Tag Archives: believe it or not

Lake Keminiskeg Disaster Part 2 Believe it or Not

Lake Keminiskeg Disaster Part 2 Believe it or Not

Nov 1952

Also read-Carleton Place Was Once Featured in Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Our Haunted Heritage

It will be 43 years (November 12, 1912) on Saturday since the steamer, “ Mayflower,” foundered on Lake Keminiskeg, an expansion of the Madawaska River, taking nine people to their deaths —eight men and one woman. The boat was making a special trip from Barry ’s Bay to Combermere. The reason for this was to convey a body from the railway at Barry ’s Bay to Combermere for burial. Roads were almost impassable. Middle aged people may recall the tragedy and the dreadful hardships endured by the the survivors who spent a night and a day, soaking wet in wind and snow, on an island in the middle of the lake.

Only one of them is now living and he is Mr. Joseph Harper, who purchased Mr. Thom as Southgate’s bungalow, corn er of Church and Country Streets, about a year ago. A native of Beachburg, Mr. H arper was well known in the Ottawa Valley as a traveller for the wholesale grocery firm of H. N. B ate & Sons, Ottawa. In 1911, he switched to the Dominion Rubber Co., travelling out of O ttawa, and he was working for them when he boarded the ill-fated steamer at Barry’s Bay.

The following story is taken from a card and picture arranged by the three survivors as a memento of their awful experience: It was one of those wild nights, pitch dark and a high wind filled with, blinding snow. After thirty years, the horror of it all comes back vividly and it seems like a bad nightmare, but the picture is still too vivid for the survivors even to forget it. When the Mayflower went down, it carried with it all but four of its passengers. G. C. Peverley, Joseph Harper, J. S. Imlach and P. O’B rien clung to a coffin containing the body of H. Brown, which was brought from Yorkton, Sask., for burial in Combermere.

After three hours in the water, they reached a small island in the centre of the lake on which there was no shelter. Now, however, there were only three survivors as P. O’B rien died as he was being helped from the w ater. The next morning, the three survivors found another body on the shore, that of R. Pachal, who had come from Yorkton in charge of the corpse. Very many people who read this will remember this disaster, as in all, nine persons were drowned, as the Mayflower sank so fast, they did not have time to get out of the cabins and engine room.

One of the ironies of fate was that A. Parcher, the pilot, attempted to swim to shore and, near his own home, he was found in shallow water, practically with his feet on the bottom , dead, but it was through this that those on the island were rescued. The body of George Bothwell was not recovered until the following April, so altogether many homes in the district were left without sons

This is the story of a dead man saving three people from drowning. The sinking of the sternwheeler Mayflower near Combermere marked the worst inland maritime disaster in Canada at the time the ship sank on November 12, 1912. Nine people died when the 77-foot-long flat-bottomed boat sank in Kamaniskeg Lake. But three survived – in a bizarre coincidence that made the news in Ripley’s Believe it or Not. “Dead Man Saves Three!” The dead man was in a casket on the deck that floated to shore while three desperate passengers clung to it.

The boat was making one last run of the season, at night, to accommodate a request to deliver the body to Combermere. The plaque marking the scene stands high on a hill in Lookout Park, just east of Purdy on Highway 62, near the Renfrew County border. Eighty meters below the hilltop, Kamaniskeg Lake spreads out in a panorama worth viewing in it own right.

Unfortunately, the text of the plaque has been obscured by some vandal who poured paint over it. However, a complete story is available in the on-line archives of the Pembroke Observer.

Renfrew County claims this disaster as its own, since the towns involved (Barry’s Bay and Combermere) are both in the county. However, the plaque is in Hastings County and the county border meanders down the middle of Kamaniskeg Lake, so we presenting the story here .

GPS co-ordinates: 45° 21′ 48.77″ N, 77° 41′ 19.96″ W (45.36333333, 77.68861111)

Street address: Lookout Point Road, off Highway 62, between Combermere and Purdy.

