More Manitobans are spotting unexplained objects in the sky than ever before.
An annual UFO survey released this week by Winnipeg-based Ufology Research, shows record-breaking UFO sightings in the province last year. There were 124 in 2012, compared to 81 the year before.
The only other time the number of sightings surpassed the 100 mark was 112 in 2004, according to the Ufology group, which has collected data for 24 years.
A similar trend is happening across the country, with a record numbers of UFOs reported in all provinces except Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island.
The total number of sightings in Canada for 2012 was 1,981, far exceeding the previous record of 1,004 in 2008.
Ufology Research director Chris Rutkowski said the spike could be due to better Internet access or military exercises in populated areas.
He says some reports were quite unusual, including "octagon shape things [and] things that were amorphous, without any defined shapes, like blobs moving through the sky.
"Some of them [were] actually changing shape as they flew. Those ones are really puzzling."
The octagonal one was reported by a Winnipeg couple who saw the black object with flashing lights in an isolated part of the city.
The colours also varied widely, from purple to pink, blue, silver, red, green, orange, multi-coloured and more.
"They make us wonder exactly what it is that people are seeing. Since we don't have the proof or evidence to suggest that aliens are behind the UFO phenomenon, then what is exactly driving the UFO phenomenon?" said Rutkowski.
The data for the Ufology report, which found more than half of all UFO sightings were of unusual lights in the sky, comes from researchers and investigators across Canada.
Many witnesses are pilots, police and other individuals "with reasonably good observing capabilities and good judgement," the report states.
"The continued reporting of UFOs by the public and the yearly increase in numbers of UFO reports suggests a need for further examination of the phenomenon by social, medical and/or physical scientists," the report urges.
According to documents obtained by CBC News earlier this year under the Access to Information Act, the Canadian government has decided to give up tracking and investigating UFO sightings.
It's now up to civilian volunteers to report what's going on up in the sky any information on UFO sightings received by various government agencies is passed on to Rutkowski.
Some of the most interesting cases from 2012:
- Feb. 19: 1:56 a.m.
Ottawa, Ont. — A witness observed an object shaped like a "huge dradle" with red lights. A loud roaring sound was seen while it was in view. It moved smoothly out sight.
- Feb. 25: 5 p.m.
Elmira, Ont. — Two witnesses saw two dark objects "shaped like guitar picks" moving silently overhead at an estimated 200 feet high, heading east.
- Feb. 25: 7 p.m.
Winnipeg, Man. — Two witnesses observed a flat, disc-shaped object with red lights around its perimeter. As it flew in horizontal flight, it turned on its side and then darted towards the witnesses’ vehicle, then vanished before their eyes when it was within five metres of them.
- April 7: 7 p.m.
Saint-Redempteur, Que. — An object composed of three rings in a triangle approached the witnesses while they were driving. It flew overhead and then disappeared. As they drove further, the witnesses felt something touching or poking them, but could not see anything.
- April 7: 10:10 p.m.
Montreal — An airline pilot was watching the sky and saw an odd orange light moving SW across the sky. As he watched, it faded, revealing a triangular object without many lights, rolling back and forth as it flew.
- May 11: 12:37 a.m.
Courtenay, B.C. — A large square object with more than 30 multicoloured lights hovered over the ocean, moved from side to side and then in an arc. It was described as a "giant lit up billboard floating in the sky." It made "rounds" for 10 minutes before vanished from sight.
- May 24: 7 p.m.
Wallaceburg, Ont. — A silver "airplane" was seen flying low over a residential area. It proceeded to change its shape, from that of an airplane to a "musical triangle," a "bird’s foot," a "spinning bangle" and a "snow cone." It was in sight for about 30 seconds before it was lost behind some trees.
- Aug. 9: 10 p.m.
Thorne, Ont. — A humming noise was heard, then a disc-shaped object with red and white lights moved into view between two farmhouses. It shot into the air, dropped down again, rotated to reveal a different colour and set of lights and headed off in the direction from which it came.
The 2012 Canadian UFO survey summary:
- There were 1,981 UFO sightings reported in Canada in 2012, or about five each day, which is more than twice the number of reports in 2011 (986).
- The number of cases in 2012 eclipsed the previous record for the highest number of reports in one year, when 1,004 were received in 2008.
- In 2012, there were record numbers of UFOs reported in all provinces except Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island. Ontario had more than 40 per cent of all Canadian UFO reports in 2012.
- In 2012, about 7.5 per cent of all UFO reports were judged to be unexplained. This percentage dropped from 11 per cent in 2011.
- The typical UFO sighting lasted approximately 15 minutes in 2012.