Thursday, March 13, 2014

UFOs over Halifax on the night of the Shag Harbour Incident

My old friend Ron Foley MacDonald on set during production of my
most recent feature film, Roundabout, on which he was a co-producer.

Ron Foley MacDonald is many things – one of the best and most knowledgeable film, music and theater critics in Canada;  the senior programmer at the Atlantic Film Festival here in Halifax, Nova Scotia; an educator; a former musician during the heydays of the 1990s Halifax Pop Explosion who still writes songs for other artists. He’s also been a close friend for over two decades.
Ron shares my interest in the world of the paranormal (although perhaps not to the same extent). As Maritimers we were brought up with all  tales of all sorts of things that go bump in the night, from ghost ships to will o’ the wisps. But Ron has something I don’t – a genuine UFO experience of his own, which happened near his home in Halifax on the same night in October, 1967, as the famous Shag Harbour UFO incident (Shag Harbour is about a three hour drive along the shore southwest from Halifax).

Over the years Ron has recounted his story to me on a few occasions, and I think he’s mentioned it a couple of times on radio (he appeared for years on CBC radio with arts and entertainment reports), but it’s not something that has circulated publicly beyond this region, so I asked him if he would care to write up a short report of what he and his young friends experienced back in 1967 as I think it adds some interesting perspective to the Shag story. He was kind enough to oblige.
On the early evening of October 4th, 1967, I was seven years old. It was a warm early fall evening, with the light just fading, 8;00 pm or so. I was with my friends from the street at number 10 Sherbrooke Drive, Halifax, (next to Mount St. Vincent University) near what we called ‘The Pipeline’. We noticed something strange happening, particularly sounds first. All sorts of alarms went off, police, fire, air raid sirens, and this was the first time I had heard the short-wave siren as opposed to the older long-wave alarms.
We noticed strange lights in the sky, streaking over Halifax, coming from Dartmouth going towards Chester and the South Shore. From where we were we had a good view of the Bedford Basin and the Narrows, overlooking the City Dump and where Africville was or had been. 
The situation was something none of us – there were at least three or four kids all the same age – had ever seen or heard before. After a few minutes, it became too intense and we all scattered. I was so scared I remember, very vividly, crawling underneath a car parked in the driveway. After a while, I scuttled home, not telling anyone in my family what had happened. 
The next morning I distinctly remember the local paper, The Chronicle Herald, being full of reportage on the incident, including at least one story of animals having organs removed. The day after that, the paper withdrew its coverage and printed a story that it was ‘nothing’'. 
The incident was the talk of the schoolyard for some days. This was only five years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, so Air-Raid drills still happened a couple times of year, and the threat of a nuclear exchange lingered, although not as pervasively as in the early 1960s. 
This is my remembrance of the Shag Harbour UFO Incident, something that is imprinted on my mind quite sharply to this day. 
- Ron Foley MacDonald

Did Ron see space aliens over Halifax in 1967? Probably not… although who knows? But he definitely had a strange experience that left a deep impression on him, so much so that it remains vividly etched in his mind over forty years later. Others in Halifax and along the coast reported the strange lights as well, until they finally reached Shag Harbour late in the evening. Ron’s account is an important part of that broader narrative surrounding the events in the night sky over Nova Scotia on October 4, 1967 – a story that remains unsolved to this day.
Paul Kimball

No comments: