STURGEON, P.E.I. - Jim Bruce stepped out on his deck the last day of September around 11 p.m. just to check how cold it was. As he looked to the sky, he noted there was no moon and he could see the stars perfectly.
Then, something came from the west.
Bruce has seen a lot of satellites in the sky near his home in Sturgeon, but this object was not like any he’d seen before.
“Must be a plane,” he thought.
The object with flashing lights just stopped dead. Then, it shot in a 90-degree angle towards Bruce’s home and stopped once again.
“Then it continued again toward the east, stopped, dropped, sort of moving towards Nova Scotia.”
Next, it flew in a circle and hovered, Bruce said.
“It shot off and disappeared over the horizon faster than any satellite I had ever seen.”
The next day, Bruce was getting some paint at Stewart and Beck’s in Montague and couple of people were talking about what they had seen in the sky.
The same thing. In the same part of the sky, a few weeks ago.
- There were eight UFO sightings in P.E.I. last year according to Ufology Research of Manitoba. To view sightings by year visit: canadianuforeport.com/survey/essays
Bruce wanted to know what it was he saw, so he began making calls.
He got some numbers for the Royal Canadian Air Force, hoping they could tell him something. No one took him seriously. He called Air Canada, who hung up. Then he called NAV Canada, who also hung up. Finally, the RCMP told him it wasn’t something they dealt with.
So, who do you phone when you think you’ve seen an unidentified flying object?
Since 1989, Ufology Research of Manitoba (UFORM) has been taking reported sightings in Canada and compiles them into an annual Canadian UFO Survey.
Chris Rutkowski, who manages the survey, says sightings are no longer being managed by any military or police groups.
“At one point the RCMP were investigating UFOs on behalf of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). They did it for several decades,” Rutkowski said in a phone interview.
The idea was some of the things seen in the sky could be meteorites, which the research council wanted to follow.
“That program with the NRC finished in the ‘90s and so the RCMP had no commitment to continue,” he said.
Still, Rutkowski is saddened Bruce’s claim was not taken seriously.
“Polls have shown about 10 per cent of all Canadians believe they’ve seen UFOs, which is a fairly significant number when you think about it.”
Every year in Canada there are about 1,000 UFO reports, Rutkowski said. Last year there were eight in P.E.I.
“He (Bruce) is certainly not alone if that is any comfort.”
There are a number of ways to make UFO reports online, and there are Facebook groups specific to regions.
“So, that would be a way to do it in a passive way if you don’t want to attract attention to yourself, or you don’t want to be on the front page of The Guardian tomorrow.”
Rutkowski says between one and three per cent of cases can’t be explained, but most people do get an answer when they ask about what they’ve seen.
“I want people to understand that UFOs can be studied in a scientific way. We can explain most UFO reports.”
Metropolitan areas with most UFO reports
- Montreal 74
- Toronto 57
- Vancouver 46
- Edmonton 29
- Hamilton 28
- Ottawa 26
- Calgary 24
- Winnipeg 9
Source: Canadian UFO report, 2017