Sightings in Canada
Date Place
June 22, 1960 Clan Lake, Northwest Territories
May 20, 1967 Falcon Lake, Manitoba
August 1967 Duhamel, Alberta
October 4, 1967 Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia
January 1, 1969 Prince George, British Columbia
1952 Shirley's Bay, Ontario (Project Magnet)

Investigate selected UFO sightings in Canada, some of which, according to the Department of National Defence, have not been solved.

  • Clan Lake, Northwest Territories, June 22, 1960

    Clan Lake, and the small community on its shoreline, is located in a remote part of the Northwest Territories, accessible only by boat or airplane. The people of the area have lived off the land -- hunting, fishing and trapping -- for generations. In 1960, when an object hit the water of Clan Lake, a month passed before the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), located 30 miles away in Yellowknife, were called to investigate the sighting.

    On June 22, 1960, an airplane dropped two campers off at Clan Lake. About 20 minutes after the plane left, the two reported hearing a loud noise similar to an airplane. As the noise grew louder, the campers looked to the sky, but saw nothing. Seconds later, however, an object fell from the sky and crashed into the water. When it hit the surface, the object began to rotate, causing a spray of water around it. There was no steam to indicate that the object was hot. According to the campers, the object was approximately 4 to 6 feet wide, with spokes coming out of it like arms. As it began to slow down, a rush of water met the campers on the shore. Finally, the object sank.

    The campers rushed to the spot in the water with their canoe and saw that the reeds in the water appeared burnt, and an area approximately 20 feet by 60 feet appeared to be 'cut-up'. Poking around with their paddles, they found a channel in the bottom of the lake that corresponded with the cut path of grass. The campers, however, could not locate the object with their canoe paddles.

    A statement of one camper's sighting was filed with the RCMP on July 18th, almost one month after the event. The report states that the observer was "well known in this county and is considered very reliable."

    Records of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RG 18, volume 3779, file HQ 400-Q-5, parts 1 to 7)

    RCMP report of July 19, 1960

    The RCMP investigated Clan Lake on July 19, 1960 through an aerial patrol. It appeared that an object did land on the east side of the lake. An area of water about 12 feet wide by 40 feet long was completely clear of reeds and grass. The water in this corridor also appeared to be deeper.

    RCMP report of July 25, 1960

    Another RCMP officer returned to the lake on August 15, 1960. The officer reported that the lake's water level had dropped considerably since the previous RCMP visit, with only 1 foot of water at the site in the lake where the object had supposedly landed. Officers could easily wade through the area and used metal rods to probe beneath the water's surface. A Geiger counter, used to detect the presence of radiation, returned negative results. No object was located. A local geologist volunteered to do a magnetometer check after the water froze in the fall to help locate any metal objects in the area.

    RCMP report of August 25, 1960

    It was around this time that the RCMP contacted the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) for help with the investigation. As a follow-up to a phone conversation, the RCMP sent a memo to the Director of Air Intelligence of the RCAF. The memo, dated August 16, 1960, stated that the issue was likely more in keeping with the interests of the Air Force than with those of the RCMP: the "description of the object is very interesting and the whole matter seems worthy of the attention of someone such as the RCAF, who are no doubt better able to handle this matter."

    Memo of August 16, 1960

    The Department of National Defence responded on September 23, 1960, with a letter confirming that the object could not have been associated with space research, as no reports were made by tracking agencies within Canada or the United States. The department stated that it was inclined to believe that the object seen by the campers was a meteorite, and that the heat of the meteor when it struck the Earth would have undoubtedly caused steam and could account for the burning reeds and grass. The original observers, however, reported that they saw no steam when the object hit the water.

    The department recommended that the local geologist complete the magnetometer check; he would be familiar with the reactions of the instruments, and would be able to ascertain whether fabricated metals were buried in the area. Finally, although the department doubted the object was significant as far as national security was concerned, the Department of National Defence stated that they would "be most interested in being advised of the outcome" of the investigation.

    Letter of September 23, 1960

    However, a document dated almost one year after the incident explains that the plan to have the local geologist complete a magnetometer check never happened. Mr. Brown, the geologist, had to be out of the area and could not complete the check. The use of the magnetometer would have been the most effective method for finding the object. The case of the flying object landing in Clan Lake was closed. No object or meteor was ever found.

