Astounding new Marine Lightwheel Sighting by US Navy Ship in the Arabian Gulf

By Kris Sherwood


Please also refer to report of another recent and extraordinary sighting, also reported to me by a Navy Ship’s crew but two years previously, in May, 2007.

Documented with eyewitness reports of April 11, 2009, by the Ship’s Commander and Officers of the USS Milius

On the morning of April 12, 2009 I received the following email from the Commander of a US Warship currently on deployment in the Arabian Gulf (also known as the Persian Gulf).


I am the Commanding Officer of a US Navy Ship currently deployed in the Arabian Gulf. On the 11th of April, 2009, we witnessed the Lightwheel phenomena. It was incredible!! In our efforts to figure out what we witnessed, one of our sailors located your report on the internet. Thanks!”


Fig.1 USS Milius at sea displaying battle ensign.
USS Milius’ website; Public Domain image.

The Commander went on to say that 50 of his crew had been astounded to have witnessed an “Incredible!”, enormous and lengthy occurrence of the ‘Marine Lightwheel’ phenomenon (Ref. 1, 2, 3 & 4), though they didn’t realize what it was they were witnessing at the time, and had all been utterly stunned and incredulous at what they had seen.


This stunning new report came to me under nearly the same circumstances as another spectacular sighting of this same little known, but ‘mythic’ among those who have heard of it, phenomenon by another Navy ship’s crew in 2007 in the Strait of Hormuz, and whose crewmembers had also contacted me by email after their sighting in May of that year. I had written and disseminated an article documenting that report at the time. (Ref. 5) In both cases the astonished crewmembers had done immediate internet searches after their experiences, attempting to learn the nature of the incredible geometric ‘light show’ they had witnessed that had spanned the sea to the horizon, and were led to my articles and email address.

On the morning of April 12, 2009, as had been the case in May 2007, one of the Milius’ crew had searched the internet, found my published writings on the Marine Lightwheel phenomenon and, since my previous articles are among the first links to come up in a quick web search of the subject, they contacted me. They said my articles described exactly what they had seen and they had then understood that an incredible Marine Lightwheel event was what they had witnessed. The ship’s Commander sent the first inquiring email, which I immediately replied to, and that was followed shortly with his, and other witnesses’ accounts, including a full report of the event by the ship’s Navigator.

The first article I wrote on this rare and nearly ‘mythic’ phenomenon was published in 1997, and since then I’ve received a handful of additional, and subsequent sightings that were not in the records when I first researched and wrote about the subject. Some reports were actually brought to my attention as a result of its publication, and followed my discussing the subject on widely broadcast radio programs that my husband and research partner, Ed Sherwood, have guested on. Documentation of some of these sightings are included in my previous articles (See Refs), and were mainly by single or double witnesses. None of those few had occurred more recently than 1997. Never before have so many credible and recent witnesses, such as an extraordinary 50 members of the US Navy, reported encountering this phenomenon so spectacularly, and under such compelling circumstances.

This extraordinary new sighting by an unprecedented number of highly credible witnesses, including the Commander of the USS Milius, CDR Kendall Gennick, his Executive Officer, and Navigator, along with several dozen of his crew, is riveting eyewitness documentation, and impressively solid evidence of a phenomenon that still is largely unexplained and left generally unrecognized by the scientific community. I hope this new evidence speaks for itself to further document the mysterious reality of this long told of wonder that has remained unrecognized, and largely dismissed as merely a ‘’wild sailor’s tale’.

I have described the ‘Marine Lightwheel’ phenomenon in detail in previous articles, so will only briefly describe it here for those who haven’t read or heard of it, and since the excellent eyewitness accounts of the Milius’ crew provide a vivid description. Basically, it seems a nearly unbelievable sight to witness, according to those who’ve been fortunate enough to have experienced it. It is a rare phenomenon that can only be seen in waters rich in bioluminescent plankton-type organisms that are apparently agitated in a massive area of the water by an electromagnetically related planetary force that discharges in geometrically configured shapes as far as the eye can see, such as huge rimless rotating wheels, expanding and imploding concentric rings, and spinning spirals among others. The electromagnetic energy of a source open to speculation, causes the bioluminescent organisms to fluoresce with a light greenish blue glow, rapidly moving in the shapes of and revealing the vortically spinning energy systems agitating them to flouresce. The displays can “stretch to the horizon”, moving like “an underwater Disco light show” at speeds “close to the speed of sound”. All made visible by the agitated bioluminescent micro-organisms that fill the water where the, what would otherwise be invisible, seemingly electromagnetic, and wide ranging ‘energy discharges’ occur.

