; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Friday, February 28, 2014

Incident at Shag Harbour

On the night of October 4, 1967, numerous residents of Shag Harbour, a small fishing village on Nova Scotia's southeast coast, witnesses a multilighted craft which eventually appeared to 'crash' into the Sound. The Sound is the western entrance to Shag Harbour proper. The unidentified flying object was observed drifting with the current on the Sound by more than a dozen witnesses including 3 RCMP officers. All of the witnesses both in and around Shag Harbour reported what they thought was an airplane crashing near Shag Harbour. The three Mounties contacted local boat captains and the Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) in Halifax, NS. The Mounties initiated a recovery operation, fully expecting to find bodies and wreckage out on the water. Initially two fishing boats loaded with volunteers went out on the water and searched. They were eventually joined by others and Coast Guard Cutter 101.

What is impressive is the amount of documentation of armed forces teletypes, principally the RCAF's AIRDESK in the nation's capitol, Ottawa. The newspapers responded to the event carrying stories about the event and one inch headlines in eastern Canada's largest, conservative newspaper, the Chronicle Herald. For a short time the Shag Harbour UFO Incident became a world wide story and as Case #34 was left unsolved in the Condon Report. The incident is in two components, the documented case and the subsequent anecdotal case supplied by retired military personnel from the Canadian army, air force and navy. During the first two hours of the incident Coast Guard Cutter 101 joined the search but it also brought news from RCC, Halifax. No airplanes were reported missing. This left the searchers and witnesses wondering; what had they seen that evening in the sky and floating on the waters off Shag Harbour; a mystery that has endured to this day. The Royal Canadian Air Force designated it a UFO. - nicap.org


It was a little after 11 p.m., on the night of October 4, 1967, when an unknown object with four bright lights flashing in sequence and estimated at 60 feet in diameter, was observed hovering over the ocean near the small fishing village of Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia.

Several residents of the village first noticed a rather strange grouping of orange lights. Several eyewitness accounts indicate that there were four orange lights that evening. Five of these witnesses included a group of teenagers who watched these lights flash in sequence for several minutes, and then suddenly and rapidly dive in a sharp 45 degree angle toward the water's surface.

To the amazement of the teens, and other eyewitnesses, on hitting the water’s surface the lights did not immediately disappear beneath the gentle swells, but seemed to float on the surface, approximately one-half mile from the shore. The initial panicked reaction of the observers was that they were witnessing the emergency ditching or crash of an airplane. The first report phoned into the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) in Barrington, came from a young fisherman who told them that an airliner had gone into the bay. The first reaction by the police dispatcher was that the young man had been drinking, however after an immediate rash of 10 additional calls reporting the incident, the police quickly re-contacted the young fisherman for location details.

Within the same time period however, Constable Ron Pound of the RCMP was on patrol on Highway 3, heading toward Shag Harbor, and had been observing the strange lights as he increased his speed toward the incident. Constable Pound’s report was that he believed that the four lights were coming from a single aircraft, that he estimated to be about 60 feet long.

As Constable Pound reached the shoreline he was joined by two other officers, Police Corporal Victor Werbieki, and Constable Ron O'Brien. Additionally, several of the fishing village’s residents stood on the shore watching and questioning what to do next. According to Constable Pound and the other officers, the orange lights slowly changed to yellow, and the object appeared to move slowly across the surface of the water, leaving a yellowish foam in it's wake. By this time no fewer than 30 witnesses from various vantage points, watched as the object slowly drifted further from shore, all would later describe the object as about 60 feet long, 10 or so feet high and dome shaped.

After about five minutes, the object started to sink beneath the icy North Atlantic waves. A few of the eyewitnesses reported hearing a "whooshing" noise. While the RCMP had already been in communication with the Canadian Cost Guard and Cutter 101 was on the way, two of the RCMP officers and a few local fisherman hurriedly launched their boats to speed to the rescue of any survivors. As the small boats, and Cutter 101 reached the location, the lights were no longer visible but they found themselves sailing through a thick yellow foam, that indicated that something had submerged. (The fisherman report that the foam was not sea foam, and looked like nothing they had ever seen. In fact most were unnerved by the fact that they had to sail through it to look for survivors.)

