Saturday, September 24, 2022

 

20 years ago: UFO report from Labrador


From the Ufology Research files:

On September 8, 2002, a pilot was flying at 43,000 ft, 60 miles west of Nain, Labrador, and reported a UFO that "looked like a balloon." The object was above his plane, at an estimated altitude of 47,000 ft.

Map of the area, above.

The sparse report filed with the Canadian Department of National Defence had little additional information.




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Friday, September 23, 2022

 

Coverage by media of Canadian government interest in UFOs

 

There’s been an uptick in the amount of coverage given to UFOs by Canadian media over the past few years, much of it involving the public comments by some Canadian politicians about the subject. In addition, recent results of ATI requests (the Canadian equivalent of American FOIA requests) of government records regarding UFOs have produced some very curious documents.

The most significant of these media stories were written by one journalist in particular, Daniel Otis, who started his series of articles in the online news source Vice and has continued his work now as reporter with CTV News, a major mainstream Canadian media company.

Otis sold a handful of stories to Vice starting in 2014 about various cool things, but then in 2021 he began a series of excellent news stories about Canadian government interest in UFOs.

His first one for Vice described how “Canada’s military is being notified when pilots spot UFOs in Canadian airspace,” citing CIRVIS (Communication Instructions for Reporting Vital Intelligence Sightings) reports filed with Canada’s Department of National Defence and obtained by Otis through ATI requests.

That article seemed to start the ball rolling, and Otis’ timing was impeccable as American interest in UAP was surging in 2021 with the flurry of activity over the UAP Task Force and AATIP and other programs.

Otis interviewed me for his first Vice story because he knew I was involved in studying Canadian UFO reports and government documents. He also acknowledged me in his later stories, and it was good to get some recognition for my work. As many know, I have been including Canadian government documents of UFO sightings throughout the past 32 years of producing the Canadian UFO Survey (and also much, much earlier). While I haven’t made a big deal of that, Otis’ articles are among the first to note my extensive involvement in UFO research using official Canadian documents.

Otis has done a remarkable job of digging out official Canadian documents about UFOs, including cases where pilots reported UFOs and a video taken by a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer of a UFO over a Canadian city.

He continued to produce some very interesting stories for Vice, and then in September 2021, he had a piece published that focused on my work. He had filed an ATI and found that: “Canada’s government and military have forwarded UFO reports to a civilian researcher for over two decades,” noting I was “Canada’s ‘point man.’”

Otis obtained copies of the PowerPoint slides accompanying a briefing for Canada’s Minister of Defence in May 2021. The briefing described the history and current status of official Canadian government interest in UFOs, and included a note about how I had been conducting civilian research on UFOs for decades. A later document showed that my photograph was even included on one slide!

What I had not revealed to anyone is that I was asked by DND in May 2021 for the information they used to brief the Minister.

Needless to say, this caused a bit of a stir. I did not know I was personally going to be included in the briefing, but I figured my info would be useful in informing the Minister of Defence. I did not know when the briefing was going to be made.

(Curiously, Otis’ persistence in tracking the story found that in 2022, another briefing had occurred, this time for the current Minister of Transport. And sure enough, the same basic information was presented, including a reference to me.)

Otis had been a writer for CTV from 2016 to 2019 and then again in 2021 as a journalist for CTV News. He’s done some stories for them about UFOs, all focusing on government involvement and politicians’ interest in the subject. In fact, Otis broke the news that Member of Parliament Larry Maguire went public with his interest in UAP and his questions in a Parliamentary Committee about UAP over Canadian nuclear sites.


Maguire stated publicly that on January 28, 2021, he had been briefed by Robert Powell and others from SCU and then on February 16, 2021, by Lue Elizondo and his associates. Then on October 20, 2021, Powell and Christopher Mellon met with another unnamed Canadian Member of Parliament. Oddly enough, without any knowledge of these meetings with others, and completely apart from my being noted in a briefing to the Minister of Defence, in June 2021 I was asked by Maguire’s office to discuss Canada’s government UFO involvement. I met with Maguire on June 3, 2021, although this was not mentioned in media.

Since then, a few more Canadian politicians have spoken publicly about UFOs and UAP, and Otis is hot on their trail.

And more recently, Maguire kindly provided a statement for release during the launch of my most recent book, Canada’s UFOs: Declassified.

Definitely more to come!

Good work, Daniel!

