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Statistics and Opinion Polls

Sudbury, Ontario, DAILY STAR, 26 October 1954, page 24

Aussie Sky Watchers Feel Flying Saucers 'Definitely Exist'

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Ten flying saucer enthusiasts in Melbourne, who have spent a year investigating sightings of mysterious objects in the sky over the city, have reached the conclusion that flying saucers are real.

The 10 make up the self-styled Flying Saucer Investigation Committee. They are a banker, a journalist, four engineers, two clerks and two industrial engineers. Most of them are members of the Astronomical Society.

A year ago, these men, reading newspaper reports of lights in the sky, flying objects and the various things grouped under the collective title of "flying saucers," decided that they would investigate the phenomena independently.

They cross-examined 55 persons on what they had seen and reached their conclusion: One of the saucers was a balloon; four were meteors; one was drifting seed of Scotch thistle; two were jet aircraft; and 47 could not be explained.

CIGAR-SHAPED OBJECTS

A spokesman of the committee said the 47 "unexplained" saucers broke up into four distinct groups.

1. Six were cigar-shaped glowing objects seen at night gliding in the sky.

2. Fifteen were "proper" flying saucers or discs, rotating bodies appearing in pairs. When seen low down the upper portion appears to rotate. This type have windows and small ball-like wheels underneath.

3. Six more were shooting "moons" - bright lights which flash across the sky, hover for a minute or so, and appear or disappear suddenly.

4. The largest class, with 20 sightings, were small hovering lights, which hang in the sky, then dash off at high speed. In daylight, their surfaces flash in the sun like highly-polished metal.

CONVINCED BY SIGHTINGS

"It is much easier to say what these objects are not, than what they are," the committee's report states. It is gratifying to note that of late the authorities are taking a more serious view of the whole matter.

"The committee is convinced that they have a definite, objective existence. They have been seen in too many widely separated places, at too many different times by too many sound and reliable witnesses to be disputed."

Sudbury, Ontario, STAR, 14 August 1974, page 36

Gallup Poll
One in 10 aware of UFOs claims sighting one
By CANADIAN INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC OPINION

Nationally, 67 per cent of Canadians have heard or read something about unidentified flying objects, and over one out of every ten aware Canadians claim to have seen one. If this figure is taken at face value, it means that just over one million Canadian adults have spotted a flying saucer.

In addition, half of those who have heard of these flying objects believe that they are real and not just a figment of someone's imagination.

While awareness of UFOs is considerably higher among younger people, there is little variation in the proportion in each age group who claim to have spotted one.

There is a direct correlation between belief in the existence of UFOs and age. Almost seven in ten of those under thirty say they are real, while only 49 per cent of those in the middle years and 38 per cent of those over fifty think they exist.

In a similar study reported in January, the American Gallup Poll showed considerably higher awareness. Of those aware, however, the proportion who had seen a UFO (11 per cent) and those who felt them to be real (54 per cent) was almost identical in the two countries.

The questions:

"Have you heard or read about so-called unidentified flying objects - UFOs? (If yes) have you ever seen anything you thought was a UFO? In your opinion, are they something real, or just people's imagination?"

In total, 1,006 adults, 18 years old and over, were questioned personally in their homes across Canada. A sample of this size is accurate within four percent - age points, 19 in 20 times.


Sudbury, Ontario, STAR, 10 May 1976, page 2

Poll shows most people believe UFOs

TORONTO (CP) - The federal government might be ignoring unidentified flying objects (UFOs) because it doesn't want to admit there's nothing it can do about them, says Arthur Bray, a former Canadian Navy and Air Force pilot.

Mr. Bray told a seminar here at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education that no government "is willing to stick its neck out and admit aliens have direct access to our world and environment."

"It's much easier for the government to ignore them."

Mr. Bray said a survey taken in 1974 showed that 53 per cent of the Canadians polled believed in the existence of UFOs and 10 per cent claimed they had seen them.

He said Canada needs UFO research because National Research Canada, the organization in charge of investigating UFO reports, is not doing its job.

"National Research Canada doesn't check sighting reports," Mr. Bray said.

"It ignores them. It classifies them as non-meteoric sightings."

Sudbury, Ontario, STAR, 11 July 1977, page 9

15 million, including Jimmy Carter say they have seen flying saucers

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Considering they've perplexed mankind for a couple of thousand years, it's about time someone held an international conference on "flying saucers."

In ancient Rome they were "flying shields;" in the Middle Ages "ships in the sky;" in the late 19th century "airships," and today "unidentified flying objects" (UFO).

According to a Gallup poll, 15 million Americans have seen the phenomena, including President Jimmy Carter. Sightings have been reported in every country in the world, at a rate of around a hundred every night.

A handful of persons claims to have had physical contact with extraterrestrial humanoids, and scores say they've witnessed spaceships landing on earth.

