Unidentified Submerged Object: The Underwater UFO at Shag Harbour

Updated on July 18, 2020
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With interests in science, nature, and the paranormal, cryptid explores topics from a unique and sometimes controversial perspective.

Are there alien secrets beneath surface of our oceans?
Are there alien secrets beneath surface of our oceans?

Unidentified Submerged Objects

USO simply means unidentified submerged object. Just think of it as an underwater UFO. The famous crash at Shag Harbour in Nova Scotia in 1967 is perhaps the best-documented example of what we presume are other-worldly craft maneuvering in our oceans.

The Shag Harbour incident, in fact, is one of the few times authorities have thrown up their hands and written off a sighting as a UFO. It’s a strange tale on the surface but gets even more bizarre when you look beneath the waves.

But the event that occurred at Shag Harbour isn’t the only time unidentified submerged objects have been reported, and it’s not even the first. Strange underwater crafts have played tag with military submarines just as they have with our aircraft and shadowed the U.S. Navy’s most powerful ship. Even Christopher Columbus is alleged to have spotted lights and strange objects flying in and out of the sea on his journey to America.

From Columbus to Shag Harbour and on to modern-day, people are seeing bizarre craft not just in the sky but in the ocean. Could the UFO phenomenon be more than just alien visitation? Is it possible an alien presence may have established bases, or even entire cities, far beneath the sea and in the deepest parts of the ocean floor?

The Difference Between USOs and UFOs

What’s the difference between an unidentified submerged object and an unidentified flying object? There are two answers.

  • The difference between a USO and a UFO is obviously that one is documented as maneuvering through the air, and the other through the water.
  • The second answer is none. Most prominent UFO researchers believe the alien ships capable of flying around in our atmosphere, and even off into outer space, are the same ones that are reported underwater.

This is reinforced by the fact that, often, a single craft is spotted moving from sky to sea, or vice versa. They operate in any climate and any ocean. In some cases they are even said to have the ability to bore directly through polar ice without slowing down, leaving a perfectly made hole behind.

Clearly we’re a long way from understanding the technology that makes any of this possible, but it’s not hard to understand the motive.

If you’re an alien species looking for a smart place to build a base, the deep ocean is a perfect choice. It’s a tremendous hassle for humans to get down there, and even when we do we can’t stay for very long.

This will change someday, but for now, it seems like there could be entire underwater worlds down there which we know nothing about.

The Shag Harbour UFO

According to the story, on the evening of October 4th, 1967, residents of Shag Harbor (Harbour), Nova Scotia, witnessed four orange lights in the sky over the ocean, apparently attached to some sort of aircraft. As they watched, the craft suddenly descended at tremendous speed. By some accounts, it crashed into the ocean with a loud sound, and by others, it simply touched down on the ocean surface. Instead of sinking, the craft floated above, or on top of, the water.

Believing they had just seen a plane crash, witnesses alerted the authorities. But by the time a Coast Guard ship had arrived on the scene the craft had vanished beneath the waves and out of sight. According to some reports, the Coast Guard crew could discern a strange yellow froth on the water surface, where it seemed some object had sunk.

Rescue efforts, with civilian and Coast Guard vessels alike, assembled to search for survivors. After exhaustive efforts, none were found, nor was there any debris from the crash. Even stranger, the Halifax Rescue Coordination Center determined that no aircraft were reported missing that night, neither civilian nor military. This officially classified the downed craft as a UFO.

A team of Royal Canadian Navy divers searched the area for three days and found no evidence that plane or boat of any kind had sunk in the area, or even crashed on the surface. With nothing left to go on, all the authorities could do was shrug it off, and all Shag Harbour could do was get back living the life of a sleepy little fishing village.

But this would change after a ground-breaking MUFON investigation in the early 1990s.

The Untold Story of the Shag Harbor Incident

MUFON is the Mutual UFO Network. While none of this is part of public record, the MUFON investigators found a few of the people involved in the 1967 event had some interesting tales to tell about the days that followed the UFO crash.

Allegedly, according to some Navy personnel on the scene, the unidentified submerged object had been tracked from the point where it crashed into the water, to Government Point, a location about 25 miles north and east of the crash site. There it was picked up on sonar by a nearby submarine detection base. Navy ships once again began to close in when a second unidentified submerged object appeared, possibly in an attempt to repair or offer assistance to the first.

The Navy held off for about a week, and the two USOs sat motionless on the seafloor. In the meanwhile, more Navy ships were called in to investigate the sudden appearance of a Russian submarine in Canadian water. Was the Soviet Union alerted to the presence of the USOs somehow, or were they too tracking it from some point north of Nova Scotia?

When the Navy decided to move in and begin salvage operations on what they presumed were damaged ships or submarines, the USOs took off for the open sea, easily outdistancing the Navy vessels. Once at a safe range, they left the ocean and flew into the air, out of sight and beyond the Navy’s ability to track them.

The Baltic Sea Anomaly and Other USO Sightings

Aside from the incident at Shag Harbour, there are other interesting tales of unidentified submerged objects. One that has made headlines in recent years is the Millennium Falcon-shaped Baltic Sea anomaly. While it’s unlikely that Han Solo was forced to ditch it in the drink, the anomaly does resemble what could be a flying saucer, complete with a 300-meter “runway”. Is this a crash site, or some kind of abandoned UFO base?