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Thursday, September 08, 2022

 

Canada's UFO: Declassified

 

As most of you will know, I have been fascinated with the UFO phenomenon for many years. I find the entire spectrum of ufology quite interesting, from the UFO sightings and concurrent reports themselves, to the investigations and analyses. Further, the views of the scientific community, the treatment and coverage of the subject by media, and the response of the public to the UFO phenomenon all combine to make the subject worthy of study from a psychological and sociological perspective. And the debates and arguments of UFO fans and zealots regarding specific cases, the interpretation of government documents, unsubstantiated claims and wild speculation all combine to create a confusing morass of information that befuddle, obfuscate, and bemuse.

Over the years I have investigated UFO sightings, catalogued and statistically analysed UFO data, shared my findings with scientists and lay researchers, and coordinated the annual Canadian UFO Survey since 1989. I have pursued and reviewed government documents related to UFOs and assisted officials in their managing of the information.

I’ve written extensively about my studies in ufology since the mid-1970s. I’ve had articles published in both ufozines and peer-reviewed academic journals, I’ve blogged since 2005, and before that I had self-published The Swamp Gas Journal between 1978 and 2003, making it one of the longest-running ufozines at that time.

My tenth book on UFOs and related subjects is now out, published by August Night Press. Canada’s UFOs: Declassified is the result of a “deep dive” I undertook to better understand the Canadian government’s investigations and analyses of UFO reports. Over a decade ago, Libraries and Archives Canada digitized almost 9,000 pages of documents related to UFOs, mostly from the National Research Council of Canada and the Department of Defence. These documents have been available to the public but many of the cases recorded within them had never been broadly discussed or widely circulated.


Over the past several years there has been a resurgence of interest in UFOs (now termed UAP to detract from the populist connotations of alien spacecraft as UFOs), largely due to a series of claims about American military personnel witnessing unidentified objects while on maneuvers and operations. Media attention and public relations activity advancing interest in the subject have attracted the interest of American politicians who in turn have pressured the Pentagon and other branches of government to create a task force and then an office to determine the nature of the objects seen and detected by military personnel.

I had been reviewing the Canadian government and military documents for several years and was in the process of writing another book when the American interest was gaining momentum, so I decided to write specifically about the Canadian government experience. The result was Canada’s UFOs: Declassified.

Because I had been in receipt of Canadian government information about UFOs for many years, I had been mentioned in a briefing to the incoming Canadian Minister of Defence in 2021 regarding the Canadian response to the American UAP situation. Also, I had been asked to brief a Canadian Member of Parliament about my research on the subject, related to the American attention developments.

This Member of Parliament was Mr. Larry Maguire, MP for Brandon-Souris. He has had a personal interest in UFOs for many years and has taken the opportunity of the American situation to publicly express his concern about UAP in Canadian airspace. He has since commented about this on other occasions and in a Parliamentary committee, having asked me for information to supplement and support his concerns.

For the occasion of the launch of my new book, I formally invited Mr. Maguire to attend and also give a public statement related to UAP. He agreed, but later gave his regrets as he was needed in a meeting that conflicted with the book launch. However, Mr. Maguire prepared a statement for me that could be presented at the public launch event.

Maguire took the opportunity to praise my book and, among his thoughts, noted:

After decades of little to no movement from governments on revealing what they know about Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (UAP), it looks like we are on the precipice of getting some answers.

When the Department of National Defence was recently tasked with compiling a briefing for the Minister, they went to Rutkowski.

When I needed information on UAP sightings near Canadian nuclear facilities, I relied on his database and institutional knowledge. The interactions I had with a Deputy Minister at a Parliamentary Committee, armed with the information Rutkowski provided, led to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission committing to co-operate with its American counterparts on UAP.

That speaks volumes about Rutkowski’s work and this book reflects his steadfast commitment to documenting the best Canadian UAP reports and government documents that show how government departments and law enforcement have taken this issue a lot more seriously than some would think.

For politicians and policy makers like myself who are just getting around to better understanding how the Government of Canada documented and collected information, this is a must-read book. As the stigma has started to recede, paving the way for academics, scientists, and everyday people to investigate this phenomenon, Rutkowski has given us a foundation to build from. This is not a new issue, but the seriousness of those in high places willing to openly talk about it is something we should all get used to.

As we watch what’s happening with UAP in Congress, at NASA and with the courageous academics who are not afraid to go against the grain, Canada’s UFO: Declassified is another proof point that the phenomena knows no borders or boundaries. There is a rich and deep historical record of incidents right here in Canada.




I am extremely flattered by Mr. Maguire’s comments on my book and I am grateful for his statement. His courage and conviction to publicly express his interest and concern about UAP indicates that government officials are starting to take the matter more seriously and desire to heighten conversation about UFOs/UAP at the highest level.

