Saturday, December 19, 2020
UF HO HO HO
So, as I was going through so UFO case stats, I realized that over the years there have actually been quite a few reports from around Christmastime.
Sure, that invokes the old joke about people seeing a bright red light flying over rooftops on Christmas Eve, and how NORAD really does do some remarkable public service with its Santa Tracker every year.
But in terms of actual reports, given that there are about 1,000 cases in Canada every year, it should not come as a surprise that there are reports of UFOs at Christmas. In fact, going through just the Canadian UFO Survey database from 1989-2019, I found 75 sightings reported as having occurred on Christmas Day alone. Most, of course, were simple lights in the night sky.
Globally, there have been some significant UFO cases at this time of year. Just before Christmas 1978, the Kaikoura lights were seen in New Zealand. There's Rendlesham, which started with a sighting on Christmas night into Boxing Day, with lights seen at 3:00 am on December 26, 1980. And Betty Cash and Vicki Landrum were having trouble finding a Bingo hall that was open that same year in Texas and ended up having too close of an encounter with a hot UFO. And in 1985, Whitley Strieber first reported being haunted by catlike aliens in his New York home just after Christmas.
Out of curiosity, I have pulled together a select list of Canadian UFO cases from the Christmas season.
Shortly after midnight around Christmas 1977, a man was driving on the Alcan Highway and was about 10 miles north of Whitehorse when a brilliant light flashed across the sky overhead. It was bright enough and seemed so low that a fire truck and an RCMP vehicle drove into the ditch to avoid it. There were numerous witnesses, including the tow truck operator who said that the object “buzzed” cars on the road and then took off along the highway.
The Father of the family (CRM5) was watching television when he noticed a long row of lights moving in the distance through a window facing northeast. "I thought it was a jumbo 747! But I listened for sound, but nothing!" The father called the rest of the family to have a look. They were all amazed! Getting close to Christmas, the 3 children, of whom the eldest was six years old, thought that it was Santa Clause and his reindeer. The UFO consisted of "four big balls of light in a row" red-yellow in color with " a little bit of blue". At the left and right side of this row of lights were smaller lights that were orange and green (see drawing by the mother, CRM6. The UFO was slowly drifting from left to right, "it looked pretty low, just over the trees" and was about 2 feet at arms length in size in the sky. There were also what appeared to be white sparkles dropping away from the base of the larger lights. They were dropping at an angle to the left, consistent with the UFO moving to the right.
(Of course, as Ted Molczan noted, a rocket booster re-entry was occurring at that exact time and location.)
Or what about the UFO seen over Chilliwack. BC, on Christmas 2008, at 10:20 pm. Witnesses saw a starlike light like a satellite moving from the south and travelling north, but it then did a “loop-de-loop” and went back the to the south again, all within about 25 seconds.
In 2010, a woman in Thompson, Manitoba, said she saw three unexplained reddish orange lights in a triangle in the sky on Christmas Eve for close to an hour between 7 pm and 8 pm She said: “My boyfriend came running into the house yelling at us to come look at the sky… When me and my mom got outside we saw three reddish orange lights in a triangle that looked the same size as stars. Then after about a minute the middle light fell and faded, then the first light faded. I ran inside to grab some binoculars and when I got outside the last light wasn't there anymore.”
On Christmas Eve in 2012, a couple were driving near Kanata, Ontario, at about 11:30 pm and stopped their truck to watch a square object with glowing, pulsating red lights moving soundlessly to the northwest for three to four minutes.
And on Christmas Day, 2017, at 1:30 am, a witness was driving between St-Jovite and St Faustin in Quebec when a flashing object “like a photo flash” was seen approaching. When the object flew directly over the car, the witness reported: “I saw this triangular shape and it seemed to have three turbines below it. I could see one of them very well and I make out the turbine’s metal or steel spokes,” Once it had flown overhead, the witness looked in the rearview mirror, but the object had completely disappeared.