The object was discovered by salvage operators Ocean X in 2011 and has since come under tremendous scrutiny. Some experts say it’s a Nazi anti-submarine weapon dating back to World War II. Others say it’s simply a natural, albeit unusual, rock formation. Or, it could always be a ship from another planet.

Another interesting (alleged) event occurred on the Pascagoula River, Mississippi, in 1973. Following up on reports by local fishermen, a U.S. Coast Guard vessel operating in the Pascagoula encountered a submerged metallic object with an odd glowing light. When they came close to it, the light would extinguish and the object would move off to a safe distance. After nearly an hour of trying to corral the object, it eventually sunk out of sight. Some UFO researchers believe this event may be tied to an alleged alien abduction event that had occurred several weeks before.

The aircraft carrier USS Franklin Delano Roosevelt had her own run-ins with USOs. The FDR was the first American aircraft carrier to make use of jet fighters, and the first to carry nuclear weapons. These reasons could explain why the crews of the FDR experienced so many sightings of unidentified submerged objects and UFOs during the 1950s and ‘60s. In many cases, these mysterious crafts are reported to seem to be “observing” the naval vessel.

The U.S.S. Franklin Delano Roosevelt is alleged to have had more than its share of UFO encounters.
The U.S.S. Franklin Delano Roosevelt is alleged to have had more than its share of UFO encounters. | Source

The Truth Behind Unidentified Submerged Objects

What are USOs doing here? What do they want? Why are they so elusive? Of course, nobody knows. But it seems clear that any civilization capable of traveling countless light-years through space should have no trouble negotiating the ocean. Their technology would be so far superior to ours that they may have entire underwater outposts, or even cities, that we can’t detect. Any such aliens would be wise to hide their technology under the sea, a place where mankind has struggled to explore.

But what if they’re not aliens from space at all? Is it conceivable that the UFOs and aliens we believe are visiting the Earth are actually some ancient and intelligent race that evolved here in the depths of our oceans? Or, perhaps they are the inhabitants from inside the planet, as some hollow earth theorists claim. Maybe their ancestors came from space millions of years ago and established a colony that still thrives today deep below the waves. Of course, the possibilities are endless.

But one thing we know is that humans will continue to explore beneath the sea, and whatever mysteries await us down there will eventually be uncovered. Maybe we’ll find alien bases or thriving cities populated by communities of intelligent life forms.

Or, maybe we’ll find the Millennium Falcon!

Your Thoughts on Unidentified Submerged Objects

Do you think visitors from another planet are establishing bases in our oceans?

See results


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    • profile image

      Lorraine Boyd 

      2 months ago

      We have to be aware of these happenings. Keep an open mind, and not be afraid of what might be.

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      11 months ago from U.S.A.

      Great articles. Perhaps, these are the descendants of a city like Atlantis. Who knows? Some speculate they may be the "angels" that fell from Heaven and they are the UFO's. Thanks.

    • HazMattUltra profile image

      Johann Ziska 

      22 months ago from USA

      I will lay my skeptical side aside for a moment and say I'm going with Atlantians, or some other ancient humans. I've no evidence to back this up, but I could put forth a theory.

      The TL;DR would be that the Atlantians new they were doomed, started building/"renovating" buildings to survive the imminent earthquake and sinking of the continent. They now visit our current civilizations to impart knowledge and warnings. I haven't worked in the government cover-ups yet.

      Could also go the demon route; demons trying to distract us from what matters or to control us somehow. They've convinced the governments of earth that they are benevolent aliens imparting knowledge (maybe leading to an Anti-Christ, if you believe in such things). Perhaps they are even the ones that gave knowledge of the pyramids to the Egyptians.

      Personally, as a Christian, I believe that Satan has been given control over the fallen universe (that is, the universe as we know it), so I tend to lean towards demon involvement and trickery. By creating the phenomenon/beliefs of UFOs, super ancient civilizations (think Atlantis), or acting as ghosts (either friendly, like dead relatives, or malevolent, like poltergeists) they can take people's minds off God. Of course, this is just a tiny portion of their abilities to deceive. And yes, this is the TL;DR version of my take on the demon aspect; I won't delve into the full theological aspect, I only have so many characters.

    • cryptid profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from USA

      Thanks Jodah. From an alien perspective, I'd think they'd have to see Earth as a water planet, more so than a land planet. So, maybe that's the most logical place for our ET visitors to build their bases. Especially since they know we can't get there so easily!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Very interesting and thought provoking. We know a Governments keep secrets from the people and the ocean is deep and vast so anything is possible.

    • sparkster profile image

      Marc Hubs 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Many explanations have been suggested, including that it may be a Nazi anti-submarine device, etc. Personally I believe Hitler had his hands on ET technology.

      I finished reading a book last night called Secret Of The Ages: UFO's Inside The Earth. It puts forward a good case for UFO's, USO's and the theory that they may come from inside the hollow Earth.

    • cryptid profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from USA

      Thanks sparkster! Yeah, I don't know about the Baltic Sea thing either, but it's sure interesting to ponder.

    • sparkster profile image

      Marc Hubs 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great hub, the Shag Harbor incident is certainly very mysterious and one of the best documented cases. I'm still unsure about that Baltic Sea anomaly though.


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