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.
Labels: UFO report DND Canada pilot 2002
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.
Definitely more to come!
Good work, Daniel!
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.
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.
Stay tuned. Much more to come!