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An extraordinary event in 1967 would practically put the small fishing village of Shag Harbor on the map. Located at the southern tip of Nova Scotia, this rural community would be host to one of the best documented UFO events of the past 40 years.
Named after the "shag," a bird of the cormorant family, the harbor was literally left off most maps of the time, but that would be changed once and for all.
The tiny fishing community has always had its stories... stories of giant sea serpents, man-eating squid, and ghost ships. The list of local color would see one more addition to its list: a story of a visit of a mysterious flying craft of unknown origin. This craft would visit the waters of Shag Harbor, permanently stamping the village's name in the public eye.
The first indication of this mysterious occurrence would come from local residents who noticed strange orange lights in the sky on the night of October 4, 1967. Most witnesses agreed that there were four orange lights that evening. Five teenagers watched these lights flash in sequence, and then suddenly dive in a 45 degree angle toward the water's surface. The witnesses were surprised that the lights did not dive into the water, but seemed to float on the water, approximately one-half mile from the shore.
Witnesses at first thought they were watching a tragic airplane crash, and quickly reported as much to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which was located at Barrington Passage. Coincidently, RCMP Constable Ron Pound had already witnessed the strange lights himself as he drove down Highway 3 in route to Shag Harbor. Pound felt that he was seeing 4 lights, all attached to one flying craft. He estimated the craft to be about 60 feet long.
Constable Pound made his way to the shore to get a closer look at the phenomenal sight. He was accompanied by Police Corporal Victor Werbieki, Contable Ron O'Brien, and other local residents. Pound clearly saw a yellow light slowly moving on the water, leaving a yellowish foam in its wake. All eyes were glued on the light, as it slowly either moved too distant to be seen, or dipped into the icy waters.
Coast Guard Cutter #101 and other local boats rushed to the spot of the sighting, but by the time they arrived, the light itself was gone. However, the crewmen could still see the yellow foam, indicating that something had possibly submerged. Nothing else could be found that night, and the search was called off at 3:00 AM.
The RCMP ran a traffic check with the Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifac, and NORAD radar at Baccaro, Nova Scotia. They were told that there were no missing aircraft reported that evening, either civilian, or military.
The following day, the Rescue Coordination Center filed a report with Canadian Forces Headquarters in Ottawa. This report stated that something had hit the water in Shag Harbor, but the object was of "unknown origin."
The HMCS Granby was ordered to the location, where divers searched the bottom of the ocean for several days, but without positive results.
Soon, the story of the mysterious crash at Shag Harbor died as quickly as it had begun. That is, until 1993. As the original story faded from papers and newscasts, several theories were put forward. One explanation was that a Russian spacecraft had crashed, which would explain the presence of a Russian submarine in the area. There was also the rumor of American involvement in the follow-up investigation, but there was no official statement from the United States.
The Shag Harbor incident would have new life breathed into it through the efforts of MUFON investigator Chris Styles. The case intrigued him so much that he decided to search for more details. Styles found the names of many of the original witnesses through newspaper clippings, and was able to interview many of them.
Styles was assisted by MUFON investigator Doug Ledger. These two men would uncover some extremely compelling evidence through their interviews. They discovered that when the divers of the Granby finished their work, the case was not over, after all.
The divers, along with other witnesses related these events: The object that dove into the waters of the harbor had soon left the Shag area, traveling underwater for about 25 miles to a place called Government Point, which was near a submarine detection base. The object was spotted on sonar there, and Naval vessels were positioned over it. After a couple of days, the military was planning a salvage operation, when a second UFO joined the first. Common belief at the time was that the second craft had arrived to render aid to the first.
At this time, the Navy decided to wait and watch. After about a week of monitoring the two UFOs, some of the vessels were called to investigate a Russian submarine which had entered Canadian waters. At this point, the two underwater craft made their move. They made their way to the Gulf of Maine, and putting distance between themselves and the chasing Navy boats, they broke the surface, and shot away into the skies.
These extraordinary events were corroborated by many witnesses, both civilian and military. Unfortunately, the reports were given "off the record." Ex-military personnel feared the loss of their pensions, and civilian witnesses feared ridicule, and their privacy being invaded. The unusual events of Shag Harbor command an important place in the study of UFOs. There is little doubt that something "unknown" crashed into the waters of Shag Harbor on October 4, 1967.
To learn more about the UFO Incident of 1967, visit the Shag Harbour UFO Incident Centre – 5615 Highway 3, Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia Phone: 902-723-0244