I moved to a one-room cabin on Keats Island October, 1967. Since the cabin was meant for summer use only and hadn't been used much even then, there was a great deal to do to get ready for winter. When darkness came I fell into my bunk dog tired, with hardly a glance out the window.
The top bunk where I slept was alongside a window I could look out of without raising my head. January 27 the cold woke me at 6:00 a.m. It was still dark and stars were glittering. As I looked out at them, a very bright white star moved into view from over the roof. It made two wide spirals down, zig-zagged parallel to the earth a couple of times, then stopped for about ten minutes. It then took off at great speed, turning yellow, then pink, as it faded in the distance. It was very high during all this and when it took off, going east over Bowen Island, it did not seem to be following the earth's curvature but to be going off into space. This had to be a flying saucer or UFO and I was delighted to have seen it.
I decided to keep a lookout from then on. The cabin was a perfect spot for watching, on a rocky point about 65' above the water. The front window gave a wide view of sky, water and small islands about two miles away. To give a more complete picture, perhaps I should explain that most of the cabins were at Eastbourne, a good mile away. My cabin was 1000' from where the road ended and couldn't be seen from there because of a hump in the road. There was a scattering of tall firs and cedars to right and left and up the steep rocky hill that rose directly behind the cabin. Near the top of this hill there was a relatively flat, cleared space that once had been a church camp ground. From Labor Day to the end of May, I was the only resident on the west side of the island. Few visited their cottages because the government dock at Eastbourne was removed for the winter and the water supply pumps weren't in operation.
The very next evening, January 28, I saw another UFO from the front window. It travelled very slowly over the water from south to north, only a few hundred feet up. This one seemed to be a long dark body with dim red and yellow lights at both ends. It weaved from side to side, stopping 2 or 3 times with its lights dimming almost out. It wasn't at all like the first one. I was delighted to see another so soon.
The next afternoon two men in neat, dark coveralls came down the path to the cabin, saying they were Hydro men and how surprised they were to find someone living here. They asked if I needed any help, which I did, as I had some new stovepipes I hadn't been able to put up myself because of all the elbows. While I held the pipes steady inside, one of the men got on the roof and added the new pipes. I could hear the man on the ground directing him and the one on the roof would answer: Yes, Master.
When the pipes were together I went out and told the man on the roof not to bother with the guy wires since I could fix them easily myself. He looked inquiringly at the man on the ground, who told him to finish it.
I asked what their work area was, and the boss said they checked wires from Powell River, which seemed a hell of a long route for two men, and I said so. They in turn asked if I liked living here, did I go hunting and didn't I get frightened at times? Asked what there was to be afraid of, the men looked at one another before the boss finally answered: Oh, things!
Although the men were friendly enough, they were a little stiff and just not the kind to discuss UFOs with, so I didn't mention them. After they left, nearly dark, I wondered how they knew anyone was here since the cabin couldn't be seen from the road, and just barely from the water if you knew where to look. The stove was out when they arrived, so there was no smoke from the chimney.
February 14: From the window: another UFO in the early evening, travelling about the same path and speed as the second.
February 17: Woke about 6:00 a.m. again, still dark, and saw one travelling inland over Keats from north to south. It was below the tree tops most of the time as it went up the hill behind the cabin where it was lost to view. This was definitely a long, dark body with 2 or 3 yellow and red lights on each end. As with the others, the lights would dim to almost out now and then.
I was feeling uneasy and less enthusiastic about seeing these things now. They were definitely interested in the ground and must be picking up things? I just might end up as a sample! I recalled a TV interview I'd seen a few years back. An American couple claimed they had been taken inside a UFO and given a thorough physical examination. They were made to forget it all when set free, but hypnosis made them remember it again.
February 21: Had just walked to the front window. The sun was almost down. Sky and water were pink. Something about 60' above the water, with frosted yellow lights at the sides and a bright red one in the middle, slid over from front left to my rocks, then back again without turning around. It slid up and back as if on a rail. My knees turned watery and my stomach filled with butterflies! I realized I'd seen several of those same things many times, but through trees, as I sleepily observed them from my bunk window. Because they were over water I'd presumed they were boats, though I did wonder what kind of boat since they seemed to maneuver so easily and silently. They would go back and forth between the beach, a little way to the left of the cabin, and the point where my cabin was.
