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Shag Harbour UFO coin really takes off


New coin featuring Shag Harbour UFO incident sells out in two days

SHAG HARBOUR, N.S. —

While a new collector’s coin featuring the Shag Harbour UFO incident released by the Royal Canadian Mint on Oct. 1 sold out in two days, organizers of this year’s Shag Harbour UFO Festival made sure there were plenty for festival goers to purchase.
The $20 silver coin was officially launched and celebrated on the opening night of this year’s Shag Harbour UFO Festival, which was held Oct. 4 to 6. 
The coin is the second in the Unexplained Phenomena series, and features black light technology adding a sci-fi glow when illuminated with a blacklight flashlight.  
“This coin came about by popular demand,” said Christa Bruce, product manager at the Royal Canadian Mint. 
“Over the course of the last year many have asked us why are we making another UFO coin and why did we choose the Shag Harbour UFO coin. The answer was quite simple,” said Bruce. “The Royal Canadian Mint issues coins that has shaped the Canadian experience and this includes coins of unexplained phenomena such as the Shag Harbour Incident. In 2018 we launched the first coin in the series based on the Falcon Lake incident and after the success of that coin we had many of our customers sending us emails and feedback and had actually asked us to do the Shag Harbour incident.”
Bruce, who is a native of Shelburne, said both Laurie Wickens, who was an eyewitness to the 1967 UFO incident and is president of the Shag Harbour UFO Incident Society, along with UFO researcher and author Chris Styles, were instrumental in the development of the coin.
“We really wanted to pay homage to the people of Shag Harbour,” said Bruce. “The coin features fishermen on a fishing vessel staring in awe at a UFO plunging into the ocean. When you turn the blacklight on the scene darkens and certain areas glow. The main area are the bright orange lights, which was one of the common threads we heard from key eyewitnesses about the event.”
Only 4,000 of the coins have been minted. The coin sold out in two days at the Royal Canadian Mint, said Bruce. 
“We knew the coin was going to do well but we had no idea it would sell out so quickly," she said.
Both Bruce and Styles called the Shag Harbour UFO incident a part of Canadian history. 
Styles said even if the coin hadn’t come out, he was starting to get the perception the Shag Harbour incident was actually part of Canadian history because he’s had graduate students finishing degrees in folklore and history who had the incident as a topic for a dissertation or doctorate contact him for guidance. 
“I’ve been getting more and more of those calls and started thinking this is history not just ufology,” said Styles. “It’s not just another UFO story. It’s got legs and is actually part of Canadian history. I think the coin marks that.”
One of the highlights of this year’s festival was the release of documents related to the search in the days following the Oct. 4, 1967 UFO sighting. The documents had been compiled by the late Helen Shand, whose husband Bradford was captain of one of the boats that went out that night.
Styles said while he’s only had a chance to glance at the documents so far, there are names of American navy divers that he hadn’t seen before. 
“I’m going to try and track down the divers. I’m hoping these men are still alive and hoping it goes to future leads. There was nothing that jumped off the page that’s going to open things up,” he said, adding every so often, “you win a little victory like this."

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