Sighting at Sea Refuted

These are the results of inquiries into the 12/97 Texas gulf coast report. Beyond being a very unusual report in an active area, there are restricted military exercise areas there so my interest was piqued by similarities to some previous investigations.

For the record, this message documents evaluations of the January 14 UFO UpDates Mailing List (URL below) message, "UFO Report - Sighting at sea - 12-97," submitted by Ben Field .

On inquiry, Field responded: "Unfortunately I have no contact information of the person who sent the report, I am going to add a little statement at the top of his report asking him to get in touch with me again, I myself, would like to get more information on the sighting as well as the photos."

A name search on several servers identified no "Jeremy Clark Packer." There were seven Jeremy Packers located in north-central states and one in a northeastern state. There were five "Jeremy Clarks" located in Texas, none near Corpus Christi. No reports resembling such an incident were found in Corpus Christi area newspapers or from familiar UFO sources.

Initially, a number of suspicious irregularities were questioned, including occupation title "engineer" versus grammatical and technical errors in the report--especially "bore is 140.65 feet thick," and the entire series of comments about the damage to the rig.

A highly qualified friend who has worked in the oil industry thirty years advises, "Traditionally shifts offshore are 6am to 6pm, it is suspect that a shift would be rising at or near 8am. Another suspicious fact is the large number of the crew, totaling 500 as described in the report. This is way too large for any drilling vessel whether it be a drill ship, semi-submersible or any other type operating in the Gulf. Additionally, the areas of active exploration 30 miles from Corpus Christi are way too shallow for either one of these types of vessels and would typically be drilled by a 'jack-up' rig. His reference to the size of the 'bore', which is definitely not a US oil exploration term, of 145-plus feet 'thick', is not a measurement that I or anyone in the business would know. Further, the mention of the fact that it could not be bent and if it were it would require the force of the sun (I don't have the copy here so I'm paraphrasing) is very suspect as coming from a less than accurate source. The reference to the 'vessel commander' is not a term used in the industry." He also strongly endorses the comments of the individual at NASA/Marshall which follows.

An individual at NASA/Marshall submitted the following comments (see Jan 15 message, "Re: Sighting at Sea - 12-97" on UFO UpDates Mailing List). "This just can't have happened. For one thing, I have no idea what the guy is talking about when he mentions a 'bore' '140.65 feet thick' that 'drills the hole into the ocean floor.' Oil drill stems aren't within two orders of magnitude of that diameter. Next, if something disabled a drill rig 30 miles off Corpus it would be international headline news that very night -- we're talking many thousands to millions of dollars of damage to a private company. If no one else, at least their insurance company would be mounting a huge investigation as to how the damage was done. And 30 miles off shore is about twice the distance to the horizon, so a huge craft lifting off would become visible in Corpus itself after rising only a few tens of feet from the surface. Again, think of it. Kilobucks of damage, maybe more, and 250 witnesses, and this DOESN'T make the news except on a ufo website? It ain't reasonable!"

My friend, above, works for the largest communications provider in the Gulf and they haven't even picked up any rumors, much less electronic abnormalities, which would tend to substantiate the report; so, I think we can safely dump this one -- as interesting as it originally sounded.

-- Barney.