UFO numbers were down in Canada in 2019, but there are signs of a COVID rebound in 2020
the 2019 edition of the annual Canadian UFO Survey has finally been released.
Delayed because of the pandemic lockdown, the 2019 overview of Canadian UFO
reports shows that last year, the number of UFO sightings reported to official
agencies and civilian organizations in Canada was ten per cent lower than the
year before (849 reports in 2019 versus 937 in 2018), continuing a downward trend that had begun several years ago.
This, despite the rabid attention of UFO fans and an increase in media coverage
of the US military admission that some Navy pilots encountered unidentified
aerial phenomena off the coasts of California and North Carolina several years
half of 2020 has been very different. In fact, one of the sources for the
Canadian UFO Survey data, the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) in the
USA, has recorded a remarkable 70 per cent increase in reported UFO cases
between January to June 2020, easily reversing the previous downward trend. (This has been supported by an independent study by American researcher Cheryl Costa.) And
the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), another source, has recorded about a 55 per
cent rise in UFO reports numbers in Canada alone during the same period.
With concerns during the summer of 2020 regarding tourists coming to Canada despite border restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, apparently UFOs are not heeding the request to stay away.
Overall Canadian UFO data for 2020 will not be available until early 2021.
Canadian UFO report data by Ufology Research. The number of UFO reports per
year has varied, although there had been a general trend towards a gradual
increase in yearly UFO report numbers over the years, with spikes in some years
such as 1993, 2008, and 2012, when there were almost 2,000 reports in one year.
In fact, between 2012 and 2017, it appeared that the number of UFO reports had
plateaued. There were 1,268 UFO reports in Canada in 2015, and the number
declined slightly in the following years, to 849 cases reported in 2019.
In 2019, about three per cent of all UFO reports were
classified as unexplained. This is a bit lower than recent years, but shows
that some ufologists are doing well in their ability to assess and explain the
vast majority of UFO sightings. And in the list of High Quality Unknowns for
2019 in Canada, even some of these cases seem to have explanations, so the
percentage is even lower.
were of anything with structure or definitive shapes. Only 23 cases, or about
2.8 per cent were classified as Close Encounters, most of which had either
insufficient information for evaluation or were otherwise had possible
have not gone away, and that there are still two or three UFO sightings per day
There are many questions that can be asked of the UFO phenomenon, some suggested by this data. They include:
- Why did UFO report numbers generally increase until about 2015, then decrease in subsequent years? [And why does the trend seem to be shifting during a time of a pandemic?
- Why do the shapes of reported UFOs shift over time? From saucers, to triangles, to spheres and simply lights?
- If the number of UFO reports is related to population density, does that mean that UFOs are actually uniformly distributed across the country but there seem more over population centers because of more potential witnesses there?
- Why have the numbers of “landing”/trace/CE1 cases declined dramatically compared with previous decades?
- Previous studies (including one by Ufology Research) have shown that 10 per cent of the population believe they have seen UFOs. Is this percentage something that varies with time and region?
- If UFOs are not “real,” why do reports persist?
My observation: If UFOs are not a physical phenomenon, then they are at the very least a psychological or sociological phenomenon, and in any case deserves methodological and scientific study.
[NB: While the 2019 Canadian UFO Survey was produced using
information obtained directly or mined from various sources, during data entry
inevitably typos and errors may have crept in, although efforts were made to
mediate them. Although the master database is editable, once the charts and
tables have been run and the results posted online, they will not reflect
changes and post-run investigation results. A more robust and current system is
being studied for use.]
of Baffin Island in Nunavut near Loks Land, the pilot of an airliner reported “a
red rotary beacon light near the aircraft, at the same altitude of FL330.” The
pilot was told that “the only known aircraft in the region was more than 80NM
ahead.” The North American Aeropsace Defence Command (NORAD) was advised. Transport Canada
Quebec City and Sept-Iles, Quebec, reported seeing red, green and white lights
“oscillating up and down very quickly.” Montreal ATC noted that the closest
other aircraft was 50 nautical miles away. The CIRVIS report lists this case as
“Unknown,” although it has characteristics that could suggest an astronomical
explanation. Transport Canada
the distance that increased and decreased in intensity during their
observation. As they got closer, they were able to see the lights were on two
silent triangular objects with lights. A video was taken: https://youtu.be/wWvmsg9o5_s AQU
January 23, 2019 9:30
out of nowhere.” The object had a “sharp shape to it, with reddish orange
lights” that were not blinking. It was estimated to be at least one kilometer
in length.” The object made no sound and had “a haze like heat wave around it.”
