The tiny fishing village of Shag Harbor wasn’t destined to remain anonymous. On the night of October 4, 1967, its residents were awaken from their slumber by an event that would find its place within the pages of ufology books — the Shag Harbor UFO crash.
Like all similar incidents, this one began when several of the 400 residents noticed strange lights in the sky. Most witnesses recalled a number of four orange lights trailing through the sky in an apparently intelligent and controlled manner. They also heard a whistling sound followed by a loud bang. Five teenagers reported the lights had been flashing in sequence before diving towards the water. Whatever those lights were, they didn’t dive below the surface but rather appeared to float.
I was with Norm Smith and we were driving in Shag Harbor from Cape Island,” said Dave Kendricks, one of the witnesses. “When we got to Bear Point we saw a bright light in the sky, sort of reddish orange,”
Believing they had just watched a plane crash, several of the townspeople notified the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Unbeknownst to them, RCMP Constable Ron Pound had also witnessed the strange lights as he was patrolling on Highway 3 between Shag Harbor and Barrington Passage. Intrigued, he was already heading towards the crash site.
Pound believed the four lights were part of the same structure which he estimated to have measured around 60 feet across. He kept an eye on the object as it appeared to settle on the surface of the water, half a mile out at sea.
As he reached the shore, he was joined by two more policemen, Corporal Victor Werbieki and Constable Ron O’Brien as well as several residents of Shag Harbor.
After it hit the water we were called to the scene,” said Constable Ron O’Brien. “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.”
Ten more officers arrived and as they were all observing the object, it disappeared. The witnesses surmised it had either moved beyond their field of view or sank into the frigid waters.
Several local boats and a Coast Guard vessel initiated a search but when they arrived at the spot where the object was last seen, they found nothing but a large patch of strange, yellow foam bubbling on the surface of the water. Whatever object had splashed down in the harbor, it was most likely resting on the seabed. Lacking resources, they called off the search for the night.
The first step in identifying the unknown object was to call air traffic control. The RCMP contacted the NORAD radar in Nova Scotia, inquiring about any missing aircraft. They received a negative answer as all military and civilian aircraft were accounted for.
The following morning, a report was filed with the Canadian Forces HQ in Ottawa. The report made mention of an object of “unknown origin” crashing into Shag Harbor. The bottom of the ocean was searched for several days by a team of military divers. Despite their best efforts, the search results returned nothing.
Due to a lack of answers, the incident would fade into obscurity.
Fortunately, it would be brought back up into attention through the efforts of two MUFON investigators, Chris Styles and Doug Ledger. In 1993, Styles and Ledger began a series of interviews that managed to uncover strange and interesting new evidence. Employing some old-style reporter work, they sifted through newspaper clippings, identifying the original witnesses.
As they would find out, it had been rumored the object that crashed into the harbor was actually a Soviet spacecraft and there were reports of a Soviet submarine in the area shortly after the incident.
Intrigued, the MUFON investigators decided to dig deeper and managed to interview some of the divers that had participated in the search operation. According to their testimony, the underwater object had left the area in the days following its crash, heading north for 25 miles, until it reached a submarine detection base called Government Point. After its presence was detected by sonar, several Navy vessels were stationed above it. When the vessels were dispatched to a salvage operation a few days later, a second unidentified object arrived.
As the Navy kept an eye on the intruders, an alarm was raised as a Soviet submarine entered the Canadian waters. Once again, the vessels were dispatched and the two objects took advantage of the situation, making their escape through the Gulf of Maine. Once they had distanced themselves, the objects took off into the skies and disappeared for good.
Although this last part is unsubstantiated, it makes for an interesting addition to the case.
Although not particularly famous, this episode remains one of the most interesting incidents and the large number of witnesses lends credibility to the event. Although unexplained, one thing is certain: there is something mysterious behind the Shag Harbor UFO crash.