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Our 1978 Visitors

(UFO Sighting)

In October of 1978 their were several UFO Sighting in the Clarenville area, on a couple of occasions they were viewed by multiple witnesses each time.


The above photo is of a CBC interview with Cst. Jim Blackwood,  RCMP and Ken Meeker, regarding a UFO sighting that occurred in Clarenville area in October of 1978. 

At the time the Holiday Inn offered a free UFO weekend for two on the radio complete with a UFO kit.  Hickman Motors had a UFO car sale and the Old-timers Hockey team had Red Sweaters made with a yellow letters UFO on the front.  Cst. Jim Blackwood, was interviewed by every news agency from around the world and did an in-depth interview with Geoff Sterling on NTV which is still broadcasted over and over on late night TV. 

  Source: Cst. Jim Blackwood,  RCMP

Clarenville, Newfoundland UFO Sighting In 1978

Date: November 26, 1978 Time: n/a

This is probably the most well known sighting in Newfoundland. I have copies of official documentation of this event.

On November 26, 1978. A Mr.Chester Lethbridge and his wife, reported to the RCMP a strange object in the sky for the second time over the duration of approximately one week over Random Island, Trinity Bay, Newfoundland.

RCMP Constable James Blackwood, an officer on location at the time went out to the Lethbridge home to investigate. Upon arriving he also saw this strange unidentifiable object in the sky. Both Mr. Lethbridge and Constable Blackwood describe the same thing: A cigar‑shaped object with a curved tail, in the sky with blue, red and yellow flashing lights. It ranged from about thirty‑five to forty feet in diameter and hovered approximately five hundred feet above sea level with no movement. The object also cast a shadow on the water,so he knew that what he was seeing was not a satellite or distant plant like Venus

This object was also being tracked by the Department of National Defense, Gander, NF. After observing the object with the naked eye for a while, Constable Blackwood took out this ball‑scope, a device used to amplify light sources in the night, to observe the object. This was definitely not a plane nor like any other aircraft Blackwood had ever seen. After observing the object in the sky for a little while longer, Constable Blackwood decided to turn on the flashing lights on his police car, Mr. Lethbridge, however, did not approve of this and went inside.

Constable Blackwood flicked on the flashing blue and red lights on his car, and within seconds the object in the sky imitated the pattern of flashing lights. Constable Blackwood was speechless, being interested in different types of aircraft as a hobby, Blackwood confidently says that though the craft was about the size of DC9 aircraft, it was definitely not a plane; it did not resemble any type of plane ever built to his knowledge. It had no wings and made no noise; it had a curved tail and a cigar‑shaped body and that was all, besides the flashing lights. After a period of about two hours, the object "left the scene like a shooting star, only in the opposite direction."

Shortly after this sighting in Clarenville, Newfoundland, Constable Blackwood, following procedure, made reports and sent them to the NRC ‑‑ National Research Council, in Ottawa. The National Research Council had an upper atmosphere research facility that, at that time, was responsible for UFO reports.

An authority with the NRC by the name of A.G. MacNamara responded to these reports by saying: "The objects were most likely the planet Jupiter, which is quite brilliant. It appears about midnight in mid‑October and is near the Mediterranean Sea. Saturn and several other bright stars are also visible in the Eastern sky at this hour of the night". Constable Blackwood was quite disgruntled at these comments by Mr. MacNamara, and the fact that MacNamara was making these assumptions without even talking to him or any of the witnesses of the sighting.

Blackwood assured me in a 1997 phone interview, that it was not the planet Jupiter nor was it Venus or any other star or planet, for he had seen these in the sky and was positive that this was not what he had witnessed hovering over Random Island for two hours. It must be kept in mind that the object seen by Chester Lethbridge, his wife and Constable Blackwood did cast a shadow on the water, and planets; stars and satellites do not cast shadows.

Blackwood has retired from the RCMP and no longer lives in Newfoundland.

James Blackwood's sketch of the object:

  Source: Lee Tizzard - UFO researcher / Filmmaker

Newfoundland UFO Research Daily Report

In October of 1978 an unusual craft visited Clarenville on a couple of occasions and was viewed by multiple witnesses on each visit. The following information has been gathered from RCMP documents and other government documents.

