UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2013 > Aug > Aug 3

The Falcon Lake Incident - For The Record

From: ROBERT MCGEACHY
Date: 07-11-93 (02:40)              Number: 6117 of 6194 (Refer# NONE)
Archived: Sat, 03 Aug 2013 17:13:12 -0400
Subject: The Falcon Lake Incident - For The Record

 * Forwarded from conference Base 2: HST_UFO by ROBERT MCGEACHY
 * Message originally sent to: All, by: Robert McGeachy
                         date: 11 Jul 93  02:19:31
                      subject: Falcon Lake


The following is taken from a 1980 essay written by Chris Rutkowski
on the 1967 Falcon Lake incident. Anyone who has read/heard anything about
this encounter will surely find the following text interesting to say the
least.

                         THE FALCON LAKE INCIDENT
                         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    By Chris Rutkowski  Copyright 1980
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Note: This reprint was done using standard ascii on July 9, 1993 by
           Robert McGeachy, with permission from the original author.]

 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            Acknowledgements
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Special thanks are due to Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Michalak, without whom
 this essay could not have been written.

    I also wish to thank the following individuals for their assistance and
 encouragement: Dr. Norm Davison; Ms. Bonnie Lindstrom; Dr. Berthold E.
 Schwarz; Dr. Sunil K. Sen and Mr. Vladimir Simosko.

    Finally, a word of thanks to my typist, Ms. Charlotte Katz.

 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          TABLE OF CONTENTS
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                          PAGE

    Abstract ...........................................    1
    Introduction .......................................    1
    Physical Effects:  The Site ........................    2
    The Radiation ......................................    5
    The Metal ..........................................    8
    The Physiological Effects ..........................   10
    The Mayo Clinic ....................................   13
    The Investigations .................................   15
    The Government Covers Up? ..........................   17
    Psychological Effects ..............................   18
    The Hoax? ..........................................   20
    Conclusions ........................................   23
    Epilogue ...........................................   25
    Footnotes and References ...........................   27
    Newspaper Articles on Michalak: UFOROM Collection ..   30
    A Falcon Lake Bibliography .........................   31
    Further References .................................   34

 [Note: Page numbers are included in text only to conform with
        the Table Of Contents.] (Rob M.)
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                ABSTRACT
                                ~~~~~~~~
    On May 20, 1967, Stephen Michalak claimed he was burned by a strange
 craft, just north of the town of Falcon Lake. Much literature has been
 published regarding the incident, and this essay attempts to evaluate the
 findings to date, as well as examine the evidence as it exists.


                              INTRODUCTION
                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~
     Something happened to Steve Michalak on the Victoria Day long weekend.
 His amateur prospecting was cut short by an encounter with a landed UFO. To
 this day, no definite conclusions have been reached regarding his experience,
 and his story has started to get garbled in publication over the years.

 Was it a hoax? Was it exactly as reported, and true? The final proof is yet
 to be found, but there is an astonishing amount of evidence to show that
 something occurred on a rock outcropping near a swampy area of the forest
 near the resort. Michalak's account has appeared in several books and
 journals in various forms. For accuracy and the best detail, the reader is
 suggested to obtain Michalak's long-out-of-print book.

 But barring that, any one of several UFO books carries the story in
 sufficient quality to understand the case to a good degree, for example,
 Lorenzen (1969, 1976), Condon (1969), Story (1980) or Bondarchuk (1979).
 This writer will not reiterate the case account for that reason, as this is
 a survey of the literature and the research. This article is as accurate as
 possible, the result of the re-opened investigation of the case by UFOROM
 (Ufology Research of Manitoba), involving some new evidence and research
 conducted over the past few years.

 There is still much to be done, and many unanswered questions exist which
 could effectively aid in the determination of truth. It is felt that the
 Michalak case is one of the most significant on record, and may hold the
 key for future research.

                                     1
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

                       PHYSICAL EFFECTS:  THE SITE
                       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The Condon Report found cause for concern with Michalak's inability to
 find the site while in the presence of officials.(1) Michalak went on two
 expeditions before finding the site with Mr. G. A. Hart, a personal friend.
 Indeed, Menzel and Taves cite this as a prime reason for labelling the case
 a hoax.(2)

    However, Michalak has stated that the locating of the site presented
 several difficulties. First, when the incident occurred, the trees and bushes
 were devoid of leaves. When returned to the area, Michalak said he was
 disoriented because the leaves were opened. This is a common complaint of
 individuals who hike in wooded areas, and _can_ be regarded as a logical
 reason for experiencing difficulty in finding the site. In addition, Michalak
 said that for the first expedition, he was transported to the area by
 helicopter, and was told to find the site from the anonymous location where
 they landed. The second expedition began from a point suggested to be
 Michalak's exit from the bush following his encounter.

 Again, it was unsuccessful, due to the leaves' thickening and also Michalak's
 unsettled state of mind and body. These explanations by Michalak can be
 accepted as reasonable, and are sufficiently sensible so as to eliminate a
 negative judgement on the case based _solely_ on the inability to locate the
 site with official investigators. Disorientation in the wilderness can
 definitely be a problem in the locating of specific sites.

