MOVE OVER, Kermode bear. A flying saucer might make a more fitting
symbol for Terrace.
It turns out Terrace is B.C.’s UFO
capital — and one of the top spots in the country for sightings —
according to a national survey released last week.
In fact, a record number of sightings
here helped push Terrace into the 2002 Canadian UFO Survey’s top 10 for
the first time.
Remarkably, Terrace is in third place
— behind such urban heavyweights as Toronto and Vancouver.
The survey counted 25 eyewitness
reports from here in 2002.
Calgary and Hamilton also appeared in
the top 10 for the first time. Other urban areas reporting a significant
number of sightings were Winnipeg, Edmonton, Ottawa and Whitehorse.
In all, the survey compiled 483
eyewitness reports from across the country, with one-third, or 176,
originating in Canada’s westernmost province.
Contrast that with just six UFO
sightings reported in Saskatchewan last year.
Joining Terrace in the top four is
Houston, B.C., home of Brian Vike, the northwest’s resident UFO
Vike, who investigates reports of UFOs
and other unexplained phenomena, including crop circles, says his phone
has been ringing off the hook since the survey was released last week.
Terrace residents have been seeing
some curious objects in the sky over the past year, according to Vike’s
Some flying objects were
barrel-shaped, while others looked more like cigars or had blinking
Unlike stars or airplanes, they moved
oddly over such familiar locales as Braun’s Island, Jackpine Flats and
the southwest skies towards Prince Rupert.
Vike is just one of the contributors
who assist in compiling the survey, which consists of reports from
regionally-based UFO researchers from across Canada that are compiled
into one database.
The survey is headed up by Geoff
Dittman and Chris Rutkowski of Ufology Research of Manitoba (UFO ROM), a
prairie-based group that has been compiling UFO reports since 1989.
The survey defines UFOs as any unknown
flying object seen by a witness.
That means the survey includes reports
that were later found to be known objects, such as stars, planets,
meteors, or aircraft.
The researchers believe it’s important
to verify that eyewitnesses who report UFOs have indeed seen something —
rather than imagined it.
The survey suggests most UFOs are
actually conventional aircraft or an astronomical object.
On average, about 13 per cent of
sightings are unexplained. Last year, 87 cases were unknown out of 483.
“As with previous studies, the 2002
Canadian UFO Survey does not offer any positive proof that UFOs are
either alien spacecraft or a specific natural phenomenon,” the report
Most sightings, about four out of
five, occur at night, but reports of “daylight discs” accounted for 15.8
per cent of sightings last year.
Sightings in 2002 peaked during the
months of July and August, but also in February, according to the
report, a pattern that held true in the northwest.
The typical UFO sighting is witnessed
by two people, suggesting the witnesses are actually seeing something
real, the survey says.
The report assigns a “strangeness”
rating between one and nine to each sighting, with nine being the
The 2002 survey’s average strangeness
rating is 3.6 — which is not very strange at all, the report says.
“Hollywood-style Flying saucers are,
in reality, relatively uncommon in UFO reports.”