Marine Lightwheel Illustration
Copyright 1997 Ed Sherwood
Sunday morning May 20, 2007 I awoke to several astonishing
email messages from excited crewmembers aboard a US Navy
ship deployed in waters off the Iranian coast. Over the
night of May 19, 2007 they witnessed something that had
completely stunned, amazed, and shocked them and, as one
said, made them think that Iran had some “new form of
weaponry” that was being deployed against them (!). An
apparently rapid internet search resulted in their finding
an article I wrote that was first published in 1997, about a
rarely witnessed, and nearly mythic, phenomenon known as “Marine
(Ref. 1). The information contained in my article relieved
their concerns and described exactly what they had
witnessed, and they responded with exuberant descriptions of
their freshly experience sighting.
Years ago while conducting research into the possible
geophysical forces involved in the creation of non-manmade
Crop Circles and certain associated phenomena, my attention
was drawn to reports of a little known or understood
bioluminescent marine phenomenon known as ‘Marine Lightwheels’
and, noting some very intriguing similarities to certain
aspects of non-manmade Crop Circle creation (not to be
confused with, though many continue to do so, the countless
‘crop circles’ that have been deceptively made by human
hoaxers), I did further research and wrote an article
summarizing what I found which was later published in a number
of periodicals, and linked widely on the internet. For those
who don’t know of it, the rare and exotic Marine Lightwheel
phenomenon apparently results when naturally bioluminescent
marine micro-organisms are stimulated by unseen but large
scale electro-magnetic planetary forces which are revealed by
the bioluminescent organisms present in the water that
fluoresce in response to the stimulation. Similar to the way
that dust is swept into “dust devils”, and leaves into
whirlwinds, revealing the invisible energy systems propelling
them. A more detailed description of the Lightwheel phenomenon
can be found in my original article, but to briefly describe
here: the rotating, curve-spoked Lightwheels can appear or
approach from the distance in open waters extending as far as
the horizon, and consist of multiple glowing and rimless
“wheels” of curving arms that radiate from a center point,
sometimes several overlapping, and reportedly spinning past
the ship’s bow as fast as three per second, sometimes in both
clockwise and counterclockwise directions, and also can
manifest in huge rotating circles; concentric, radially
pulsing rings; spinning crescents; converging sets of bars,
and random pulsing patches of light, sometimes progressing
through phases of the different shapes. One of the email
descriptions I received from one of the witnesses said it was
“like your husband’s illustration, but ten times more”.
(Fig.1) The most recent Lightwheel sighting Ivan Sanderson
cited in his book, Invisible Residents, which I referenced in
my 1997 article, occurred on January 23, 1964 in waters near
Western Australia. It includes the very interesting detail
that the compass “went haywire” during the sighting of the
large “clockwise rotating lights”. Coincidentally, compasses
going “haywire” have also been reported in relation to certain
“crop circle” locations and events, suggesting an
electromagnetically related disturbance.
Most Lightwheel and related bioluminescent displays have been
reported within a limited range of latitudes North and South
of the Equator. The physics of the angular momentum of
planetary rotation creating conducive conditions for this. The
‘light’ is actually generated by microscopic bioluminescent
organisms known as Noctiluca, which are present in vast
numbers only under particular conditions, in certain bodies of
water, and produces the same blue-green/white glow and color
as normal bioluminescence, but flouresces on a massive scale
upon interaction with the gigantic, geometrically organized
electro-magnetic energy discharge of planetary and Solar
forces, thereby revealing their composition and motion through
the awesome Lightwheel display. Mariners have reported
sightings of this enigmatic phenomenon in ships’ logs for
hundreds of years, but the reports had largely been considered
nothing more than “wild sailor’s tales”. It is my hope that
further scientific research will eventually be able to provide
a more thorough understanding of this phenomenon and how it
may be related to the causative forces involved in non-manmade
Crop Circle creation, and in the process add credibility and
scientific weight to the reality of both phenomena.
2 Three intersecting, spinning wheels of light;
one spinning clockwise and two counterclockwise.
