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It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a UFO?

The phenomena of unidentified flying object (UFO) sightings and alien abductions hold a significant amount of mystery because people have been reporting their experiences for decades. Is there any evidence to prove the claims, or is it a result of human imagination?

The 2016 Canadian UFO Survey, which was released on March 29, 2017 by Winnipeg-based Ufology Research, reported 1,131 sightings in Canada. The study’s author, Chris Rutkowski, who also works at the University of Manitoba as the communications coordinator, said there’s a lack of absolute proof that aliens have visited Earth.

“I think there are intelligent creatures out there in the universe. Whether they’re coming here or not, I simply don’t know.”

He said we’re likely to find alien life forms within our own solar system, perhaps a small worm underneath the sands of Mars or in the seas of Europa.

This wouldn’t surprise anyone, but it’s not as exciting as finding creatures we can interact with in the same manner as our neighbours.

Rutkowski said 10 per cent of Canadians report UFO sightings every year, and that’s a “quite significant” amount of the population.

The annual Canadian UFO survey has catalogued 18,038 reports since its initiation in 1989, out of which 2,145 remain unexplained.

“We’re left with about five per cent of the cases every year that don’t have an explanation,” said Rutkowski.

Many of these sightings can be explained by stars, airplanes, fireballs, drones or a simple lack of evidence to back them up, but the puzzling five per cent could be anything.

“That’s not to say that there’s aliens, it just means we don’t know what they are,” said Rutkowski.

Other than the unexplained sightings, there are also people claiming to be abducted by aliens.

Rutkowski worked with clinical psychologists to help understand abductees through hypnosis regression.

“There wasn’t any proof of anything, but they firmly believed they’d been abducted by aliens.”

In some cases, there was no apparent reason for the belief, but in other cases it was due to severe trauma in peoples’ lives which could have assisted in the belief, he explained.

Proof of the existence of aliens is coming closer to becoming a reality, but we’re still light years away from meeting them. The universe is vast, and the Earth-like planets are not close enough to each other for alien visitation to take place.

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