Most people join the Navy
to see the world.
joined the U.S. Navy in 1957 and saw something out of
Grusinski, born in Hamtramck and raised
in Detroit, was a 19-year-old fireman's apprentice
serving aboard the aircraft carrier USS Franklin D.
Roosevelt in 1958 when he says he saw a UFO. The object
hovered over the ship and gave him and two dozen crew
mates on deck an up- close and personal look at it, he
He's been in search of the truth about
that unusual night ever since.
Grusinski, now 58, works as an
automatic screw machine operator at H&L Tool Co. on
Dequindre Road in Madison Heights. He previously worked
at the Ford Wixom assembly plant, Ford Dearborn stamping
plant and Chrysler Mound Road engine plant.
"I get teasing at work about it,
but I don't mind it", said Grusinski, who has become
one of the Detroit area's foremost self-taught UFO
experts. "They write stuff on my locker, but that's
all right. They put on my locker 'Roswell Lives Here',
'X-Files', 'The Truth Is Out There', 'Close Encounters'
and then when I missed a day, they drew a crying alien
face that says 'Chet, we miss you'".
Grusinski has been researching UFOs,
flying saucers and related phenomena ever since that
night in 1958, but over the last seven years, it has
become his main outside hobby.
The study at his residence in Clinton
Township is some- thing of a UFO library, with all manner
of books, photographs, letters, documents and related
research spread about.
But all it takes to understand
Grusinski's passion for the subject is to listen to the
detailed account of his UFO sighting, which took place
aboard the USS Roosevelt in the Caribbean, out of the
U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Grusinski became one of 3,000 crewmen
aboard the ship after it was overhauled at the New York
It sailed from New York to Cuba and out
of Guantanamo Bay in July 1958, when the young sailor
from Detroit witnessed something extraordinary.
"We're out at sea, it was dark-8
or 9 o'clock at night", he recalled. "We'd seen
this little light following our ship.
"Then it came right at us. It came
in close enough that I could see figures in there (inside
the space- craft).
"By watching those figures, the
impression I got is that those were not human beings
looking at us. I could see them that good. It was lit up
inside of those windows, backlit, so I could see the
silhouettes. The impression I got? They were not
human", Grusinski said.
"I was kind of shocked because I
wasn't expecting some- thing like that. Then, while we
were looking at it, it turned a red-orange color and took
off...in the meantime, they were screaming for the
officer of the deck on the intercom to get up there on
"It could've been a few minutes,
or it might've been quite awhile-I've got no idea (how
much time elapsed). But I could feel the heat on my face
when it came up", he said. "It was
cigar-shaped. It came up close to the island
superstructure (on the carrier). Then it took off, and I
went down below decks.
"The next day, I was drinking a
lot of water. I felt like I was dehydrated", he
Grusinski's subsequent research into
that night reveals some fascinating details, including
the fact that the USS Roosevelt was one of only three
aircraft carriers in the Navy's fleet that was equipped
to carry nuclear weapons at that time.
"I found out there's other
military installations that store and have nuclear
weapons that also (experience) a lot of (UFO) sightings.
I found out later that we also lost power on the ship the
night it happened, as well", Grusinski said.
"They called them special weapons
while I was on the ship. They had certain compartments
down below where they had a Marine guard by the hatchway
and they'd check you ID", he said. "When they
had any kind of maneuvers, anything to do with the
special weapons, they canvassed it off with a heavy tarp
where you couldn't see what they were doing. Years later
I found out that they were nuclear weapons",
While Grusinski's Freedom Of
Information Act requests to the Central Intelligence
Agency and the National Security Agency turned up
negative, the Roosevelt's deck logs from that night have
been mostly blacked out by military censors. Plus, he ran
across a seperate U.S. government document with this
interesting notation about a 1952 UFO incident, also
involving the Roosevelt:
"Three photographs of a flying
disc were taken from the aircraft carrier Franklin
Roosevelt during Operation Mainbrace (in the North
Atlantic in 1952)", the docu- ment reads.
"The object was flying extremely
fast behind the NATO fleet and witnesses obviously were
numerous and competent in identifying them...the same
day, a number of sightings were made elsewhere in
Of his own UFO incident, Grusinski
estimates that 25 of the 3,000 crewmen on the ship were
on the flight deck at the time. So, much of his research
has been spent contacting his old crew mates in search of
He even had one of his current
co-workers, an artist, draw a detailed rendering of the
1958 UFO sighting. Grusinski is simultaneously working on
a movie screen- play based on his experience. It's called
"Out of the Sky".
"Close Encounter: Area
Autoworker Is Mr. UFO" Motor City News (Troy, MI)
August 17, 1998 by Gerald Scott, Staff Writer
Jeffrey S. Westover
Filed August 21, 1998