    Letter of May 16, 1961

  • Falcon Lake, Manitoba, May 20, 1967

    Stephen Michalak set out on a prospecting trip to Falcon Lake, Manitoba, on Friday, May 19, 1967, just as he would have for any other trip. He packed his equipment, and his wife packed him a lunch for the next day's work. He arrived in Falcon Lake at approximately 9:30 p.m. and checked into a motel. He would later report to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) that he went for a coffee at the motel's beverage room. On the morning of May 20th, Michalak awoke early in the morning and began prospecting in an area he later attempted to keep secret. After a morning of work in the bushes around Falcon Lake, he came across a flock of geese, a typical scene for rural Manitoba, and sat down at 11:00 a.m. to have his lunch.

    It was the ruckus caused by the geese that first caught Michalak's attention. When he looked up, there were two flying saucers directly in front of him. According to his statement to the RCMP, he knelt in amazement before the two objects.

    One of the objects landed about 100 feet in front of him, while the other hovered about 10 feet off of the ground. Michalak estimated the size of the hovering object to be about 30 feet in diameter.

    Related documents: Interview of May 24, 1967 (PDF 2.11 MB)

    The first object remained on the ground for 45 minutes. It made a whirling sound and gradually changed in colour from grey to silver. Then a hatch opened and the object emitted a bright violet light. Michalak claimed that he heard voices from within. He called out to the voices in English, German, Italian, Polish, Ukrainian and Russian. There was no response; instead the hatch closed quickly as if the inhabitants were spooked. Michalak reached out and touched the object as it began to revolve and take off, and he was instantly pushed back by a force of hot air. The blast burned his clothing and left marks on his chest. After he ripped off his clothing, Michalak felt ill. He began to vomit and noticed a metallic smell coming from inside his body, like the burning smell of an electric wire or an electric motor.

    Feeling worse by the minute, Michalak headed towards the highway, where he managed to flag down an RCMP car. Michalak refused medical treatment from the officer at the time, but later went back to the RCMP detachment office and asked for a doctor. Upon learning that there were no doctors in the area, he caught a bus back to Winnipeg.

    Related documents: RCMP report Falcon Beach Highway Patrol (PDF 295 KB)

    When Michalak returned home, his son took him to the hospital. He did not tell the doctor the burns were caused by an unidentified flying object (UFO), but rather by airplane exhaust. Michalak also consulted his family doctor about his loss of appetite; since the ordeal, he had experienced rapid weight loss.

    On May 26, 1967, Michalak was interviewed by C.J. Davis of the RCMP. His report describes the burn marks visible on Michalak's chest: "...a large burn that covers an area approximately 1 foot in diameter. The burn was... blotchy and with unburned areas inside the burned perimeter area."

    Related documents: RCMP report of May 26, 1967 (PDF 945 KB)

    By this time, the authorities had become very interested in the case. There were aspects of Michalak's story that were difficult to explain, such as the burns on his body. The RCMP wanted to find the landing site to investigate further. They first attempted to find the site on their own, on May 31st, but were unsuccessful.

    Related documents: RCMP report of June 26, 1967 (PDF 1.06 MB)

    On June 1, 1967, Michalak was brought to Falcon Lake to lead another search. Michalak could not find the site, causing increased speculation about the validity of his claim. The RCMP uncovered another discrepancy in his story: Michalak had reported that he went for coffee the night before the alleged sighting; however the bartender at the Falcon Lake Motel's beverage room claimed to have served Michalak bottles of beer.

    Related documents: RCMP report of June 18, 1967 (PDF 281 KB)

    The RCMP decided to close the case until Michalak could locate the landing site. On June 26th, however, the case re-opened. Michalak claimed to have found the site on his own, and recovered objects he had left there -- pieces of his burnt clothing, steel tape, and some rocks and soil samples.

    Related documents: RCMP report of August 10, 1967 (PDF 1.60 MB)

    RCMP Squad Leader Bissky visited Michalak on the evening of June 26th and obtained samples of soil brought back from the location. The soil samples, along with samples of clothing and the steel tape, were sent to be tested for radioactive material. On July 24th, the results of these tests were sent to the RCMP along with a memo that stated, "U.F.O. reported by Stephen Michalak. Laboratory tests here indicate earth samples taken from scene highly radioactive. Radiation protection Div. of Dept. of Health and Welfare concerned that others may be exposed, if travel in area not restricted."

