Chris Rutkowski and the team at Ufology Research have provided another excellent report concerning the UFO situation in Canada. For all of you who have never heard of the Canadian UFO Survey, it is a collection of hard data that establishes the numbers of sightings and the details surrounding them. It posits no explanation for the sightings, but is rather a massive number crunch designed to provide an overall view into what people are seeing and how often.
I had the honour to write the "Forward" for the document, and I've re-posted it for you below. I've also included the link so you can access the survey for yourself.
2015 Canadian UFO Survey Forward
Heavily influenced by many cultures, Canada is a nation rich in storytelling. The Ojibway and Cree people, their Anishinaabe cousins, the Inuit, and the many other indigenous groups that populate Manitoba and the rest of Canada, honour the tradition of storytelling. For many Indigenous peoples, storytelling is a way of accessing a shared history, a shared consciousness, and a shared culture- objective truth and story coexist, they live in a symbiotic relationship that creates a complex and legitimate world view.
For English speakers, we often refer to the above idea as “mythology.” While the word mythology is a sloppy translation in regards to the cultural practice of Indigenous storytelling (a literal loss in translation), it is the best we have. Investigating and studying the UFO phenomenon in Canada, we have a strange blend of seeking the objective truth, but also dealing with storytelling. All people from all backgrounds and cultures are story tellers, but they are also story-dwellers. We all live within stories, mythologies and ideologies that govern our experiences and existence.
Our shared ideologies, our collective mythologies, are, according to Slavoj Žižek, a Slovenian philosopher, “our spontaneous relationship to our social world,” they are how “we perceive meaning” in our reality. Ideology “is not simply imposed on ourselves,” rather, our ideology is our reality. Our identity, our truths, exist within ideology, within mythology and within the stories we tell and dwell in. Many Anishinaabe and Indigenous Canadians understand this concept, as their objective realities and mythological stories coexist in almost perfect union.
The UFO phenomenon is another aspect of this mythological reality we live in. During the investigation of these cases, many stories were told. Ufology, as a field of study, is fuelled by stories. However, there is also a search for an objective truth; what is the cause of these often amazing stories? The Canadian UFO Survey attempts to bridge that gap, to link the story and the truth in a concrete way. It shows us what people are seeing in the skies, when they are seeing them, and where they are seeing them. As for why, we can only speculate. Herein lies the question that all who study UFOs seek an answer for; is this phenomenon psychological, sociological, cultural, and/or physical? Is it our contemporary culture’s storytelling? Is it our collective psychological and social mythology generating what myths have generated since ancient times, answers to our desires, visions of our nightmares, and insights into what our future may hold? Or is the phenomenon something else? Physical objects created by our species or another form of life we cannot begin to understand?
Whatever the case, we can begin by taking a lesson from our Indigenous brothers and sisters. The answer to why the phenomenon is happening will present itself when the time is right. For now, we can only honour the storytelling and those who tell the stories; perhaps now is the time to listen.
Here is the link to the survey.
Congratulations to Chris and his team!