posted on Oct, 29 2005 @ 12:25 PM
In April 1985 a detachment from my helicopter squadron was assigned to ride the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for
sea trials. A detachment is usually two or three helicopters, their crews and enough maintenance people to support the aircraft. I was assigned to
the night shift along with two other guys, I’ll call Ron and Larry (real first names but I don’t want to give their last names without their
With the ship doing sea trials ours were the only three aircraft on the ship, which meant that the flightdeck was wide open. This also meant that
only about 1200 people from the ship’s crew, about 250 civilian shipyard workers and the 40 people from our detachment were aboard instead of the
usual 6000. Our job on the night shift was to do light maintenance, stand by for an emergency and provide security for our helos that were parked on
the flightdeck. With the weather being cold and rainy we were told that we didn’t have to stand watch up with the aircraft, we could watch them on
the PLAT system (PLAT or Pilot Landing Aid Television a video camera that records everything in the landing area and is usually on all of the time).
If we saw anyone near the helos we could be there in about 15 seconds.
It was about halfway through the fifteen day detachment at about 2:30 in the morning when I saw what looked like an officer or chief dressed in
flightdeck gear walking toward one of our helicopters. I knew that it wasn’t anyone from our detachment because they would have stopped in to let
us know that they were going to be up there. I figured that it had to be one of the officers from the ship sneaking around to see if we were keeping
an eye on our aircraft. They were always pulling crap like that trying to cause us a problem and to let their superiors know how vigilant they were.
I didn’t need our Officer in Charge to get a headache from this so I raced out the door and up to the flightdeck, figuring to sneak out from the
opposite side and challenge him. When I got up to the flightdeck I looked around and didn’t see anybody there. I checked inside the helicopters to
see if maybe he had hidden himself inside and there was no one there. I figured that I might have been seeing things and went back down to the
About an hour later I looked up at the PLAT and saw the same guy again walking towards out helos. This time I called for Ron and Larry to come in and
take a look at the television. They both saw him and again I raced up to the aircraft looking for him. There was nobody there again! If you have
ever been on or have seen an aircraft carrier they are huge! The flightdeck on the Forrestal is around 1000 ft long and is almost 300 feet wide at
the angle deck, where our helicopters were parked. Other than the stairs that I came up the nearest place to come on to the flightdeck was over 200
ft. away. I don’t care if you are an Olympic sprinter there is no way for someone to have ran across the deck without my seeing them. I went back
down to the shop and told Ron and Larry that I didn’t see anyone. They were as amazed as I was. We ended up figuring that there might have been
something wrong with the PLAT system as it was brand new and pretty much forgot the whole thing.
We finished our detachment and flew back to Florida and I didn’t think about it again until several years later. My mother was watching a show on
television, I think that it was “Unsolved Mysteries” and they were talking about sightings of ghosts on the Forrestal. She asked if I had ever
seen one when I was on that ship. I told her the same story that I have written here and she said that the reason there was no one there when I went
to the flightdeck is that it may have been a ghost. One thing that I have always wondered is if the PLAT videotape would have showed him being there
and then me coming out looking for him? Might have been real proof of his existence.
For those of you who may not know the USS Forrestal had a bad series of explosions and a fire when it was off Vietnam on July 29th 1967. As a result
of the explosions and fires one-hundred and thirty-four men were killed. When I went through boot camp in 1982 there was a movie named “Trial by
Fire” that showed the effects of that fire. When I was on board in 1985-1987 in some places you could still see some walls and beams that were
still warped from that day. If what I saw on the PLAT that night was a ghost it may have been one of the men killed in that fire. Unfortunatly the
the only proof that I have is my own word. Ron and Larry witnessed the image on the PLAT system, but I won't post their last names without their
George the Forrestal ghost