    Related documents: Memo of July 24, 1967

    A second laboratory test was sent to the RCMP on July 25th. It stated that the Department of Health and Welfare would be sending a representative, Mr. Hunt, to Winnipeg to investigate.

    Related documents: Memo of July 25, 1967

    On the evening of July 27, 1967, Michalak was visited by Hunt, Squad Leader Bissky and C.J. Davis, who explained the laboratory findings of radioactive material. Michalak agreed to take them to the landing site on the following day, July 28th. The group walked to the location in the afternoon and reported the scene to be bare of evidence except for a semi-circle on the rock face, 15 feet in diameter, where the moss had been somehow removed. Mr. Hunt found traces of radiation in a fault in the rock across the center of the landing spot. No trace of radiation was found around the outer perimeter of the circle or in the moss or grass below the raised portion of the rock. The radioactive material found in the rock fault was radium 226, an isotope in wide commercial use and also found in nuclear reactor waste. In view of the small quantity of soil contamination, Mr. Hunt determined that there was no danger to humans travelling in the area.

    Related documents: RCMP report of August 10, 1967 (PDF 1.60 MB)

    Mr. Hunt's report of September 13, 1967 (PDF 896 KB)

    The Department of National Defence identifies the Falcon Lake case as unsolved. Stephen Michalak wrote a book about his experience, but claimed to never have financially benefited from his ordeal.

    Related documents: Department of National Defence letter

  • Duhamel, Alberta, August 1967

    Today, crop circles are part of the popular imagination. But back in 1967, when crop circles appeared in a farmer's field in Duhamel, Alberta, the Department of National Defence conducted an investigation to determine who or what was responsible.

    Duhamel is a small hamlet near Camrose, Alberta. For several weeks before the crop circles appeared, Duhamel been plagued with strange occurrences. Reports of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) had made it into the local papers weeks before the crop circles were discovered.

    The crop circles were discovered by accident. A local farmer, Mr. Schielke, went out to his fields to collect his cows. The cows normally came back from the pasture on their own, but on Saturday, August 5, 1967, after a night of heavy rains, the animals didn't come home. Bringing home the cows was something Mr. Schielke rarely had to do, so this was the first time he had been to his fields in weeks. It was therefore the first time he noticed the bizarre imprints on his land -- four circular marks approximately 30 feet in diameter. Mr. Schielke made it very clear to the investigator that the marks on the field could not have been made by his equipment, nor did he believe in UFOs.

    The investigator sent to the site admitted that the marks left him perplexed. He described the four marks: "The mark varies from five to seven inches wide, and the smallest circular mark is 31 ft., 9 in. in diameter. Three of the rings are essentially circular, with the largest mark being slightly elliptical, varying from 34 ft., 5 in. to 36 ft., 3 in."

    According to the investigator, there was no evidence outside of the circular marks. There were no exhaust blasts, scorch marks or disturbances of the loose surface material. Within the circles, there was evidence that thumbnail-sized pieces of vegetation had been removed by the object that made the marks.

    Although the investigator talked about the possibility of the marks being left by a wheel, it is clear in the report that the marks were more likely left by a 135-ton aircraft or spacecraft.

    The crop circles in Duhamel, Alberta are considered unsolved by the Department of National Defence.

    Related documents: Investigation report (PDF 283 KB)

    Related documents: Department of National Defence memo

  • Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia, October 4, 1967

    On the night of October 4, 1967, officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and six civilians witnessed an incredible, yet unexplainable, sight. Earlier in the evening, the RCMP had received many phone calls from residents reporting that an airplane had crashed into Shag Harbour. Both the RCMP and locals had rushed to the shore of the harbour, but what they encountered there was far from a conventional aircraft.

    Witnesses reported seeing an object 60 feet in length moving in an easterly direction before it descended rapidly into the water, making a bright splash on impact. A single white light appeared on the surface of the water for a short period of time. The RCMP, with help from local fishermen and their boats, endeavoured to reach the object before it sank completely.

    Local fishermen remember travelling through thick, glittery, yellow foam to get to where they saw the object. Bubbles from underneath the surface of the water appeared around the boats. The crews attempted to search the area for evidence of survivors, but found no one.

    The Department of National Defence (DND) conducted an underwater search of the area, but failed to locate any evidence of an object.

    The crashing of the unidentified flying object into Shag Harbour is still discussed today, with many articles appearing on the Internet. There is no trace of the RCMP reports of this sighting in the files. The Department of National Defence has identified this sighting as unsolved, and the only documentation that exists in the files is a DND memo.

