Glow-in-the-dark coin features Canada’s most famous UFO sighting

Story by CBC Kids News • 2019-10-04 14:03

Circular, orange object sank without a trace, witnesses say

On this day back in 1967, four orange lights lit the sky above a small community called Shag Harbour, N.S., before crashing into the Atlantic Ocean.

Was it a military aircraft? A spy submarine? An alien ship?

The case was classified as a UFO sighting and has gone down in history as one of Canada’s great mysteries.

Now that mystery has been immortalized on a coin — a glow-in-the-dark coin, in keeping with the spooky vibe.

The Royal Canadian Mint — the corporation that makes all of Canada’s coins on behalf of the government — started selling the rectangular, silver coins on Oct. 1.

Image shows coin with and without black light shining on it.

Under black light, a glowing alien spacecraft appears on the rectangular, silver coin. (The Royal Canadian Mint)

The 4,000 coins were almost completely sold out by the end of the day, although some have been set aside to go to the public at the annual Shag Harbour UFO Festival, which begins in the small fishing village today.

The coins cost $129.95 each but would be worth $20 if you tried to use one in a store.

When you use the black-light flashlight that comes with the coin, the outline of an alien spaceship appears and glows blue.

Mug and T shirt with Shag Harbour UFO images on them.

Not only is Shag Harbour now home to a UFO interpretive centre and an annual festival, the fishing village has become a destination for tourists looking to buy UFO swag. (Steve Berry/CBC)

What exactly did witnesses see in Shag Harbour on Oct. 4, 1967?

Most reported seeing a series of flashing lights moving at high speed and then hitting the water.

Then a glowing, orange, circular object — about the size of a city bus — sank under the water, witnesses said, leaving orange foam behind.

A multi-day search of the harbour turned up nothing.

Pencil drawing shows what looks like a UFO with lots of labels and other handwritten notes.

Stefan Michalak said he made this sketch after encountering a mysterious aircraft in the Manitoba woods in 1967 — the same year as Nova Scotia’s Shag Harbour incident. (When They Appeared/Stan Michalak, Chris Rutkowski)

Canadians report around 1,000 UFO sightings each year, ufologist Chris Rutkowski told the CBC earlier this year.

That’s about three sightings a day.

Most can be explained, but some — eight per cent in 2017 — remain mysteries, according to a report by Ufology Research, an organization Rutkowski belongs to, which analyzes Canadian UFO data.

But don’t go buying supplies for your alien welcome party just yet!

“There’s no incontrovertible evidence that aliens are visiting us, although it’s a wonderful theory,” Rutkowski said.

Before and after of coin under black light shows man on the ground looking up at UFO.

In 2018, the Royal Canadian Mint released the first coin in its ‘unexplained phenomena’ series, which focused on Manitoba’s most famous UFO encounter. (The Royal Canadian Mint)

The Shag Harbour coin is the second in the Royal Canadian Mint’s “unexplained phenomena” series.

The first, released in 2018, focused on Manitoba’s most famous UFO encounter, which took place near Falcon Lake in 1967.

Amateur geologist Stefan Michalak said he was searching for precious metals and gems in the woods when two saucer-shaped aircraft appeared in the sky.

He said he drew a picture, then approached the craft and touched it, only to be burned in the chest when it flew away.

With files from CBC Docs, Darren Bernhardt/CBC News, The Canadian Press

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