Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Canadian UFO wave 1966-67 (part 5)

This post proposes an analysis of the remainding clusters of sightings identified earlier for the Canadian UFO wave of 1966-67. It is also the last part of this case study. However, I am introducing the clusters in a somewhat different perspective than previously announced, as I found an unanticipated consistency within the best-known cases of Falcon Lake, Duhamel crop circles, and Shag Harbour. These three cases will be considered as part of the same cluster, the reason for which is explained below. Hence, this post is covering the rash of closer encounters of the third kind of summer 1967 and the best-know cases lumped into the label the “National Tensions.” An overall evaluation of the case study is proposed at the end of this post.

The summer 1967 “visitations” cluster

Between the end of July and late August 1967, six closer encounters of the third kind (CE3) were reported by the private observation system. Given the rarity of CE3 in general, this concentration is unusual and can be seen as a form of “insistence” by the phenomenon to be “noted”. The basic information on the sightings is as follow:

(1) At the end of July, in St-Stanislas-de-Kostka, Quebec, an “11-year old Denis Léger said a flying object, ‘resembling a round and shiny saucer,’ followed him for about 5 minutes, at 20-foot altitude, as he rode his bicycle. The bottom was made of glass 3 or 4 inches thick, and he could see three persons inside, one seated at one end and the others at the other. ‘They were small and black.’”[1]

(2) On 12 August, in St-Louis-de-Kent, New Brunswick, a “dozen teens saw ‘huge, black monster’ descend from light craft in woods. Being dressed in black, with black face and goggles. They didn't approach, and it quickly disappeared.”[2]

(3) On 14 August 1967, in St-Charles, New Brunswick, “an unidentified woman from St Charles reported sighting a similar figure [to that of St-Louis-de-Kent] in the woods near the same road. Richibucto RCMP searched the area although they located a man dressed in black; there was no apparent connection with the encounters.[3]

(4) On 15 August 1967, in Port Perry, Ontario “a farm area a young boy heard a loud oscillating sound, going over a nearby hill he saw a landed disc shaped craft on four metallic legs, it was actually hovering just above the ground. On a platform around its perimeter, were seated eight to ten little men about three-foot tall, they wore tight fitting brown clothing. A depressed 12-foot circular area was found on the ground later.”[4]

(5) On 15 August, in Welland, Ontario, a “family observed two bright lights traveling across the sky, through a pair of binoculars several figures could be seen moving in one of the lights. Both lights flew at high speed away from the area. No other information.”[5]

(6) On 23 August, in Joyceville, Ontario, while “driving from his home in Toronto early in the morning, Stanley Moxon saw a green light in a field off the road ahead of his car; he turned off his headlights and swung onto a side road to get closer. Turning his lights on again, he saw a huge craft shaped like two saucers put together, and two human like entities about 4-feet high in white uniforms and helmets. They "seemed to be at work around the machine;" when they were discovered, they quickly jumped into the object, which took off silently at tremendous speed.”[6]

Taken together, these reports seem unrelated and unexplainable. As well, as there is only scant information about each of them, it is difficult to make a detailed analysis. Yet, if one looks beyond the surface, there are a number of commonalities. All the reporting was to stay local. In cases 1, 2, 4, 5, children were involved, and given the inherent bias against younger witnesses, these cases were not likely to reach the public observation system. In the cases 3, and 6, it was reported by adults who had the reflex to seek the local police (note that the RCMP plays the role of the local police in rural areas of New Brunswick, as part of an agreement between the province and the federal government), and these local police forces have little to do with the national public observation system. From a parasociological standpoint, this is an important clue as the phenomenon did not appear to seek the attention of the larger society. Furthermore, the possibility to even observe a CE3 cluster was not possible then. One case surfaced in 1968, and two others surfaced in 1979.

