George the Ghost has been haunting the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal for as long as three years, some say, and now the Navy is being advised who it might be.
George became something of a national celebrity in July, when the ship's public affairs officer, Lt. James Brooks, issued a news release about him and a photograph of a disembodied pair of khaki slacks entering a hatch while the Forrestal was patrolling the North Arabian Sea.A Navy widow from Atmore, Ala., wrote that George might actually be "Hank," the nickname for her husband, a Navy pilot who was buried at sea off the Forrestal in April.
George allegedly is responsible for mysterious noises and voices, objects falling for no reason and sightings of an unknown man in khaki uniform. It is speculated that George, named after the ship's former food officer, is one of the 134 crew members killed in a flight deck fire in the Gulf of Tonkin off Vietnam in 1967. Others say George may be a pilot who died in 1986.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeff McElhannon says he has never run across George but knows many people who have.
"I've collected about 15 stories that are almost exactly the same," McElhannon said. "People have been pushed, things thrown around, people woken up for no apparent reason."
Petty Officer 2nd Class Gary Weiss says he has twice seen a khaki-uniformed man passing through the holds, only to have him disappear from areas that have no exits.
Weiss has also heard unexplained footsteps and seen stacks of supplies and food tumble over.
On one occasion, Weiss and another crew member were inside a soundproof freezer when they heard the words, "Hello, shipmates."