43017, USA.

What a relief it is to read a straightforward account like this from such a worldly-wise person as an American sailor, for there is no denying the fact that we have seen a number of very peculiar "UFO books" lately! For example we have just seen one man in Scotland producing a book "proving that the UFO mystery has been solved by him". UFos simply don’t exist! And here in England we have recently seen a book proving that UFOs are all due to allergy!

Are these writers simply demented? (We know that madness is vastly on the increase, all over the world.)

Or is it not perhaps more likely that such authors are being hired, being paid, to write such balderdash by those whose prime intention it is to spread total confusion and instability among us?


In March 1992 I received a press-clipping from a notorious British tabloid newspaper dated February 23 of that year. There was a photograph, allegedly taken on April 16, 1989 by a U.S. seaman aboard the giant carrier USS Nimitz in the Eastern Pacific, and showing a large alien disc landing on the deck of the ship.

I dismissed the story at the time as the usual nonsense, and put it in my "loony bag". But a good deal has happened since 1989, and I find myself beginning to wonder.....

Here is that original press story, of 1989. Let us study it very carefully. Was it indeed all true?


Amazing pictures of an alien UFO touching down on an American aircraft-carrier have landed President George Bush in a heap of trouble.

The sensational shots of a silver space-ship on the USS Nimitz were taken in 1989, but hushed up by the Bush administration for fear of creating world-wide panic.

Terrified sailors on the Nimitz, which had been on routine exercise in the Eastern Pacific, watched helplessly as the alien craft paralysed the ship’s defence systems and came down on the flight deck.

Then a door in the spaceship slid open and four non-humanoid figures encased in glass-like capsules floated out.

Speaking in mechanical English, they sent this message to the stunned captain: "The human race faces extinction unless sweeping new ‘Green’ policies are adopted throughout the world".


But this warning from super-beings who could see how the Earth was destroying itself never got through - until now.

It is believed that a mole in the Defence Department, dissatisfied with President Bush’s arms cuts after the collapse of the USSR, leaked details of the aliens’ visit to the President’s Democrat rivals.

And now they have released this picture as proof to the world, so that they can embarrass Bush as the Presidential election race hots up.

A secret military document handed to the --- (name of a British newspaper) describes the historic first contact with a civilization from outer space.

It reported:

"At 16.30 hours, Western Seaboard Time, on April 16, 1989, the Nimitz lost radio contact with the outside world and could neither receive nor transmit messages.

"Shortly afterwards the ship’s navigators and communication computers simultaneously started tracking an object in the upper atmosphere.

"At the same time, almost every other mechanical device on the ship, including defence systems and even aircraft, failed to operate.

"The Captain and crew were powerless to do anything. They were forced to sit back and watch as the craft docked on their ship". The Nimitz’s contact with U.S. Sea Command was restored within minutes of the UFO landing.

Seconds after the four strange beings emerged from the spaceship, they demanded talks with the captain.

The secret document went on:

"The aliens claimed that they had been monitoring our culture, and warned us that we are coming to the end of the line as far as the environment is concerned".


"They pinpointed three main dangers:

It is thought that the space-ship was smuggled to NASA’s Space Centre at Cape Canaveral in Florida a few days after the sensational landing.

Scientists there were ordered to keep their mouths shut, and even today no one has revealed what happened to the four aliens.

A White House official told our newspaper: "President Bush has nothing to say at this time. This information is classified".

Political enemies of President George Bush were reported at the time to have already suggested that "at least one-tenth of America’s sea-forces could be under the direct command of alien ‘friendlies’."

I wonder whether there could possibly be any truth in all this?

Much that has happened or has been reported since 1989 makes one far more inclined to look seriously at weird stories of this kind. G.C.

© Flying Saucer Review Library of Congress copyright FSR Publications, Ltd. 1981.

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