The Incident

An Extraordinary Event

An extraordinary event in 1967 would put the small fishing village of Shag Harbour on the map. Located at the southern tip of Nova Scotia, this rural community would play host to one of the most well documented UFO events in the modern era.

Named after the “shag,” a bird of the cormorant family, the harbour was left off of maps most of the time, but that would be changed once and for all on one clear October night.

The tiny fishing community has always had its stories… stories of giant sea serpents, man-eating squid, and ghost ships. The list of local colour 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 skies and waters of Shag Harbour, permanently stamping the village’s name in the public eye.

Orange Lights in the Sky

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 Harbour. Pound felt that he was seeing 4 lights, all attached to one flying craft. He estimated the craft to be about 60 feet long.

The Response

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 Halifax, and Canadian Forces Station Barrington at Baccaro, Nova Scotia, a NORAD radar facility. They were told that there were no missing aircraft reported that evening, either civilian, or military.

The Report

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, and the object was of “unknown origin.”

Divers from HMCS Granby was deployed to the location of the crash, where they searched the bottom of the ocean for several days, but without positive results… That we know of.

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.

Chris Styles

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 HMCS Granby finished their work, the case was not over, after all.

The divers, along with other witnesses related these events: The object that entered the waters of Shag Harbour had soon left the area, traveling underwater for about 25 miles to a place called Government Point, at the mouth of Shelburne Harbour, which was near a top-secret NATO submarine detection base. The object was detected with hydrophones and naval vessels were positioned over it. After a couple of days of military observation by navy divers and sensors, the military made plans for a recovery operation. That’s when a second USO (unidentified submerged object) joined the first. “Off the record” military witnesses indicate that the second craft had arrived to render aid to the original USO.

The Navy

At this time, the Navy decided to wait and watch. After about a week of monitoring the two USOs, the flotilla of navy vessels were promptly deployed to investigate a Russian submarine which had entered Canadian waters nearby. 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 ships, 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 and USOs. There is little doubt that something “unknown” crashed, or landed, 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: 902-723-0127

  • Shag Harbour UFO Incident Society
  • Mysteries of Canada – Shag Harbour UFO
  • The Shag Harbour UFO Incident – Documentary