Surprises in store at this year’s 50th anniversary Shag Harbour UFO Festival

Published on September 5, 2017

The Shag Harbour UFO Festival includes a bus tour retracing the 1967 incident. Laurie Wickens, an eyewitness to the Oct. 4, 1967, describes what he saw.

© Tina Comeau

SHAG HARBOUR, SHELBURNE COUNTY, NS – There promises to be a few surprises in store at this year’s Shag Harbour UFO Festival celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Oct. 4, 1967, UFO incident that has become world renowned.

Keynote speaker for the festival, which runs Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, is Chris Styles, who has been investigating the Shag Harbour incident for several decades and is co-author of two books on the subject: Dark Object, with Don Ledger, and Impact To Contact, with Graham Simms.

“There’s been a lot of updates to the story and more information is now available since he wrote the two books,” said Brock Zinck, vice-president of the Shag Harbour UFO Incident Society.

“I’m really looking forward to his presentation,” said Zinck, calling Styles’s update on the story one of the festival highlights. “I don’t want to give away anything, but I think people are going to be surprised by what he has to say.”

A sign indicates the site of what is referred to the 1967 Shag Harbour UFO incident.

Organizers have an impressive lineup for the UFO Incident Witness Panel with a question-and-answer session, said Zinck, including Ralph Loewinger, who was a commercial pilot in 1967 flying that night in the skies over southwestern Nova Scotia.

“There was a lot going on in the sky that night in 1967,” said Zinck.

Bill Powley, who was an RCAF radar operator at CFS Barrington, Captain Ronnie Newell, skipper of the Canadian Coast Guard Cutter 101 that was on duty that night, and eyewitnesses Laurie Wickens, Peter Goreham, Norman Smith, Michael Crowell and Bill Boudreau will also be on the panel.

Also joining the festival this year is Quinan astronomer Tim Doucette from the Dark Skies Observatory, who will be holding a stargazing session at the impact site. There will also be live podcast recordings with Jordan Bonaparte from Night Time Podcast and Martin Willis from Podcast UFO.

On Oct. 4, 1967, witnesses say they saw lights in the sky, coming on in sequence. The lights eventually took a rapid 45-degree turn toward's the water's surface, causing those who saw them to think they had witnesses a plane crash. No debris was found, but there was a yellow foam on the water's surface.

The much-acclaimed guided bus tour with eye-witness Laurie Wickens, in which he describes what he and others saw, will also be staged again this year, said Zinck, complete with a re-enactment at the impact site with the Canadian Coast Guard and the RCMP taking part.

Shag Harbour UFO

Festival events this year are being held at the society’s interpretive centre in Shag Harbour, the nearby Woods Harbour Community Centre, as well as the impact site. Brock said organizers have sold quite a few festival tickets already, with people from as far away as B.C. and parts of the U.S. planning to attend.

“People from all over have bought tickets already,” said Zinck. “People are really excited for this event.”

Further information on the festival as well as ticket information is available online at: