SASKATOON – There were 1,267 UFO sightings reported in Canada last year. That’s according to the Canadian UFO report, released earlier this week. It’s the second highest number of annual sightings since the group Ufology Research, based in Manitoba, began putting out the report in 1989.
“It tells us people are still looking up in the sky, they are still seeing unusual things,” said Chris Rutkowski, one of those who compiled the report.
“Many of them do not turn out to be things like stars and planes and satellites, they turn out to be something else that we don’t know,” he told Global News.
Saskatchewan recorded 37 sightings last year, one of the highest years for sightings in the province. The majority were recorded in either Saskatoon or Regina, although other communities with reported sightings included Prince Albert, Star City, Mossbank, Weyburn and Gravelbourg.
Some examples include a January sighting in Elfros that featured a bright light with a boomerang shaped light in front – and a March sighting in Saskatoon of a bright light that shot up into the sky very quickly.
There was also a July report from Weyburn that was a long oval-shaped object in the sky. And in Silton (near Regina Beach) in September, a witness reported a red light hovering in the sky, that followed the witness home.
According to the UFO survey, about 12 per cent of all UFO reports remain unexplained. Over half are simply lights in the sky. However, Rutkowski says he thinks there is something behind it all – although it’s not clear what it is.
“We understand there’s a real phenomena,” he said. “ Whether there’s a real physical phenomena, space ships or whatever, or perhaps a psychological or sociological phenomena, I think science deserves to take a look at it, in fact we deserve for science to take a look at it,” he said.
He says areas with the most people – like Toronto or Vancouver – typically have the highest share of sightings. But not always.
“Last year Quebec had three to four times as many UFO reports as they should have had and we’re not sure why that is, and we’ve talked to our colleagues in Quebec and they don’t know,” said Rutkowksi. “From time to time Saskatchewan has had more than it should so you never know what part of the country might be next”
And in this day of cell phones and cameras everywhere, you might think the pictures and videos coming in would be better evidence than in the past. But not necessarily, said Rutkowski.
“We are getting many more photos and videos, but the trouble is that your cell phone camera really isn’t designed to take photographs of small distant lights in the night sky, so they aren’t helping very much,” he said.
“We’re actually more interested in talking to the individuals and hearing from them personally what it was they saw.”
“The problem these days, with everyone having movie capabilities on their laptops, is that pictures are not worth a thousand words.”
The Canadian UFO report has been published since 1989, and has some 17,000 sightings in its database.