Monday, September 19, 2005

UFOs in Canada - The "End" [Part I]

The year 1967 was a significant one in terms of UFO sightings. As Dick Hall has written:

"A major wave of UFO sightings occurred in 1967; even by official Air Force figures it was the 4th largest in terms of sightings reported, yet no one talks about it. The special significance of the 1967 wave is that it occurred during the one full year of investigations by the University of Colorado UFO Project, and everyone deferred to the project in looking for "answers." The only answer was the Condon Report. This study analyzes the wave and demonstrates that the Colorado Project had ample case material to investigate during its lifetime, yet failed miserably to accomplish "scientific investigation." At the same time, publicity about the project obscured the sighting wave."


Sightings were not confined to the United States, however. There were many sightings north of the border as well, some of which were taken quite seriously by the authorities.

For example, on 24 January, 1968, the Hon. Edward Schreyer, an NDP Member of Parliament, asked the following questions in the House of Commons, about some sightings which had occurred in or near his riding:

"1. With reference to the reported sightings of unidentified flying objects in eastern Manitoba during the months of May and June 1967, how many such reports were received by various departments of the government of Canada and by the Department of National Defence in particular?

2. How many of these reported or alleged sightings were investigated?

3. Will the reports and findings of these investigations be made public?

4. What are the reasons for not making public any such reports now in the possession of the Department of National Defence."

The Hon. Judy LaMarsh, Secretary of State, (see
answered on behalf of the government:

"1. I am informed by the departments of National Defence and Solicitor General as follows: 1. Four by the Department of National Defence. One by the Department of the Solicitor General. [PK note - the Solicitor General oversees the operations of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police]

2. Two; the other reports did not contain sufficient information and detail to warrant further investigation.

3 and 4. The actual reports received by the Department of National Defence have not been made public as some observers did not wish their names made public; and, in attempting to analyse reports, investigators have commented on the likely accuracy of observations. The descriptions of sightings and the results of investigations are not classified information, however, any persons who send reports to the department do so on their own volition and are not asked to suppress the release of information to any other person or persons. The report in 2 above refers to a sighting on 20 May 1967 by a person in the Falcon Lake area which was widely publicized in the press. The Department of National Defence investigation, which has now been completed, could not explain the sighting. As a result of recent discussions between the Department of National Defence and the National Research Council, reports on sightings received through Canadian armed forces channels will be passed in future to the National Research Council to determine whether there are scientific reasons for further investigation."

As I've said before, it was clear that prior to 1968, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were the main government agencies in Canada that were charged with the investigation of UFO sightings.

It should be noted that asking questions about UFOs in the House of Commons was not a detriment to one's political career - at least not in 1967 - 1968.

For example, Robert Coates, a Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament, asked on 18 March, 1968, the following question: "What department or departments have been delegated the responsibility of investigating reports on unidentified flying objects that are brought to the attention of the federal government, and how many such reports were received in the years 1965, 1966, and 1967? Were investigations carried out in each instance, to whom were the reports made, and is the information contained therein confidential or available to the public?" Coates's particular question was tabled, but not his career - he went on to serve in the Mulroney cabinet as Minister of Defence from 1984 until his career was derailed by a scandal that had nothing to do with UFOs in 1985 (see

For his part, Schreyer had already made a number of inquiries about UFO sightings (28 June, 1967; 6 November, 1967; 8 November, 1967). He went on to become Premier of Manitoba (1969 - 1977) and then Governor General of Canada (1979 - 1984), the youngest person to hold that post since 1878. (see

It would be Barry Mather, however, another NDP Member of Parliament, that would bring things to a head in November, 1968 - the last time UFOs would be discussed seriously in the Canadian House of Commons.

To be continued...

Paul Kimball

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