The Place Bonaventure Incident And Montreal’s Long UFO History

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
June 1, 2017
Last Updated
October 14, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
7 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Cover-Ups

The UFO sighting from the rooftop of the Place Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Montreal in 1990 is one of many strange aerial sightings in this part of Canada. On that particular evening, dozens of people would witness the object. These would include journalists, television reporters, police officers, and RCMP officials.

Place Bonaventure.

Place Bonaventure.

Given both the amount and credibility of the witnesses, as well as photographic evidence of the object’s presence, the incident is largely seen as one of the most credible and important sightings not only in Canadian history but arguably all of ufology. Perhaps no surprise then that the files concerning the case became classified top secret within a day of the sighting.

Montreal itself is considered a hot-spot for UFO activity. There have been several notable sightings there, before and after the encounter in 1990. Before we look at some of those, however, check out the short video clip below. It looks at the increase in UFO sightings in Canada, a trend, as we will see, is the same worldwide.

Sighting From The Rooftop!

At just after 7:20 pm on 7th November 1990, a woman in the swimming pool on the roof of the Place Bonaventure Hotel [1] noticed strange glowing lights in the skies above. Shining a combination of green, amber, and yellow, the lights appeared part of solid, large craft. It moved silently towards them, coming from the direction of the nearby Stock Market Building. It settled directly over them, remaining silent and motionless.

Before long, around thirty people, including hotel staff and management, had made their way to the hotel’s roof. All of them stood in awe at the magnificent sight above them.

One of those on the roof that evening was Marcel Laroche. [2] He arrived at just after 9 pm, when the object had been visible for nearly two hours. The photographs he managed to obtain are still regarded by some as proof that this was definitely a solid object.

On occasion, the lights on the object would appear to glow brighter. Fearing this might be some kind of warning or preemptive signal, hotel management would contact the police. Officer Francois Lippe was the first to arrive at the hotel. Within minutes he would contact his superiors to come and look for themselves what was above the city of Montreal.

No Radar Confirmation?

The chief police officer, Robert Masson, arrived at the scene and immediately saw the object in question. It appeared exactly as the report requesting his assistance had stated.

He told a Canadian TV show examining the case in 2005, “I am convinced that I saw something that wasn’t made by any inhabitants of this planet. There’s no doubt in my mind it came from somewhere else (other) than Earth!”

Massey would oversee initial police activity that evening until the arrival of RCMP officers. Nearby spotlights that lit up a construction project across the road from the hotel were turned off. The object in the sky was still visible, ruling out that it might have been a bizarre reflection of them.

Masson would make contact with both the local airport and a nearby military radar facility. Neither could see the object on radar, although Masson would later state that he had the feeling the person in the military was “hiding something from him”, and not being completely honest in his answers.

At one point in the evening, a cargo plane – visible on the radar of the airport – passed between the roof of the hotel and the object above. Knowing the cargo plane was flying at 6000 feet, this allowed Masson to estimate that the object itself would be around 8,000 to 10,000 feet above the ground. Given how large it appeared, he could now estimate its size. Masson would state years later that the size of it “would have been around five full football fields!”

Suspiciously Classified Files

The cloud, already thick in the early evening, continued to thicken as the night went on. So much so, that at just after 10 pm, clouds completely enveloped the object. How long it remained over Montreal after that is unknown. But the fact that something was over Montreal that evening is without a doubt.

Perhaps it is a little suspicious then that all records of the encounter, including police statements, became classified within twenty-four hours of the sighting. Does this further prove Masson’s suspicions that the person he spoke with at the military radar facility was “hiding something” from him?

Given the amount of witnesses to the event, we can’t dismiss the incident entirely. However, it has quietly disappeared from the public interest without explanation. You have to assume there must be an explanation for the events that evening if the files are still classified.

Interestingly, UFO researcher and former NASA scientist, Dr. Richard Haines, investigated the incident in 1992. His twenty-five-page report would conclude that “evidence for the existence of a highly unusual, hovering, silent large object is indisputable!”

The video below looks at the incident in a little more detail.

Many Other Recent Sightings In Montreal

Very recently in October 2014, thousands of viewers would see a strange glowing green orb [3] during a live TVA broadcast. Reporter, Colette Provencher, is speaking to the camera when the object is clearly visible on the left side of the screen. Interestingly, the same evening reports would come from Ontario, and as far as New Jersey of similar glowing orbs.

You can check out the short clip below that shows the appearance.

