Arctic UFO Photographs, USS Trepang, SSN 674, March 1971
Case File InformationDate of Event / Case File: 03/01/1971
Case File DetailsThe following case was submitted by Investigator/Researcher Alex Mistretta, who can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
He has graciously allowed the following photographs, and his research, to be archived here on The Black Vault for reference.
Please add your comments and input in the comments section below.
As more information becomes available, it will be added to this case file.
Summaryby Alex Mistretta
Photo Gallery of High Resolution Photographs, NOT from a MagazineOn July 13th, I was sent the following photographs via email. These are the original photographs that created the hype about this case, but, they supplied me the original scans of the photos, NOT from the magazine.
They appear in the order they were published in the magazine, for easier reading.
Original Photo Gallery
Word from the AdmiralOn July 8, 2015, investigator and former Navy pilot, Steve Murillo was asked to make a phone call (by request of Alex Mistretta) to Admiral Sackett. In respect to the Admiral, the means to track him down are not going to be published so he is not inundated with calls but he was located. (We please ask, there are researchers currently corresponding with him, and we would prefer that no one track him down to ask for additional answers as this unfolds.) The following is the update from Mr. Mistretta:
The Black Vault’s Fact Checkingby John Greenewald, Jr.
When I first read about these photographs, I was very intrigued. I felt they needed a closer investigation, and Alex has been doing a great job pursuing the truth, whatever it may be, behind them. Although his investigation is ongoing, I wanted to add some independent points of clarification and verification to the story above. I was very happy to see many of the facts did pan out, which means if it is a hoax, whoever did it definitely thought it out before hand.
Rear Admiral Dean Reynolds Sackett – FACTThe inclusion of Rear Admiral Sackett in the story seems to pan out. He commissioned the USS Trepang. According to NavSource online:
Location of USS Trepang – FACTAfter searching around a bit, I was able to verify that the USS Trepang, as indicated being between Iceland and Jan Mayen Island, was in fact, in the region at the time. As verified by Hullnumber, which chronicles the location of naval vessels:
Shipmate John Klika – FACTI can also confirm, there was a shipmate by the name of John Klika on the USS Trepang as well. According to the ship roster, also on Hullnumber, you will find:
NAVY Target Practice / Weapons Systems TestWhen I first saw these, I noted there was something very Zeppelin-like about some of the photos, but, unlike the actual Zeppelin’s, it did not have a carrier for the occupants.
However, after some research, it is possible these were naval target balloons, and the USS Trepang was conducting a weapons test of some kind. As indicated and referenced/sourced above, “From 22 February to 22 March , the nuclear attack submarine operated beneath the northern ice cap, conducting extensive tests to provide data for her weapons systems, as well as carrying out scientific experiments concerning the movement, composition, and geological history of the cap itself.”
I searched the Library of Congress, and came up with a few examples of Balloon Carriers. They do have a resemblance. Here are the examples (it should be noted that the balloons in these photographs were photographed between 1910-1915… a considerable time difference between this case and these photographs. Could the same technology have been used more than 50 years later?):
While looking at the high resolution version of the photos, you can see the definitely indicators of the Periscope. For example, this photograph (unrelated to this case, but used as an example):
You can clearly see in the “UFO Photos” above, the ‘cross hairs’ of the periscope, along with the indicator lines. Here is an example above, and they are seen in nearly every photograph. Although this does not prove it was a weapons test, and the object was a target balloon, it could support both sides of this story (ie: taken from a submarine, and taken while the submarine was submerged.)
About the USS TrepangAccording to Wikipedia:
Trepang was decommissioned on 1 June 1999 at Bremerton, Washington, and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register the same day. Her scrapping via the Nuclear-Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton was completed on 7 April 2000. Components of ‘Trepang’, including mess tables, crew bunks, and engineering, were used in the “Fast Attacks and Boomers: Submarines in the Cold War” exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of American History from 2000-2003.