Alos read-Carleton Place Was Once Featured in Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Our Haunted Heritage

Another Story- When your Number is Up — Hubert Horton

Believe it or Not– William Dedrick of Perth

A Carleton Place Tale to Send Shivers Up Your Arm — The Sad Tale of Margaret Violet King

Carleton Place Was Once Featured in Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Our Haunted Heritage

How Did John Nolan Die? Believe it or not……

Believe it or Not? More Strange Canadian Stories

Tie Me Jackelope Down Boy–Tie Me Jackelope Down!

Tie Me Jackelope Down Boy–Tie Me Jackelope Down!




Photo by Joel Barter– Bury, Quebec–“When I arrived 15 deer were there but by the time I took the photo they were on the run. I took quite a few shots and once I looked at them. This was definitely my favorite. I was shooting up the hill just trying to get the silhouette’s.”


Tom Standish posted this photo above on the People of the Eastern Townships ll  on Facebook and said:

“Kind of curious about this photo. Can you explain how this took place?”

Joel Barter had posted this photo online and it had caught my eye right away the first time I saw it. What was that creature on the far left?

Was it? Could it be?

I asked Joel where he took it and he said Brookbury, Bury, Quebec, and he too had wondered why the ears were so big on that curious animal. That’s the mystery he said– but to the ex Eastern Townships ‘pat’ now living in Lanark County, Ontario I knew immediately what is.

I am not a zoologist, and I know kangaroos don’t live in Ontario or Quebec – but, in 1974 a kangaroo had allegedly been spotted in the Lanark County area. The natural resources officials were at a loss for words when something similar to the Australian hopper had been spotted hoofing it through the outback near Watson’s Corners about 60 miles from Ottawa.

One of the local farmers, Herb Butt, who had spotted the critter, said it was about 4 feet tall with a small face and large round eyes. It had two long ears, a small nose and it moved on the back of its feet. He said he had seen the animal several times late in the fall and again when cutting Christmas trees. Of course a few of his neighbours thought he was crazy but Natural Resource Conservation officers thought he might have been right. Actually, there were no jokes coming from the professional wildlife men.

Bruce Turner, predator control officer, said the tracks were too old for a full analysis, but theorized they might have belonged to a large jack rabbit or a three-legged coyote. A three-legged coyote? What on earth were they drinking to come to that fact?

Of course folks said there just might have been a chance that a kangaroo or its bush cousin, the wallaby, might be loose in Lanark County.  Mr. Butt was certain it was not a deer, as he had hunted them for over 40 years, and he ought to know one when he sees one he said. After his interview, the story gained a life of its own in all of Eastern Ontario.

In 1980 the kangaroo was spotted once again by Brenda Johnson. Brenda was driving towards the village of Lanark when she thought she spotted a hitchhiker. It wasn’t– it was an animal with two legs. As her car approached “the thing with the two legs” hopped across the road and jumped the fence. She wondered if it had been a deformed deer whose legs had been shot off by hunters.

Local history has records of a game farm at the turn of the century in that area and it had kangaroos. Or–was this animal from a former Frontenac County farm whose owner had imported a few kangaroos and they all escaped.

Since Butt’s now infamous phrase, “I seen what I seen”, Watson’s Corners, Ontario has embraced the unusual title of kangaroo capital on road signs and event advertisements. Look at the photo closely above.

Is this what Joel Barter photographed that one dark evening in Brookbury? You tell me. Is that why no one has seen this creature ever again in Lanark County? Did it just get fed up and move his family lock stock and barrel to the Eastern Townships?

They say the traditional method of catching jackalopes is to lure them with whiskey, since they are extremely fond of this drink. Once intoxicated, the animal becomes slower and easier to hunt. Too bad photographer Joel Barter didn’t have a flask that night. He would have become the National Geographic Photographer of the year with that shot. We might never know what that animal was in Joel Barter’s photo — but the story about the kangaroo in Watson’s Corners is true. Their move to Quebec? Not so sure!



Photo is of the Texas Jackalope not to be confused with the unseen Lanark County one.



Wesley Parsons I spent a lot of time in Watsons Corners as a young lad – and this story was well known, I spent many car rides looking out the windows on those backwoods for any sign of a Roo. From what I recall – there were at least two farmers that had been known to bring in foreign animals without a clue how to keep them contained and the animals usually wandered off.

