The Shag Harbour UFO incident is featured on a new collector’s coin just released by the Royal Canadian Mint.
The second coin to be issued in the Unexplained Phenomena series, “Black light technology adds a sci-fi glow to our depiction of ‘Canada's Roswell',” states the Mint. “Our second UFO coin is a re-telling of a widely witnessed event that took place in 1967. The vertical design conveys a feeling of awe as you witness four mysterious lights crashing into the waters off Shag Harbour, N.S. Use the blacklight flashlight (included) to view the coin in the dark—the glowing features add a sci-fi worthy touch to this true story.”
Only 4,000 of the coins have been minted, and are already 88 per cent sold out, according to the Mint’s website. “This coin brings attention to a story that many people don't know about. The Shag Harbour Incident is one of the best government-documented UFO crashes; even today, the case remains open and unsolved,” said Laurie Wickens, eyewitness and president of the Shag Harbour UFO Incident Society.
Designed by Pandora Young, “the colourful vertical image shows the well-known UFO encounter from a witness' perspective, with a view from a fishing vessel off the southern coast of Nova Scotia. Three fishermen look up at the night sky, where black light technology adds a glow to the mysterious craft and its flashing lights as the object crashes into the Gulf of Maine. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.”
The release of the new $20 silver coin will be celebrated on the opening night of the Shag Harbour UFO Festival. The festival runs Oct. 4 to 6.
This week's annual UFO festival begins at the crash site on opening night, weather permitting, at 6:30 p.m., with RCMP as well as the Canadian Coast Guard personnel staging a re-enactment of the events that occurred on the same night 52 years ago.
Then it’s on to the nearby Woods Harbour Community Centre for the official opening, the unveiling of some new documents related to the 1967 search, a presentation by UFO researcher and author Chris Styles, and UFO trivia.
Special speakers fill the festival agenda on Oct. 5, including Justin Brown (UFO over my Cape Breton Home), Jordan Bonaparte (Family secrets, curiosity and UFOs), Steve MacLean (UFOs a Nova Scotia Perspective), Paranormal Phenomena Research and Investigation Corporate Director Elliott Van Dusen and Chief Research Officer Darryll Walsh (The Kitchen Sink Syndrome), and Chris Styles (Anatomy of a UFO sighting-Cape Sable Island 2018 and Shag Harbour 1967).
A local UFO eye witness panel will wrap up the day’s festival activities at the Woods Harbour Community Centre.
On the last day, festival goers will be invited to tag along on a tour that will take in the 1967 crash site, a visit to South Side beach on Cape Sable Island where a UFO was videoed last year, and to Sandy Point and the former CFS Shelburne site. Special speakers will be present at each of the locations.
The Shag Harbour UFO Interpretive Centre will also be open during the festival, with plans for special screenings on Oct. 6 of the documentary filmed by Céline and Fabien Cousteau last year investigating the 1967 Shag Harbour UFO crash as part of their series, Legends of the Deep. Admission will be by donation.
Tickets for the festival will be available at the door. For further information visit http://shagharbourincident.com/
RECOUNTING THE UFO SIGHTING
Tours retracing the 1967 UFO incident in Shag Harbour have been part of other UFO festivals.
Eyewitness Laurie Wickens gave this description during a bus tour on the 49th anniversary of the incident. Here's what he said, as reported by Tri-County Vanguard editor Tina Comeau.
Wickens remembers details. The tree line was different. This building existed. That one didn’t.
He and some others saw lights. They heard no sound.
Wickens, 18 at the time, still couldn't say with 100 per certainty what he and others witnessed that night in Shag Harbour, Shelburne County on Oct. 4, 1967. And so he sticks with the only logical explanation there is, that it was an unidentified flying object – a UFO – which is how the incident is referred to in Government of Canada documents.
No one, Wickens said, has proven otherwise. Nor has research over the decades disputed his belief.
That night Wickens and some teenage friends were driving in a 1956 green and white Pontiac, mesmerized by lights attached to a flying craft in the sky that they were driving parallel to. Wickens estimates the length of what he saw in the sky to have been about 60 feet. He figures it was 1,000 feet from the ground.
The lights, he said, would come on in sequence – one, two, three, four – and then they'd all go off for a while and then start again.
One. Two, Three, Four.
Eventually the lights crossed over the road and for a few seconds Wickens and others lost sight of them. But then they watched the lights dive in a rapid 45-degree movement towards the water’s surface. At that point they thought they had witnessed a plane crash.
“When I called the RCMP the first thing he wanted to know was what I was drinking,” Wickens said, laughing.
But then came other phone calls – from other residents and an off-duty RCMP officer. It wasn’t long before the RCMP, Coast Guard and fishing vessels had descended on the scene.
The fact that there was never any debris found made Wickens certain it wasn’t a plane crash he has witnessed.
But what had left the yellow foam on the water’s surface, and what were the lights they had seen in the sky and then watched for about an hour on the water’s surface?
Well, that remains the million-dollar question.
Despite the passage of time, Wickens’ story has never changed over the years.
He knows what he saw, even if he still doesn’t know what it was.
“That’s my story. And I’m sticking to it," he said.