- On October 21, 2001, Natalie Chambers of the Associated
Press reported that a new witness to a legendary 1973 UFO incident has
recently surfaced. Chambers identified this individual as Mike Cataldo,
a retired Navy chief petty officer.
- I was interested in more general details of this account,
and specifically the reference to "a report" Cataldo made with
a supervisor. This morning I conducted a YAHOO PEOPLE SEARCH for the name
Mike Cataldo and found his telephone number listed for his residence at
Marker Rd. in Rotonda West, FL.
- Cataldo came to the phone and was surprised at my call,
stating that I was the first person to ever contact him about this UFO
sighting from 1973. He explained that he had been in touch with Associated
Press reporter Natalie Chambers, but only after calling a Pascagoula,
newspaper a month ago. When calling the newspaper, he asked to talk with
an old-timer employee at the paper, someone that might remember the
abduction. Cataldo said that when he talked with Natalie Chambers, she
made reference to the book entitled 'UFO in Pascagoula.' Being unaware
of this book, Cataldo was shocked, saying "you gotta be kidding
to the reporter.
- He went on to excitedly relate the story as it happened
back in 1973.
- "The story is very true," he assured while
recounting the event. "We (Cataldo, Ted Peralta and Mack Hanna) left
the shipyard and rode in Ted's Volkswagen to Hwy. 90, traveling west
Buloxi, Mississippi. It was not even dusk yet, there was still some
to see by.
- "When we first saw this thing through the windshield
we thought it was a shooting star, going from right to left, but then it
came down into a marshy, tree-lined area and hovered there for about
It was spinning and had blinking lights on the top of it all around its
edge, all the way around it in a circle. These were blinking lights
on it just like you would tape lights to the side of a cake
- Cataldo affirmed that there was a definite structure
to be seen, not just blinking lights.
- "This thing was like a whitish-gray colored sailor
hat, or a tambourine, and it was less than half a mile away and looked
as big as any big American airliner I've ever seen. And then it just shot
away, almost like it was just suddenly gone."
- Cataldo said that shortly after the sighting he parted
company with Ted Peralta and Mack Hanna and changed cars. Then while
to Ocean Springs as darkness was setting in, he saw the same object a
time at about the same distance away, watching it for another 45 seconds
to one minute before it again shot off in the same manner as before.
- Mike Cataldo said that there were other motorists in
the area during each episode and that some of them had slowed down to look
at the ufo.
- "We were the only ones on the road to stop and look
at it though," he said.
- During this time, Cataldo said he never knew anything
about the Hickson/Parker claim. He went home, telling his wife about it.
Cataldo humorously recalled how his wife said he was hyperventilating with
excitement. He went on to liken the anxiety and strangeness of the
to a large snake sighting he had years earlier in 1963, "Some things
you see in your lifetime that you just don't ever forget," he
- The next day he returned to the site with Ted and Mack
and they parked their car at the shipyard area, talking about the sighting
from the previous day. They discussed what should be done about it and
if they should report what they saw.
- Cataldo said that he felt the sighting should be reported
and he approached a man by the name of Nick, his division officer. He then
approached the executive commander, Lt. Commander Heath and issued him
a verbal report on the sighting. He said that to his knowledge, Heath did
not prepare a written report concerning what was told to him.
- "Not one of them took me seriously," he
"and I never heard another thing about it. Nobody ever asked about
- "I never knew of the Hickson/Parker abduction until
days later. It happened on Thursday and it was not until the following
Sunday that I saw the headline in the morning paper about two men taken
aboard a Flying Saucer, I'm telling you I about died."
- The next morning, Oct. 15, Cataldo said that he talked
the situation over with his wife and again decided that it would be
to report the UFO sighting. At that time he placed a phone call to a an
assistant public relations officer Keesler AFB. The female taking his call
took the information, but Cataldo said that once again nothing resulted
from his advisement.
- "I have never talked to the fella involved, Charles
Hickson, and I've never discussed this case or met with them at all, I
never knew them and I never saw anything and had no involvement with what
they said," Cataldo assured, "and I've never seen a UFO since
then, not at all. Not even before then. Was it real? You're damn right
it was real. I can't say anything about they did or were involved in. I
don't even know if what I saw matches what they saw, but I know what I
saw and where I was at. But where we saw the thing going across the sky
through our windshield is basically the area where Hickson and Parker said
they were taken aboard. The time frame of our sighting might have been
around 6:00, but I can't recall for certain."
- Cataldo said that two weeks after the sighting he left
for California on temporary duty. While there, he saw Hickson on the Dick
Cavette television show.
- "I just couldn't believe it, here I was seeing this
guy," he said.
- Mike Cataldo explained that he has not seen Ted Peralta
for 21 years, but thinks he could possibly be in the San Diego, California
area. Likewise he has not seen Mack Hanna for about 23 or more years and
suspects that he could also be located in either Kentucky or Logan, West
Virginia. In the intervening years, Cataldo said that he has frequently
told told his family (wife, 2 sons and relatives) about the
- Cataldo said that aside from this present call, he has
not been contacted by anyone regarding this except for his discussion with
reporter Natalie Chambers. He said that he has not seen the newspaper
and would like to read it. He also said that he received a message from
a friend telling him that Paul Harvey mentioned the story on his radio
program yesterday, and wishes he could have heard it.
- I thanked Mike Cataldo for talking with me and told him
that I would be happy to E-mail him the text of the newspaper article by
Chambers. Although it is a disappointment to know that his claims were
probably not documented in a written report by his supervisor, further
interviews with Hanna and Peralta would still be valuable to provide some
verification of this alleged sighting. A YAHOO PEOPLE SEARCH was conducted
for their names in the specified locations resulting in many returns and
as of this writing some of the names have already been contacted but thus
far with no success in finding the right individuals.
- October 27, 2001
- Kenny Young
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