Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Canadian UFO Wave (1966-67) (part 3)

This case study is taking much longer than anticipated, as I have been quite busy in my “day job”. In any event, this post provides a short commentary about the Global observation system, in order to situate the Canadian layer. Then, it proposes a short analysis of one of the six main clusters found about the UFO wave over Canada in 1966-67. The other clusters will be analyzed in additional postings.

Global observation system

Before discussing the Canadian observation systems and what was observed, it is important to underline that the first layer of any analysis should be the global observation system. In 1966-1967 there was no global observation system per se, but there was extensive worldwide news shared through an automated telex network running on both phone lines and increasingly on microwave towers. If news agencies reported on UFOs, then such information was available quickly around the world. The 1960s were also the years of tumultuous social change around the world. The post-colonial regimes in the developing world were still trying to establish themselves and make sense of this emerging “brave new world”. In the Western world, there was a major cultural revolution occurring. The outcome of this revolution was, as we now know, a shift from conservative towards more liberal values and norms. Needless to say, it was a major identify shift in the collective psyche. From a social unconscious perspective, these changes in identity were providing enabling conditions for social psi effects to occur on a global scale.

As noted before in previous posts, the level of solar electromagnetic activity appears to be related to UFO waves.[1] However, this correlation is less than clear when it is looked at more closely. For instance, during the 1952 wave, solar activity was in the decline phase of the solar cycle 18, while the 1954 European wave occurred during a low sunspot period between cycle 18 and 19. Yet, the 1947 wave occurred during the last part of the ascending phase of cycle 18. As one can see, the correlation is difficult to establish. But it is still noteworthy to underline that the 1966-67 UFO wave occurred in similar conditions to the one of 1947, i.e. in the last part of an ascending phase of a solar cycle. As well, the Belgian UFO wave of 1989 also occurred during the ascending phase of solar cycle 22. And for those interested in the December 2012 story, note that the time period is also the one where the solar cycle 24 will be ascending near the maxima of sunspots. Please see charts below.

From, and the NASA chart from

Solar Terrestrial Activity Report at:

In any events, the physical enabling factors linked to solar activities remain undetermined. But if there is a major UFO wave in 2011-2012, then this would give us 4 data points pointing towards a possible physical enabling effect linked to a particular phase of the solar cycle, and occurring at every other solar cycle (18, 20, 22, and 24). However, let’s underlined that such social and physical effects, in view of the Generalized Quantum Theory, are only enablers for the sub-systems; they do not determine how such sub-systems will behave. Hence, from a global observation system perspective, all that can be said at this point is that there were social and possibly physical enabling conditions for a UFO wave in 1966-1967.

UFO clusters in Canada in 1966

The Canadian public observation system was already in place in 1947, as there were UFO reports produced by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Department of National Defence (DND). The first attempt to provide a wider overview of the phenomenon was a “one-man” authorized initiative led by the civil servant Wilbert Smith, known as project Magnet in the 1950s. Smith became a firm believer that UFOs were of extra-terrestrial origins, but his project was shut down for lack of evidence. Smith, however, was allowed to use government scientific equipment to continue his investigation outside work hours. Smith passed away in 1962. A parallel project called Second Storey was created by a mix group of scientists and military personnel to review UFO cases in government hands. This last project did not lead either to any substantive conclusion about the nature of the UFO phenomenon, but it was considered as being not a major threat to national security and it was also shut down. [2]

By the 1960s, the public observation system was not unified, as reports were received by a number of different agencies like the RCMP, DND, National Research Council (NRC), and the Department of Transportation (DOT, but now known as Transport Canada). The formal transfer of files from DND to the NRC, and the enrolment of University of Toronto professors in 1967 led to as close as it could be to a unified public overview of the UFO phenomenon. This was never match in Canada ever since. The UFO phenomenon, then, got the attention of some important people. On 5 April 1966, in a now declassified Cabinet memorandum, the Prime Minister Pearson asked to be briefed on the UFO phenomenon given the “interest shown in Parliament”.[3] From a parasociological standpoint, the phenomenon was able to attract the attention of the state. But how it occurred is more interesting, yet difficult to fully assess.

The “public” summer 1966 Maritime mini wave

The first observable concentration of effects occurred in the Maritime Provinces (namely New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) in 1966 between 16 June and 8 August, at a time where the Prime Minister of Canada had shown an interested in UFOs. The sightings can be described like many RSPK effects, where there is a mixture of known and unknown causes attributed to the phenomenon. The sightings of June 16, 1966 in Glace Bay is likely to be a flare[4], the Penticton sightings of July 21 was described as a fireball[5], the Moncton sighting of July 22 was interpreted as a balloon, and the July 28 sighting at Summerside Canadian Forces Base was construed also as a fireball[6]. It appears that there is here a mixture of honest mistakes that could synchronistic in nature and earthlights sightings.

These events occurred around the same time of two unusual sightings. The first one occurred on July 22 near Fredericton and was described by some as a ball of light, and as a triangular stationary object by others, yet at a height where jets would normally fly.[7] The second one occurred on the same date over Halifax, which was perceived as a cigar by some and as a triangle by others and descended quite low. After verification no helicopters was in the area.[8] In both of these cases we have something quite strange, yet it cannot be confirmed either way as a normal or non-normal object. This is one of the key conditions for psi effects to occur according the Generalized Quantum Theory.

