The Truth is Out There!

The Muse Newsletter
Vol. 32 No. 3 – Summer 2022

by Braden Murray


Seventy five years ago it was the summer of the flying saucer and the UFO. Aliens were among us! Or so it seemed. That summer a number of unexplained aerial sights popped up from coast to coast, including right here in the Kenora area. Did a flying saucer float over Kenora in the summer of 1947? For those who lived on Black Sturgeon Lake the answer was definitely yes. 

Before we get to Kenora’s close encounter a little context— On June 24th, 1947, a pilot named Kenneth Arnold was flying over Mt. Rainier in Oregon, USA. It was a clear day. In the distance he saw a number of brightly lit aerial craft flying and dipping in a way that was unlike any regular airplane. He did some rough calculations in his head and determined they were trailing at over 1700Mph! He thought maybe he was witnessing secret military tests. When he landed he explained what he’d saw to the ground crew. They were amazed too. One thing lead to another, and a day later he was interviewed by a local newspaper. Arnold said the unidentified flying objects darting around “like a saucer if you skip it across the water.”

The term “flying saucer” was born. 

In the next few days the story was picked up by papers across North America. The discovery of mysterious wreckage in a field outside of Roswell, New Mexico just two weeks later threw gasoline on the fire. For many it was clear— aliens not only existed but they lived among us.

Over the summer of 1947 these incidents caused a UFO craze across North America. Over 800 reports of UFOs and specifically “flying saucers” crowded front pages

1947 was the summer of the UFO and Kenora was not immune to the extraterrestrial charm.

The first local UFO was spotted on July 11th, 1947, just four days after the discovery in Roswell, New Mexico. Mrs. R. Sharples was living on the James Road about four miles north of Kenora. Around 2am she saw something in the sky. It wasn’t a plane. It was cone shaped into a half moon on one side. It went behind a cloud, but then reappeared, this time it was rounded like a log. From the log it seemed to change shape into a round sphere— a flying saucer! Mrs. Sharples watched the object as it flew until it eventually disappeared behind the horizon. She later reported that it looked like there was an object or basket under the main body of the craft. 

Officials from the Kenora Airport reported that there were no weather balloons in the area at the time, nor would a plane drop anything like that during a flight overhead. It was a bona fide front page mystery! Was it a real UFO? Sure seemed like it. 

While reporting the story the reporter did concede that it was a stormy night and flashes of lighting and peculiar shaped clouds may have caused an optical illusion. But it also might’ve been a flying saucer. Frankly we will never know. It was definitely an unidentified flying object, and more importantly, it was local citizens getting on the fun of the International UFO craze of the summer of 1947. 

The truth is out there!

Did you know?

Both the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Northwest Company operated on the Lake of the Woods, and would often sabotage each others equipment at portage sites.