Moonbeam: Canada's Answer to Roswell?
From: Chris Rutkowski <rutkows.nul>
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 09:24:05 -0500 (CDT)
Fwd Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 19:44:00 -0400
Subject: Moonbeam: Canada's Answer to Roswell?
The Moonbeam Connection
It predates the Men Without Hats song, but the lyrics are still
You, you were on a moonbeam
Me, I was on a star
Gee everything was blue, blue-green
Because everything was far
Not that far away, but far enough, is the town of Moonbeam,
Ontario. It's just east of Kapuskasing and about a two-hour
drive northwest of Timmins in the Canadian Shield along Highway
It's also the new Canadian Mecca for UFOs.
The town doesn't come by this reputation lightly. It may, in
fact, be the only place in the world named because of a UFO.
Even Roswell can't claim that.
According to Melanie Bergeron of the Moonbeam Economic
Development Council (MEDC), the town may have been named because
unusual lights have been reported in the area since early in the
1900s. When incorporated in 1922, the name Moonbeam seemed
appropriate for that reason and also because of the late-night
reflections off nearby beautiful, blue-green Remi Lake. The town
itself was named for Moonbeam Lake and Moonbeam Creek, both east
of the townsite near the hamlet of Strickland. Tales are told
that pioneers in the area often saw flashing lights in the skies
and what they called "moonbeams" falling down near the creek.
In 1969, Rene Brunelle, then Ontario Minister of Lands and
Forests, was routinely interviewed by reporters about various
events and issues. During one interview, he was quoted as making
a comment about Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon that year,
pointing out (probably half in jest) that the town of Moonbeam
had a connection to the story attracting attention around the
An area resident sent Brunelle a letter relating the story of
how Moonbeam got its name and describing some of the UFO
sightings reported in the region over the years. He advised:
The initial scientific conclusion which can be drawn is that the
UFO's are glowing electromagnetic plasmas produced by corona
effects, due to faulty conditions on nearby power transmission
However, he also noted that residents argue that:
... these objects were around before the power lines were built.
They advise that the majority of sightings occur in November
after some snow has fallen. The consensus (for some unknown
reason) is that they will reappear this year on the night of
They describe the UFOs as flattened domed disks, 15 to 20 feet
in diameter, appearing with a roaring noise and coloured from
red to orange. At these times, radio and television are blanked
out by static. Some residents use welder's Polaroid goggles to
look at the UFO's claiming this gives them a better view of the
"moonship" and its alien occupants.
The original author of the letter has not been located, but the
original document has been discovered in provincial archives and
serves as proof that something may have been seen near Moonbeam
for many years.
On a clear summer night in about 1970, at 11:30 pm, an area
resident had just dropped off a hitchhiker on a road near
Moonbeam when he saw a pale green object hanging in the sky an
estimated 100 feet away and about 1,000 feet in the air. The
egg-shaped object, which he initially thought was an aircraft of
some kind, was about 50 feet long and 20 feet wide. It seemed to
bounce up and down in the sky and was definitely not behaving
like a plane, apparently "defying the laws of gravity."
"I was afraid to drive under it," the witness said. Frightened,
he turned off the engine and watched it in eerie silence. "It
was so unbelievable," he added.
After watching it for about a full minute, the light vanished
abruptly, leaving no trace.
However, that same week, a newspaper account described how some
other people leaving a movie theatre at about 11:30 pm one night
had seen a strange light in the sky as well.
Since then, stories have continued the circulate that odd lights
and craft have been repeatedly seen in the area. One farm in
particular along Moonbeam Creek has a reputation for attracting
UFOs, apparently. Brunelle's informant noted:
The other startling fact is that these ships always land and
take off from the same places. Four such spots along the creek
were show to me, with one being just due west... Had these been
plasmas generated by storms or hydro lines, they would have been
discharged upon touching earth.
Examination of the ground at these places show the rock to be
stained brownish-black with some crumbling as if due to exposure
to intense heat. Geiger counter readings go off the meter scale
in the centre of the areas indicating possible use of controlled
He added, ominously: "I wonder about the possible effects on the
cattle grazing over this land."
Unfortunately, the records of such tests, studies or scientific
readings cannot be located, so there is no way to verify these
claims. When Bergeron visited the area this year, she found
brownish-black stains on some white stones, without any obvious
explanation, although she was not at a location where objects
had been reported.. She did, however, speak with the land owner,
who did admit that unusual objects and lights had been seen near
the creek in recent years.