As much daylight as there was, I didn't see the body of the machine, just the arrangement of lights. Those I'd seen from the bunk window had no discernible bodies either, but only what I took to be mast lights. The frosted yellow bulbs seemed about grape fruit size and reflected on nothing.
Another thing I'd seen from my bunk the same time as those boats was a bright flash of light that occasionally appeared slightly above the ground, between path and water. The ground was too rough and brambly for someone to be walking there at night, as first there seemed to be, so I decided it was a momentary beam from one of the boats. My door was locked anyway and I was too tired to care if someone was prowling around in the dark.
After seeing the thing slide up and away again, it took sometime to get over my fright. Curiosity finally made me brave enough to venture out to the edge of the rocks where I could get a wider, unobstructed view. On the other side of Ragged Island and more than half hidden by it appeared to be a big boat well lit up with neon lights. No binoculars, unfortunately. As I wondered, Why there? 3 balls of scintillating light flew up from it, yellow to amber. Hard to guess how big, maybe 4' in diameter. Eventually there were 5 or 6 of them, some off to Bowen Island, others to Keats, Pasley and other Islands. I kept glancing behind me for fear one of the lights would get between me and the cabin, cutting off retreat!
The balls travelled slowly over tree tops dropping down amongst them or to the water's edge. Every once in a while one would go back behind Ragged Island, although the bright ship had disappeared, under water? A tugboat rounded the corner quite close to shore, hauling a barge. Over the tug was one of the balls of light, and one over the barge as well. I wanted to share this sighting so badly with someone it was tantalizing not to be able to yell at the tugboat men to look. But it was making too much noise and, of course, no one was on deck anyway. The balls of light stayed with the tug only a matter of seconds before peeling off exactly together, one going to Bowen, the other to Pasley.
Running back to the cabin, I locked the door. This was all too much! This was a nest of UFOs! Oh, if I could only tell someone about it, but I had no phone and the public phone was in Eastbourne, through all that dark where I might bump into something. How could I have been so blindly unobservant as to miss all this before? In moving to Keats I had probably moved right into their midst from the beginning! Now I realized that the first star like UFO had come closer not just to have a look at our planet. They knew George and His Gang were somewhere in this area of Earth. The zig-zagging may have been to locate their communications beam then, finding it, stop to talk.
Next day I phoned people who had boats, one on Bowen Island and the other on the mainland, and tried to get them to come over and see these things.
But the water was too rough to come over or they didn't have time, or the real reason, they thought I was probably mistaken about the whole thing anyway. Must be some new kind of aircraft being tested, one man insisted.
Not knowing anyone at Gibsons at the time, I phoned the newspaper there and asked if they'd had any UFO reports. A bored voice said: Not lately.
With restraint I told him there were quite a few flying around here these nights, and he should send someone over to have a look. He wasn't interested and said I should get in touch with Rev. Willis who was also caretaker of the Baptist camp on Keats. Having met the minister once, I thought he was the type to pooh-pooh such things but found out too late this was not the case.
March 5: There was no one else to turn to so I walked over to the Baptist camp to see the Willis. I got there in time to see them pulling away from the dock on their way to Gibsons.
What about the RCMP? They might be interested, and there was a public phone at the dock.
Knowing it would be easy for them to give me a brush-off if I told them about UFOs over the phone, I told them instead that there were prowlers about and would they please come over?
On board their boat and under the cool gaze of the two young policemen, I felt rather foolish. To them I'd be just a nutty woman seeing things. I heard much later that the RCMP had received several UFO reports but these men didn't tell me about it to make me feel less foolish about mine.
Since the UFOs usually didn't put in an appearance when there were boats in the immediate area, I asked the police to leave their boat at the Baptist camp and walk over. They said they would come the next evening. Late the next afternoon I saw the police boat go by, they had apparently decided not to walk. They must have hung around during the evening for I saw no UFO.
A few days later when I was on my way to Bowen Island in a water taxi, the police boat happened to be in the vicinity. They drew close and told me the flashing red light I saw was the buoy somewhere at the south end of Popham Island. It was not the time and place to argue about it.
For several nights the weather was stormy so I stayed inside, going the round of windows occasionally. Because our aircraft was grounded by poor weather I expected theirs to be, too, but it didn't seem to make any difference to them.
There were lots of UFO reports on the air that winter, late 1966 and early 1967 was an invasion period. Seattle, Tacoma and Vancouver I remember especially.