There is another enigmatic, long reported, and until only recently called ‘mysterious’, phenomenon known as “Milky Seas”. The strange white glowing waters of ‘Milky Seas’ has been seen in some areas where Lightwheels have also been consistently reported, and these reports also go back many centuries. They are not at all the same phenomenon, though both are associated with the presence of high levels of certain, but different, bioluminescent organisms that can be found at varying times and densities in the waters where both phenomena have both been reported. ‘Milky Seas’ were presumably first photographed from Space in 2005 off the upper East coast of Somalia in the Arabian Sea, but the only on site report of direct eyewitness observations of Milky Seas in the same area as the 2005 image was from a 1995 ship’s report. (Ref. 6) I am not fully convinced that it couldn’t have been a Lightwheel occurrence that was captured from Space in 2005, given the lack of direct evidence, and the fact that I think it possible that, considering the reported near ‘speed of sound’ motion of the massive geometric Lightwheel displays, both phenomena might possibly appear similar from Space in an extended time exposure. Even the Milky Seas experts have said it’s only their speculation that Milky Seas is what is seen in the 2005 satellite images. The April 11 sighting occurred in approximately the center of the Arabian/Persian Gulf, WNW of the Straits of Hormuz.


Fig.2 Arabian Gulf (aka: Persian Gulf) map
Courtesy Wikipedia Commons

The following are the actual and amazing eyewitness accounts, vividly told by the three members of the crew of the USS Milius, including the Ship’s Commander, of their Marine Lightwheel sighting of April 2009.

Commander Kendall Gennick
provided the following details on the Conditions at the time of the sighting and his personal description, sent home to family members before the crew had found my article and discovered what it was they had seen.

Time: 2030-2130 D April 11, 2009
Position: 26 59.4N 051 39.5E in the Central Arabian Gulf
Wind: 22 KTS from 081 degrees true
Temperature: 72 F/ 22 C
Sea Temp: 75 F/ 24 C
Pressure: 29.76
Cloud Cover 3/8
Moonrise: 2051 D
Illumination: 95%*
*Actual visible illumination was much less due to cloud cover.


Fig.3 Arabian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz
Satellite image courtesy NASA


CDR Gennick’ continued with this:

“My description to my family:

Imagine standing on the bridge wing of a ship on a dark moonless overcast night. Looking down at the water from a height of about 50 feet. Just above the surface of the sea appears to be waves of white light (low intensity) pulsating out of nowhere with a synchronized rhythm. Outward expanding circles, inward imploding circles, waves, moving snakes and boomerangs! The waves of light appear to be traveling at or near the speed of sound and reach as far out on the horizon as the eye can see. With each pulse, the sea explodes with millions of tiny green lights that appear as emeralds on the surface of the water (bioluminescent). It was Incredible and almost unbelievable. It would be hard for me to believe if I had not seen it myself. The light show continued for about 40 minutes before we steamed out of the area and it faded in our wake.

It is something I will remember the rest of my life!”
- Commander Kendall Gennick, USS MIlius (DDG69)

The Executive Officer of the USS Milius wrote the following description to his family:

“Last night the ship passed through a bizarre natural phenomenon. Don’t know what it was and have never read about anything like it. There was energy hovering and spinning just above the water. It was pulsating. A little like glowing mist but it spun and moved faster than the waves and made circles and other patterns. It sped out as far as you could see and lasted over 20 minutes. Like the northern lights but on the surface of the water and not in the sky. There was also lightning in the air and tons of florescent plankton in the water and maybe that had something to do with it but not really sure. It was definitely something like St. Elmo’s Fire or Ball Lightning and I suspect I will never see it again.”

And a detailed report from the Ship’s Navigator, who witnessed the entire event:

“I assumed the watch as Officer of the Deck with all conditions normal. As the Ship’s Navigator, I had previously plotted a track that would take us from a day time operating area to our assigned night area. Tankers, Dhows, and other sea traffic made it apparent that we would have a much easier transit by altering course to the north, maintaining a comfortable distance from a previously discovered uncharted oil platform, and eventually maneuvering to the west to assume our new station. After a quick call to the Captain, our plans had been changed to do just that. At approximately 2030, just as I passing the closest point of approach with the oil platform, I glanced out to the starboard bridge wing and noticed what appeared to be strong waves hitting us directly on our beam. The ship had less than a single degree of list and virtually no roll so I went out on the bridge wing for a closer look.

The first look at this light did not indicate that any swirls or circles were involved. Just long straight waves traveling from the horizon spanning out to the left and right as far as the eye could see. I was very impressed by the speed and consistency of the waves. The distance between the waves was about the same width as the waves themselves (on the order of ten to twenty feet) but, it was very difficult to measure the size or the speed. I pointed them out to the other bridge watch standers and we stood there in awe. Theories and possible explanations started immediately… could it be our radars?

It became obvious that I would need to call the Captain, what was not obvious was exactly what to tell him. Obviously the USN does not have a standard report format for this situation. “Captain, this is the Officer of the Deck. We have a… strange light phenomenon occurring up here that I can’t really explain. It’s…” as I remember it. His response “I’ll be right up!”

When the Captain arrived on the bridge the light patterns had begun to change. One of the most difficult things for me to determine was whether the pattern themselves were shifting or if we were simply driving into a different section of the phenomenon. As we progressed toward what I believe was near the center, I distinctly remember seeing central points that circles of light originated at and grew in 360 degrees. This reminded me of the impact of a drop of water hitting the surface of a calm body of water except that this wave traveled much faster.

