There were 1,101 reported UFO sightings in Canada last year, and three of them came not far from Bradford West Gwillimbury.
That’s according to the Canadian UFO Report put out by Ufology Research (formerly Ufology Research of Manitoba), which has been gathering data on Canadian UFO sightings since 1989.
While none of the sightings were in BWG, there was one in Newmarket and two in Barrie.
The one last year in Newmarket happened on July 26 at 1:03 a.m., when a witness saw an object similar to a police helicopter they described as a "weird pearl," which moved across the horizon.
The two last year in Barrie were on Feb. 27 at 7:20 p.m., when a witness saw three white lights flashing and pulsating, and on Sept. 22 at 9:04 p.m., when a witness saw three white lights on an object that looked like a fidget spinner moving from west to east on the horizon.
The report ranks each UFO sighting for reliability on a scale of one to 10, based on the witness' ability to recall it, their understanding of naturally occurring flying objects, and their perceived skills in observing.
The Newmarket sighting got a reliability ranking of five. The Barrie sightings got rankings of four and five, respectively.
The reports were originally made to the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), an American-based non-profit organization that investigates cases of alleged UFO sightings.
It is one of the oldest and largest civilian UFO-investigative organizations in the United States.
According to the Ufology Research, the first of two sightings reported in Collingwood in 2017 was on June 24 at 10:45 p.m. A witness reported seeing a bright white light going from west to east in the sky, vanishing and reappearing as it went. It received a reliability ranking of three.
The second reported sighting took place on July 27, 2017, at 10:50 p.m. The witness reported seeing three blinking orange lights morphing into one and back to three again. The pattern was considered erratic.
This sighting was reported to the National UFO Reporting Centre (NUFORC) based in Washington, which investigates UFO sightings and/or alien contacts. NUFORC has been in continuous operation since 1974. This sighting was also assigned a reliability rating of three.
The Ufology Research report states eight per cent of the 2017 sightings remain unexplained, but that doesn’t include the Collingwood sightings.
“The percentage of ‘unknowns’ falls to less than one per cent when only higher-quality cases are considered,” states the report.
There are ten reports considered "high-quality" unknowns from Canada last year. Four are from Ontario towns or cities including Smithville, Ottawa, Pakenham and French River.
In addition to sightings reported by MUFON and NUFORC, Ufology Research gathers sighting details from other organizations established to investigate UFO/alien sightings from across North America.
According to the data they’ve amassed, there is an overall average of two witnesses per UFO sighting. A typical UFO sighting lasted approximately 15 minutes in 2017 and the study found 43 per cent of all UFO sightings were of simple lights in the sky.
“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,” states the Ufology Research report. “Many witnesses are pilots, police and other individuals with reasonably good observing capabilities and good judgment.”
The report further suggests there are several theories for the high instance of reported UFO sightings including more UFO’s present, more secret or classified military exercises and overflights, more people are unaware of the nature of conventional or natural objects in the sky, more people are observing their surroundings, more people are able to report their sightings via the Internet and even that the downturn in the economy is leading to an increased desire by some people to look skyward for assistance.
“Popular opinion to the contrary, there is no incontrovertible evidence that some UFO cases involve extraterrestrial contact,” states the report. “The continued reporting of UFOs by the public and the yearly increase in numbers of UFO reports suggests a need for further examination of the phenomenon by social, medical and/or physical scientists.”
- With files from Jenni Dunning