For countless years, the skies over Newfoundland and Labrador have held strange craft, mysterious lights, and unexplainable phenomena. For reasons as of yet unknown, many sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) tend to cluster in certain areas. One such area of the province that is particularly rich in UFO lore is Conception Bay.
On a clear night in November of 1977 a couple and their four-year-old daughter were returning to St. John’s from a relative’s house in Clarke’s Beach.
Somewhere along Roche’s Line between Clarke’s Beach and the Trans-Canada-Highway the engine of their late-model Pontiac failed suddenly. The husband got out of the car and with the aid of a flashlight peered under the hood.
He tried to get the car started but could not. He then told his wife that he would walk to the nearest telephone for help.
No sooner was the man out of the car once more than a saucer-shaped object with flashing lights appeared out of nowhere, hovering a few hundred feet above the car. The object was making a loud whirring noise and shone with an intense light.
The amazed man scrambled back into the car, and found his wife in a state bordering on shock. Looking out through the windshield, he realized that the saucer had descended to within 20 feet of the car. The object, with its flashing coloured lights, hovered two or three feet off the ground, and inscriptions of some sort were visible on its side.
The craft slowly rose upward until it was approximately 50 feet off the ground. It hovered for a few seconds and then shot towards the ocean in a flash of light.
Forty-five minutes later the driver of the Pontiac flagged a van to the side of the road. The van gave the car a boost, and the vehicle jumped to life almost instantly. When the family arrived back in St. John’s, they discovered that the flashlight which had been used earlier was also drained of power.
A more recent incident was reported in the area in August of 1997. One Saturday night, a Shearstown woman and her 12-year-old daughter were driving home from Bay Roberts around 10 pm.
The young girl noticed the object first. Believing it to be a bright star she pointed it out to her mother. The mother quickly realized that the huge bright light was no star. It was instead a round or oval object hovering inthe sky.
The object hovered about 60 or 70 feet above the ground. It featured red and blue lights and what appeared to be wires on both sides of the craft. The woman later reported that it seemed to be about the same size as a large satellite dish. The woman and her daughter, terrified at the sight, took shelter in a local store.
When they left the establishment, the blue and red lights of the object were still visible through the trees.
According to media reports at the time, it was confirmed that there were no helicopters or airplanes in the vicinity at the time of the sighting.
The popularity of online UFO reporting sites resulted in several postings of strange things in the skies over Conception Bay throughout the early 2000s.
In August of 2001, one online report stated that an officer with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary watched for about an hour and a half as two white objects moved north to south over Seal Cove. In December of 2003, a dark flaming object was seen moving slowly westward over the bay, while one witness watched a yellow sphere the same night for more than four minutes.
On very clear night in November of 2005, one person saw an object like very low shooting star, with a long white tail, which flamed out over Conception Bay South.
One theory at the time was that it was space debris, burning up as it entered the atmosphere.
Whether in truth they are vehicles of alien visitors or pieces of burning space junk, UFOs seem to be a firm part of the modern folklore of Conception Bay.
If you’ve seen something weird in the night skies, let me know. We are probably due for the first UFO sighting of 2011.
Dale Jarvis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.