By JOHN A. KEEL and GENE DUPLANTIER, Editor of SAUCERS, SPACE and SCIENCE Magazine
EARLY in May 1969, four blinding lights descended from the sky over the little island of Allumettes on the Ottawa River which divides the Cana dian provinces of Quebec and Ontario. A farmer named Leo Paul Chaput was sitting in his kitchen with his wife and two of their 10 children at 2 a.m. on the morning of Sunday, May 4th, when they noticed a sudden flash in a field about 400 feet from the house. They stepped outside, curious at first and then terrified as they had to throw their hands to their faces to protect their eyes from the intense glare of four luminous objects which, they estimated, were about 30 feet in diameter and 16 feet high. The things hovered eerily a few feet above the brightly illuminated ground for five or six minutes before sailing off into the darkness. As they departed, Mr. Chaput said he thought he heard a slight noise-something like the chugging of a boat motor.
When daylight came, Chaput visited the field and found the ground was burned in four circular patterns 27 feet in diameter, each ring about two feet wide. The grass was still burning in some spots. Two small trees inside of one of the circles were singed and smoldering.
In the weeks which followed, the mysterious visitors returned to the Chaput farm several times, emitting a bright orange light as they passed silently overhead at an estimated altitude of about 500 feet.
One month later , on June 2, 1969, another scorched circle was found on the side of a hill on the John McLaren far m outside Meath, Ontario, only a short distance from the Ottawa River and Allumettes Island. This one was also a two-foot wide ring and was about 30 feet in diameter. It was clearly visible from the living room window of the McLaren farmhouse 200 yards away.
“The circle wasn’t there on Sunday, June 1st, because we would have noticed it,” Mrs. McLaren said. “It must have happened after everyone was asleep and that was past l a.m.”
What has been burn i ng up the Canadian landscape? In colonial times, these scorched patches were called “fairy circles.” The people of northern Europe blamed “fairies” for creating them, while early scientists dismissed the circles as the work of freak lightning bolts. They have been found on every continent and are often discovered at spots where witnesses claim to have seen unidentified flying objects (UFOs) land. Usually vegetation in these circles does not grow back for several years. Grazing animals carefully nibble around the edges of the circles but never step over their boundaries. Various scientists in Canada, France, England and the U.S. have collected and studied soil and plan t samples from these circles and have been unable to find any chemical or biological reason for the observed effects.
The scorched circles on Allumettes Island and at Meath are only the latest in a long series of puzzling “flying saucer” events which have been stirring up controversy, confusion, and even fear in many parts of Canada for several years. Villages all along the Ontario side of the Ottawa River have produced a steady stream of U FO reports , many of which seem to be concentrated around Pembroke, a town with a population of about 17,000, directly opposite Allumettes Island and a few miles south of the Deep River nuclear research laboratory and the Chalk River nuclear power plant. Ufologists the world over have long noted that “flying saucer” activity seems to be unusually in tense around nuclear installations. The U.S. Air Force publicly confirmed this pattern in the early I 950’s, and the late Captain Ed ward Ruppelt, first chief of the Air Force’s UFO-chasing Project Blue Book , commented on the sightings around atomic plants in his.
Apparently some very unusual aerial objects were maneuvering over those strategic sites early in 1969. Residents of the village of Petawawa, sandwiched in between Pembroke and the Chalk River nuclear plant, have seen all kinds of flying lights and strange objects in recent years.
At 3:30 a.m. on the morning of Sunday, July 13, 1969, Edgar Paquette was driving along a back road from Pembroke to Petawawa with an unnamed female companion when the road was suddenly “lit up like day “. Then they saw a bright light following close behind them.
“I always thought I had guts, but I was never so scared in my life,” Paquette told reporters later. “It seemed to be aimed right at us.”
Paquette stopped his car and got out, signaling to the object with a flashlight as it made a low pass. It was, he said, about eight feet in diameter and seemed to have two legs hanging down from it. When it descended to within sixty feet of the ground and began to inch towards the car, Paquette panicked. He sprang back into his vehicle and drove to the nearest ho use, occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Gerry Chartrand.
“Have you got a phone?” His lady friend cried hysterically. “My God, have you got a phone?”
They called the police, and two constables and three military policemen responded. “It was really bright,” Constable Jack McKay noted. “There wasn’t another thing in the sky and it was dawn before it disappeared.”
Constables McKay and Grant Chaplin pursued the object for 38 minutes as it moved southeast ward. A cab driver in Pembroke, John Chasson, also reported seeing the same thing and said it was brighter than a star and appeared oval in shape.
Before the police pursuit began, the object apparently followed Ed ward Paquette home, where it hovered and was seen by his son, Sam, 14, and his daughter, Gloria Ann, 14. “The four of us drove as far as the gate and then the light came down at us again,” Paquette reported. “It didn’t bother us after that, but Gloria Ann had run back into the house, she was scared.”