And as if to ring in the New Year, early on the morning of December 31, 1997, with the temperature hovering at -40C, a bright white light was seen moving northward over Resolute Bay at an estimated altitude of 400 feet and speed calculated by the airport manager as between 400 and 500 mph. The witness told investigators: “Nothing flies here at that speed, and especially not at 3:00 am. We live in a very small isolated community!”
I'd be remiss, however, if I didn't mention the remarkable case from New Year's Day 1980, in Duncan, BC. It was profiled in a documentary about UFOs a few years ago, and remains one of the classics. Doreen Kendall and Frieda Wilson were two nurses working together on the night shift in Cowichan District Hospital at Duncan, British Columbia, on New Year’s Day, 1970. At about 5 am, they saw a domed saucer hovering just outside a window, with two humanlike pilots working at an instrument panel.
Best wishes of the season, and Happy New Year, to all humans and extraterrestrials.
Saturday, December 05, 2020
"Trust me, I'm an astrobiologist"
“I’m not Chevy Chase, and neither are you.”
With apologies to those who don’t understand the reference to a classic Saturday Night Live gag, let’s just leave that there for the time being.
In one of the most disappointing published articles by an astronomer to date concerning UFOs, Dr. Chris Impey, University Distinguished Professor of Astronomy, University of Arizona, states that since he has not personally seen any evidence that aliens are visiting Earth, UFOs are nonsense. Furthermore, his research on the subject has indicated that “UFO belief is associated with schizotypal personality, a tendency toward social anxiety, paranoid ideas and transient psychosis,” implying that belief in UFOs is congruent with aberrant behaviour overall.
Impey claims to be an a UFO agnostic, which is a step in the right direction, but doesn’t seem to be at all well versed in the subject of UFOs. Of course, this is what is to be expected from an academic who is editorializing on a topic outside his field of study. In fact, The Conversation is a non-peer-reviewed vehicle for academics to present opinions and viewpoints in a way to get coverage by subscribers, who are mostly media, and thus published widely without having to wait for months or years to get accepted in scholarly journals. Thus, Impey, solely because he is an academic (The Conversation does not accept articles from non-academics) can state things that would otherwise not get published.
This is obvious because in his editorial, Impey makes a number of outlandish and unsupported statements about UFOs that are patently and factually incorrect. In his own field of astrobiology, it would be as if he stated that there was no evidence of water ever flowing on Mars, without providing and references for the statement and ignoring reams of research that say otherwise.
The most appalling example is his statement:
“The majority of UFOs appear to people in the United States. It’s curious that Asia and Africa have so few sightings despite their large populations, and even more surprising that the sightings stop at the Canadian and Mexican borders.”
His source for this statement appears to be an animated map that used data from the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) based in the United States. He seems to be unaware that social and cultural factors could influence the emailing of UFO reports to a single American website. He is also sadly unaware of many published studies of UFO reports in other countries, particularly the Canadian UFO Survey that has now been available for more than three decades. This shows that Impey’s research on the subject is cursory at best and more likely nonexistent.
It’s amazing to me that a distinguished scientist who has demonstrated a thorough knowledge of the scientific process would even attempt to publish an article in without an adequate study of the subject at hand, but this is actually common in academia regarding the subject of UFOs. Impey’s first statement belies his rather inflated opinion of his knowledge when he states:
“I’m an astronomer and I think aliens may be out there – but UFO sightings aren’t persuasive.”
This tells us a few things: first, his opinion of his expertise in the field of astrobiology is unparalleled, and second, that he is unaware that ufology had moved away from bug eyed aliens many years ago.
Impey equates UFOs with alien spacecraft, and therefore since he has personally not seen any evidence that aliens are visiting Arizona, they must not exist. And what’s more, his opinion is paramount to others’ views on the subject because of his status in the scientific community. There is no use offering an argument against him, because he has weighed all the evidence and it is all in his favour.
