A researcher says everyone has seen something or knows someone who has seen something
In the early morning hours of July 5, 1969, Harvey L. Davis saw a UFO and reported it to the Canadian Forces Base in Trenton.
At the time, he was the Reeve of Elderslie Township. Later he’d spearhead the build of a 15-foot Hereford steer named Big Bruce to promote the Bruce County beef industry.
Davis died in 1980, but on the night of July 5, 1969, he looked out across the sky over Chesley and saw a metallic object clearly seen with the naked eye. He grabbed a pair of binoculars and, for the next hour, he observed the rectangular object moving rapidly up and down over the town until finally it vanished.
There were multiple reports of this sighting and while there were reports of weather balloons in the area, the case remains inconclusive.
What the did the good Reeve of Elderslie see shining in the sky?
It was a different time: just two weeks later, the first human landed on the moon. The public’s imagination burned brightly with science fiction and deep yearnings for life beyond our own blue planet.
Susan Demeter St. Clair, a UFO researcher, says the interest in UFOs is cyclical and tends to peak and plateau. But at the heart of all the UFO sightings, she says, is our desire to not be alone.
“I can look back over centuries and there have been reports of lights in the sky,” she said, just back from a research assignment in Italy where for more than 2,000 years people have been drawn to a site where there have been frequent sightings of lights in the sky. “Maybe in ancient times we saw them as gods and now it’s visiting aliens; we really don’t want to be alone.”
Everyone, she says, has seen something or knows someone who has seen something.
The truth is out there
The Library and Archives of Canada has a database with about 9,500 digitized records of UFO sightings across the country. Some can be explained as meteorites, weather balloons or other such phenomena while others cannot be so easily explained.
On November 21, 1966, 14-year-old David McGee was out walking with his two sisters just after 11 p.m.
He spotted a UFO over Lake Huron near Goderich. Colours flashed blue, white, yellow and red and then repeated every 15 seconds. It was high in the sky and increased in altitude.
In September of 1976, John Dunlop and several others, spotted an oval-shaped disc on Manitoulin Island. They watched for 45 minutes as it hovered overhead. The yellow light had several smaller objects coming from it. It was intermittently bright and then turned extremely bright and vanished.
The following summer, in August of 1975, an oval-shaped object was seen again at the same location. This time the light was red and white and was seen for about 30 minutes before it, too, was gone.
Darrell Styles of Elmvale saw three crescent-shaped silver objects over Wasaga Beach in March of 1978. There were red flashes with blue and green colours around them. The objects hovered in the night sky as he looked out through binoculars. All the while, he reported, dogs baked continuously but fell silent the minute the objects disappeared.
In November 1966, Samuel Bondi, who owned the Midtown Restaurant in Wingham, reported he and his family saw objects in the sky, most certainly not aircraft. The objects moved back and forth and then stopped high in the sky. Then, a brilliant flash and they were gone.
The archive is chock-full of similar reports describing triangular lights, circular lights and oval-shaped objects. There’re handwritten notes from teenaged boys curious as to what they’ve seen. Most are typed in all capitals with unreadable ink in the margins, penned by officials.
Sometimes those officials would write letters back, as in this undated letter where J.C. Lovelace, squadron leader for chief of the air staff, writes: “Your letters of the 10th and 11th of November have been read with great interest. Since this is one of the few reports that has excited our analysts to my extent, we have forwarded it to Mr. W.B. Smith, the Canadian Chairman of the Committee on Unidentified Flying Objects. This Committee is International in its aspect and studies all reliable reports in Canada and the United States.”
Lights in the sky
According to the most recent data, about three UFO sightings are recorded every day across Canada.
The 2017 Canadian UFO Survey was produced by a group of researchers under the banner Ufology Research, who have been gathering data since 1989.
In 2017, they report, there were 1,101 UFO sightings in Canada. About eight per cent of all UFO reports were judged as unexplained.
“This percentage of ‘unknowns’ falls to less than one per cent when only higher-quality cases are considered,” the report states. “Results of this study show that many people continue to report unusual objects in the sky, and some of these objects do not have obvious explanations. Many witnesses are pilots, police and other individuals with reasonably good observing capabilities and good judgment.”
More than half of the 2017 cases were observed in Quebec. In comparison, Ontario had 241, B.C. had 128 and there were only two reports from the Northwest Territories.
“Numbers of reported UFO sightings remain high,” the report states. “Several theories for this can be suggested: more UFOs are present and physically observable by witnesses; more secret or classified military exercises and overflights are occurring over populated areas; more people are unaware of the nature of conventional or natural objects in the sky; more people are taking the time to observe their surroundings; more people are able to report their sightings with easier access to the internet and portable technology; or even that the downturn in the economy is leading an increased desire by some people to look skyward for assistance.”
Back on earth
Demeter St. Clair says that it’s a matter of people being comfortable talking about their experiences. She has spoken to hundreds during her research. Some are disturbed, unsettled and suffer from what appears to be a form of post-traumatic stress. Others find it incredibly comforting and feel as though they’ve been touched by a higher power. She always tries to see her subjects face to face; she always tries to listen without judgment.
Are these reports extraterrestrial in nature?
“I don’t know,” she says. “I’m very neutral on the idea — but there’s something going on that we haven’t yet explained.”
To report a UFO, visit: www.mufon.com.
Source: Southwestern Ontario