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UFO Crash Event: Shag Harbor, 1967

Posted by jkrog08, on July 27, 2009 at 11:58 AM


Hynek Classification: CE2/ Reported Crash

To start three of the top cases of the sixties decade we are immediately presented with nothing more than a couple UFO crashes as far as “top cases” go. Keep in mind that two ‘well known’ crash events happened in this decade; The Kecksburg Crash of December 1965 and of course this crash, while not as well known among the general public, actually leads to a better definite conclusion than Kecksburg. The fact of this case is this; something unknown did crash in the waters of off Shag Harbor, Nova Scotia in October of 1967. Something, which unlike the very messy Kecksburg event, is still officially an “UNKNOWN” event. There as been no large scale and speculated ‘cover-up’ event on this case, not like the Roswell Crash or Kecksburg crash. This case is considered unknown by ALL parties involved, whether it be me, you, or the public opinion of official governments. Personally I love UFO crashes and am excited to re-hash this event, let us get started shall we? 

Chapter Summary:

  1. The Crash 
  2. The Investigation 
  3. Alternate Explanations ,Official Conclusions, and My Conclusions 

1. The Crash
Picture of street sign in Shag Harbor courtesy of

First off it is important to note and document the numerous UFO reports filed that night in the area, by plane, ship, and ground witnesses. It is apparent something was in the air on the night of October 4th, 1967: 

Map courtesy of 
Map courtesy of

The first map is a nice multi-spectrum map of witness sightings of UFOs that night. The second is a nice flow chart-type map utilizing direction and time of UFO reports to document the course of events that night.

  • 4 UFOs were sighted by the crew of the M.V. Dickerson, a dragger with 18 men onboard. The ship was off of Sambro, Nova Scotia and solid radar returns lasting for about two hours before disappearing 30 minutes prior to the crash.
  • Air Canada Flight 305 spotted UFO activity while going westbound between Sherbroke and St. Jean.Both the pilot and co-pilot filed official reports just hours before the Shag Harbor incident.
  • Link to Detailed Sighting Reports of October 4, 1967 As Shown on Maps
At around 11:20 PM(Atlantic Daylight Time) on October 4th, 1967 it was reported by multiple witnesses that something had crashed into Shag Harbor. At least eleven witnesses reported to have seen something illuminated and low flying head towards the bay. Some witnesses reported a “whistling” sound, similar to what one hears in those old war movies when the bombs whistle before as they fall. Many witnesses also have reported that the object made an audible air disturbance as it descended, as well as a loud bang and a flash of light when it entered the water, about 300 meters from shore. The initial call to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) came from Laurie Wickens, who with four of his friends had witnessed an object crashing into the harbor while driving alongside the bay on Highway 3. Wickens stated that his friends and he went to a better vantage point to see exactly what they just saw. He stated that he saw an object floating in the water about 300 meters out and that that it appeared to have a yellow light on top of it, whatever “it” was. 

Shag Harbor, Nova Scotia

Courtesy of

Thinking his friends and he had witnessed a small plane crash into the bay he alerted the RCMP. His call was disregarded by the RCMP until more calls flooded in from many other witnesses that saw the event. What could be gathered from the witness accounts were the following:

  • Craft appeared to be 60 feet long(20 meters)
  • Appeared to be positioned at a 45 degree angle in the sky before crashing
  • Initially had four or five flashing/glowing orange lights
  • Shape was never specified, probably because it was dark, only the outline of lights could be seen
  • Weather conditions were clear with good visibility
The RCMP finally took the reports seriously and dispatched three units to the scene, believing that a small airplane had crashed. When the units arrived they also witnessed the “bobbing yellow light” in the water, being concerned for any passengers of the downed craft the RCMP called the Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) to alert them of the developing situation and inquire about any known missing aircraft. However the craft reportedly began to sink beneath the waves before anyone could get out to the site.