I hope that Canada’s UFOs: Declassified adds favourably to the conversation.

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Wednesday, September 07, 2022

 

More digitized Canadian government UFO files

 

As many ardent UFO fans will know, many governments around the world have investigated UFO reports, and official documents have been released or found through requests and legal filings.

Canada is one such country, and thousands of documents from the Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Department of National Defence and other agencies had been duly stored in the National Archives, now called Libraries and Archives Canada. Because of numerous requests for UFO files, LAC digitized about 9,000 pages of documents from various Canadian agencies and made them available online.

These documents cover a period from about 1947 to 1995, although the digitized materials only go up to 1982 at this point. The documents are fascinating and I detail much of what is in them in my book Canada’s UFOs: Declassified.

What about 1983 to 1995? To date, those are not yet available online, although the paper copies are in the fonds in Ottawa.

I began coordinating the annual Canadian UFO Survey in 1989, gathering all known UFO reports from all sources across the country each year. Included in the annual studies were reports from the National Research Council of Canada and other agencies including the RCMP and DND.

When I donated my UFO files to the University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections beginning in 2017, the idea was to digitize the UFO reports for researchers to examine. Today, there is a great surge in making UFO files available to researchers, and I expect my collection will add to the knowledge base of this material.

But this takes time. When the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick acquired the UFO files of the late Stanton Friedman, it was realized that processing the material would be costly and time consuming. In fact, it was estimated that merely indexing the Friedman fonds could take a decade or more.

To speed up the process for at least my own UFO files, I spent many hours sweating over a light table and making digital copies of just the official Canadian government UFO files in my collection. I focused on the years outside those that LAC has already made available. I managed to do the years 1992, 1994 and 1995 and have plans to do 1993 soon (I discovered that my files for that year were incomplete and I am still working on them).

The digitized files needed some renaming and indexing, and so I needed some outside help. As noted ufology historian Isaac Koi of England has been making thousands of international UFO files available on the website of Arkivet för UFO-forskning (AFU) in Sweden, he offered to take my digital files and make them available there. Outstanding UFO researcher John Greenewald has also made them available.

Here is the link to the AFU website where the newly-digitized Canadian government UFO files can be viewed.

Stay tuned. Much more to come!


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Friday, July 29, 2022

 

UUPs and Transmedium UFOs? (Canadian Edition)



With the announcement of the new rechristened Pentagon UAP program as the “All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO),” there is apparent support for observations of UFOs or UAPs that seem to enter or exit bodies of water.

The Pentagon statement about the AARO notes specifically:

The US’s Department of Defence (DOD) has launched a new “all-domain anomaly resolution office” (AARO) – a rebrand and widening of its UFO investigations office which will now also assess reports of not just flying saucers but also “anomalous, unidentified space, airborne, submerged and transmedium objects.”

https://thestack.technology/aaro-ufo-sightings-uap-office/

Referencing: https://media.defense.gov/2022/Jul/20/2003039081/-1/-1/1/ESTABLISHMENT-RESOURCING-AND-LEADERSHIP-OF-THE-ALL-DOMAIN-ANOMALY-RESOLUTION-OFFICE.PDF

Now, these kinds of UFOs are not at all new in some ways, as there have always been reports of UFOs seen moving over lakes or oceans and dropping into them (rarely out of them). In most cases, these have been explained as bolides or meteors with apparent downward trajectories which are coincident with bodies of water. Sometimes, UFOs are seen at or near the surface of a lake or the ocean and then disappear, suggesting to an observer that the object descended into the water. Many “orb” reports from the south side of Lake Ontario looking north towards Toronto, for example, involve lights that are actually on aircraft landing at Billy Bishop Airport along the waterfront, or else on ships or boats.

Singling them out by calling these UFOs “transmedium” is a bit of a stretch, but this is certainly related to observations of UAP seen by US Navy personnel and reported widely on UFO fansites. Most notable of these is Jeremy Corbell’s documentation of a spherical UAP that seemed to enter the ocean off San Diego in 2019, recorded on video by sailors on the USS Omaha:

The US Navy photographed and filmed “spherical” shaped UFOs and advanced transmedium vehicles… This footage was filmed in the CIC (Combat Information Center) of the USS Omaha on July 15th 2019 in a warning area off San Diego. This footage depicts a UAP event series that reached a crescendo with one of the unknown targets entering the water. No wreckage found. None of the unknown craft were recovered.

https://www.extraordinarybeliefs.com/news4/navy-filmed-spherical-ufos

Better-known is the encounter by pilots flying from the USS Princeton near the same area in 2004:

