A Moncton man is convinced what he saw off the north shore of P.E.I. was a UFO, and believes he has the video to prove it.
John Sheppard was camping at Twin Shores campground, near Kensington, with his wife in June 2014.
He was about to join his wife, who was already asleep in the tent, at around 11:30 p.m. when out of the corner of his eye he saw a light out over the water.
After watching the diamond-shaped light dancing about 75 meters above the water, around a kilometre off shore, for several minutes, Sheppard grabbed his cell phone and started filming. He narrates as he watches what he calls a light show.
“It’s flashing bright, on and off a little bit. It reminds me of a dreidel or spin top,” said Sheppard.
2nd light appears
About three minutes later, a second light appears.
“No idea what it is. Never seen anything like it,” said Sheppard at the time, musing he hopes the video can be enhanced or brightened so people can get a good view of what he’s seeing.
“Cause people are going to think I’m crazy or something.”
This week, more than a year after the incident, Sheppard told CBC News he still can’t explain what he saw.
“I couldn’t really put anything to what it would resemble, like a helicopter or a plane or anything.”
Adrenaline starts to kick in
As the light show continued, Sheppard admits he started to feel unsettled as his adrenaline kicked in.
“I was very nervous. You know, I don’t really want to admit that, but, yeah, I was pretty nervous.”
He continued filming but huddled close to a bush so he was hidden.
“I didn’t want to be seen by it. I didn’t want it coming over.”
Then about eight minutes after he started filming, the light disappears.
UFO investigator steps in
Sheppard sent his video to the Mutual UFO Network of Canada. MUFON is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to the study of UFOs.
Assistant director Stu Bundy said an investigator was assigned and every effort was made to explain what Sheppard had captured on tape.
Bundy estimates there are about a thousand reports of possible UFO sightings in Canada each year, but many are actually the star Sirius or the international space station flying over.
But neither was the case with Sheppard’s sighting.
MUFON uses an open source computer program called Stellarium to see what could have caused the bright lights in the sky that night, including satellites, but Bundy said the investigator still couldn’t find an explanation.
MUFON’s drone expert didn’t think a drone was a likely explanation either, given there were 20 km/hr winds that night and a drone’s battery wouldn’t likely be able to last as long as the lights Sheppard saw in the sky.
The fact that there were two objects also convinced MUFON drones weren’t the cause.
1 of very few confirmed cases
After an extensive investigation, including a site visit, MUFON concluded what Sheppard saw was a UFO or, in the group’s terminology, an UAV — unidentified aerial vehicle.
“It’s very rare. Extremely rare,” said Bundy. “This is great. This is a really serious sighting, and we still refer to it as one of the best UFO sightings in the Maritimes.”
The case was listed as one of the top 10 MUFON sightings of 2014, but CBC News only became aware of the case after a recent re-posting by the group.
Sheppard knows some people will scoff, but he’s convinced what he saw was out of the ordinary.
“Yeah, it was definitely unidentified for sure. Was it a spaceship? I can’t say for certain, but it was something you don’t see every day.”
MUFON said it will continue to monitor the P.E.I. site.