The unexplained sighting of a brightly lit object above a Vancouver Island hospital by a group of nurses in 1970 has now been immortalized on a special glow-in-the-dark coin.
The latest collectible silver coin produced by the Royal Canadian Mint features an eerie scene by B.C. artist Patrick Bélanger, showing a nurse pulling back curtains to reveal a floating saucer-shaped craft with a glass-like dome, and two shadowy figures inside.
The $20 coin, which is rectangular in shape, is the sixth in the mint's Canada's Unexplained Phenomena series, which depicts unexplained encounters from the country's past.
Like the other coins in the series, it comes with a black-light flashlight that activates glow-in-the-dark technology in the coin.
The UFO on the coin glows when viewed under a black-light flashlight. (Royal Canadian Mint)
The so-called Duncan Incident happened on the morning of Jan. 1, 1970, when a nurse at a hospital in Duncan, B.C., claimed to have seen a UFO with two humanoid figures inside.
According to a news release by the mint, the nurse called over another colleague to witness the 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."
In the same release, Canadian UFO expert Chris Rutkowski said the Duncan Incident remains shrouded in mystery more than 50 years later.
"The RCMP officer who investigated the case was puzzled and could not explain the incident," said Rutkowski.
The mint called on Bélanger, who runs the Drifter studio on Gabriola Island in B.C.'s Gulf Islands, to help create a coin based on the sighting.
"They sent out a brief and based on that I did my own research," he said, adding that he found the story intriguing.
"Reading the reports, I could see the scene in my head."
Bélanger produced another coin in the series in 2021 depicting the Montréal Incident, which shows a mysterious object floating above the city's Hôtel Bonaventure on the night of Nov. 7, 1990.
Other coins in the series include scenes from a UFO crash in Shag Harbour, N.S., in 1967 and a giant UFO sighting in Yukon in 1996.
Patrick Bélanger with the two coins he has designed for the mint. His newest is the Duncan Incident (left). The other, released in 2021, depicts the Montréal Incident, which shows a mysterious object floating above one of the city's hotels. (Submitted by Patrick Bélanger)
"It takes about a year to produce a full coin such as these," Bélanger said. "The process is quite intense but also a lot of fun."
Bélanger says he has been a graphic designer for 35 years but began illustrating coins more recently.
In 2017, he worked on a three-coin series for the mint called Norse Figureheads in which he designed a Viking ship.
"Technology-wise, this [unexplained phenomena series] is more advanced — they glow in the dark and have colours on the coin," he said.
The $20 silver coin showing the Duncan Incident retails for about $139 and has a limited run of 6,500.
The other side of the Duncan Incident coin features a wormhole behind an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. (Royal Canadian Mint)