Thematic Guides - Unidentified Flying Objects

This guide consists of specific references to government sources on Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs).

The National Research Council (NRC) started collecting reports of sightings of UFOs in 1968. It took over this responsibility from the Department of National Defence, which transferred extant sighting reports (dating from 1965) to the NRC. The records consist of index cards on which is entered information on each sighting, and also reports containing more detailed accounts of each sighting. The reports and sightings are arranged in chronological order. Most of the sighting reports were sent to the National Research Council by the Department of National Defence, the Department of Transport and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The NRC ceased to collect reports of sightings in August 1995.

This guide was revised in September 2000.

Government Records

Records of the Department of Transport (RG 12)

The Department of Transport kept reports on UFO sightings between 1976 and 1978.

  • Transportation; general; Unidentified Flying Objects, 1976-1978
    RG 12, volume 3930, file 2-1-33, part 1

Records of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RG 18)

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police kept reports of UFO sightings from 1959 and 1987.

  • National research; Radio and Electrical Engineering Division; Unidentified Flying Objects (sighting of), 1959-1987
    RG 18, volume 3779, file HQ 400-Q-5, parts 1-7

Records of the Department of National Defence (RG 24)

The Department of National Defence kept numerous reports on the possible security risk UFOs could pose.

  • Intelligence sightings of unknown objects, 1947-1964
    RG 24, volume 17984, file S-940-5, parts 1 and 2; on reel T-3291 note1
  • Intelligence sightings of unknown objects, 1950-1964
    RG 24, volume 17988, file C-940-105, parts 1 and 2; on reel T-3291 note1
  • Intelligence sightings of unknown objects outside Canada, 1950-1952
    RG 24, volume 17988, file S-940-105-3; on reel T-3291 note1
  • Counter intelligence; flying saucers, 1952-1957
    RG 24, volume 22349, file 9150-4
  • Target detection; search; flying saucers; general, 1950-1967
    RG 24, accession 83-84/167, box 7523, file DRBS 3800-10-1, part 1
  • Target detection; search; flying saucers; general, 1968-1973
    RG 24, volume 24031, file 3800-10-1, part 2, 1968-1971 and part 3, 1971-1973

Records of the National Research Council (RG 77)

The National Research Council has looked into the scientific validity of UFO claims.

  • UFO sightings, 1965-1981
    RG 77, reels T-1741 to T-1744
  • UFO sightings
    RG 77, accession 1985-86/179, box 1 (1981-1984)
    RG 77, accession 1986-87/377, box 1 (1986)
    RG 77, accession 1989-90/005, box 1 (1987)
    RG 77, accession 1989-90/016, box 1 (1988)
    RG 77, accession 1990-91/073, box 1 (1989)
    RG 77, accession 1991-92/022, box 1 (1990)
    RG 77, accession 1992-93/016, box 1 (1991)
    RG 77, accession 1992-93/308, box 1 (1992)
    RG 77, accession 1995-96/008, box 1 (1993)
    RG 77, accession 1995-96/096, box 1 (1994)
    RG 77, accession 1997-98/046, box 1 (1995)

For contextual information on the NRC's collecting of UFO sightings please refer to the correspondence included on microfilm reel T-1744, as well as:

  • Proceedings of the meetings of the Associate Committee on Meteorites
    RG 77, accession 1997-98/094, box 34, 11th meeting, 1967 and 12th meeting, 1968

Records of the Department of Communications (RG 97)

  • Air services; sightings of unidentified aerial objects; Project Second Story, 1952-1953
    RG 97, volume 115, file 5010-4
  • Space research and satellites, UFO's, 1953-1966
    RG 97, volume 182, file 5010-4, parts 1 and 2
  • Space research and technology, 1959-1964
    RG 97, volume 104, file 5010-1, parts 1-3

Read more

Canada's UFOs: The search for the unknown

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