If you’ve ever done even a cursory search on UFOs, chances are you’ve come across that mythical American investigation, Project Blue Book. It officially ran from 1952 until 1969, at which point the infamous Condon Report denied any scientific basis to UFOs and the US Air Force shut down its investigation. Depending who you talk to, the American projects remain shrouded in mystery and intrigue. I imagine even the most diehard skeptics would be forced to admit that the US probably still has classified documents they’re not yet willing to release. Who knows what they might contain.
But as interesting as all that is, what excites me more is the fact that we Canadians also have UFO documents. And quite a lot of them too. Approximately 10,000 of them, all housed at the national archives in Ottawa. I know this, because I currently have copies of every single page sitting on a hard drive on my desk. And I currently have several ATIP requests in for several hundred (or even thousand) more. When I tell people what my dissertation project is, one of the most common responses is: “I didn’t even realize Canada had a UFO archive.” Last time I was at Library and Archives Canada, I told an archivist that I was studying Canada’s UFO documents, and was authoritatively told: “Well, this isn’t serious work.” There may have been a tentative question mark tacked onto the end of that statement.
In truth, it’s not really an archive at all. More like a keyword search. Those 10,000 documents are spread around all over the place, but are clustered mainly in Department of National Defence and RCMP files. They start around 1945 and go all the way to the mid-1990s, when it seems the Canadian government had had enough, and stopped collecting reports of UFO sightings. There are sighting reports galore. Thousands of them. And they run the gamut from hilarious to baffling to downright boring. Continue reading