What the pilots saw as they came within about a mile of the target was a white, featureless object—no wings, engines, control surfaces, or surface features—that measured roughly 45 feet long and looked like a flying Tic Tac. Commander David ‘Sex’ Fravor, the commanding officer of VFA-41 and the pilot in the lead Super Hornet that day, noted that the outer shell of the craft looked like a ‘whiteboard.’ The object was low over the water which was frothing underneath. According to Fravor, it looked almost like the water was ‘boiling’ below the object, which was moving above the water ‘like a Harrier.’ It then started moving at about 500 knots at 500 to 1,000 feet over the ocean.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/21000/highly-detailed-report-on-harrowing-encounter-between-f-a-18s-and-ufo-off-baja-surfaces

But apart from these few military reports, transmedium UFOs are relatively rare in the literature, despite some very thorough publications devoted to documenting water-related UFO cases. [Most notably, this includes Carl Feindt’s remarkable UFOs and Water: Physical Effects of UFOs on Water Through Accounts by Eyewitnesses (2016). https://www.amazon.ca/UFOs-Water-Physical-Accounts-Eyewitnesses-dp-1483441474/dp/1483441474]

It’s tempting to think (as some have suggested) that the inclusion of the actual term transmedium as a specific kind of UFO is related to the influence of some UAP political insiders and not a reflection of significant numbers of Unidentified Underwater Phenomena (UUP) reports. There are some claims that UUP have been detected by military sensors and submariners, which shouldn’t come as any surprise given the many possible objects detectable on sonar and other devices. A small percentage of UUP—like UFOs—will be unexplained.

The other interesting thing to note about the AARO inclusion of “watery” UFOs in its mandate is that, as with airborne or spaceborne UAPs, it’s primarily interested in military reports. As yet, we have not seen any plan for AARO (or even its predecessor AATIP) to collect civilian UFO reports. That still seems to be left to civilian groups and organizations.

Further, the Pentagon seems to be encouraging military personnel to come forward without fear of reprimand or ridicule, with a kind of whistleblower policy being instituted. This is a good thing.

Of note, however, is that there is already a system in place for mariners and military ship personnel to report UAP.

In Canada.

There is currently on the books a regulation as part of the Canadian Coast Guard’s Notices to Mariners that mandates a procedure for reporting “Vital Intelligence Sightings” to military authorities. This is in parallel with Communications Instructions for Reporting Vital Intelligence Sightings (CIRVIS) that is part of the procedure manual for Canadian aviators and is also in force for American air personnel.

Merchant Intelligence (MERINT) reports are required by the Department of National Defence to “extend the early warning coverage for the defence of the North American continent… during peacetime.”

https://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2020/mpo-dfo/Fs151-4-2020-eng.pdf

In the Notices to Mariners, Section F: National Defence – Military Notices, number 36, paragraph 3 states:

MERINT reports should be made under the following circumstances:

(a)   Immediately upon a vital intelligence sighting

And what falls under the category of a vital intelligence sighting?

All airborne and waterborne objects which appear to be hostile, suspicious or unidentified should be reported.

(a) The following are examples:

(i) Guided missiles.

(ii) Unidentified flying objects.

(iii) Submarines.

(iv) Surface warship positively identified as not Canadian or U.S.

(v) Aircraft or contrails (vapour trails made by high flying aircraft) which appear to be directed against Canada, the U.S., their territories or possessions.

Okay, so (i) is a no-brainer. Report any guided missile that’s zooming overhead. Gotcha.

And if you’re fishing from your houseboat and a gunship with a with an unusual flag comes alongside or a submarine surfaces next to you, that falls under (iii) or (iv).

Number (v) is best left to chemtrail conspiracists.

But it’s number (ii) that’s interesting. It specifically refers to UFOs (and not UAPs, sorry – not sorry).

The Canadian Department of National Defence requires all mariners and boaters to keep an eye out for UFOs and tell the Coast Guard about them:

MERINT messages should be transmitted to the nearest or most convenient Canadian or U.S. Government coast station.

Furthermore:

In the event a report cannot be made by radio, the master should report the details of the MERINT sighting to the appropriate Canadian or U.S. consular or military authority immediately upon arrival in port. Such reports should be made by the quickest available means.

Note that this isn’t just a Coast Guard thing. The MERINT regulations mention consular or military authorities as well. And not just Canadian authorities, but American offices as well.



As of 2020, the most recent Notices to Mariners, the Canadian government is cooperating with American military offices to allow both civilian and enlisted personnel to report UFOs. This has not been mentioned in any of the recent Pentagon statements about UAP.

