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UFO research a passion for Hanmer man
By Bob Vaillancourt
Star Staff Writer

The family dog wakes you in the middle of the night.

The animal is excited, agitated and anxious to get outside. But at the door it stops, hesitant to cross the threshold.

Puzzled, you go back to sleep and shrug the whole thing off as a quirk of animal nature.

Michel Deschamps of Hanmer has a different theory.

For 20 years, Deschamps has been studying UFOs - unidentified flying objects. He is convinced we are not alone in this world, and he believes your dog's strange behavior may be linked to something outside, in the night sky.

Deschamps said he saw his first UFO at the age of nine. Since then, he has read every article and book, watched every piece of film and listened to every tape on the subject he can get his hands on.

He is convinced aliens of a variety of origins are conducting scientific research on this planet.

Listening to him talk is like re-reading every magazine article and watching every television special you have ever seen on the subject. He has it all committed to memory - the locations, dates and even the names of people who say they saw "it" - whatever "it" was. And he doesn't mind sharing the results of his research.

Right now, he is trying to raise funds to bring nuclear physicist and UFO researcher Stanton Friedman to town for a lecture.

Deschamps recalls his first UFO sighting near his home in Hanmer.

"It was at the end of the street here in broad daylight. There was a silver metallic ball floating a couple of feet above tree level.

"I looked for a string to see if it was tied down or anything but there was none."

By the time he reached high school, Deschamps had begun gathering material on UFOs.

"I gathered a bunch of pictures from all over and put them in one book so that when people ask me questions, I can show them."

Fellow students and teachers told him of sightings, but it wasn't until about two years ago that Deschamps began actually documenting others' sightings.

"I met a man in Sudbury who had 51 sightings in this area in the late 1960s that were all confirmed."

One year ago, said Deschamps, he saw another UFO near the former Falconbridge radar base in Garson.

It was early evening, Deschamps said, when he saw an object in the sky "the size of a car, and it was pretty bright. I could see this bright object coming down, and it looked like a star. I drove home and picked up my binoculars. You could barely discern it. It was going left to right and then stopped and it suddenly blinked out just like a light bulb. It reappeared a little lower. I got back in the car and I went to another hill, and when I got there, this thing was four times as big and four times as bright as a streetlight but pulsating like an emergency flare."

Deschamps discounts suggestions the object he saw was a plane or other aircraft.

"No, because I saw a Cessna (airplane) go by as I was watching it. It was the way it moved in the first phase that really freaked me out."

Deschamps drove home to get his mother and brother, but when the three returned to the scene, the object was gone.

Gone, but not forgotten. Deschamps, who works at a car dealership in Hanmer, has notebooks and scrapbooks full of maps, notes and other material related not only to his own sighting but to those of others as well.

Currently, he is working on a report for the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) about a reported landing of a UFO on Manitoulin Island.

A vehicle or spacecraft of some sort left two circular marks on a patch of limestone. The markings were discovered by area farmers.
 
 
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