The Great White North has long been a hotbed of controversial UFO activity, especially those steel-grey skies of the northern regions of Canada, with sightings, abductions, and close encounters of numerous kinds revealed over the decades.
Now extreme extraterrestrial enthusiasts will have a vast wealth of additional material to pore over as Chris Rutkowski, a private collector and ufologist has recently donated over 30,000 flying saucer reports and studies conducted by private citizens and the Canadian government to the University of Manitoba.
The venerable Winnipeg learning institution's Archives and Special Collections department now has this massive collection to organize and digitize well into the new year, and has even launched a special crowdfunding campaign to help accomplish this Herculean effort.
Rutkowski's generous donation includes over 20,000 UFO-related reports logged and filed over the past 30 years, in addition to more than 10,000 UFO-centric documents obtained from the U.S. and Canadian governments. The lion's share of these eerie papers and evidence concerns the notorious Falcon Lake Incident from 1967, one of the strangest and best-studied UFO cases in the world.
This unexplained event occurred on May 20, 1967 and concerns an amateur geologist named Stefan Michalak, who was reportedly doing some quartz prospecting near Manitoba's frigid Falcon Lake area. While casually surveying the landscape's geology, Michalak was startled by a flock of frightened geese when he witnessed a pair of glowing, cigar-shaped craft in the spring sky. One object quickly vanished and the second gently touched down on a rocky plateau close by.
Venturing closer, he experienced loud humming and whirring inside the craft and burned his gloves when touching its polished surface. Suddenly a grid-like rectangle of tiny holes in the ship's exterior sprayed his stomach with hot gas, resulting in Michalak's treatment for burns and welts at a Winnipeg hospital. After relaying the incident to U.S. and Canadian authorities, he passed a physical and psychological evaluation at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota with no explanation of what caused his injuries.
"There are two major components to this collection which are of particular interest: the Falcon Lake UFO files and the annual reports," Dr. Shelley Sweeney, Head of the University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections tells SYFY WIRE. "The Falcon Lake incident is one of the most remarkable UFO encounters in Canada, and the files consist of sketches, photographs, RCMP documents and realia, including the shirt and hat that were burned during the takeoff of the UFO, and some of the debris found at the site.
"In addition to the materials on this one incident, there are more than 20,000 separate UFO reports filed with various agencies since 1989 and almost 10,000 Canadian government UFO documents. Taken together, these 30,000 UFO records constitute an unparalleled snapshot of unofficial and official reports that will be a bonanza for researchers interested in the phenomena."
These rare documents and physical evidence are invaluable pieces to the ongoing research into the fringe culture and speculative science of UFOs, and the arrangement and cataloging of this huge, newly donated collection should keep students and scientists busy well into the new decade.
Until then, watch the skies!