Only the previous year in 2013, a report of “three orange lights” moving back and forth in a “weird manner” surfaced. In June 2012, a daytime sighting occurred as Montreal resident, Scott Waring, filmed a “strange red object” that appeared to float in the sky. Waring managed to film the object for several minutes, although he would claim it was visible for nearly three-quarters-of-an-hour. At times the object would change from red to black and back again. It would also move both “with and against the wind” suggesting it was under independent and intelligent control.

Check out the video below which shows some of the footage Waring captured that afternoon.

On September 30th, 2012, Dr. Cleve Ziegler would report a strange sparkling object in the night sky while driving home. Upon exiting his vehicle, he noticed “many little sparkly red and blue lights” [4] and also that the object was “changing shape!”

Zeigler would contact the police to make his report. They would hold a brief investigation but would close it almost immediately. The official explanation offered that the object was “likely manmade!” For his part, Zeigler insisted that although he was not a believer in extra-terrestrial life, he knows he saw “something other-worldly!”

The Mount Royal Sighting, 1985

In April 1985, a report would appear concerning a sighting of a UFO by a middle-aged woman known only as “Mildred!” [5]

Mildred, along with her husband, awoke suddenly at 1 am to the sound of “hundreds of firecrackers” exploding over their house. The pair leaped from their bed and across to their bedroom window. Their house lay opposite Jarry Park, which was now glowing brightly from “a fiery red ball low in the sky!” The object would move “deliberately” to the northeast of the city.

Mildred would later tell reporters that the object had a “beehive-effect” and the sky lit up for around ninety minutes. As well as the firecracker sounds were the uncomfortable noise like “static from hundreds of radios!”

Incidentally, Dorval Airport would receive two separate reports of a red “oval-like” object that evening. The reports came in between 11 pm and 1 am suggesting that it was likely the same object that Mildred had seen.

In the opening days of January 1977, came the “first major” official UFO report in Montreal’s history. Fifty-eight-year-old Florida Malbouef [6]

would witness a large “oyster-shaped” craft moving through the sky. Even stranger, according to Malbouef, the craft landed but sixty feet away on the top of a nearby building. Two tall, thin beings, each dressed in “tight white uniforms” exited the craft, surveyed the area for several moments, before returning to their vehicle and taking off again.

The whole area was under a blanket of snow at the time. The following morning, Malbouef informed her son of the encounter. Upon investigating the building where his mother had seen the craft, he saw a circle of the snow had vanished. Further to this, he could clearly see strange footprints in the snow near to the circle.

Marc Leduc’s Claims of UFO Fleets and Strange Predictions

In February 1978 a story appeared in the Montreal Gazette [7] regarding a report of an entire fleet of UFOs. The sighting occurred five years earlier in 1973. According to the witness, UFO investigator, Marc Leduc, after receiving dozens of reports of lights in the skies over Montreal, and investigating for himself, he noticed a “legion of strange lights” that moved “as fast as shooting stars!”

What’s more, Leduc, who has a reputation for brutally discrediting many UFO sightings, would claim the following twelve months was to be a “busy year” for such activity. Incidentally, he would be quite correct, with many sightings not just in Canada, but worldwide. There were several abduction cases from the United Kingdom, strange sightings in Australia and New Zealand, as well as generally increased reports of activity in the United States.

The following month in Montreal, in March 1978, two people camping by Lake Baskatong [8] would witness a strange object “hurtle out of the sky” and then hover over the lake for around thirty seconds. The petrified campers did manage to capture a picture of the object, but the conditions and the time of night made it impossible to distinguish any features.

Whether we should believe Leduc’s claims or not is open to debate. UFO sightings, however, have increased steadily year on year. A report in February 2017 would even state that such sightings are at an “all-time high”, [9] with the increase beginning at the end of the 1970s. Interestingly or not, along with the US, UK, Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand, Canada ranks as having many more sightings than the most areas of the world.


1 1990: UFO phenomenon over Montreal, CBC
2 Large Stationary Object Over Montreal, Caelestia
3 A Mysterious Unidentified “Green Orb” Appeared Over Montreal On Live TV Thursday Night, Michael D’Alimonte, Montreal Blog, October 3rd, 2014
4 UFOs in Montreal? Strange sights reported, CBC News
5 UFO Clerk Blasé About Sightings, Montreal Gazette, April 17th, 1985 (page 5),2471234&hl=en
6 Ms. Florida Malboeuf has Direct Alien Encounter in Her Montreal Home, World History Project
7 Many Close Encounters Predicted For Montreal, Christopher Bain, February 1st, 1978 (page 35),180259&hl=en
8 2 Campers Report UFO Photographs, Toledo Blade, March 14th, 1978 (page 4),6057275&hl=en
9 UFO sightings are at an all-time high, Jessica Brown, Indy 100, February 23rd, 2017

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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