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Canada Researcher Chronicles A Century Of UFO Reports

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  • Jeroen Kumeling
    ... SIGHTINGS ... Canada Researcher Chronicles A Century Of UFO Reports 1-3-00 WINNIPEG (CP) -- Explorer David Thompson got the ball rolling with Canada s
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 4, 2000

      Canada Researcher Chronicles A Century Of UFO Reports


      WINNIPEG (CP) -- Explorer David Thompson got the ball rolling with Canada's
      first recorded UFO sighting in 1792, a tale lifted from his Hudson Bay
      journals that would do very nicely as an episode of The X-Files.

      "He and a companion were camped out in the middle of the winter in a very
      isolated area near a lake and they saw what he described as a large
      gelatinous blob ... flying through the air," says Chris Rutkowski, a
      Winnipeg UFO researcher and author. "It appeared to fall to the earth on the
      frozen lake not far from them." The sighting took place near what is now
      Thicket Portage, just south of Thompson, Man., which isn't named after the
      famous fur trader and map maker. (It's named after former Inco president
      John Thompson, who paid the guys who built the town.)

      At any rate, David Thompson and his companion failed to find any sign of the
      blob on the ground, but they did see a similar object in the sky a few days

      Ever since, Canadians have continued to see strange objects or lights in the
      sky and report other contact with what many insist are visiting aliens.

      Rutkowski has been chronicling and investigating these stories for almost 25
      years and he has culled what he considers to be 11 of the strangest tales of
      the last 100 years from his files. "Whether or not they are real is
      irrelevant," says the founder of Ufology Research of Manitoba, whose latest
      book on the subject, Abductions and Aliens, has just been published by
      Dundurn in Toronto. "They have each fired the Canadian imagination and
      fascination with the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe."

      Rutkowski's weird and wonderful list starts with a 1915 phantom invasion of
      aerial objects over wartime Ottawa that was never explained.

      It was scary enough for officials to turn out the lights on Parliament Hill
      to avoid presenting a tempting target to the "enemy." "It caused such a
      concern that they actually did put Ottawa on alert."

      The list concludes in Duncan, B.C., in 1980 with the strange tale of Granger
      Taylor. The teenager was obsessed with aliens and UFOs, building a full-size
      mockup of a flying saucer in his backyard. One day he announced to his
      friends he was going to be taken away by aliens. He was never seen again.

      But those aren't the strangest stories as far as Rutkowski is concerned.

      "Out of all of them it would be a toss-up between Shirley's Bay and Shag

      Shirley's Bay, Ont., is where Wilbert Smith, a Canadian Defence Department
      engineer, set up equipment in 1954 he said detected a large magnetic
      disturbance which he believed to be from an alien spacecraft.

      More important perhaps for UFO researchers, it was from Smith's meetings
      with American investigators at the time that they learned of incidents like
      the alleged crash of a flying saucer near Roswell, N.M.

      Shag Harbour, N.S., is where something crashed into the ocean in October
      1967 that had people in the area gossiping for years.

      American navy vessels appeared, divers recovered something and mysterious
      green foam was seen on the water, but there was never a satisfactory
      explanation. "I would classify those as the most unusual among all the 11,"
      says Rutkowski.

      If those are the strangest, he says the most significant is the case of
      Steve Mihalak, burned by an object he said landed near Falcon Lake, Man., in
      May 1967, the same year as the strange goings-on near Shag Harbour. "It was
      investigated by American and Canadian military and government officials and
      it stood the test of time," says Rutkowski.

      Mihalak died last October. "Right to the very end he insisted that what he
      had seen and what occurred to him happened just as he said."

      Rutkowski says there has been a slight decline in the number of UFO
      sightings in Canada, to about 200 a year. He had been expecting a little
      "millennium fever" that might push up the number of sightings as 1999 draws
      to a close.

      But while the numbers may be down, interest is definitely up, he says.

      "People are very much into this sort of thing."


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