Are we alone? Number of Atlantic Canadians reporting UFO sightings tripled during pandemic

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A recent Pentagon report that studied unexplained aerial phenomena failed to provide a satisfactory explanation to UFO believers, and this leads many to wonder, “Are we alone?

The nine-page unclassified report, dated June 25, 2021, detailed 144 cases of unidentified flying objects that occurred between 2004-2021.

Of the 144 studied, the Pentagon has only been able to identify one with a high level of certainty: a large deflating balloon.

Possible explanations cited in the report included everything from atmospheric phenomena, air congestion, secret US development programs, foreign adversaries, and a disturbing category called “other.”

But our neighbors to the south are not the only ones hunting down UFOs.


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There has been an increase in UFO reports in recent years across Canada.

Ufology Research of Manitoba has collected and distributed data on UFO reports from across the country since 1989.

The latest report found sightings were on the rise in 2020, from 849 to 1,243 across Canada, an increase of 46%.

Don Ledger is a retired private pilot and author, and has written two UFO books, both focusing on Maritime cases, including one that focused on the now famous Shag Harbor incident in 1967. UFO Reports in Atlantic Canada more than tripled in 2020. – Contribution

The provinces of Atlantic Canada have seen these numbers increase dramatically, from 39 in 2019 to 130 in 2020. Due to the way the numbers are reported by Ufology Research, all numbers from Atlantic Canada are included together, but out of those 130 reports, Nova Scotia has led the way. , with 50 reports from that province alone.

Ontario tops the list with over a quarter of all reports coming from the province.

Why so many reports?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, air travel within the country has been reduced to historically low levels. During this time, however, UFO reports have increased.

This begs the question: is there something going on in our skies that we don’t know anything about?

Don Ledger is a retired private pilot and author, and has written two UFO books, both focusing on Maritime cases, including one that focused on the now famous Shag Harbor incident in 1967.

Ledger spent three months in the early 1990s researching the incident and the like. He contributed over 7,700 Canadian Archives microfilms on the subject before writing his first book on the subject, Maritime UFO Files.

“The cases weren’t hidden, but they weren’t announced either,” Ledger said.

Some of these reports, he said, could be traced to natural phenomena or misidentification, but all of them?

“Probably not,” he said.

“Shag Harbor was actually known to the Canadian military, and there was quite a bit of documentation about it,” he said.


“They were ordinary people, not the normal walnut balls that popped out of the wood with this stuff.” – Don Ledger


“It was no secret to me because this thing was actually in the papers for three or four days after the incident.”

Ledger questioned several dozen people about the alleged sighting.

“They were ordinary people, not the normal walnut balls that popped out of the wood with this stuff.”

Framed newspaper clippings of the 1964 Nova Scotia incident adorn a wall at the Shag Harbor UFO Center in Shelburne County.  - Tina Comeau
Framed newspaper clippings of the 1964 Nova Scotia incident adorn a wall at the Shag Harbor UFO Center in Shelburne County. – Tina Comeau

Almost 54 years ago

Ross MacQuarrie was driving with his family near Shag Harbor on the night of October 4, 1967, when he first spotted the object.

“My mom was driving and my grandma was on the passenger side. I was on the passenger side in the back, ”he recalls.

The family’s car was traveling along the highway parallel to Shag Harbor on a section of the road that MacQuarrie calls a “quiet turn” for its natural beauty overlooking the harbor.

“There were cars stopped in front of us. Mom turned on the stop lights because there was someone stopped on the side of the road.

The family’s car joined a few others who had apparently stopped to look at the mysterious object.

“It was only about 50-60 yards at most,” he said.

“By the time we came to a complete stop it was barely moving, then it kind of zigzagged towards the road.”


“It wasn’t like a big white light in the sky – it looked more like a gray silhouette. It looked like … I don’t know, the Hindenburg … but it was really very long, oblong in shape. The only thing I have ever seen so big would be a Boeing 747. – Ross MacQuarrie


Then, out of nowhere, the object took off like a bullet.

“It took off so fast I wouldn’t know how many hundreds of miles an hour. I’ve never seen anything like it since, ”he says.

“It wasn’t like a big white light in the sky – it looked more like a gray silhouette. It looked like … I don’t know, the Hindenburg … but it was really very long, oblong in shape. The only thing I have ever seen so big would be a Boeing 747.

Although MacQuarrie’s family was not badly affected by the incident, he says not everyone could have done without.

“I met a woman years later who was all messed up because of it,” he said.

MacQuarrie’s family owned property in Nova Scotia during this time. After that night, he remembers frequently observing the stars in the night sky.

“I’ve seen a lot of meteors, shooting stars, but I’ve never seen anything like it before. It certainly wasn’t an airplane or a helicopter either, it was way too big and way too long. “

To mark the 50th anniversary of the 2017 Shag Harbor UFO sighting, a reenactment was held during the UFO festival involving the Canadian Coast Guard lifeboat Clark's Harbor and the RCMP.  - Tina Comeau
To mark the 50th anniversary of the 2017 Shag Harbor UFO sighting, a reenactment was held during the UFO festival involving the Canadian Coast Guard lifeboat Clark’s Harbor and the RCMP. – Tina Comeau

About Shag Harbor

Several calls were made to the RCMP regarding an object that had crashed in the harbor. At the time, most people thought it was an airplane.

Six witnesses, along with an RCMP corporal, observed the object “descend rapidly before making a brilliant splash in the water,” according to a declassified Department of National Defense memo written after the event.

The Canadian Coast Guard and several area fishing boats quickly rushed to the scene in an attempt to rescue passengers who may have been on the plane.

But in the waters off Shag Harbor, all that could be seen was a faint white light below the surface. By the time the boats rushed to meet the object in the cold waters off Nova Scotia, it was missing.

Whatever the object, it was later confirmed by air traffic controllers that there had been no reports of missing aircraft in the area at the time of the crash.

In the days that followed, the Department of National Defense dispatched a team of divers to search the seabed for any sign that something had crashed, but no wreckage or bodies were found.

Whatever happened that night, the event not only stayed with the residents of Shag Harbor, but also became anchored in Canadian history. The small fishing village has a UFO museum dedicated to the event and the Royal Canadian Mint even commemorated the event in its own way with a phosphorescent coin in 2019.

Over 50 years later, MacQuarrie doesn’t seem to be looking for answers, confident in his own recollection of the events.

“I know there is something else out there,” he said.

“I know what I saw.”


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