October 4, 1967
Location: Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada
the night of 4 October 1967, shortly after 11:00 PM, a
UFO some 60 feet in diameter was seen to hover over the
water near the tiny fishing village of Shag Harbour, Nova
Scotia. The UFO, which displayed four bright lights that
flashed in sequence, tilted to a 45-degree angle and descended
rapidly towards the water's surface. Upon impact, there
was a bright flash and an explosive roar.
Artwork depicting the Shag Harbour incident, by Hal Crawford
in Canadian UFO Report
No. 1, August 1967.
Shag Harbour Incident
of the most extraordinary UFO encounters of the twentieth
century occurred in the tiny fishing community of Shag
Harbor, on the southern tip of Nova Scotia. This event,
while relatively obscure in the sense of public awareness,
is one of the most thoroughly and officially documented
UFO encounters of the last 30 years, and is easily as
sensational and as mystifying as the famous Roswell incident.
the evening skies of October 4, 1967, 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.
the amazement of the teens, and other eyewitnesses, on
hitting the waters 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
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 Pounds
report was that he believed that the four lights were
coming from a single aircraft, that he estimated to be
about 60 feet long.
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
villages 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 its 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.
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.)
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
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.
in 1967, the mystery ended with no physical evidence ever
recovered, and no additional leads.
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.
is, until 1993 when the Shag Harbor incident once again
was brought to the attention of the public.
was due to the dedicated investigative efforts of two
men who are *MUFON investigators. Chris Styles,
assisted by Don 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
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 1960s, 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.
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.
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.
to the researchers, while these observations were well
corroborated by many credible eyewitnesses, 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."
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 the
cost of Maine.
is an International Non-profit Civilian Research Organization,