Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2015 15:03:44 -0400
From: Don Ledger
Subject: October 25 1967; Wentworth Valley, Nova Scotia, CANADA: UFO paces CNR Passenger Train
To: CE List

October 25 1967; Wentworth Valley, Nova scotia, Canada
3:15 PM. Raymond Putnam was a brakeman with Canadian National Railways. On the day in question he was the rear brakeman and flagman on "The Cabot" train that travelled between Halifax and Moncton. As a rear brakeman he would have been responsible for flagging down trains approaching from behind his train, should "The Cabot" be stopped out on the main line for any reason. He would also be responsible for cutting cars out of the train, directing by the use of his light, exagerated hand and arm movements, or two way radio, the driver of the train [engineer] when it was in reverse, aligning track switches, and many other movements of the train. The railroad also runs on time and the people who work with trains are always conscious of it. Whether you are working in the yards or out on the main line you are always conscious of schedules, where you are and what trains are coming or going. It's a safety mechanism, built into the people who work on the lines, both inside and outside the train.

When Raymond Putnam, in his position at the rear of the train, opened the upper half of the door on the left side of the last car, to get a breath of air and glance up the side of the train, looking for hotboxes or overheated journals, it was 3:15 PM. Not long before they had gone by Wentworth Station and were coming up on Westchester Station high up on the side of the hills that surround Wentworth Valley. The trees, whizzing by at the side of tracks, were a blur. Putnam looked upwards, over the trees and saw it. A UFO. At first he though it was something falling from the sky because there was green vapor billowing from the top of it that he later thought might be the exhaust end of the object when it was in flight. The UFO was tracking alongside the train at treetop level, negating Putnam's first impression that it was falling. The brakeman tried to watch it but at this point it was giving off such a terrific light or radiation that although it was daylight he had trouble looking directly at it. He put his hands up to cover his face and peered through his fingers, first with one eye, then the other. When he looked away, he had difficulty believing what he was seeing and would look again to reassure himself that he was not imagining it. Fascinated, Putnam continued to watch the UFO as it tagged along beside the train and sometimes just behind it, but still off to the side. Sometimes it would swoop upwards to the tops of the mountains a bit away from the train then would come back to it as the train clacked through more moderate terrain. As it drifted away it seemed to bank, like an aeroplane, "at a 45-degree angle with its rear-top end to the left and later rolled on to a quarter turn so the flat sides were up and down." Suddenly a jet dove down from a high altitude and converged on the object, coming up on it from behind and directly toward the "exhaust end" of the UFO. The object leveled out and a short thin exhaust issued from behind it. Strangely now the object began to elongate turning into a cigar shape, then a cigar shaped cloud, then a long cloud. The cloud/UFO accelerated away to the west and to the left of the sun with the jet in hot pursuit.

By this time the train had not quite reached the town of Nappan which is a distance of about 75 kilometers from Wentworth Station. Putnam had been watching the UFO along with two other witnesses, the Sleeping Car Conductor and a CNR Inspector from Montreal, for 35 minutes! Mr. Putnam's experience did not end there however. By the time a week had passed he had lost all of the hair from the backs of his hands and they had withered somewhat. In addition his eyes were now sore and swollen, to the point where the flesh had gotten hard. At the end of two weeks he though he was coming down with pneumonia. He complained to his doctor of having a sore chest or ribs. His throat was sore and raw, his forehead greasy and then dried up. While making his report to the military, he complained of a sore throat and had to have his glasses changed due to continuous problems with sore and swollen eyes. Putnam had reported his sighting to the RCMP and he thought the Air Force might contact him but they never did. He was looking for some medical help for his eyes and the other problems he was having and even tried to talk his doctor into giving him some penicillin, but he was refused. The Brakeman figured the doctor thought he was nuts.

When the military finally got around to interviewing Mr. Putnam, it was February 14, 1968. . .nearly four months later! He asked them if they could tell him anything about the thing he had seen. What kind of radiation it was putting out; "was it atomic, electromagnetic or solar or what?" He pressed them about getting some medication for the problems he had been having which he was positive were the result of his exposure to the UFO. The military were of no help to him. Putnam also told his interviewer that he would like to talk to the crew of the jet that chased the UFO, and reiterated that any help they could give him would be greatly appreciated.

