Sunday, March 12, 2006

The UFO Crash at Shag Harbour

The UFO Crash at Shag Harbour

The UFO Crash at Shag Harbour- by Don Ledger

Touched Living UFO David Adair interview

This article was previously published in the "Unopened Files" the sister magazine to UFO Magazine [UK] in the Fall of 1997 and reprinted in The Center for UFO Studies [CUFOS] magazine the International UFO Reporter in January of 1998. CUFOS is the legacy of its founder, Dr. J.Allen Hynek, the world famous UFO investigator.


the headline declared. Using letters one inch high the Halifax Herald of October 7,1967 informed its readers that two days earlier a UFO had crashed into the waters of the "Sound" adjacent to Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia on the east coast of Canada. As those of us that live here can attest, this was a startling headline for what was and still is a very conservative, provincially circulated, daily newspaper. The Herald informed the public that Laurie Wickens, the first of eleven people, had reported to the RCMP Detachment in Barrington Passage, Shelburne County on Nova Scotia's South Shore that an airliner or airplane had crashed into the Sound next to Shag Harbour late in the evening of October 4th.

Wickens and four of his friends were driving through the village of Shag Harbour on Highway 3 at a few minutes after 11 p.m. ADT when they spotted something unusual above and in front of their car. A large object flashing four sequential lights, amber coloured descended at a modest rate of speed at an angle of approximately forty five-degrees. From their vanatage point it looked like the object was going to go down into the waters of the Harbour.

Wickens endevoured to keep the object in sight while he drove his vehicle through the village and westward to the otherside whereupon at this point the UFO dissappeared behind some trees and a small hill. It was only a matter of seconds before he rounded a turn from behind the hill which brought him to right up to the Shore of "The Sound" a body of water adjacent to Shag Harbour.

Wickens drove onto the gravelled shore-side parking lot of an Irish Moss Plant. The five witnesses sprang from their car, ran to the water's edge and stood watching a "Dark Object" floating or hovering just above the water. The flashing lights had extinguished to be replaced with one pale, constant yellow light that appeared to be on top of the object located about eight or nine hundred feet from their position and drifting with the ebbtide. Records show and the witnesses have stated that on the night of October 4,1967 the night was cool and extremely clear with no moon. The winds were calm and the sky a blanket of stars.

Laurie Wickens' friends were as excited as himself. Concerned, they debated for a moment what to do. Wickens decided finally that rather than drive ten miles back to the RCMP detachment in Barrington Passage or wake up someone in the village, he would go a short distance west to the village of Wood's Harbour and use a pay telephone at a gas station. There he contacted RCMP Corporal Werbicki and reported that he saw a big airplane or small airliner crash into the Sound next to "the Harbour". The eighteen year old fisherman was surprised when Werbicki asked him if he had been drinking. Wickens denied this and was then told to hang up but to remain by the payphone.

Werbicki had a couple of constables over in that area and was about to contact them by radio when his phone rang once more and was informed by Mary Banks on Maggie Garron's Point, an area adjoining the "Sound" and Prospect Point at the western end of Shag Harbour, that she saw an airplane crash into the "Sound". That was enough for Werbicki. He contacted his constables, Ron O'Brien and Ron Pond and ordered them back to the detachment. Two more calls came in, one from a man in nearby Bear Point and another from two women over on Cape Sable Island 13 miles away, claiming she and another woman had seen the same thing. The man in Bear Point claimed he hear a whistle and a bang. Earlier one of Wickens' companions said she heard a whistling noise and a whoose. Corporal Werebicki called Wickens back,asking him to meet himself and the other Mounties at the Moss Plant.

Shortly before Laurie Wickens and his friends pursued the object through the village of Shag Harbour, two eighteen year old fishermen a few miles to the east of Shag Harbour were returning from a date with their girfriends on Cape Sable Island. They had just entered a portion of Highway 3 that runs across the base of Bear Point when the passenger, Norman Smith, pointed out to the driver, David Kendrick, an unusual object in the night sky hanging at a 45 degree angle pointing down toward Shag Harbour. They noted four to five amber or orange coloured lights flashing sequentially and what for a moment Norm thought might be the windows of an airliner. Dave Kendricks had to satisfy himself with only occasional glimpses of the object while driving along a narrow,twisting and hilly road bordered on either side by knarled and stunted, spruce trees blasted by years of nor'easters. They soon lost sight of the object behind the treeline in the direction of Shag Harbour some two miles distant.

Minutes later Dave dropped Norm off at his house and left, eager to get home to bed because he had an early start the next morning. Norm though was walking toward the house when he spotted the object again, this time nearly down to the "Harbour". He ran inside and pulled his father Wifred out to the front yard. He was intime to observe the object drop behind a small hill a short distance away. He agreed with Norm that it must have gone down into the "Harbour" and they decided to go there to see if there was anything they could do. Both men were sure it was an airliner in distress. Wifred hurried back inside to get dressed.

The distance between Highway 3 and the shoreline of the Sound at the Irish Moss Plant is about one hundred feet and affords an unobstucted view out into the "Sound"to the south. It is bound on the left by Maggie Garron's Point and Prospect point and to right by "the Outer Island" a three mile long by quarter mile wide strip of rock and sand covered by spruce trees and marsh grass. Between the two shores is the body of water, known as the "Sound", about two miles wide and four miles long and open to the Atlantic Ocean. Drifting placidly upon the "Sound"on a gentle swell about twelve hundred feet from the Moss Plant and a quarter mile east of Outer Island, was a "Dark Object".