However, it is important to note and document the numerous UFO reports filed that night in the area, by plane, ship, and ground witnesses. It is apparent something was in the air on the night of October 4th, 1967

2. The Investigation

Bradford Shand and Lawrence Smith were the first people to arrive on the scene in their personal fishing boats. But when they got there the light was gone and all that was left on the surface was a mysterious yellow foam. Here are some characteristics of the crash site:

  • 3-4 inch thick and “glittery” yellow foam stretching down the Sound for half a mile and 80 feet in width, also oily to the touch.
  • Bubbles coming to the surface in areas
  • Distinct Sulpher smell in crash area(apparently common in CE3+ cases?!)
Here are some official documents from the Canadian government on this WELL documented crash (all courtesy of :
Priority message from CFC (Canadian Forces Command) to CMC (Canadian Maritime Command) on 10/5/67
Priority Teletype from RCC in Halifax to the Canadian Forces Headquarters (10/5/67)
Priority message from CMC to Atlantic Fleet Diving Unit (10/5/67)
Memo from director of the rescue operations (10/6/67)
DND (Department of National Defense) memo

As we can clearly see this crash was heavily documented, in fact there are many documents not available to this day. I am sorry for the poor quality of the documents but they are what they are and should still be readable to most. 

A Second Object?

There are some interesting reports concerning another object or objects being spotted and reported just prior to this crash event. Here is an excerpt about an October 11th sighting that appears to be characteristic of the same craft that crashed:

The Cameron family of Woods Harbour also filed a UFO report with the RCMP about 2 objects they had seen on the night of Oct. 11, one being very similar in appearance to the one seen crashing into Shag Harbour about half a mile to the south exactly exactly one week before. In addition, the Cameron story was an Oct. 12 front page article in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald , the story titled “2nd UFO Reported Seen In Shelburne.”

As noted in a previous section, the secret military search for the object at the submarine detection grid near Shelburne was suddenly called off one week after the crash when a Soviet submarine appeared in the vicinity and the flotilla sailed off to intercept. This seemingly was followed by the Cameron UFO sighting.

Lockland Cameron, his wife Lorraine, their daughter Louella, and Lockland's brother Havelock, his wife Brenda and their child, were watching TV when the picture suddenly developed interference. Lockland Cameron went to look for an airplane when he saw a group of six brilliant red lights in the in a straight line, about 3/4 mile away, tilted down at about 45 degrees, pointed in a SE direction, and perhaps 500-600 feet about the water. The entire family came over to watch. On four different occasions the lights flashed in a sequence, back and forth. The spread of the lights was 50-60 feet. The lights were stationary for 7 or 8 minutes, then briefly disappeared.

When they reappeared, there were only 4 and seemed to be at a 35 degree angle. The lights began to descend toward the horizon, changing in color from red to yellow and then to orange. The lights moved in the direction of Tusket Island to the NW and then vanished. The whole sighting lasted maybe 15 minutes.

Cameron said he spotted the lights again an hour later. This time they appeared to be a string of yellow lights moving “faster than any plane,” moving from the SW to the NE. (However, in Dark Object, it was stated that Cameron saw two objects speeding rapidly over the Gulf of Maine toward the United States.) Total time of the two sightings was maybe 25 minutes.

Lockland Cameron thought the RCMP might be interested because the lights at first appeared so close to the water, and he thought they might have emerged from it. He immediately called the RCMP, who came to the house and took statements from the family. The RCMP report added that the Mounties had called the RCAF at the nearby Baccaro radar station. They were told that radar was negative and there were no known operations in the area. The RCMP recommended that government personnel further interview witnesses to both the Oct. 4 and Oct. 11 sightings in the area. (D.O., pp. 157-158, Appendix, p. 166,)

Ledger and Styles speculate that maybe the UFO or UFOs spotted by the Cameron family was/were the same one/ones that entered the water barely half a mile away a week earlier. After the naval recovery flotilla departed, it/they were able to slip away and departed the same way they came.

Here is another report of another object witnessed by civilians and apparently backed by military chatter and salvage diver pictures:
She related a story told to her by her father, Wayne Nickerson, when she was 10. At that time, the Nickersons lived in Pubnico, about 20 miles NW of Shag Harbour. After he had read the Halifax Chronicle-Herald Oct. 7 story on the Shag Harbour crash, Nickerson told his daughter about seeing 2 moon-like lights on the night of Oct. 4. He had been traveling west from Shag Harbour to Woods Harbour when he spotted the 2 lights. He stopped the car to observe. They remained fixed in place for a few seconds, then one "moon" dropped downward, landed gently on the sound, and drifted silently. Ms. Fountain said her father was not one to make up stories. He spoke of the incident only one more time, shortly before his death in 1991. (DO, pp. 159-160)

