1967 would see several high-profile UFO encounters across the US, Canada and much of Europe. Encounters that had such an effect, some are still remembered and even celebrated today. However, despite the US government, in particular, having had a vast amount of resources directed towards the study of such sightings at the time, they seemingly downplayed this “wave” instead of performing any kind of systematic investigation. As these sightings, as we know now, were stacking up privately and isolated from each other in 1967, there were “open debates” taking place in US Congress, with serious arguments from highly educated and respected figures, for the most part, on both sides. Despite this, no connections or interlocking study was made.
Although exact figures vary marginally, there were over 4,000 sightings of UFOs in the United States alone in 1967, compared with a little over 1,000 reports in the second busiest year of 1966. Of the many reports in 1967, more than a hundred would speak of contact or sightings of “humanoid” entities, presumably extraterrestrials. Despite all this, it would appear this “openness” was a convenient way of drawing attention away from the real prize, and ultimately of taking an official stance of dismissing the validity of such claims and leading to often offered, but highly dubious explanations such as swamp gas or weather balloons.
Before we look at some of those lesser-known encounters, we will first look at two such incidents that made their way through the apparent purposeful containment of what appears to be a remarkably important year in terms of UFO sightings. And each of them would unfold north of the American border, in Canada.
The Falcon Lake Incident, May 1967
Sometimes referred to as the Michalak Encounter, the events of 20th May 1967 are still spoken of and researched today. In 2017, there were even public celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the incident.
On the day in question, 51-year-old mechanic, Stefan Michalak, was roaming in the rocky, woodlands near Falcon Lake in search of rare, valuable, or just interesting minerals. He was within the boundaries of Whiteshell Provincial Park in the Manitoba region of Canada, and around eighty miles from his home in Winnipeg. As he was examining what he believed to be quartz crystal, he suddenly noticed a cacophony of noise from the wildlife around him. He looked upwards, and through the trees, he could clearly see two glowing red, oval-shaped objects. What’s more, they were heading his way with alacrity.
One of the objects would come to rest on an outcrop of rocks around 160-feet from where he stood. The other would hover over him at a distance of approximately 15-feet. It then shot upwards into the air with great speed.
The object on the rocks remained where it was, as did Michalak. He noticed a “great heat” filling the air around him. The object would change colors several times. Going from red, to gray and then to a “hot stainless steel, with a golden glow around it!”
After around thirty minutes, a door opened.
A “Maze Of Lights” Inside
Later describing the door as “square but with round edges”, Michalak would state that a “brilliant purple light” would come from inside the craft. He also felt “wafts of warm air” washing over him, as well as the distinct smell of sulfur. This last point is particularly interesting as it is often found within many such close contact reports.
He could also hear a high buzzing sound like a “tiny electric motor running very fast!” He made his way towards the craft. The nearer he got, the more he could make out what he eventually realized were voices. They sounded human, if very high-pitched.
He called out in several different languages, including English, Russian, French, Italian, and Ukrainian in an effort to communicate. All went unanswered. He moved closer to the strange craft, now so close he could touch it. Placing on his protective glasses he used for chipping rocks, he made the decision to look inside. Taking a breath, he reached his head inside the doorway.
A “maze of lights” would greet him, some flashing repeatedly. There were also “direct beams running in horizontal and diagonal paths”. To him, there appeared to be no design or pattern to the lights, which seemed to be “working in a random fashion!” He turned his attention to the ground, noticing no seams or joins on it, or from the walls above. Again, this is a detail that arises in many such UFO cases.
Just as he was about to look closer, the ship “tilted” somewhat.
Intense Burns and Ill Health
The tilt caused one of the machines on the craft to make contact with his chest. He instantly felt an intense searing pain on his torso. Of even more concern was his glove, which had melted from his hand, and his shirt was in flames. He fell away from the craft, removing the shirt as he did so. He noticed the craft had risen slightly from the ground. Then, as a rush of hot air hit him, the object vanished upwards.
Machalak took a moment to gather his thoughts. Confused and in great pain, he began to make his way to his vehicle parked on the highway. He would drive to Misericordia Hospital where he was treated for severe chest burns. He would also report the encounter to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), although they would do little more than make a basic report.