I remember one old guy wanted his own Buffalo so he bought one and had it delivered. The next day the Buffalo headed west and just walked through the fencing of every farm in it’s path for several miles – a buffalo will push a fence down and keep going – a cow will just turn and head another direction.

Things like that are not uncommon – just last week someones peacocks got loose in Almonte – they’re native to India but it’s not uncommon to see them on a farm in Ontario. Kangaroos have the ability to acclimatize as well – lots of places in Australia get snow – they develop a heavier coat and they graze eat like deer so it’s possible for them to survive through our winters…I never saw any in Watsons Corners myself but many claim that they did.


Kerith Bellefeuille I’m originally from that general area and also remember the stories. My father swore he saw the famous jackelope. However I feel the need to state he was on his way to the Windsong hotel with family so his ability to recall those events may be questionable due to previous bevies. Lol

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte

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Carleton Place Was Once Featured in Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Our Haunted Heritage

Outside Looking in at The Eccentric Family of Henry Stafford — Our Haunted Heritage

Could the Giant Pike of Carleton Place Have Turned Into the Lake Memphremagog Monster?

Time Travel- Is that Wandering Wayne in this 1930 Photo?

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“The Doug Gilmour Car”- Believe it or Not Carleton Place?

Believe it or Not? More Strange Canadian Stories

Believe it or Not! Tales from Caldwell Elementary School


Did You Know this About Smiths Falls? Believe it or Not!!

Did You Know this About Smiths Falls? Believe it or Not!!


Miss Hosack who was a nubile school teacher in Smiths Falls in 1871 received a princely salary  of $125 per year. It was thought that her salary was so restrained because her class was so small. After all she only had 141 pupils!


Related image

Then there was the time in 1887 when residents thought the advance guard of a circus had come to town. Lindsay and Gilday, the main street grocers rode a tandem bicycle down the main drag with white smocks flying. It was said they were three sheets to the wind.


Image result for paper box matches 1900s canada

It must have been a very interesting sight years ago when Billie Williamson had a match factory and all the boys and girls in town made the paper boxes at so much per hundred or the boxes and slightly less for the covers.



Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario

And if anyone in your family ever spoke to Police Chief John Lees affectionately known as “Moose” to his friends he might have told you about the hectic days of the Ontario Temperance – Act when arrival each night from Montreal brought in to Smiths Falls of large shipments of contraband liquor in charge of ruffians trying to bend the law. On one occasion the Chief’s haul was so large three cabs were required to draw all the assorted beverages from the railway station to the police station.

If you ever get tired of listening to the never-ending tales about Smiths Falls you might try to solve the mystery of the disappearing apostrophe in Smiths Falls. Originally the town was called Smyth’s Falls then changed to Smith’s Falls.  Funny thing about that apostrophe–nobody seems to know what happened to it. Years ago it was taken out of all Frost and Wood Company’s correspondence and then it was chipped from all the postal department plates in 1939.

Then the first woman on Smiths Falls council  and 1964 Woman of the Year named Margaret Graham mobilized the IODE behind her urging that the name be changed from highway signs.  Some said it was a great time saving measure for all typists if the apostrophe was removed. Years ago school children were reprimanded for dropping the apostrophe and now you are chastised if you put it in–trust me:)




Another in Smiths Falls, built of stone, if finished would be the best school in the District. But it is in a state and a high rent is paid for a miserable building in which the school is kept. There are also a few good log school houses in some of the townships, including two in Bathurst, three or four in Beckwith, a very good one at Westmeath and another at Pembroke. Of the rest many are too small and some few are ill built and worse finished, exhibiting loose and shattered floors, broken windows, ill-constructed desks, unsafe stoves and stove pipes and unplastered walls



Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)




“The Doug Gilmour Car”- Believe it or Not Carleton Place?

Believe it or Not? More Strange Canadian Stories

Carleton Place Was Once Featured in Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Our Haunted Heritage

Tales of the Mississippi Lake- Believe it or Not!

Believe it or Not! Tales from Caldwell Elementary School

A Bird Weighing How Much was Found Near Barry’s Bay?

A Bird Weighing How Much was Found Near Barry’s Bay?



