There were 1,180 UFO sightings reported in 2013, or about three each day, according to the Canadian UFO Survey, an annual survey released Tuesday by Winnipeg-based UFOlogy Research of Manitoba.
It is the second-highest number recorded in Canada in the past 25 years. The peak year was 2012, when almost 2,000 reports were recorded.
The spike in 2012 was likely an anomaly due to many people excited about the so-called “end of the world” in 2012 according to the Mayan Calendar, and reporting many lights and objects as UFOs, suggested UFOlogy Research director Chris Rutkowski.
As for 2013, there are several theories for the surge in reports, Rutkowski suggested.
Among them:- More UFOs are present and physically observable by witnesses
- More secret or classified military exercises and overflights are occurring over populated areas
- More people are taking the time to observe their surroundings
- And more people are able to report their sightings with easier access to the Internet and portable technology.
Or perhaps, more people are simply searching for divine answers and catching a glimpse of something else, Rutkowski said.
"That the downturn in the economy is leading to an increased desire by some people to look skyward for assistance," he wrote in the survey report.
The results show many people continue to report unusual objects in the sky, and some of these objects do not have obvious explanations, Rutkowski stated in a press release.
"Many witnesses are pilots, police and other individuals with reasonably good observing capabilities and good judgment," he said.
CBC News reported last year that the Canadian government has given up chasing unidentified flying objects. Its various federal agencies, including Transport Canada, the RCMP and the Department of National Defence, used to track and investigate UFO sightings to some degree, but it's now up to civilian volunteers to report what's going on up in the sky.
Any information on UFO sightings received by the various agencies is now passed on to Rutkowski, a civilian science writer who has produced the Canadian UFO survey since 1989.