"The phenomenon of UFOs exists. As to what it is, we don't know," admits astronomer J. Allen Hynek - reason enough for the first International UFO Congress.

More than a thousand believers gathered at the Pick-Congress Hotel here the weekend of June 25: astronomers, physicists, psychiatrists, engineers, educationists, and everyday folks whose interests transcend the everyday.

Ken Arnold was there - the original "flying saucer" guy.

FLEW IN FORMATION

The Boise, Idaho, salesman and pilot was flying over the Cascade Mountains in Washington state on June 24, 1947, when he saw nine delta-winged craft below him, moving in formation at incredible speed.

They flew "like saucers skipping over water," he told a reporter later. The reporter threw out that delta-winged business, and the modern UFO era was begun.

"If I'm crazy, I've got a lot of friends," Arnold told the congress.

Count President Carter among them. It happened one night in 1973 in Thomaston, Ga. In the book UFO Exist, Carter is quoted as describing his experience:

"It was the darndest thing I've ever seen. It was big. It was very bright, it changed colors, and it was about the size of the moon. We watched it for 10 minutes but none of us could figure out what it was."

"One thing's for sure. I'll never make fun of people who say they've seen unidentified objects in the sky."

MAKE FUN OF FANS

Yet many persons do make fun of UFO aficionados - the "ridicule barrier" to serious scientific study, according to Dr. Hynek, a professor at Northwestern University and director of the Centre for UFO Studies in nearby Evanston.

Thus, respected professionals like Dr. James Harder, biomedical engineer at University of California, ran some risk by attending the conference here.

"I started off open-minded in 1960," he told reporters. "But then I ran into some cases that were impossible to explain as natural phenomena:"

- Strange fragments of metal found at purported UFO landing sites in Brazil and Sweden in the late 1950s;

- A curious metal ball found in Florida in 1973.

It's those few cases that also perplex Dr. Hynek, who admits most sightings can be explained by natural phenomena, weather balloons, satellites and such.

"It's those few unexplained ones that we're interested in," he said - those that can't be kissed off as "swamp gas" and "mass hallucination."

COME IN ALL SHAPES

President Carter's ambiguous UFO description is little better than most eyewitness reports. UFOs, it appears, come in all shapes and sizes: luminous jellyfish, big pancakes, beautiful flowers, and even Christmas tree ornaments.

"Yes, some of it's pretty farfetched stuff," said Dr. Hynek.

But don't tell that to Betty Hill. She and her late husband Barney were driving along a deserted New Hampshire highway in 1961 when, she swears, they were abducted by a UFO.

"They came to check us out to see if we are advanced enough to be friends," says Mrs. Hill, a rather plump, aging matron and one of the star speakers at the conference.

"They" were humanoids, about 4½ feet tall, who took the Hills aboard their spaceship for a physical examination.

The aliens "erased" the Hills' memories of the experience, but a psychiatrist revived them through hypnosis.

"Come to New Hampshire. I'll show you where they've been," said Mrs. Hill.

GOVERNMENT HOLDS BACK

Some complaints voiced here were suspicion that the federal government is withholding much of what it knows about UFOs, and reports of mysterious "men in black" allegedly threatening UFO witnesses.

Dr. Stanton Friedman, a California physicist, described it as a "cosmic Watergate" and called on the media to bring the issue "out of the closet."

Rumors whirled at the meeting that by year-end, the government will make some remarkable disclosures about UFOs, with much of the information coming from the CIA and the FBI.


Sudbury, Ontario, STAR, 22 March 1978, page 43

GALLUP POLL
Believers in UFO grow in numbers

Perhaps in response to the increase in movie and television shows based on interplanetary travel, there has been a significant increase over the past four years in the number of Canadians who have heard of UFOs and in the number who believe that they are real and not just imagination. There has been little or no increase, however, in the proportion who claim to have spotted one.

In May 1974 only 67 per cent of Canadians had heard or read anything about UFOs. Today this has risen to 81 per cent. Similarly the proportion who think that they are something real has increased from 36 per cent four years ago to 46 per cent today.

The number who think they have actually seen a UFO rose slightly, but not significantly from 8 per cent to 10 per cent today.

Today's results are based on 1,050 personal, in-home interviews with adults, 18 years and over during the first week of February. A sample of this size is accurate within a four percentage point margin, 19 in 20 times.

The questions asked were:

"HAVE YOU HEARD OR READ ANYTHING ABOUT UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS - UFOs?

(IF "YES") HAVE YOU, YOURSELF, EVER SEEN ANYTHING YOU THOUGHT WAS A UFO?

IN YOUR OPINION, ARE THEY SOMETHING REAL, OR JUST PEOPLE'S IMAGINATION?"

As the table below shows, more of the young adults have heard of, believe in, and spotted unidentified flying objects.


