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We love our favorite Martians
By THANE BURNETT, QMI AGENCY


Michel M. Deschamps, a UFO researcher/historian
based in Greater Sudbury Oct. 27, 2010
JOHN LAPPA/QMI AGENCY

We love our favourite Martians. Or where ever they may come from.

The past year has seen a peak of interest in UFOs, as sightings have been reported from the four corners of the globe.

While skeptics argue one report feeds imaginations for the next sighting, it’s still meant a sudden pop fascination not seen in decades.

In the second of a three-part special series, QMI Agency finds more than half of Canadians figure there may be something really out there, which is good news to those who’ve long kept the faith alive.

———————————————————————————————————

ROSWELL, N.M. — Turns out, Michel Deschamps isn’t as alone in the universe as he once thought.

For years — decades even — the Ontario man has waged a very personal mission to bring UFOs a little closer to Earth.

Or at least grounding our understanding — and his belief — on what they may be.

And that’s meant sometimes paying a certain price.

“I’m not afraid to say I waited until the age of 39 to date — it was a conscious decision,” he explains from his Sudbury home, where the 46-year-old Wal-Mart employee oversees the Northern Ontario UFO Research and Study (NOUFORS.com) website.

Keeping track of strange, otherworldly encounters, it includes a catalogue of 85 alien species, culled from witness accounts. And that doesn’t include those beings he says are part of human abductions.

“I have more physical evidence in UFOs than God,” Deschamps, a Christian, says.

Deschamps has been called a ‘UFO believer.’

“I’m not a believer,” he counters. “I’m a knower.”

As a result of his passion, he believes his phones have been tapped in the past and talks about a death threat.

It’s not always easy when your belief system runs from the dark side of the moon to alien fingers in biblical events.

Deschamps says, for most of his life — sometimes ridiculed in the past — he’s chosen his UFO mission over personal relationships.

But he now sees a shift in opinion — the tug of popular interest, even acceptance, toward what he’s believed since he was a child.

His site gets good terrestrial traffic. And a strong support system has been created among others who believe as he does.

And they are finding they are not alone.

An exclusive Leger Marketing poll of Canadians, taken on behalf of QMI Agency, has found the vast majority of the nation think it may be possible that extraterrestrial life does exist, based on sightings around the world.

Those encounters have only increased in 2010 — fed off a popular hysteria, critics argue — as UFO headlines have come from China, across the U.S., the U.K. and started the new year in Newfoundland.

Only 34% of Canadians don’t buy into the possibility, the new poll shows.

Leger executive vice-president Dave Scholz notes while Ontario residents tend to be a bit more skeptical, most Canadians — no matter where they live — are open to flights of the unknown.

But he says people will tend to reserve a final, conclusive verdict unless they have a face-to-oval-eyed-slits-for-nose-earless-alien-face encounter on their own.

Winnipeg astronomer and UFO-studies buff Chris Rutkowski says while Canadians poll high in their belief of cosmic communities beyond our own, there are so many websites, podcasts and YouTube videos promising insights, many people don’t know where to turn for objective information.

Though a 2008 poll found one in every dozen Americans have seen a mysterious object in the sky that may have been a visitor from beyond.

Deschamps has had many encounters — tracking them through the northern night.

“I’m just trying to get the facts out and get rid of the bullshit,” he argues of his lifelong campaign.

But despite progress by some in getting UFO debates into the mainstream — and polls that suggest Canadians are welcoming to the idea of visitors coming from far abroad — Deschamps agrees with pollster Scholz the world is a long way off from agreeing on what’s up and out there.

“Unless they show themselves,” the UFO researcher says of an alien intention, “some just will never believe.”



The Toronto Sun - November 1, 2010
 
 
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