Published: 10:15 AM 10/19/2013
BY CHRIS ZDEB, EDMONTON JOURNAL
EDMONTON - In August 1961, a Wetaskiwin couple said they awoke around 3:30 a.m. and were paralyzed upon finding two small figures in their bedroom who were talking to each other. Once the forms were gone, so was the paralysis. Later, a neighbour told them he’d seen a “large bluish globe of light” outside their house.
The story was one of 90 Canadian UFO sightings researcher John Musgrave, president of the UFO Society of Edmonton, discussed in his 1979 book, UFO Occupants and Critters. The book had been financed in part by a $6,000 Canada Council grant in 1975, for which he was savaged by politicians who argued the money had been wasted.
“I was basically cut out of a lot of jobs,” recalls Musgrave, now 72 and living in B.C.’s Okanagan Valley. “I was even told at the University (of Alberta), where the professors respected the work, ‘Don’t expect to ever get a job.’
In a 1980 interview, he said about 80 per cent of all UFO experiences can be attributed to “known categories” — aircraft lights, sun dogs, satellites, weather balloons, bright stars, meteorites, ball lightning or even flares used in military exercises. While the rest are unexplained, Musgrave argued they shouldn’t necessarily be dismissed.
In many cases, participants seem to have been in hypnotized states — they had been driving long distances, were overtired or awakened late at night. While it may be the subconscious is creating images, that doesn’t mean there is no real physical occurrence at the same time, said Musgrave, whose interest in UFOs began when he was nine.
Some who claim to have seen or been kidnapped by a UFO are “psychotics or guys over the edge,” whose stories are suspect, but he said most are “ordinary folks relating extraordinary experiences.”
A recent survey by Manitoba-based research group UFOlogy says you’re most likely to see a UFO in the city if you live in Calgary, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto or Kelowna.
Sightings in Canada in 2012 nearly doubled the all-time record of 1,004 set in 2008. And most Canadians, 78 per cent, think extraterrestrials are out there; 55 per cent believe beings from other worlds have visited Earth; and 10 per cent say they have already seen a UFO.