This is the only bird I know that weighs over 200 pounds…. photo from The Huffington Post

January 4 1918-Madoc Record

Mr. J. A. Dwyer, who was in Madoc this week, relates that while he was with some other men who were digging a well at *McGary Flats (between Barry’s Bay and Bancroft) last June, they unearthed an immense egg which was buried in the sand at a depth of 33 feet and which, measured 19 Inches in length.

They laid the egg on the sand and discovered when they returned from dinner that it had hatched a bird of unknown species. The bird was tethered to the spot where it thrived and grew very rapidly, and at the present  time Mr. Dwyer says it weighs 253 lbs., and that Government officials who have examined it have been unable to name the species. The bird is now on exhibition in Game Warden McCaw’s  butcher shop in Bancroft.




From Lead Daily Call–Lead, South Dakota
Tue, Jun 11, 1918 – Page 4 Just in case you don’t believe me LOL

In 1877 gold surface and gold fever struck Bancroft and one of the biggest winners in the draw was Mrs. J. B Cleak’s chicken when it was escorted to the  chopping block. Mrs. Cleak found a gold nugget in the pullet’s crop. -*Hidden Ontario: Secrets from Ontario’s Past

In 1883 screams from the outdoors caused Mr. and Mrs. Gaebel to witness a great eagle trying to carry off their child. They attacked the eagle with a broom and rake until it gave up its prey. The villagers rose up in arms and decided to get rid of every eagle and eagles nest and eggs they saw and the eagles disappeared until 1902. In 1918 a young man by the name of Saras had shot an eagle up to two metres in length from wing tip to wing tip in the same area. It was reported that our friend Game Warden James MacCaw displayed it in his butcher shop and he also attempted to sell it. –*Hidden Ontario: Secrets from Ontario’s Past




*Hidden Ontario: Secrets from Ontario’s Past–About the Author

Terry Boyle is a Canadian author, lecturer, and teacher who has shared his passion for history and folklore in many books since 1976, including four titles on haunted Ontario. He has hosted television’s Creepy Canada and radio’s Discover Ontario on Classical 103.1 FM. Boyle lectures and leads haunted tour walks for pleasure. He currently lives near Burk’s Falls, Ontario.

*The “wetlands of McGary Flats.” I’m sure the people that have farmed that land over the years were confused as well. Can anyone imagine sitting in their boat in McGary Flats? McGary Flats are names for the open, farmed flatland they occupy. Now, McGary Creek is another matter altogether.


*Dead Horse Point in McGary Flats is another confusing location. An old lumbermen who used to raft logs down the lake once told me that they called the rock and pine point where the older Kerr cottage now is, ‘Dead Horse Point’ in honour of a raft horse which died there. Now, the sandy point nearer the marina seems to have inherited the name.

*A farmer from McGary Flats told us in the fifties that the horses were drowned off of Pine Point (Kerr’s yellow cottage) They found horse’s teeth while swimming at the beach in the cottage next door in the sixties.


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

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Strange creature with warthog’s mouth found in Canada

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The star-nosed mole is a small mole found in wet low areas of eastern Canada and the northeastern United States. It is easily identified by its 11 pairs of pink fleshy appendages ringing its snout. It is covered in thick blackish-brown water repellent fur and has large, scaled feet and a long, thick tail. The moles most distinct feature is a circle of 22 mobile, pink, fleshy tentacles called rays at the end of its snout. This is where it gets its name. These moles are also able to smell underwater.

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Robert-John Shaw Spent a Quarter of a Million Dollars?



Yesterday afternoon I was falling asleep while I was typing, as sometimes being a #strongwoman tires me out LOL. As my tired eyes scrolled down through a local newspaper archives something caught my eye and woke me up.


Please note sometimes he was known as John and sometimes Robert Shaw

Perth Courier, June 16, 1899

Many of our residents will recollect “Christmas” or Robert Shaw, who has been a resident of Perth off and on for some years.  The Smith’s Falls Record says:  “Among the different people who have been attracted to Smith’s Falls from outside places during the past few weeks is Robert Shaw, who came here from Carleton Place.

