SHAG HARBOUR, N.S. – It’s one of the worst kept secrets in Shelburne County.
Toronto based Cineflix Media Inc will be “filming a documentary series called Ocean Mysteries in and around Shelburne and Shag Harbour” from July 29 to Aug. 6 but the company was making no comment about the project because they want to keep it hush-hush.
However, local knowledge, correspondence with local media looking for a journalist to interview on camera, and an online job posting that read “looking for three ready-to-work candidates who can drive and help with filming and are interested in working behind the scenes of television production between July 29 and Aug. 6” pretty much let the cat out of the bag.
There has also been unconfirmed speculation that third-generation ocean explorers Celine Cousteau and Fabian Cousteau, grandchildren of the legendary Jacques Cousteau, will be part of the dive team and film crew, and will be taking part in the opening night events of the Shag Harbour UFO Festival, which runs from Aug. 3 to 5 at the Sandy Wickens Memorial Arena on Sherose Island in Barrington Passage.
This year’s festival marks the 51st anniversary since the Oct. 4, 1967, incident, which is regarded as the best documented UFO case in Canada. On that night witnesses reported seeing a sequence of lights on the horizon of the skyline that eventually veered towards the water and crashed into the water. A yellow foam was observed on the surface of the water.
Besides the presentations and panel discussions on tap at the arena over the three days that includes some of the top minds in the field of Ufology and research along with witnesses to the impact and other people who were involved with the search effort on the night of the incident and the days following, the festival also includes guided bus tours to the Shag Harbour area and harbour boat tours of the crash site and area.
“Shag Harbour is the case that keeps on giving in research,” said renowned Shag Harbour UFO incident researcher Chris Styles in an interview. “You don’t very often find that. No one has come up and explained it or attempted to explain it away. We don’t have any claims or crashes or test dummies or whatever and all these years later, the more information we find, the case has not evaporated and if anything becomes more mysterious.”
Styles, who will be the keynote speaker for the festival, noted it was only a few years ago around the release of the book Impact to Contact that he co-authored with Graham Simms that they found the pilot who “saw everything” on a flight from New York to London on the night of Oct. 4, 1967. Captain Ralph Loewinger (retired), who was co-pilot of that Pan Am flight 160, attended last year’s festival giving a detailed account of what he and the flight crew saw in the skies when approaching the Yarmouth area that night. He still wonders to this day what it was they saw.
Loewinger also provide a written statement at last year’s festival from retired flight engineer Mike Littlepage, who gave a public account of his experience for the first time.
“I can only speak for myself as to what I observed and remember that night,” wrote Littlepage. “A few things have stayed with me for all these years. The size of the object which I could clearly see outlined in the diffused light of ground illumination. It was frankly frightening, the speed at which it moved up and away from us was awe inspiring and the feeling of abject fear knowing that at any moment it could end our very existence.” Littlepage is taking part in this year’s festival via live skype.
Other national and international guests include Chris Rutkowski, a Canadian science writer, educator and consultant for the Winnipeg Paranormal Group who has been writing about his investigations and research on UFOs since the mid-1970s; Palmiro Campagna, a professional engineer with the Department of National Defence in Ottawa, who will speak about the Avro Arrow and Other Ufology, and from Hawaii, Ted Roe, co-founder and CEO of the U.S. based National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena (NARCAP).
Styles said one of things he will be speaking about, and making an argument for, at the festival is the belief that the crash site is still worth searching.
“There might still be evidence beyond the original search area conducted by the Navy,” he said. It’s a belief held by Styles, who dove on the site in 1995, and of diver David Cvet and it was the conviction of the late William F. Dawson who was head of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada at the time of the incident, said Styles.
“We’ve been trying to bring attention to this for years, working in the background to attract people with greater resources than what we did in the past to do a bigger search with side scan sonar surveys and dives especially out on Shag Harbour rip which one of areas of interest,” said Styles. “I think the premise that something could still be there is valid and I’m hoping that happens and hoping I can say something about that on the stage at the festival. I expect to have something to say about it.”
FOR MORE INFO
REVISIT THE INCIDENT
At the Shag Harbour Incident Interpretive Centre in Shag Harbour, Shelburne County, people can view different items that chronicle the 1967 UFO incident. Visitors can view newspaper articles, maps, documents and view television documentaries. The centre is located on Highway 3 in Shag Harbour, just a few minutes from the crash site. There is also a gift ship that has some fun knick-knacks. There's even an alien you can pose with.
The museum hours are Monday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $2.
FESTIVAL AND CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
Friday, August 3 – Barrington arena
5:30 – 5:45pm: Conference Welcome & Announcements and Introduction of Conference Speakers
5:45 – 7:00pm: Shag Harbour UFO Witness Panel – Panelists: Individual Names
7:00 – 7:45pm: Rodney Ross: Sea Monster Experience
Saturday, August 4
9:00 – 10:15am: Chris Styles – Lecture: Shag Harbour 1967
10:30 – 11:45am: Chris Rutkowski – Lecture: 1967 – The Year Canada Was “Invaded” by UFO’s including Shag Harbour in Perspective
12:00 – 1:00pm: Lunch on your own
1:00 – 2:15pm: Palmiro Campagna – Lecture: The Avro Arrow and Other Ufology
2:30 – 3:45pm: Ted Roe – Lecture: My Personal Perspective as an Experiencer and NARCAP (National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena)
4:00 – 5:15pm: Paul Kimball – Lecture: The Men in Black
Sunday, August 5
10:00 – 11:15am: Graham Simms – Lecture
11:15 – 12:45pm: Experiencer Panel – Panelists: Heather Doucette, Chris Styles, Ted Roe & others. Moderated by: Chris Styles
1:00 – 2:00pm: Guest Speaker Panel – Q & A
2:00pm – Conference closing remarks
Extra Activities: Tickets to be purchased
Bus Tour – Reenactment of the evening of October 4, 1967
Offered Friday evening and Saturday evening at 7 pm.
Price: $25 per person (Going to have to sell 40 tickets at $15. each just to cover bus rent of $600)
Harbour Tour – Tour of area where UFO went into water in 1967
Offered Friday evening and Saturday evening at 7pm.
Price: $40 per person until July 6th. $50 after July 6th.
Both Harbour Tour and Bus Tour should take place at same time so participants can get the effectiveness of the flares. Tours should begin at 8:15 give them some daylight/dusk. Offering these two tours each night will give participants a chance to buy both tickets. One for each night.
Campfire with the Speakers and Locals after tours are over
(Friday evening only and FREE) (Location to be determined)
Dark Skies with Tim Doucette at Crash Site
(Saturday Evening only and FREE)