This is, unfortunately, proof of the adage that the late UFO advocate Stanton Friedman noted at his many lectures, as held by debunkers and the scientific community at large: “Don’t bother me with the facts; my mind is already made up.”
Impey further shows his lack of understanding when he writes:
“Most UFOs have mundane explanations. Over half can be attributed to meteors, fireballs and the planet Venus. Such bright objects are familiar to astronomers but are often not recognized by members of the public.”
For this, he cites an article by Ian Ridpath, who himself cited Allan Hendry: “…just over half of all identified nocturnal lights were accounted for by astronomical causes: stars, planets, meteors, the Moon, artificial satellites, and satellite re-entries.”
That’s a bit misleading, and quite selective. While most reported UFOs are nocturnal objects, this ignores a large body of data of daylight sightings of objects that are structured or have characteristics unlike mere lights in the sky. It also ignores unidentified nocturnal lights, of which there are many examples. And why mention Venus specifically, when Jupiter and Mars are generating UFO reports in the fall of 2020?
Without any context, Impey also states: “Reports of visits from UFOs inexplicably peaked about six years ago.” (His citation for this is again a secondary source that used NUFORC data.) What does that mean? It seems he is implying that UFOs are waning as a topic of discussion, although the current increase in media and public attention proves this otherwise.
Studies of UFO reports have found that there was indeed an anomalous peak in number of UFO reports in 2012 (not 2013 or 2014 as Impey suggests) but the data actually shows a reverting of report numbers back to the gradual increase that has been noted for decades (c.f. http://www.canadianuforeport.com/survey/essay/2019surveyessay.pdf).
As well, Impey’s choice to use the term “visits from UFOs” again demonstrates his disdain for the subject and his narrow view that UFOs are assumed to be alien spaceships.
As a final example, Impey states: “[UFO] Sightings concentrate in evening hours, particularly on Fridays, when many people are relaxing with one or more drinks.”
Oh dear, that old standard: UFO witnesses are drunk.
In fact, Impey’s source is again a mocking opinion piece (based yet again on NUFORC data): “They seldom disturb earthlings during working or sleeping hours. Rather, they tend to arrive in the evening, especially on Fridays, when folks are sitting on the front porch nursing their fourth beer, the better to appreciate flashing lights in the heavens.” (https://www.economist.com/united-states/2014/06/28/everything-you-need-to-know-about-ufos)
It’s disheartening that I would have to explain that, from literally hundreds and perhaps thousands of interviews with UFO witnesses in which I have participated, absolutely none were involving inebriated persons. And in a review of just the UFO reports in the files of the National Research Council of Canada, it was found that a large percentage of witnesses were on-duty constables of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or members of the Canadian Forces, including pilots.
Amazingly, Impey tries to prove he actually has an open mind on the subject of UFOs by concluding his opinion piece with a review of the current state of SETI and stating: “…I don’t think belief in UFOs is crazy, because some flying objects are unidentified, and the existence of intelligent aliens is scientifically plausible.”
The paradox of his accepting that some UFOs are unidentified after lambasting UFO witnesses and mocking belief in UFOs as a kind of religion is truly remarkable. He’s simply not persuaded that UFOs are alien craft based on what he has read, which seems rather limited at best. He is apparently unaware of the multitude of excellent theses and articles published in peer-reviewed publications about UFOs.
Impey doesn’t even bother to address the present-day discussions in ufology surrounding recent American military admissions of investigations into UAPs and eyewitness reports by pilots and other reputable persons. His vague review of the subject is enough to justify his sharing an opinion on the subject with the world, as he is a distinguished scientist, after all.
And you’re not.
Monday, October 05, 2020
No need to exaggerate numbers of UFO reports
Yes, Virginia, the number of UFO reports is higher during the pandemic.
As someone who has been studying UFO report data for many years, I have seen fluctuations in yearly and monthly trends, and changes in the characteristics of the objects reported over time. I have made this data available for anyone to examine since the late 1980s, and I have worked with investigators, researchers and organizations to publish an annual Canadian UFO Survey that tabulates and breaks down the data for easy consumption.