The object flew sideways, then “leveled out and went up and was gone” within 15
witness saw an unusual object in the sky, shaped like a “backwards question
mark.” A photo showed it to be due to the movement of the camera. AQU
April 11, 2019 6:29
airport, the flight crew of a Sunwing airliner received a TCAS RA to climb
because of a nearby aircraft. The flight crew complied and advised ATC, which replied
that the conflicting traffic was unidentified and not in communication with
ATC. In fact, the Sunwing crew reported that the “prime target appeared
momentarily” them then disappeared.” Transport
reported a large, black, remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS), westbound at
an altitude of around 13,000 feet. The pilot reported it “missed them by about
100 feet.” Transport Canada
Montreal, the crew of an airliner was notified by air traffic control (ATC) of
the presence of “unidentified traffic” at an 11-o’clock position, at an unknown
altitude. The aircraft’s on-board traffic alert and collision avoidance system
(TCAS) confirmed the presence of a target approximately 3.5 NM ahead; the
target was moving northeast on climb and at an altitude of approximately 2,700
ft. The crew established visual contact with the unidentified object, which was
located at approximately 1.5 NM, at the same altitude and continuing its climb.
There was no alert or proximity warning from the TCAS system. The unidentified
traffic crossed into controlled airspace without clearance and without any
radio contact with ATC. Transport Canada
lights underneath” flew quickly and silently across the sky north to south
above a witness. UFOINFO
coasting in and out to the Northwest (NW) of the airport. Random targets
popping up, radar tags swapping, targets jumping to random locations.” Because
of the strange radar readings, the airport was “Unable to pass traffic to
departing aircraft.” Transport Canada
high-altitude, silver, circular craft… traveling west to east at an extremely
high rate of speed (covering 50 degrees in less than 1-2 seconds.” The objects
“were making high speed right angle and S-turns and were clearly under control,”
at altitudes “significantly higher than commercial air traffic.” UFOBC
approach to the runway at Red Deer, another aircraft was observed passing over
it by airport personnel, but the second aircraft was not seen by the pilot of
the first, and the flight service station (FSS) was not talking to any aircraft
in the area. However, approximately 15 minutes later, an “unverified radar
target” was observed to the NNE, heading NNE at 4,400 feet. Transport Canada
received a traffic alert and collision avoidance system resolution advisory
(TCAS RA) when it was 5 NM north of Val d’Or. The altitude of the approaching
traffic was unknown and there was no aircraft in sight. ATC reported: “No known
traffic.” Transport Canada
(very shiny black almost shiny) moving… like a silk scarf that falls freely,
but it did not fall.” The unusual object moved “in bizarre angles” and “as if
the black shape shrinks without going away.” When he stopped the car to take a
photo, he saw a second object that was less round, more rectangular and in
shades of dark gray and navy blue. The second object followed the first in
substantially the same trajectory but lower and more slowly. “When I had the
impression that the first one moved away or shrank, the second moved but did
not seem to shrink as much as the other.” This could have been an example of
November 18, 2019 3:59
City reported that it had received a traffic alert and collision avoidance
system resolution advisory (TCAS RA) concerning a target 200 feet above it
while it was at an altitude of approximately 10,000 ft. The only other radar
target close to PVL1910 was 1.1 NM south, at 2 900 ft. Transport Canada
collision avoidance system (TCAS) resolution advisory (RA) while descending
through 6,700 feet towards Vancouver, with traffic only 200 feet below his
aircraft. However, there was no observed traffic on radar at that altitude. Transport Canada
avoidance system (TCAS) resolution advisory (RA) 2 nautical miles at 11,000
feet, but there was “no other aircraft in close proximity.” Transport Canada
Thank you to all those who contributed to the 2019 Canadian UFO Survey. Special thanks to Ufology Research associates Geoff, Ashley, MJ, and Sarah.