Published Wednesday, May 15, 2013 8:38PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 16, 2013 6:45AM EDT
Canadians reported nearly 2,000 sightings of unidentified flying objects last year, setting a new record a national survey found.
The annual Canadian UFO Survey found that Canadians reported seeing 1,981 UFOs in 2012, nearly doubling the previous record of 1,004 that was set in 2008.
The annual survey, complied by the Manitoba-based research group UFOlogy, was released earlier this week. The survey marks the 24th year the group has tracked UFO sightings in Canada.
According to the group, Ontario residents reported seeing the most UFOs, with more than 40 per cent of all sightings in the country occurring in the province.
Canadians captured videos and images of supposed UFOs and posted them online.
In one video posted to YouTube, a strange green light appears above Winnipeg.
The man who captured the video says Winnipeg may be part of a wider extraterrestrial corridor.
“Like highways, you know … and maybe we’re in the middle of one highway,” Eduardo Pogorelsky said.
If UFO spotters are to be believed, five Canadian cities are the top UFO hotspots: Toronto, Calgary, Kelowna, Winnipeg and Vancouver.
Reports of the sightings ranged from flying saucers in British Columbia, to dark guitar-shaped objects in Ontario
Then there was one very strange case in Newfoundland, UFOlogy research coordinator Chris Rutkowski told CTV News.
“A number of people had watched a glowing object move from side to side in the sky, and then dash away very, very quickly,” he said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Rutkowski told CTV News Channel that for years the number of UFO sightings in Canada had remained fairly constant.
“We thought that they had plateaued or peaked a few years ago, when there were about 1,000 cases reported in Canada. But last year they jumped 100 per cent: 2,000 reports in Canada alone,” he said.
Rutkowski said the research group tracks UFO sightings because it is a fairly common phenomenon, with roughly 10 per cent of Canadians believing that they’ve seen them.
“Now whether we’re looking at a physical phenomenon or perhaps a sociological or a psychological phenomenon, the fact is that people are seeing things,” he said, adding that most of the reported sightings can be explained after further investigation.
He said only around seven-and-a-half per cent of the cases remain unexplained out of the entire body of data.
Experts say there are a number of possible explanations behind the sudden surge in sightings, including more secret military exercises, an increase in reporting due to greater access to computers or an increase in the public’s interest in space.
Manitoba Museum astronomer Scott Young said that people often can’t recognize everyday objects in the sky such as stars, meteorites or flocks of geese.
“Sometimes people say it’s a black triangle with lights around the edge,” Young said. “But they’re high enough up that you can’t hear them and you can’t see what they are. They just look like little dots moving back and forth.”
Rutkowski said that after interviewing witnesses and scouting locations, many of the reported sightings could be explained.
However, he said, there are cases that the research group couldn’t explain, forcing them to “scientifically shrug” their shoulders and say: “We don’t know.”
He said he believes that there probably is life out there somewhere. “The truth is out there, but unfortunately we’re stuck down here,” he said.
Here’s a map showing the UFO sightings for 2012. All information taken from UFOlogy.
With a report by CTV News’ Winnipeg Bureau Chief Jill Macyshon