Rarely, however, have I been asked by media or journalists about my research. Pop culture dictates that media darlings attract more interest than anyone presenting facts and doing critical analyses.
But recently, I was asked about news stories that either suggest UFO reports have increased during the pandemic or that such an increase is “greatly exaggerated.” Which is right?
Since 1989, details about UFO reports in Canada have been solicited from all known and active investigators and researchers for analyses and comparison with other compilations. Before that time, individual researchers usually maintained their own files with little or no communication to others. Even today, it is known that some representatives of major UFO organizations often do not regularly share or share case data, and some parent organizations do not do much analyses with the data they do receive, although this is changing.
Ufology Research of Manitoba (now Ufology Research) conducts a systematic collection of raw UFO report data in Canada and prepares yearly reports for general circulation. We believe the dissemination of such data could be of great advantage to researchers in the hope of better understanding the UFO phenomenon.
Statistical studies of UFO data are not without their limitations and problems. Allan Hendry, formerly of the Center for UFO Studies, in his landmark book The UFO Handbook, pointed out flaws in such studies and asked: “... do UFO statistics represent a valid pursuit for more knowledge about this elusive phenomenon, or do they merely reflect frustration that none of the individual reports are capable of standing on their own two feet?” (1979, p. 269)
Hendry asked six questions of statistical ufology:
1) Does the report collection reflect truly random sampling?
2) Have the individual cases been adequately validated?
3) Are apples and oranges being compared? Are NLs necessarily the same kind of UFO as DDs?
4) Are differing details among cases obscured through simplification for the purpose of comparisons?
5) Does the study imply the question: “Surely this mass of data proves UFOs exist?”
6) Do the correlations really show causality?
The Canadian UFO Survey was undertaken with these and other critical comments in mind.
For the annual Canadian UFO Survey, UFO reports were obtained from contributing investigators’ files, press clippings and the files of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). The NRC routinely received UFO reports from private citizens and from RCMP, civic police and military personnel. Included among the NRC reports are many observations of meteors and fireballs, and these had been added into the UFO report database since 1989. Many of the reports were obtained via email and online newsgroups, and when social media became widely used, reports have also been received via Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. Finally, some declassified documents of the Department of National Defence contain reports of unusual objects in Canadian airspace, and these also have been included in the database.
The number of UFO sightings officially reported each year in Canada throughout the past 25 years was initially comparatively small. In 1989, 141 UFO reports were obtained for analysis and in 1990, 194 reports were recorded. This yearly number has risen over the years to around 1,000 reports each year. As of 2019, the Canadian UFO Survey has run 30 years, 12 years longer than Blue Book officially existed, and has more than 21,000 UFO reports as data, several thousand more UFO reports than Blue Book itself.
As noted, one trend that I have been reporting on for a few years is that the number of UFO reports in Canada has risen steadily during the past 30 years, but may have plateaued in about 2013, remaining around 1,100 reports per year. The past few years has seen a definite drop in cases, and 2019 actually recorded only 849 reports.
[NB: As can be seen by the data and analyses presented in the annual Canadian UFO Survey, most UFO reports either have possible/probable explanations or have insufficient information for evaluation. Very few are left unexplained, and even these don't mean that aliens are visiting Earth.]
A graph of more than 30 years of data shows the general increase over time, as well as fluctuations and peaks in report numbers.
One aspect of the Canadian UFO Survey is that data are tabulated and the statistics run in the early part of the following year. Usually, results of the annual study are posted in about March of the following year. In 2020, for the 2019 survey, the pandemic delayed the production until the summer. The analyses of the 2019 data showed a decrease in the number of UFO reports over 2018, the previous year.
However, by summer 2020, there were stories in media that UFO cases had increased during the pandemic, while others said they had not done so. I decided to look at the first half of 2020 for case numbers to supplement the 2019 results. I was surprised to find that the claims of an increase appeared true.
