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Both Sides of the Stephen Michalak UFO Encounter at Falcon Lake

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Both Sides of the Stephen Michalak UFO Encounter at Falcon Lake
The Falcon Lake UFO incident on May 19th, 1967 in Whiteshell Park, Manitoba, Canada is an event which UFO believers and skeptics have been splitting hairs over for decades.

On one hand, many believe Stephen Michalak’s story about confronting a UFO and the burns he received. On the other hand, skeptics believe Michalak’s story reeks of a hoax. This article will serve as an example of reading between the lines when one encounters pro & con UFO debates.

Post WWII, one of the first things the newly formed CIA did was become involved in UFO sightings. There was a whole heap of experimental aircraft out there needing to be hushed up. Moreover, there was a new generation to manipulate. 1947 is the year in which the UFO phenomena hit the big time. Moreover, the CIA formed the same year. That is some coincidence don’t you think?

Hence, there is a lot more to Mr. Kenneth Arnold and the Mt Rainier UFO incident than first appears. Sadly, it is not the time and place to go into it. What I will say is numerous organizations emerged after he went public.

NICAP (National Investigations on Aerial Phenomena) was easily the most prominent. The big problem with NICAP was its infiltration on all levels by the CIA, and to a lesser extent the ONI. Indeed, many believe the CIA set up groups like NICAP to monitor errant voices and dissidents. (1) (2)

The Falcon Lake Fandango

Unlike today, UFOs captured the imagination of academics, mainstream scientists, ex-military, engineers, journalists, and concerned citizenry. Sure, there was a bunch of “UFO’s are really aliens” groups, and they were vocal. However, in the serious ufology faction extra-terrestrials while always deemed a possibility had to pass all manner of serious discussion and analysis. Hence, the tendency for the middle ground to conclude that aircraft seen were likely Soviet or U.S experimental aircraft.

The CIA never liked this group. Hence, they drowned them out by feeding all manner of bogus stories to the “UFO’s are alien” crowd. They then set about using their own counter intelligence stooges to debunk the very stories they had planted in the first place. Thus, the voices squeezed out of the discussion are the ones you read at Top Secret Writers, and those few non-kook alien believing ufologists who do not endorse bollocks like MJ-12 and Serpo.

I enjoy the Iron Sceptics UFO articles and I found his article on Falcon Lake informative and interesting. However, Mr. Sceptic’s article highlights the aforementioned problems inherent in the believer and skeptic debate.

Mr. Michilak was prospecting for quartz and silver nearby the lake, situated in the Whiteshell Provincial Park, when he saw two cylindrical objects in the sky. Michilak was apparently wearing a small welding visor, which he used to protect his eyes from rock particles. One of the crew flew off in the other direction, while one craft remained nearby and landed some 165 feet away from Michilak.

Via his visor, Michalik noted the craft was not a cylinder but saucer shaped and changed hue to red and orange. He spent half an hour observing the craft, and drawing it down. He then approached it. However, he overheard an upper class English accent discussing the craft.

drawing of craft

A Drunken Sighting? I Doubt it

“Okay, Yankee boys, having trouble? Come out and we’ll see what we can do about it.”

Michalik yelled out in reply, but received no answer. He then ventured up to the craft, which he touched. It burned his glove. A door suddenly opened up and he poked his head in. Michalik then saw a brightly lit control room.

It is difficult to describe what happens next. The door suddenly shut and he found himself near a vent, which emitted a powerful gust of heat. This set Michalik’s shirt on fire and, as he escaped, he became nauseous and started vomiting. He apparently encountered a police officer who wrote a report. This is interesting for in the more fanciful alien encounter we see he tried to wave down a police vehicle, but was ignored.

Iron Sceptic believes Michalik was likely drunk, and investigators found him to be fond of alcohol. However, if there were signs of alcohol, the police officer who interviewed Michalik would have smelled it. Sceptic makes a number of valid points concerning Michalik’s refusal to show his burns, and not voluntarily showing his picture. He also says Michalik refused assistance to a medical facility.

However, one could say the police report reflects a person in some type of shock. Hence, what struck me about the Michalik case is how unlikely the alleged aircraft was an alien vehicle. For starters, the smell of sulphur would indicate some problems with a fuel line. Would aliens capable of interstellar travel have problems with fuel and need an exhaust system?

The English accented fellow was clearly a technician or pilot.


Possible Embellishments to Story

The alien encounter believers have eradicated this account from their lexicon. While skeptics use the English discussion angle to display Michalik’s erratic insanity; nevertheless, by all accounts Michalik was a lucid individual.

He also initially stated he thought the aircraft was an experimental vehicle. Both sides of the UFO debate seeking to frame the issues within their own paradigms conveniently overlook this important statement.

Iron Sceptic points out that Whiteshell Park is located 75 km from the U.S border. What he fails to discuss is nearby there are three air force bases. The Royal Canadian Air force base in Winnipeg is the closest. On the U.S side of the border, Cavalier and Grand Forks are but a quick flight away. (3)

The Canadian wing of the British company Avro had tested their famous Avrocar; in the fifties it was a joint venture with the USAF. Could, this have been a further development of the idea? It could also explain the English bloke hanging around. (4)

There can be no doubt Michalik told some porkies, and he likely embellished his story. Nevertheless, if he was lying about seeing something (at the very least) he chose an odd way to discuss it.

Therefore, I sit comfortably on the fence concerning this account. If he is lying, it’s no big deal because this has nothing to do with aliens in any way. If it was some type of experimental vehicle then that is interesting. It pays to question the motives of believers and skeptics alike.

References & Image Credits:
(1) Philip Coppens
(2) Fortean Times
(3) TEH Owners
(4) Wikipedia: Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar
(5) UFO Evidence

Originally published on


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Top Secret Editors

Ryan is the founder of Top Secret Writers. He is an IT analyst, blogger, journalist, and a researcher for the truth behind strange stories.
Lori is TSW's editor. Freelance writer and editor for over 17 years, she loves to read and loves fringe science and conspiracy theory.

Top Secret Writers

Gabrielle is a journalist who finds strange stories the media misses, and enlightens readers about news they never knew existed.
Sally is TSW’s health/environmental expert. As a blogger/organic gardener, she’s investigates critical environmental issues.
Mark Dorr grew up the son of a treasure hunter. His experiences led to working internationally in some surprising situations!
Mark R. Whittington, from Houston, Texas, frequently writes on space, science, political commentary and political culture.

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