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UFOlogist says local sightings reported
Star Staff Writer

It's one of those coincidences that make skeptics and debunkers take notice. An informal discussion group of UFO seekers gathers to look into recent flying saucer sightings in the Long Lake area. During the meeting, taking place in Whitefish, the group spots an unidentified flying object high above them.

"It was too high to be a helicopter," says Michel Deschamps, one of those who made the sighting last November.

"The lights were flashing too fast to be a plane. In the time a normal plane's lights flash, this one would flash six or seven times, and in a repeating color cycle: red, white, blue."

Then, as if in confirmation of many UFO theories, a military jet appeared.

"The lights crossed the sky, and then we saw the jet."

Deschamps won't go as far as to say the jet was pursuing or escorting the object, but does point out that many reports of saucer sightings include military escort vehicles.

No military source could be reached for comment.

Deschamps also won't say the object was a space vehicle from another world. The "unidentified" in UFO comes into play here, he says.

Jack DeCorby of the Environment Canada Weather Office says the object could very well have been a weather balloon.

"A weather balloon is launched every 12 hours from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan," says DeCorby.

"They're big, and some have lights, so it could have been that."

Deschamps is the provincial section director of MUFON, The Mutual UFO Network. The Texas-based organization collects and compiles sighting data, and investigates reports of alien encounters.

He dismisses the idea that he and other UFO researchers are crackpots, and that the Whitefish sighting was a product of wishful thinking.

"Anyone who thinks that (UFOs are not real) is just fooling themselves. They don't want to face the truth."

Operating out of his Hanmer home, Deschamps gathers information on Sudbury and area saucer sightings. His office is filled with videotapes, files, magazines, and books. . .all relating to UFOs. And his conversation is filled with stories of crop circles, abductions, recovered alien bodies, and conspiratorial government cover-ups.

"It's good to be plugged in to a group like MUFON," he says.

"Information comes to me all the time."

Still, all the information he has is but a percentage of what he says really goes on. He speaks with many people who have had encounters, but deals with them on conditions of confidentiality: no names.

"I consider myself lucky if I hear about five per cent of the sightings that occur. Lots are unreported; people are afraid about losing their jobs or their credibility."

This latest round of sightings - including the Long Lake UFO, a red object that followed a father and son as they drove down Long Lake Road - continues in Sudbury's history of strange skyward objects.

Since the late '40s, Sudburians have reported all sorts of encounters with objects in the sky. The Long Lake sightings, for example, were first reported in the late '60s.

One notable report, mentioned in UFOlogist Timothy Good's book Above Top Secret, took place over the Canadian Forces radar base in Falconbridge on Nov. 7, 1975. Observers with binoculars sighted a glowing spherical object over the base, and the information was relayed to NORAD command.

Two American fighter jets were sent to find the object, but reported no success.

The radar base is now inoperational, but that hasn't stopped saucers from visiting our area, Deschamps says. He puts forth the idea that the Neutrino Observatory is an attraction for saucers who use neutrinos in their operation.

"It would be a lot easier for them to just fix on one place and get their neutrinos there, instead of looking all over for them," he explains.

One recent report that has crossed Deschamps' desk involved a red light shining from the sky on a children's play area in New Sudbury.

"Copper Cliff is another place where there are a lot of sightings," says Deschamps.

"Maybe it's the mines, or all the nickel. But there have been reports about long, cylindrical objects over the INCO area."

MUFON's sighting hotline - 416-932-0031 - offers updates and takes reports about sightings. Deschamps encourages anyone who has seen anything unusual to contact the hotline.

"I get stories here and there, but most of them can't be verified," he says.

"We just have to work with what we have."

The Sudbury Star - February 4, 1995
No infringement intended. For educational purposes only.