UFO sightings rise

Increase puzzles local researcher

There’s something fishy going on in Manitoba’s skies. Unidentified flying object (UFO) sightings in the Keystone Province are nearing an all-time high, according to an independent group that investigates and records reported sightings across Canada.

More than 50 have already been counted so far this year, double the 25 sightings recorded in 2003, said Winnipegger Chris Rutkowski, co-ordinator of Ufology Research of Manitoba. The most sightings in one year in Manitoba was 74 in 1993.

The reason for the increase is just as puzzling as details of some of the sightings, Rutkowski said. In July, two people driving along Highway 6 near Ponton, south of Thompson, saw two bright, orange-coloured lights zoom across the early morning sky.

“The first one rose up out of the bush beside the road and flew in front of them, a second ball of light came across the road and then both flew away,” Rutkowski said. “A woman (in the car) said they were very frightened.”

Winnipeggers have reported seeing “round patches of light” chasing each other in the sky above the northeast corner of the city, Rutkowski said.

“I suspect it’s some sort of (spotlight) advertising mechanism,” he said.

That sighting is one of more than 400 that have been reported by Canadians up until the end of last month, a large jump compared with last year’s total of 300 during the same period, Rutkowski said.

One of his favourite sightings is from Caraquet, N.B., where odd pairs of lights were spotted in January above a highway.

“One person reported seeing something with two or three lights and some sort of structure attached to it,” Rutkowski said. “That area seemed to be quite a UFO hot spot this winter.”

Canada is on pace to top last year’s total of 670 sightings, the most recorded in one year, he said. Most UFO sightings can be attributed to natural phenomena or human activity.

“There’s a small percentage that we simply don’t have explanations for. We can’t say they’re alien spacecrafts because we don’t have that proof,” Rutkowski said.

“There’s probably life out there somewhere but whether it can come all the way here is the big question.”

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