It is therefore possible to think that separate local parasociological effects could be held responsible for those events, but that they shared a common enabling factor or factors. From a symbolic perspective, there is an idea of “children” inherent to these sightings. In 3 cases, the entities were perceived as being of child-size (1, 4, 6). The sighting (1) was followed by another one, a year later by the same witness plus other children.[7] In most cases, the entities did not engaged with the witnesses but were either scared or oblivious to presence of witnesses (child-like behaviour?). Could the “Flower Children” of the “Summer of Love” (i.e. 1967) enabled symbolically some parasociological effects? It is impossible to prove but it is an interesting possibility.

The 1967 national tensions cluster

The three most ostentatious cases from the Canadian UFO wave of 1966-67 occurred in 1967. They are, in chronologically order, the Falcon Lake incident of 20 May, the Duhamel crop circles of 8 August, and the Shag Harbour “crash” on 4 October. When the Department of National Defence (DND) got rid of its UFO files by transferring them to the National Research Council (NRC), these three cases were specifically highlighted in a November 1967 letter as meriting particular attention, and that DND would like to be kept abreast of any findings by the NRC.[8] Clearly, the phenomenon was able to get the attention of the public observation system.

Once again, we have three cases that on the surface seem to be disconnected, and unrelated. When taken in isolation and separately, they seem profoundly absurd and meaningless. Although these cases were better investigated than most other cases of 1966-67 because the public observation system stepped in, nothing worth of mention emerged from their analysis. Yet, if one applies a parasociological analysis, then a different image emerges that is actually consistent with the other clusters reported by the public observation system: Canadian national tensions are symbolically found across these cases.

Falcon Lake incident

The details of this incident are available through many sources, but here is a copy of the synopsis prepared by DND in its letter to the NRC:

“A Mr Steven Michalak of Winnipeg, Manitoba reported that he had come into physical contact with a UFO during a prospecting trip in the Falcon Lake area, some 90 miles east of Winnipeg on the 20 May 1967. Mr. Michalak stated that he was examining a rock formation when two UFOs appeared before him. One of the UFOs remained airborne in the immediate area for a few moments, then flow off at great speed. The second UFO landed a few hundred feet away from his position. As he approached the UFO, a side door opened and voices were heard from within. Mr. Michalak stated that he approached the object but was unable to see due to a bright yellow bluish light which blocked his vision. He endeavoured to communicate with the personnel inside the object but without result. As he approached within a few feet of the object, the door closed, he heard a whining noise and the object commenced to rotate anti-clockwise and finally rained off the ground. He reached out with his left gloved hand and touched the object prior to its lifting off the ground; the glove burned immediately as he touched the object. As the object left the ground, the exhaust gases burned his cap, out and inner garments and he sustained rather severe stomach and chest burns. As a result of these he was hospitalized for a number of days. The doctors who interviewed and attended Mr. Michalak were unable to obtain any information that could account for the burns to his body. The personal items of clothing which were alleged to have been burned by the UFO were subjected to an extensive analysis at the SCNF Crime Laboratory. The analysis was not able to reach any conclusion as to what may have caused the burn damage. Soil samples taken from the immediate area occupied by the UFO by Mr. Michalak were analyzed and found to be radioactive to a degree that the samples had to be safely disposed of. An examination of the alleged UFO landing area was tested by a radiologist from the Department of Health and Welfare and a small area was found radioactive. The radiologist was unable to provide an explanation as to what caused this area to become contaminated.
Both DND and RCMP investigation teams were unable to provide evidence which would dispute Mr. Michalak’s story.”[9]

A few more elements emerged from the private observation system. A 1968 analysis and a 1979 re-evaluation showed that the radioactive contamination was likely from natural uranium ore and associated radon gas emanations.[10]

From a symbolic perspective this events has several clues to offer. First of all, the location is an interesting one. Falcon Lake was named after Pierre Falcon, a French-speaking poet of Métis origin who lived in the 19th century (1793-1876). The Métis people were made of people having both European (mostly French) and North American Native ancestry. They lived in Western Canada, mostly in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Their history is a sad one, as they were victim of the racist attitudes of the British authorities, and many got their land confiscated to be given to British settlers. They defended themselves in several occasions but were defeated by the British Army and the white settlers. As well, the French-speaking heritage disappeared overtime, to become almost fully anglicized. Pierre Falcon actually wrote songs and poem describing the fight against the English-speaking settlers and the injustice the Métis people were facing.[11]

