My first tour at sea was onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) which was located in Norfolk Naval Shipyard when I checked onboard in March, 2000. I had always heard that ships were haunted and given my previous experiences, figured I'd have at least one run in while stationed there.
The first few months went by without incident, but there were a couple of guys who delighted in screwing with the "New Guy" so I was always getting prank phone calls to muster here, or that someone needed something delivered there, etc... So it was nothing new when I was told that there was a mess that needed to be cleaned up in one of my division's fan rooms, that it was somehow my fault and that it needed to be taken care of yesterday.
I gathered the usual cleaning gear and made my way to the space, grumbling as usual and upon opening the door, I noticed the lights were out. I wasn't familiar with the space so I had to fumble around in the dark for a few seconds before finding the switch. When I switched it on, I saw a white sailor roughly five and a half feet tall with what looked to be thick rusty-red to auburn hair in the far back corner behind the cooling unit. He was wearing a dungaree uniform wearing a dixie cap standing at attention facing the bulkhead (wall) opposite of me.
My initial thought was that these guys were screwing with me again and just trying to scare me, but then I started to realize that something wasn't right with the situation. First, while we were still phasing out that particular uniform, we had long ago switched to ball caps vice the white dixie cap. What really grabbed my attention though was that although I couldn't see his full face, I could make out a full beard trailing down the side of his face. I didn't know when, but I knew beards hadn't been authorized for at least a decade.
As if sensing my fear rising, the figure started a slow "about face" turn to face me, but by then, fear had the best of me and I had run from the fan room back to my shop. The guys there admitted to screwing with me and the wild goose chase, but knew nothing about what I'd seen. On top of that, both of them were there and couldn't have possibly beaten me back to my shop.
To this day, no one else has seen what I did that day so it may have been an isolated incident, or possibly tied to the shipyard instead of the ship itself. Others, as well as I did have ominous feelings of being followed or watched sporadically through out their time onboard, but that was the only time I ever saw a visual manifestation. I'm not positive, but I've seen another poster (and I think I know and worked with him) on this site who was stationed with me during that time frame who might be able to corroborate or elaborate more on their own experiences while onboard.