Published: 3:14 PM 8/9/2013
BY BRIAN MEDEL, YARMOUTH BUREAU
BEAR POINT — Here’s a story that never grows old.
The 1967 sighting of what many believe was an unidentified flying object over Nova Scotia’s southern shore, particularly Shag Harbour, has been talked about for years.
And the annual two-day UFO festival is set to begin Saturday at the Shag Harbour Incident Society’s museum on Highway 3, in the heart of the fishing village.
But this weekend will be different. A previously unheard voice will be added to those who have already come forward to tell their stories.
Peter Goreham, a seaweed harvester from nearby Bear Point, was 13 when he witnessed something so unbelievable that he only speaks of it on rare occasions, and usually only with other locals.
It is well known that late in the evening of Oct. 4, 1967, several witnesses claimed they saw something crash in the ocean off Shag Harbour.
No aircraft were reported in the area that night, but a gooey mat of yellow foam, about seven centimetres thick, could be seen floating off Shag Harbour.
The incident was listed as a UFO crash.
In 2009, a diver said he’d come across two dish-shaped depressions, each about six metres in diameter, on the seabed.
He found the odd bottom features some 20 metres below the surface in the spot where witnesses said they saw something alien swing down low as it swooshed by.
But now, 46 years after the incident, Goreham has decided to share his tale. It will leave you scratching your head.
“I was 13 years old. All these houses weren’t here,” Goreham said recently, pointing to dwellings about him.
The population of Bear Point has tripled since the late ’60s, but he still lives in the house his parents occupied back then.
“The roads weren’t paved. We didn’t have any street lights.”
It was just after midnight on Oct. 4, 1967.
“I was lying in bed. I was awake for whatever reason.
“I had the window open. It was a fine night.
“There was no moon,” Goreham recalled, the images still vivid in his memory.
Suddenly, from the northeast, came a light. Not a yellow or an orange light, but a brilliant, intense white light.
“It appeared quite fast. It lit everything up just the same as daylight.”
There wasn’t a shadow in his small, easterly facing bedroom. It was enough to make him squint like he was staring into a headlight. But this was not a floodlight. It was an illumination of the house and its yard as if it were high noon.
“And there was no sound. There was absolutely no sound.”
The thing must have been very low, maybe at treetop level, he reckoned.
“I stayed in bed for a few seconds, listening for a sound. The only thing I could hear was my heartbeat.”
The light lasted 10 to 15 seconds.
“It just came down and stopped, and then stayed stationary outside the window and then it left.
“I didn’t go outside. I regret that a hundred per cent.
“If I had got outside before it had left … I would have had more of a description.”
Moments later, as the light was leaving, Goreham did hear a sound, which he described as a whistle, not unlike a falling bomb.
The whistle occasionally stopped, replaced by a fluttering noise, which was subsequently replaced by the whistle again.
“It was coming from the same direction that the light had come from.”
The noise, momentarily, intensified. He thought something was about to strike the house, where his father and mother, evidently, slept unawares.
But the noise, like the bright light, also vanished.
The next morning, Goreham said a lightkeeper on Bon Portage Island, a few kilometres away, reported finding a cylindrical object more than a metre in length and about 40 centimetres across.
“It was still smouldering,” said Goreham, who later learned the object was retrieved by the U.S. government.
Goreham is telling his story now because he wants to see what the people who study UFOs for a living make of it.
“I want them to research it because I haven’t got the time to do it. They have,” he said.
“What I want is information so I can have peace of mind and know whether it was something or not.”
Goreham would like other Nova Scotians who witnessed strange events in the sky that night in 1967 to also come forward.
He knows there were other eyes that saw what he did.
More information about this weekend’s UFO Festival may be obtained by visiting the museum’s website, shagharbourincidentsociety.ca.
Also see the UFO Casebook case file, The Shag Harbor Crash