Oct 01, 2007
While most of us are familiar with the UFO phenomenon, far fewer people are aware of a phenomenon called USOs, or ‘unidentified submerged objects’. USOs are generally described as UFOs that enter bodies of water in a controlled manner with the intention of interacting with or navigating the underwater environment.
Perhaps due to the visual inaccessibility of our oceans compared with our skies, USOs are reported far less frequently than UFOs, but some of the reports that have been made are quite remarkable in both their detail and the credibility of the witnesses concerned. October 4th marks the 40th anniversary of one of the most extraordinary, yet compelling USO cases in history; the Shag Harbour Incident.
Just after 11:20pm on the night of Oct. 4, 1967, several residents of the small Nova Scotia fishing village of Shag Harbour, reported seeing four strange orange - yellow lights in the sky. Unbeknownst to the witness, the lights had been tracked by radar for several hundred miles as they traveled along the Canadian coastline before coming to a stop at Shag Harbour.
After hovering above the sea for a few moments, the lights reportedly entered the water at a 45 degree angle, floating on the surface for a short time before disappearing below the surface in a flurry of foam and bubbles.
The sighting was corroborated by eleven witnesses, including an Air Canada pilot and three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers. One officer, Constable Ron Pound, reported that the four lights appeared to belong to one craft, which he estimated to be approximately 60 feet long.
As the craft went below the surface, it reportedly left an 80 foot wide, half mile long trail of strange smelling yellow foam in its wake. Although the coastguard search that immediately followed the incident found nothing save the yellow foam, the event clearly left both civilian and military authorities at a loss to explain what had transpired. The report from the rescue centre would only state that something of "origin unknown." had hit the water in Shag Harbour.
That was not the end of the Shag Harbour incident; in fact it was just the beginning. Although it wasn’t disclosed at the time, it is now known that a highly classified joint initiative between the Canadian and U.S. navy was tasked with assessing the threat and monitoring the craft with a view to recovering it. The navy ship HMCS Granby was immediately ordered to Shag Harbour, where her divers searched the bottom of the ocean for several days.
The Granby’s divers confirmed what Canadian intelligence already knew; that having entered the sea the craft had continued to travel underwater for about 25 miles until it reached a submarine detection base located at a place called Government Point where it came to a halt. The object had been quickly spotted by the station’s sonar, and naval vessels were positioned over it while both Canadian and U.S. authorities tried to understand what exactly they were dealing with. The fact that an unexplained submerged object was now observing a submarine base would not have been lost on the military. After a few days of observation, during which time the object remained motionless, the navy began planning a salvage operation. However, this was quickly put on hold when a second unidentified craft joined the first. Still unsure whether they were dealing with a new type of Soviet submarine or something of extraterrestrial origin, the Navy decided to carry on monitoring the situation.
This continued for several more days until events took another unexpected turn; a Soviet submarine entered Canadian waters and began to monitor events. At the height of the cold war, this created a tense stand off between East and West, particularly given the proximity to such a sensitive military installation. At this point, on October 11th, a week after the first craft had arrived, the pair of them made their move. Heading towards the Gulf of Maine, they easily outran the Navy vessels tasked with pursuing them, before breaking the surface and shooting off into the sky.
The fact that seemingly extraterrestrial spacecraft could demonstrate the same maneuverability and speed under water as they did in the air was not lost on military strategists or ufologists. It posed a threat but also offered the potential for us to make tremendous leaps forward in our own technology. The craft’s structure seemed to have the ability to withstand the extremes of pressures and temperatures found in high altitude flight and deep underwater environments and to shield their occupants from harmful effects. This was something that has eluded defence contractors and engineers.
Likewise these craft clearly benefited from propulsion systems that functioned irrespective of whether the craft was airborne or submerged and was capable of maneuvers that conventional craft could never hope to replicate, indicating the presence of technologies far beyond our own. The Shag Harbour USO offered an unparalleled strategic advantage for any nation who could capture such a craft and reverse engineer the technology, but it seems that rather than having crashed landed at Shag Harbour, the craft may well have been assessing our own technology.
The Soviet interest in the Shag Harbour incident is quite possibly related to their own awareness of USOs and their relentless pursuit of understanding the technology and intelligence that drives them. It is known that as early as the 1950’s, Soviet officers from Sevastopol Naval Base had witnessed a USO emerge from the water behind a battle cruiser on patrol in the Black Sea. This incident had apparently been photographed by the ship’s crew. The Black Sea sighting was not an isolated incident for the Russians; two years before Shag Harbour, in August 1965, a crew of the steamship, Raduga, reported witnessing a ‘fiery sphere’ about sixty meters in diameter shoot out from under the Red Sea with such force that it created a gigantic pillar of water as it ascended to a height of around 150 meters.
Despite the speed and force with which it exited the sea, the sphere was able to come to a complete stop 150 meters in the air. It was reported to have hovered above the Raduga for several minutes illuminating the vessel and area around it before shooting off at great speed. The Soviet Navy, in conjunction with military researchers and submariners, is said to have amassed a huge body of valuable information on USO activity. Over several decades they had meticulously documented the existence and behavior of high speed underwater objects that they were unable to effectively pursue, but which at times tracked them. These unidentified craft changed their speed and direction at will, outmaneuvering conventional submarines with no apparent effort.