I am a Star Trek fan, not just the original series but The Next Generation, Voyageur, Deep Space Nine (probably my least favourite, I hate the Ferengi) Enterprise, Discovery, Picard, Star Trek shorts, all the movies. I also love Star Wars – all of the futuristic space shows, Andromeda, Dr. Who… heck I even love Professor Cox when he breaks our universe down into something I can mentally digest. Yup I am a space geek. Which means Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia has been on my travel list for many years. Why Shag Harbour? Well, it is the site of the 1967 incident.
“What incident is that?” you ask.
The truth is no one really knows for sure, and if they do… they aren’t saying. At first it was thought a plane had crashed. So many people called the police to report an unusual display of four orange lights that hovered over the Harbour then disappeared, that the Coast Guard and military were activated to help search the site. No wreckage was found, just a slick described as a yellow froth on top of the sea. Dives were conducted airport flight plans were checked. No military or civilian planes were reported missing. Local fishermen were questioned and helped in the search. What was reported by many, was unexplainable from an evidence point of view.
On October 4th it will be 53 years since the incident took place, but the museum keeps the stories alive. Pages of transcript recalling verbatim accounts by local eyewitness are attached to the wall. I read the first two accounts from David Kendricks and Norman Smith then studied the sonar readings that were taken in the harbour of the suspected crash site. I browsed the collection of newspaper clippings about the event, what was reported to the police, and the rescue operation reported at Canadian Forces headquarters in Ottawa. Tidbits about divers on the HMCS Granby, that found no evidence of a crash but….the incident remains an open investigation.
Celine and Fabien Cousteau, grandchildren of famed filmmaker Jacque Cousteau visited Shag Harbour. They did several dives in the area and made a documentary. I asked Mr.Wickens, “What was their findings?” He stated he had the film on his computer but never really watched it. “I should…” But regardless of what was or was not found, he is steadfast in his account of what he saw.
Sketches of a triangular aircraft with four lights hang on the wall. He points it out to me and I snap some photos.More drawing of lights seen from the supposed aircraft and of course alien paraphernalia to satisfy UFO fanatics . A case of books on UFOs and other non-earthling mysteries aligned in a collection.
As I completed my tour, Mr. Wickens the custodian said he’d be happy to answer any questions. So I pose one: “Do you think it was some sort of bioluminescence produced by phytoplankton?”
He shakes his head and gives a very definitive “No.” Then he quickly gives me a mental map of where the lights were seen coming out of the water. He tells me the community receives no funding from the government to operate the museum and purchases made from their gift shop help cover costs. He grudgingly tells me about the large financial grant that was received to put a sign up so people can stop and take selfies with a large lobster with the face of an alien.
I comb through the trinkets and postcards, then look for a T-shirt in my size but ended up purchasing a mug for $15. While paying at the counter, I kneel down to look at a jar at the front of the counter, I assume is filled with formaldehyde to preserve the creature inside that resembles Yoda. The snarl on my face must have queued him to say something, and he states “it was sent to me.” Written on the jar is: you decide. I thank him for the tour and information then drive the short distance west to the sign.
Happily every morning I sip my coffee out of my new favourite mug, and I wish I had picked up a few more. They would have made great gifts, especially for the trekkies in your life. If you are headed towards the south coast of Nova Scotia be sure to stop at Shag Harbour and draw your own conclusion of what the 1967 incident really was. Admission is $5 cash. Donations are appreciated.
Address; 5615 Highway 3 Shag Harbour
DATES; June 15, 2020 – September 30, 2020
Call for off season visits
Website says an Annual festival is held October 1–3. (2021).
Happy travels from Maritimemac