Drop in UFO sightings in Manitoba during the pandemic

A new report shows that Canadians spotted an increase in UFOs last year, though this was not the case for Manitobans.

According to Chris Rutkowski with Ufology Research in Winnipeg, a survey found that there were about 1,243 UFO reports in Canada last year, an increase of 46 per cent.

Though he is not entirely sure, he said this increase does seem to have something to do with the pandemic.

“It does seem that Canadians are seeing more UFOs during (the) lockdown,” Rutkowski said.

BUCKING THE TREND

One part of Canada that didn’t see an increase in UFO sightings last year was Manitoba.

Rutkowski said there were somewhere between 45 and 50 UFO reports in the province last year. The year before, there was more than 75.

“Manitoba had the most significant decrease and we’re not entirely sure why,” he said.

“Maybe we’re a little more ‘down-to-earth’ or grounded, I’m not sure, but for some reason, Manitoba bucked the trend.”

WHY THE RISE IN CANADA?

Rutkowski said one of the possible reasons for the rise in UFO sightings across Canada could have to do with the fact the people were going outside more during the pandemic.

“They were forced to be in smaller venues or outside in their backyards, camping, that type of thing,” he said.

“So it certainly had something to do with the fact that people were out enjoying the night sky a little bit more.”

He added there might also be a psychological reason for the rise in reports.

“Maybe there’s something psychologically going on, in the sense that we’re feeling a little bit vulnerable because of the pandemic and we’re looking up, maybe somebody up there has a solution,” Rutkowski said.

WHAT ARE THESE UFOs?

Rutkowski said there is an explanation for the vast majority of UFO sightings.

He noted that last year, only 13 per cent of the reports didn’t have an explanation, which is slightly higher than in previous years.

He said these unexplained sightings, “range from cases where people would see triangular objects floating over their heads to unusual objects -- a series of lights that performed aerobatic maneuvers that didn’t seem to be created by airplanes and stars and satellites. Those are the ones that make you pause and think about what’s going on.”

Though Rutkowski said he does believe in the possibility that there is life beyond earth, there is no evidence to suggest that aliens are visiting us.

- With files from CTV’s Michael Hutchinson and The Canadian Press.