    Related documents: Department of National Defence Memo (undated)

  • Prince George, British Columbia, January 1, 1969

    Just as the sun was about to set on the first day of the New Year in 1969, the residents of Prince George, British Columbia looked to the sky and saw something they could not explain. Many were prompted to call the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Three unrelated witnesses reported a strange, round object in the late afternoon sky. The sphere radiated a yellow-orange light and appeared to ascend from 2,000 to 10,000 feet. Further reports by other residents were made to the RCMP on January 3, 4 and 5.

    Mrs. William Dow may not have been aware of these reports when she called the RCMP to investigate an object that landed in her back yard on January 9, 1969.

    An official RCMP investigation report made on January 30, 1969, includes a photograph to explain the object that was recovered.

    Related documents: RCMP report of January 1, 1969 (PDF 1.76 MB)

  • Shirley's Bay, Ontario, Project Magnet, 1952

    In 1950, a senior radio engineer from the Department of Transport, Wilbert B. Smith, made a request to his superiors to make use of a laboratory and the department's field facilities in a study of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and the physical principles connected to them. Smith spearheaded Project Magnet with the purpose of studying, among other occurrences, magnetic phenomena, which he believed would open up a new and useful technology.

    The goals of Project Magnet were fueled by the concepts of geomagnetism, and the belief that it may be possible to use and manipulate the Earth's magnetic field as a propulsion method for vehicles. Tests conducted by Smith were reported in November 1951 and they stated that sufficient energy was abstracted from the Earth's field to operate a voltmeter at approximately 50 milliwatts. Smith believed he was on the "track of something that may prove to be the introduction to a new technology." Smith believed that there was a correlation between his studies and investigations into UFOs: "...the existence of a different technology is borne out by the investigations which are being carried on at the present time in relation to flying saucers.... I feel that the correlation between our basic theory and the available information on saucers checks too closely to be mere coincidence" (Smith, Geo-Magnetics, Department of Transport, November 21, 1950).

    It was believed by both Smith and other government departments involved, that there was much to learn from UFOs. Investigations into these sightings and interviews with the observers were the starting point for Project Magnet.

    In connection with the establishment of Project Magnet, members of other government agencies formed a committee solely dedicated to "flying saucer" reports. This committee was sponsored by the Defense Research Board and called "Project Second Story." Its main purpose was to collect, catalogue and correlate data from UFO sighting reports. The committee created a questionnaire and interrogator's instruction guide. The reporting method used a system intended to minimize the 'personal equation'. In other words, a weighting factor was created to measure the probability of truth in each report. Smith explained that most UFO sightings fit into two general types: "those about which we know something, and those which we know very little."

    In a summary of 1952 sighting reports, Smith noted common significant characteristics of UFOs: "They are a hundred feet or more in diameter; they can travel at speeds of several thousand miles per hour; they can reach altitudes well above those which should support conventional air craft or balloons; and ample power and force seem to be available for all required maneuvers" (Smith, Project Magnet report, 1952, p. 6).

    In his closing, Smith stated, "Taking these factors into account, it is difficult to reconcile this performance with the capabilities of our technology, and unless the technology of some terrestrial nation is much more advanced than is generally known, we are forced to the conclusion that the vehicles are probably extra-terrestrial, in spite of our prejudices to the contrary." (Smith, Project Magnet report, 1952, p. 6).

    Smith summed up the possibilities of studying the technology of these vehicles, and suggested that the next steps in the Project Magnet investigation should be a "substantial effort towards the acquisition of as much as possible of this technology, which would without doubt be of great value to us" (Smith, Project Magnet report, 1952).

    It was with these goals in mind that Smith set up an observatory in Shirley's Bay, Ontario, 10 miles outside of Ottawa. Based on the conclusions of the 1952 sighting report, Smith thought that these vehicles would emit physical characteristics that could be measured. In October of 1952, he set up the observatory to attempt to measure magnetic or radio noise disturbances. Many more sighting reports were investigated by Project Magnet, but in 1954, the project was shut down.

    Related documents: Project Magnet report (PDF 4.25 MB)

    Meeting minutes of April 22, 1952 (PDF 1.64 MB)

    Meeting minutes of April 24, 1952 (PDF 944 KB)

    Questionnaire form (PDF 1.61 MB)

    Further information about Project Magnet is found in the meeting minutes of Project Second Story in the search database.

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