By Tim Binnall
A fascinating and exhaustive annual examination of UFO reports from Canada found that 2020 was a particularly active year for sightings with a whopping 46% increase in cases. Issued each year by ufologist Chris Rutkowski, the incredibly detailed survey culls "case data from known and active investigators and researchers in Canada" to provide a rather thorough picture of the past twelve months when it comes to the puzzling phenomenon. Remarkably, the project determined that there were a whopping 1,243 UFO sightings across Canada in 2020, making it the second busiest year in the three-decade-long history of the survey. The robust number of reports marks a reassuring rebound from 2019's total which was one of the lowest on record.
As one may have surmised, the coronavirus pandemic is suspected of having played a hand in the dramatic increase in UFO reports as, the report explains, sightings "surged significantly" in the first quarter of 2020 and then again in the spring as many residents were largely stuck inside their homes with little to do but look up at the sky and wonder when the slowly unfolding nightmare would end. Another possible factor in the uptick, the survey notes, is the emergence of the Starlink satellite constellations in the skies over Canada as that controversial program has been blamed for countless cases of misidentification from bewildered witnesses thinking that they've seen a UFO.
A feast of data for UFO enthusiasts, the report indicated that 60% of the sightings consisted of "simple lights in the sky," while the remainder ran the gamut and included "triangles, spheres, and boomerangs." After examining each of the cases collected over the past year, the survey posited that approximately 13% of the sightings could be classified as unexplained and includes an excellent appendix that details those 'high quality' reports. Additionally, it found that the "UFO represent all age groups and racial origin" and came from a variety of vocations including pilots, police officers, and "other individuals with reasonably good observing capabilities and good judgement."
Another thought-provoking observation offered by the report is that so-called 'close encounters' with aliens constituted less than one percent of the sightings collected by the survey. While wild tales of unsettling abductions and meetings with beings from another world may captivate the public, the data produced by the survey reveals that such events are incredibly rare and that "very few UFO cases involve anything other than distant objects seen in the sky." In light of this remarkable contrast, the report muses that "speculation on what aliens may or may not be doing in our airspace seems almost completely unconnected to the question of what are actually being reported as UFOs."
Regardless of what could be behind UFOs, the survey argued that the sheer number of sightings last year upends the notion, in some quarters, that reports of the phenomenon are in decline or that the entire matter is some "passing fad." Taking the point further, it argues that the fact that hundreds of sightings from Canada alone continue to be reported year after year "suggests a need for further examination of the phenomenon by social, medical and/or physical scientists." It remains to be seen whether that will be the case, but if experts are looking for an intellectually honest and fair assessment of the situation, at least as far as Canada is concerned, the annual survey is a fantastic place to start.