Thursday, May 30, 2019


Recent UFO reports in 2019

While everyone is all agog over the media interest in five-year-old UFO sightings by US Navy pilots (but not actual reports, only witness testimony), UFO sightings continue to trickle in to reporting agencies.

The start of the week actually began with a flurry, as Elon Musk's Starlink set of 60 satellites was launched by SpaceX, resulting in many good observations of the long line of starlike lights stretched across the sky.

This meant of course that witnesses reporting these IFOs were not making details up nor were fabricating wild stories. The UFOs were seen and identified as IFOs. This adds weight to the view that people reporting UFOs are seeing real objects.

During the course of the week, UFOs were reported at a regular rate. No "Golden Age" of UFOs, nor a "new reality" where governments have declared aliens are in fact visiting Earth.

Just the usual reports of lights in the sky for the most part, and most have possible explanations.

Recent UFO Sightings Reported to Ufology Research

May 7, 2019   10:45 pm      Telkwa, BC
Bright light appeared in sky, vanished after 2 secs.

May 21, 2019                        South Indian Lake, MB
Starlike light suddenly flared and “took off”

May 21, 2019  10:45 pm     Sudbury, ON
Obj. like “horizontal oval” appeared then flew off quickly after 2 secs.

May 24, 2019   11:45 pm    Ladysmith, BC
100 lights in a row flying in straight line SE

May 24, 2019    11:25 pm               Cap-des-Rosiers, Gaspe, PQ
40-50 lights in line stretching across sky

May 24, 2019    11:39 pm   Williams Lake, BC
Three dozen starlike lights like satellites going W-E in straight line

May 25, 2019    12:30 am   Shag Harbour, NS
20 lights in a line travelling to the north

May 25, 2019    12:43 am   Allan, SK
Line of stars across sky

May 25, 2019                        Pleasant Lake, NS
Bright light in sky moving around unlike star, “10 minutes before Starlink launched”

May 27, 2019                        Pelican Rapids, MB
At sunset, a bright light was seen to be joined by another before both flew E

May 27, 2019    1:30 am      Barrie, ON
Large triangular obj. with 4 white lights moved across sky for 2 mins.

May 27, 2019                        Minnedosa, MB

String of lights seen in sky



Media furore and UFOs

While there are certainly some fascinating details emerging slowly about the USN UFO reports by pilots, there's also a lot of hyperbole. I'd like to suggest some caution and tempering of the message.

First, we're not suddenly in a "new era" of mainstream media acceptance of UFOs. Mainstream media have been doing stories about UFOs all along. (And this one too.) 
Studies of media and UFOs show that coverage waxes and wanes, driven by a number of factors. One factor is definitely internal media effects, and the fact that the new TV show Unidentified premieres this week is absolutely connected with the NYT story.
And this is not Disclosure, or even disclosure. Powers that be are not controlling the release of UFO info now any more than they have 50 years ago. We are learning about UFO cases at a steady rate. As media pick up on news tips, stories are generated. If anything, this is possibly another media effect (see above).
As for official government interest in UFOs, the recent focus on the USN neglects the fact that there have been many official UFO projects over the years. Grudge, Sign, Blue Book, Second Storey, and Magnet, to name a few. And even after Blue Book closed in 1969, we have info on many military cases that have been documented in the later years (including USN reports), so it's not surprising that investigations kept going until today.
While the USN pilots' reports are fascinating, there are some hard questions that they raise. Why just Navy pilots? Where are the reports from USAF pilots who also patrol the seaboards? And media constantly report (in the mainstream) about Russian incursions into US airspace, which are acted upon immediately. Why would UFOs be allowed to hover near military exercises for weeks without any concern or media attention?
And despite visual and radar observations of UFOs by pilots and other personnel in the case of the Nimitz case, assumptions about UFO capabilities based on observations just don't cut it.
Call me a Doubting Thomas. A fascinated one, but a cautious one nevertheless.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019


In Remembrance: Stanton Friedman, 1934-2019

It is with deep sadness that I post about the passing of Stan Friedman. A few people have confirmed that Stan passed away while in Toronto on May 13, 2019.

I first met Stan when he visited Winnipeg in about 1976, during the Charlie Redstar UFO furore. He gave a lecture about UFOs at the University of Manitoba and received a standing ovation. After his talk, we met and exchanged info. Ever since then, we had kept in touch and got together or at least spoke on the phone every year.

