A mysterious, unidentified flying object over Semiahmoo Bay has caught the attention, and imagination, of some White Rock residents.
Matt Kilback first reported seeing the unusual object to a White Rock Facebook group last week.
Kilback, who was asking if anyone else saw the “anomalies” that took place Dec. 15 afternoon, reported seeing what he initially thought was a waterspout forming.
In an interview with Peace Arch News, Kilback said the morphing object first looked like a plume of smoke or mist.
“Super saturated, dark, low-hanging, free-moving cloud that looked like it was trying to touch down on the water to form a waterspout. Up above it, there were literally circle clouds,” Kilback said.
“As soon as it touched the water, it would start pulling water up and then it would collapse. And then it would disappear for a second, almost as if it would go into the water, and it would start reforming again in another spot.”
Kilback said the object was about 2-5 kilometres out in the bay, but says he got a pretty decent look at it coming out of the water.
“It was forming like a sort of funnel shape sort of thing. And then it completely came out of the water, and it came probably a few hundred feet up, and then it came back down and it totally submerged itself and formed, it looked like, a solid formation under the water. And then it started moving without making any splashes. It wasn’t disturbing the water at all, but you could see clearly it was a round object that was submerged right under the surface of the water and it was moving incredible speeds.”
Shannon Stewart, who also observed the unusual object, described it as “really weird.”
“There was a dark shadow moving across the water, then it would disappear and reappear moving in the other direction. This went on for a long time,” Stewart told PAN.
“We used binoculars to look because we thought it was a whale in the bay or a flock of birds, maybe. But we couldn’t see any birds, but there was something at the tip of the shadow coming out of the water like a seal or something.”
Asked if what Stewart observed could have been a submarine, she said no.
“It definitely wasn’t a submarine. It didn’t move like a submarine at all.”
Kilback offered two theories, suggesting the object was related to US Navy technology or it was extraterrestrial.
“It looked like either nano-tech, or it was ethereal, man. I’m telling you. I do believe that we can’t be the only ones in this universe. You can’t help but think aliens, man,” Kilback said.
Contacted by PAN, White Rock Sea Tours owner Andrew Newman, who has spent countless hours in Semiahmoo Bay, weighed in on what the object could have been.
Newman said when the atmospheric conditions are just right, objects in the water – such as a vessel – can appear distorted.
“It looks like a mirage,” Newman said.
Another theory, which Newman agreed is most likely, is that it could have been a flock of birds.
“I’ve seen that in the distance, and that is ridiculous, too. That looks like a flying saucer,” Newman said.
Local photographer and birder Kate Paton pointed to Dunlin, small birds that flock in numbers up to 40,000.
“I can totally understand why (some) think it’s alien or other worldly!” Paton wrote to PAN. “But they’re tiny little birds!”
Paton explained that the birds arrive over winter and move up and down the coast in great numbers before returning to the Arctic in the summer.
“As they turn and catch the light they seem to disappear for a while but then catch the light – black and then white – absolutely brilliant to watch,” she wrote.
Paton said the birds are about the size of a thumb.
“Their dance or murmuration is usually a defence manoeuvre to evade peregrine falcons,” Paton wrote. “They flash and swoop and vanish and try to trick the falcon.”
Kilback, however, isn’t convinced.
“There’s no chance it was birds. Not at all, man.”