He is commonly known as “Christmas” and leads rather an irregular life.  He works about sawing wood or any odd jobs he can get and for a day or two this week was at work in the dump at Victoria Park.  Last night at 10:00 he was anxiously trying Dr. McCallum for more work in the park; this morning comes word from Perth that he is heir to a quarter million dollars.  A rich relative in Dublin, Ireland just died and left him that amount.”


Victoria Park– Smiths Falls–Smiths Falls & District Chamber of Commerce

What? What? What?

In 1896 I wrote about an article in the Perth Courier “that a half witted resident of Carleton Place named Robert Shaw, known as “Christmas” was brought in on a charge of kissing the young ladies of that town and the judges gave him three months in the Perth gaol”.  Shaw was a resident of Perth at one time, but was now devoting his time to Carleton Place.

So three years later he went back to Perth, probably still kissing the ladies, and has just inherited a quarter million dollars in 1899? If you read the story below –in 1914 he was reported being found frozen in a cardboard box then allegedly found alive. Tales of him working  on the CNR near the Pettawawa River surfaced, and if you believe ancestry.ca he finally met his maker in 1929. OR– so they say.

My question is: how does one spend $250,000 in the late 1800s- or are those stories on people losing their lotto winnings true– even then?

Anyone knowing anything about John or Robert Shaw please contact me.

Related reading

Robert Shaw “Cold as Ice” in a Cardboard Box?

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

A Carleton Place Tale to Send Shivers Up Your Arm — The Sad Tale of Margaret Violet King


It takes mountains to keep any sort of local history intact, and if you knew what Jennifer Fenwick Irwin and her student team of Jane and Gaby at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum did in a day you would be gobsmacked. I easily spend 5-6 hours a day writing and researching, and that is the only the tip of the iceberg of the history of Carleton Place.

So was the tale I wrote about the Carleton Place Mississippi River Dam and the near drowning accident of six-year-old Margaret Violet King in 1936. Had it not been for the rescue by local resident Lionel Bigras, she would have drowned. Yesterday afternoon I got a Facebook PM from local resident Stace Bottema and the story took a wide turn:

” I just read your article about the dam and Margaret Violet King. Did you know that she drowned 10 years later at the age of 16? I sometimes look up what you write in the Google News Archive to see the actual newspaper clippings. When I did so this morning, I came across the article in 1947 stating that she had drowned. I am sure it’s the same girl as they say her father Clifford King drowned in 1936. I can send the article if you want it.”
Stace Bottema


Could it be the same girl?


Photograph courtesy of Carol Nicholson. Circa 1910.–Roy Brown’s father had the first hydroelectric dam and generating station built in 1910 to provide the electricity to power his flour mill, which was located directly across the river from it. It continued to provide power to the town of Carleton Place until the 1970s, when it was demolished.

Original Article

“In July of 1937 Carleton Place resident Wilfred Bigras saved the life of 6-year-old Margaret Violet King, daughter of Mrs. Clifford King. Young Margaret fell into the Mississippi River near the hyrdo plant about 200 yards from the town bridge early in the afternoon. Artificial respiration was practiced by Wilfird Bigras, employee at the Hydro plant, a cousin of the rescuer Lionel Bigras who dived 3 times in 15 feet of water to bring the child to the surface.”

August 1947–Ottawa Citizen-TEN YEARS LATER

On August of 1947, Margaret King, daughter of Mrs. Violet King,  drowned in the Mississippi River a few yards west of the town bridge. Margaret was a poor swimmer and got into difficulties in the channel of the river. Later her body was found near the scene of the mishap. Stirling Weedmark and David Findlay Jr. were working at Findlays at the time. Margaret had been enjoying the summer day with her friends Beth Craig, Reta Loney, Sharon McCreary and Doreen Argue.


Nan Collins, Dorothy Patton, Joyce Kingsbury and Helen Reid tried to rescue her but were not successful. Findlay and Weedmark obtained a boat and dived in for her- but it was too late. Artificial respiration was rendered by Mrs. Erma Burns, the Findlay plant nurse, and Mrs. Leita Andison. In an eerie moment the same doctor who revived her at age 6  by the hydro plant, Dr. Johnson, attended by K. H. Running, did what they could but could not save her.  Margaret was survived by her Mother, and siblings: Billy, James and Shirley.


