by: R. H. Pell Note: This sighting is
Sound Laboratory close
Post Office, NY 09560 sighting
THE COAST GUARD SHELBURNE, NOVA SCOTIA MAY 9, 1968
What Was It?
HARBOUR -- Capt. Woodrow Atwood and the crew of the fishing boat “Which Way
In" had a frightening experience about eight o'clock Saturday evening when
about one and a half hours below Seal Island.
was watching the compass when he saw a light to the nort[h], about the size
of a match light. Suddenly it burst into a blood red light and appeared to be
about 50 to 75 yards away, coming towards the boat. As he watched through the window it became so
hot he had to move away. The light floated overread (sic) for about five
minutes then lowered and seemed to float towards Brown's Bank.
Atwood called by radio to tell of his experience and was answered by the captain
of the "Racer", who told him his crew had called to tell him that a
large red ball of light had just missed the spars when it passed over.
William Nickerson, aboard the "Which Way In" called it a
frightening experience. Capt.
Atwood said the heat was intense and he expected the boat to be burned before
This reference: News clip from “The Coast Guard”, dated
May 9, 1968.
The following is from an e-mail by
Researcher Donald Ledger regarding the date:
The actual date of the event was May 4, 1968.
"The Coast Guard" was a weekly paper that was pressed late
on Wednesday evening and on the stands in Shelburn Town and the county, on
Thursday May 9. The text states the sighting was on “Saturday, evening” and
the Saturday prior to the 9th was the 4th.-DL-
Note: Although the following UFOCAT items
have different Times for their sighting and different names for the island,
both have the same date and witnesses’ name!-CF-
UFOCAT PRN – 90160 [Cape Sable Island]
UFOCAT URN – 90160 The APRO Bulletin, July/August 1968,
UFOCAT PRN – 48101 [Seal Island]
UFOCAT URN – 48101 NICAP Investigation Files
SOUTHERN TIP OF NOVA SCOTIA,
proximity of “Clark’s Harbour” to “Shag Harbour”
North America – Canada, Nova Scotia
Clark’s Harbour Latitude 43-27-00 N, Longitude
65-38-00 W (D-M-S)
Cape Sable Island Latitude 43-28-00 N, Longitude 65-36-00
W [PRN 48101]
Seal Island Latitude 43-24 N, Longitude
66-01 W (D-M) [PRN 90160]
Brown's Bank Latitude
42-45 N, Longitude 66-00 W
Reference: Reference: Canada Gazetteer, Prepared in the
Office of Geography, Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C., November
UFO Location (UFOCAT) Latitude
43.17 N, Longitude 65.67 W (D.%) [PRN 90160 – Seal Island]
From Don Ledger:
is on Cape Sable Island was the home port of “Which Way In”. It is also about 6-7 miles by water to Shag Harbour. It was from Clark's Harbour
that the Coast Guard Cutter [Lifeboat 101] came to the Sound the night of the
Shag Harbour Incident.
Brown's Bank is an underwater seamount
like the Grand Banks. The actual location of the sighting then was over
Brown's Bank about 1.5 hours steaming time [9 knots per hour] south of Seal
Woodrow Atwood died about 10 years
There is good news
however. His son Clayton - now about 52-55 runs a boatbuilding shop in Shag
Harbour [I've passed the thing a couple of dozen times over the years]. His
wife says is he is down on the Government wharf and out of reach until later.
He's probably there for the breeze. It's 35-36 C [about 97 F] here.
Clayton might have been crewing with
his father back then or just out for the sail. I'm optimistic of getting some
38 year old information. Additionally I hope to find some crew of the Racer
and I'm attempting to track down William Nickerson. Finding a William
Nickerson in south western Nova Scotia is like trying to find a John Smith in
New York City.
Always Shag Harbour.
Always back to Shag Harbour.
06-25-2005 Tony Rullán
Wonder why it came to
the attention of the Underwater Sound Laboratory?
06-25-2005 Jan Aldrich
Hi Don and all,
Pell just supplied
the item to APRO. So the Underwater Lab connection is not there....However,
it is interesting that Pell apparently is somewhere in the area up there. "Fleet
Post Office" indicates that he is at a location outside the
US....probably on an anti-sub assignment.
06-25-2005 Don Ledger
information, Jan. If it was "up there" it probably was at Canadian
Forces Station Shelburne, NS [Government Point as it's known locally] the
supposed RCN/USN Oceanographic base that was actually a US Navy SOSUS base.
US Navy SOund SUrveillance System
(SOSUS). Pell might have been stationed there.
In 1968 the Canadian
Forces would have been supplying only support facilities and security at CFS,
Shelburne and would not be actively involved in the daily gathering of
underwater data/intelligence until the early 70s. The base became known for
what it was in 1986 due to a scandal involving 6 lesbian operators. The base
moved to the naval yards at Stadacona, Halifax in 1994-95 and is now called
US spy Johnny Walker
effectively canceled the advantages of these bases over a period of 17 years
by passing the daily encrypted codes for daily operations to the Soviets.
06-25-2005 Tom DeMary
The address seems a
bit odd, but since SOSUS was originally a classified operation, they might
use some less obvious identifier. The zip code is no longer in use, according
to a zip code locator site.
The name, Underwater
Sound Laboratory, was the name of a Harvard lab in the early to mid-'40s. The
Navy merged it with a Columbia University group to form the Naval Underwater
Sound Laboratory (NUSL). The name was changed to Naval Underwater Systems
Center (NUSC) in 1970. All three groups are famous, and fundamental to
anti-submarine warfare research. My point is that there was no official U.S.
Navy entity titled simply "Underwater Sound Laboratory" after 1945.
Additionally, there was no famous
acoustician named R.H. Pell, so far I have been able to determine. Any such
group would have civilians on staff, as well as transient military personnel.
That the Pell name is not famous means nothing, of course. One presumes that
he was an APRO member, working at some Navy project, and merely forwarded the
clipping to APRO, using his FPO address, which was his current return