The 1981 Hamilton Harbour UFO Incident

First Published: June 24, 2019 Written by: Marcus Lowth Estimated Reading Time: 9 minutes Posted in: UFOs

Perhaps what makes the 1981 sighting of a glowing, orange, disc-shaped craft appearing out of nowhere and disappearing into the waters around Hamilton Harbour in Ontario, Canada even more intriguing is not only the fact that there were multiple witnesses to the encounter, but that it is yet another that took place near or over water, and in a location well-known as an apparent hive of such activity.

The incident, however, wasn’t reported for over 20 years until the early 2000s to UFO researcher, Carl Feindt. And, as Feindt states it would have been much better to have statements from at least one of the other witnesses, the circumstances as to why are seemingly so mundane that they perhaps suggest credibility.

The witness would claim that the journey they were taking at the time of the sighting was in relation to a work-related trip. Furthermore, although the group was friends, they were only so through their employment with the same company. The main witness would move from the area shortly after and has not spoken to any of the group with which she shared the incident since. It is likely, although not impossible, that the remaining four have also gone their separate ways.

A Late-August Evening In 1981, Somewhere Between 5 And 6 pm

The exact date, unfortunately, is unknown but somewhere “between 5 and 6 pm” on a late-August evening in 1981, five work friends – three men and two women – witness events that would change their lives forever.

They were driving near Hamilton just to the south of Lake Ontario. The early evening sky was still very much in sunlight, cloudless and clear. So clear, in fact, that the five friends, following the main witness alerting them to it, were soon focused on a strange “red-orange domed” craft, shaped like a saucer moving across the sky. From the underside of this otherworldly vehicle was a blaze of yellow lights.

The main witness would estimate the craft was around “three to four car lengths” and around three cars tall. The huge craft’s course was, give or take, the same as the way their car was heading. It moved at a similar pace to “an aircraft on approach for a landing”.

All five people in the car now had their eyes glued to the glowing object overhead. So much so that they didn’t notice at first that the radio had suddenly turned to a cacophony of static since the craft had come into view. The driver of the car reached to switch the radio off such was the audible chaos.

As they continued to follow it, they notice that the object was moving in a straight line as it was not forced to remain in sympathy with the curves in the road. It wasn’t long before the apparent destination of the craft was obvious to the witnesses.

A Calm Submerging With “No Major Disturbance!”

With several moments, the object was purposely slowing down as it seemingly prepared to enter the waters of the Harbour, which it duly did.

The witness would recall how there was “no major disturbance” of the water’s surface as the craft calmly submerged itself under the waters of the lake. Within several seconds the craft had completely disappeared under the surface. The group looked on from their vehicle, almost not believing how calm the waters were.

Their curiosity would ultimately get the better of them and they pulled up near the water’s edge, deciding to wait and see if the huge, futuristic craft emerged back from the water. They would remain in the area for several hours, however, nothing of note occurred. That was until shortly after midnight when two objects appeared to partially emerge from the water.

It was around this time, though, when the group left, and so leaving the two apparent objects in the water behind them.

Interestingly, Feindt would suggest that the partial emerging of the objects could, in fact, have been the tide of the water revealing a previously covered object. This is certainly a possibility. And the fact that the object simply remained “still” on the water perhaps suggests such a possibility.

Whether this part of the sighting has a connection to the craft the five witnesses saw enter the waters or not is open to debate. As Feindt determines regarding this aspect of the sighting, we should not let it “detract from the sighting” of the actual craft and its descent and disappearance into the waters.

Little Reason To Doubt The Authenticity

Of course, while there is no seemingly “rational” explanation for the sighting, and the fact that there is no exact date means that such things as weather data can’t be checked to see if wind may have been a factor in the sighting – for example, and as unlikely as it might be, might such wind have actually have been blowing a large balloon?

As mentioned in our opening, the fact that only one of the five witnesses is available for comment is far from ideal. As is the sheer length of time that has passed since.

With all that in mind, however, we would surely rather have the report of the incident than not, even if some of us may decide they have their doubts as to the authenticity (of any sighting, not necessarily this one).

