The Chronicle-Herald, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Sat., Oct. 7, 1967, Headline story
COULD BE SOMETHING CONCRETE
IN SHAG HARBOR UFO—RCAF
Continue Search Today
By Ray MacLEOD
A spokesman for a special and little known Royal Canadian Air Force department in Ottawa for the investigation of Unidentified Flying Objects said last night a series of bright lights which glided into the ocean off Shag Harbor, Shelburne County, Wednesday night be me one of the extremely rare cases were “something concrete” may be found. The spokesman, who identified himself as Squadron Leader Bain, said his department was “very interested” in the matter. “We get hundreds of reports every week,” he said, “but the Shag Harbor incident is one of the few where we may get something concrete on it.” The search will continue today. The four-man diving team from RMCS Granby will be augmented by three new divers from Halifax, and all seven will search from dawn to dusk. If nothing is found, special metal detection equipment may be brought in, a spokesman said.
ROW OF LIGHTS
At least a dozen persons reported seeing the row of lights descend into the water, but as yet no trace of any debris has been found either on the surface or the bottom. The only clue may be a wide patch of strange yellow foam sighted by vessels searching the area immediately after the object went down. Navy divers searched the area yesterday and found nothing, but will be back at it with reinforcements today. No ships or planes were reported in the area at the time of the sightings Wednesday. It was the third, but by far most dramatic sighting of UFOs in Nova Scotian skies in the past 10 days. Others were over the Armdale Rotary a week [ago] Thursday and in Dartmouth the same night as the Shag Harbor sighting.
All armed forces efforts are being centered on the Shag Harbor incident, but as yet spokesman said they had no explanation for the sightings. They began Wednesday about 11 p.m. “I was with Norm Smith and we were driving in Shag Harbor from Cape Island,” said David Kendricks, 18. “When we got to Bear Point we saw a bright light in the sky, sort of reddish orange.” Kendricks said two more lights appeared all in a row on a right decline of about 45 degrees. They came on in order, the lowest one first. They were pin-points of light, not like flares, and Kendricks said he had “never seen anything like them before.” He judged them to be two or three miles away in the south west. They passed out of sight when he drove into a grove of trees. Within minutes of his sighting, Lauren Wiggins, 19, and four other young people also made a sighting from a car but a few miles away at Shag Harbor.
Wiggins said he saw four lights in a row over Wood’s Harbor and thought they were yellow and white in color. As he and his friends watched the row of light, had been level, tilted at a 45 degree angle and started to descend into the ocean on a gradual glide. Like Kendricks, he noticed the lights going on and off in order and said this happened several times before it reached water level. He said he heard nothing when they made contact an estimated one-half mile from them offshore and due south. One friend, however, reported a whistling, hissing noise. They stopped the car to look and saw a single white light bobbing offshore. Wiggins called the RCMP. “After it hit the water we were called to the scene,” said Const. Ron O’Brien of the Barrington RCMP. “I saw a light floating on the water about a half mile offshore. It was being carried out to sea by the tide and disappeared before we could get a boat to it.” Const. O’Brien said he and two other RCMP officers were on the scene with 20 minutes. Many other reports of the row of lights gliding into the water that night came in through the day RCMP said. All were at the same time in the same area. All known possibilities have been checked out. A Navy spokesman said there was no security involved on their part because the Department of National Defense reported nothing missing from aircraft or ships. No planes were reported operating in the area at the time and a spokesman said it was unlikely anything fell from an aircraft because of the gliding pattern described by most witnesses. The Barrington Passage radar station reported no sightings at the time, the navy said. The RCMP immediately called out Canadian Coast Guard lifeboat 101 from Clarke’s Harbor and eight local fishing vessels joined the search almost immediately. Within an hour they were in the area, pinpointed by several sightings. Nothing was found except an extremely large patch of bubbling water and foam. Captain Bradford Shand, Shag Harbor, said he though the strange foam, at least 80 feet wide, was yellowish in color and said that while he passed through the area everyday while fishing he had never seen anything like it before. Navy divers from HMCS Granby began investigations Friday at noon. A search to dusk in water ranging from 30 to 65 feet revealed nothing. Three more men will join the four-man team and search today. One source in the area reported fishermen very anxious to have the matter cleared up. They must pass through the spot each day on their way to the fishing grounds and are very wary of making the trip. An armed forces spokesman in Halifax said it was not known when a solution for the mystery could be found. Of the two other UFO sightings, one came Wednesday about an hour earlier than the Shag Harbor incident.