Stan stayed with me sometimes when he came to Winnipeg, choosing to sleep on my couch rather than in a nondescript motel room, but mostly to save money.

He was a mentor, a rebel, a challenger, and most of all, a friend.

He had a remarkable career in physics, although he never received his doctorate. In his own words:
I worked my way through five years of college as a busboy in the Catskill Mountains and then as a Union waiter at Windermere East Hotel on the South side of Chicago within walking distance of the University of Chicago. I was anxious to join the real world which I had done in industry where a PhD was not required. First, the General Electric Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Department, near Cincinnati, then Aerojet General Nucleonics near San Francisco on compact nuclear reactors and fusion for space applications, then General Motors Allison Division in Indianapolis on portable nuclear reactors for space systems and the Westinghouse Astronuclear Labs on fission rocket reactors for space applications. I must have set a record for working on cancelled programs.

A very young Stan Friedman visiting Rutgers in 1950.

But of course, he is best known as the "Flying Saucer Physicist."
As a scientist. I have always felt that one wasn’t entitled to a scientific opinion if one hasn’t read the relevant literature. Often over the years In my “Flying Saucers ARE Real” lectures, I discussed five large scale scientific studies and then asked my audiences how many had read each of them. Typically fewer than  two per cent had read any. Included were the biggest study ever done for the US Air Force, Project Blue Book Special Report 14, The Congressional Hearings on July 29,1968 (with statements from 12 scientists including Allen Hynek, myself, and Carl Sagan), Allen’s book UFOs: A Scientific Inquiry, Edward Condon’s The Scientific Study of UFOs, and MacDonald's Congressional paper. 
I had the opportunity on several occasions to sit and talk with him about all things ufological. He agreed to let me record our conversations. Some of these were at UFO and paranormal conferences, where we sat in either his or my hotel room while Donna or someone else filmed us.

The following are links to our informal discussions:

Q&A with Stanton Friedman
At Paracon 2012, held October 12-14, 2012, at the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, Minnesota, one of the keynote speakers was Stanton Friedman, well-known proponent of trying to break through the UFO cover-up. I spent some time at Paracon talking with Stan about his research and why he believes that, as his movie is titled, "Flying Saucers Are Real!" He agreed to answer a few questions for putting up on my blog and on Youtube. 1. Why does he keep at it? 2. Is there anything left to find out about Roswell?

Oct. 2013: Stanton Friedman on Astronomers and UFOs
At Minnesota Paracon, I sat down with Stanton Friedman and asked him if there was any question he had never been asked, but wished someone had asked. He replied that no one ever asked him why astronomers are generally down about UFOs and ufology. He explained that astronomers are generally uninformed about ufology and can be arrogant in their dismissiveness. [NB: I'm an astronomer]

October 2013: How has ufology changed since 1967?

October 2013: I ask Stan about how ufology has affected his family and personal life

Stan at Minnesota Paracon in 2014
I caught up with Stanton Friedman at Minnesota Paracon 2014. He has some words of advice for UFO buffs.

Stanton Friedman thinking of retiring
At Minnesota Paracon 2014, I caught up with "the Grandfather of Ufology," Stanton Friedman. It's been only a month or two since his heart attack, and he's 80 years old, so I asked him how that's changed his approach to his UFO research. His answer: he's going to be retiring!

2016: Stanton Friedman on the Clinton/Podesta UFO emails

Stan Friedman on the Aztec UFO Crash. From Minnesota Paracon 2016.

2016: Stan Friedman talks with me about some regrets he has about his many years of work in ufology. Surprisingly heartfelt and honest, this is all about passion for a subject he believes in.

I asked Stan Friedman about the failures and mistakes of ufology. Where have ufologists fallen short? Filmed at Minnesota Paracon 2016

Me and Stan in 2001 when I visited him in his home in Fredericton while filming an episode for the the documentary series Magnificent Obsessions. (Full episode here, my visit to Stan at his home starts at about 17:25)


We were on stage together at the Telus World of Science Expo in Edmonton in 2007.

Donna Lobchuk helping Stan at his table at Telus in 2007.