As von Lucadou underlined, “According to Rössler (1992), objects which cannot be labelled create non-classical properties. In spontaneous psi-experiences the number of possible semantic states is open but in experiments it is fixed by the experimental setting. [9] The implications is that spontaneous psi events must remain ambiguous in nature (i.e. cannot be confirmed either way; indeterminacy in the system must remain) for any psi effects to continue occurring. It is also interesting to note that this mini wave follows the same patterns as described in the MPI of increase, peak with very strange phenomenon, and then declines to disappear.

The next key question is to evaluate whether there is a parasociological field that can be linked to these events. The authorities were “informed” by the phenomena because it was observed by the public observation system, to include the last sighting at a military base. What could have been the possible symbolic message conveyed? Once more, such question can only be answered through the interpretative tools of the social sciences and humanities. But access to detailed data about older events is a significant challenge.

What can be said is that it is interesting to note both triangular sightings on July 22 occurred near the provincial capitals of both provinces involved (Fredericton for New Brunswick, and Halifax for Nova Scotia). This provides an interesting clue about the possible political nature of the symbolic message. Beyond that it requires in depth research on the local situation at the time, and about the local social unconscious, which is usually not discussed publically, and can only be hinted by various symbolic clues.

One possibility could be the identity tensions linked to the rise of official bilingualism in Canada. For instance, Prime Minister Pearson’s interest for UFO in Cabinet occurred a few days apart from his announcement in the Parliament in April 1966 that the Canadian government shall be officially bilingual. Similarly, the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism (also known as the Laurendeau-Dunton Commission) proposed that New Brunswick become officially bilingual. This became a reality in 1969 under the leadership of the Acadien Premier of New Brunswick Louis Robicheau.

The “private” summer 1966 mini wave in British Columbia

Around the same as the Maritime mini wave, there was one also occurring in British Columbia. But this cluster of close encounter identified for the summer 1966 was for the essential observed by the private system. At a more general level, however, this synchronicity of observations between the East and West coasts is interesting, as it gives an impression of a “coast-to-coast” message (coast-to-coast being Canada’s official motto, written in Latin on Canada’s Coat of Arms).

The cluster is made of a CE3 event that occurred in Qualicum Beach (on Vancouver Island) sometime in July 1966. The entities lit the witness, without creating an effect and then vanished. It can be said that the clusters started “strongly”, and had an ET flavour from a phenomenological standpoint. On 30 July, the NRC (so the public observation system) had one report from this cluster of a metallic grey circular object in Richmond, just south of Vancouver. On 2 August, a disc shape object is seen up-close in Vancouver by two different witnesses. Finally, on 6 August 1966 UFOs are seen in the sky of Esquimalt, on Vancouver Island. All the sightings occurred within a radius of 100Km, in the most populated area of BC (Vancouver area and the east coast of the Vancouver Island). It is also interesting to note that there was also a rash of Big Foot sightings in July 1966[10] mostly centered on Lulu Island/Richmond in the suburb of Vancouver.

Given the fragmented nature of the private observation system and the limited amount of data available for each case it is quite difficult to push the analysis much beyond this. It is especially unfortunate that the data is so limited that it is void of most if not all its symbolic clues. This reinforces the critique put forward by people like John Keel and Jacques Vallée about the importance of looking beyond the actual phenomenon when investigating UFOs. In this context, it is even more difficult to identify a possible parasociological cause to this concentration of sightings, as there is no symbolic lead that can be followed. If one looks at the key public events of 1966, there is nothing leading to any particular “parasociological dynamics”[11].


Investigating historical UFO cases from a parasociological standpoint is a difficult task because it requires detailed knowledge about the local life, issues, tensions, and challenges, which are likely to not be discussed at the time of the events because they are unconscious. The importance of seeking and recording symbolic leads cannot be overstressed if one is to make sense of UFO events.

At a more general level, however, a “coast-to-coast” symbolic signal could be observed, if one combines the data of both observation systems. This has interesting implications from a Generalized Quantum Theory perspective. This pragmatic information carried through a psi effect could not be observed by either observation system alone, and hence it could imply that these UFO events had multiple symbolic layers. It could have, at same time, one geared towards the individual witnesses, another that would be “regional” (observable by a particular system) and a “national” one (observable only as an indistinct and ongoing mass of sightings, or much after the fact by regrouping all the data together). To make an analogy, a psi pathway (as discussed in the theoretical framework posts) could work like a line of fibre optic where several signals can be sent simultaneously through different wavelength bands.

[1] See for instance, Foshufvud, Ragnar. (1980). “Unidentified flying objects – A physical phenomenon”. Pursuit 13(2); Poher, Claude and J. Vallée. (1975). “Basic patterns in UFO observations". Annual Conference of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautic, Pasadena, California, 20-22 January, and more generally studies on psi and electromagnetism (2003). Roll, William.G “Poltergeists, Electromagnetism and Consciousness.” Journal of Scientific Exploration 17(1): 75–86; Etzold, Eckhard. (2005). “Solar-periodic full moon effect in the Fourmilab retropsychokinesis project experiment data: An exploratory study”. Journal of Paraspychology 69(2): 233-261.

[2] For a detailed account of projects Magnet and Second Storey, please refer to Bray, Arthur. (1979). The UFO Connection. Ottawa: Jupiter Publishing.







[9] Lucadou Walter von, Hartmann Römer, and Harald Walach. (2007). “Synchronistic Phenomena as Entanglement Correlations in Generalized Quantum Theory”. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14(4): 50–74, p. 60.

[10] See

[11] See

Eric Ouellet © 2010

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