On March 20, 1995, MUFON's Nova Scotia Director, Steve MacLean interviewed Mrs. Putnam, Raymond's wife who was now a widow and 77 years old. She said, "Raymond did not like to tell too many people about his sighting. He felt that they would tell other people that he was crazy." She went on to say that the Sleeping Car Conductor was a Black man, now living in Amherst, Nova Scotia who had been very frightened and believed what he saw. She said that he bought many UFO books after the incident apparently to try to get explanations about what he had witnessed. Mrs. Putnam also felt that the UFO was sighted in Amherst the same day. [Amherst is not more than 10 kilometers from Nappan.] The National Research Council, now the agency responsible for looking into UFO sightings did write back to Putnam but concluded that there was nothing to the sighting. Mrs. Putnam's daughter-in-law, recalls Mr. Putnam speaking of his sighting from time to time and remembers that "Someone who had investigated the sighting found the tops of the trees had been burnt." This case obviously got blown off by the RCAF or was lost in the shuffle with the new agency being instated [See NRC document127-a Memorandum prepared by Brig. General Ross recommending that UFO investigations be turned over to the NRC, in the Appendix].

The agency was the National Research Council [NRC], which to my mind was the kiss of death for any UFO report to arrive on their desks. There is no evidence whatsoever to support the contention that the NRC ever did any serious UFO studies from the time they took over the task in 1967-68 to 1994 when they discontinued their involvement. Mostly their concerns were to ferret out anything that looked like a "fireball and meteor" report and shunt those off to the nearest university interested in such matters. But what of the newly named CAF; had they no interest in such a matter? Someone did, according to Raymond Putnam, because he and the other witnesses watched a jet dive on the UFO. The second last line in the report from CANFORBASE Chatham to CANFORCEHED, Ottawa states, "No exercises were held by our base in that area at the time specified." Whether there was an exercise or not, there was a jet over that area chasing this thing, regardless whether it came from Chatham, Dartmouth, Summerside-which is unlikely, Greenwood-again unlikely, or another base such as Bagotville, Quebec-which is more likely. If it was a high performance jet, Chatham, Bagotville or Shearwater would be the logical choices, since they had the jets. The F-104 Starfighter would have been a capable aircraft from the first two bases while the Grumman Banchee, a much slower, carrier capable aircraft, out of Shearwater would have been the next best bet. The majority were based out of Shearwater, N.S. or off the Aircraft Carrier "Bonaventure" which was just finishing a refit in Laval, Quebec. So all of them were likely awaiting their reassignment back to the "Bonny" at Shearwater which is only 80 miles [114 kilometers] from Nappan, west of Springhill. A Banchee scrambled out of RCN Shearwater [as it was now called] could have been on site over the Nappan area in nine minutes, at speeds well below supersonic. If you factor in the location of the military's radar site atop the unnamed mountain several kilometers northeast of Folly mountain, on the edge of Wentworth Valley, and the highest peak in the chain, it becomes more reasonable to believe that this site probably picked up Raymond Putnam's object on its equipment that resulted in a scramble out of Shearwater. The Banchee was not the fastest aircraft in the AF's arsenal, but it was close by. All of this is pure conjecture on my part; however in this business the reluctance [and that's a polite term] of the military or the federal government to come forward with documentation or explanations to the contrary, second guessing and conjecture is usually all that you have left. Something happened, and the AF did not respond to Putnam’s case because they probably already knew about it and most likely had more information on the sighting than Raymond Putnam would ever or could ever guess. After all they had a jet chasing it did they not, if you believe Putnam's report. I have no reason not to believe it and consider it to be one of the better reports in that era.

October 1967-Same day, 5 minutes later-Westfield, N.B: Five minutes after Raymond Putnam claimed that the object he had been watching was"chased" off to the west and left of the Sun-which would make it more to the south west-by a jet at 3:50 PM on the 25th of October, Mrs. Maclean of Westfield, New Brunswick sighted an object travelling at a high rate of speed in a north northeast direction. Westfield is 25 kilometers [15 miles] northwest of Saint John, N.B. and is 160 kilometers [96 miles] southwest of Nappan, Nova Scotia. Mrs. MacLean, saw a UFO at 3:55 PM on the afternoon of the 25th. The weather was clear. She reported that the object was oval shaped, red on the top and white on the bottom. It appeared to have a fin or rudder in the rear and a small vapor trail which was reddish in colour. She estimated that it was not at more than one thousand feet in altitude and it was moving at high speed to the north-northwest and was "making no sound". She had it in sight for about three seconds. On the course this UFO was heading, in less than a minute it would have been in the "live firing area" of the military training section of Camp Gagetown. This is a militarily restricted section of territory known as an MOA, Military Operation Area. It is 95 kilometers long by 70 kilometers wide, or 6,700 square kilometers in area. This MOA has a ceiling that tops out at 25,000 feet [7,620 meters]. If the UFO set off any alarm bells in the MOA, the results did not show up in any reports for that date. Mrs. MacLean, did not report any jets in pursuit of this UFO, so it is debatable whether the object was the same one seen by Putnam and the other two witnesses. That is not to say that the object did not shake off the "jet" before zipping over to Westfield then heading north into the firing area to create a little havoc; however this is pure conjecture on my part. Multible UFO reports over a small area are common enough, however as will be seen in Chapter Four. (Maritime UFO Files (Page 51)