Canada had the lowest number of UFO sightings in almost a decade last year, but that doesn’t mean aliens are giving up on us.
The 2018 Canadian UFO survey , recently released by Ufology Research, reported 937 documented sightings across Canada. This is a 15 per cent decrease from 2017 and the lowest amount recorded since 2009. Ufology Research coordinator Chris Rutkowski said sightings fluctuate year to year.
“It could indicate that more people are spending more time looking down at their phones rather than looking up in the sky,” Rutkowski said.
Each year, the Manitoba-based research group publishes a report based on detailed observations from witnesses and data extracted from reliable UFO sighting websites. The group started collecting and publishing UFO data in 1989 to help researchers understand the heavily debated phenomenon.
For the purposes of the survey, a UFO is defined as, “an object seen in the sky which its observer cannot identify.” Rutkowski said the research group receives a lot of reports from credible sources that have strong observational abilities, such as pilots, air traffic control operators, military personnel and weather station operators.
But still, most people deny UFO sightings or question their legitimacy.
“People who say that this is definitely a sign of an alien invasion or the aliens are here or they’re coming to Earth for water or minerals or whatever, there’s just no proof of that,” said Rutkowski, adding that the group isn’t trying to prove extraterrestrial life exists, but hope their research will convince scientists to take these incidents more seriously.
According to Rutkowski, a science writer with a background in astronomy, out of the thousands of UFO reports on file, “a vast majority don’t speak to any kind of alien presence.” But for the five per cent that go unexplained, he thinks further investigation is needed.
The Canadian UFO report, published in May, lists several reasons for unidentified flying object sightings over the past few years, including secret or classified military exercises that involve flying above populated areas, more people using technology to report their sightings, and possibly the “downturn in the economy is leading to an increased desire by some people to look skyward for assistance.”
London and Windsor-Essex County each had seven sightings (five in Windsor and one each in Kingsville and Tilbury), and Sarnia had one.
Quebec had the highest number of reports, making up 41 per cent of the 2018 sightings while Ontario accounted for 24 per cent.
“As an astronomer, I do share the belief that there’s life out there in the universe somewhere,” Rutkowski said. “But whether it’s coming here is a matter of debate and we simply don’t have the absolute proof that that’s what’s happening.”