Illustration from Handbook of Unusual Natural Phenomenon
William R. Corliss, Crown Publishing New York 1986
After my article’s first publication in 1997 in Nexus
Magazine, and subsequent radio interviews that husband and
research partner, Ed Sherwood, and I did on, a handful of
anecdotal reports were forwarded to me from other previous
witnesses to the Lightwheel phenomenon. The most notable of
these was from an Australian mariner, Norm Fraser, who had
written a report of his sighting and had published it in the
Marine Observer, before he discovered my article on the
subject in a by then ‘back issue’ of the magazine.
plan to write a more comprehensive account of the numerous
sightings on record that came to light during my further
research, but for this report I will now let one of the
valiant sailors aboard the USNS describe their sighting in his
own words, and without which this new sighting of this still
under-investigated and little understood phenomenon would not
be possible. My heartfelt thanks to those sailors who took a
possible risk in contacting me, and my assurance to them that
their names, the ship’s name and exact location (except as CMK
describes it) will remain undisclosed, out of respect for the
nature of their mission and deployment in actively hostile
3. Map of Persian Gulf and Straits of Hormuz Area
Hammond Standard World Atlas Hammond Incorporated
I received the
following precisely detailed and concise account of the
May 19th sighting from a crewmember who has asked to be
identified only as “CMK”. This report was approved for release
by his ship’s master (Ref. 2). CMK’s riveting account contains
valuable confirmation and much corroborating information
consistent with many historic reports that I found while
researching my original article.
18/19, 2007 sighting in CMK’s own words:
1. First occasion.
time of the first occurrence was approximately 2315 on 18
May 2007 and lasted for about 40 minutes. At the onset, we
were in the east-bound international shipping lane, and our
position was in the vicinity of 26 degrees 31 minutes north
and 56 degrees 22 minutes east on a course of 066 degrees
true at 11 knots. Our distance from land was approximately 8
miles and the water depth was approximately 82 fathoms. The
wind direction and speed was out of the south west at 10
knots prior to the event, and rose steadily upon the onset
of the event to approximately 20+ knots true (30+relative
wind speed). Once we changed course to 090 degrees true, the
event was more pronounced.
first occurrence consisted primarily of "blob" shapes
(described as an underwater disco show) and some concentric
rings "radiating" out from the vicinity of the ship and was
spread over an extremely large area, literally as far as I
could see. There were occasional bars or echelons that varied
in size, and direction of travel. Additionally there were a
few spiral designs, however there was no set pattern or rhythm
to any of the displays. The flashing of the bioluminescence
was completely random.
2. Second occasion.
second occurrence happened at approximately 0045 on 19 May
2007 and lasted for about 30 minutes. At the onset of the
second occurrence, we were still in the east-bound
international shipping lane, our position was in the
vicinity of 26 degrees 25 minutes north 56 degrees 37
minutes east on a course of 147 degrees true at 11 knots.
Our distance from land was approximately 7 miles and the
water depth varied between 90 and 130 fathoms during the
sighting. The wind direction and speed was not recorded
during the second event, but the winds had calmed after the
first event, and rose again during the second to near the
same speed as before.
second occurrence consisted primarily of bars, "waves" or
echelons that were approximately 8-10 feet wide with some
being larger. There were also blob shapes and concentric
rings. Again this was spread over an extremely large area.
There were occasional bars or echelons ("waves" of light) that
varied in size, and direction of travel. This time there were
several spiral designs. Again there was no set rhythm or
pattern to the occurrence. The flashing of the bioluminescence
was completely random.
During both occurrences, which happened while in the
international shipping lanes of the Straights of Hormuz, the
air temperature was 83-86, and the water temperature was 88
height of eye during the observations was about 80 feet.
seas were calm until the event and then kicked up to about 2-3
feet, calmed again and repeated during the second event.
Additionally, the barometric pressure at 2200 on the 18th was
1002.3 millibars and rising, dropped during the events and 4
hours later had risen up to that amount again.
concentric rings that seemed to radiate out from the vicinity
of the ship were actually diamond shaped, with a point on the
bow, stern and each beam of the ship. I did not see any set
rhythm when this did happen (but the rather straight lines
would explain why we saw so many "waves" of light).