After several hours of searching nothing was found and the search was called off at approximately 3:00 am. Both the NORAD and the Rescue Coordination Center in Halifax had been contacted by the RCMP and found that there had been no reports that evening of missing aircraft, either civilian or military.

On October 5th (the following day), the Rescue Coordination Center filed a report with the Canadian Forces Headquarters in Ottawa. This report stated that something had crashed into the water in Shag Harbor, but the object was of "unknown origin." The Canadian Forces Headquarters dispatched the HMCS Granby to Shag Harbor crash site, and using advanced detection equipment and specially trained divers from the Navy and the RCMP, the Canadian military systematically searched the sea floor for several days, and found nothing.

Here in 1967, the mystery ended with no physical evidence ever recovered, and no additional leads.

For a few years the story kicked around in the local papers. From time-to-time various theories and intriguing rumors emerged about Russian spacecraft, or Russian submarines, and an American follow-up investigation. Then the story simply faded into obscurity.

That is, until 1993 when the Shag Harbor incident once again was brought to the attention of the public.

This was due to the dedicated investigative efforts of two men who are *MUFON investigators. Chris Styles, assisted by Doug Ledger, using public records such as newspaper clippings, and police reports were able to track down and interview many of the eyewitnesses and individuals involved in the Shag Harbor sighting, the rescue attempt, and in the subsequent investigation. Through their work, some extremely compelling clues and amazing new insights were uncovered.

In interviews with divers, and crew members from the HMCS Granby they discovered some startling information. The object that dove into the waters off of Shag Harbor had been tracked, and it had actually traveled underwater for a distance of about 25 miles to a place called Government Point. In the 1960’s the U.S. had maintained a small but technically advanced military base at Government Point, managing a Magnetic Anomaly Detection system (MAD grid) for the purpose of detecting and tracking submarines in the North Atlantic using .

The U.S. military had most definitely detected the object on its sensitive tracking equipment. Naval vessels were dispatched and positioned over the unidentified object, where it had stopped. After 3 days of no movement, and not knowing exactly what it was, the military was planning to initiate an investigative salvage operation. As the Navy waited and planned, the detection equipment picked up another object moving in, and to the amazement of all those involved, joined the first object on the ocean floor. The speculation at the time, was that the second UFO (I guess officially now an Underwater Flying Object) was there to render aid to the first object.

Not fully comprehending what they were dealing with the Navy decided it was best to standby and observe. For nearly a week the Navy vessels held their position over the UFOs. The detection base however, located a Russian submarine that had entered Canadian waters to the north, so several of the vessels had to be pulled off target to sail north to investigate. Under the cover of this new activity on the surface, both UFOs made their move, accelerating underwater toward the Gulf of Maine. The remaining Navy vessels pursued them toward the United States, but the objects continued to distance themselves from their trackers. To the astonishment of the pursuers, both of the objects broke to the surface and shot skyward to vanish within seconds.

According to the researchers, while these observations were well corroborated by many credible eye witnesses, these accounts were given "Off the Record" by military, ex-military, and civilian personnel who fear harassment, ridicule, or loss of pension. So as the saying goes, "only the names have been changed to protect the innocent."

Clearly, a series of very extraordinary, and still unexplained UFO encounters, involving the navies of two countries and NORAD, occurred at Shag Harbor on October 4th 1967, and in the following week in the deep waters off of the cost of Maine. - MUFON Canada


Shag Harbour Incident

The crash was originally phoned into the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Detachment in Barrington Passage Nova Scotia by a young fisherman, as a possible airliner impacting the surface of the waters adjacent to Shag Harbour, a small fishing village some 130 miles southwest of Halifax on the Atlantic Ocean.

