- Have you seen anything unusual in the skies over Terrace
lately? You're not alone.
- From the Horseshoe to Ferry Island, and from Krumm Road
to Highway 16 West, residents of the Terrace area are seeing weird things
in the sky that no one has been able to explain.
- According to the latest annual UFO survey, Terrace remains
a hotbed of activity, accounting for about 10 per cent of all the sightings
reported in B.C. last year Terrace is ranked in fourth spot in the country
for UFO reports, according to the 2003 Canadian UFO Survey.
- We're just behind Houston, B.C., Toronto, and Vancouver,
which has emerged as the Canadian UFO capital.
- "There's something happening, and I don't know what
it is," says Brian Vike, a Houston, B.C.-based researcher who operates
a 1-800 UFO hot line and sends in data to the UFO survey.
- A while back, every time he got a new UFO report from
somewhere in B.C., he,d put a pin into a map of the province he,d hung
on the wall. An unmistakable pattern has emerged.
- To Vike, it sure looks like most of the reports are coming
from inside a band that stretches southeast from Terrace to the Cranbrook
area in the Kootenays.
- "This is where the majority of sightings of unusual
craft are being seen," he says, adding a number of the locations along
this line are larger lakes, mines and power stations.
- "Terrace has a number of natural and manmade things
which may attract these objects," he adds, pointing to Alcan, a relatively
close source of hydro electric power.
- The natural thermal power of the hot springs may also
be responsible for local sightings over the years.
- "I get lots of reports around there of strange lights,"
Vike says, pointing out that seismic activity is sometimes associated with
- But that certainly doesn't account for other unexplained
Terrace area reports Vike's logged over the past year.
- In February, 2003 a couple driving home from Prince Rupert
spotted a huge, disk-shaped object travelling north across the Skeena River,
about 85 km west of Terrace on Highway 16
- It was dark, with two large, rectangular glowing lights
on the bottom.
- The husband wanted to pull over, but his wife insisted
they keep driving, Vike says. Both were disturbed because the object moved
- In March of last year, a Tuck Ave. resident noticed a
bright glowing object in the sky above the Eby St. intersection that looked
like a meteor hurtling down to the ground.
- The eyewitness said it was moving from side to side,
and didn't make any noise.
- In July, a couple with a great view of Terrace and the
Skeena Valley was enjoying the view, relaxing with cup of coffee.
- At around 11:45 p.m., they saw a large, glowing object
moving slowly along the side of the highway near the 16/37 intersection.
At first they thought it was some sort of aircraft. because it kept pace
with some of the cars. But then they realized it was flying too low.
- It appeared to stop suddenly before shooting off towards
- Other witnesses reported seeing a flying cross -- a huge,
dark-coloured object with lights along the bottom panels -- above the Skeena
- The sighting lasted for just a few seconds, before the
object flew behind some trees, blocking their view
- Vike is convinced people are seeing something. He just
doesn't know what.
- Last year, Canadians reported nearly two UFO sightings
a day, adding up to 673 in all.
- That's an all-time high for the Canadian UFO Survey,
released by Ufology Research of Manitoba, an independent study group based
- Most UFO reports are eventually identified as planets,
meteors, or aircraft.
- "Popular opinion to the contrary, there is yet to
be any incontrovertible evidence that some UFO cases involve extraterrestrial
contact," study author Chris Rutkowski said.
- Just seven per cent of sightings in the survey's "unexplained"
category are deemed "high quality" unknowns.
- Many eyewitnesses are pilots, police and other individuals
who are expected to have good observational skills -- and good judgment,
- Nation-wide, the number of UFO sightings climbed by 39
per cent in 2003.
- British Columbia leads the rest of the country in terms
of sheer volume of sightings, with 304 reported here last year, compared
to 150 in Ontario and 76 in Alberta.
- Most sightings have two witnesses and last for 10 minutes.
- Mass sightings sometimes stem from a big event -- like
a major fireball in 1993 that hundreds across Canada witnessed.
- Similarly, last year, a major event in the Okanagan helped
boost the number of sightings. "Literally hundreds of people"
saw a band of white light arching across the sky" on July 28, the
report says. That mass sighting is unexplained, but some think it may be
a phenomenon long-time residents call the Okanagan Arch, a whitish band
that crosses the sky.
- The reports offer no "positive proof that UFOs are
either alien spacecraft or a specific natural phenomenon," the report
cautions, but notes something people call a UFO is continually being observed.
- Various agencies and individuals participate in the survey,
including the Houston, B.C., Centre for UFOs, which supplied seven per
cent of the reports in this year's survey.
- Vike, meanwhile, says the northwest's growing reputation
as a UFO magnet, is resulting in a tourism boom. He fields many calls from
people who want to visit the region.
- That's why he's started to showcase the region's natural
and tourist attractions on his website.
- "I get lots of letters about the beautiful scenery,"
he says. "That's what's catching people's attention, too. They're
saying, 'Yeah, I'm coming up your way., People are saying, 'This sounds
good -- you,ve got fishing and hiking.,"
- He can't understand why the towns of Terrace and Houston
don't capitalize on their reputations as great places to see UFOs.
- Vike is in demand as a guest on talk radio shows in the
U.S. He also runs his own website, tracking the reports from northwest
B.C. -- and far beyond. "I reach about 13 million people now a month,"