I may have deliberately set up this photo with me between Stan and Kevin Randle (and Frank) at MUFON 2009 in Denver.

Stan in a typical pose behind his book table, at MUFON 2009.

Travis Walton, me, Donna, and Stan having dinner at Minnesota Paracon.

Stan, Raymond Szymanski and Kathleen Marden at World UFO Congress in 2016.

Donna with Stan at Minnesota Paracon in 2013.

In 2014, his daughter Melissa asked me to do a short video wishing him a happy 80th birthday. I got some friends to help me. Apparently, even Michael Shermer made one.

He will be missed.

Update: CBC reports that Stan died doing what he liked doing; he was returning from a speaking engagement in Columbus, Ohio, and passed suddenly in the Pearson International Airport in Toronto.

Update 2: Paul Kimball's film about Stan is viewable here.


Sunday, May 05, 2019


How many see UFOs? How many report them?

I had posted the latest Canadian UFO Survey results, and was surprised when someone questioned that only ten percent of all witnesses report their experiences.

(Not that he had offered any alternative, just that he doubted the value was correct.)

I realized that most people in ufology these days have likely never seen poll data on UFOs, so I went looking for results from Gallup, Decima, and others. 

Of course, I've posted about such things many times, but hey, no one listens to me.

In 2012, I noted:

And them in 1997, MUFON published an article concerning the Ufology Research poll of Canadians about UFOs.

(Yes, there was a time when MUFON liked me.)

So, there are some stats to  back up that about ten per cent of the population believe they have seen UFOs, and that only a small percentage of UFO witnesses report them, as one might expect given the climate of ridicule that is still evident.

And one this that came out of that early study was the note that about the same number of people were as likely to report their UFO experience to a UFO group as to not report it at all. But they would rather report it to a government agency.

Maybe the US Navy will be getting some UFO reports, after all.

I would love to do a more rigorous set of polls on this, with cooperation from many UFO groups so that we can get a better sample size and hopefully more refined results.

But that's not likely to happen.


Thursday, May 02, 2019


The 2018 Canadian UFO Survey

14,000 Canadians saw UFOs in 2018

New study finds that numbers of UFO reports are down nationally, but five per cent are unexplained

An analysis of UFO sightings reported in Canada in 2018 found that 937 cases were reported from across the country, from witnesses ranging from farmers to airline pilots. This is the lowest on record since 2004, when 882 cases were filed. In fact, for the past several years, the number of UFO reports each year has been well over 1,000. Despite this, the 2018 number of cases is only about a 15 percent decline from last year, and the number may well recover in 2019.

The study was conducted by the private organization Ufology Research, which has been studying national trends in Canadian UFO reports since 1989.

In 2018, Quebec led all Canadian provinces with 41 per cent of all Canadian UFO reports, followed by Ontario (24 per cent) and BC (13 per cent).

About five per cent of all UFO reports were classified as unexplained.

The typical UFO sighting lasted approximately 16 minutes in 2018.

The number of witnesses per UFO report averages to about 1.5, so that about 1,400 Canadians saw UFOs in 2018. And, since polls have shown that only about one on ten witnesses report their UFO sightings, it’s possible that at least 14,000 Canadians saw UFOs in 2018.

The study found that about 40 per cent of all UFO sightings were of simple lights in the sky, but witnesses also reported point sources of light, spheres, and objects shaped like boomerangs.

Study coordinator Chris Rutkowski notes: “Results of this study show that many people continue to report unusual objects in the sky, and some of these objects do not have obvious explanations. Many witnesses are pilots, police and other individuals with reasonably good observing capabilities and good judgement.”

He adds: “Though UFO report numbers are down slightly, interest in the subject remains high, with even mainstream news sources like the Washington Post and CNN doing recent stories on UFOs.”

However, popular opinion to the contrary, there is no incontrovertible evidence that some UFO cases involve extraterrestrial contact. The continued reporting of UFOs by the public and the overall long-term trend of an increase in numbers of UFO reports suggests a need for further examination of the phenomenon by social, medical and/or physical scientists.

For further information, contact:
Ufology Research via e-mail: canadianuforeport [at]
Twitter: [at] ufologyresearch

NB: The 2018 Canadian UFO Survey was produced with the help of Ashley, Sarah, Geoff, Donna, and Curt. Your help was greatly appreciated.

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