There are other symbolic clues in the events. Michalak did meet people speaking a language that he did not understand. He was burnt in the forest, which is actually how Pierre Falcon described his compatriots the “Bois-Brûlé”.[12] Radioactivity was not known in the 19th century, so this clue might be a bit more subtle. In the 1960s, they were no uranium mining in Manitoba. The closest ones were in Northern Saskatchewan, and in Ontario in Elliot Lake, all far away from Flacon Lake.[13] Elliott Lake was a key uranium mining town then, and was another mixed French-English community of Northern Ontario. Finally, it is worth noting that on 19 May 1967, the Premier of Quebec, Daniel Johnson, came back from an official visit from France, where he was received as a Head of State[14], a prelude the famous “Vive le Québec libre!” of De Gaulle a few weeks later.

Duhamel crop circles

In 1967, crop circles were a novelty. The association between UFOs and crop circles is not a new one, as there was the notion of “saucer’s nest” in the 1950s from some US UFO investigations. But it was something quite different for Canada then. The event was considered as UFo one because “For several weeks before the crop circles appeared, Duhamel been plagued with strange occurrences. Reports of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) had made it into the local papers weeks before the crop circles were discovered.”[15] The official synopsis describes the events as follow:

“On August 8th 1967, a Mr. K. Patrige, of Camrose, Alberta, reported the finding of a number of circular impressions in a pasture in the vicinity of the town of Camrose, Alberta. An investigation was conducted by an officer from Canadian Forces Base, Edmonton, in the company of Dr. G. H. Jones, of the Defence Research Board Experimental Station in Suffield.
All the marks exhibited the same general appearance; a ring six inches in width, with diameter varying from slightly over 31 feet to 36 feet. No evidence of heat was evident, but a definite impression in the ground, which was soft from recent rains, indicated distinct pressure. Some slight evidence of movement in a radial manner along the marks was visible in that the grass had been pressed down in a definite direction.
No evidence that would lead to the conclusion of deliberate interference or involvement of any person was found, nor was there any trace of chemical or radioactivity in the area.”[16]

This noted UFO incident is also linked symbolically to the Métis people. It was a Métis settlement in 19th century, originally called “La Boucane”, named after the first Métis settlers, and renamed after the French-Canadian Roman Catholic Bishop of Ottawa Mgr. Duhamel.[17] Like a crop circle, they left their mark, but soon it will disappear both physically and from memory.

Veronica Laboucane and Jean Baptiste Laboucane, Duhamel, Alberta, circa 1912

The official 1967 report does not mention Duhamel, and interestingly the Wikipedia site for Duhamel does not mention its French and Métis origin.[18] They have effectively “disappeared” from mainstream history.

A key document that emerged recently was a draft letter signed 2 August 1967 by René Lévesque announcing his resignation from the Liberal Party of Quebec to the then leader of the Party, which would eventually occur on 14 October 1967 and set in motion a series of major events in Canada (as discussed in the previous post). A paragraph in this letter is highly symbolic and could have been applied very well to the Métis of Duhamel:

“C’est bien ainsi que l’ont compris tous ceux qui ne nous aiment pas. Il y en a un grand nombre au Canada, même parmi nous, de ces gens qui endurent les Canadiens français à condition qu’ils soient bien sages, qu’ils ne se prennent pas pour «d’autres» et qu’ils confirment périodiquement l’image rassurante qu’on s’acharne à se faire d’eux: la pittoresque survivance indigène appelée tôt ou tard à se perdre gentiment dans le paysage."[19]

[It is in this way that those who do not like us have understood it. There are many people in Canada, even among us, who tolerate the French-Canadians only at the condition that they be quiet, that they do not think they are important, and that they confirm periodically the reassuring picture painted of them: this picturesque survival of indigenous people called, sooner or later, to gently disappear from the scenery] (My translation).

