A UFO sighting in Duncan in 1970 is the inspiration behind a new collectible silver coin that is being produced by the Royal Canadian Mint.
Before dawn on New Year’s Day, 1970, a nurse at the Cowichan District Hospital opened the curtain in a patient’s room.
The nurse described seeing a large saucer-shaped craft with a glass-like dome top.
Inside the object, which was estimated to be 15 metres in diameter and illuminated from the bottom, the nurse said two male-like figures clad in dark cloth appeared to be standing in front of a large panel.
RELATED STORY: STRINGS OF LIGHTS SEEN IN NIGHT SKY OVER COWICHAN VALLEY
Absorbed by the sight, the nurse studied both the craft and its occupants, and soon noticed one of the figures slowly turning to face in her direction.
The other figure then reached down to grab hold of a lever, and the tilted craft began to spin in a counter-clockwise direction.
The nurse called over a colleague to witness the hovering object just as it silently and swiftly moved away, though its lights were still visible to two more witnesses who joined them at the window.
UFO expert Chris Rutkowski said whatever it was hovering outside the hospital window that night, it did not seem to be anything familiar to the nurse or the others who caught a glimpse as it flew away.
“Even the RCMP officer who investigated the case was puzzled and could not explain the incident,” Rutkowski said.
The scene when the nurse first opened the curtain in the hospital room is depicted on the $20 rectangular collectable coin’s colour-over-engraved reverse side.
The coin is the sixth in the mint’s Canada’s Unexplained Phenomena series — one of its most popular themes — and all previous coins in the series sold out quickly.
RELATED STORY: UFO SPOTTED NEAR SHAWNIGAN LAKE
It was designed by Gabriola Island artist Patrick Bélanger, his second in the Canada’s Unexplained Phenomena series, based on descriptions of the event.
He said he was truly inspired by the story.
“The design, done in a vintage style reflecting the 1970s, is arguably one of my favourites so far,” Bélanger said.
“The contrast of the drab hospital room against the bright lights outside the window gave the coin a mysterious feel to it; and I am loving it.”
The one-ounce, 99.99 per cent pure silver coin, emphasizes the size of the craft observed in the early morning sky.
The mysterious object’s colourful lights are amplified when the coin’s embedded black-light paint technology is activated.
The other side of the coin features a wormhole background and the effigy of the late Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
The other side also bears a special marking that includes four pearls symbolizing the four effigies that have graced Canadian coins and the double date of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.
Each coin is encapsulated and presented in a black Royal Canadian Mint-branded clamshell with a black beauty box, and includes a serialized certificate.
The Royal Canadian Mint certifies all of its collector coins.