Wednesday, October 19, 2005

High Strangeness in Halifax

Here's another case - this time from my own neck of the woods - that the RCMP investigated back in the 1970s. Again, the reference is courtesy of Halifax researcher Chris Styles, who included it in a presentation at the 2004 MUFON Canadian UFO Symposium.

In the map shown below, the red star shows the location of the sighting. The area was significantly less urbanized in 1976 than it is now.


Division: "H"
Subdivision: Halifax
Detachment: Bedford
RCMP File References: 76-085-117
Date: 27 OCT 76
Sightings of - Lower Sackville
Halifax County, N.S. (16/17 OCT 76)

16 OCT 76

At 11:45 P.M., this date, a call was received at this office from Mr. & Mrs. Percy WEBSTER of 39 Hillside Avenue, Lr. Sackville, stating there were three unidentified flying objects in the area of their residence. An immediate patrol was made by the writer to the WEBSTER residence and upon arrival and with the aid of the complainants' binoculars I noticed three unidentified flying objects. All of them were round in shape and had red flashing lights on the bottom and also a flashing white light. There was a stable green light which appeared to be located inside the objects. At this time the objects were stationary; however, I noticed that they began to move and when they did, the lights changed to a turquoise color. As the objects began to move, their altitude became greater. There was no sound or smell. The sky was clear at this time.

2. An immediate check was made with the Halifax International Airport Tower and it was learned that there were no airplanes or helicopters in this area at this time and nothing was registering on their radar.

3. Other witnesses are Mr. & Mrs. Robert BEDFORD of 37 Hillside Ave., Lr. Sackville, and Percy WEBSTER, age fifteen years, son of Mr. & Mrs. Percy WEBSTER.

4. Upon discussing this matter with the WEBSTERS, it was learned that the unidentified flying objects had been seen earlier in the evening; however, had not reported it. At that time the objects appeared to have been round, cigar shaped with four lights. They were flat bottom and had three long windows. Complainant also stated that one of the objects appeared to dock on top of another for about two minutes and then they split again and each went off in their own direction. These objects were visible to the writer for approximately two hours and when I left the scene, they were still there.

5. I might add it is the opinion of the writer that there is no possibility at all that what I saw might have been stars or even another planet as I was looking through the binoculars and therefore, would have been able to tell the difference.

P. PHARAND, Cst. #29983
Bedford Highway Patrol


That's the official report. Styles tracked down the Websters. In his 2004 MUFON paper, he noted:

"In the fall of 1996 I met with Mrs. Webster and her son... At the time of the interview the family still lived in the same house. Mrs. Webster recounted the same story as that in Pharand's narrative. There were no added embellishments in its second telling. My impression, at the time, was that the Webster's UFO sighting had been a strong 'nuts and bolts' case. And that might have been the end of it."

But then Styles, good investigator that he is, visited the other witnesses to the event, the Bedfords. Constable Pharand referred to them in his 1976 report, but did not provide their account of what happened.

At first, Mr. Bedford had trouble remembering the night in question. As it turned out, his wife was better with the details - when she told him that it was just after they had moved into the house from Ontario, he recalled the evening. Here is what he told Styles:

"He apologized for not being able to help me. As he was saying, 'Goodbye,' he paused. 'Wait a minute... I do remember. I know what you're talking about now. You see... I didn't see anything. That's why I was confused.

I asked Mr. Bedford how that was possible in light of the fact that the RCMP report had listed the couple as witnesses. Mr. Bedford explained that on the night of October 16, 1976, Constable Pharand knocked on their door. The couple spoke with the mountie at the doorway. They never stepped outside to look up. They did not want to. Previous to Constable Pharand's intrusion the Bedford's had been hiding upstairs with the blinds drawn. The cause for concern was a loud, persistent roaring noise unlike anything that they had heard before. Mr. Bedford felt that the source of the strident noise was something hovering low over their suburban home. Mr. Bedford was just as certain that whatever that 'something' was it was not anything like a helicopter or conventional aircraft. It should be noted that at the time of the incident Mr. Bedford was employed by DND as a naval architect and had considerable experience with such equipment.