The Shag Harbour “crash”

The Shag Harbour case is arguably the best known UFO case from Canada. It has been dubbed by some as the “Canadian Roswell,”[20] and the case was among those under evaluation during the Condon committee’s investigation. This case also attracted the attention of both the public and private observation systems, as it was so ostentatious. Here is the official description of the events:

“An RCMP corporal and six other witnesses observed what they believed to be an unidentified flying object off the south-west coast of Nova Scotia, Canada on the 4th October 1967. The object was described as approximately 60 feet in length and was flying in an easterly direction when first sighted. During their observation, the UFO descended rapidly to the surface and made a ‘bright splash’ as it struck the water. For some time after the impact, a single white light remained on the surface. The RCMP corporal endeavoured to the floating white object, but unfortunately, before he could reach the location the object sank. A search of the area failed to produce any material evidence which could assist in explaining or establishing the identity of the object. An underwater search conducted by divers from the Department of National Defence also failed to locate any tangible evidence which could be used to arrive at an explainable conclusion.”[21]

The public observation system was also able to add to this description. In the evening of 4 October 1967, the pilots of an Air Canada liner Saint-Jean in Quebec (south-east of Montreal) saw the following event, as reported later to the authorities: “Flying on top of layered clouds, well below us. The Captain drew my attention to an unusual set of lights to the south. One large bright white light and six small ones. It looks like a large kite about 20 deg. above the horizon at 90 degs from the aircraft. While we were looking at this set of lights we saw a big fire ball that started as a very bright white light and grew into a large red ball. It then turn violet in color, then light blue. We saw two of these. I checked the clock. The first one was at 19:19 EDT the second at 19:31 EDT. At 19:35 EDT one large pear shape cloud glowing pale blue was drifting slowly eastward.”[22]

As well, the private system was able to get the following additional details[23]. According to Ledger and Styles, several witnesses in the area around Halifax saw strange lights moving towards the southwest along the coast, between 21:00 ADT until 23:00 ADT. Then observations moved to Lunenburg, and then Waymouth, to finally have the last observations around Shag Harbour[24]. A very interesting report made by several witnesses described the descent into water of several objects as a “falling-leaf motion” from the Cape Sable Island[25].

This last observation is particular interesting as it is a motion noted in a number of poltergeist events. But even more interesting is that not only the overall event started in Quebec, the French-speaking province of Canada, 10 days before René Lévesque’s critical political move, but it occurred in another area of past French-English tensions. The Cape Sable Island was also the point of departure of several deportation ships, bringing in harsh conditions the French-speaking Acadiens away from their land, so that English settlers can have them.[26]

Symbolically, we have something emanating from Quebec and showing the color blue in the sky (blue being the color associated with the movement seeking the independence of Quebec), that sinks into the sea in a place where British cruelty towards the French-Canadians has been enacted by sending people to their lost by sea. The fact that an agent of the state witnessed it is also indicative that the phenomenon was seeking the attention of the public observation system. As well, it “crashed” near one of the nods of the underwater submarine detection network, put in place in the context of the Cold War against Soviet intrusions. The phenomenon “took no chance”, it had to be noted by the public authorities, and like in any macro psi event, when observation becomes too intense, the phenomenon does not have any indeterminacy to keep going. The Shag Harbour incident marks the decline phase of the 1966-67 Canadian UFO wave. As well, like in most RSPK (or poltergeist) events, those for whom the message is intended did not understand it.


This parasociological analysis of the Canadian 1966-1967 UFO wave was quite instructive. First, it provided an analysis with a fair degree of internal validity that some of the key events can be explained as social psi effects linked to the deep tensions found in the Canadian society then. The concordance between geographic locations, dates of UFO events, and dates of significant social events with the key symbolism found within particular cases is striking. These cases, when taken alone do not make sense, but when they are linked together within a proper analytical framework, they start to make sense. It would be interesting to do a similar analysis of the American UFO wave of 1966-67 and linked it to the many racial riots and tensions experienced in 1966 and especially in 1967. However, I think it is a task for an American researcher to do.