When local media and radio became aware of the incident, however, several UFO investigators would descend on the area eager to talk with Michalak and investigate the incident further. Michalak himself still had a bizarre “checkered burn mark” on his chest, presumably where he fell against the machinery inside. Michalak remained severely ill for several weeks following the incident. He would suffer from intense nausea and struggled to keep any food in his system. He would also develop nasty blisters on his torso several weeks after the incident, as well as a bizarre rash that ran in a V-shape from his ears to his chest.
Investigation Of The Landing Site
Although his health would return to normal after a month or so, he would suffer “flare-ups” of ill-health for some time. In September of 1967, for example, he would attend hospital again due to several strange, large spots appearing on his torso, as well as an intense “burning feeling” around his neck and chest. Furthermore, he would suffer random episodes of dizziness and his joints around his hands would swell considerably.
After initially showing little interest in his account, following pressure from UFO researchers as well as the general interest in the case by the public, the RCMP, and the Canadian Air Force would investigate the matter more seriously. During this investigation, Michalak, along with investigators and an electrical engineer, would locate the site of the incident. To the surprise of everyone, a clear “outline of the ship” remained on the ground for all to see.
They would also recover the remains of the burnt shirt that Michalak had ripped from his back after falling back from the craft. It was noticed that the trees and plants in the immediate vicinity of the landing spot of the craft were withered and dead.
Ultimately, the incident at Falcon Lake remains a mystery, but many in UFO fields regard Michalak as a very credible witness, and his story authentic and genuine. Michalak passed away in October 1999, 32 years after the incident, at the age of 83.
The Shag Harbor Encounter, October 1967
Just under six months later, on 4th October 1967, came a sighting over Nova Scotia at Shag Harbor. Furthermore, the sighting was witnessed by several RCMP as well as numerous residents.
In the early evening, several reports would come into the RCMP switchboard from residents around Shag Harbor. All would state the same thing, that a plane had crashed into the waters. As concerned locals, fishermen, and the police themselves gathered around the harbor to investigate and assist any survivors, the night took a strange and fascinating turn.
Reports through the chatter of the gathered residents began to reach the RCMP at the scene. An object, around sixty feet in length was witnessed moving rapidly through the sky. It then descended with great speed into the waters, making a “bright splash” as it cut the surface. For a short while, a “single white light” emerged from below the water. In an effort to reach the craft, several of the fishermen prepared their boats and took the RCMP officers to the spot in the water where the craft was last seen.
As they made their way through the cold waters, a “thick, glittery, yellow foam” was present on the surface. Strange bubbles also exploded calmly around their boats. No survivors were discovered, however, and an underwater search of the waters over the following days would yield no sign of wreckage.
That something entered the waters that night is beyond doubt. Whether it was a purposeful entry or indeed a crash, and what it was, are all still unsolved.
Multiple Witnesses To “Something” Over Nova Scotia
A report from Captain Pierre Charbounneau as he piloted Air Canada Flight 305 to Toronto would seem to confirm something was in the skies over the area that evening. He would state to seeing a “brilliantly lit, rectangular object” at 7:15 pm which was moving along a parallel course to theirs. Several moments later he observed two silent explosions, separated by a minute or so, come from the craft. It then “faded to a blue cloud around the object!”
Captain Leo Howard, from his fishing vessel on the waters of Shag Harbor, would appear to offer corroboration to Charbounneau’s account. As he stood at the wheelhouse of the boat, he suddenly noticed four stationary blips on the radar. He turned his gaze from the screen to the window and in the sky were four “bright objects” in a rectangle shape. All of the crew, just short of twenty fishermen, were also witness to the sighting.
Multiple witnesses would also report sightings similar to that of Darrel Dorey. Along with his mother and sister, Dorey sat on the porch of their house in nearby Mahone Bay. Suddenly, a large rectangular object came into view, heading in the direction of Shag Harbor.
As the RCMP, and in turn the Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) had exhausted all possible explanations for the incident, the file would land with Royal Canadian Air Force as a UFO incident. They would send a team of divers to investigate the waters. They would spend two full days doing so before, officially at least, declaring nothing was discovered.
The ’67 Canadian Wave
Although these two incidents received much attention, during and in the years after, 1967 was simply awash with such incidents. Furthermore, as we will look at shortly, they stretched well beyond the boundaries of the Canadian border.
