Monday, October 04, 2010


The Montreal UFO

Anglophone media in Montreal is covering a UFO sighting from last week, although their French counterparts seem to be less than interested.

On Wednesday morning, September 29, 2010, at about 1 am, Dr. Cleve Ziegler was driving past the Cavendish Mall when he saw something unusual in the sky. Ziegler, an obstetrician at the Montreal Jewish General Hospital, insisted to reporters that he is "not a crazy person." He said he really saw a strange flashing object in the sky and stopped his car to get a better look.

He said it had blue and red twinkling lights, and was not an aircraft or the beam from a flashlight playing about the sky. He noted: "It was moving up and down, sideways. It was not a flying saucer, more like a couple of triangles."

He saw another person standing nearby, also craning his neck to look at the object. The two men, the other man's girlfriend and one other woman, all watched the object and agreed it was something strange.

Ziegler used his cellphone to take some really indistinguishable photos of the object, and then used it to call police. He continued to watch for a total of 10 minutes, then went home. Police interviewed him at home the next day.

English source:

French source:

The Montreal Gazette called me for an opinion, and I gave it, based on what I had read. The description was lacking some detail, but it sure sounded like a balloon or kite, and when I read on the Gazette website and also the CBC website in the readers comments about the UFO story that someone had seen a guy flying a kite, then that seemed a reasonable possible explanation.

Of course, that was just speculation, and I told the reporter that we'd need to know what the winds were like that night, for one thing, before making a definitive conclusion. However, the reporter used my "probably explained" comment as a headline, and the story seemed to die.

Until Quebec ufologists investigated. Jean Casault ( and Francois Bourbeau ( both went after the case. I suspect they were a little ticked at me for labelling it as Possibly Explained without onsite investigation, but I had only given a qualified opinion to the reporter, not a definitive answer. But they both have been investigating since then, with some interesting results.

Additional witnesses have been located and interviewed. Also, they pointed out that the guy who had reportedly been flying a kite at night has not been located. So at this point we only have the statements of Ziegler and the others as testament to something that was floating over Montreal that night.

Yet, I remain unconvinced it was anything unearthly. I suspect it was a kite or balloon, even though I can't imagine why anyone would want to fly a lighted contraption like that at 1 am over a shopping mall. Sleep seems a much better pasttime.

I don't think the Montreal object was extraterrestrial, but I think the best way to get to the bottom of what was seen is through investigation by onsite researchers. I look forward to their investigation results.


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