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UFO expert remains committed that 'truth is out there'
Michel Deschamps still remembers first sighting at age 9
BY TRACEY DUGUAY
NORTHERN LIFE


'THE BASIC FASCINATION is I've come to the realization
that we're being visited by something from someplace else,'
says Michel Deschamp. MARG SEREGELYI

The truth is out there and Sudbury's self-proclaimed UFO historian is determined to find it.

The subject of unidentified flying objects has intrigued Michel Deschamps for most of his life especially after a personal UFO sighting he remembers when he was about nine year old.

It's looking for the answers to the age-old questions like "why are they here" and "what do they want fromus," that feeds Deschamps' interest in UFOs and extraterrestrials.

"The basic fascination is I've come to the realization that we're being visited by something from someplace else."

Although he holds down a full-time job at Wal-Mart, most of his recreational time is spent researching the history of UFO sightings in Sudbury and the surrounding communities.

In fact, in 1992, he started painstakingly reviewing every edition of local newspapers from their first publication dates, looking for articles on UFO sightings.

It took him over two years to complete his research and resulted in an impressive collection of articles.

However, he doesn't limit his research to just local statistics and reports, but also likes to keep current on sightings from around the world.

"I'm trying to keep up with world events about this stuff, not just local."

He admits he hasn't been as diligent in the sky-watching department as he used to be and blames it on his passion for watching the Space Channel on television.

"I haven't been sky watching at all for the last couple of years," Deschamps says.

"I haven't had the energy or desire to go out there."

Ironically, he says watching this particular channel is sort of a "break from reality" from his own life, which he describes at times as "stranger" than some of the programs he follows.

He's thinking about starting a sky-watchers group whereby people interested in UFOs can exchange phone numbers and keep each informed about recent sightings.

Deschamps says he can compare time and details of sightings to air traffic or planetary movement in the region to determine if it indeed was a UFO.

"I've got astronomy programs on my computer and I can check right away to see if it was a planet or a star."

He says UFOs move quicker than objects like planes or helicopters. They can also take off and stop "on a dime," unlike most aircraft.

"I know the difference between a UFO and something "man-made"...I've seen planes, helicopters and satellites, and these things (UFOs) don't behave at all like any of those things...there's a distinct difference."

The easiest way to figure out if a person has really had a close encounter of the extraterrestrial kind is by their reaction, he says.

Deschamps says people intuitively can feel it when they see something out of the ordinary. The hair stands up on the back of their necks and their eyes get kind of a "glazed over" look when they recall their experience.

"Once you see something, you're convinced and that changes people for life," he says. "Even if the sighting is 50 years ago, they'll remember it like it was yesterday."

While Deschamps believes in some cases of alien abductions, he doesn't think most cases are reliable because the physical evidence just isn't there to support it.

It makes perfect sense to him, however, that abductions happen and he compares it to current space exploration.

For example, when astronauts visit Mars and other planets, they bring back samples of dirt and other material to analyze.

So, according to Deschamps, it only makes sense when alternate life forms visit Earth, they occasionally bring something back with them as well, namely people, animals or other objects.

The whole generation abduction theory puzzles him though.

"I just can't understand why they're taking the same people over and over again."

Deschamps says the focus on UFO research is switching to more physical evidence, like landing sites, rather than abduction or humanoid stories.

Since credibility is a big issue in matters relating to UFO experiences or research, physical evidence is more concrete or believable than first-hand accounts.

The sketicism that exists towards this subject and the people who are believers is disheartening to Deschamps.

He occasionally thinks about giving up, since it's hard to keep the faith in the face of such disbelief.

Television shows like the X-Files (now cancelled) did a lot to raise the profile about possible visits from beings from space and the potential for government cover-ups.

He talks about rumours the technology used in Stealth planes, satellites and transmitters came from the sites of crashed UFOs.

Deschamps, who says he doesn't scare easily, was worried a few times when unexplained events happened to him in the throes of a UFO sighting.

"When I had trouble with the phones, I got scared. I thought my phone was being tapped. On four different occasions in the early 90s, I was talking to somebody about UFO's on the phone and my phone went dead mid-sentence. No explanation."

One gets the sense that no matter how discouraged, or occasionally scared Deschamps gets, he will keep digging through newspapers and web sites and watching the skies until he has the answers to the age-old questions that have always plagued him.

Anyone interested in talking about UFOs or reporting sightings can call Michel Deschamps at 670-2759 or e-mail him at ufoman_1@hotmail.com.

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