Less than two weeks before the Falcon Lake incident, on 7th May, in Edmonton, five young boys would witness a round object with a separate top and bottom that spun with red and green lights. The main witness, 14-year-old, Rocky Banyard, would later state how he and his friends watched the object for four hours, keeping it in their sight with binoculars. It was about 200-feet up and would emit a “white ribbon of light” which lit up the ground below. Eventually, a whistling noise began and then the “screaming” of a jet engine before the object vanished into the sky. When investigators examined the site of the alleged sighting, they discovered “char marks” on the road below.
On 3rd June on Lake Nipissing in Ontario, a buoy tender witnessed strange green and white lights on the water. Thinking a boat was in distress, he headed towards them. As he neared the lights, they suddenly emerged from the water, and “with a whoosh” vanished into the night sky.
Ten days later in Caledonia, a night shift worker, Carmen Cuneo, would report two objects descending down towards the scrap heap at the factory where he worked. Furthermore, Cuneo would witness three “small humanoid figures” wearing “miner’s hats with small lights on” examining the ground underneath the crafts. They did this for ten minutes before entering the ships, which disappeared quickly and silently. Investigation of the scene discovered burn marks and a strange oily liquid.
UFO Activity Over The Tracks
On 13th October, just nine days following the apparent crash at Shag Harbor came a claim of a UFO pursuing a freight train in Alberta. The incident occurred at 1:50 am when engineer, William Benwick, noticed a strange object flying alongside them 100 yards away. Several other crew members witnessed the strange incident also. They were moving around 50 miles per hour for the duration of the sighting. On occasion, the object would “dive” at them, before moving away again just as quickly. When they stopped at a station to unload one of their carts, the object simply hovered above.
A similar incident took place in the Wentworth Valley in Nova Scotia on 25th October, when rear brakeman for Canadian National Railways, Raymond Putman, opened the door of his carriage between Halifax and Moncton to get some fresh air, witnessed an object flying alongside them. It appeared as though a glowing, green vapor escaped the object as it moved. He continued to watch, fascinated with what he was seeing. Suddenly, a military jet appeared out of the sky and seemed to descend on the craft. The object changed shape into a “cloudy cigar shape” and disappeared with the jet giving chase. Putman, incidentally, would suffer from flu-like symptoms and swollen, irritated eyes for months after.
Perhaps one of the strangest encounters was that of 13-year-old, David Seewalt, who went “missing” for nearly 45 minutes while walking home, saying he had “been chased by a flying saucer!” After suffering nightmares for several months, the young boy was regressed hypnotically. He would state a UFO had caught him in an “orange beam”. Once on board, several creatures with crocodile-like “rough brown skin” examined him. They then beamed him back to the ground to a field near his home.
Sightings Across The United States
Sightings of UFOs were equally abundant across the United States during 1967. On 9th January in Malta, Montana, after their dog’s excited barking alerted them to something out of the ordinary taking place, an entire family would witness a “large rectangular object”, which glowed red along the bottom and amber along the top, flying low to the ground near their home. Despite how low it was, no sound came from the glowing craft. It would eventually land in a nearby field. It remained there for around an hour, glowing red. Then, without warning, it would shoot directly up into the air at breathtaking speed.
Just short of two weeks later in Methuen, Massachusetts, three teenage girls were driving alongside a field when a “string of nine or ten bright red lights”, themselves part of a solid object, moved over the field. The girls pulled the car to the side of the road to watch the lights. When they attempted to start the vehicle again, however, it stalled. The headlights and the radio were also dead. The object would suddenly leap into the blackness of the sky and vanish. The car would start shortly after.
On the morning of 2nd March over the skies of the White Sands Missile Range in Alamogordo, New Mexico, sightings of “silver specks” would lead to two military jets launching from Holloman Air Force Base to intercept. Radar operators also confirmed the presence of a foreign object in the sky. The silver discs would vanish from sight when the jets approached.
The following evening in Red Hill, New Hampshire, a husband and wife witnessed a dark disc-shaped craft twice the size of their car, following their vehicle from overhead. It would change from a bright white color to a blue-green before vanishing upwards.