The article said that her father Clifford King had drowned in the Mississippi May 4th, 1936, and also noted something that was not mentioned in the original newspaper article in 1936. Her father had drowned in the Mississippi River in 1936 with her uncle, James Brooks losing his life in the same river a few years later. Margaret’s body rested at her Mother’s home on Lanark Street in Carleton Place and a service was held at the Salvation Army Hall. No headstone can be found. Today I placed a rose in the Mississippi river from all of us in memory of Margaret Violet King.


Tara Gesner, our beloved reporter from The Carleton Place Canadian, has sent me a picture of the medal that Wilfred Bigras received that day for saving the Margaret King’s life. Linda Gesner, her mother-in-law, still has the medal. Wilfred Bigras was Tara’s husband’s great great grandfather.  Thank you Tara for showing this to me! 


march 1931

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



The solar panels on Glenashton and Dewar Side Road

The story:

On August 18, 1991, West Carleton, Ontario housewife Diane Labenek was home when she heard her dogs barking. When she looked out the window to investigate, she saw a UFO-type object in a field nearby with red flames and lots of smoke. The ship then lifted up and disappeared into the trees. Diane claimed that about ten minutes after the ship left, a helicopter flew over the area where she saw the lights, and then flew over her house and vanished. Diane went to the site the next day, but she found nothing and only told her husband and mother about the incident.

Part 1–Aliens in Lanark County

The Almonte Gazette

Feb. 3, 1993


UFO researcher Bob Oechsler waved a hand over the pile of documents and photos on the kitchen table.
“This is a landmark case in ufology (the study of UFOs),” he said.
The pictures on the table show a blur of multi-colored lights in a disc shape and white faces with black almond-shaped eyes. Most of them were taken off a video sent to Oechsler anonymously almost a year age. Since then, Oechsler has methodically and meticulously analyzed the video and the site near the Old Almonte and Corkery Roads.

His case was convincing enough to draw two major American television networks there to film. NBC’s Unsolved Mysteries airs its version this Wednesday on cable at 8 p.m. and this Friday on CJOH. The Fox network’s story on Sightings hits the airwaves Feb. 12. Oechsler’s involvement began when he received the videotape at his Annapolis, Maryland home last February.


The Video

The 32 minutes of footage show a “mostly white” linear light with red flares off to the left and a flashing light on top, said Oechsler. The color of the lights ranges from red to blue to green from one end to the other. Smoke billows out from under the lights and moves to the right. As the photographer moves closer, reflections off the disk show a rounded turret in the centre with a vertical blue strobe on top and “fins” or slates around its edge.

Closing in even more, “Guardian” gets shaky close-ups of the upper strobe.

The sound track has sounds of barking dogs and a “ratchet” sound. (NBC spent $115,000 to recreate this whole effect with no success, said Oechsler.) The rest of the tape is taken up with freeze frames or still shots of supposed aliens standing in tall grass. Some are holding bright lights in their hands.

Hooded figures with large almond shaped eyes have short snouts and little facial detail.

The tape was wrapped in six pages of accompanying information, some typed on fake Department of National Defense (DND) letterhead. The documents showed a map of the Corkery area and a page of hand-drawn symbols with a map of the same area. There is also a photocopy of two Polaroid shots with grass lit by a flash in the foreground and a row of lights in the back.

Lightfoot and Oechsler asked if the Labeneks had seen anything unusual. It turns out Diane Labenek had seen an unusual set of lights when tucking her children into bed around 11 p.m. Aug. 18 1991, said Oechsler. She had also witnessed the November, 1989 event. (Because of her agreement with NBC, Labenek cannot tell her story until after the broadcast.)

She drew pictures that were “geometrically correct” to the video and gave details about the incident not captured on tape, like the craft’s departure. A neighbor recalls seeing “red lightning” and a white light with a gold halo the same night, according to Oechsler.

Within a half hour of the sighting, and for months afterward, the Labenek home became the target for unusually active helicopter activity. The black, seamless, unmarked choppers hover over the house sometimes low enough to see in the Labenek’s windows. Twice they have blown shingles off the house and the outside shed.

DND has given the Labeneks pictures of its machinery to prove it is not their doing. That element still remains a mystery. Only the cattle know for sure!


