CLOSINGNOTES

UFOs

BECKY HARRIS December 30 2002
CLOSINGNOTES

UFOs

BECKY HARRIS December 30 2002

Douglas Shand points to the grey sky above the Irish Moss Plant in Shag Harbour, N.S. “That’s where they saw it,” he says. For the small fishing community, located 250 km southwest of Halifax, the only government-documented UFO sighting in the world is what put the town on the map. On the evening of Oct. 4,1967, claim some residents, a bowl-shaped object, about 20 m long, fell from the sky. In the investigation reports, both the RCMP and Royal Canadian Air Force call the dark object a “UFO”.

Years later, in spring 2001, the town’s post office unveiled a unique postmark: a blue-ink image of a UFO hovering over a lighthouse and a boat on the water. Now, says Shand, a 43-year-old automotive refinisher, people are making the trek from as far away as Europe to hunt little green men. Says Shand: “People plan their vacations around coming here.” Postmaster Cindy Nickerson flips through the hundreds of letters people from around the world have sent over the last year and a half. They all want their letters, postcards, books and even in some cases, teddy bears, stamped with the alien marking. For some, however, even that’s not enough. “Every time we put up a road sign, it disappears,” she says. “We’ve lost five or six already.”

There hasn’t been another sighting in Shag Harbour. But one witness to the ’67 event isn’t surprised. David Kendrick, 53, thinks the orange lights he saw hovering in the sky have something to do with the U.S. or Canadian air force. But tourists, don’t despair. “If they don’t see some aliens,” says Kendrick, “they’ll see some beautiful countryside.”