Perhaps we should also bear in mind how the report came to Feindt’s attention in the first place. It hardly appears to have the feel of a person looking for monetary gain or notoriety. Firstly, they wished to maintain anonymous. And secondly, all the correspondence would take many weeks and months to complete. Hardly the acts of someone looking for a “pay-off” or attention.

In short, there is every reason to believe the account described above to be an accurate description of exactly what the (then) young woman and her four work colleagues witnessed. Perhaps particularly so when we take into account several incidents around the same location and time of the Hamilton Harbour incident.

The Little-Known Winnipeg Incident

Although it is not in the immediate vicinity, an incident in British Columbia at around midnight on the 16th August 1981 shares some remarkably similar details. The lone witness was driving along a lonely highway just outside of Winnipeg. Out of nowhere a huge glowing object suddenly filled the sky overhead. From the middle of the object was a “long and slender filament-like projections” that projected a red-orange “bright, neon-like glow” all around the surrounding area.

The more he looked at the object, the more it resembled an aerial jellyfish hanging in the air with spikes on its huge tentacles.

The witness, now in awe at the events unfolding around him, would get out of his vehicle and approach the object cautiously. As he did so, he could make out several silhouettes of figures behind the “glass” of what he assumed was a cockpit. Although he couldn’t see any facial details, he could make out that the figures were humanoid in shape.

In what was an impulse thing to do, the witness waved at the object. In response, the craft flashed a red light. Then, a green one. Then, however, it rose into the air and began to disappear into the night sky. Interestingly, and whether or not it is a detail of consequence, just prior to noticing the craft “an enchanting melody” was suddenly audible through the car radio.

Another sighting with equally similar details would unfold the previous winter, in almost the same location as the Hamilton Harbour sighting.

The 1980 Toronto Lights Incident

Once more the exact date of the following encounter remains unknown, other than it was (likely) a January evening in 1980, at some time around 9:30 pm in Toronto, Ontario. The report of the incident would be made to the Canadian UFO Research Network, whose incident report form you can see below.

The witness to the incident was a car salesman. On this particular evening, he had just finished at the dealership where he worked and was making his way home to Toronto. It was as he was making his way along that he noticed a “string of lights slowly rotating counter-clockwise over the city”.

He would later describe the visual effect of the craft as being like a “pie plate with lights around the circumference”. As the craft (or dish) revolved, some of the lights became obscured. The lights were “definitely on a fixed platform as they moved in unison”.

Although he was far from an expert on aviation or the natural occurrences of the skies, he had still witnessed plenty of conventional aircraft of the area. Furthermore, he did have a keen interest in meteors and comets (having witnessed several) as well as all as many aspects of science and nature. In short, what he was witnessing was unlike anything he had seen before, or since.

As he continued to watch the lights and their rigid and uniformed motion, he realized they appeared to be descending. And what’s more, they appeared to be getting closer to his location as they did so. With this in mind, and still thinking it was some kind of strange, new advertising “balloon”, he continued on his car, heading towards the lights.

Too Fast For A Blimp, Too Slow For A Plane!

As his car and the strange lights continued on an apparent near-collision course, the witness kept focusing his eyes on what he believed were lit-up lettering on the side of it. However, the closer the object got, the more he realized the lit-up letters were not letters at all. At least not letters he had seen before. He could only describe them as “different shaped yellowish white lights”. The witness would recall in his report:

When the lights were seen head-on, they were circular. But as they rotated, out of direct view, they changed shape like the different crescents of the moon!

He would continue that his mind was starting to struggle with the craft and what it might be. It was moving too fast for a balloon or a blimp, but equally too slow for a plane. He would claim that the best way to describe the incident was that it was “sailing in the sky”.

As he continued to watch the strange craft, he was suddenly aware of just how big it was. At least “the size of a football field”. He would further claim that the sudden realization of just how huge the craft was, was akin to seeing an image in a drawing that you don’t see until you have stared at it for some time.

In fact, so large were the dimensions of this otherworldly craft that his mind was struggling to comprehend it. The word he would ultimately use to describe the size of the object was “gargantuan”.