Fig. 4 “Phosphorescent Bars” (or
“echelons” as CMK called them) illustration.
Science Frontiers on line #48 Nov/Dec ’86
Some of the comments I heard about this were: "I have been
sailing for 40 years and I have never seen anything like
it", "I thought I had seen everything. Now I have!", "It's
like a underwater techno show!", "It looked like and
underwater disco", "No one is gonna believe this!",
"Amazing", "Remarkable", "Incredible", "What the F*** is
were about 30 eyewitnesses.
-End of CMK's report.
Subsequent to my learning of this event a news report out of
South Africa caught my attention that provided further very
significant and corroborating evidence of an association that
Ed and I have long suspected to exist in relation to
non-manmade Crop Circle creation, and that has been documented
between Solar Flare activity and certain other electromagnetic
(Ref 2a), such as Marine Lightwheels. I consider the evidence
as documented in the Lightwheel phenomenon stunning proof of
an electromagnetic energy force that
does manifest in organized geometric patterns, that include
straight lines, right angled progressions of shapes, and in
armed or curve-spoked wheels, spirals and concentric rings
that rotate clockwise and counterclockwise in the same event.
Virtually all the reports of sightings on record also describe
the displays as manifesting in the basis geometries, shapes,
design elements, and configurations found in classic
non-manmade Crop Circle formations, as they too have been
documented throughout the centuries.
Pretoria in South Africa reported that on the days of May 19
and 20, the same period during which the Marine Lightwheel
sighting took place, “unusually strong Solar
outbursts…interfered with the Earth’s electro-magnetic field”
causing “thousands of valuable racing pigeons” that navigate
by Earth’s electromagnetic fields, to be lost when the fields
were disrupted during a weekend of racing flights. (Ref. 3 &
4) European pigeon handlers reported similar losses that
weekend. This was a terrible loss for the trainers as well as
the unfortunate birds. Homing instincts recovered for the
remaining birds following the Solar outbursts and further
losses ceased. It is hoped that predicting Solar weather will
not only help protect human technology from damaging Solar
storms by giving advance warnings, it may also help minimize
future losses among Pigeon keepers by allowing them to keep
their birds from flying during high Solar activity.
extremely synchronous “life sign” event, on Saturday May 19,
the day I received the emails from the crew members on the
Navy ship, Ed and I rescued a baby Pigeon, that had been
separated from nest and parents and was in the street being
attacked by Crows. We’ve rescued many birds over the years but
this was our first Pigeon rescue. When I later learned of the
huge loss of Pigeons due to the disrupted electromagnetic
fields from Solar activity, I felt it was a further
‘confirmation’ that this was what had triggered the
extraordinary Marine Lightwheel occurrence.
Copyright June 2007
Updated August 2008
Further Updated February 2014
February 2014 – The following is an Update to this original article on the mass Marine Lightwheel sighting of May 2007.
Officer Payne’s experience, being unknown to me at the time, had not been included in the original article, but his account contains numerous very interesting and significant details and valuable observations to add to the documentation of this event and should be included here in the body of evidence, along with the testimony of the other highly credible witnesses of the crew of the USNS Concord. (Ref. 5)
On January 31, 2014 I was surprised to receive an email from an eyewitness to this event who was previously unknown to me, Military Sealift Command Officer, Anthony Payne, who had been the Watch Officer on watch the night of this spectacular 2007 Marine Lightwheel sighting; the subject of this article. Officer Payne’s experience, being unknown to me at the time, had not been included in the original article, but his account contains numerous very interesting and significant details and valuable observations to add to the documentation of this event and should be included here in the body of evidence, along with the testimony of the other highly credible witnesses of the crew of the USNS Concord.
This is the text of that email:
My name is Anthony Payne.
I just finished reading the account of the May 2007 Marine lightwheel event.
It quite surprised me as I was the watch officer on watch the night that this event occurred.
A good deal of what I read is accurate as I remember. However, I do not recall the wind speed and baro changes and many of the "details" that we're mentioned. Also, I only recall one event not two. But, no matter, there is always different recollections of witnesses to an event, as I am sure I do not have to tell you.
