by Tom Zytaruk The Surrey Now, Saturday May 15th, 1999


From a galaxy far, far away?

White Rock appears to have enjoyed a special preview of Star Wars this past weekend, as four independent sources are claiming to have seen strange goings on in the night sky there on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

North Delta resident Graham Conway, president of UFO*BC, is quite impressed with the number of unexplained sightings.

"I don’t understand what’s going on," he said. "For some reason there’s a lot of activity going on in White Rock. This is such a collection of such good eye witness stuff."

A man reportedly ran into the Ocean Beach pub about 10 pm Friday, "stuttering like mad" that he’d seen a huge blue plasma ball cruising over Semiahmoo Bay.

"He said it was monstrous," said UFO tracker Bill Oliver, of Guildford. "He was rattled big time."

Whatever it was cast such a bright light it lit up the sea beneath and "apparently acted in an intelligent manner," said Conway.

The thing apparently cruised over the bay, around Kwomais Point and "out of sight."

Then on Saturday, the really interesting stuff began. Two young women and a girl, South Surrey residents, were at the McDonald’s restaurant on Johnston Road when they claim to have seen a huge boomerang-shaped object with eight lights on front, at about 10 pm. Shaking with fear, they watched it move "very, very slowly" for about eight seconds before it took off. Conway said the experience left the 11-year-old girl crying and one of the women, 18, so disturbed she slept with her light on the following two nights.

About five minutes after that sighting two women were standing on White Rock pier when they claim to have seen a wedge-shaped object – a flying triangle – traveling below the tree level. They watched it for about three or four minutes as it headed across the bay, away from White Rock.

Then on Sunday, about 10:15 pm, Jen Pieschel and her boyfriend Kevin Pearce saw a wedge-shaped object flying over Highway 99, near the Crescent Road turnoff . They saw it had blue and red flashing lights, and then spotted an amber flash, like a flare, from a second craft.

"We saw something weird," Pieschel said. "We just want to know what it was."

They searched the Internet and found something like what they saw: An F-117A Nighthawk stealth bomber. Only thing is, Stealths can’t hover. Or can they?

The sightings this past weekend weren’t the first such sights in the White Rock/South Surrey area, either. Richard Desilets of Aldergrove was near Zero Avenue and Pacific Highway earlier this year when he saw what looked like "two headlights" blinking on and off just above a set of power lines.

"It sounded like a plane, like a turbine motor, but very, very quiet," he said. "It just slowly took off."

In spite of the four sightings this past weekend, Transport Canada, NAVCAN, Vancouver International Airport’s Traffic Control tower, Surrey and White Rock RCMP, the weather office, National Defence, and Vancouver Planetarium astronomer David Dodge either hadn’t heard of anything unusual, or didn’t know what to make of it. Dodge noted though, that the US Whitby Island naval base it not far away from White Rock.

"If it’s a military thing, they don’t keep me informed," Dodge said.

Still, an official at the naval station told the NOW the wedge-shaped objects aren’t theirs.

"There’re pretty cool, but we don’t have them here," he said.

The UFO*BC sightings hotline is 878-6511.