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UFO Case Report:

The Shag Harbour Incident

Date: October 4, 1967
Location: Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada

On the night of 04 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.

Classification & Features

Type of Case/Report: MajorCase
Hynek Classification: ND
Special Features/Characteristics: Water-Related, Crash/Retrieval

More Articles on this Case

The Shag Harbor Crash

UFO Casebook

An extraordinary event in 1967 would practically put the small fishing village of Shag Harbor on the map. Located at the southern tip of Nova Scotia, this rural community would be host to one of the best documented UFO events of the past 30 years.

The 1967 Shag Harbour Incident


The most important Canadian UFO incident on record, The Shag Harbour Incident occurred late on the night of October 4 1967. This stretch of the coastline is not without its folklore and mysteries regarding pirates, giant sea serpents and ghost ships but far from being merely folklore, the UFO incident had many eyewitnesses and much media coverage.  R

Shag Harbor, Canada UFO Crash


On the night of 04 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.

Something Fell from the Sky: Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia

Loy Lawhon, About.com

On the night of October 4th, 1967, something occurred at Shag Harbour that added to the local folklore, yet which must have been more than folklore. Something fell from the sky and into Shag Harbour. R

The Shag Harbour Incident of Nova Scotia

Brent Raynes, Mysterious America

It was a little after 11 p.m., on the night of October 4, 1967, when an unknown object with four bright lights flashing in sequence and estimated at 60 feet in diameter, was observed hovering over the ocean near the small fishing village of Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia.

The Shag Harbor UFO Incident (DVD): Presentation at 2nd Annual UFO Crash Retrieval Conference

Don Ledger

Even those who know the story were surprised at the detailed data from the witnesses, the RCMP personnel and the hunt for a UFO that went undersea in a harbor; new testimony of covert recovery operations leads one to ask, "Who has the retrieved UFO now?" Link to purchase the DVD presentation.

The UFO Crash at Shag Harbour

Don Ledger, "Unopened Files", 1997

"COULD BE SOMETHING CONCRETE IN SHAG HARBOUR UFO - RCAF," 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.

Shag Harbour Incident

Don Ledger

The crash was originally phoned into the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Detachment in Barrington Passage Nova Scotia by a young fisherman, as a possible airliner impacting the surface of the waters adjacent to Shag Harbour, a small fishing village some 130 miles southwest of Halifax on the Atlantic Ocean. R

Shag Harbour

MUFON Canada

The Shag Harbour UFO crash/retrieval may well prove to be the most important UFO case ever to come out of Canada. It has already been compared to the Roswell Incident, though it has one important element that Roswell does not have -- documentation. R

Dark Object - website for the book

Don Ledger & Chris Styles

This website is meant to serve as an adjunct to the Dell paperback, supplying documentation and other details not realized in the book, such as a detailed map of the area, documents and some history of the area and UFO sightings in the area where Shag Harbor is situated.

Print / Other References

Ledger, Don and Styles, Chris. Dark Object. Bantam Dell (2001).

Clark, Jerome. "The UFO Book: Encyclopedia of the Extraterrestrial". 1998. p.134.

Randle, Kevin D. "The Randle Report: UFOs in the '90s".

Full Report / Article

Source: MUFON Canada
[go to original source]

The Shag Harbour Incident

One 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.

In 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.

To the amazement of the teens, and other eyewitnesses, on hitting the water’s 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 location details.

Within 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 Pound’s report was that he believed that the four lights were coming from a single aircraft, that he estimated to be about 60 feet long.

As 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 village’s 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 it's 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.

After 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.)

After 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 or military.

On 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.

Here in 1967, the mystery ended with no physical evidence ever recovered, and no additional leads.

For 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.

That is, until 1993 when the Shag Harbor incident once again was brought to the attention of the public.

This was due to the dedicated investigative efforts of two men who are *MUFON investigators. Chris Styles, assisted by Doug 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 were uncovered.

In 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 1960’s 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 using .

The 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.

Not 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.

According to the researchers, while these observations were well corroborated by many credible eye witnesses, 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."

Clearly, 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 of the cost of Maine.

*MUFON is an International Non-profit Civilian Research Organization. http://www.mufon.com

Case ID: 166 edit: 166

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