As I’ve recommended many times before, you should look to Canada for UFO research and report data.  

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Saturday, March 19, 2022

 

290 Canadian UFO documents released (sort of)

 

Headlines on #ufotwitter and some news outlets absolutely gushed with the news that Vice reporter and CTV journalist Daniel Otis had received 290 documents from the Canadian government as a result of his Access to Information (ATI) request (Canada's version of the American FOIA).

Otis has been doing a phenomenal job of filing requests and is the Canadian version of John Greenewald, spending hundreds of dollars and man-hours seeking UFO docs from the Canadian government. His success at obtaining previously-unreleased records about UFO sightings in Canada has been pretty darned good.

[Aside: in Canada, they are indeed called UFO, not UAP, despite what most people would like to think. Transport Canada has a category clearly labeled UFO, and report forms used by the Canadian Department of National Defence read "UFO Report" at the top of the page.]

Otis and I have been corresponding for a while now, ever since he started his interest in UFOs in 2020 and his first Vice articles appeared. He is also in contact with other ufologists and UFO fans, as well as individuals within media and government. He is well-situated to dig into matters relating to UFO phenomena.

He was able to get some very interesting documents and statements from spokespersons for National Defence as well as Transport Canada, obtaining details on how UFO reports are dealt with and collected in Canada. (And, incidentally, I am mentioned often in his Vice article, once even calling me "Canada's Point Man" for UFOs.)

His latest Vice article was very curious, because when he told me it was coming out and that he had hundreds of UFO docs from the government, I was puzzled. He had told me that I was mentioned in some of the documents, which made sense, because I have been receiving UFO reports from DND and other government sources since the year 2000. I have several hundred on file since that time, so the number 290 seemed strange. It should either be much greater or much smaller.

Otis made the entire set of documents he received available on the Vice website, much to the delight of UFO fans, many of whom heralded this as Disclosure. It's admirable that he made them all available for scrutiny.

But Disclosure, it ain't.

I took a hard look at the set of docs, and found an interesting breakdown. Out of 290 pages of documents, there were reports on 116 incidents. Many had more than one page, leading to the inflated number. Also, the last 30 pages of the set of documents was a list of about 500 Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reports (CADORS) compiled by Transport Canada and Nav Canada (the Canadian versions of the American FAA).

CADORS include everything from blown tires in landing to drunken passengers on flights, to errors in communication between pilots and air traffic controllers. There are between 50 to 100 such incidents reported each day in Canada. A small number are categorized as: Weather balloon, meteor, rocket, CIRVIS/UFO." These were what comprised the 500ish cases in the list. And yes, most were the first three in the description.

But within that list are indeed some strange reports of pilot sightings of UFOs that don't seem to have simple explanations. I have been including these reports every year in the annual Canadian UFO Survey, which analyses national UFO case data. And more recently, as new ones have been reported, I have been posting them to Facebook, and other social networks such as #ufotwitter, along with Otis and others who find the incidents in the daily lists of Transport Canada CADORS.

So the first red flag is that the incidents in this list had already been made public in a number of ways dating back to the year 2000. 

The other 116 reports? Of those, all except 13 were the actual CADORS reports. They were already in the list of CADORS later in the set of documents.

Also, the earliest of these was from 2009, so the reports covered only about a dozen years, not 20 years. The 13 reports were military files, such as Communications Instructions for Reporting Vital Intelligence Sightings (CIRVIS), a category that dates back to JANAP 146, a policy created in 1953 directing both Canadian and American pilots to report all "unidentified flying objects." I had already made the existence of most of these public, even at some UFO conferences and public presentations, on slides.

Finally, it has to be noted that, like all collections of UFO reports, the vast majority have probable explanations, and don't contain any proof that UFOs are alien spacecraft (as a significant number of UFO fans believe).

With this examination of the 290 documents, it is obvious this wasn't Disclosure (or even disclosure).

It was definitely interesting, however, because Otis' ATI request for UFO documents generated this set of files that were indeed categorized as UFOs by the Canadian government. Furthermore, many of these were reports of observations by pilots or air traffic controllers (or radar operators), who can be considered pretty good observers. (There were also quite a few reports from citizens who reported UFOs to airports; I have described how the average person can report UFOs to Transport Canada in a recent blog.)

The reaction from hardcore UFO cans and zealots was fairly predictable, however. "Why hasn't the mainstream media reported on this?" "Why didn't this get more attention from anyone?"

