April 16, 1953 - Airline Report of UFO in Chatham, New Brunswick, Canada

The Maritime Files By Don Ledger

From the Maritime UFO Files by Don Ledger,
(Nimbus Publishing, 1998) Pages 37-38.
Reproduced with permission.

“April 1953-Airline Report of UFO in Chatham”

by Don Ledger

The excitement had barely cooled over the March 12 incident in Chatham* when there was another sighting in the area by civilians.  On 16 April two pilots with Maritime Central Airways [MCA] sighted a UFO over Chatham adjacent to RCAF [Royal Canadian Air Force] Station Chatham.  The names of the witnesses and the flight number have been blacked out.  By this time, the military response to UFO sightings was called “Project Second Story” with a “secret” security rating.  This report was not declassified to "unclassified" until 3 July 1968.

Miramichi Airport, Formerly CFB Chatham Air Base

Former Site of Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Base, Chatham.  Now Miramichi Airport.
View on Google Maps

The pilot in Command of the Maritime Central Airways flight was a veteran pilot, a Government Inspector pilot (meaning he did check flights of other pilots for the federal government), bush pilot, an RCAF Air Transport pilot.  There is little known about the co-pilot other than he was experienced and also witnessed the UFO on that day.

The MCA Flight out of Moncton was at 9,000 ft. (2,750 m) over Chatham on a heading of nine degrees at a speed of 170 knots (335 km/hr).  It was 3:34 P. M. AST.

The pilot sighted the object first, almost dead ahead and slightly below their altitude at an estimated 7,500 ft. (2,300m).  The UFO was about 3 to 5 mi. (5 to 8 km) ahead of the airplane and closing on them.  It was “round and disc-like with a metallic shine.” The flight crew estimated its size as 25 ft. (8 m) in diameter.

A Maritime Central Airways [MCA] Douglas DC-4

One can imagine the crew's discomfort as the object approached at an undetermined altitude then flew under their aircraft at a speed estimated at 150 knots [310 km/hr].  As the object closed on their position its colour changed to a dull metal colour.  Suddenly it was zipping under the nose of the DC-4 and lost to the sight behind them.  It was noted in the report that “both observers are quite definite in stating the object was not a balloon.”

The object passed nearly over Chatham but was not seen by any other witnesses.  This is not surprising, considering the state of the sky over Chatham at the time which the examiner was astute to include.  There was a lower scattered cloud layer at 3,500 ft. (1070 m) and another layer at 25,000 ft. (7645m).  There was no rain and visibility was 15 mi. (2.4 km) [sic, 24.14 km].

The interrogator, whose name is affixed to the report, states that the pilot was very reliable was interrogated through an intermediary at (Department of Transport) Moncton via Chatham by Captain Thomas B. Hennessy, United States Air Force-Intelligence at (Air Defense Command Headquarters) RCAF.

The American Intelligence community and the United States Air Force pop up at the oddest moments in Canadian ufology, often enough for it to be clear that there is communication between the two countries in the area of UFO investigations.  The interaction will be discussed further in chapter five.


*At 12:55 Atlantic Standard Time, 12 March 1953 a UFO of unknown size, described as a brilliant silver disc was observed from the control tower RCAF Station Chatham and from the air by the pilot of a Harvard aircraft flying at 1000 feet.  The object's speed was estimated at 500 knots as it traveled along the horizon.  It changed from level flight to a steep climb and faded from view.  No sound was heard.  No trail or exhaust was seen.


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