Thursday, August 11, 2005


Ufology Research

Ufology Research
Hmm. Some of my posts never appeared. I'll try again.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Ufology Research

How the media report UFO news

To : UFO UpDates - Toronto
Cc : - UFO UpDates Subscribers -
Subject : Re: UFO UpDate: Rutkowski Says UFO Sightings Down
----- Message Text -----

Well, that's not *quite* what I said, but okay...

On Wed, 10 Aug 2005, UFO UpDates - Toronto wrote:
> Source: The National Post - Toronto
> Tuesday, August 09, 2005
> UFO Sightings Down
> Broadcast News
> Winnipeg-based UFO expert Chris Rutkowski says strange sightings
> have dropped this year across Canada.

That much is true.

> But he says three people in southeast Manitoba reported seeing a
> very large cylindrical object with no wings and a somewhat
> pointed end on Sunday afternoon.
> Rutkowski says there was also a report last Friday of a
> mysterious light over Lake Winnipeg.
> As well, two different pilots flying between Thunder Bay and
> Winnipeg reported seeing a bright light moving south to north on
> July 24th -- but air traffic control told them there were no
> other aircraft in the area.

I've been working with and in media for a long time, and it's still
interesting to me how stories can be generated and take on lives of their

This is what happened:

Errol had asked me some time ago about our mid-year "checkup" on Canadian
UFO sightings. In addition to our annual Canadian UFO Survey, which Geoff
Dittman crunches and we put out in Februaryish of each year, I've been
doing a simple count of reports in the pile by the end of June, just to
give us an idea of whether sightings are up or down. In previous years.
it's been a good barometer, and accurately predicted the past several
years' increases.

A bit later than usual, I finally got around to doing the count (Geoff and
I are busy on another project that you'll eventually hear about), and
found that sightings are down. Way down. In fact, about 36% down from last
year. What's more interesting is that the drop in numbers came in the
summer, after a respectably active winetr and spring. This is most
unusual, since summer is usually peak time for reports as people are out
at cabins or the beach or campgrounds and see more nocturnal lights. Not
so in 2005.

After doing Errol's show on July 30, I sent out a release to media which
got very little play. I thought it was the perfect long-weekend news story
but it got buried and didn't go far. However, after a few days, the media
needed filler and started calling in mid-week to do some in-depth. I was
in fact scheduled for Canada AM last week but that Air France thing bumped
me and the story was pushed off the table.

I thought that was it, until two nights ago on August 8, when I met a
friend from a local radio station for coffee. He casually asked if there
was anything new and I noted that I had just received a call from someone
in southern Manitoba about a daylight UFO seen by him and two others, all
fairly prominent in their community. My friend asked if I could go on as a
fill-in call-in guest for the late-night talk show.

I did the show, briefly noting the case plus a few others that had come in
from our area, then went to bed.

The next morning, the airwaves were abuzz as "UFOs invade Manitoba." The
station had run my taped comments verbatim and used it in the morning,
then afternoon newscast. It became a wire story across Canada. Then

This morning, I did Canada AM on CTV, pointing out that the UFOs have not
gone away completely from Canada, mentioning cases from Newfoundland to
BC, but noting numbers are indeed down.

And that's how the genesis of a UFO story makes the news.

I got a few more cases already this morning. I doubt it'll be enough to
save the numbers, but don't worry, list readers, the UFOs are still here.

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