'Witnesses were very frightened': Survey of 2017 Canadian UFO sightings released
Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver topped the list
Hovering lights in the sky. Pulsing lights. A humming noise.
Objects shaped like spheres, discs, triangles and boomerangs.
The witnesses include ordinary folk, airline crews, a particle physicist and an airport's weather observer.
A survey released by Manitoba-based Ufology Research on Tuesday says there were 1,101 UFO sightings — an average of three a day — reported in Canada in 2017.
About eight per cent of those were deemed unexplainable.
"Many people continue to report unusual objects in the sky, and some of these objects do not have obvious explanations," says the survey.
"Many witnesses are pilots, police and other individuals with reasonably good observing capabilities and good judgment."
Quebec had the most sightings at 518. Nunavut had the fewest at two.
Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton topped the cities with the most UFO reports.
Ufology Research takes data from all known sources, including UFO organizations, government files, direct witness reports, media and some internet posts. Its analysis takes into account location, types of encounters, reliability of witnesses and strangeness of sightings.
Some of the more bizarre unexplained reports from 2017 included:
- Jan. 5, 6 p.m: Two people in French River, Ont., observed multiple colours for about 10 minutes. Several coloured "orbs"approached the witnesses and hovered before moving away. "Witnesses were very frightened."
- March 15, 7:20 p.m: Crews on two separate airliners 65 kilometres northeast of Enderby, B.C., reported a bright, white strobing light above them. Radar indicated no other known aircraft were in the vicinity.
- July 11, 3:12 p.m: One witness near Smithville, Ont., reported that a "shiny object with a raised dome moved slowly and silently over nearby trees ... It seemed to hover, then ascended rapidly out of sight."
- Aug. 25, 9:50 a.m: Two people in Stewiacke, N.S., watched a dark triangular object for about three minutes silhouetted against the sky. It had three white lights at the points, an orange-red light in the centre and two strobe lights. "The object flew over the witnesses, making a humming noise."
- Sept. 23, 8:30 p.m: Ten people watched as a red, triangular object approached Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Que., from the northeast and came to a stop above them. It was stationary for several seconds before its red lights intensified, then flickered, before it moved away.
Ufology Research notes the number of reported UFO sightings remains high. The 2017 figure compares with 1,132 in 2016 and 1,265 in 2015.
The group suggests several explanations, among them more secret or classified military exercises, people unaware of natural objects in the sky and easier reporting of alleged sightings because of advancing online technology.
It also posits that perhaps "more UFOs are present and physically observable by witnesses."
But the survey concludes that "there is no incontrovertible evidence that some UFO cases involved extraterrestrial contact."