Did the Canadians
Have a Top Secret Flying Saucer Program?
In 1978, during my meeting with Murl Smith, the wife of Wilbert
Smith, the director of the official Canadian investigation into flying saucers known as
Project Magnet, she told me of the efforts by the Canadians to land an alien by the name
of AFFA at the Top Secret Defense Research Board Station at Suffield, Alberta.
The three groups that were involved in the negotiations for the
government, according to Mrs. Smith were the government (then Prime Minister
Louis St. Laurent was mentioned in this regard), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and
the Defense Department.
The inclusion of the Prime Minister on such a committee makes
sense, as does the inclusion of the Defense Department. Suffield after all was the
Canadian equivalent to Area 51 where the Defense Departments Defense Research
Board tested chemical weapons and new weapons of war.
The inclusion of the R.C.M.P., however made no sense. What did
they plan to do at Suffield arrest the alien? The R.C.M.P. in many respects was
nothing more than a glorified police force in 1954 when the planned landing of the alien
They had filed UFO reports that ended up on Wilbert Smiths
desk, but this is because in many small Canadian towns, and in many provinces, they were
the main police force. They would be the police force that witnesses would go to when
reporting UFO sightings. They were therefore a logical source to gather up UFO reports
across the country.
Their presence on a Top-Secret base, and their involvement in an
attempt to contact and land an alien was totally out of place.
In 1967, then Canadian Minister of Defense, Paul Hellyer, referred
to the group who had been involved in opening the UFO landing base at Suffield, as a Top
Secret Committee. He did not, however, spell
out who was on the committee.
Hellyer was pressured by researcher Arthur Bray and myself to
answer two questions regarding his 1967 statement made at the opening of a UFO landing
base in St. Paul, Alberta. The small concrete base had set up as a town
Centennial Project, and tourist attraction. The two questions Hellyer was pressed on
The first question was never answered by Hellyer, but over a
couple years he tried to convince us he was trying to answer the second. He stated that
the official in question was the UFO expert in the defense department, but he
unfortunately couldnt remember his name. He assured Arthur Bray that there was no
UFO cover-up as far as he knew at least on this side of the border.
The official had provided him with a good UFO file, and had told
him the story about the opening of the Suffield base for any UFOs that cared to land
without being shot at. Hellyer even claimed he had gone to the National Archives to look
for the file, and couldnt find it. After many years of reflection he was never able
to remember the name of this top official in his department.
What he did reveal is that the official had been the R.C.M.P.
official on the Top-Secret committee in 1954, and thus was aware of what had happened. He
had moved up to become a top defense official in 1967. Although this provided no leads to
us in talking to the top UFO expert in the Canadian Defense Department, it did provide a
confirmation of Mrs. Smiths story that the R.C.M.P. had been involved.
Hellyers reference to the committee raises another
interesting scenario. It raises the possibility that there was a Top-Secret group working
on the UFO problem in 1954 that we have never been aware of.
Wilbert Smiths Project Magnet project has often
been referred to as a Top-Secret project. A careful check of the facts shows that it was
The actual fact was that in 1950, Wilbert Smith wrote a Top-Secret
memo on flying saucers to his boss at the department of Transport, and for a brief moment
the whole issue was Top-Secret. It was in this initial Top-Secret memo that Smith stated
he had been told by American officials that flying saucers existed, and that it was the
most highly classified subject in the United States, among other things.
A review of the documents left in his files by Wilbert Smith,
however, shows that shortly after the memo was written the project was approved and run at
a secret level. In a letter dated January 3, 1951, a little over a month after he wrote
the top-secret memo, Smith wrote to a fellow by the name of Gordon Cox at the Canadian
Embassy in Washington, D.C. In the letter Smith stated,
Further proof that Project Magnet
was only Secret if one takes a close look at the original Top-Secret memo written by
Smith. Right below the date is a Secret stamp, not visible in many of the
photocopies that have been made of the document. It is evident from this that the document
was downgraded to secret shortly after it was written to coincide with the project which
was given the Secret classification in January 1951.
So, if Magnet was only at a
secret level, where is the Top Secret committee working on UFOs in 1954
referred to by the Minister of Defense? The only other UFO program know in Canada during
the fifties was Project Second Storey, run out of the Department of Defense, and it was
only at a Secret level. It appears there is one missing Canadian UFO project
active in 1954, and classified at Top-Secret.
1954 was also the year that
Project Magnet was shut down, in part because of the media reaction to the mysterious over
flight of the flying saucer station run officially by Wilbert Smith outside of Ottawa.
Smith blamed well-meaning journalists for the demise of the program with their
constant stories hyping leaks that came from the flying saucer program.
Is it possible that, like other
classified programs here and in the United States that suffered from leaks, that the
program was simply shut down, named changed, and another more highly classified program
Many people over the years have
questioned why Wilbert Smith spoke so much about things that were supposed to be
classified? In this case however, we know that Smith didnt say a thing. Wilbert
Smith kept the story of the landing field at the Top-Secret Suffield base secret. Its
existence was not disclosed until five years after Wilbert Smith died, and then by the
It is possible that like the Top-Secret committee mentioned by Hellyer in 1967, that there are many things Wilbert Smith did that were never made public. We know for example that the Project Magnet Report written in 1953, sat on the Prime Ministers desk for three months, that there was a room in the Pentagon where the small pieces of flying saucer hardware were stored, and that Smith was given brief access to the alien bodies, and a crashed flying saucer. These items, known to Smith, were also not released till long after Wilbert Smith died.
We may be seeing only the tip of the iceberg as to what happened during his tenure as the director of the official Canadian investigation into flying saucers. The more we dig the more that becomes uncovered as to what actually happened. To that end, the search for a possible Top-Secret Project will continue.
For more information on the Canadian UFO landing base and Wilbert Smith see,