UFOs are a fascinating phenomenon that has interested people for many years and is still relevant today. A UFO is an unidentified flying object or unidentified areal phenomenon that can not be immediately identified or explained. Upon investigation, most UFOs are known objects of an atmospheric phenomenon, while few remain unexplained. UFO sightings have been reported from all over the world. Residences of the Sunshine Coast have reported UFO sightings on a number of occasions. The first newspaper report of UFOs on the Coast is from July 18th, 1947, in the Coast News. Prior to this reported sighting, other unidentified flying objects had likely been observed; however, our newspaper record only started in 1945.
This first sighting occurred at 3:30 p.m. in Kleindale on Wednesday, July 9 and was witnessed by four men: Ronald Heed, Pete Klein, Henry Harris, and Rudy Hudon. The men report seeing a flying saucer or disc. The saucer was very high, travelling very fast and heading north. It was described as being silver-white. The second sighting reported in the Coast News was on February 6, 1948, when Mr. and Mrs. Veal of Wilson Creek reported seeing two round silvery objects travelling at a fast rate toward the city (Vancouver).
There are no reported sightings recorded in the Coast newspapers in the 1950s.
The 1960s and 70s saw an increase in UFO reports. The first of these reports occurred on August 10, 1965, at 10:30 p.m., when Egmont resident John Dunlop reported seeing a UFO. It was described as a bright spherical object. It travelled silently and at high speed, moving toward Porpoise Bay in a southeast direction. The next day, there were reported sightings in Vancouver of a bright object with an orange-coloured tail travelling over the city in a South-Easterly direction. On August 31, 1967, the Coast News reported that Mrs. Ewart McMynn and Mrs. L. G. Comrie of Roberts Creek both saw the same glowing, fluorescent object about 18 feet over the Strait of Georgia headed from Salmon Rock towards the Roberts Creek area. One described it as semi-circular.
1968 sees the first and only reports of undersea UFOs. The reports discuss the theory that undersea UFOs were responsible for sinking two tugboats, the “Gulf Master” and the “Black Fir.” The theory came about because of the report of extensive UFO activity above the water in the area, both before and after the sinking of the two tugboats. This theory was not seen as plausible by the authorities at the time.
The Peninsula Times June 12, 1968
1977, in particular, saw an increase in UFO reports. The first of these reports occurred when Gibsons resident E. R. East reported seeing a UFO at 7:30 on the evening of April 5. The UFO was described as a large, softly glowing white light; it was then described as thick through the middle and tapering at each end, with a bright reddish light on the trailing end. The UFO moved through the air from the direction of Keats Island. It then drifted slowly towards the north above the apparent shoreline.
A Coast News article from April 26, 1977, discusses how above Keats Island is the most common place for the type of UFO sighting that takes the form of a bright orange light following the Vancouver airport flight pattern and either remains motionless above the island or disappears suddenly This article also discusses three other sightings the first happed in 1975 when an unexplainable light was seen of end of Grantham’s Wharf, the light was observed through a pair of binoculars for several minutes before it disappeared. The second sighting was by Roberts Creek resident Ms. Laplante, who reported seeing a strange light in the sky out over the water while sitting on the beach at night; she described it as a long, thin light that sat motionless for a while and then shot off over the trees at an incredible speed. The third sighting was by the article's author, Ian Corrance, who, while working for B.C. Ferries, Ian and three co-workers saw what looked like the running lights of a plane above Mount Elphinstone; the lights did not move from when they first saw them to when they were hidden by Mount Elphinstone, which was about twenty-five minutes.
Photo #298 of Keats Island
The following reported sighting was in 1977, when at least eleven people in two locations saw a UFO above Trail Islands on Friday, September 23, between 6:30 and 7:15 p.m. The witness in Davis Bay described seeing a grey disc-shaped object that would turn on an edge and appear to be thin; then, it would turn again and become circular. The object hovered above the islands for about 15 minutes, then dipped below the trees; when it reappeared, the witness watched it until it blended into the dusk. The witnesses in Selma Park describe seeing a grey shape similar to an inverted saucer, with a hump in the centre; around the edges, it appeared to be lighter, although the witnesses could not see any evidence of lighting. The article mentions that the police are interested in any other sightings there may have been and would appreciate any further information.
Coast News, October 4, 1977
The last reported sighting was in 1977 when someone reported seeing a large orange ball over Porpoise Bay at 11:15 p.m. in late October; the witness watched it until it faded into the darkness. The incident was reported to the RCMP, who reported several reports of a distress flare at that time. The Vancouver police were alerted to the incident.
A Coast News article from March 7, 1978, discusses the theory that the UFO sightings over Halkett Point on Gambier Island, usually reported from around the Granthams area, are train lights from Squamish.
The only newspaper report from the 1980s is a Coast News article from September 15, 1981, when three Halfmoon Bay residents reported seeing a bright orange object fly across the sky and disappear behind Thormanby Island at 11:30 p.m. on a Friday. There were also reports of bright lights in the sky that were discovered to be flares set off during naval operations off Vancouver Island.
There are no reported sightings recorded in the Coast newspapers in the 1990s.
The most recent sighting recorded in the Coast newspaper was from the Coast Reporter July 16, 2020. The sighting happened on July 13 at 10:30 p.m. when Kristina Stoyko and some friends were sitting on Armors Beach in Gibsons when they saw three large glowing lights hovering in a triangle over Keats Island, two of the lights were white flashing and the one on top of the triangle red flashing light. The objects appeared to be still before taking off and flying over Gibsons. The group filmed the objects on their phones. Theories to explain this incident include everything from helicopters to drone users experimenting with light displays and the previously mentioned train lights from Squamish.
These are just the sightings that were reported in the newspapers. If I missed any sightings, share them in the comment section below!