The reason is, of course, because the "release" of the 290 documents wasn't a release, but a response to a specific ATI request, so it wasn't disclosure of anything. Plus, the reports released don't show anything other than objects were seen by pilots and non-pilots, and most of these objects had explanations. Further, even the truly unidentified ones don't explicitly implicate aliens - or even a foreign power operating over North America.

That's not to say that some cases weren't curious. 

For example, CADORS case 2017P1732 (which had been made public that same year), noted that just north of Prince Rupert, BC, at 3:40 pm local time on September 3, 2017: 

A concerned citizen reported a black object the size and shape of a rugby ball moved quickly west to east above their house, less than 100 feet above the ground. Area control centre (ACC) Shift Manager was advised. 

There was even an update on file: 

2017-09-14: UPDATE: CIRVIS REPORT from CZVR: During daylight hours and as a ground visual, a black volleyball sized oblong object was seen near East Digby Island. The object was moving west to east and moving fast enough to make sound. The object was moving straight with no manoeuvres.

Both the CADORS and the CIRVIS report were provided to Otis, one of the few instances where that was so.

A black Tic-Tac? Go figure.

Even better in my opinion was CADORS 2014O0421, which happened on March 3, 2014, at about 4 pm local time.

At approximately 2100Z, a Piper PA-23-250 on a local flight from Burlington, ON (CZBA) was outbound (north eastbound) on the simulated LOC 30 approach at three thousand feet. When crossing the Binbrook non-directional beacon (NDB) (5.7 nm from CYHM airport), the pilot reported seeing an object pass under them at approximately 2,900 ft westbound, jelly bean shaped, green in colour and about 3 feet in diameter. The pilot stated that it was not a balloon and that if it were a balloon it would have been going in the same direction as [the plane] as the wind direction was 300 at 15 knots. The object was going in the opposite direction to the wind.

I guess that Tic-Tacs can be green as well as black or white. (Although three feet in size is much smaller than the one that buzzed the jets in California.)

Otis has been posting many of these CADORS cases and associated documents on social media for more than a year, and UFO fans have been digging them.

I've been posting about Canadian government UFO docs (and posting the docs themselves) for decades. I even have showed slides of them to audiences at some UFO conventions and other public meetings, as noted above.

Like this one, from June 5, 2009.



Or this one, seen and reported by an experienced meteorologist in Canada's Far North, also in 2009:


The fact is that there is considerable documentation that the Canadian government has information on unidentified flying objects seen by pilots and other good observers.

Daniel Otis has done good work in making this known to adherents of ufology.

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Sunday, January 30, 2022

 

Where do I report my UFO sighting?

 

Where do I report my UFO sighting?


 

So, you think you’ve seen a UFO! Congratulations!

Now what?

Well, you’ve joined a somewhat exclusive club. Surveys and statistical studies have suggested that one out of every ten North Americans has seen a UFO. There are reports on record from a very broad spectrum of people, from pilots to farmers, and from children to seniors, all genders, from coast to coast to coast (to coast).

The difference is that this data comes from UFO reports, and you haven’t reported your sighting yet.

Other surveys have shown that only one in ten of all UFO witnesses will ever bother to make a formal report of a sighting, so that means you have to decide if you want to file one or not.

But how? And to whom, or which organization?

Unfortunately, there isn’t one central location to report a UFO. This, despite the apparent huge amount of interest and publicity and media attention to the subject. But the fundamental basis for ufology is the UFO report itself, and there’s not much being done to gather this actual data, upon which is built all the speculation concerning UAP propulsion, physical composition, and (by ET believers) the aliens themselves.

I found that Googling “How do I report a UFO” generates five answers.

The first is “UFO Daddy”, which directs you to the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), a private organization of UFO fans that trains teams of Field Investigators (FIs) to investigate your UFO sighting.

The second hit is a UFO FAQ on HubPages, which first notes: “According to NASA’s web page, you should report UFO sightings to 911, or your local emergency number. However, there is no official government agency that is responsible for investigating sightings.” However, the web page in question has nothing to do with UFOs and the original must have been deleted long ago. Curiously, if you search for “UFO” on that NASA web page, you get one link that is to an explanation about how an unusual object photographed during Apollo 16 was actually a long boom and floodlight attached to the spacecraft. But with no relevance to a typical UFO sighting.

The other three answers are garbage UFO sites with general comments from readers.

It seems like the first option is the best: MUFON. If you go to its website, you can find a link to a page for reporting a UFO to them.

Done!

Oh, wait, what about the suggestion to reporting UFO sightings to 911? That’s a very reasonable possibility. After all, that way you can lodge a formal complaint and you know that police do have investigators that will do something about it. Maybe you should do that first.