When thinking about the UFO events related to the national level, and therefore noted by the public observation system, I cannot help but making the comparison with the seminal and in-depth research conducted by Nandor Fodor about the Thornton Heath poltergeist.[27] Like with the UFO wave of 1966-67, the strange and bizarre events surrounding Mrs. Forbes were incomprehensible, absurd, and beyond explanation, even to dedicated and experienced psychical researchers. Fodor went further and looked where no one else bothered to investigate. Not only he gathered evidence and evaluated them, but he also proposed an analysis based on the symbolic content of those poltergeist events. Through a detailed symbolic review of the evidence he was able to make sense of what happened in Thornton Heath, as it was the symbolic expression of Mrs. Forbes’ unresolved trauma of being sexually abused when she was a child. From that perspective, UFO waves can be explained in part as of a macroscopic poltergeist, as John Keel believed. The only difference is that we, the humans, are the ultimate cause of the events.

The events that were noted by the private observation systems are much more difficult to interpret, in great part because they were not approached from the “broader” perspective, leaving very little data to work with. Some were investigated in more depth, but with the passing of time, such information can become extremely difficult to find. In some cases, like the APRO reports, the evidence is locked up into private hands not willing to share them. Furthermore, if these sightings were intended to be observed by the private system, then the message should logically be intended to a private audience, making the investigation that much harder as one has to get detailed knowledge of local unconscious issues.

It is important to underline that there are many sightings of the 1966-67 wave that are beyond any meaningful research because they were likely to be meaningful only to the witnesses themselves. Again, with the passing of time, and limited reporting content this becomes an impossible task. Some other sightings are likely to be misperceptions and hoaxes, but too much time has elapse to make any valid evaluation on them. However, these others sightings (including hoaxes) could be seen as synchronistic events that participated in creating a social psi event by keeping the attention on the phenomenon..

UFO wave, to conclude, appear to have at least distinct four layers: the global, national, local and individual ones. Each of them deserve its own separate analysis as it carry its own distinct meaning, yet all of them can “ride” on the same macro psi effect at the same, creating a very confused picture. In the end, however, the key to make sense of all of them is to look seriously into their respective symbolic dimension. Hence, should there be another major UFO wave in North America (or elsewhere), we now have a more refined methodology about what we need to look for.


[1] From Itself based on Saucers, Space & Science, fall 1968.

[2] From based on a newspaper article from the Moncton Times, August 17, 1967.

[3] From A RCMP police report is quoted as the original source.

[4] From John Brent Musgrave. (1979). UFO occupants and critters: The patterns in Canada. N.L.: Global Communications, is quoted as the source, but Musgrave does not provide his own sources. See

[5] Same as reference 4.

[6] From Itself based on a local police report, and was investigated by APRO. The APRO report is likely to be unavailable for further information.

[7] See

[8] See

[9] Original available at

[10] Rutkowski, Chris and Geoff Dittman. (2006). The Canadian UFO Report: The best cases revealed‎. Toronto: Dundurn Press, p. 77.

[11] See

[12] Idem.

[13] See

[14] See

[15] See

[16] Original available at

[17] Fro more see:;;

[18] See,_Alberta

[19] From

[20] Rutkowski, Chris and Geoff Dittman. (2006). The Canadian UFO Report: The best cases revealed‎. Toronto: Dundurn Press, p. 94.

[21] Original available at

[22] From Canada Archives, at

[23] For a detailed account of this case, please refer to Ledger, Don and Chris Styles. (2001). Dark Object: The world’s only government documented UFO crash. New York: Dell.

[24] Ledger, Don and Chris Styles. (2001). Dark Object: The world’s only government documented UFO crash. New York: Dell, pp. 13-27.

[25] From UFO DNA at

[26] For more information, please see; and

[27] Fodor, Nandor. (1958). On the Trail of the Poltergeist. New York: Citadel Press.

Eric Ouellet © 2010

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