The authors noted that on the night of Oct. 4, there was only a new moon. They speculated that perhaps the second object Nickerson saw in the sky after the first plunged into the sound was the same object seen by Norm Smith and his father a number of minutes after Laurie Wickens had seen an object go down behind the trees. Smith had seen the lights descending toward Shag Harbour for the second time after being dropped off at home by Dave Kendricks. Smith ran to get his father. They hurried to their car to investigate and narrowly avoided crashing into one of the RCMP police cruisers as it came racing by. At the time, Laurie Wickens was already keeping an eye on the object he had seen out in the sound. This begs the question how Wickens could already have seen a light floating on the water while the Smith's saw one still in the air. (DO, pp. 160-161)

Acting on a tip from UFO investigator Steve MacLean, the authors also called a military officer. "Leo" was one of the Royal Canadian Air Force radio officers that night. Leo said there was much excitement on the military channels. He added there were two objects that went into the water that night. The divers took all sorts of pictures. Leo refused to comment beyond this, saying he was abiding by a security oath. (DO, pp. 161-162)

Police report filed on incident
Police report filed on incident
This from an RCMP officer himself, Captain Leo Mersey

Images of documents courtesy of

Image of vintage Chronicle-Herald cover story courtesy of

News Coverage Directory

The Search Intensifies 

About an hour after the crash a Navy Coast Guard vessel designated “101” arrived at the scene. At around 4:00 AM on October 5th the search, still only consisting of the RCMP and a Coast Guard Cutter, was called off until light. On October 8th seven Navy divers from the HMCS Granby searched until sundown apparently not finding anything, although some witness reports state that the divers wee seen to be bringing up some type of “aluminum colored material”, this has not been confirmed however. On October 9th the search was called off and nothing was officially found, not a trace reportedly. So officially in the search we have multiple personal fishing boats in the search, a Coast Guard Cutter, and a dive team. Apparently this does not end here however, as mentioned above a decent sized fleet of US and Canadian Naval ships were scouring a nearby harbor for a week. 

New information came to light after this whole ordeal was officially over. The new information suggested that a massive search at Shelburne Harbor (30 miles NE of Shag), near Government Point was conducted by a joint US/Canada search team. According to reported inside information NORAD had tracked the object since it entered Earths atmosphere and made half an orbit around Siberia and then to the Shag Harbor area. Apparently the military was aware that the object had went into the water, then proceeded NE to around Cape Sable Island. The object finally came to rest around Shelburne Harbor. It is reported it came to rest over a magnetic detection anomaly grid used to detect subs. 

Picture of atomic barge bridge courtesy of

The picture above is the actual photo of an atomic barge that was “rerouted to the bay for emergency repairs” in Shelburne on October 6th, insider witnesses claim that this was a cover for the search effort. Here is some more information on the many other major ships called in and reported in the area:

It is further reported that about 6 or 7 Canadian and American ships were anchored over the object and that another object apparently had been observed to come to the aid of the first object. Reportedly Hydrophones were used to study the objects and many pictures were taken. Of course none of these have ever been seen, at least in the public domain. Further information was given in the spring of 1994 by yet another claimed insider. This ‘whistleblower’ claimed to have been part of the Canadian Air Force Aircraft Identification Team. He was told that they were anchored over an intruding Russian sub. Apparently all recovered material was kept on the lower levels and all the divers were constantly being told to keep quiet about what they were recovering. One diver did talk reportedly and plainly stated that whatever they were bringing up and investigating was “not Russian and not from Moscow”. It has also been stated that the divers in Shag Harbor knew that the object had already gone and they were doing nothing more than a cover-op. Here is another interesting excerpt:

Styles was already well-aware of the diver "Harry," having spoken to him before in 1993. In fact, Harry was the first witness to tip off Styles to the Shelburne Harbour search. Harry had been tracked down through the assistance of an acquaintance of his father's, an instructor with the Fleet Diving Unit, Guy Fenn. Fenn was able to get the names of the divers involved. One was dying, two refused to talk, but "Harry" was initially much more cooperative. Before he stopped talking, Harry, in a personal interview, told Styles and friend Bob MacDonald, assisting Styles, that the ships were there for over a week. They had located the object using sonar and soundings. The divers had gone down in pairs and brought up debris, including big chunks of some kind of solid, foam-like material. Some of it was decomposing while they were bringing it up. Harry also reluctantly told them that there was no doubt that the object wasn't anything from here.