Eleven days earlier, Constable F. D. Instant had observed a similar U FO near the spot where Paquette’s adventure began.
There have been hundreds of documented incidents in which “flying saucers” have pursued motorists, often following them all the way home and hovering directly outside their house for several minutes. Reports of this type have come from South America, Europe and Australia, as well as from all over the U.S. and Canada.
The U FOs returned to Allumettes Island on September 3, 1969, when something hovered directly outside the bedroom window of an 18-year old waitress in the village of Chapeu.
Earlier in the evening, Pauline Ouellette, Mike McLean, Robert McLaughlin and John Stotts had watched a fiery red object cavort about the sky. Soon after Pauline went to her room she saw an oval-shaped thing hovering about 20 feet off the ground. A small object seemed to emerge from it and glided towards her window.
“It was oval-shaped, the same as the larger one and i t had a ring of lights around it,” she reported. “It was about four or five feet long and two or three feet deep, with a small antenna coming out the top. It was much too small to have anything human inside.
“I was scared to death, and when it got with in about six feet of the window, I ran out of the room and h id in the hallway. I lay down on the floor and stayed there until daybreak. When I went back, about 7 a.m., the thing was gone.”
PEMBROKE is one of the m a n y UFO “windows” in the province of Ontario. There are many other isolated, thinly populated areas where “flying saucer” sightings have been disturbingly consistent. Over in the western part of the province, along Lake Huron, some startling UFO events have been recorded in the vicinity of the Douglas Point nuclear plant. On Thursday, July 3, 1969, Robert Thompson and Judy Storgaid reported seeing a star-like object plum met from the sky near Kincardine, only a few miles from Dou3las Point. They said it seemed to stop abruptly and flashed red beams of light in various directions. The next night, July 4th, 187 persons phoned a local TV station at nearby Wingham to report a mysterious light. Witnesses in Harriston watched the object for 20 minutes and said it seemed to have some kind of appendage.
The month before, residents in Kincardine were awakened around 4:30 a.m., Tuesday, June 10th, by a series of loud booms. Mrs. Jack Gardiner went downstairs to check things out in her kitchen and she was surprised to find her house so brightly illuminated that she didn’t need to turn on the lights. When she looked outside, she saw a hovering light larger than a star but half the size of the moon. It remained for 40 minutes before it disappeared in the northeast, leaving a black vapor trail behind.
OTHER UFO hot spots in Ontario include Hamilton, London and Barrie. Sightings around Barrie, Ontario date back to the early l 950’s and include such anomalies as “flying question marks” and bizarre transparent and translucent saucer-shaped and cigar-shaped objects. A typical Hamilton sighting took place early in July 1968, when Constable Walter Jewel reported seeing a hovering egg shaped object. He watched it for 35 minutes, during which it was a bluish green. Then it turned to a bright red and disappeared in a westerly direct ion. In London, Ontario a boy was allegedly burned when he touched a U FO hovering in a field behind a police station in 1966 (see MALE, August, 1969). Authorities later explained the many UFO sightings around London as being caused by lights reflecting from the bellies of geese flying overhead!
Although Canadian UFO events never receive any publicity i n the United States, they are as numerous as the sightings in Michigan, West Virginia, and other American U FO hot spots. Interest in the subject is so high that journalist John Magor publishes a slick magazine, Canadian UFO Report, in the western province of British Columbia. In the central province of Manitoba, the Canadian Aerial Research Organization (CAPRO), headed by Brian Cannon, tries to keep track of reports and in the east, Gene Duplantier has published his magazine, Saucers, Space and Science, for several years and has conducted radio programs devoted entirely to “flying saucer” reports. These groups and publications are closely allied to American U FO research organizations.
Some of the phenomenal events in Canada seem to be directly related to events in the United States. One of the oddest of these is the “mysterious crater” phenomenon. At 12:37 a.m. on the morning of Friday, September 27, 1968, a tremendous blast shook the village of Arnprior, Ontario and was heard as far away as Pakenham , Galetta and Renfrew.
Windows were shattered and a mild panic ensued. The switch board at the Arnprior Filtration plant l it up like a Christ mas tree as hundreds of people called, anxiously inquiring if the plant bad blown up. Two days later a crater was discovered on the bank of a creek on the proper ty of Stanley Reid. It was eight and a half feet i n diameter and four and a half feet deep. Ex plosives experts visited the spot and were baffled. Two weeks later, a tremendous blast shook Poplar Ridge, N. Y. shortly after midnight on November 12, 1968. A gaping hole was found the next day on the far m of Howard W. Lacey. To add to the mystery, there had been identical incidents on the Lacey farm in 1966, and again in 1967, also on November 12th. No one could account for the sudden appearance of the craters it may be significant that Poplar Ridge, New York is 183 m i les south of Arnprior, Ontario in a straight line.
