Military photographer Kevin Via allegedly saw an Unidentified Submerged Object (USO) while he was aboard the USS Nimitz. He was interviewed about it at the MUFON Symposium back in 2015 by Erica Lukes. And recently, video of that interview surfaced again on a Facebook group I belong to. On first listen, he sounded credible to me. But then I checked back with the group and saw a few posts from researcher, Christophe Spitzer. Now, I’m not so sure. In a perfect world, Kevin would clarify some of the issues that Christophe brought up.
The main reason I wanted to post this was to show people the level of detail some researchers get into when trying to vet a case. Christophe is one of the best and below are his Facebook posts, edited very lightly by me for clarity. Thanks to him for allowing me to post his comments here.
You can listen to Erica’s interview with Kevin, here. You might want to listen to it before reading Christophe’s comments.
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Christophe Spitzer’s Posts
So this supposedly happened in August of 1991 in the Pacific Ocean, N of the Caroline Islands, SE of the Philippines (which makes sense geographically speaking) heading towards Hawaii on their way back from the Arabian Gulf.
Some people on YouTube and Reddit noticed that they cannot find the gangplank that runs along the starboard side of the ship where he said he could see the tower (i.e island) from and the USO behind it. I highlighted the only gangplank (SB side) I found that can be accessed from the fantail. I’ll take a closer look at this issue because it might be a problem.
I said I wanted to take a closer look because configurations change with time so I decided to look at the Nimitz’s history when it comes to overhauls (minor and major ones). 1983–1984 complex overhaul, nothing else between 1984 and 1991(year of his story). So I decided to search for photos around that time period. All the photos you are going to see are from 1986, two years after its latest complex ovarhaul. When ACs are anchored, lateral gangplanks are extended on both sides with laders on them, never when the ships are underway/maneuvering. As you can see, it would be impossible to see the island from anywhere in the fantail:
Starboard side, you can barely see the extended gangplank but it is there. If that gangplank was extended, could he reach it from the fantail since all the doors were locked? I don’t know. Could he see the island from that gangplank (if extended)? Imo, probably but only if the aft SB side elevator was down.
Another view of the fantail and the extended gangplank. As you can see with a different perspective, it’s pretty far away from the fantail and you would NOT be able to see it from the fantail EVEN if it was extended:
When you listen to his story, he was stuck in the fantail, the ship was moving at first when he got out and he walked to the SB side of the fantail where he could see the gangplank that runs along the starboard side of the ship when he first saw the USO coming out of the water. Problem is, there’s no such gangplank besides the extended gangplank I showed you. But not only that, they only extend it (them) when the ship is anchored but you have to go inside the ship to reach it. It cannot be reached from the starboard side of the fantail. We are not even sure that he could see the island even if the elevator was down from that extended gangplank if it was extended. On top of that, he did NOT say that he walked on a gangplank, just that he saw it from where he was standing. That’s a problem in his story and not a minor one, imo. Let’s see if we find more problems.
“it was dark”, “and watch the dolphins”, “it wasn’t overcast”, “it wasn’t a full moon”, “but bright enough that I could still see the ocean” “the side I saw was 40 to 50 yards high, larger than the Nimitz long”, “300 yards to maybe a mile off the SB side of the Nimitz up front, part of it was obstructed by the tower of the Nimitz” “we were just seating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean”, “the ship had almost stopped to a crawl”
I am not gonna discuss about being or not being able to see dolphins at night without a full-moon but an object 40 to 50 yards thick with a side (the only one he saw) longer than the Nimitz (> 364 yards) CANNOT be seen as a 3D square. I’ll have to spend more time on that, maybe I missed something.
I slightly edited/corrected my messages but anyways… “it goes about 40 feet about the water and just sits there” “the side I saw was 40 to 50 yards high, larger than the Nimitz long”, “300 yards to maybe a mile off the SB side of the Nimitz up front, part of it was obstructed by the tower of the Nimitz” There are so many inconsistencies in his story, I don’t even know where to start. How could an object 40 ft above the water and 40 to 50 yards thick seen from 300 yards to maybe a mile off the SB side of the Nimitz up front could be obstructed by the island (tower as he called it)? Not only he could NOT see the island from where he was standing, but even if he could see it, an object at that distance, only 40 to 50 yards thick (height) and hovering 40 to 50 yards over the ocean would not be obstructed by the island at that distance. The flight deck of the Nimitz where the island sits is already 56 ft high, then when it comes to angular height, no need to do the math to understand it, it would be visible below the island because of its distance and its own relative altitude. He could have made a few errors in his estimates but the whole story sounds fishy if not too “dolphiny” to say the least. lol
“and the second I got up, I hear the door lock and I am like wait a minute, you CAN’T hear all the same annoucements outside that you could hear inside, SO THEY COULD HAVE ACCELERATED IT which I am pretty sure they did, so I got locked outside” This is one of the oddest things he said imo, they accelerated it? WTF? Xxx Xxxxxx, what do you think about all that and the fact that he said that the announcements outside and inside are different (not talking about the flight-deck here)? One last thing, a pretty extensive search about “Kevin Via” as a military photographer came back with no results found. I also searched for SR-71 Blackbirds photos with his name to narrow my search. Anyone got more luck than me?
Ok, I found him:
(Christophe responds to another poster who thinks more research needs to be done.)
I visited no less than 8 ACs and I’ve been on the Nimitz, as a matter of fact when you go onboard, you gain access from the fantail (a door below it but then you climb some stairs and go through it with a few US Marines or similar checking you out). I did not state that he lied but that there are some problems that need to be clarified.