In a last phone conversation, Harry refused to talk further and told Styles he would never get the full Shelburne story. When Styles suggested that maybe what he saw was wrongly identified as a UFO, Harry angrily responded, "I don't know what it was down there and I don't know where it came from. But it didn't come from this planet." (DO, pp. 67-71)

Detailed Map of Shelburne Area
Expanded View of Shag Harbor and Shelburne Harbor

Here is an interesting bit of information about a rush top secret sonar buoy dropping mission over the Shelburne area:

Some lesser witnesses also knew of something happening in the Shelburne area. Another military witness was "Terry," a retired Air Force officer, who was an ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) specialist attached to the 405 Squadron out of RCAF, Greenwood, Nova Scotia. He was receiving special training in Port Hawksbury, N.S., when he was suddenly ordered to fly special missions from Maine to Shelburne, dropping sonar buoys. The missions lasted 7 days, then suddenly stopped. Once when the crews were joking with one another, they were harshly ordered not to discuss dropping the sonar equipment with anyone and to keep their mouths shut. Terry said he had never seen missions handled in such a heavy-handed manner, even though they routinely intercepted Russian subs. It was also highly unusual for the Canadian Air Force and the air force of the American Navy to interact as they did, the regular conventions concerning American/Canadian border incursions being set aside. (DO, p. 80-81)

Terry's wife happened to live in Shelburne at the time of the Shag Harbour incident and remembered it well. Her father was involved with the armed forces, and she mentioned they had quarantined Shelburne Base and blocked the road to Government Point. The military was checking cars as they went through

Further information from other witnesses who claimed to see the “flotilla” of ships in Shelburne Harbor:
Another witness, who Styles met by chance, told a very similar story. As a boy he remembered the military blocking the road to Government Point, letting only the locals through. From Government Point one could look over a two-mile stretch of water where the flotilla of ships would have been anchored. (DO, p. 76)

Not all military witnesses claimed to know something. Chris Styles also interviewed Squadron Leader Major William Bain, chief of the Royal Canadian Air Force Air Desk in Ottawa. Back then the Air Desk was the clearing house for UFO reports for the Royal Canadian Air Force and federal government. Bain's name was on several of the documents that Styles had uncovered. Bain said he was aware of the recovery effort at Shag Harbour, but claimed no knowledge of the Shelburne recovery off Government Point. Bain admitted that Styles' evidence could make someone justifiably suspicious. He added that any recovery could have been coordinated and perhaps covered up by the Navy and NORAD. (DO, p. 99)

A very uncooperative military witness was Major Victor Eldridge. In Oct. 1967 he was the base administrative officer at Baccaro, a NORAD radar facility near Shelburne. Eldridge claimed to have zero knowledge or memory of the Shag Harbour crash. Styles reminded him that Baccaro base would have been one of the staging areas for the publicized recovery effort at Shag Harbour, so he must have known quite a bit. Eldridge said he would like to help but couldn't. Then he tried to ridicule Style's efforts, suggesting there wasn't anything of substance. To this Styles retorted that was a strong opinion for someone claiming to have no memory or knowledge of the events.

Here is a witness report on some strange events he saw from Cape Roseway Lighthouse. This was only about 2 miles across from Shelburne Harbor:
The man on duty at the Cape Roseway lighthouse on the night of Oct. 4, 1967 was finally located. The lighthouse was only 2-1/2 miles across the water of Shelburne Harbour from the sub tracking base at Government Point and would have an excellent vantage point of the reported recovery area there.

Barry Crowell, however, didn't remember seeing any ships, perhaps because of the common low-lying fog there. However, on the night of Oct. 4, just before midnight (or only about half an hour after the crash at Shag Harbour), something very strange did happen. Walking to the lighthouse with the keeper he was about to relieve, Brenton Reynolds, he saw 3 flares suddenly appear, lighting up the area. Coming ashore, in some distress, was a rubber Zodiac boat. They found some very frightened men dressed in dark military garb. They spoke with British accents. The men were soaked and their leader explained this was a mock commando raid. They were to secure the lighthouse, hold the island, and control lighthouse operations and radio traffic. They had come from a submarine.

For the next 2 or 3 days, the "commandos" were supplied from the air by helicopters. A small plane circulated over the area constantly for several days. Crowell thought the men were not real commandos since they seemed so poorly trained. He guessed that maybe they were part of a NATO exercise.

Styles did locate records showing that Canada had just purchased 3 subs from the U. K. The first one was to arrive in Halifax on Oct. 4 or 5. But it was diverted to Shelburne Harbour instead. With the exception of 3 Canadians, the crew was British.

