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Damn Americans

 

In 1959 Canadian radar operators in the province of Manitoba picked up an object coming over the North Pole that appeared to be in trouble. The radar profile of the object fit that of a U-2 spy plane that they had seen many times before. This time the object, heading south towards the United States appeared to be too low. It was evident that the object would not make it back.

 As it neared the ground, the object was lost from radar. Calculations as to the crash site were made and relayed to the Department of Transport accident investigation unit in Winnipeg Manitoba. They scrambled to put a crew together and hurried to the site along the Manitoba Saskatchewan border many hundreds of miles north of the U.S. Canada border.

 When the Canadian accident investigators arrived on the scene, the U.S. military was already at the site. They had the entire site cordoned off, and armed guards along the perimeter.

 When the lead accident investigator approached the edge of the restricted area, an African American guard pointed his rifle towards the Canadian and said something to the effect “You better get out of here boy.”

 The lead investigator reminded the guard that he was on sovereign Canadian soil, and that they had jurisdiction over the crash site. The guard repeated his statement that the investigation team would not be allowed on the site, and that they should go back to were they had come.

 Infuriated and incensed, the team returned to Winnipeg, where a call was placed to Ottawa to gain authority to get on the site. The person at the Department of Transport head office stated he would check on the situation and phone right back.

 Two hours later, the lead investigator received a call back from Ottawa. The situation had been discussed, and the federal government had decided that the accident investigation team should “maybe leave the Americans alone.”

 For many months the lead investigator would tell the story to DOT people at the Winnipeg office. For him, the story always ended with the same words. “The damn Americans – they think they own everything!”