The connection with hydro and transmission lines is tenuous at
best, but even here is a claim to fame for Moonbeam, for just a
few kilometres away from the town is a major scientific
installation. An array of radar towers part of a worldwide
network called SuperDARN is based there, consisting of a myriad
of T-shaped antennas designed to monitor solar storms and other
elements of "space weather."
Yet another strange phenomenon in the area is "forest rings,"
not related to "crop circles" but seemingly as mysterious.
Within the boreal forest of dense stands of black spruce,
tamarack and pine standing in moist, peaty ground are thousands
of perfectly round rings. Visible only from the air, the rings
of lighter-coloured growth were discovered when geologists
examined aerial photographs. Some geologists suggested they
signaled diamond-bearing kimberlites (rare igneous, blue-tinged
rocks). One believes the circles could be giant, natural
batteries. A prevailing theory is that they were caused by an
unusual fungus which affected the vegetation as it grew radially
away from a central spore. Most of the rings are less than 300
metres across, but one is more than two kilometres wide. More
than 2,000 have been found in a band that stretches from Lake
Nipigon in Ontario to Matagami, Quebec, including a cluster on
Anticosti Island in the St. Lawrence River.
It has been discovered that the soil within the rings is rich in
carbonates, leading to a theory that electro-chemical processes
in the earth can act as a natural battery in the ground that is
slowly and continually discharging. A mineral such as iron could
act as a negative charge at a circle's centre and comes into
contact with positively-charged carbonate soil that produces
acidic conditions. This in turn eats away at the soil, forming a
ring of organic compounds that suppress tree growth.
With these and other "out of this world" elements, the town has
always had an affinity for space-related themes. In the 1970s,
astronaut Eugene Cernan visited the town on a public relations
tour through Ontario.
In 1990, when nearby towns were erecting monuments and other
edifices that symbolized their community as tourist attractions,
the Moonbeam town council decided that something a bit out of
the ordinary might be preferable. Some people wanted a statue of
something to represent the area's wildlife, but eventually it
was decided to build a "full scale" model of a flying saucer.
For a cost of about $25,000, a fibreglass UFO was constructed,
complete with flashing lights around its rim, and erected on the
edge of town.
Not far away, a hiking trail was developed around Remi Lake,
with guideposts marking the way. It was decided that the trail
needed a mascot to help visitors enjoy their visit, so Kilo the
alien was born. He (or perhaps she) now greets tourists as they
enter the area.
This past summer, a movie production company began shooting a
documentary on Yonge Street, starting at the Toronto waterfront
and heading north into rural Ontario. When they reached
Moonbeam, they were so impressed with the stories of UFOs and
aliens visiting the area that they are now working on a
documentary about Moonbeam itself.
This coincided, oddly enough, with more UFO sightings. Early in
August 2004, the owner of the Moonbeam Golf Course woke up at
2:30 am to let his dog outside. When he looked out, he saw two
large lights in the sky. He thought at first they were on a
helicopter, but he couldn't hear any sound that would indicate
there was a plane or copter in the area. Thinking they might be
a reflection off nearby lights, he walked away from his house
and found the UFOs did not change position or shape. Frightened,
he went back inside his home and watched the lights hanging
stationary in the sky for another 15 to 20 minutes before
nervously heading back to bed. In the morning, there was no sign
that anything extraterrestrial had visited the site.
When he mentioned his sighting to others, he learned that a few
days earlier, a couple living near the golf course had also seen
a strange light in the sky that hovered for awhile, then
Spurred by this growing accumulation of strange stories and
occurrences, the MEDC decided to further promote the UFO
connection. A website has been developed and a "UFO Hotline" has
been designated for local residents to call and share their
stories. Archives are being scoured for earlier records of UFO
sightings and word has gone out that the MEDC is interested in
hearing from witnesses.
Moonbeam is off the beaten track, but because of this might
certainly be a place for aliens to land without being seen by
too many Earthlings. Skeptics can argue that stories of lights
in the sky and dancing moonbeams are probably just fanciful
notions and figments of people's imaginations. But to those who
have seen the lights and know the stories, Moonbeam could very
well replace Toronto as the center of the universe.
For more information, go to the Moonbeam Community UFO Project