Crew contingents of 2 USN vessels see reconnaissance plane fly into something invisible to witnesses.
A gentleman who described himself as a former U.S. Army infantry officer during World War II, described an incident that he personally witnessed while aboard the USS Sea Witch, which was anchored in the Fiji Islands at the time.
He described that the accompanying navy vessel, the heavy cruiser, Chicago, was in the habit of launching a reconnaissance biplane most mornings, to perform surveillance of the surrounding area.
On the morning in question, the plane was lifted off the heavy cruiser, and was launched.
As the plane was returning to land, the witness, together with approximately 25 other witnesses aboard his vessel, were stunned as the aircraft appeared to fly into an object, which was invisible to the witnesses, and crash in a ball of tangled metal.
The pilot and observer were killed in the collision, and no recovery effort was mounted.
The witness reports that the aircraft, which had been at an altitude of approximately 600' he recounted, simply stopped flying in an instant, and fell vertically into the ocean as a ball of wreckage.