A woman on her way home from work saw a bright round object in the sky moving from the Halifax-Dartmouth ferry landing to Imperoyal [?], north to south. She described it as bright, more vivid than a star, with an orange hue like a halo around the circumference. She looked at it, when she got home, through binoculars and she saw it was not a star. Also the orange hue was plainly visible. She didn’t think it was flying saucer; she assumed it was a satellite. The CFB Shearwater control tower said their radar was not being watched at the time estimated to have been between 9 and 10 p.m.
Halifax Chronicle-Herald, Mon. Oct. 9, 1967, front page bottom
UFO Search Called Off
SHAG HARBOR – “Not a trace . . . not a clue . . . not a bit of anything.” With that comment, Canadian Forces Maritime Command announced last night they were calling off an intensive undersea search for the mysterious unidentified flying object that disappeared into the ocean here Wednesday night
An armed forces spokesman said the decision to terminate the search was made after a seven-man Navy diving team had spent three days scouring the bottom of Shag Harbor without finding any trace of the UFO. The area searched, pinpointed as the spot where the 60-foot long row of lights disappeared, was “thoroughly covered,” the spokesman said. The object was seen by at least 12 (13?) local (?) residents, including an RCMP corporal. All tide conditions and visibility were favorable for the hunt conducted by divers in teams of two. Even areas where the tide might have taken a buoyant object were checked out. However, the divers were reported to be completely exhausted by the ordeal of three straight days on the water. Maritime Command said there seemed no use in pressing them further. The search started Friday, prompted by the mysterious sighting Wednesday night, shortly after 11 p.m. Local residents reported seeing a row of lights, apparently on the circumference of an object about 60 feet across, glide out of the dark sky into the ocean about half a mile offshore. Several reported seeing a white light bobbing on the spot for some time afterwards, as did RCMP called in to investigate.
By the time search teams reached the spot, the light was gone and the only thing found was a large patch of strange yellow foam or froth. In calling off the search last night, the armed forces spokesman admitted that neither command headquarters nor the diving parties ever had any idea what it was they were searching for.
Winnepeg (Manitoba) Free Press, Mon., Oct. 9, 1967, front page
Search For ‘Object’ Called Off
SHELBURNE, N.S. (CP) – The search for a mysterious object that disappeared beneath the waters of Shag Harbor on the southern tip of Nova Scotia last Wednesday [Oct. 4] was terminated Sunday night, a navy spokesman said.
The team of seven navy divers was to return to Halifax today, having found “absolutely no clues, no trace of anything.”
A four-man diving team was sent to the scene after local fishermen could find no trace of the object Thursday. Three more divers joined the search Saturday.
Witnesses said a dark object more than 60 feet long with four lights glided to the surface of the water about one-half mile offshore. An RMCP constable called to the scene said he saw a light but it disappeared before boats could reach it.
Halifax Chronicle-Herald, Thur., Oct. 12, 1967, front page
2nd UFO Reported Seen In Shelburne
By BOB LYONS
The second UFO sighting within a week in the Shelburne area was reported last night. Lockland Cameron, Woods Harbor, told The Chronicle-Herald that about 10 p.m. Wednesday night [Oct. 11] he, his wife Lorraine, daughter Luella, and his brother Havelock Cameron and his wife, Brenda, noticed six bright red lights, measuring from end light to end light about 55 to 60 feet, and at an altitude of between 500 to 600 feet, about one-half mile north of the sighting made last Wednesday night. Mr. Cameron said the string of lights appeared to be three quarters of a mile off shore and in a stationary position. He reported the lights stayed in this position for seven or eight minutes and then disappeared for a moment. The lights then reappeared, only this time on what seemed to be a 35 degree angle and with only four lights showing. Mr. Cameron said that the lights began to descend toward the horizon, slowly changing in color from red to yellow and then to an orange hue. He reported that the lights moved in the direction of Tusket Island, then disappeared. This sighting lasted for what Mr. Cameron estimated to be 15 minutes. An hour later, Mr. Cameron said that he spotted the lights again. This time they appeared as a string of yellow lights moving at a speed, in Mr. Cameron’s words, “faster than any plane.” They vanished after moving in a southwesterly to north-easterly direction. He said that the combined time of all three sightings was nearly 25 minutes. Mr. Cameron informed Barrington detachment of the RCMP of the sighting. The radar station at Baccaro was also informed of the sighting, but when contacted last night officials had no comment. Barrington RCMP, who interviewed the people who claimed to have made the sighting, reported that they appeared to be “sincere and sober.” Asked what he thought of the sightings, Mr. Cameron replied: “I just don’t know. We are all puzzled. The next time I see it though, I’m going to take a shot at it.” Mr. Cameron also said that the television reception at his house seemed to be affected by the lights. “The screen had a white line through it and the picture was all jiggly,” he said.
