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