Case File: Guardian UFO
Location: West Carleton, Ontario
Date: August 18, 1991
Description: West Carleton is a historic township in Eastern Ontario, Canada. It is located in the rural parts of the new City of Ottawa, west of Kanata. Local Diane Labenek described a UFO craft she described with a blue flashing light on top and another light on the bottom with burning red flames.



History: On August 18, 1991, West Carleton, Ontario housewife Diane Labenek was home when she heard her dogs barking. When she looked out the window to investigate, she saw red flames and smoke coming from a field nearby. She then saw a UFO-type object landing next to the flames in the field. The ship then lifted up and disappeared into the trees. Diane claimed that about ten minutes after the ship left, a helicopter flew over the area where she saw the lights. The helicopter then flew over her house and vanished. Read more here.. CLICK


CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada07 Jul 2020, Tue  •  Page A4

Filmmaker re-examines the mystery of the Carp UFO sighting decades ago BLAIR CRAWFORD

It’s the unsolved mystery of an unsolved mystery. Who was “Guardian” the person whose blurry videotape of strange flashing lights in a field near Carp more than 30 years ago lured UFO researchers and TV crews to West Carleton like conspiracy theorists to an Area 51 picnic. It’s the question Toronto filmmaker Nick Crowe plans to explore when he visits the area next month to film a documentary on the events of the fall of 1989 for CBC’s Point of View. The film, Searching for Guardian, is looking at the eye witness reports of a purported spacecraft landing and lurid claims of aliens who worked with the Nazis and planned to enslave humans.

“A lot of serious UFO types don’t even bother with it because there was something so strange about it and people thought it was just a hoax,” Crowe said. “We’re treating this less like, ‘Whoa. Did a UFO really land there?’ to ‘Why did someone go to so much trouble to do this? What’s the human story behind this?'” Whoever launched the unidentified alien frenzy went to a lot of trouble. The incidents spanned over several years and included claims of a UFO crash landing near Manion Corners on Old Almonte Road and an “eye witness” report from a woman, Diane Labenek, who claimed to have seen a strange, brightly lit craft land in a field near her house the night of Nov. 4, 1989.

Coupled with those stories was the video mailed to several UFO researchers in Canada and the U.S., signed only with the name “Guardian” and a thumbprint. The nighttime video shows abrightlylit object with a blue flashing strobe approach a clump of bright flares in what appears to be a landing zone. The video, though blurry and inconclusive, didn’t appear to have been doctored, Crowe said. “It was a fairly convincing attempt at showing a spaceship landing,” he said. “The feeling among people with expertise in photographic analysis was that it was a pickup truck with road flares.”

The tape became fodder for several TV shows, most notably Unsolved Mysteries, which aired on Fox from 1987 to 1996. Canadian UFO enthusiasts who investigated the Guardian video and Labenek’s claims concluded it was all a hoax, but in February 1992, Guardian mailed another copy of the video to a prominent U.S. UFO researcher, Bob Oechsler. That was enough to bring a crew from Unsolved Mysteries to Carp. The show interviewed Oechsler and others and featured a recreation of Labenek’s sighting, played by Labenek herself. But the highlight was the Guardian video, which host actor Robert Stack gravely intoned was “to be shown for the first time ever on national television.”

“That’s what everyone remembers that videotape” Crowe said. Searchingfor Guardian is a natural follow for Crowe, whose previous documentary, Spaceman, was about an eccentric 32-year-old B.C. mechanic who was building a spaceship in his yard. The man vanished before it was finished, telling his family he was going on a journey with extraterrestrials. It’s the human story behind the Guardian hoax that intrigues Crowe, but finding area residents with first-hand memories of the incident has been difficult. “What we’re lacking is anyone who had a personal connection to it. We’re not making something salacious or a ‘gotcha’ piece looking to explain the whole thing away.”

At the end of the 1992 Unsolved Mystery broadcast, a stone-faced Stack resolves the West Carleton mystery leaves only questions, “Questions perhaps the person called Guardian alone can answer.” If you have memories of the West Carleton UFO story, you can contact Crowe at nick.crowesaloon-media.com. bcrawfordpostmedia.com


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