“If I'd had a sling-shot, I could have knocked it down”.
It was an unidentified flying object that Engineer William (Ben) Benwick and
other crew members of the CNR 443-North speed freight say followed them early
Their story followed reports of other UFO sightings in Alberta.
Mr. Benwick, of Calgary, said the object flew alongside the train at a
distance of about 100 yards.
On one occasion, he said it dived toward the train and came much closer.
The object was sighted one mile north of Elnora at 1:50 a.m. by several of the
train’s crew. Elnora is about 35 miles south east of Red Deer.
At first Mr. Benwick had been reluctant to report the incident to a newspaper.
“I thought everybody would take me for a nut,” he said.
He told The Journal that the train was going at about 50 mph at the time and
that the UFO followed along. When they stopped at Alix to drop off a car, it
stopped also and “Just hung there.”
It then followed the train all the way into Mirror.
Mr. Benwick described the UFO as being a little more than the length of a
boxcar in diameter, about 40 feet. It had colored lights around the rim which
flashed red, green, orange, and yellow.
Its top cone was black, and underneath there was a circle of glowing light,
about 10 feet in diameter.
“When we got to Mirror, I told the operator there about it, and he asked what
I had been drinking. I told him: ‘There it is, right in front of you,’ and he
just said: ‘My God’.”
The CNR operator at Mirror, Larry Mazure, later told Mr. Benwick that the UFO
hovered about 15 miles east of Mirror for two hours more before it left.
The same night, Mrs. David Soppit, who lives about five miles west of Mirror,
reported to The Journal that she had heard a humming or whirring noise, and
when she looked out the window she saw an extremely fast moving light in the
The following night, the engineer of another freight train, Hubert Schmidt,
also reported the sighting of a UFO.