USS Tiru Encounter

USS Tiru Encounter
USS Tiru Encounter

Date: June, 1966

Location: Seattle, WA

In 1966 during the month of the Rose Festival in the Portland,Oregon, the USS Tiru SS-416 left Pearl Harbor bound for Seattle Washington. The sub moored to a civilian pier near the downtown Seattle area and thousands of people toured the sub during its stay in Seattle. After its duty as showboat, it proceeded to a back bay area where it underwent torpedo trials. Believed to be the Dabob Bay.

During the cruise from Pearl to Seattle 5 of the crew had a very unusual experience. During one late afternoon the sub was cruising on the surface at about 10 knots when the port lookout reported a strange contact at a range of 2 miles bearing 315 relative. The lookout refused to tell the OOD what it was that he had seen and instead insisted that the starboard lookout and the OOD both look at that area.

The three looked through their binoculars toward the area reported and were astounded to see a metal craft larger than a football field tumble from the clouds into the ocean. It actually tumbled end over end and when it hit the water and sank below the surface, huge geysers of water rose into the air. When the port lookout was sure that the others had seen it he then told the OOD that he had seen it tumble from the ocean up into the clouds.

The OOD and the starboard lookout were speechless. Within a few minutes, however, they all became excited when it again rose from the water and tumbled up into the cloud layer. At about the same time a crew member below asked the bridge about a radar contact at the same range and bearing. Sonar also reported strange echos. The OOD called for the Captain to come to the bridge at that time. He also called for the camera to be sent to the bridge. The Captain arrived on the bridge within 2 minutes and the Chief Quartermaster was right behind him with the camera. At about the same time the object emerged from the clouds and fell down into the ocean. All 5 men witnessed this. The QMC took pictures as it rose up into the clouds and then back down into the ocean once again.

They watched for quite a while longer but nothing else happened. Soon the sub had moved out of visual range and the Captain told all witnesses that they were never to discuss what they had seen with anyone under any circumstances. He stated that the incident was classified information. The Captain then went below and sent a radio message. There was no doubt as to what we had seen. It was a metal craft with machinery on and around the outside of it. It appeared to have windows or lenses placed around its perimeter. It made no noise that we could hear. It did not disturb the subs electrical systems nor did it affect the gyro compass. It looked very much like a round flying ship, as in sea going ship.

It had the shape and form of a saucer with a bowl inverted in the saucer and it was huge. I will never forget it as long as I live. When I first saw this craft I believe that my heart literally stopped beating and I was terrified. The name of the OOD was Ensign Ball. The starboard lookout was an American Indian seaman that the crew called Geronimo. The port lookout was a new man who left the sub soon after the return to Pearl Harbor and his name was Cooper. I do not remember the Captains name nor the Chief Quartermaster's name.

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