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The M-Files shine light on unusual lights and more in Northern Manitoba

“Little men” who tried to abduct children and/or give them candy in remote northeastern parts of the province. Bullet-like objects approaching planes and shining lights at them. Fireballs. Flying saucers as big as a school.

“Little men” who tried to abduct children and/or give them candy in remote northeastern parts of the province. Bullet-like objects approaching planes and shining lights at them. Fireballs. Flying saucers as big as a school. Eight-foot hairy monsters chasing children. Mysterious noises. Zig-zagging lights. An incision appearing on a person’s head overnight. Aliens outside the window.

If these sound to you like possible plots for the The X-Files when it returns to TV, you’re not far-off. They are unidentified flying object (UFO) reports from the M-Files, a database of over 2,000 UFO sightings in Manitoba since 1792 compiled by Chris Rutkowski, who works at the University of Manitoba and has written numerous books on UFO-related topics.

And all of the above were reported in Northern Manitoba, which, despite accounting for four or five per cent of the province’s population, punches slightly above its weight in UFO encounters, accounting for about six per cent of such incidents, based on information in data tables available through Rutkowski’s Ufology Research blog at

The first known UFO sighting in the province’s history took place not far from where Thompson is now, on the shore of Landing Lake near the Thicket Portage area in 1792, when famed explorer David Thompson and his companion Andrew Davy saw a “meteor of globular form … larger than the Moon” which came towards them and descended until it struck the river ice with “a sound like a mass of jelly” shattering into innumerable pieces that quickly disappeared. 

Thompson itself is in the top five for UFO sightings in Manitoba since that time, with 40 such reports, representing two per cent of the total. 

The most recent UFO sighting in Thompson came last year, when a witness reported seeing an object with a glow at the back silently flying over the city. On Christmas Eve of 2010, Kimberly Wavey saw three reddish-orange lights in a triangle formation in the sky above Thompson, though it was later determined that these were most likely Chinese lanterns. 

And while most UFO sightings in Northern Manitoba are of the strange lights/objects in the sky variety, there have been reports of even stranger encounters. One such incident, not included in Rutkowski’s data tables but included in The M-Files: UFOs in Manitoba at, tells the story of a woman who apparently saw her daughter being lifted into the sky in 1967 after a rectangular object hovered in the sky above the family home.

A year earlier, incidents in Gods Lake in October and December in the Island Lake area told, respectively, of flying saucers and “little men with rods that gave off beam of light, tried to abduct children” in the earlier incident and “‘little men’ in silver suits said to give ‘candy’ to children.”

Also in Island Lake, in 1981, there was a report of a light-bulb shaped object stopping a motor boat, while in St. Theresa Point in 1986, a witness reported seeing a saucer “big as school” with lights dropping from the sky. 

In March of 1992, a pilot witnessed large burst of light in the south travelling north to south, and two days later, the RCMP received a report of children in Thompson seeing lights and “then an 8-ft hairy monster that chased them;” that same month a witness in Cross Lake saw lights over a house and an image of the Virgin Mary on the door. 

Lake St. Martin was a UFO hotpsot for several weeks in 1996, when mysterious objects hovered overhead and shone lights on the lake, with one report claiming that two discs had landed in a field and the witness getting a glimpse of the occupants, while yet another witness saw Christmas lights near their neighbour’s house, despite the fact that no Christmas lights had been put up there. 

In 1983, in Nelson House, someone reported seeing an alien outside their window.

Notable Northern Manitoba UFO reports

1792: Explorers David Thompson and Andrew Davy observe “meteor of globular form” approach and then strike the river ice near what is now Thicket Portage.

July 17-18, 1947: Media reports from Flin Flon describe an object as large as an aircraft flying east west at an altitude of 5,000 feet and then, the next day, a “platter” silhouetted against the stormy sky moving from east to west at high speed.

April 13, 1954: Media reports from The Pas describe a flying car headlight that flattened into a glide along the highway.

October 1966: Flying saucers and little men with rods that gave off beams of light who tried to abduct children reported in Gods Lake.

December 1966: Little men in silver suits gave “candy” to children in the Island Lake area.

July 26, 1967: An object emitting multicoloured lights hovers over the community of Moose Lake, according to media reports.

Oct. 23, 1972: A bullet-like object approached an airliner and shone a beam at the plane near Churchill.

Dec. 16, 1975: A saucer with lights flew over witnesses in Cranberry Portage, stopping and hovering before vanishing into thin air.

1976: A domed disc-shaped object was observed flying near Thompson.

Oct. 3, 1981: A light-bulb shaped object stopped a motor boat in the Island Lake region.

July 14, 1983: A Nelson House resident reported seeing an alien appear outside their window.

Dec. 13, 1986: A saucer as big as a school with lights dropping from the sky observed at St. Theresa Point.

March 6, 1992: Children in Thompson reported seeing lights and then an eight-foot tall hairy monster that chased them.

March 26, 1992: Lights seen above a house in Cross Lake, followed by a vision of the Virgin Mary appearing on its door.

Oct. 25, 1996: A bowl-shaped object with windows shone a light on the lake at Lak e St. Martin.

Feb. 11, 2001: An object with a sphere at the bottom with lights and a sphere turning is observed at Sherridon.

Feb. 15, 2004: A fast object flew over apartments in York Landing.

July 2004: Two round objects seen flying about in the sky over Ponton.

2009: An upside-down cone-shaped object seen moving across the sky and rotating in Thicket Portage.

July 2, 2012: An object that looked like a mirage of a ship found on a photo of island in Moose Lake.


Feb. 3, 2015: A person reports receiving a y-shaped incision on the top of their head during the night.

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