Halifax Chronicle-Herald, Fri., Oct. 13, 1967, front page
Shelburne’s UFO Secret ‘War’
Machine From U.S.--Scientists
By DAVID BENTLEY
Leading Canadian scientists are wondering if Shelburne County UFOs are secret new war machines. And they believe the United States Defence Department may know the answer. The theory was advanced yesterday by Acadia University professor Rupert MacNeill. [MacNeill] said it received backing from Toronto aerospace research scientist and UFO expert Professor R. C. Tennyson.
Professor MacNeill, a member of the National Research Council, thinks the mystery UFOs may be prototype supercraft under test. From the evidence and reports of the two recent Shelburne county sightings, they could have the capability to travel by air, sea, and beneath the sea, he said. “I feel these are real things,” said Professor MacNeill. “I have had a number of reports over the last couple of years.” “It seems to me there is a matter of security involved here. I know nothing for sure, but from what I have heard and seen, it seems to be they might be experimental craft of some kind. Professor MacNeill said he thought probable the craft are: “North American rather than Canadian.” Such versatile craft could well be within the grasp of leading nations, he said. If they are, then it is right they should be kept strictly secret. “After all they are in a competition for survival.”
Professor MacNeill, a leading geologist, is a member of the National Research Council’s meteorite committee, which studies UFO reports. Many of the other experts he meets and works with also believe secret military trials may be the explanation for some of them, he said. Professor Tennyson is chairman of a new technical committee formed at Toronto University’s Institute of Aerospace Studies. The purpose of the committee is to investigate what Professor Tennyson prefers to call Unidentified Atmospheric Phenomena.
It has followed the Shelburne reports and would seriously consider sending a scientist down to Nova Scotia to analyze any positive evidence. Professor Tennyson said it was “very conceivable” the mystery might be a new supercraft under test. “I wouldn’t be surprised. But at the same time, I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility of the U.S. being ignorant of it too.”
“But I do believe in unidentified atmospheric phenomena. Whether it happens to be an extra terrestrial vehicle, a military machine or what – I think we should try to find out.” Professor Tennyson supported the military craft theory in saying the large patch of yellowish foam seen floating just offshore after the Wednesday Oct. 4 sighting could be similar to that used as a marker by planes in trouble or returning astronauts. LAUNCHING POINT He also spoke of the huge United States Norfolk naval base in Virginia as a possible launching point. Professor Tennyson said whatever their source, the Shelburne UFOs are certainly among the most interesting reports this year. “They have a high credibility rating,” he said. “This is because they have been observed by several people, including an RCMP officer—and for quite long periods of time.”
“And there is the strangeness of the event. It is very strange. There seems to be some sort of physical evidence (the foam) left behind.” Professor Tennyson appealed to anyone spotting a UFO to try and record some evidence of it. Photographs and sound recordings will be invaluable to the new committee he said. It was a great pity no one had taken a sample of the foam in the water. Professor MacNeill said many of the reports he has had over the past two years have not had any reasonable explanation.
Defence experts are still studying the latest Shelburne County UFO report, said a Halifax spokesman yesterday. RCMP passed on information from the two Woods Harbor brothers and their families who told how they saw six bright red lights in the sky at about 10 o'clock Wednesday night. [Oct. 11]. The report was remarkably similar to the first that came from Shelburne County exactly a week before. On Wednesday, Oct. 4, at about 11:30 p.m. several people reported four reddish lights plunged into the sea off nearby Shag Harbor. Seven navy divers spent three days searching the seabed but found nothing. The spokesman said so far the defence department does not place so much emphasis on the latest report. There were not so many people involved – and no well-indicated search area.
