while in the navy, onboard the uss racine lst 1191, i observed a very strange object while on watch at night. we had left san diego on our "westpac" tour on october 26, 1976, according to the itinerary in my ship's cruise book. it was two days out from when we left, so i believe the date was october 28, 1976. our ship had departed alone without the convoy, due to mechanical repairs. i was on the night watch on the rear of the ship, stationed to report any objects (contacts) to the bridge over the headphone set. it was late at night, dark, and there were no lights or objects to report to the bridge. all i could see were the stars, the horizon over the dark sea and the foam of the ships wake, no reportable contacts. then, i heard over the headset, other crewmembers talking about something. i looked around and saw a triangular object directly behind the ship. it was about a half-mile away and appeared to be hovering just above the water. it was glowing a yellowish-orange color and appeared to be very large. everyone was chattering on the headset, and i heard someone say "it looks like a christmas tree". the chattering continued until i heard someone say "shut-up". i then reported a contact bearing 180 degrees, approximately one-half mile to the bridge, there was no reply. the object continued to maintain its position for about 3 to 4 minutes. then, i observed the object slowly getting smaller in size as if it moved directly away from us at a high speed, until it disappeared. there was very little talk on the headphones after that and after a short while another shipmate came to relieve me. it is a rotating 45 minute watch, so my next station was port after-steering compartment. then i was on the port lookout on the bridge and then on the helm, (steering wheel). while on the helm, the door behind me opened and i saw a radar technician i knew. i asked him about what i had seen and he said there was nothing on the radar screen! my watch finally ended without much conversation with others about what we all saw. there had to have been at least 10 or more sailors and officers that saw what i saw. the next day, after saluting an officer i knew, i asked him what it was that we saw last night on watch. he then turned to me and said, "you didn't see anything and that's the last i want to hear about it". there was never much talk about that incident after that and the rest of the westpac was fairly uneventful. after all these years, i can still remember that what i saw was the most unexplainable thing i have ever witnessed. i think i have reported this to mufon several years ago but it was a different format with less information. in my ships cruise book, i think i can identify other crew members who may have been on watch that night. i have told my story to my family members and others. i know what i saw and it was very strange. thank you.