Did ET Fears Cause Fisherman
To Walk Off End Of Boat
To His Death?
By Matthew Waite
© St. Petersburg Times

After a Saturday of commercial fishing aboard the Hanna Lee, Floyd Mooneyham walked off the end of the boat, into the waters off Cuba, not to be seen alive again.
By the time the crew of the Hanna Lee could get the boat turned around to go back for him, it was too late. The crew tossed a floatation device to Mooneyham but watched as he went under.
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and the Hanna Lee searched the waters northeast of Cuba for nearly five hours, from 6:15 p.m. to nearly 11 p.m., but neither could find Mooneyham's body.
On Sunday, the Coast Guard said that Mooneyham, 32, was apparently distraught and threw himself overboard. But family and friends, searching for answers Sunday, said Mooneyham had no reason to be distraught.
Something else must have happened.
"This is so bizarre," said Mooneyham's stepfather, Burt Ingalls. "People who know Floyd know he wouldn't do this."
Fueling that suspicion is a conversation Ingalls had with the captain of the Hanna Lee via the ship's satellite telephone. Ingalls said he was told that Mooneyham had been sick for the first two days of the fishing voyage and came out of his cabin acting strange.
The strange behavior included claims of alien abduction and fears that the extraterrestrials would be back for him.
Mooneyham had been home to Illinois for the holidays and had been acting fine, Ingalls said. Ingalls said that Mooneyham talked about fishing on the Hanna Lee, and how he looked forward to going out fishing for swordfish and tuna again.
"I don't understand how three days later, I hear this story about him walking off the end of the boat," Ingalls said.
Ingalls said from his home in Marsailles, Ill., that he would call the Coast Guard and other agencies Monday to see whether there would be any investigation or whether there would be an effort to recover Mooneyham's body.
Sandy Osborne, a friend of Mooneyham's from Hudson, said that the man had nothing to be upset about.
"He's not going to jump off a boat," she said Sunday. "He loves to fish.
"He's married to that boat."
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