Canada’s foremost ufologist, Chris Rutkowski of Ufology Research in Winnipeg, has been collecting and analyzing Canadian data on unidentified flying objects (UFOs) or unidentified aerial phenomena for close to 35 years. Recently, Rutkowski has seen an increase in reported UFO sightings, likely due to the U.S. fighter jets shooting down three separate objects over the weekend. One of these descriptions was of a “black rectangle” moving across an Ontario highway near Cambridge. Rutkowski states that people are keeping a closer eye to the skies and reporting what they see.
According to Ufology Research’s latest study, there were 768 UFO sightings in Canada last year, a slight increase of six percent from the previous year. However, this number likely doesn’t reflect the full picture as many people are hesitant to report sightings for fear of ridicule or damage to their reputation.
Though the term UFO used to conjure images of alien invasions and other such conspiracy theories, research around the phenomena has evolved in government and academic circles. Polls suggest that 10 percent of Canadians believe they have seen an unidentified object in the sky, so they are in “good company” if they have seen a UFO.
The recent events of the past few weeks have likely caused Canadians to change their tune. Following the U.S. and Canadian governments’ “unprecedented” decision to take action against the objects, searches are underway in a remote stretch of central Yukon to locate the remnants of the object. Though it is still unclear where the objects came from, the prevailing theory is that they were “benign” and posed only a threat to civilian aircraft.
In academic circles, the notion of studying this phenomena has been taken more seriously since the discovery of the Pentagon’s UFO program in 2017. Paul Kingsbury, a professor in the department of geography at Simon Fraser University, believes it is important for the Biden administration and Canada to work transparently with the scientific community so that academics can access information and data to help identify these objects. Kingsbury also stresses that being transparent is important for people’s peace of mind.