Or not. Because calling 911 about a UFO sighting may take an emergency responder away from a call about a medical emergency or a heinous crime in progress. No, don’t do that.

That site also noted that “there is no official government agency that is responsible for investigating sightings.”

But haven’t we heard in the media and news recently that there is such an agency? Wouldn’t it be better to report a UFO sighting to an official body?

I guess so, but how, exactly? NASA seems uninterested, despite what we found. What about the air force?

The USAF website says the following: “Persons wishing to report UFO sightings should be advised to contact local law enforcement agencies.”

That’s funny. I thought the USAF had a task force to investigate UFOs (or UAPs, as they are called now, apparently).

Oh, it’s the US Navy is going to be investigating UFOs. But there’s no indication of how they will collecting UFO or UAP data, nor how an average citizen can report a sighting. In fact, Pentagon’s Task Force on UAPs issued its first report and noted that only a relative handful of military UAP sightings were studied. (Only 144, to be exact.) Its report noted that its investigation: “…remains limited to USG reporting.”

So although the Department of Defense is going to be studying UFO/UAP reports to see if any are a threat to national security, they aren’t interested in your personal sighting. But you might try anyway, by emailing the USAF with your sighting details. Otherwise, maybe do what the USAF suggests, and report your sighting to your local police.

Good luck with that.

Okay, what about other UFO groups and organizations?

Absolutely. Many are very eager to get your sighting reports. Many have websites with online forms to fill out.

A significant one is the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC), based in Washington State. They get many hundreds of cases each year reported to them, and their info is open to the public, unlike MUFON, whose case reports are private. So if you want others to know what you saw, NUFORC is a good option.

Another is UFOs Northwest, originally devoted to the American Northwest, but now accepting reports from all around the world. They also post details of everyone’s UFO sightings and allow for comments and letters.

A group with a good website is UFO Hunters. They are exactly what they say they are, a group of people dedicated to searching for UFOs, and readily acknowledge the work of NUFORC and MUFON. UFO Hunters has an added bonus of providing an interactive map that shows UFO activity around the world, and has a searchable index.

The group with historically the best record is the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS). It was the creation of the “Grandfather of Ufology,” Dr. J. Allen Hynek, who worked with the USAF and then went rogue, saying that the USAF ignored all the good cases.

Of course, other countries have their own UFO groups and organizations, all of which accept UFO sighting reports. The largest of these is the British UFO Research Association (BUFORA). In Italy, there’s the Centro Italiano Studi Ufologici (CISU), and they have an online UFO report form you can email to them. A French group, Groupe d'Études et d'Informations sur les Phénomènes Aérospatiaux Non-identifiés (GEIPAN), is very active and has an interactive website where you can not only report your UFO sighting, but also triage it, so you might be able to yourself identify what you saw. There are other groups around the world, and you can search for them online. (Here’s what Wikipedia says.)

In North America, both Canada and Mexico also have groups that investigate UFOs. Canada is particularly of interest, because not only are there civilian UFO groups, but its government also has taken an interest in UFOs.

The Canadian UFO Survey has been cataloguing UFO sightings there for more than 30 years. An online web form can send them your report if you see one in Canada. There’s a second form to reach them on a podcast website.

The Canadian UFO Survey includes sightings reported to a host of other groups in Canada, such as UFOBC, Quebec based groups such as Groupe d’assistance et de recherche sur les phénomènes aérospatiaux non-identifiés (GARPAN) and Association Québécoise d’Ufologie (AQU), plus Canadian cases reported to MUFON and NUFORC.

The Canadian UFO Survey also includes reports of UFOs made to the Canadian government. This includes Transport Canada, the Canadian equivalent of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Pilots are required to report UFOs as per “AIP CANADA Part 2 - Enroute (ENR)”:

“Communication Instructions for Reporting Vital Intelligence Sightings (CIRVIS) reports should be made immediately upon a vital intelligence sighting of any airborne and ground objects or activities that appear to be hostile, suspicious, unidentified or engaged in possible illegal smuggling activity. Examples of events requiring CIRVIS reports are: unidentified flying objects…” (https://www.navcanada.ca/en/2enreng27january2022.pdf) (Retrieved 29 January 2022)

In addition to pilots, civilians have been known to file UFO reports as “Aviation Incidents,” and there is separate form for drone incidents. (Drones have been blamed for many UFO sightings.) These incident reports usually are available as Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System (CADORS). The justification for reporting UFOs is broadly interpreted as: “Any occurrence which may generate a high degree of public interest or concern or could be of direct interest to specific foreign air authorities.”

