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The UFO phenomena and the associated idea of a sightings hotspot are mostly considered to be a recent discovery.  The idea that clusters of sightings of strange and unidentified objects in the sky has developed alongside our growing interest in the subject.  Yet according to a new report, one region of Canada has been a UFO hotspot dating back to the 1790s and has over 2,000 reported sightings.

Meet Manitoba

Manitoba is a province of Canada that covers are area of over 650,000 square miles with many thousands of lakes and rivers making up the landscape.  Its capital is Winnipeg, the 8th largest city in the country and home to 60% of the state’s population.  The area was first colonised by Europeans in the 17th century when it formed Rupert’s Land, owned by the Hudson’s Bay Company and became a formal province in 1870.  However First Nations people lived there much earlier, moving to the lands after the glaciers of the last ice age retreated, some 10,000 years ago – these included the Ojibwa, Cree, Sioux and Assiniboine peoples.

Interestingly, the earliest reports of what we would classify as a UFO today came from a time before the province was a province.  According to Chris Rutkowski, who has researching the subject for 25 years, the area has a long history of sightings with the earliest dating from 1792.

This report came from two explorers, David Thompson and Andrew Davy, who were in the north of what is now Manitoba when they saw the crash of several strange meteors into the ice before them.  Thompson’s diary details how they were surprised when a brilliant ‘meteor of globular form’ that ‘appeared larger than the moon’ hit the river ice.  It made a sound like a mass of jelly and was ‘dashed into innumerable luminous pieces and instantly expired’.  The pair investigated the next morning but could not find a single piece of it.

Sightings cover the full range of the UFO spectrum from unusual lights in the sky to full flying saucers and even alien creatures in silver suits.  The sightings were detailed as part of the Ufology Research’s 2014 Canadian survey and detailed more than 1,000 cases across the country.  It also showed that the most common time for a sighting in the province was between 10pm and midnight during summer months.

Notable sightings

Falcon Lake

Falcon Lake

In May 1967, Stefan Michalak was in the region of Falcon Lake, in the east of the province, when he saw two disc shaped objects.  It was just after midnight and he saw one land on a large, flat rock, long enough for him to sketch what he had seen.  He then approached the craft and heard two human-like voices before being hit with a hot gas that caused his clothes to catch fire.  Afterwards, he experienced loss of weight, strange burn marks on both chest and stomach, charred hair, a strange rash and a recurrent dizziness.  Checks found some traces of radiation on the site.

During 1975 and 1976, there were a series of reports of a red light over the region, nicknamed Charlie Redstar.  One couple to witness the light were Bob and Elaine Diemert who were walking home from a private airfield in Carman.  The light they saw was large and red with a dome on top and was pulsing.  On other occasions, they saw a saucer-shaped object and these sightings lasted for several months.  People even began to gather in the field that the couple owned to join in the sightings and saw the light skimming over the trees.

In 1977, a man was driving near the town of Sundown when he saw a shimmering, vibrating oval light around five metres from his position.  It was making no sound and he said it didn’t appear to be solid.  He drove towards it and saw three figures standing by the road.  He described them as around five feet tall and shaped like ‘a bowling pin’ with bulbous heads, a narrow neck and flared body.  None of their facial features were visible and he actually drove over them, but they disappeared when he did this and he felt no impact.

Another report of strange little people came from a nurse called Karen who lived in Winnipeg.  She was woken at 2am one night in November 1992 to find two people around 3 ½ feet tall in her living room.  They had no features other than large round eyes and were wearing long white gowns.  They spoke to her telepathically to offer her a ride in space and the next moment she was in a large, hanger like room where a cigar-shaped craft stood.  They got in and she saw a control room setup with chairs and screens.  A number of stars appeared on the screens and then she was suddenly back in her room.

A sighting in 2012 may indicate a reoccurrence of the red light sightings from the 1960s.  Two witnesses saw a flat, disc-shaped object with red lights on its perimeter flying horizontally at around 7pm.  It then turned on its side and moved quickly at the car before vanishing when it was just a few metres from their position.


Manitoba is a pretty big place but has a lot of open and scarce populated areas that means for every sighting recorded, it is easy to imagine another two that go unnoticed.  The length of time that the sightings cover is also interesting, as is the diversity of the type of sightings.  Perhaps the province is some kind of crossroad between different alien species visiting our planet or maybe the people there are simply a little more observant than some of us are.