Truth Is Still Out There
In Shag Harbour
By Pat Lee <>
The Halifax Herald Limited
On Oct. 4, 1967 many Nova Scotians saw something strange flying through the sky with flashing lights.
The mysterious object plunged into the water off Shag Harbour, leading fishermen and the RCMP to rush out in a frantic attempt to find survivors.
But by the time boats arrived on the scene, all that was found was a mysterious yellow foam that smelled like burned sulphur, although a dark object was later spotted moving out to sea. (Insert Twilight Zone music here.)
Some 33 years later the Shag Harbour UFO story continues to fascinate believers and skeptics alike, mainly because of the number of credible eyewitness accounts and the official documentation that has been unearthed.
So it's not surprising that the story has lived on in books and most recently has become the subject of a documentary by local filmmaker Michael MacDonald.
Airing Sunday at 5 p.m. on cable's Space: The Imagination Station, the hour-long The Shag Harbour UFO Story brings together eyewitnesses and pieces together the X-Files tale, which started that October night when those mysterious lights were seen around the province.
Among those who spotted the odd sight from Dartmouth was then 12-year-old Chris Styles, who subsequently heard the same story from his grandfather who lived in Shag Harbour.
"I literally felt cold inside," Styles says of seeing the glowing object that night.
Also interviewed in the film is Don Ledger, who has written extensively about the case with Styles. The pair's research provided the framework for MacDonald's film, produced by Halifax-based Ocean Entertainment.
Also providing input on the incident is local fisherman Laurie Wickens, who also saw the strange lights that night, along with fisherman Lawrence Smith.
Adding to the intrigue is a photograph taken by Wilber Eisnor, which shows coloured lights glowing in the sky.
All fascinating stuff, made all the more interesting by government documents, comic book illustrations, the usual jazz about coverups and interviews with folks who prefer to have their voices altered and to be filmed in silhouette.
Of course no one knows what really happened in Shag Harbour, but speculation abounds, particularly since the event occured at the height of the Cold War and the fact that nearby CFS Shelburne was a top-secret submarine detection base.
There's something to make every conspiracy theorist happy. MacDonald and producer Johanna Eliot have done a nice job in touching all the mysterious bases, while presenting the information in a visually interesting fashion.
It truly is a story that will not die.
Picture text: A 1970s comic book offers one interpretation of the rumoured crash of a UFO near the Eastern Shore village of Shag Harbour. The famous case is explored in a new documentary, The Shag Harbour UFO Story, airing on Space on Sunday at 5 p.m.
Pat Lee is television reporter for The Chronicle-Herald and The Mail-Star Copyright 2000

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