I will tell you what I recall.
We were in a maneuvering detail and as such there were many more people on the bridge than normal. But as the ship is a civilian operated ship with a navy detachment only, There were far fewer people than would be on the bridge of a navy ship during such a maneuvering detail. I would say that there was maybe 15 people at the most on the bridge Including me and my watch team, the Captain, some cadets, and some U.S. Navy personnel.
I had the conn. We were on an eastward, outbound transit of the Straits of Hormuz Sometime around midnight. I remember my lookout coming into the bridge from the port wing and calling me aside and quietly, and very seriously, telling me that he believed he was having an acid flashback from the 70s! I asked him what the hell he was talking about, and he asked me to come out to the port wing and look for myself. I did and what I saw was phosphorescent geometric shapes which looked like they were coming up from the depths of the ocean. They seemed to be expanding as they came up, and they looked as if they were almost coming out of the water. I looked around the ship and realize that they were all around us; the whole ocean was glowing as far as I could see around us. I was bewildered to say the least and as soon as I could take my attention away from it, I came in and told the Captain and asked him to look over the side and see for himself.
It was the Captain that said That he had not seen anything like that in 30 years of sailing.
One thing I do recall that I don't remember in your other source account is the radio chatter ceased, and it was in characteristically and eerily quiet while the event occurred--That is not to say that I believe the event interfered with the radio transmission; I believe that the neighboring ships were awestruck to the point that they stopped talking on the radio. The radio chatter resumed afterward.
I had the opportunity to observe in the water these shapes once or twice more for short periods, but I otherwise was engaged in driving the ship, so I could not watch like the others could.
It was my recollection that the phenomenon lasted for maybe 20 minutes, or so, and then just sort of faded away.
The next morning I recall seeing an article that was printed out that must've been from you as it had the drawing that's on your website, and it looked very similar to those overlapping light wheels that you described which created these geometric shapes, but some of the shapes that I recall seeing seemed to be autonomous, that is to say, not as though they were connected to the overlapping wheel concept.
Very strange thing from anyone's point of view though--it did not seem of this world.
I also recall a cadet telling me that she had contacted the Scripps Institute and had received some feedback from them as well. This was in the days or weeks that followed.
I do not recognize the initials of the source of your story, I assume it may have been one of the Navy personnel that I was not that familiar with. The similarities of the story on your website, as well as the timeframe involved, could only be from the experience that I had.
At any rate, I commend you for publishing these reports and disseminating information on this most amazing and curious phenomenon.
Military Sealift Command”
Marine Lightwheels – Crop Circles of the Sea?
Kris Sherwood Copyright 1997. (As published in Nexus Magazine
1997 and online at:
- The USNS crewmember who forwarded this extraordinary report
asked to be identified only as “CMK”. I presume this is due to
security concerns, especially considering the location of the
waters they were traversing on a military deployment. I am
amazed and very grateful to have received this report, and the
email descriptions I received from the other crewmembers, and
honor the requests of these brave sailors to remain anonymous
while on assignment. My sincere and heartfelt thanks to CMK
for his excellent report.
2a - Non-Manmade Crop
Circles As a "Vacuum Domain" Phenomenon
- An Aspect of the Physics Involved? by Kris Sherwood -
Copyright 2002 (Published in UFO Magazine UK 2003, and online
3 - Solar Flares
Cause Loss of Thousands of Homing Pigeons
Adriana Stujt (as posted on Rense.com 6-8-07)
Radio Pretoria South Africa
2014 Update credit:
Anthony Payne, Military Sealift Command USNS Concord.
Fig. 1 - Marine
Lightwheel illustration Copyright Ed Sherwood 1997
Fig. 2 - Handbook of Unusual Natural Phenomenon William R.
Corliss, Crown Publishing New York 1986
Fig. 3 - Map of Persian Gulf and Straits of Hormuz area
Hammond Standard World Atlas Hammond Incorporated Copyright
Fig. 4 - “Phosphorescent Bars” (or “echelons” as CMK called
Science Frontiers on line #48 Nov/Dec ’86