Many locals heard and saw jets over Valemount Tuesday, July 23. It is not an unusual occurrence, as Captain Sandy Bourne from CFB Cold Lake confirmed that there is military airspace in the area, and they occasionally hold training runs through here.
But Captain Bourne also confirmed that there were no Canadian Air Force craft in the area on Tuesday. And that agrees with one witness’s account – they weren’t Canadian.
A man, who would only say his name was “John” stopped by the Goat office on Wednesday to say he saw what he believed to be two green F16 fighter jets on Tuesday. He claimed he saw them each drop a large box by parachute, and he watched one of them land in Kinbasket Lake. He said the people working near the old mill site also saw it, that he let them use his binoculars, and they could all see the box floating on the lake. By the time this reporter reached the old mill site, there was no one working there, and no sign of the box.
There was an Air Show in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta on Wednesday, July 24, and it is conceivable that some of the participants might have been doing some touring the day before. But a representative from the Rocky Mountain House Airshow Society told the Goat there were no American Military at the show. A query to the United States Air Force about whether they had aircraft in our area, and if they dropped anything by parachute elicited this brief and vague response – “it is not true.”
Other witnesses reported the aircraft were grey, and said they were CF 18’s. That accords with the color and type of craft used by the Canadian Air Force, but there were apparently none in the area that day. Also, Captain Bourne says the CF 18’s are not capable of dropping cargo.
Valemount resident Ada Redekop remembers doing maintenance on forestry recreation sites years ago, and coming upon two young German soldiers camped at Lasalle Lake. She remembers they had no vehicle, and almost nothing for survival gear, and although she didn’t remember much of her German at that time, and they barely spoke English, they were quite intent on finding out where they were. Years later, Redekop heard that it was common for foreign soldiers to be dropped off in the wilderness, and have to find their way somewhere, as part of a training module.
Is it conceivable that foreign forces are still doing training missions in our mountains? Could they have been civilian aircraft? What might be in the boxes, and where are they now? Let us know what you think, or if you have any further information.
By: Korie Marshall