The whole exercise seemed bizarre. But the coincidence of the timing with the Shag Harbour crash seemed remarkable, leading the authors to speculate there might be a connection, perhaps the badly trained "commandos" going on shore to look for survivors. (DO, pp. 151-157)

So there is obviously a lot to this story. While the official search was called off on October 9th it appears that something did crash into the harbor and it also appears that there was another operation going on 30 miles to the northeast. With numerous witness reports of seeing a lot of ships in the anchored in Shelburne harbor, the inside testimony, and the rushed secretive operations that all seemed to coincidentally happen the same time as the “crash” it certainly seems that there was quite a bit hidden from public view and that possibly the UFO was found. By October 12th, 1967 the fleet(and thus the “secret search”) reportedly hurriedly left Shelburne Harbor when a Russian submarine was detected in Allied waters.

Timeline of Events

  • Evening hours prior to crash: Multiple UFOs spotted by planes, ground, and boats.
  • 10/4/67 at 11:20 PM (ADT) : Multiple witnesses spot a 60 foot long object with 4 or 5 lights crash into Shag Harbor about 300 meters from shore. RCMP notified and dispatched.
  • 11:50 PM: Local fishing boats go to scene but only find a “yellow foam”.
  • 10/5/67,12:30 AM: Coast Guard Cutter on the scene, find nothing.
  • Rest of 10/5/67: Search continues but nothing found.
  • 10/6/67: Dive team sent in to look for the object, find nothing reportedly.
  • Many rumors of a parallel secret search going on at this time about 30 miles northeast involving up to 7 US and Canadian ships anchored in Shelburne Harbor.
  • 10/9/67: The public search is called off, nothing ever found.
  • 10/9 to 10/12/67: The secret search ends(?), reports of the recovery of at least pieces of an unknown craft.

3. Alternate Explanations, Official Conclusions, and My Conclusions

Alternate Explanations

Well there are not to many that could account for what the witnesses saw other than some currently unknown natural event or a failed test flight of a secret government prototype. Although it has been rumored that the crash was a early F117 prototype this does not add up because this is a full eleven years before the first known prototypes existed.

Official Conclusions

No one found anything, it appeared something crashed but exactly what is still unknown today. The official Canadian governments conclusion is that no known airplane crashed that night, it is still unknown what did happen that night

The Condon Committee investigated the incident:

The Shag Harbour crash happened at the same time that the so-called Condon Committee UFO investigation was underway. A summary of the case was provided in the final report as "Case 34, North Atlantic, Fall 1967." It was stated that their investigation consisted of a few phone calls to sources in the area. The concluding remarks were, "No further investigation by the project was considered justifiable, particularly in view of the immediate and thorough search that had been carried out by the RCMP and the Maritime Command." [11]

After noting that no aircraft had been reported missing, no alternative explanation was offered. The case is therefore considered one of the unsolved ones in the Condon Report.

This case is a true unknown and no likely explanation has been given to this day, more than 40 years later. 

Helpful Links

  1. Official Canada UFO Research Site
  2. Condon Report
My Conclusions

For what it’s worth, I think that this is very likely an extraterrestrial craft that crashed. I think the totality of the story speaks volumes, as does the many witness reports, especially the reports about the other ‘real search’. The very fact that this case is still unknown, with no one able to come to any type of alternate explanation also speaks VOLUMES. This is probably the most documented ‘crash event’ with the strongest evidence (in terms of many, many witness reports and official documents) but yet many do not know of this case. Something obviously fell out of the sky that October night, it appears that the Canadian and/or US military were successful in recovering at least some debris. It also appears however, that it is quite possible the main craft survived and eventually escaped, possibly with help from another craft.

Unlike the Roswell Crash or Kecksburg before this, this case has no official explanation like a weather balloon or downed Soviet probe. This case to this day remains unknown and it is very unlikely to be anything mundane. The most mundane explanation I feel this case could offer is a secret government craft that crashed, well in my opinion anyways. But given the circumstances and considering the year of the incident I am strongly inclined to believe this was indeed a downed ET spacecraft, that possibly received help from another one and later escaped—as crazy as that sounds, that is where it points to me. But as with all cases in ufology, even the best ones are still put in that “????” category. The truth may never be known, hopefully one day soon though. Well that concludes this thread on the Shag Harbor Crash of 1967, I hope everyone enjoyed it, learned from it, or just thought “maybe, just maybe”. Everyone have a fun and safe weekend, I know I will. 

Here is part one of six of a program documenting the event, for those who like videos

Discovery Channel The New Roswell The Shag Harbour UFO Incident

YouTube Link


Related Threads: **There is no current classification for UFO crashes. I simply made the logical phrase to quantify the event
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