Shag Harbour


On the evening of October 4th, 1967, a large object, of still unknown origins, crashed into the Gulf of Maine, near the small fishing town of Shag Harbour, in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. There were as many as 11 Eye witnesses to the event, some of which reported hearing a loud whistling noise, followed by violent crashing sound, while others reported seeing a series of lights over the water, flashing in sequence before witnessing the object suddenly plummet into the water. One of the eye witnesses, local resident Laurie Wickens, went as far as to contacted the RCMP, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, fearing he and his friends had witnessed the crashing of a small airliner.

As fate would have it, RCMP Constable Ron Pound was already heading towards the scene of the crash, having witnessed the object pass over head himself, he would later describe the object as having 4 lights, and being approximately 60 feet in length. Joined by Police Corporal Victor Werbieki, Constable Ron’ Obrien, and a handful of local residents,  Constable Pound made his way to the shore line, where the group witnessed the craft floating on the surface of the water, moving slowly away from the shore, leaving a trail of yellowish foam floating atop the water as it disappeared from view.

Within 30 minutes local fishing boats had made their way to the site of the crash, still operating under the assumption that a plane had gone down, they began combing the water for survivors or signs of debris. Within an hour of the crash the fishing boats were joined by a Canadian Coast Guard search and rescue cutter, Cutter 101 by some reports, from nearby Clark’s Harbour. The search and rescue cutter, along with the fishing  boats, scoured the area for hours, but found no signs of debris, nothing that would indicate a plane crash. They did however find what appeared to be a trail of yellowish foam that abruptly ended, leading some to believe that whatever had created the foam trail may have submerged into the fringed waters.

During the course of the evening, the Rescue Coordination Centre, RCC, in Halifax was contacted and advised of the possible plane crash, and rescue efforts to assist possible survivors. However, by the next morning RCC Halifax, with help from NORAD radar in Baccaro, Nova Scotia, was able to confirm that no aircraft, military or civilian, had gone missing the night before. That same morning RCC Halifax contacted the Air Desk at the Royal Canadian Air Force, headquartered in Ottawa, outlining the events of the previous night and stating that all conventional explanations of the object had been ruled out. Labeling the object an UFO, the Air Desk contacted the Royal Canadian Navy and recommended an underwater search be carried out. 2 days after the incident the HMCS Granby, a Bangor Class minesweeper, which served during World War 2, and was later recommitted as a diving support ship in 1953, was dispatched to Clark’s Harbour to assist in a search and recovery operation. Despite scouring the ocean floor for several days, the divers would eventually call off the search after no trace of the object was found.

Several of the priority messages between RCC Halifax, RCAF Air Desk and the RCN about the Shag Harbour Incident reportedly still exist to this day. In one of these documents the head of the RCAF Air Desk had written his name and the letters UFO in capital letters, underlined three times for emphasis, on the top right corner of the page. The hand written UFO on the report is cited by some researchers as proof of extra-terrestrial involvement in the Shag Harbour event, while others dismiss it as nothing more than an admittance that the object was simply unidentified, but not of an extra-terrestrial origin.  The latter seemingly backed up by several other documents which indicate that while conventional objects such as various air craft and flares has been ruled out, the exact cause of the incident was unable to be identified.

Although that is where the official account of the Shag Harbor UFO incident ends, modern day UFO hunters continue to research the incident, and with the help of new eye witness testimony combined with years of digging, they have uncovered some interesting new information on the events of that night. The most high profile researchers to investigate the case were Chris Styles and Doug Ledger of MUFON, The Mutual UFO Network, an American nonprofit organization that investigates cases of reported UFO sightings.

During the MUFON investigations, researchers were able to locate a number of new eye witnesses, including several ex-military members claiming to have been part of the search for the unknown object. According to these witnesses, the UFO, after crashing into the waters off Shag Harbour, traveled roughly 25 miles to a location known as Government Point, where it was picked up by a submarine detection grid as well as military sonar. The object stayed stationary at that location for several days, monitored by radar and sonar from the Canadian Navy ships positioned overhead, and later by the United States Navy, which, according to the eye witnesses, also sent several ships to the area.

From here there seems to be several versions of the story, all roughly the same, with some details of what happened to the UFO resting below the navy ships at Government Point changing slightly depending on the report. In one retelling of the events, after several days of monitoring the object the military began planning the details of a salvage operation during which a second UFO descended from the skies, entered the water, and came to rest next to the existing object at the bottom of the sea floor, most presumed the second UFO was there to assist the first UFO. That thought process is backed up in this retelling of the story, as according to these new eye witnesses, after several days of monitoring, both UFO’s suddenly sped  off back towards the town of Shag Harbour, out racing the vessels above, they broke the water in roughly the same location the first had been spotted, and raced into the night sky.

In another telling of events, the military vessels monitoring the ship were called away briefly when a Soviet Navy Submarine was detected entering Canadian waters off the coast of Nova Scotia. When the naval vessels returned to resume monitoring operations of the UFO, no trace of the object could be found. This retelling of the story seems less likely though, as reports indicate the object came to rest within the submarine detection grid and was also being monitored by sonar and radar, it is unlikely that all of these monitoring devises would have not detected the objects departure.

Additional eye witness reports stemming from the MUFON investigation indicate that a seemingly identical UFO was seen departing the area near the original crash site on October 11th, roughly a week after the initial incident. These reports seem to collaborate the first telling of events which indicate that a pair of UFOs sped back towards the waters off Shag Harbour before heading back into the atmosphere.  No mention of a second UFO could be found in these reports from October 11th, which leaves many more unanswered questions. Was there a second ship? If so, did the second ship depart alone? And if it did, did it leave behind, or possibly destroy, the first disabled ship? In the book Dark Object, by MUFON investigators Chris Styles and Doug Ledger, an American Diver who went by the name Harry claimed that photographs existed, taken by fellow divers, and that foam like debris had been recovered, though no mention of actual ship debris was mentioned.

Written by Sean – PACC Admin

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