Laurie Wickens and his friends stood once more on the shore and watched it. Moments later two RCMP cruisers crunched onto the gravel parking lot followed shortly after by Norm and Wifred Smith in their pickup. Everyone stood and watched for a moment. Werbicki had to have the object pointed out to him by Wickens, but eventually he too spotted the pale yellow light on the craft and the dark area below it which he figured was about sixty feet wide. Norm Smith estimated the height of the object to be about ten feet by measuring it against the height of a buoy called the "Budget Light" nearby.

Now that he could see it with his own eyes, Werbicki was concerned for survivors that might either be on the object or in the water. He gave orders for Constable Pond to start taking statements and to keep an eye on the light. He ordered Constable O'Brien to go to one of the houses nearby, contact by telephone the Rescue Coordination Center in Halifax, advise them of the situation and ask them to try and determine what aircraft might have gone in the waters here or if any were missing. In the meantime he was going to another house and call two of the local fishermen who had their own boats and get someone out there as soon as possible. But before they could leave one of the witnesses yelled that it was going down.

Everybody turned their attention to the "dark object". It was evident it was slipping under the waters of the Sound. The pale yellow light extinguished and the object disappeared from sight. Only five or six minutes had passed, barely enough time to react, and now there was no time left. Werbicki and O'Brien left the area to carry out their tasks.

Bradford Shand and Lawrence Smith, Norman Smith's uncle, were two of the first fishingboat owners contacted and each agreed immediatly to go to their boats berthed at the Government Wharf at the center of the village. Two of the Mounties, Werbicki and O'Brien split up, one each to a boat. Constable Pond was left to continue his interviews with the witnesses.

Young Norm Smith went out with Brad Shand while Wifred, his father, climbed aboard his brother Lawrence's boat. Within minutes they had cast off and were making to the west of the harbour, through the channel at Prospect Point and out onto the Sound.

In the lead, Lawrence Smith took a sighting on the "Budget Light" and began to run down on it. One mile out on the Sound they ran into the first evidence of the Dark Object they had watched from the shore, a 3 or 4 inch thick,glittery, yellow foam stretching down the Sound for a half mile and about two boat lengths or eighty feet wide. Bubbles roiled to the surface in places, and there was the smell of sulpher in the area.

Neither Lawrence Smith nor Bradford Shand were fussy about sailing through the stuff and expressed concerns about buoyancy. But their choices were limited. This was the area where the "airplane" went down and the most likely place for survivors. So with trepidation and a natural reluctance to finally come upon what all of them feared and believed was there, bodies and hopefully some survivors, they carried on their search. Nearly an hour later, still nothing had been found and now Coast Guard Cutter 101 arrived on site from its berth at Cape Sable Island some 15 miles away. It was nearly 12:45 A.M. Local and hope was fading fast for there being any survivors. Werbicki was called to the cabin on Shand's boat. Bradford handed him the mic from the vessel's marine band radio informing him that there was a message from the skipper of the Coast Guard Cutter, Ronnie Newell. Newell reported that he had just received a message from the Rescue Coordination Center the military manned facility in Halifax. All aircraft, both commercial and military were accounted for up and down the eastern seaboard of Atlantic Canada, and well down into New England and no private aircraft were reported missing or overdue.

Corporal Werbicki informed the others on his vessel and the word quickly spread through the now expanded flotilla of six small craft. No airplane had crashed here. That of course made the next question obvious to the searchers. If no airplane had crashed here, then what the hell were they looking for? What indeed.

The Air Desk in Ottawa, that sector of the Royal Canadian Air Force responsible for the gathering and investigation of UFO reports, tagged the sighting as the crash of a UFO and in other reports refer to it as a "dark object". The RCMP in their reports refer to the craft as a UFO. They had no choice for all other explanations for the event did not fit the scenario.

What ever crashed or "landed" in the waters near Shag Harbour was not a meteor, meteor train, space junk or any earthly vehicle. Even errant Soviet or American missile shots have been ruled out as has the possiblity of it being a dropped H-bomb as happened in the waters off Spain.

One thing is for certain. This event was probably the most documented case of a UFO crash in the history of UFO crashes and somehow got missed by UFO researchers over the years, despite the fact that as Case # 34 it was classed as one of the few unsolved cases in the infamous Condon Report. Like Roswell and the "dark object" this case sank into oblivion, not to resurface until Chris styles, later joined by myself, rediscovered it 26 years later. Now 30 years later and four years into the investigation, the evidence has grown to the point that we are certain that what happened at Shag Harbour was only the tip of the iceberg and the beginning of a seven day adventure involving two objects, the navy and airforces of two countries and NORAD.

But that is another story.

For more detailed information on the Shag Harbour Incident please see Chapter Five [approx. 30 pages] of the book "Maritime UFO Files".

Bio - Don Ledger

Author Don Ledger is a UFO researcher and writer living in Bedford, Nova Scotia. His current book "Maritime UFO Files" is now on the shelves of most bookstores. He is employed by the Nova Scotia government as the Director/Coordinator of the Legislative Television coverage of the debates in the Nova Scotia Legislature.He is married with three children, is a pilot who enjoys flying his airplane, writing and travelling.

Mr. Ledger is currently working on his next book about the Swissair Crash in Peggys Cove. Entitled "Swissair Down: The tragedy at Peggys Cove" . It is due out in the Spring of 2000.

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11:56 PM, March 19, 2006  

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