by: Alejandro Rojas November 11, 2015
Officer Interview - UFO Sighting 1978
October 1978, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer
Jim Blackwood responded to a call regarding a strange
object off of the coast of Clarenville, a Canadian town
on the east coast of Newfoundland in the province of Newfoundland
and Labrador. When he got there he, along with about a
dozen other witnesses, saw something he could not explain.
Blackwood recently posted a TV interview from 1978 in
which he describes the incident.
to Canadian newspaper The Packet, Blackwood is now retired
and living in Novia Scotia. News of the sighting received
a lot of media attention, causing Blackwood to endure
years of ridicule. Since leaving Clarenville, he says
he rarely speaks about the incident.
of sighting from 1978 video. (Credit: Jim Blackwood/YouTube)
he did recently speak to The Packet, and in May of this
year he posted the UFO interview on YouTube (seen above).
was a 25 year-old RCMP constable at the time of the incident.
When he reached the location of the witnesses, he says
there were about a dozen locals gathered there.
went down and the craft was hovering between Clarenville
and Random Island, right on the water. It was only a couple
hundred feet off the water. It was there for good two
hours before it left, Blackwood told The Packet.
of Clarenville and Random Island. (Credit: Google Maps)
said he turned on his vehicles roof lights and the
UFO turned on its lights too.
the witnesses were Chester Lethbridge and his wife. They
had been watching the object with binoculars and did not
think turning on the lights was a good idea. They asked
why Blackwood would do that, and he responded that he
was trying to make contact.
says, [Lethbridge] said he didnt want to make
contact, and he didnt want to know what was in there
and then took off.
view of the area of the UFO Sighting. (Credit: Google
to The Packet, Using a special telescope for drug
surveillance, the once skeptical Blackwood had an up close
view to something he cant explain to this day.
had binoculars. But this thing was a lot better with 60
times magnification. I got to see it close up. It didnt
come any closer to us and as it started to leave it went
up slow, taking forever to rise then vroom
gone like a shooting star, Blackwood told The Packet.
described the object as cigar-shaped and made a sketch
of its shape that can be seen in the 1978 interview.
drawing of the UFO. (Credit: Jim Blackwood)
says he is an aircraft enthusiast and that he estimated
the size of the object to be as large as a Boeing 737.
familiar with aircrafts of all shapes and sizes. But the
metal on it was not like aircraft metal. It was very dull
and not shiny at all. It wasnt even smooth. It was
very coarse looking, he said.
technology was way beyond what we had then and still way
beyond what we have now.
says after the sighting they did not see the UFO again.
However, they had received UFO reports before the sighting
that particular time there was a flight from Jordan heading
to Toronto that happened to see it and it was picked up
by radar in Gander. It was a big issue at the time,
was hesitant to talk about the sighting after the event.
He didnt want to face the ridicule he knew he would
receive. However, once the media got a hold of the story,
the interview requests began coming in and he was instructed
by his superiors to accept them all.
Blackwood in a 1978 interview. (Credit: Jim Blackwood/YouTube)
two solid weeks all I did was answer the phone and get
paid for it. I was on CBC, NTV and BBC. You name it and
I was on it, Blackwood said.
became famous for its UFO sighting. The hockey team changed
their name to the Clarenville UFOs and local business
began having UFO and alien themed sales.
National Research Council in Ottawa, whose upper atmosphere
research facility was responsible for UFO reports, suggested
the object could have been Jupiter. Blackwood disagreed.
tore a strip off him. He had this big explanation, but
he didnt talk to me or talk to any of the other
12 witnesses, Blackwood told The Packet. He
just surmised this on his own. There was this guy doing
a paper on it. I told him what I thought of him. How the
hell can a planet cast a shadow on the water? How can
it come down that close that it can block out Random Island?
Blackwood never figured out what it was he saw that night,
he says he did not become a UFO enthusiast. He occasionally
receives calls from UFO researchers and participated in
an episode of a recent television show called Close Encounters.
However, he says the sighting brought more grief than
it was worth.