My scientific side kicked in. I did suspect that bioluminescence was at least partially responsible for the light show at hand. Generally this is caused when the ship’s wake disturbs species. It tends to glow in a bright green color, much like that of a phosphorescent light stick. It usually splits like a giant V from the ship’s hull as we pass through the water. If something biological was being disturbed then what was causing it? Looking at the speed and pattern… I assumed that it was sound. It was obviously slower than light but much quicker than anything that I had ever seen caused by wind or waves.

That theory was quickly put to rest when the spirals began. It wasn’t as if something was producing the light at the center and it was following the spiral by growing. More like if you had a giant light that had a spiral cutout blocking part of it and then rotated it. Like something that belonged on a dance floor. The centers of these spirals passed directly down our ships beam. You could pinpoint the exact center. I couldn’t believe or begin to explain what I was seeing.

The Captain had me call the Executive Officer and he soon after invited the crew to the bridge. His description to the crew was similar to the one I had previously given the Captain. About fifty of our crew members began filing into the pilot house. Their reaction and the environment it created reminded me of watching a fireworks display on the forth of July… for the first time. Very fun and exciting, certainly not what I had expected for my after dinner watch.

As we transited at about 7 knots, the light began to fade. I thought that maybe it was over. The Captain had us turn to a reciprocal course and after a few minutes of back tracking the light was back. This was happening in an area that I believe was only a few miles in diameter.

Having the deck, I didn’t have a chance to grab my own camera, and as far as I know, none of the pictures taken actually display what we were seeing. The Executive Officer thought that maybe it was St. Elmo’s fire. A quick internet search disproved that theory.

It was two days later before someone discovered the link to The description of the Marine light wheels was spot on. The only difference that I might point out between the sketches and what I witnessed was that I didn’t see the patterns overlap at any point.

I’m left with a mixed of feeling of being happy that I was lucky enough to see this and a real confusion about the ‘force’ that activates the light. The closest comparison that I can draw is to Magnetism. But even lines of flux do not take on such perfect symmetry. I truly hope but somehow doubt that I will witness this again.”

-End of the Navigator’s report.

CDR Gennick added the following further observations:

“Other observations: The light waves were unaffected by wind. They traveled at the same speed upwind and downwind. The further the light wave got from the ship, they began to appear as just waves vice geometric designs. There was thunderstorm and lightning activity in the region that night.”

-End of Milius’ crew reports. (Ref. 7)

I cannot adequately express my amazement and elation at having learned of this highly significant event, nor my gratitude to these dedicated Navy officers who shared their extraordinary experiences and observations with me; someone who has long sought to document this mysterious phenomenon and help bring it into the light of serious scientific inquiry and, ultimately, hopefully, to recognition of its reality and a much wider understanding. This recent sighting, added to the spectacular sighting by 30 crewmembers of the US Navy Ship Concord in the Strait of Hormuz, as documented in my 2007 article, makes an unprecedented total of 80 US Navy crewmembers in two years to have witnessed such awesome performances of this particular type of Earth’s ‘Natural Magic’. It provides intensely compelling and highly credible evidence of the reality of a long told of marine phenomenon thought by most to be only an outlandish Seafarers legend.

Kris Sherwood
April 2009


Ref. 1 - The Books of Charles Fort Henry Holt & Company, New York 1941

Ref. 2 - Handbook of Unusual Natural Phenomenon William R. Corliss, Crown Publishing New York 1986

Ref. 3 – Invisible Residents Ivan T. Sanderson, World Publishing Co. 1970

Ref. 4 – ‘Marine Lightwheels – Crop Circles of the Sea?’ Kris Sherwood Copyright 1997. As published in Nexus Magazine 1997, and online at:

Ref. 5 – ‘Spectacular Marine Lightwheel Display Witnessed by Navy Crew
in the Straits of Hormuz May 19, 2007’, Kris Sherwood Copyright 2007, and online at:


Ref. 6 - Miller, S.D., S.H.D. Haddock, C.D. Elvidge, T.F. Lee. (2005) Detection of a bioluminescent milky sea from space. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 102:14181-14184. Online at:

Ref. 7 – Original comments and observations of Marine Lightwheel event of April 11, 2009 as told by USS Milius CDR Kendall Gennick, XO/LCDR Levy, and the ship’s Navigator (name not included in report).

Image credits:

Fig. 1 - USS Milius at sea displaying battle ensign - Public Domain image from Official USS Milius’ website:
Fig. 2 - Arabian Gulf (also known as Persian Gulf) map. Courtesy Wikipedia Commons:
Fig. 3 - Arabian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz. Satellite image courtesy NASA

Dedicated to the crew of the USS Milius, with gratitude and in great admiration of the vital and extremely challenging job they have chosen to selflessly do in order to protect and serve, even to the sharing of their valuable experience and contributions toward scientific documentation and, hopefully, eventual recognition and better understanding of the Marine Lightwheel phenomenon. – K.S.

Kris Sherwood - Copyright 2009
Copyright Ed and Kris Sherwood/Millennium Research


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