Around 10 o'clock on one of those blustery nights I heard a sound like an enraged hornet approaching. It seemed to hover close over the cabin, move away, then back again. The sound of a large hornet flying round is enough to give anyone goose pimples. Combined with a stormy night it was almost too much! When it seemed overhead my eyes were riveted to the ceiling, expecting something to come boring through the roof. I was too frightened to even take a peek out the window at it.
For at least two weeks that hornet was around, but at a distance. It was a bright, white ball, as far as I could make out, and it went back and forth in a small area in front of Ragged Island. Sometimes it flew to an area in front of the beach, to go back and forth there. That stormy night I first heard it, it probably was over the water and not overhead, as I'd thought. It surely must have been taking something from the ground under the water to stay in those same spots so long.
A corridor of trees had been cut from Andy's beach to the old camp grounds on the hill above. Many times one or two kettle type UFOs would go up there from over the beach, flying lower than the tree tops.
These kettles might have been about 20' wide, had a rather high dome and narrow rim. I could usually make out a thing like an aerial, as well as a yellow light, on top. A green light was about halfway down, a red and three or four yellowish lights across the bottom. They always travelled rather slowly, and when they got to the old campground, would drop straight down as if landing. Because of land conformation and underbrush they would be lost to sight when and if they did land.
I never saw them taking off again from the campground, although I watched for half an hour or more a couple of times to see how long they stayed there.
Daytime I often went up to look around. The thick mat of wet leaves was a bit scuffed here and there and there were holes an inch or so wide punched in. One set made a perfect square of about three feet. But there were a lot of deer around and I wasn't sure that deer and possibly mice had not made these scuffs and holes. What I was really hoping for was an object they might accidentally have dropped, but I guess they're not too careless. I also looked for digging, burning or some unusual disturbance in the area to give some idea what they were doing up there so long, but noticed nothing. The woods beyond were gray and uninviting, so I must admit I didn't do much exploring there.
Strangely, the other kinds of UFOs didn't go up there as far as I know, except possibly the long one I mentioned earlier. From what I've seen, it seems to me that all the different UFOs performed some special function or did some specific job.
One night as I was standing out on the rocks one of these kettle UFOs stopped to one side just above the tall trees. Instead of a green light there was a not very bright white light in its place and it seemed to be pointed right at me. The machine tilted down in my direction also. Daringly, I blinked my flashlight at it. There was no answering blink. It made them seem unfriendly or terribly impersonal, which frightened me considerably and made me run back in the cabin and lock myself in.
Another night as I watched outside, a bright flashing red light came from the south following the shoreline. It was about the same height above the water as I was standing 60' to 65'. Passing a few yards out in front of me, it suddenly turned in and went down a short distance to my left. There was a distinct thump but it was out of sight. Then came humming buzzing sounds in short bursts.
I could easily have gone down the rocks the short distance required to look around the bushes and possibly see what they were doing but was afraid they wouldn't like it. Even back in the cabin I could hear the humming buzzes it was making.
Next day I went to look at the rocks where I presumed it had been. They were covered with a thick mat of moss, and two chunks of about a foot each had been knocked off. The drill holes I thoroughly expected to find were not visible to me. Either they covered their work up exceedingly well or I was blind to anything that might have been unusual in the rocks.
At the beginning of March I moved my sleeping-bag to the long table by the front window so I'd have a chance to catch what might be going on later at night. I woke up to see a luminous golf ball sized light moving 3' to 4' above the path directly in front. I thought it was a deer with something phosphorescent on its tail. I shone the flashlight out the window but there was nothing to be seen. A night or two later I woke again to see the golf ball light, this time out the back window. I presumed it was outside until it moved beyond the window to the end of the room. It then went past the window again to the other end of the room, then back to the window and out. The window was open but screened. During its trip I turned on the electric light but it wasn't visible with the light on.
I was more annoyed than frightened to see that thing in the cabin, for I felt it was some kind of snooping device and angrily thought they could have found out what they wanted by less scary means.
As the weeks passed I began to feel the UFOs weren't going to hurt me, so I got up the courage to sit under the verandah of the vacant cabin next to mine overhanging the steep bank in front of the left hand beach. I wanted to see why so many of the UFOs appeared to be going there and established myself under the verandah well before dark in hopes they wouldn't know I was there.
