A Thompson woman says she saw three unexplained reddish orange lights in a triangle" Christmas Eve at 7:47 p.m. in the night sky over Thompson.
The strange lights were apparently visible for close to an hour between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Christmas Eve.
"My boyfriend came running into the house yelling at us to come look at the sky, says Kimberly Wavey. "When me and my mom got outside we saw three reddish orange lights in a triangle. They looked the same size as the stars. Then after about a minute the middle light fell and faded then the first light faded. I ran inside to grab some binoculars and when I got outside the last light wasn't there.
Wavey said before she got outside her boyfriend saw "five lights in the distance that could've been confused with something else then with great speed was almost right above me, and I could see the lights in the front that formed a triangle while the lights in the back seem to fade and it seemed like it was cloaked, like there was something I wasn't fully seeing."
It's at least the second reported UFO sighting in Northern Manitoba this month. On Dec. 10, near Bird, two hours north of Fox Lake, between Gillam and Avery on the Bayline, there were reports of red, blue and green lights hovering over, or off to the side of the tracks, and illuminating a train.
The two recent Manitoba reports, "UFO Interferes With Railway Trains Controls 2 Hours North Of Fox Lake Manitoba?" and "4 Orange Red Balls Of Light Over Thompson Manitoba" appear on Brian Vike's The Vike Factor into the Paranormal blog at: http://canadaufo.blogspot.com/2010/12/4-orange-red-balls-of-light-over.html and http://canadaufo.blogspot.com/2010/12/ufo-interferes-with-railway-trains.html
Vike reports multiple unexplained sightings from across the country monthly from readers who send in their sightings to the blog.
The very first documented sighting of an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) in this area came from the journals of 18th century explorers David Thompson and Andrew Davies.
Thompson's journal states that in the autumn of 1792 they were camped at Landing Lake, near Thicket Portage, when they saw a brilliant "meteor of globular form larger than the moon." The object seemed to come directly towards them, lowering as it travelled, and "when within 300 yards of us, it struck the river ice, with a sound like a mass of jelly, was dashed in innumerable luminous pieces and instantly expired."
The next morning when they went to see the hole it should have made in the ice, they were surprised to find no markings whatsoever. UFO researcher Chris Rutkowski, research co-ordinator for UFOlogy Research of Manitoba (URM) told the Thompson Citizen in an April 2008 interview that in some ways the object sounded like a bolide - a brilliant meteor - that through a trick of the eye might appear to be nearby, although in reality it could have been miles away. He also adds that it is interesting that the two heard a sound, something rare for meteors, and furthermore described the object as "globular" and that "it had no tail and no luminous sparks came from it until it dashed to pieces."
The Winnipeg-based UFOlogy Research of Manitoba investigates and researches Canadian UFO sightings, and Rutkowski says the night skies over Manitoba average about three or four sightings a month.
UFOlogy Research is concerned that most of the sightings were not reported to investigators in Manitoba but were instead submitted to websites around the globe.
That makes it difficult for researchers here to speak to witnesses, collect further information and potentially rule out objects as planets or stars instead of UFOs.
"Every year, it's whittled down to about three per cent to five percent that don't have an easy explanation," said Rutkowski.
Among the UFOs sightings reported in September 2007, one came from a witness parked near Headingley about 2 a.m. on Sept. 10.
The man claims he heard a humming sound and then saw a light in the northern sky. He turned and saw a "floating disc" land in a field. Scared, he jumped in his car and drove away. In his rearview mirror, the witness said he saw the object rise from the ground and race across the sky before vanishing.
In an attempt to explain the rise in UFO sightings over time, Rutkowski said it's possible there's something out there or that "people are paying more attention to their surroundings."
You can follow Rutkowski on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/ufologyresearch or his blog at: http://uforum.blogspot.com/
David Thompson goes on in his journals to describe a second such meteor, and this one again "passed close by me striking the trees with the sound of a mass of jelly." He thought the height was no more than eight feet above the ground, although dimensions can be quite deceiving at night, and this estimate could be incorrect. Nevertheless, we are left with an interesting historical account of a strange event in the woods just 30 to 50 kilometres from what is now Thompson.
A more disturbing UFO account comes from 1967. A woman (the family name has been deleted from the case files) was walking through her house around 6 p.m. in Thompson, when she heard an odd beeping sound. It was repeated at regular intervals of about one second, and she wondered what was causing it. She looked out her kitchen window, and saw dirt and loose pieces of paper flying in a large circle around her house. Outside, she found her husband, who had just come home, and five children staring up into the sky. A young boy was holding her eight-year old daughter down on the ground. Up in the sky a rectangular object hung in the air, slowly rotating counter-clockwise and showing alternating silver and black sides. It was black on its lower surface, and made no noise.
The object began moving off on an angle, stopped and hovered, then continued towards the southwest. Until this time the circle of dirt and dust and papers had persisted, but it now died down. The whirlwind was confined to the area immediately around their house and did not affect any other house on the street. When the object moved away, the dirt feel to the ground. Going to the children, the woman found they were calming down except her daughter, who seemed dazed. The boy explained that the five of them had been playing in the yard when the object first appeared overhead.
As they watched, her daughter had been levitated into the air, apparently caused by the UFO in the sky. By the time the other children came to her aid she was about one metre off the ground and her clothes had edged up her body. Her daughter said she did not remember anything from the time she felt the wind until the time she recovered after being dragged back to the ground.
The most famous UFO sighting in Manitoba history also took place in 1967. Known as the Falcon Lake Incident, it occurred on May 20, 1967, when Stephen Michalak claimed that he encountered a unidentified flying object (UFO) near Falcon Lake, while taking a short vacation in Whiteshell Provincial Park, not far west of the Ontario border.
