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Sarnia sees surge in UFO sightings

Local News - Monday, May 07, 2007 @ 16:00

Sarnia experienced a spike in the number of mysterious objects spotted in the sky last year, according a survey of Canadian UFO sightings.

Five unidentified flying objects were reported locally in 2006, up from single sightings in 2004 and 2005.

The Sarnia cases include everything from a light that appeared in the night sky briefly to more perplexing sightings.

On July 15 a witness described seeing a "large number of little black things" as well as a large yellow disk and an unmarked helicopter over the city around 9:20 p.m.

Another witness reported seeing an object drifting in the sky, which "seemed to have a glow around it.

There were 736 sightings of UFOs over Canada last year.

The vast majority of cases, including those in Sarnia, have a probable explanation such as a plane, planet, meteor or fireball, said Chris Rutkowski, a Winnipeg-based UFO expert and co-author of the survey.

"A small percentage are what we call unexplained or unidentified," he said. Those cases make up only 12 per cent of the total sightings.

But they do give one reason to ponder, said Rutkowski, recalling a case in North Bay, Ont. last year in which a motorist reported seeing three blue lights ahead of him.

"He thought perhaps they were three motorcycles heading towards him, but then he watched and two of them moved up and into the trees," he said.

The remaining light continued to within a metre of the vehicle and appeared to the driver as a "ball of blue light about the size of a beach ball."

"Those are the ones that tend to make you think, hmm," Rutkowski said.

Another witness reported a large, black, triangular object surrounded by "little white Christmas tree lights" on the coast of Newfoundland.

After compiling the survey for 17 years, Rutkowski said one noticeable trend is that people tend to be spotting large, triangular objects more often than the traditional disc-shaped "saucers."

"The classic Hollywood flying saucer is pass‚," he said.

Although claiming to see a UFO still carries a stigma, Rutkowski said many people seem more willing to come forward and tell their stories.

Witnesses include pilots, air traffic operators, military personnel and police.

Despite the number of sightings, the survey notes there is no reason to conclude alien life forms are responsible.

"Popular opinion to the contrary, there is yet to be any incontrovertible evidence that some UFO cases involve extraterrestrial contact," it states.

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