UFO sightings in Canada
According to a memo written by the Department of National Defence, sightings of unidentified flying objects in Canada occurred throughout the first half of the twentieth century. However, the Canadian government did not take interest in collecting information on sightings until 1947.
1951, Gander, Newfoundland
On February 10, 1951, a U.S. Navy aircraft flying to Iceland from Gander reported a near-collision with a large, orange, circular UFO that “almost literally flew circles around" the American aircraft.
1960, Clan Lake, Northwest Territories
On June 18, 1960, a prospector told the Yellowknife RCMP detachment that a month earlier, he and his partner saw a UFO at Clan Lake, located 30 miles north of Yellowknife. According to UFOlogist Chris Rutkowski, the men claimed they saw a hovering object 4 to 6 feet wide that hit the surface of the lake. The RCMP investigated, but found nothing.
1967, Falcon Lake, Manitoba
Stefan Michalak claimed he was burned by one of two flying saucers with which he reportedly came into contact on May 19, 1967, near Falcon Lake, Manitoba. Ufologists claim that images of Michalak in the hospital show a grid of burn marks on his chest, and a similar grid appears burned into his T-shirt. Ufologists consider it to be one of the most documented UFO stories in Canada.
Two books have been written on the alleged Falcon Lake occurrence:
- (2017). Stan Michalak, Chris Rutkowski. When They Appeared Falcon Lake 1967: The inside story of a close encounter. ISBN 9781772800951
- (2015). George Dudding. The Falcon Lake UFO Encounter. ISBN 978-1514246825
Skeptic Aaron Sakulich reviewed the report made by Michalak to police shortly after the incident, along with other evidence, and concluded that Michalak was indeed burned, but that the burns were likely caused by an accident brought on by alcohol consumption, and that Michalak, who was prospecting for silver ore near the lake at the time, probably made the story up to keep other prospectors out of the area.
In April 2018, the Royal Canadian Mint released a $20 silver coin depicting the alleged event as the first of its Canada's Unexplained Phenomena series, stating "According to Stefan Michalak’s account, two glowing objects descended from the sky on May 20, 1967, near Falcon Lake, Manitoba, where one landed close enough for him to approach. When the craft suddenly took flight, its emission set Michalak’s clothes ablaze, leaving him with mysterious burns… and an unusual tale to tell."
1967, Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia
The incident was the purported crash of an unidentified flying object in Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia in October 1967. On October 1, 2019, the Royal Canadian Mint released a $20 silver glow-in-the-dark coin depicting the sighting as the second of the Canada Unexplained Phenomena series.
1969, Prince George, British Columbia
In Prince George, British Columbia, three unrelated witnesses reported a strange, round object in the late afternoon sky on January 1, 1969. The sphere radiated a yellow-orange light and appeared to ascend from 2,000 to 10,000 feet.
1975–1976, Southern Manitoba
Several sightings were reported of a red glowing UFO, sometimes described as "mischievous" or "playful", sighted in Southern Manitoba in 1975 and 1976. The UFO was nicknamed "Charlie Redstar" by the public.
1978, Clarenville, Newfoundland and Labrador
A single sighting of a UFO by twelve individuals in the early morning October 26, 1978 occurred in Clarenville, Newfoundland and Labrador near Random Island. The object was reportedly oval-shaped with a fin on its tail. Individuals who spotted the object called the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the dispatched officer, Constable James Blackwood, witnessed the UFO hover 100 feet (30.5 m) above the water for around one or two hours before vanishing. Blackwood used a telescope specialized for drug surveillance to observe the UFO, and other eyewitnesses used binoculars. According to Blackwood, when he shone his headlights the object would react by shining its headlights back. Reportedly Blackwood was attempting to contact the pilots of the craft. It left no evidence of its appearance apart from eyewitness testimony of the event.
1990, Montreal, Quebec
On November 7, 1990, in Montreal, Quebec, witnesses reported a round, metallic object of about 540 metres wide over the rooftop pool of the Bonaventure Hotel. Eyewitnesses saw 8 to 10 lights forming into a circle above them, emitting bright white rays. The phenomenon lasted three hours, from 7.20 to 10.20 p.m., and moved slowly northwards. While none could identify the lights, a few witnesses, according to the next day's report in La Presse, were ready to express their belief that they were visited by aliens.
The sighting was commemorated in 2021 on a $20 silver glow-in-the-dark coin as the fourth installment of the Canada's Unexplained Phenomena series by the Royal Canadian Mint.
1997, Trail, BC
At least two women standing on the bridge over the Columbia River, waiting for the fireworks show, on the evening of July 1st, witnessed three small lights above them and they quickly took off down the river, just a foot or two above the water, they zig-zagged along the river heading eastbound until they flew out of sight. The two women, who were strangers, looked at one another in awe, realizing that was not part of the fireworks show, they hadn't yet began, it was still daylight.
2010, Harbour Mille, Newfoundland and Labrador
During the night of January 25, 2010 there were multiple UFO sighting reports in Harbour Mille, Newfoundland and Labrador. Royal Canadian Mounted Police initially stated the reports were due to a missile launch, but later retracted the statement, and the Office of the Prime Minister stated that the UFOs were not missiles. Due to Harbour Mille's proximity to Saint Pierre and Miquelon, residents suspected French military activity, an assumption which was dispelled by an official statement by the French Government confirming there was no military activity taking place during the reported incident. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police referred to the event as an unexplained sighting, and NORAD stated there was no known rocket launch at the time. The event prompted Member of Parliament for the constituency Harbour Mille was in at the time, Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte MP Gerry Byrne to press the government for further information regarding the incident and criticized the Conservative government on its lack of transparency.
2014, Kensington, Prince Edward Island
While putting out a bonfire late in the evening of June 4, 2014, John Sheppard witnessed unusual lights in the sky over the Gulf of St. Lawrence and captured 22 minutes of it on his cellphone. After reporting the incident to MUFON and their investigation concluding it being a confirmed sighting, CBC covered the event. The next day, CBC released a follow-up article in which a series of alternate explanations for the event were presented.
Canadian UFO Survey results
According to the 2002 Canadian UFO Survey published by Ufology Research of Manitoba, Toronto had the largest number of sightings with 34, followed by Vancouver with 31 and Terrace, B.C. with 25 reports. In 2002, a typical UFO sighting lasted approximately 15 minutes.
On July 15, 2018, a Canadian news site mentioned a new study conducted by Ufology Research, formerly known as Ufology Research of Manitoba, stating there were more than 1,000 UFO sightings reported in Canada in 2017.
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- Sakulich, Aaron. "Stefan Michalak's Ridiculous Story". The Iron Skeptic. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
- "1 oz. Pure Silver Glow-in-the-Dark Coin – Canada's Unexplained Phenomena: The Falcon Lake Incident – Mintage: 4,000 (2018)". Royal Canadian Mint. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
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- Canada's Unidentified Flying Objects: The Search for the Unknown at Library and Archives Canada
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