Michalak claimed to have been burned by the craft's exhaust vent, which was covered by an ovular grid, he said.
Michalak, an industrial mechanic born in Poland was a resident of Winnipeg, but had taken a short vacation in the Falcon Lake area, where he had prospected as an amateur geologist before, to search for veins of quartz he had been told could be near the lake.
Shortly after noon, Michalak said he was disturbed by a noise similar to geese's grunts. When he looked up, he spotted two cigar-shaped objects, which were red and brilliant as fire. They were descending at 45 degrees, he said, adding the more they approached the more oval they became.
One of the objects stopped in the air, he said, while the other landed on a big rock 160 feet away from him.
After some moments, the object floating above Michalak changed its color to grey, and then flew directly west, disappearing through the clouds. The landed object also changed to grey, and then to a color similar to incandescent stainless steel.
From the interior opening of the object, some violet light rays were emitted, he said, but as Michalak was already using special glasses to examine the quartz, the rays didn't affect him, he claimed. The object was said to have a sulfurous smell and made a humming noise.
Half an hour passed, and Michalak still was observing the spaceship. Suddenly, a door opened, he said, and he could see that the interior of the UFO was very illuminated. He approached closer and heard some voices coming from inside the ship.
Believing that the object was an experimental American flying object, he tried to make a contact in English. As no answers were given, he tried other languages in vain. Nervous, he walked to the open door, and saw a panel and some lights inside the ship.
He did not see anybody, he said, so he waited. Suddenly, the door closed. Despite the surprise, he discovered a colourful glass around the UFO. It was very well conserved, with no cracks. He attempted to touch it, but his glove simply melted, the heat hurting his hand through the glove's protection.
A metallic box full of holes came off the UFO in what seemed to be a grid-like exhaust vent. A steamy explosion occurred, he said, and some kind of gas was expelled in his direction. Immediately, his clothes started to burn, Michalak said. As the object flew after the other one, Michalak was left behind desperately trying to extinguish the fire.
Once the fire was extinguished, Michalak said he felt pain and sickness and noticed a metallic odour from the inside of his body, like the smell of something electric that is burning. He initially claimed the burns were caused by airplane exhaust. The RCMP later confirmed that Michalak had been drinking beer the night before the sighting he reported.
The Department of National Defence still identifies the Falcon Lake case as unsolved. Michalak died in 1999 at the age of 83.
A Feb. 23, 1971 UFO sighting at 232 Deerwood Dr. by Gisella and Louis Kovacs is on file in the National Archives of Canada and National Research Council of Canada. From about 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. the Kovacs reported to Thompson RCMP that they saw a "plate shaped object about the size of a full moon. This object was flashing from red to green to yellow to blue also a red flash from the north side of the object was sighted."
RCMP officers G.H. Donovan and E.C. Wesley who investigated noted in their official report "the Kovacs were sober and did not appear to have been drinking when the statements were obtained."
There was also a well-known UFO sighting and possible attempted alien abduction, some witnesses believed, locally years ago on Cypress Crescent, behind the Thompson Professional Building on Selkirk Avenue, in the Juniper area.
And finally in 1992 a group of children were playing in a field when they saw some bright lights floating near some snow banks. When they approached the lights they encountered a tall hairy humanoid with red glowing eyes. They fled in terror and the parents and medical personnel who treated the children said that they were truly terror stricken and believed what they saw.
There were nine reported UFO sightings in the Flin Flon area between 1947 to and November 2008, residents have reported nine UFO sightings, according to the official record-keeper of such data, UFOlogy Research of Manitoba.
While some are quick to equate UFOs to otherworldly crafts piloted by extraterrestrials, Rutkowski stresses a fact-based interpretation.
"UFOs are simply objects that an observer cannot identify," he says. "There is no proof that some are from other planets."
Rutkowski says most of Flin Flon's sightings have been recounted by witnesses as odd lights or fireballs, both of which are common descriptions.
The most unusual, he says, was reported back in 1947 when a platter-shaped object was seen silhouetted against a stormy sky.
"It moved east to west at a high speed, and was towards the north," says Rutkowski.
Until November 2008, the most recent Flin Flon sighting had come in 1979 from a Mountie who claimed to have gazed upon a "fireball" in the sky.
Then on Nov. 20, 2008, at 6:30 p.m., another fireball was said to have illuminated the sky.
No official sightings have ever come from Creighton or Denare Beach, though it is possible some occurred and were reported as being from Flin Flon.
About 60 kilometres northeast, in tiny Sherridon, a lone sighting was reported on Feb. 11, 2001.
"Someone watched an oval object with rotating lights on its bottom and a sphere attached underneath," says Rutkowski.
Other Northern Manitoba sightings include three in Cranberry Portage and nine in The Pas.
Rutkowski concludes that when population is factored in, the number of sightings in Northern Manitoba is on par with other parts of the province.
"It's a matter of trees falling in the forest," he says. "You need people around to see them and report them, so there are more reported in larger communities."
Rutkowski speculates some sightings go unreported, in part because witnesses fear being labelled oddballs who believe in little green men.
"It could be for many reasons. That's one of them," he says. "It could be simply because people are hesitant to come forward with information, as they are about coming forward if they see a drunk driver, or know someone is lying on a tax return."
URM is a private, not-for-profit organization involved in "rational discourse, investigation and research" of UFOs and related phenomena.
Despite its name, the organization, established in Winnipeg in 1975, is actually a national group that studies cases from coast to coast.
"At this time, we are the only (Canadian) group that is doing so," says Rutkowski, who holds science and education degrees.
Rutkowski encourages anyone who sees a UFO to report it to a research group such as URM.
With files from Len Podbisky and Jonathon Naylor at The Reminder in Flin Flon