Before full dark three UFOs rose up behind Ragged Island with a few minutes interval between each one. About halfway to the beach they turned right or left and did not come all the way over at all.
I got a fairly good look at the small red flasher as it passed to the left, faintly outlined against the still light sky. Crazy as it seems, the body looked like a big barrel with stubby wings like rounded ears. There was a bright flashing red light about the size of a car headlamp in the middle. It rode tilted forward and rolled a little from side to side as if the red light was what it saw by. There were no other lights.
Another coming up from behind Ragged Island was like spinning pink steam, a reflection of the pink sunset no doubt. When it got above the dark trees of the island behind, I could no longer see it.
A little later a big white light like the hornet, but making no sound, flew over with an up-and-down motion the way some small birds fly. It didn't come all the way to the beach, either, and disappeared somewhere to the right.
Time dragged on as it got darker and darker. My nerves were all keyed up for something to happen, but nothing did. My cabin seemed to be farther away in the black night and I began to get spooked. As I was deserting the watch, I glanced up at the verandah I'd been sitting under. A foot or so above the railing was the golf ball light. I shone the flashlight at it, nothing! Light out, there it was, unmoving!
One clear evening as I stood out on the rocks, no UFO was around, apparently because a tug was between Ragged and Pasley. It was turning a very large boom around. A point of interest about the tug was that one of its mast lights kept blinking in an irregular pattern, a most unusual kind of circuit, if that's what caused it to blink. After the boom straightened itself out, a red flasher flew up from the boat. It flew to Bowen at its usual leisurely pace. At this point in time I was almost beyond surprise at seeing a UFO fly up from a tug.
Several times a 'red flasher' came up from somewhere south or Keats or the Pasley group and went to Bowen Island. It landed very close to a lit up house on the side of the hill.
In daylight I tried to get a better look at the place from Eastbourne. It was a white house in a small cleared area. Whoever lived there must have been the only winter residents on that side of Bowen, for there was no other light except on an occasional weekend.
Mr. Wainwright, who operated the water taxi and marina in a cove further south on Bowen, knew who lived in that white house, when I asked. The man who lived there was a travelling salesman. How could UFOs keep landing in his yard without his knowing? Why were they going there?
May 2: Had been on the north beach collecting bark. On my way home along the road I saw two men coming up the path from my cabin. One was the boss Hydro man in his neat coveralls. The other was a different, younger man of about 19 to 20. As I entered the path, the boss man indicated with his hand for the young man to get behind him. They got well off the path and waited for me, the young man a little behind his boss. The fellow stared at me as if I was some kind of freak. I'm quite ordinary looking, really.
The boss said he'd been thinking of me and had come to see if I was all right. After replying that I was fine and all, and because of the young man's intense stare, I remarked that he had a new helper. The boss smiled at the young fellow with a protective air and merely said: Yes.
When I asked the young man how he liked his new job, he seemed to take the question quite seriously. Without smiling and with a little bow, he replied: Fine.
Much to my regret I didn't ask them to tea, but I knew the stove would be out, the cabin was in a mess and I was dog tired.
The next day, I went to the road to pick up some bark I'd dropped there. I saw a jeep slowly approaching. When it came to the end of the road it stopped and 4 men jumped out. They were Hydro men inspecting lines from the moving jeep. Very human, carelessly dressed, workaday men. None in coveralls. The boss wasn't obviously so. They expressed no surprise at seeing me there, no concern or any particular interest.
I told them two of their men already had been around the day before, inspecting the lines. They assured me yesterday's men weren't Hydro men, that somebody had been pulling my leg. I described the former men to make sure and also told them they had been around before. These men didn't know them.
I found out, too, that the jeep was parked at the Baptist camp for the use of the meter reader, telephone repairman and Hydro repairmen. The other Hydro men hadn't come in a jeep.
I should have asked these real Hydro men if they checked lines all the way to Powell River, as the boss had said on the first visit, but I didn't think of it soon enough.
The possibilities as to who the first men were dawned as something I'd been too dense to see before. What with seeing a red flasher leave a tug and others going to a house on Bowen Island, I think a number of UFO people are among us, and they include, those phony Hydro men.
Every human is different. We expect it, so when we exchange a word or two with someone whose phraseology is different or who has an accent, we only wonder what country he's from, not what planet. Maybe that's a mistake.