HARBOUR MILLE, N.L. — A woman who claims she saw three missiles whiz over Newfoundland’s south coast dismisses suggestions the mysterious objects could have been model rockets and claims instead the truth is being covered up.
Emmy Pardy said she clearly saw three huge “grey bullets” powering through the sky Monday off Harbour Mille, a small community of about 150 people.
The reports set off a confusing dance between government departments and the RCMP over who was addressing the issue and what, if anything, was seen.
But Pardy said Friday that suggestions by federal officials that the spot is used frequently by model rocket hobbyists are ludicrous.
“Yeah right — I don’t believe that for one minute,” she said from her home overlooking the bay where she spotted the mysterious objects.
“It was no model rocket. … You don’t even have to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out.”
She said everyone in the tiny coastal community knows everyone and she’s never heard of people launching homemade rockets from land or sea.
Pardy and two friends claim they saw the objects Monday evening as one was taking pictures of the sunset.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay made a joke about the objects at an announcement on Friday in St. John’s.
“We will provide money to build a landing strip for UFOs at Harbour Mille,” CBC News quoted MacKay as saying.
“No, I’m only kidding. I’m joking. That’s a joke.”
MacKay said it’s still a mystery what people in the area saw.
“There’s still spotty information about it. Given the speed in which this unknown item was travelling, it appears difficult to say whether it was in fact a missile or whether it was some kind of a test, perhaps,” he said.
“But we’ve checked with other countries. We’ve made inquiries. We’ll continue to do so. But I don’t think it’s any cause for panic.”
Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams said he was concerned about the sighting, describing himself as a “UFO guy.”
Williams said he discussed the issue with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and MacKay when the two men were in St. John’s.
“They said they’ve checked everything within the defence systems, they’ve checked with whoever they could check with and they have absolutely no record of anything, for want of a better term, foreign, that could have happened there,” he said.
“Something was seen. But from a Canadian defence perspective, I’m satisfied after talking to the prime minister and the minister of defence that there certainly wasn’t anything that was being hidden by the government of Canada.”
Calls to the RCMP and Public Safety Canada on Thursday were referred to the Prime Minister’s Office, which issued a statement saying only that there was no indication of a rocket launch.
Canadian and French authorities have both investigated reports of rockets appearing off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, and have concluded there has been no military testing in the area.
“We can rule out any kind of military exercise,” said Dimitri Soudas, a spokesman for Harper.
Soudas had said on Thursday that there was no evidence of any kind of military testing. But authorities in both Canada and France wanted to make sure, he said, so they looked into the reports further and found no basis for concern.
The French Embassy issued a statement late Thursday indicating that it hadn’t conducted any military activity in Newfoundland or nearby St-Pierre-Miquelon at the time of the sightings.
But Pardy said she definitely saw something that looked like a missile and now believes someone is concealing the explanation.
“To me it sounds like they know what happened and somebody’s trying to cover something up,” she said. “Somebody made a blunder somewhere.”
NTV News showed video on its Friday evening newscast provided by a viewer that it says was taken at the same time as the photographs on Monday. The video shows a passing airplane.