RCMP Reports

78-10-12 (October 12, 1978)

At 03:00, 78-10-12, Mr. and Mrs. X, Clarenville, Nfld. observed the following described object for approximately two hours. Mr. X observed it with the aid of binoculars from outside his residence. The sky was clear at this time and the object was observed over Random Island, Trinity Bay, Nfld. Object described as circular, 35 - 40 feet in diameter, flashing red, blue and yellow lights. It was approximately 500 feet above sea level and there was no movement. Mrs. X reported, this to the Department of National Defence, Gander, Nfld. at the time.

78-10-26 (October 26, 1978)

At 01(:)45 hours, Mr. X (the same Mr. X from the 12Oct78 report), Clarenville, Nfld., reported a UFO sighting in the area of Random Island, Trinity Bay, Nfld. The following described object was also witnessed by Mrs. X and Cst. Y of this Detachment (Clarenville). This object was observed with the aid of binoculars and a telescope from outside the X residence. The sky was clear at this time and the object was observed at an altitude of approximately three to four thousand feet. Object was decribed as oval shaped with a large triangular shaped fin on top, completely white with red, white and blue flashing lights and very bright. the object was stationary for approximately one hour at which time it moved straight up at a slow rate of speed. This has been reported to Department of National Defence, Gander, Nfld.

NOTE: The following account was compiled from anecdotal information and a NUFOR report. It is presented in the hope readers can provide more details of the case. (see also Don Ledger's book "Maritime UFO Files")

NUFOR Report - Many thanks to the witness for this excellent account.

12 or 26Oct78

I was 15 years old at the time of this sighting and living in Shoal Harbour.

It was late afternoon or early evening and still daylight. I was at home with my dad when I happened to look out the living room window that overlooks Random Sound. There, a large circular object about 50ft in diameter was hovering approximately 500ft above the ocean. This thing was big in my field of vision, say been between a baseball and a basketball held at arm's length. It remained stationary as we both viewed it through binoculars. The outer circumference of the craft flashed alternating coloured lights of red, white, blue and yellow. Not necessarily in that order.

As I remember it dad got a little nervous after about 15 to 20 minutes and he didn't want to look at it any more. He went back to watching television. He kept telling me to get away from the window, but I found the thing to be too interesting.

After roughly an hour, I didn't check the time, it was getting dark to the point where the outline of the craft could no longer be seen but it was still possible to see the flashing lights (Note: sunset was either at 17:53 on October 12 or 17:22 on October 26). I looked away for a few moments. When I looked back the lights were gone. Presumably the object had moved away.

The next day there were sketches in the newspaper, the Clarenville Packet, provided by the local RCMP photographer who had also viewed an object that same evening. Strangely the sketches showed a craft that was cigar shaped with a tail fin whereas from my vantage point, a few kilometers from the officer's location and looking at it from a different angle, the craft looked circular with no tail. Descriptions from others claiming to have seen the craft were in the paper as well.

My recollection is that two days after the sightings the police denied any knowledge of the event. No other stories appeared in the paper. It was as if nothing had ever happened.


I visited the office of the Clarenville Packet during the week of 29Apr02 and was kindly allowed to review copies of the weekly paper from October and November of 1978. It appears that the paper did not do a story on the UFO sightings.

Only two references were made to the UFO activity, both in the November 02 edition. One was a poem by a local entitled, "Men from Outer Space" and the other was a comment in the editorial. Both were humorous in tone. Interestingly though the editor did make mention of a sighting on Monday night which was 30Oct78. This report is not covered under any RCMP document and seems to be in addition to the others. Supposedly the sighting was in Smith's Sound area.

It is possible that the witness recalls the sketches and media story from another source. Possibly the CBC news story that aired at the time.



Clarenville, NF

Two RCMP officers responded to a call late at night to see a UFO situated over the "Tickle" off the Clarenville wharf.  The officers were met at the scene by a number of locals watching a disk hover motionless approximately 1000 feet from shore.  An external feature of the craft was a fin or tail.  After observing for more than 5 minutes, one officer turned on the cruiser lights and the disk responded by "flashing back" via lights on its body.  After a few variations on the light flashing sequence the officer took a camera from the car and photographed the object. The object departed.

It is claimed that the two officers went to the station and called their staff Sergeant. A full report was completed and both the report and camera film were placed in an envelope then put in the detachment safe. This envelope may have been removed a couple of days later by officers from another detachment or office.

  Source: Newfoundland UFO Research Website



Original content is Copyright 2004-18 by Kevin Elliott.
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