- 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
- 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
- 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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