Shag Harbour

Don Ledger and Chris Styles. Dark Object: The World's Only Government Documented UFO Crash. Dell Books, 2001.

On 4 October 1967 at about 11 o'clock at night at Shag Harbour in Nova Scotia a number of people, including a group of five teenagers saw (as summarised in INTCAT) "four yellow white lights over Wood's Harbour, forming a pattern comparable to the size of a fair-sized aircraft". The lights descended towards the water at 45 degrees, going on and off in sequence. One of the party heard a whistling sound. Their view was obscured by a hill for ten seconds; when the area was in view again they saw a single white light on the water.

They kept this under observation for a distance of 400 m until they reported it to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Constable Ron O'Brian saw the light floating on the water 800 m away, when he arrived on the scene. The light seemed to be floating out to sea, and when a boat was sent out, all that could be found was a patch of yellow foam 25 m wide. The incident was reported by a man 3 km from the scene who saw three horizontal red lights, and heard the whistling sound. It was also observed by two girls in a car on Cape Sable Island. A couple of days later navy divers searched the area without success" (mainly based on Jim and Corel Lorenzen's UFOs Over the Americas, pp 56-57, and the Condon Report, pp 351-353). Norman Levine of the Condon committee tried to follow up the story but got nowhere, and the story joined the endless legion of obscure UFO reports

Only it is now being resurrected by Chris Styles, who claims to be an eyewitness, and it is being presented as Canada's very own Roswell. In this book, complete with introduction by Whitley Strieber (whose name features larger than the authors' on the book cover), the story is retold, presumably on the basis of thirty-year-old memories, in best dramatic fashion, complete with invented dialogue and padded description. Of course this makes a good read, but it does not provide for a sensible discussion of what happened. Needless to say, footnotes, sources and an index are all missing.

The authors go in search of newspaper reports, find them, but one local paper doesn't mention the event. Is that because it is the sort of local newspaper which never actually prints any news? No, of course not, it's because someone is trying to suppress something. The file in the public records is thin: were the authorities too lazy to compile a proper one? Of course not, it's all being suppressed, isn't it? Vague whispers of something happening: just "things I heard in the services" tales? Of course not.

Just what happened at Shag Harbour may be lost to history, unless someone with the determination and scepticism of Dave Clarke and Andy Roberts get on the trail. At present, whether this was something as undramatic as misperceived stars or planets on the horizon, or as dramatic as a military nasty gone astray, or all points in between, is anybody's guess. There is not a scrap of evidence that it was "an alien spaceship". -- Reviewed by Peter Rogerson, from Magonia 76, November 2001

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