Memories of UFO’s Earthquake Lights and Gale Pond

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 Expansion of UFO photos bell-shaped taken during the wave 1974 in the Eastern Townships

Yesterday I wrote a story about an incident that took place in 1915. It was a tale of shenanigans by a group of kids that led the citizens of the Ottawa Valley to believe the Germans had landed. Years later paranormal studies attempted to debunk history and insist it was a cluster of UFO’s.

As a fan of the X-Files I really believe that there is someone else out there. However, I have always thought my late father was nuts when he insisted I join him in a spaceship watch. In the late 60’s he claimed to have seen something up in those starry skies hovering over the Brome Pond/Lac Bromont area– which I blamed it on too much exhaust coming out of his Ford Pinto. In 1974 it happened again and this time he made me sit for what seemed like hours to see what he claimed was another UFO. Of course I never saw anything unusual and handed him a glass of wine and told him to go watch The Rockford Files.

Today going through the news archives I found out that that there were indeed many UFO sightings in the Eastern Townships and Arthur Knight might not have been so crazy after all. In the late 60’s many sightings in the Sherbrooke area have been documented and Michael Phelps sent a letter to the Sudbury Star in 1990 in response to a request by the newspaper for personal encounters.

The letter discussed a 1968 incident at an Ayer’s Cliff cottage on the shores of Lake Massawippi that his family was renting . He spoke of walking home one evening when the whole sky lit up like giant spotlights being turned on. He looked across the lake and saw  3 or 4 balls descend and after a few seconds they were gone. His sister had seen the same thing, but later they found out that it had not been a visit from beyond, rather it had been nothing but earthquake lights.

Rare flashes of light are not caused by birds, or planes, or UFOs. Instead, the lights are caused by electrical properties of certain rocks in specific settings. When nature stresses certain rocks, electric charges are activated, as if you switched on a battery in the Earth’s crust. On the 12th of November 1988, a bright purple-pink globe of light was recorded moving through the sky along the St. Lawrence River near the city of Quebec, 11 days before a powerful quake in the Saguenay.

On the 15th of July in 1974, a UFO wave swept the Sudbury, Ontario and the Eastern Townships area. Among these were some UFOs that had a bell shape and that was what my father had insisted he had seen in his second encounter. In October of  the same year a bell-shaped UFO was also seen between Deauville and Rock Forest, and in this case, the object was orange in colour.

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Lac Gale or as we all knew it as kids— Gale Pond–The Balnea Spa transferred 320 acres of conservation terrain to Nature Conservancy Canada-Photo from Adventurial

So today I sit here, over 30 years later, and wonder what my father actually saw. Did he see spaceships, or was it it natural mineral gas lights coming off nearby Gale Pond? For those that have no idea what I am talking about– Gale Pond, which is now called Lac Gale,  sits on top of Gale Mountain in Bromont. As a kid we used to climb the rough trail up the mountain where a former volcanic crater sat at the top, disguised as a natural lake. There we would mingle with the campers of Gale Camp that Reverend Peacock of the Anglican church in Cowansville had begun in 1944.

So what did my Dad see? There are two possibilities– either we are alone in this universe or we are not.  I guess we will never know– but after doing research for this story, more of my childhood came back in a flood of memories. It’s just so hard to forget an area that gave me so much to remember– even on the subject of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

“It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call– The Twilight Zone.

historicalnotes

Thank you to Those Darn Kids of Cowansville High School Facebook page for the Gail Pond history that I had forgotten.

Rupert H DobbinGale Mountain and Gale Pond. Named after Sir Samuel Gale who had the land grant for a huge area around there. There is a monument to him and one to his wife close to the old one room school house (now a house) on the Sweetsburg to West Shefford road that runs along the west base of Mont Gay (Gale). Before it became a home the old school house was used as a polling station for elections. Used to climb up and swim off the damn on the south end of Gale Pond. The water in that lake warmed up faster than any other lake after a heavy rain.The west flank of Gale Mountain became a small ski centre for awhile but closed. The land became a ‘rural’ subdivision.

The Farr boys had a bobsled they used to ride down the ‘Gale Pond Road’ to the Brome Pond road which formed a ‘T’ junction. That’s a steep descent and on ice the brakes were useless which resulted in a major wreck with Farr’s scattered all over the snow bank. Only minor injuries but I don’t remember the bobsled being used much on that route again.

Georgina Cote-King— Reverend Peacock’s camp was Gail Camp and the pond was the same name, my brother Donald King was a councillor and Jean his wife helped Mrs. Peacock with the food.

Maureen Forster Page-My husband Bob bought it from Reverend Peacock. Bob and his brothers went to camp there their whole childhood. That was their summer. His mom and dad worked and stayed there too. Kids came from all over. Doug Harvey, the hockey player donated money and brought kids from Montreal along with his kids.

We sold it to the town of Bromont after we owned it for 3 or 4 years. It was never supposed to be anything but a natural park. That was the deal at the time. The road is still a small dirt road. They changed it so it didn’t go through the barnyard, but still only goes as far as the camp was. There’s a walking path around the pond and a couple of large chalets. My kids went there on school trips and stayed in one of the buildings. They had swinging ropes and bridges etc. They also taught mountain climbing with ropes and how to shoot bow and arrow etc.  and the swimming is still excellent.

Linda BrombyAfter Gale Pond it was known as the “Base de Plein Air Davignon “. I think it was subsidized by the Quebec government. It is now home to the Balnea spa.

Murray Dover-– At 15 yrs I was the kitchen goffer, 2 yrs, all for the big 100$ free room and board,, for 5 weeks,,Don,& Jeannie, Bill & Cynthia Clinton, Mrs. Westover was the summer nurse and asked us the daily question we all dreaded– if we had been regular that morning.

Mary Ellen LickfoldGale Pond…the dusty roads in the back of the pickup, long trudge up the hill, cool off in that lovely after a long day of throwing bales, zoom back down the hill, climb back into the box of the truck and get dusted out all the way back home!! Sounds rather dumb now but it was a highlight!!

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

Related reading

Was it the Germans Or UFO’s that Invaded the Ottawa Valley in 1915?

Unsolved Mysteries — The Almonte Woman Abducted by a UFO (Part 2)

More UFO Sightings in Carleton Place!

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About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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