Sunday, 20 July 2008

Record number of Candian UFOs spotted

Some swirled, swooshed and hummed, while others hovered, zipped and zoomed.

Canadians in four provinces reported seeing a record number of unidentified flying objects in 2007, according to an annual report released by a Winnipeg-based non-profit organization that has recorded UFO sightings since 1989.

The UFOlogy Research Institute, which compiles data from sources including Transport Canada and the Department of National Defence, said researchers examined 836 alleged UFO sightings in 2007, an increase of almost 12 per cent over 2006.

While B.C. typically has the highest number of reported sightings, the 2007 compilation found New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec each received all-time high numbers of UFO reports.

The reports were filed by witnesses with government and military agencies, police and several online UFO websites. Witnesses ranged from farmhands to airline pilots and included teachers and police officers.

Chris Rutkowski, the lead researcher of the study, said of the hundreds of reports only a fraction -- about 16 per cent -- were classified as unexplained after review by his investigators. He also cautioned while some UFO sightings can't be rationally explained, there is still no evidence to suggest extraterrestrial contact.

Some of the more bizarre cases from 2007 -- those to which researchers gave a "strangeness rating" of six or more out of 10 -- include one in Hammonds Plain, N.S., on March 10, when several witnesses saw a structured object with lights moving slowly over a lake. The object was also "humming," according to the witnesses.

In Halifax on Dec. 21, a helicopter pilot reported seeing a bright object flying overhead and curving around.

In another instance, residents in North Tryon, P.E.I., saw a small, shiny object spiralling in the sky last Boxing Day. They reported the strange craft flew in a corkscrew manner, leaving behind it a mysterious dark smoke trail.

"This one really caught our attention," recalled Rutkowski, an astronomer who leads the research and investigation along with several engineers, journalists and pilots.

"It happened during the day, two individuals saw it and they had enough time because it was visible for half an hour and they took video. The trail persisted for quite some time."


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