Hovering lights in the sky. Pulsing lights. A humming noise. Objects shaped like spheres, discs, triangles and boomerangs.
The witnesses include ordinary folk, airline crews, a particle physicist and an airport's weather observer.
Manitoba-based Ufology Research has released its most recent UFO sightings survey and analysis. Eight per cent of the 1,101 reported eye-witness accounts across Canada in 2017 could not be explained.
About eight per cent of those were deemed unexplainable.
“Many people continue to report unusual objects in the sky, and some of these objects do not have obvious explanations,” says the survey.
“Many witnesses are pilots, police and other individuals with reasonably good observing capabilities and good judgment.”
Quebec had the most sightings at 518. Nunavut had the fewest at two.
Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton topped the cities with the most UFO reports.
Ufology Research takes data from all known sources, including UFO organizations, government files, direct witness reports, media and some internet posts. Its analysis takes into account location, types of encounters, reliability of witnesses and strangeness of sightings.
Here are some other findings from the survey:
Sightings reported in 1989 (first year of survey): 154
Sightings reported in 2017: 1,101
Highest number of sightings: 2015 with 1,267
Top three provinces for sightings: Quebec (518), Ontario (241) and British Columbia (128)
Cities with most UFO sightings: Montreal (74), Toronto (57), Vancouver (46), Edmonton (29), Hamilton (28), Ottawa (26), Calgary (24), Winnipeg (9)
Average number of witnesses per sighting: 2
Typical length of sightings: 15 minutes
Shape of sightings: Boomerang, cigar, cone, cylinder, diamond, disc, fireball, irregular, line, oval, point source, rectangle, round, sphere, square, triangle
Ufology Research notes the number of reported UFO sightings remains high. The 2017 figure compares with 1,132 in 2016 and 1,265 in 2015.
The group suggests several explanations, among them more secret or classified military exercises, people unaware of natural objects in the sky and easier reporting of alleged sightings because of advancing online technology.
It also posits that perhaps “more UFOs are present and physically observable by witnesses.”
But the survey concludes that “there is no incontrovertible evidence that some UFO cases involved extraterrestrial contact.”