- A new study by a national research group
has found that the skies are getting more crowded - with UFOs. "We
were surprised to learn there were so many reports last year," said
astronomer Chris Rutkowski, research coordinator for Ufology Research of
Manitoba (UFOROM), which collects and studies UFO reports in Canada. "There
were 284 UFO sightings reported in Canada in 1997, up about 10 per cent
from 1996." Last year's cases ranged from a group of people chased
by a flying saucer near Tuktoyaktuk to a giant boomerang buzzing a 20-year
Coast Guard veteran in Sault Ste. Marie. Rutkowski said sightings reported
to researchers and UFO groups from BC to the Maritimes were collected by
UFOROM and added to a database for statistical analyses.
- Among the findings: Most UFOs were reported
in BC (35%) and Ontario (25%). UFOs were seen in winter as likely as summer;
no national monthly trend was found. Almost three-quarters of all UFOs
are seen at night, and most of these around 11:00 p.m. Most UFOs are watched
for a long time; the average length of observation was 20 minutes. UFOs
are witnessed by more than one person at a time; most cases have two witnesses.
The typical Hollywood-style flying-saucer-shaped UFOs are now less common
than triangular ones. Only 4.6% of all the UFO reports were labelled "higher-quality
unknowns"; most UFO sightings were either misidentifications of things
such as planes or planets, or the reports didn't have enough information
to reach a conclusion. "None of these 'unknowns' prove there are aliens
out there," Rutkowski said, "but we are left with some cases
which investigators cannot explain."
- For regional information, contact: UFO*BC
at 604-581-1209 MUFON Ontario at 416-532-9371 SOS OVNI (Quebec) at 514-536-0140
MUFON Nova Scotia at 902-832-1984.
- For additional information, contact:
Chris Rutkowski through UFOROM at 204-269-7553