Robert Bedford refused to speculate as to how his house could come under a threatening din of noise while just next door, the Webster's and Constable Pharand managed to enjoy a two hour exhibition of three UFOs that hovered and maneuvered in silence. He was just grateful that the ordeal ended at the precise moment that the mountie knocked on the door. At the end of our conversation Mr. Bedford once again apologized for his reluctant memory. He expressed regret about how he reacted that strange October night. Fear of the unknown had got the better of him."

This is the epitome of "high strangeness." Credible witnesses experiencing the same incident, but in completely different ways.

Paul Kimball


Anonymous said...

I told my wife about this incident after reading it here --- she asked a good question : How did the Bedford's wind up on Constable Pharand's witness list if they were "hiding" upstairs during the Constable's experience?

There may be a good reason. I can't imagine why he was knocking on doors seeking more witnesses.

Does Chris Styles have an email address? Perhaps there is a more detailed treatment of the case somewhere on the web.

Paul Kimball said...

Actually, having worked with the RCMP once, I can tell you that there is nothing odd about checking with the neighbours when there is some sort of incident - indeed, it was SOP. The sighting was lengthy, so Pharand left the first house and went to the second during it, at least as I understand it.
Chris has an e-mail address - send me a note at, and I'll send it alone (I don't want to post it publicly).

Anonymous said...

This UFO sighting in Lower Sackville, NS - I believe I saw the same thing. There were three of them up above the barn by Fenerty Road, Middle Sackville, NS. I saw it a couple of weeks in a row while talking to a friend on the telephone. I watched it for the whole time on the phone and recall describing what I was seeing to my friend. I did not report it, but it blew my mind when they showed up the next week in the very same spot. I looked at a map and 'as the crow flies' it would have been in the exact direction and sky area as the Websters had viewed them.

HDP said...

One of the interesting parts of UFO-type pehnomena is that they happen at odd times and without the individual being particularly receptive at that time - otherwise we're too easily dealing with fake delusions made by a schizophrenic individual hearing voices or someone who wants celebrity status for having met aliens. Although I have had several clear encounters over the years with that 'other dimension' where events connected with ghosts appear, I had never encountered anything like what happened to me on Brooklyn Street between Kentville and Grafton in Kings Co. Back from my job in Wolfville at the time, aropund midnight, I was driving normally past the turn to the First Nation Terrritory and stopped at the connecting point with Brooklyn Street. Seeing no cars, I turned and almost immediately - when there was no house in the immediate vicinity - a storm of blinking lights started over and around my car. So powerful they illuminated the inside and made me stop - I just couldn't see anything any longer. My first reaction was to think that a police cruiser behind me had for some reason started its strobe lights, but there were normally red and blue and, however bright, were not as blinding as this. While I sat and pondered, although becoming ioncreasingly agitated, that storm of electric lights continued, becoming even increasingly powerful. As the car that was potentially producing this did not seem to budge or anyone to come out, I decided to open the door and meet whomever it was. I opened the door to utter silence and total darkness. To be sure, I got out twice and went around the car - nothing. No vehicle, no lights, nothing. I mentioned it to my wife and son as I reached home. An explanation? None. I know what I've seen. I suspected that some experimentation at Greenwood RCAF base might have created a strange electric phenomenon that would have for some reason 'hit' my car at that particular spot, although why is not obvious. Why it would have completely stopped when I went out was as impossible to explain.

Paul Kimball said...

Thanks for posting your story, HDP. It sounds similar in broad strokes to other ones that I've been told. There is a common denominator to it all if we're willing to really consider the possibilities, but I don't think it would have anything to do with the relatively mundane goings on at CFB Greenwood.

Unknown said...

This is the Story of my grandmother and grandfathers house. I grew up there, and heard the story many times for many years. It's a treasured story amount us grand kids.