That is only part of the suspenseful story Styles tells in Dark Object, the 2001 book he co-authored with Don Ledger. It's a meticulously researched account of "the world's only government-documented UFO crash." The Shag Harbour incident was back in the news briefly last month as the two authors addressed an annual symposium near Shag Harbour. The speakers' list included Stanton Friedman, a nuclear physicist in Fredericton who has been investigating unidentified flying objects for more than 40 years. In his most recent book, Flying Saucers and Science, Friedman outlines what he sees as overwhelming evidence that alien spacecraft are visiting Earth. Yet he notes that government officials continue to deny such visits or suppress information about them while the mainstream media and so-called academic "experts" debunk them.
Surprisingly, in 1967, the Halifax Chronicle Herald initially took the many eyewitness accounts seriously. The paper ran a huge front-page headline saying the Canadian air force believed the UFO might be a concrete reality. It carried a detailed report on a second UFO sighting in the Shelburne area less than a week later and published an editorial urging readers to keep an "open mind" about the possibility that the UFOs could be alien spacecraft. The editorial also speculated that the UFOs might have been experimental US warplanes, as some scientists had suggested. Then, the Herald carried a lengthy report quoting a priest/astronomer at Saint Mary's University who asserted flatly that the UFOs did not come from outside earth's atmosphere and may simply have been optical illusions. Suddenly, the many consistent descriptions from eyewitnesses were overridden by an "expert" with no direct experience.
It's a familiar reporting pattern in journalism where "credibility" is king. Controversial claims get dismissed unless they're endorsed by officials or academics. Styles and Ledger cite evidence that the UFO was observed floating at sea, submerged and made its way underwater to Shelburne Harbour where it was joined by a second craft. Navy divers were sent down to take pictures from half a dozen ships anchored above, but the government has never revealed what its investigations turned up. The strange events of October 4, 1967 remain shrouded in mystery.