Inexplicable explosions are merely one of the many side effects of the U FO phenomenon. Waves of unbearable heat also accompany the appearances of the objects. In September 1968, a family in a farmhouse in Melfort, Saskatoon, heard a high-pitched sound overhead. As the frequency of the pitch rose, the temperature inside the house also skyrocketed and the terrified family fled into their cellar. A neighbor reported seeing a strange luminous object hovering near the house, and another farmer reported seeing three UFOs in the area. This heat effect has been frequently reported and could be a form of inductopyrexia caused by the induction effect of magnetism. (Magnetic induction ovens broil meat from the inside out with magnetic waves.)
A variation of this magnetic effect often paralyzes the flow of electrons in electrical circuits, causing telephones and power systems to fail and automobiles to stall. In its milder form, this effect produces static on radios and “snow” on television sets. This EM (electro-magnetic) effect is constantly being reported all over the world. Canada has been no exception. Mr. Ben Briggs of Hudson Bay , Saskatoon, reported that his auto headlights dim med and went out completely on the evening of October 24, 1968, as he watched a large orange object slide across the sky. After the object disappeared, his headlights came back on. His engine did not quit. There have been many major and minor power failures in U FO “flap” areas, with the lights going out simultaneously with the appearances of the mysterious objects. Utility companies usually don’t even try to explain these occurrences. They simply announce that the cause of these failures “is not known.”
MONTREAL, Quebec lies a few miles to the southeast of the UFO hot spot at Pembroke, Ontario. The Montreal sector has also produced hundreds of amazing UFO reports in the last few years including numerous UFO landings and bizarre creature sightings. Throughout 1968, a “flying saucer” wave encompassed the mountainous regions southeast of Montreal. More than 60 objects were reported by 250 persons in the municipalities of Thetford Mines, Black Lake, Coleraine, Disraeli, Vimy Ridge, St. Ferdinande de Halifax, St-Julie, StAdrien and St-Robert in August 1968. Du ration of the sightings ranged from five minutes to three hours. Near the village of Asbestos 1 5 white U FOs were seen by 20 persons and two agents of the Surete. The U FOs came up slowly along the side of the mountain of Vimy Ridge, twisting around the trees and valleys as if they were under intelligent control.
But the strangest stories of the “flap” came from the towns of Asbestos and Drummondville, located a few miles apart northeast of Montreal. According to the Sherbrook La Tribune, October 9, 1968, a family was watching TV early i n October when the wife shouted to her husband i n another part of the house, “Paul, hurry, look!” He rushed outside and saw a
rectangular green object in the sky. It seemed to be illuminated from behind. His wife said she had seen something similar before in the same place. After a few minutes, the object became brighter and greener, then a saucer-shaped form with a yellow-orange light encircling it came out of a cloud.
The husband and his brother-in-law got into a car and drove in the direction of the objects, taking the route to St-Georges. The saucer inclined itself to the right, they said, and changed position, disappearing behind a cloud which then turned green. The men continued driving and soon a “truly dazzling ball of yellow-orange came out of a cloud.” The men stopped and were joined by some boys as they walked across fields towards the lights. The lights soon became so blindingly bright that they paused, unable to see through the glare. Meanwhile, back at the house, the wife and her sister were able to watch the objects and both women claimed that they actually saw two human-like figures glide out of the saucer and seem to walk in mid air. Finally, the lights slowly drifted off in the direction of Windsor, Quebec and vanished.
In Drummondville, eight witnesses testified they had seen a U FO occupant who walked stiffly like a robot.
INCREDIBLE though it may seem, reports of little glowing green men are common place in U FO stories all over the world. Back in 1955, Captain Robert White, then Pentagon spokesman for Project Blue Book , told the press, “In the past three years I’ve heard all kinds of descript ions of Ufonauts, but the most frequent are of little green, luminous smelly ty pes…People keep insisting that they’ve seen little green men…
“Flying saucer” activities persisted along the “U FO belt” stretching between Pembrome and Montreal throughout 1969. Canada’s National Research Council continued to collect and puzzle over the endless reports. Quantities of “angel hair”, a film, white cellulose substance, were spewed out of U FOs in several areas and carefully studied by scientists. In November 1968, a mysterious chunk of almost pure zinc dropped out of the sky into Wesley Reid’s driveway in Cannifton, Ontario, and he turned it over to the government. It appeared to be laced with crystals of pure glass. No one could explain i t. Meteorites are usually composed of iron, not zinc.
Coincidences abound i n the study of U FOs and so no one was too surprised when Montreal and a large part of Quebec suffered a sudden power failure at noon at November 8, 1969. “The cause was not immediately known”, the newspapers reported. Lights all along the St. Lawrence River were out for about an hour and forty minutes, and most of the com munities named above were included in the blackout. If the Quebec power failure had occurred twenty four hours later, it would have happened on the fourth anniversary of the massive northeastern power blackout of November 9, 1965. And then we would have had a coincidence really worth pondering.