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

UFO numbers were down in Canada in 2019, but there are signs of a COVID rebound in 2020

The (COVID-19-delayed) 2019 Canadian UFO Survey

Although usually released earlier in the calendar year, the 2019 edition of the annual Canadian UFO Survey has finally been released

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.

The good news for UFO fans, however, is that the first half of 2020 has been very different. In fact, one of the sources for the Canadian UFO Survey data, the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) in the USA, has recorded a remarkable 70 per cent increase in reported UFO cases between January to June 2020, easily reversing the previous downward trend. (This has been supported by an independent study by American researcher Cheryl Costa.) And the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), another source, has recorded about a 55 per cent rise in UFO reports numbers in Canada alone during the same period. 

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.

2019 marked the 31st year of collecting and analysing Canadian UFO report data by Ufology Research. The number of UFO reports per year has varied, although there had been a general trend towards a gradual increase in yearly UFO report numbers over the years, with spikes in some years such as 1993, 2008, and 2012, when there were almost 2,000 reports in one year. In fact, between 2012 and 2017, it appeared that the number of UFO reports had plateaued. There were 1,268 UFO reports in Canada in 2015, and the number declined slightly in the following years, to 849 cases reported in 2019.

In 2019, about three per cent of all UFO reports were classified as unexplained. This is a bit lower than recent years, but shows that some ufologists are doing well in their ability to assess and explain the vast majority of UFO sightings. And in the list of High Quality Unknowns for 2019 in Canada, even some of these cases seem to have explanations, so the percentage is even lower.

Most UFO reports in 2019 came from the most populous provinces, which is no surprise since previous studies have shown that UFO report numbers are linked to population.

And the 2019 Canadian UFO Survey found that about 40 percent of all UFO sightings were of simple lights in the sky. Comparatively few were of anything with structure or definitive shapes. Only 23 cases, or about 2.8 per cent were classified as Close Encounters, most of which had either insufficient information for evaluation or were otherwise had possible explanations.

Overall, the 2019 Canadian UFO Survey shows that UFOs have not gone away, and that there are still two or three UFO sightings per day in Canada.

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.

[NB: While the 2019 Canadian UFO Survey was produced using information obtained directly or mined from various sources, during data entry inevitably typos and errors may have crept in, although efforts were made to mediate them. Although the master database is editable, once the charts and tables have been run and the results posted online, they will not reflect changes and post-run investigation results. A more robust and current system is being studied for use.]

Review of Higher-Quality Unknowns in the 2019 Canadian UFO Survey

January 8, 2019           6:15 am
Near Loks Land, Nunavut
While flying over the Labrador Sea off the southern tip of Baffin Island in Nunavut near Loks Land, the pilot of an airliner reported “a red rotary beacon light near the aircraft, at the same altitude of FL330.” The pilot was told that “the only known aircraft in the region was more than 80NM ahead.” The North American Aeropsace Defence Command (NORAD) was advised. Transport Canada

January 16, 2019         11:00 pm
Near Rimouski, Quebec
The pilot of an aircraft flying at 23,000 feet between Quebec City and Sept-Iles, Quebec, reported seeing red, green and white lights “oscillating up and down very quickly.” Montreal ATC noted that the closest other aircraft was 50 nautical miles away. The CIRVIS report lists this case as “Unknown,” although it has characteristics that could suggest an astronomical explanation. Transport Canada

January 20, 2019         1:05 am
Laurentian Wildlife Preserve, Quebec
While driving in the forest, witnesses saw two lights in the distance that increased and decreased in intensity during their observation. As they got closer, they were able to see the lights were on two silent triangular objects with lights. A video was taken:  AQU

January 23, 2019         9:30 pm
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Witnesses reported that a large boomerang-shaped object “came out of nowhere.” The object had a “sharp shape to it, with reddish orange lights” that were not blinking. It was estimated to be at least one kilometer in length.” The object made no sound and had “a haze like heat wave around it.” The object flew sideways, then “leveled out and went up and was gone” within 15 seconds. MUFON

March 24, 2019          2:19 am
Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Quebec
While driving in the Laurentians north of Montreal, a witness saw an unusual object in the sky, shaped like a “backwards question mark.” A photo showed it to be due to the movement of the camera. AQU

April 11, 2019             6:29 pm
Toronto, Ontario
While being vectored for an approach to Toronto’s Pearson airport, the flight crew of a Sunwing airliner received a TCAS RA to climb because of a nearby aircraft. The flight crew complied and advised ATC, which replied that the conflicting traffic was unidentified and not in communication with ATC. In fact, the Sunwing crew reported that the “prime target appeared momentarily” them then disappeared.” Transport Canada