A comparison of MUFON report data for Canada during the first half of 2020 with that of the same period in 2019 showed a distinct increase.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Total
2019 16 28 21 10 25 25 125
2020 23 24 35 46 43 25 196
There were 71 additional cases in Canada reported to MUFON between January and June of 2020 than in 2019, or an increase of about 57 per cent.
Yet in an article in Astronomy magazine it was argued that the increase in UFO reports during the pandemic is “greatly exaggerated.”
When overall MUFON UFO data was examined, it was found that:
There were about 3,800 cases reported between January and late September of this year, which is a roughly 20 percent increase compared to 2019.
This was for all UFO reports, both national and international, and for all reports submitted during that time, not just occurring during that specific period.
Steve Hudgeons, MUFON international director of investigations, was quoted in media:
“It's not really that alarming. It fluctuates a lot,” says Hudgeons, who admits to fielding many questions about the subject this year. “I wouldn't say there’s a large increase at all.”
But they say that level of annual variation is normal for their dataset. And, in fact, reported cases have mostly been declining in recent years.
There’s no question that annual UFO report numbers go up and down from year to year. However, even 20 per cent could be significant. And more than 50 per cent of an increase in the case of Canada appears significant. Why would Canada be different?
The writer for Astronomy magazine also looked at UFO reports as noted in the database of the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC), which is another source of data for the Canadian UFO Survey.
“…most of the news stories written about the rise in sightings have taken their numbers from another online reporting site called the National UFO Reporting Center. Like MUFON, they've been collecting accounts of UFO sightings for nearly half a century, largely through a phone hotline and, in recent decades, an online form.
“Back in April, they [NUFORC] received more than twice as many reports compared to the same month the prior year. But those numbers happened at the height of lockdowns, at the same time a sensational news story was published in The New York Times that revealed previously classified footage of UFOs captured by American fighter pilots. But soon after, their reported sightings returned back to 2019 levels-which were significantly less than they were just 5 to 10 years ago.”
The implication here is that the NYT story precipitated the rise in UFO reports in NUFORC’s database. The problem is that this is very selective.
Let’s look at the NUFORC data for the first six months of 2020 versus 2019:
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Total
2019 349 219 328 389 543 477 2305
2020 604 604 808 1036 556 359 3967
As noted in the Astronomy article, April reports in 2020 for NUFORC were very high compared with 2019, in fact not just “more than twice as many” but closer to three times as many. And yes, that was the month that a public relations firm helped advance the US Navy media story about the USS Nimitz UFO videos.
But as can be seen in the full data, the increase in UFO reports in 2020 began in January, with almost twice as many that month, and nearly three times as many in February, all before the media blitz in April.
If you look at NUFORC data in January to June 2020 compared with the same time period in 2019, there is an increase of about 72 per cent.
Now, have UFO report numbers fallen back to “normal” levels since then? Yes. But was there an increase in UFO report numbers during the pandemic? Maybe.
Lockdowns in Canada did not occur until March 2020. During than month and April 2020, MUFON UFO report numbers in Canada increased from 35 during the same period in 2019 to 89 in 2020.
But the NUFORC data showed large increases in UFO reports beginning in January, long before the reality of the pandemic was really felt in the USA. So it would not seem that the increase during the first quarter of 2020 had anything to do with the pandemic.
Rutkowski hopes the reason there’s a spike in UFO sightings during the pandemic is because Canadians are getting outside more, working from their backyards and appreciating nature.
“It’s a beautiful sky out there and there’s lots of opportunities to see some things,” he said.
Note that my explanation has nothing to do with aliens or extraterrestrial spacecraft, although the Astronomy article mocked UFO sightings in the context of wishful UFO fans reporting “alien encounters.”