In regard to the FAA in the USA, all its website says regarding reports of UFOs is that: “Persons wanting to report UFO/unexplained phenomena activity should contact a UFO/ unexplained phenomena reporting data collection center, such as the National UFO Reporting Center, etc.” and “If concern is expressed that life or property might be endangered, report the activity to the local law enforcement department.” The FAA equivalent to the Transport Canada incident report seems to be FAA 8020-23. (You can report a drone to the FAA too.)

It is interesting to note that the FAA Order 8020.11D has a section on “Spacecraft incidents," which can be investigated under Chapter 7(8)e, noting that: “the Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation (AST) has the authority to conduct independent investigations parallel to an NTSB investigation, including, but not limited to the following: (1) Accidents not investigated by the NTSB. (2) Incidents or other identified mishaps.” So I suppose technically, the FAA could investigate UFO reports under this Order.

But I digress.

Finally, one has to acknowledge that social media is possibly the best way to share your UFO sighting with others. In theory, it’s the most efficient; if all states and provinces had their own separate Facebook groups for reporting UFOs, it would be a tremendous boost to UFO/UAP investigations. Unfortunately, UFO information on social media is in a state akin to the Wild West, with disparate groups that have conflicting agendas controlling the discourse.

Yet, one can find pockets of interactions that have useful information.

In Canada, for example, there are Facebook groups where witnesses in specific provinces report their sightings and others are able to comment (and criticize and flame, unfortunately). The same is true of most US States.

You can find many, many UFO videos posted on YouTube (just search for them), but beware of misinformation and sensational channels that exploit believers.

Possible one of the better sources of UFO info on social media is Reddit, where subreddits on specific UFO topics can provide good insight. In fact, the subreddit lists some way to report your UFO sighting, including: the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena (NARCAP) (which has info for pilots to report their UFO sightings); MUFON; The Black Vault; and Aerial Phenomena Investigations (API), which also accepts UFO sighting reports. (In fact, API notes that: “It’s fine to report your sighting to NUFORC, but raw, uninvestigated sightings have very little weight on their own.”)

The other organization mentioned, The Black Vault, is a site created by UFO researcher John Greenewald, whose primary interest is retrieving government documents on various topics, many of which are UFO-related. Nevertheless, his site has a link for reporting UFO sightings, conducted by TBV Investigations (operated by Tiffany Hahn, a licenced private investigator with an interest in the paranormal.)

In other social media, there are some UFO groups and researchers on Twitter, such as the aforementioned UFO Hunters, among many others. Also, many people post Tweets with the hashtag #ufotwitter, which has dozens and dozens of Tweets posted every day.

One thing to consider is that despite the many groups mentioned so far that have links to UFO reporting forms and mechanisms, some may not have the resources or capabilities to investigate UFO reports. You may live hundreds or thousands of miles away from where a group’s investigators live, and how would they visit you and examine where the UFO was seen or landed?

Finally, it’s worth noting that if you see a UFO and report it, your observation may not be considered as useful data for “solving the UFO mystery” at all. The UAPTF doesn’t seem to be interested in civilian UFO reports, just those experienced by military personnel and perhaps recorded by radar and video. The recently formed Galileo Project, which includes a lot of scientists who are interested in the UFO phenomenon, is not interested in the average UFO report. Its founder has been quoted as saying that: “...the best sightings would be those that did not involve humans. He wanted instruments to collect the data without human interaction. He wanted to remove errors that were often generated by human perception and human bias.”

So there you have it. It’s not that there are no ways to report your UFO sighting – it’s that there are so many options. Do you want your report to go the government for its UFO/UAP study? Do you want your report to go to a private UFO group? Do you want to share your UFO/UAP experience with others? MUFON has recently made its database completely closed to non-subscribers, so it’s not open for public viewing, but maybe it’s worth it for you to open your wallet or purse and join them in their quest to understand UFOs. NUFORC might be a good bet for sharing your UFO experience and allowing others to read about what you’ve seen, if that’s your goal.

Maybe you should take care in observing the UFO, noting all relevant details such as those listed on UFO reporting forms, and hang onto your information. Perhaps start a “UFO diary” to record your sighting(s).

Regardless of what you decide, you’re not alone. (No, I’m not necessarily talking about aliens visiting Earth.) Polls and studies have suggested there are at least 35 million people in the United States alone who believe they have seen a UFO.

It’s now up to you.

[NB: All URLs were live as of January 29, 2022. Special thanks for Curt Collins and Ralph Howard for their comments and insight. Thanks also to Mark Rodeghier and Isaac Koi.]

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