Halifax Chronicle-Herald, Fri., Oct. 13, 1967, front page
DND No Knowledge of Secret Project
OTTAWA (Copyright) – The department of National Defence has no knowledge of any secret experiment going on in the United States or elsewhere that would explain the Shelburne UFO, a spokesman said yesterday. “But we are keeping an open mind on the matter and we are ready to investigate anything that is considered to be worthwhile investigating,” he said. The spokesman added that when the naval team went to the South Shore to prove the reported crash of a flying object there, it was not specifically trying to solve the mystery of such objects, but also investigating the possibility of a plane crash or the landing of an unusual meteorite which other government departments would be interested in.
Condon Report, 1969
Halifax Chronicle-Herald, Fri., Oct. 13, 1967, p. 17
AN ATOMIC FURNACE, to be used at a project near Rochester, N.Y., made an unexpected arrival in Shelburne when the barge carrying the bulky cargo began to take in water. Shelburne workmen and divers from Brooklyn worked around the clock to make the barge seaworthy. The barge is taking the furnace from the Eastern United States to Rochester via the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Halifax Chronicle-Herald, Thurs. ,10-18-67, p. 6
Shelburne UFO’s Come Under Attack
By DAVID BENTLEY
Shelburne County UFOs received some groundfire yesterday from Nova Scotia’s best-known astronomer: Father Michael Burke-Gaffney of St. Mary’s University. Father Burke-Gaffney told The Chronicle-Record he was not too enthusiastic about them. They did not come from outside the earth’s atmosphere—and they did not appear to have any military appearance about them, he said. They remained for him simply unidentified flying objects. Father Burke-Gaffney was interviewed after a UFO lecture to St. Mary’s students.
It took the form of a good-natured dig at flying saucers. The term was applied 20 years ago, he said. And so far there was still no definitive evidence of extraterrestrial vehicles having visited earth. Father Burke-Gaffney went back to Pliny to demonstrate how progress and man’s increasing knowledge overtakes UFO’s. Pliny was in fact seeing mirages. As an astronomer, Father Burke-Gaffney said UFO’s seen at below 10 miles were of no concern to him—unless, like meteorites, they had obviously entered the earth’s atmosphere from space.
Life on other planets—elsewhere in outer space—seemed probable, he said. With about 10,000,000,000 stars, many of them could have earth-like planets. But the possibility of that life growing up in man-form was more of a possibility than a probability. Father Burke-Gaffney thought saucer speculation by astronomers did not do the science much good. He pointed out how one sighting sparked several others. The most recent report to reach him came Monday. A student said he saw lights flying across Bedford Basin. They were going quicker than a plane – because there was a plane going along behind them.
Halifax Chronicle-Herald, Wed. Oct. 14, 1967, p. 4, editorial
Tough For Skeptics
The unidentified department of defence spokesman who said that he and his colleagues were keeping an “open mind” about the UFO sightings off Shelburne described the situation perfectly. What other attitude can be taken? Who is to say that space people aren’t gambolling off our coasts? Who is there who will contend with the possibility that the UFOs may be experimental land-sea-air machines belonging to the United States, as some scientists suggest? Indeed, perhaps the most debatable theory is that the UFOs are products of the human imagination, or of natural phenomena. In the first place, numbers of people have described similar objects on at least two occasions. They are agreed upon such essentials as lights, length of the object or objects, and its speed. In the second, there was some physical evidence – that yellowish foam discovered by searchers – which gives yet more credibility to the sightings. Imagination and or natural phenomena seem to be the weakest, not strongest, of explanations. It has been a tough week for skeptics.