The facts are that UFO report numbers have increased during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether there is a causal relationship between the pandemic and objects observed in the sky remains to be seen. (Pun intended)
Monday, July 27, 2020
Radio interview on CHED 630 in Edmonton Canada, on the 2019 Canadian UFO Survey
Here is an audio dub of my interview on CHED 630 in Edmonton Alberta Canada, on July 27, 2020.
(Yes, mainstream media.)
The topic was the 2019 Canadian UFO Survey, but the interviewer, Chelsea Bird, asked really good questions and we were much more wide ranging on the topic. From the types of things pilots are reporting to the recent news from the USA about the Pentagon's interest in UFOs. And she asked about a skeptical approach to UFOs with an acknowledgment that the subject has a lot of stigma attached, and media interest itself.
Monday, July 13, 2020
The (COVID-19-delayed) 2019 Canadian UFO Survey
Delayed because of the pandemic lockdown, the 2019 overview of Canadian UFO reports shows that last year, the number of UFO sightings reported to official agencies and civilian organizations in Canada was ten per cent lower than the year before (849 reports in 2019 versus 937 in 2018), continuing a downward trend that had begun several years ago. This, despite the rabid attention of UFO fans and an increase in media coverage of the US military admission that some Navy pilots encountered unidentified aerial phenomena off the coasts of California and North Carolina several years ago.
With concerns during the summer of 2020 regarding tourists coming to Canada despite border restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, apparently UFOs are not heeding the request to stay away.
Overall Canadian UFO data for 2020 will not be available until early 2021.
There are many questions that can be asked of the UFO phenomenon, some suggested by this data. They include:
- Why did UFO report numbers generally increase until about 2015, then decrease in subsequent years? [And why does the trend seem to be shifting during a time of a pandemic?
- Why do the shapes of reported UFOs shift over time? From saucers, to triangles, to spheres and simply lights?
- If the number of UFO reports is related to population density, does that mean that UFOs are actually uniformly distributed across the country but there seem more over population centers because of more potential witnesses there?
- Why have the numbers of "landing"/trace/CE1 cases declined dramatically compared with previous decades?
- Previous studies (including one by Ufology Research) have shown that 10 per cent of the population believe they have seen UFOs. Is this percentage something that varies with time and region?
- If UFOs are not "real," why do reports persist?
My observation: If UFOs are not a physical phenomenon, then they are at the very least a psychological or sociological phenomenon, and in any case deserves methodological and scientific study.
Thank you to all those who contributed to the 2019 Canadian UFO Survey. Special thanks to Ufology Research associates Geoff, Ashley, MJ, and Sarah.
Monday, June 29, 2020
Weird Canada: A Guide to Off-Beat Destinations
Weird Canada: A Guide to Off-Beat Destinations You Could Visit, Even During a Pandemic!
Thursday, May 14, 2020
Pilot sightings of UASs, UAPs, or UFOs over the Eastern Seaboard
Reports documenting American military pilots' recent encounters with UFOs have been released, showing that some curious things have been seen over the Eastern Seaboard.
Media picked up on the story, and ran with it fairly big, bumping down some COVID-19 information for almost a day. This is an indication that there's a small amount of "pandemic fatigue" working its way into our societal awareness, although it's still far too early to tell to what degree this will be influencing media.
CNN on Wednesday obtained the Navy Safety Center documents, which were previously labeled "For Official Use Only." They follow the Pentagon's official release late last month of three short videos showing "unidentified aerial phenomena" that had previously been made public by a private company. The newly released reports appear to share this assessment, describing many of the unidentified aircraft as "Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)," the Pentagon's official name for drone aircraft.Actually, when you look through the newly obtained reports, you get a rather underwhelming perspective. Although they are reports from military pilots, which is indeed interesting, the sightings are anything but sensational.
But the reports say that even when the unidentified flying objects are assessed to be drones the military was unable to identify who was operating the drone, presenting a major safety and security challenge to the Navy jets training in the area which are restricted military training airspace ranges off the east coast of Virginia.