Strange Lights From Coast To Coast
On 1st April in Fishing Creek Valley in Pennsylvania, three children were witness to a sphere with two antennae and a halo that changed color. It would drop to the ground hovering at a level of around forty feet, projecting a bright beam all around as if searching the area. It then disappeared in an instant.
While traveling home near Key Largo, Florida in the early hours of the 21st July, two sisters noticed a bizarre yellow light emerge in front of them from the swamp area. It began to descend in front of the car. Before it was directly in their path, however, it veered to the right. It would eventually land on a roadside sand dune. The girls continued driving, noticing the light becoming dimmer and dimmer. Then, it suddenly shot upwards and was behind their vehicle once more. It soon vanished into the distance, but the young girls would report the incident to the authorities. The following day, a search unit went to the location and discovered “a scorched area” on the ground.
Nine days later, on the other side of the country in Kernville, California, at the China Lake military facility, strange “yellow star-like” objects were witnessed visually and on radar. They would perform circular movements at breathtaking speed.
On 6th October radar operators at Vandenburg Air Force Base would detect, on radar, a “large stationary object” over the Pacific Ocean off the Northern California coast. Even stranger, shortly after first detecting the object, numerous smaller objects emerged from the large craft, traveling in numerous directions. On 11th November, Cleveland Air Traffic Control Center would track an unknown object for nearly ninety minutes, traveling from Eire, Ohio, to Buffalo, New York. It would vanish ten miles before arriving over the city.
The Mini 1967 UFO Wave Of England
Beginning in late-August 1967 and continuing into the following month, reports of UFO sightings around England would begin to reach newspapers and police stations in abundance.
The first sighting report would appear in the ‘The Evening Sentinel’ courtesy of the 18-year-old unnamed witness. According to the report, as the young man was walking over the canal bridge in Shelton on the evening of 28th August, he would witness “two bright orange lights hanging motionless in the sky!” Each of the lights was the same size and both were an oval shape. Even stranger, there was no noise whatsoever from these mysterious orbs.
The following day, in Newcastle, a 17-year-old girl and three friends would report their sighting of “two red lights traveling at great speed”. They were driving from Newcastle to Nantwich and were just outside their home city when they witnessed the objects. The lights were quite low down. So much so that the four young ladies at first thought they were the headlights of another vehicle. They then vanished from view in a flash.
Two days later, on 31st August, a story appeared regarding a cluster of sightings in various locations. A woman in Smallthorne claimed to see a “bright orange light” hovering over houses on a residential estate. She would add that the “light seemed to be revolving” and made “absolutely no noise!”
A young girl and her parents witnessed three objects hanging over Hanley High School for several moments the following day. They would remain silent before moving off into the distance. The following evening, an unnamed housewife would report seeing three saucer-shaped crafts landing on the school field.
RAF Ternhill offered a rather ambiguous explanation that they were “dropping flares” to assist pilots landing at night.
Just What Was Going On Overhead In 1967?
The sightings we have touched on here are but a tiny fraction of the sightings that are on record. It is probably safe to say that for each of the thousands of sightings on record for 1967, at least an equal amount would go unreported through fear of ridicule, intimidation, or both.
And, at a time when the US authorities, in particular, had arguably more feet on the ground in terms of investigating such sightings, it is strange that a thorough analysis as to why UFO sightings suddenly quadrupled overnight didn’t happen. And then seemingly leveled back out to pre-1967 annual levels. Was this intentional? Did the US government, as is usually the accusation, know a lot more than they let on publicly? Were they themselves involved, whether directly through secret aviation tests or indirectly through prior knowledge?
Or might the increase in sightings have to do with a natural phenomenon that we are yet to understand? Some cosmic circumstance that allowed for increased travel from one end of the universe to the other? And if that was the case, why did those who might have taken advantage of such phenomena feel the need to maintain such visits to our planet? What was the ultimate purpose? Reconnaissance? Materials of importance to them? After all, Earth is rich in varied minerals, metals, and not to mention water. Or might these UFO waves have agendas that are not only unknown to us but also not at all beneficial? Only further study and research will provide a satisfactory answer. And we may find that the year 1967 to be a key piece to the overall puzzle. Even if we don’t yet understand why.