Sudbury, Ontario, STAR, 16 May 1994, page A2

UFO reports on the rise

WINNIPEG (CP) - Over the past five years, more and more Canadians have reported seeing strange things in the sky.

These include silent black triangles, giant cigar-shapes and strange nocturnal lights.

According to a Manitoba astronomer, there were almost 500 reports of unidentified flying objects in 1993, triple the number in 1989.

But Chris Rutkowski doesn't interpret this to mean that earth has become a hot destination for intergalactic alien tourists.

Rather, the explosion in reports probably has more to do with the proliferation of UFO study groups around the country, he said.

Both British Columbia and Alberta now have 24-hour UFO hotlines and most other provinces have at least one group devoted to researching UFOs.

As these groups become more well-known, more people call to report unexplained sightings that they might otherwise keep to themselves, said Rutkowski, who is with Ufology Research of Manitoba.

The Alberta UFO Study Group, formed in 1989, issued a news release last week seeking anyone who may have seen some mysterious black triangles gliding silently overhead.

"Since then, we have been getting hundreds of calls," said group member David Thacker of Red Deer, Alta.

The triangles were sighted in Edmonton and Red Deer last month and were also seen in Lethbridge, Alta., last year.

Thacker, who makes a living as an agricultural consultant, said triangles have also been sighted in large numbers in the U.S. and Belgium.

"One of the more popular theories in recent years is that this is actually a sighting of an advanced United States secret spy plane," said Thacker.

"But it's impossible to prove that because they don't even admit that it exists."

In fact, few UFOs can't be explained once investigated. Of the 489 reported in Rutkowski's study, only 26 were unexplained.

And last year's survey was skewed somewhat because at least 120 reports were on the same event - a spectacular fireball and sonic boom over Western Canada. A meteor was established as the likely cause.


Sudbury, Ontario, STAR, 17 March 1998, page A2

UFO spotting on the rise

WINNIPEG (CP) - Are Canadians seeing more lights in the night sky or do they have X-Files on the brain?

That's the question being asked by one UFO researcher following a study that shows a growing number of Canadians reported unexplained sightings last year.

There were 284 reports of UFOs in 1997, up 10 per cent from 1996, says Chris Rutkowski, who wrote a national report on the sightings.

Rutkowski said the 50th anniversary of an alleged UFO crash in Roswell, N.M., as well as the immense popularity of X-Files - a TV show chronicling the paranormal pursuits of two alien-hunting FBI agents - may help explain the jump in sightings.

The 1997 Manitoba results, released Monday by Ufology Research, recorded 32 sightings of unidentified objects. Many can be discounted as planets or planes or natural phenomena, said Rutkowski.

"There are some garbage reports out there, no question," he said. "But there are also some very good reports that raise a lot of questions."


Sudbury, Ontario, STAR, 16 August 2001, page A8

Manitoba issues report on UFOs

WINNIPEG (CP) - Tornadoes of fire, craters and wax-oozing balls of light were among 75 UFO sightings reported in Canada since January, says a study released Wednesday by Ufology Research of Manitoba.

"There's a higher interest this year for some reason," said co-ordinator Chris Rutkowski. "There's some pretty strange stuff going on all over the country."

Two people in Surrey, B.C., reported seeing a red ball of light ooze out a hot waxy-like substance as it moved through the air.

An Alberta resident discovered a four-metre crater in a field after others witnessed a "fire tornado."

Just a week ago in Winnipeg, someone reported seeing a bright fireball in the night sky.

"It was a few days ahead of the bright fireball seen in Nova Scotia last Friday," Rutkowski said, adding a Russian rocket booster came down into the waters off the coast and a meteor shower took place, so he's not sure what the fireballs may have been.

Rutkowski said the popularity of the Space Channel and a recent MacLean's magazine poll about UFOs showing 61 per cent of Canadians believe aliens are visiting Earth may have resulted in a higher number of reported cases.


Sudbury, Ontario, STAR, 2 August 2005, page

UFO numbers fall in Canada

WINNIPEG (CP) - It's possible that Canadians are keeping their eyes on the ground rather than the skies, or maybe fewer extra-terrestrials are visiting the planet.

Whatever the reason, the number of UFO reports filed in Canada so far in 2005 is down significantly from last year, according to a mid-year analysis by a national research group.

We're likely looking at report levels only around those of 2000 or 2001, said Chris Rutkowski, science writer and research co-ordinator with Ufology Research of Manitoba.

Why the drop is so significant this year, I don't know.

Ufology Research of Manitoba is a Winnipeg-based independent centre, co-ordinating research and collecting data on Canadian UFO reports. It publishes a detailed, yearly analysis of Canadian UFO cases.

In 2004, its mid-year analysis noted a sharp increase in the number of UFO reports, which led to an increase of more than 30 per cent by year's end.

 
 
News clippings courtesy of The Sudbury Star.