Halifax Chronicle-Herald, Mon. Oct. 16, 1967, p. 4, letter to editor
To The Editor
Sir, -- The sighting of strange unidentified flying objects in the skies over Nova Scotia is nothing new. Why every day, if one is looking into the sky, he will see something which he is unable to identify. It could be a high flying jet or one of the many man-made space satellites which can be seen at certain times. If one has to go and check on every report that a UFO was sighted, the department of national defence would use up an awful lot of the taxpayers’ money in Cape Breton alone, because there is not a week that goes by that someone does not report to one of the local radio talk-back programs that he saw or heard some strange thing flying by or hovering about. Recently a group of students in England left some little space ships which they built in the vocational school they attended at some shopping centres and the police were baffled because a beeping sound came from them. The students later acknowledged the prank. However, in the Shag Harbor incident, it is reported that lady saw an object flying over the Halifax area towards the direction of Shag Harbor, and a number of responsible people stated they saw an object fly overhead and land in the water approximately one-half mile from shore. Nevertheless, the boats which went out to the crash site were unable to locate the object, reporting, however, that the water contained a large patch of yellow foam. Why was not a suitable sample of the water containing the yellow color taken and suitable tests made to determine what chemical change had taken place? If it was taken, when will a report be forthcoming?
1969 Condon UFO Report Treatment
[Dr. Norman Levine, electrical engineer]
Information obtained in telephone interviews of officers of Canadian Naval Maritime Command and RCMP indicated that an object bearing several colored lights glided with a whistling noise into the sea. Search by boats and divers found no debris or wreckage.
On the basis of a report from James Lorenzen (APRO), project investigators telephoned several sources in the area.
A watch officer at the Naval Maritime Command stated that reports indicated that an object about 60 ft. long with four lights on it had gone whistling into the sea; it flashed when it hit, and a white light remained on the water afterwards. He stated that the original report had come from two teenagers, and that the Navy was searching for wreckage. No aircraft were reported missing in the area. He mentioned also that sightings had been reported throughout the year.
A corporal of the RCMP stated that the first report had come from five young people, 15-20 yr. old, who while driving near the shore had seen three or four yellow lights in a horizontal pattern comparable in size to a "fair-sized" aircraft, descending at about 45° toward the water. The witnesses had lost sight of the object for about ten seconds while passing a small hill; they then saw a single white light on the water about where they estimated the object should have gone in. They observed the light while they drove on about .25 mi., then reported the incident to the RCMP detachment.
Two officers and the corporal had arrived about 15 min. later, in time to see the light on the water. It persisted about five minutes longer. Ten minutes after it went out, the two officers were at the site in a rowboat; a Coast Guard boat and six fishing boats also were on the scene. They found only patches of foam 30-40 yd. wide that the fishermen thought was not normal tide foam; the tide was ebbing, and the white light had appeared to drift with it.
The site of the presumed impact was in between an island and the mainland, about 200-300 yd. offshore. Apparently no one actually saw anything enter the water. However two young women driving on the island reported that a horizontal pattern of three yellow lights had tilted and descended, and then a yellow light had appeared on the water. Another witness, about two miles from the site, saw a horizontal line of three red-orange lights descending at "aircraft speed," with a whistling sound like a falling bomb. He thought the object was like an aircraft. It disappeared behind some houses, and the sound ceased a second or two later.
The RCMP corporal stated that the light on the water was not on any boat, that Air Search and Rescue had no report of missing aircraft in the area, and an RCAF radar station nearby reported no Canadian or U.S. air operations in the area at the time, nor any unusual radar object. The night was clear and moonless. A search by Navy divers during the days immediately following the sighting disclosed nothing relevant.
Five days later the Naval Maritime Command advised the project that the search had been terminated. The watch officer read a report from the RCMP indicating that at the time in question a 60 ft. object had been seen to explode upon impact with the water.
The captain of a fishing boat that had been about 16 mi. from the site of the earlier reports, reported to the project that he and his crew had seen three stationary bright red flashing lights on the water, from sundown until about 11:00 p.m. The ship's radar showed four objects forming a six mile square; the three lights were associated with one of these objects. At about 11:00 p.m., one of the lights went straight up. The captain had judged that the radar objects were naval vessels and the ascending light a helicopter; he had attached no significance to these observations until he had heard on the radio of the sightings; he then reported the foregoing observations to the RCMP. However, since the position he reported for the objects was about 175 n. mi. from the original site, the two situations do not appear to be related.
No further investigation by the project was considered justifiable, particularly in view of the immediate and thorough search that had been carried out by the RCMP and the Maritime Command.
Shag Harbour News Articles
How the 1967 Shag Harbour UFO crash was reported in the Canadian Press, mostly from the Halifax Chronicle-Herald; also the cursory treatment in the 1969 Condon Report