"I feel it may only be a matter of time before one of our F/A-18 aircraft has a mid-air collision with an unidentified UAS," one of the authors of a report warned.And there lies the crux of the matter.
Reports of UASs or UAPs or UFOs (because that's what they are often labeled in documents like these) show that there is a lot of air traffic that could potentially pose a threat or danger to authorized air traffic, whether they be military flights or commercial airlines.
I'm often asked during interviews why we should bother with UFOs at all. Simply put, UFO reports should be studied in greater detail, especially pilot sightings, because they potentially put people at risk.
Media interest in the documents about activity off the Atlantic played up the story, but the most significant point was largely missed.
These are the first actual post-Blue-Book military UFO reports in the USA that have been made public. Up until now, we really haven't had such a release of official American UFO information.
(I'm not counting the "Tic Tac" and TTSA videos, because they weren't released or officially acknowledged by the Pentagon until recently. SCU has had to piece together the actual reports that go along with the cases, based on things like Ship's Logs, an "Executive Summary" that was released confidentially, and a Pilot Report that was similarly obtained unofficially.)
Following the demise of Blue Book, after 1970 there was very little official information on American UFO cases, It's been a kind of "black hole," with lots of speculation and arm-waving, but nothing definite.
Curt Collins, whose work on the Cash-Landrum UFO case is exemplary, notes that apart from the Tehran UFO and the Loring and Malmstrom UFO incursions, these newly released documents are: "more important than the videos, since these are entirely new cases."
In addition, some UFO buffs are already shouting "Disclosure!" And that these docs prove their case.
However, two things are important to note:
First, these are relatively low-level incidents, with low classifications. Second, in Canada, we get these all the time. No Disclosure (capital D or lower case "soft disclosure") needed.
"These 'dull' reports need to be studied closely for at least a couple of reasons. Chiefly, these are the same means by which we should expect more exciting cases to be reported, so researchers should be familiar with the terminology, reporting processes, equipment etc. Secondly, this could offer clues to other cases, and help prevent drones from being logged in UFO records as true UFOs (defying conventional aircraft performance)."For perspective, here are just a few similar cases that were included in the yet-to-be-released 2019 Canadian UFO Survey (which has been delayed due to the pandemic):
Recent pilot sightings of UFOs over Canada noted by the Canadian UFO Survey
January 2, 2019
A Beech 200 flying from South Indian Lake, MB (CZSN) to Thompson, MB (CYTH) reported that an inexplicable bright light followed them from CZSN to CYTH at the same altitude and speed. No aircraft were reported in their vicinity.
January 8, 2019
While enroute (over Nunavut), a Turkish Airlines Inc. Boeing 777-300 from Los Angeles International, CA (KLAX) to Istanbul Atatürk, Turkey (LTBA) reported seeing a red rotary beacon light near the aircraft, at the same altitude of FL330. The only known aircraft in the region was more than 80NM ahead. The North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) was advised.
January 17, 2019
Flashing and oscillating lights were reported moving up and down by the pilot of an aircraft flying between Quebec City and Sept-Iles at an altitude of 23,000 ft. ATC reported closest aircraft was 50 nautical miles ahead. Report labeled as “Unknown.”
April 11, 2019
A Boeing 737-800 aircraft operated by Sunwing Airlines, from Montego Bay/Sangster Intl (MKJS), Jamaica to Toronto/Lester B. Pearson Intl (CYYZ), ON with 6 crew members and 193 passengers on board. While being vectored for an approach to Runway 06L at CYYZ, the flight crew received a traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS) alert at 3000 ft, indicating they should climb. Prime target appeared momentarily below, then disappeared. The flight crew complied with the command, and advised ATC. ATC replied that the conflicting traffic was unidentified, and not in communication with ATC. Sunwing a/c was vectored for a second approach, and landed without further incident.
And here's a radar report from Ottawa in April 1978
Official documents show us that UFO reports can indeed be interesting.