UFOs Over Lower Sackville (in 1976)!

by Paul Andrew Kimball

Here’s a strange UFO case that the RCMP investigated back in the 1970s, and that was rediscovered years later by Halifax UFO researcher Chris Styles, who included it in a presentation at the 2004 MUFON Canadian UFO Symposium.


Division: “H”
Subdivision: Halifax
Detachment: Bedford
RCMP File References: 76-085-117
Date: 27 OCT 76
Sightings of – Lower Sackville
Halifax County, N.S. (16/17 OCT 76)

16 OCT 76

At 11:45 P.M., this date, a call was received at this office from Mr. & Mrs. Percy WEBSTER of 39 Hillside Avenue, Lr. Sackville, stating there were three unidentified flying objects in the area of their residence. An immediate patrol was made by the writer to the WEBSTER residence and upon arrival and with the aid of the complainants’ binoculars I noticed three unidentified flying objects. All of them were round in shape and had red flashing lights on the bottom and also a flashing white light. There was a stable green light which appeared to be located inside the objects. At this time the objects were stationary; however, I noticed that they began to move and when they did, the lights changed to a turquoise color. As the objects began to move, their altitude became greater. There was no sound or smell. The sky was clear at this time.

2. An immediate check was made with the Halifax International Airport Tower and it was learned that there were no airplanes or helicopters in this area at this time and nothing was registering on their radar.

3. Other witnesses are Mr. & Mrs. Robert BEDFORD of 37 Hillside Ave., Lr. Sackville, and Percy WEBSTER, age fifteen years, son of Mr. & Mrs. Percy WEBSTER.

4. Upon discussing this matter with the WEBSTERS, it was learned that the unidentified flying objects had been seen earlier in the evening; however, had not reported it. At that time the objects appeared to have been round, cigar shaped with four lights. They were flat bottom and had three long windows. Complainant also stated that one of the objects appeared to dock on top of another for about two minutes and then they split again and each went off in their own direction. These objects were visible to the writer for approximately two hours and when I left the scene, they were still there.

5. I might add it is the opinion of the writer that there is no possibility at all that what I saw might have been stars or even another planet as I was looking through the binoculars and therefore, would have been able to tell the difference.

P. PHARAND, Cst. #29983
Bedford Highway Patrol


That’s the official report. Styles tracked down the Websters. In his 2004 MUFON paper, he noted:

“In the fall of 1996 I met with Mrs. Webster and her son… At the time of the interview the family still lived in the same house. Mrs. Webster recounted the same story as that in Pharand’s narrative. There were no added embellishments in its second telling. My impression, at the time, was that the Webster’s UFO sighting had been a strong ‘nuts and bolts’ case. And that might have been the end of it.”

But then Styles, good investigator that he is, visited the other witnesses to the event, the Bedfords. Constable Pharand referred to them in his 1976 report, but did not provide their account of what happened.

At first, Mr. Bedford had trouble remembering the night in question. As it turned out, his wife was better with the details – when she told him that it was just after they had moved into the house from Ontario, he recalled the evening.

Here is what Bedford told Styles:

He apologized for not being able to help me. As he was saying, ‘Goodbye,’ he paused. ‘Wait a minute… I do remember. I know what you’re talking about now. You see… I didn’t see anything. That’s why I was confused.”

I asked Mr. Bedford how that was possible in light of the fact that the RCMP report had listed the couple as witnesses. Mr. Bedford explained that on the night of October 16, 1976, Constable Pharand knocked on their door. The couple spoke with the mountie at the doorway. They never stepped outside to look up. They did not want to. Previous to Constable Pharand’s intrusion the Bedford’s had been hiding upstairs with the blinds drawn. The cause for concern was a loud, persistent roaring noise unlike anything that they had heard before. Mr. Bedford felt that the source of the strident noise was something hovering low over their suburban home. Mr. Bedford was just as certain that whatever that ‘something’ was it was not anything like a helicopter or conventional aircraft. It should be noted that at the time of the incident Mr. Bedford was employed by DND as a naval architect and had considerable experience with such equipment.

Robert Bedford refused to speculate as to how his house could come under a threatening din of noise while just next door, the Webster’s and Constable Pharand managed to enjoy a two hour exhibition of three UFOs that hovered and maneuvered in silence. He was just grateful that the ordeal ended at the precise moment that the mountie knocked on the door. At the end of our conversation Mr. Bedford once again apologized for his reluctant memory. He expressed regret about how he reacted that strange October night. Fear of the unknown had got the better of him.”

So… were there space aliens in the sky over Lower Sackville forty years ago (just a few years after the legendary Shag Harbour UFO sighting)?

Probably not… but who knows? One thing is certain – the incident is the epitome of a “high strangeness” UFO case, with credible witnesses experiencing the same incident, but in completely different ways. 

As John Lennon once wrote about a UFO he witnessed in New York, “strange days, indeed!”

Paul Andrew Kimball

Paul Andrew Kimball

Paul Kimball is a filmmaker and author who lives in Halifax, NS. His work includes the book The Other Side of Truth, the feature films Exit Thread, Roundabout, and The Cuckoo in the Clock, as well as documentaries for CBC, Bravo, Vision, Space, TVNZ, Knowledge, Eastlink TV, UFO TV, and SCN. He has an honours degree in history from Acadia University, and a law degree from Dalhousie University. He is a former Program Administrator of the Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation, and served as President of the Nova Scotia Film and Television Producers Association and as a member of the Nova Scotia government's Film Advisory Committee. He has an abiding love for vanilla milkshakes, mysteries and Walden moments.
Paul Andrew Kimball

2 thoughts on “UFOs Over Lower Sackville (in 1976)!

  • Pingback: Paul Kimball on UFOs Over Lower Sackville (in 1976) | National UFO Community

  • July 24, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    I was so glad to see that I was not the only witness to the events of that October night in 1976, I was 15 at the time and lived on Hillcrest Ave. I had walked out to the end of the road to go to ‘WARDS general store’ around 7pm or so. I saw a huge object sitting stationary over the “GATES OF HEAVEN” cemetery.
    It didn’t move and there was no sound but it was close enough that I had the feeling that if I was brave enough to cross the street that I would have been under it. It had three red lights on the bottom…to me it seemed that to draw a line to each would make a triangle. Other people saw it too but no-one talked about it. After exiting the store I watched for a few minutes untill the hair stood up on the back of my neck and I got spooked and turned tail and ran home.
    Only recently did I see this report from that night…Now I feel vindicated as for all the times I’ve told this story over the years.I always had the impression that no one believed me…


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