Notes from interview by Robin McGrath with Anthony McGrath
July 1994


Notes in [brackets] by Ric Gillespie.

Anthony McGrath is an 82 year old resident of Patrick’s Cove. He is, as far as is known, the only living person to have seen the White Bird in the Gull Pond on the Cape Shore. Anthony’s story, however, begins before his actual discovery of this metal bird in the pond.

According to Anthony, the first clue to the mystery came late one evening when a buzzing sound foreign to him was heard in the sky above Patrick’s Cove. The noise , he says, was like a humming sound. At the time, the people of the community discussed the noise heard in the night, but no one suspected it to have been a plane. [Probable reference to Cotton.]

The next encounter Anthony had with the plane of the Gull Pond came as the result of a hunting trip with Mr. Ronald McGrath. Anthony is not quite sure how long after the time they had heard the noise in the sky this was, but he thinks it was a few years because he had since gotten married.

On this trip he says he first saw a metal object sticking up from the ice of the Gull Pond. [This sounds like Patsy Judge, Leo McGrath, Ignatius McGrath, and Patrick McGrath in “the ’40s.“] How long this object had been in the pond he does not know. He explained that it could have been there for years unnoticed not only because it was so far back in the country, but also because most people were nervous of crossing large ponds covered with ice in the winter when hunting for caribou. This was especially so of the Gull Pond because it was known to have hot springs that would prevent it from freezing well. [???]

He also says that it is a possibility it would not have been seen when the ice was off the pond in the spring due to the increased water level as a result of the winters ice melting. Other times of the year they would not have been this far back in the country.

Upon examination of the object Anthony says it was a painted blue metal. [Consistent with other accounts.] This piece of metal he twisted out. [James Judge said his father Patsy and George McGrath cut out several pieces with an axe circa 1946.] He described it as being light and recalls it had rivets in it. [This sounds like the piece Patrick Judge described being recovered by Patsy Judge “in the 40s.”] He says he carried it to the tuck of woods to the southwest side of the pond next to the island. [There does seem to be a small stand of tuck near the southwest corner of the pond.] Several months later he returned to where he had hidden the metal piece only to find it missing. His explanation for the disappearance is that he had told people back in the community of his discovery and where he had hidden it, and suspects someone must have taken it.

A second piece Anthony knew of was the one Patsy Judge had. This piece he said was burned in Patsy’s stable when it caught fire as a result of some people who worked with the highroads having a “mug up.” Story has it that a spark from the fire they had lit landed on hay in the stable causing the stable to burn. Where the metal went from there he does not know.

Anthony says his brother Johnny also had a piece of the plane. This piece he says Johnny’s wife told him was thrown out in the “sallys.” He said Johnny had his piece for years after he had found it and could only have went missing in the last twenty years or so.

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