June 15, 2019              1:46 pm
Langley, BC
The pilot of an airliner flying from Vancouver to Regina reported a large, black, remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS), westbound at an altitude of around 13,000 feet. The pilot reported it “missed them by about 100 feet.” Transport Canada

June 18, 2019              4:20 pm
Montreal/St-Hubert, Quebec
While on final approach to the St-Hubert airport near Montreal, the crew of an airliner was notified by air traffic control (ATC) of the presence of “unidentified traffic” at an 11-o'clock position, at an unknown altitude. The aircraft's on-board traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS) confirmed the presence of a target approximately 3.5 NM ahead; the target was moving northeast on climb and at an altitude of approximately 2,700 ft. The crew established visual contact with the unidentified object, which was located at approximately 1.5 NM, at the same altitude and continuing its climb. There was no alert or proximity warning from the TCAS system. The unidentified traffic crossed into controlled airspace without clearance and without any radio contact with ATC. Transport Canada

July 1, 2019                 3:00 am
Orleans, Quebec
“A huge triangular UFO” with “yellow (kind of orange) lights underneath” flew quickly and silently across the sky north to south above a witness. UFOINFO

July 29, 2019   3:38 pm
Langley, BC
The ATC at Langley, BC reported that “radar targets were coasting in and out to the Northwest (NW) of the airport. Random targets popping up, radar tags swapping, targets jumping to random locations.” Because of the strange radar readings, the airport was “Unable to pass traffic to departing aircraft.”  Transport Canada

August 4, 2019            4:00 pm
Aldergrove Lake, BC
A witness described as a trainer observer saw “multiple, high-altitude, silver, circular craft… traveling west to east at an extremely high rate of speed (covering 50 degrees in less than 1-2 seconds.” The objects “were making high speed right angle and S-turns and were clearly under control,” at altitudes “significantly higher than commercial air traffic.” UFOBC

August 17, 2019          9:30 am
Red Deer, Alberta
While a small amateur-built aircraft was on final approach to the runway at Red Deer, another aircraft was observed passing over it by airport personnel, but the second aircraft was not seen by the pilot of the first, and the flight service station (FSS) was not talking to any aircraft in the area. However, approximately 15 minutes later, an “unverified radar target” was observed to the NNE, heading NNE at 4,400 feet. Transport Canada

September 12, 2019   2:59 pm
Val D'Or, Quebec
While enroute to Val D’Or, the pilot of an airliner received a traffic alert and collision avoidance system resolution advisory (TCAS RA) when it was 5 NM north of Val d’Or. The altitude of the approaching traffic was unknown and there was no aircraft in sight. ATC reported: “No known traffic.” Transport Canada

September 16, 2019   4:55 pm
Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec
While driving, a witness saw “a big black form of obsidian (very shiny black almost shiny) moving… like a silk scarf that falls freely, but it did not fall.” The unusual object moved “in bizarre angles” and “as if the black shape shrinks without going away.” When he stopped the car to take a photo, he saw a second object that was less round, more rectangular and in shades of dark gray and navy blue. The second object followed the first in substantially the same trajectory but lower and more slowly. “When I had the impression that the first one moved away or shrank, the second moved but did not seem to shrink as much as the other.” This could have been an example of murmuring. GARPAN

November 18, 2019    3:59 pm
Near Quebec City, Quebec
The crew of an airliner flying from Montreal to Quebec City reported that it had received a traffic alert and collision avoidance system resolution advisory (TCAS RA) concerning a target 200 feet above it while it was at an altitude of approximately 10,000 ft. The only other radar target close to PVL1910 was 1.1 NM south, at 2 900 ft. Transport Canada

November 28, 2019    4:56 pm
Tsawwassen, BC
The pilot of an airliner reported a traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS) resolution advisory (RA) while descending through 6,700 feet towards Vancouver, with traffic only 200 feet below his aircraft. However, there was no observed traffic on radar at that altitude. Transport Canada

December 19, 2019    4:49 pm
Kitchener, Ontario
An airliner experienced a traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS) resolution advisory (RA) 2 nautical miles at 11,000 feet, but there was “no other aircraft in close proximity.” Transport Canada

Thank you to all those who contributed to the 2019 Canadian UFO Survey. Special thanks to Ufology Research associates Geoff, Ashley, MJ, and Sarah.


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