The report was at first greeted with an accusation that the caller had been drinking but caller was soon re-contacted (at a payphone no less) when others began calling in with a like account of an airplane crashing into the waters of the "Sound" by Shag Harbour. (Some 10 people reported the decsent of an aircraft into the water) 3 RCMP arrived on scene, all of which are principles, still living and have been interviewed.

Object was described as being ~60 feet long showing 4 lights while still airbourne and decending at a 45 degree angle. Viewed by witnesses (at least 20) from about 280 degrees of circle. On the water it was flat dome shaped. ALL PHONE IN REPORTS OF IMPACT WERE OF SMALL AIRLINER OR LIGHT AIRPLANE. AUTHORITIES CLASSED OBJECT AS UFO.

Dozens of people arrived at vantage point and watched lighted object drifting with the ebbtide. Object remained on surface for about five minutes then sank or submerged. Reports of wooshing sounds were reported. Attempts were made by local fishermen and 2 of the Mounties to get to the scene to offer assistance and look for survivors. Found only a patch of thick foam similar to shaving cream,only yellow in colour and glittery in nature. The patch was eighty feet wide by 1/2 mile long. Fishermen/searchers swear that this was not sea foam were spooked by it and did not like sailing through the stuff though they had no choice since this was the area where the craft went down.

Also encountered bubbles coming to the surface and expressed concerns about bouyancy.Nothing was found that evening an since federal and military agencies reported no missing aircraft the RCMP tagged the object as a UFO in a report filed to the Air Desk in Ottawa early the next morning.

Royal Canadian Navy and RCMP divers were brought in on the morning of the 6th to attempt to recover wreckage but were unsuccessful. Local and regional press and television arrived and filmed part of the search which was within a 1/2 mile of shore. In the meantime the event was given a great deal of coverage by the press including banner headlines in the Halifax daily newspaper the Chronicle Herald-Mail Star.

The evening of Oct4/67 were rife with UFO reports all over eastern Canada, one very strange event reported by Air Canada pilot and 1st officer. Radar targets by offshore trawler. There was a report of an object reported by another Mountie and three game wardens (they were staked out in the forest trying to capture some deer jackers) thirty miles north of Shag Harbour same time, believed to be the same one reported in the fishing village.

They were astute enough to take a compass bearing on the object that proved to be on a direct heading for the fishing village. A time lapse photograph (slide-Ectachrome-64) was taken of an object bearing in that direction by a professional photographer which we have obtained copies of but cannot be sure this would be the same object due to distance from sighting. Slide also shows star smears from time lapse while object(s) stay rock solid.

What began as an interesting story (the 'trapping" of an object 80-100 feet down being serviced by another object) by seven naval vessels off Government Point, Shelburne (also the site of a sub listening station and Magnetic Anomaly Detection -MAD grid) has expanded to include the muting of military witnesses, most of whom have not been in the forces for 15 or 20 years, refusal of Canadian Coast Guard documents and the tampering with of same, and local witnesses who offer evidence of this event while being questioned on another. - Dark Object: The World's Only Government-Documented UFO Crash


Click for video - The Shag Harbour UFO Incident

Witness shares memories as Shag Harbour UFO festival set to begin

Here are a few other links that may be of interest - The UFO Crash at Shag Harbour and Something Fell From the Sky. In the Fall of 2009 there was an underwater survey conducted near the location where the craft was said to have entered the water. Here are the links - Expedition Team Dives at Shag Harbour UFO Crash Site and Diver Finds Depressions On Seabed At Shag Harbour, NS UFO Site

MUFON Canada
Dark Object: The World's Only Government-Documented UFO Crash
Ufology: A Very Short Introduction
The Big Book of UFOs
Aliens and UFOs: Case Closed Proof Beyond A Reasonable Doubt