The witness would bring his vehicle to a stop. Then, as he sat there watching it, the object began to rise and head back in the direction it had come.

No Further Witnesses

Upon the craft moving away the witness would immediately put the car in action once again and begin pursuing the strange craft. He would follow for some time. Even seeing the bright lights of the city in the distance as he approached it. Then, the lights suddenly went out except for a single flashing red light. They would then come back on again just as suddenly.

This display would be repeated several times before the witness eventually lost the object in the dark skies overhead. He had left his car once again in an attempt to get a better look. And to try and locate the object once more. As he did so, he witnessed a police officer up the road from where he was.

He ran to him asking if he had witnessed the “big circle of lights flying in the sky”. He replied that he hadn’t, and the witness decided not to pursue it any further.

However, he would make several attempts to report the incident, both to the police and Toronto International Airport. They wouldn’t, though, treat his report seriously. For the next few weeks, he would scan local newspapers to see if he could see any other UFO reports.

He would eventually find a small, hidden away piece around a week later. One regarding “dozens of Mississauga residents” who witnessed a strange craft “as big as a football field”.

The 2011 Hamilton Incident

One of the most recent encounters in the Hamilton area took place on consecutive weekends in July 2011. One of which would even be captured on film.

At around 9 pm on the 16th July, three young girls, 9-year-old Christina Crow, and Molly Mitchison and Emily Wass, each 11 years of age, would spot strange lights who were playing on their street on their bikes. They were seemingly directly over their neighbors’ home, Simon and Rose Reynolds.

Molly would later recall how the objects looked “like a spaceship” which was red with “yellow lights all over it”. Furthermore, much like the sightings we have examined from the early 1980s, the object made absolutely no sound whatsoever.

After standing there in awe for a moment or two, the three girls ran to inform their neighbors. And inform them of the display taking place over their home. Simon would later describe the objects as “red fireballs”. Even more intriguing for the community was that a fellow neighbor, Bob Schofield and several friends attending a dinner party witnessed “three yellowy-orange light” in the night sky.

The following week on the 23rd July, at approximately the same time, the lights would return to the same community. This time it was around 9:30 pm.

Like Solid Suns Dancing In The Skies!

This time, a barbeque with around thirty people in attendance would witness four glowing orange lights in the night sky. Many of those who witnessed the display had also witnessed the bizarre events the previous week. The lights, whatever they might be, were undoubtedly the same objects as had appeared over the area the previous week.

They would make a report of the incident. Even eliciting a response Hamilton International Airport. They would claim they had “no reports of anything unusual”.

Reynolds would claim that there was “no way” the objects were planes. He would even claim there was no way they were “anything mechanical”. However, he would also state the objects were most definitely a “solid thing”. He would elaborate that they were “like suns” dancing in the sky.

Reynolds would even attempt to follow the lights in his car for several minutes. However, he would soon lose sight of them.

Are these (relative) recent aerial displays of a similar nature to those witnessed in the early 1980s? If so, why do they keep returning to this part of the world? Might it be, another area, near a substantial water network, no less, that might indeed house one of the much sought-after alien bases?

You can check out the 23rd July 2011 footage below. It is, it would appear, just one of a long history of UFO and alien incidents in the Ontario area.


The stories, accounts, and discussion in this article are not always based on proven facts and may go against currently accepted science and common beliefs. The details included in the article are based on the reports and accounts available to us as provided by witnesses and documentation.

By publishing these accounts, UFO Insight does not take responsibility for the integrity of them.  You should read this article with an open mind and come to a conclusion yourself.

Copyright & Republishing Policy

The entire article and the contents within are published by, wholly-owned and copyright of UFO Insight.  The author does not own the rights to this content. 

You may republish short quotes from this article with a reference back to the original UFO Insight article here as the "source".  You may not republish the article in its entirety.

About Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years experience. Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

You can contact Marcus via email.

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to our free newsletter and join our subscribers. Receive the latest articles directly in your inbox weekly.

If you don't like what you read, you can unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *