By Amy Woolvett
After two years of funding cuts, Nova Scotia’s only museum dedicated to a UFO sighting may soon have to close its doors.
Student Haleigh Atwood stands outside the Shag Harbour museum, dedicated to the 1967 UFO incident.
Amy Woolvett photo
The Shag Harbour Incident Society (UFO) Museum, draws more than 2000 visitors a year to the small fishing village and tells a unique Canadian story that is full of mystery.
“It puts us on the map,” said Suzie Atwood, Tourism Coordinator for the Municipality of Barrington. “It is the only recognized UFO sighting in Canada.”
Cindy Nickerson, chair of the Shag Harbour Incident Society, explained that for the past two years their applications for assistance to hire an extra summer student have been denied.
Nickerson can’t understand why despite drawing a large number of unique visitors to the area, they are not getting the much-needed funding.
“It’s very discouraging,” she said. “We have something that attracts people but no one to help you.”
Already that day, she said, they had 10 visitors from three countries and had only been open an hour.
Only one student position is funded for the museum to cover 35 hours a week from June to September, leaving the museum closed the days the student is not working.
Nickerson said she has contacted Argyle-Barrington MLA Chris d’Entremont to seek help.
If they can’t find a solution they may have to close their doors.
Atwood said the museum should be getting more money, not less, saying that its potential to grow was huge.
The museum focuses on the famous 1967 UFO sighting in the waters of Cockawit Pass, off Shag Harbour. The incident, centered around reports of a low flying object crashing into the water, was seen by more than a handful of witnesses. The incident was the subject of a military search, a front-page article in the provincial newspaper and remains a source of controversy and mystery to this day.
“I’d hate to see it fold,” said Atwood. “It’s a huge draw and we can’t let it go without a fight.”