    There is no question, however, that the site can be easily located when
 found by trailblazing. The usual method of finding the site is to head north
 from the Falcon Lake townsite and follow a creek around large rock out-
 croppings until the bare rockface is seen. The numerous beaver dams and
 claims markers in the area can be used as reference points. Also interesting
 is that the actual site is within direct view of a forest ranger tower.
 Craig reports that the forest ranger on duty at the time of the incident did
 not observe either the landing or flight of the UFO's, or the smoke which
 resulted from the ignition of grass by the landed UFO.(3) While this would
 seem to effectively flaw Michalak's story, one must remember that the indi-
 vidual in the tower would not be looking in the direction of the site
 constantly. However, the object was landed for at least 45 minutes, and if
 it gleamed in the sun or emitted an "intense purple light" as it was said
 to have done, it is puzzling as to why the individual in the tower did not
 see it.

    Another problem that the Condon Report found was the reported direction
 that the object departed. This direction was 255 degrees, and it is
 immediately obvious that such a bearing would have the object fly away from
 most observers. It was noted, however, that the bearing would have the object
 pass within a mile of the local golf course.(4) No objects were seen by the
 golfers, though, again, if the speed of the UFO was great, this is not
 necessarily unusual. Condon also noted that the northward-opening gap in the
 trees was inconsistent with the 255 degree bearing. However, Michalak clearly
 stated that the object rose vertically before departing, so this argument is
 not valid.

    Barrie Thompson, a CAPRO investigator, was one of the first to accompany
 Michalak to the site. He reported that location of the site was not that
 difficult, and that the early expeditions to the site were led astray by
 basic errors.

    Interestingly, both Thompson(5) and Michalak(6) reported a large amount of
 destroyed vegetation around the site. Thompson even described circular
 lesions on many leaves in the area (the leaves, he says, were all taken by
 the government before any civilian analysis could be done).

                                     4
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------


                              THE RADIATION
                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Much was made of the finding of radioactive debris at the site. This fact
 alone suggested to many people that Michalak was suffering from radiation
 poisoning.

    The radiation detected was from soil samples brought back to Winnipeg by
 Michalak and an associate, after they had finally located the site. They had
 placed Michalak's torn shirt and tape measure in plastic bags, and put these
 together with the soil samples in the same knapsack. When the items were
 given to officials for examination, the shirt and tape measure were naturally
 found to be radioactive as well.

    Michalak mentions that Stewart Hunt of the Department of Health and
 Welfare informed him that the soil anaysis "showed radiation".(8) When Hunt
 went to the site and checked for radiation, he found "One small area...
 contaminated...across the crown at the rock. There was a smear of contami-
 nation about 0.5 x 8.0 inches on one side of the crack. There was also some
 lichen and ground vegetation contaminated just beyond the smear. The whole
 contaminated area was no larger that 100 square inches."(9)

    The origin of this radiation is in some doubt. Whatever its cause, it was
 of sufficient quantity for the Radiation Protection Division to consider
 "restricting entry to the forest area."(10) Beyond the areas located by Hunt,
 there was no radiation above the normal background. But the soil analysis
 showed a "significant" level of radium 226, for which there was no explana-
 tion.(11) It was suggested that the radium had come from a luminous watch
 dial, the dial having been scraped onto the site. However, no evidence could
 be found to support this contention.(12)

    Analyses performed by the Whiteshell Nuclear Research Establishment showed
 that the radioactivity in the samples was that of "natural uranium ore". This
 included counts of both alpha and gamma particles. One 190 KeV photopeak was
 originally though to be anomalous, and due to enrichment of uranium 235.
 While this would seem to indicate something other than natural uranium, the
 isotopes were found to actually be present within the expected normal
 ratios.(13)

    To check further on the soil radiation, in June of 1979, a re-analysis was
 carried out with a lithium-drifted germanium detector at the University of
 Manitoba. The results showed that all the energies detected could be
 adequately explained by the decay of natural uranium.(14) Confusion may have
 resulted from the overlooking of the fact that U238 decays eventually into
 radon, a gas. Radon, of course, decays further into other elements, but the
 observed energies indicated a lower abundance than what would be expected.
 The reason for this, though simple, may not have been immediately obvious:
 radon is a gas, and will dissipate. Therefore, abundances of elements later
 in the decay chain will be much less than if the previous elements were
 solids.

    Identification of the 190 KeV peak as "abnormally high" may have been an
 oversight. The theory of radium 226 was related to this peak. Assigning
 elements to each of the peaks is a trying job, and often, two elements will
 give the same peak, often at the same intensity. This process is much like a
 jigsaw puzzle, and is somewhat open to interpretation, as it depends on
 variables such as the resolution, the efficiency and the capability of the
 analyser used.

    However, while the 190 KeV photopeak is not necessarily unusual, there are
 two very strong x-rays which are hard to identify. These appear at about 80
 and 84 KeV. They may be caused by some radionuclide decay in the U238 chain
 (possibly by the emitted alpha particle affecting an electron). This, too,
 depends on abundance and the specific energies involved. Despite this, there
 is little evidence to indicate that the site was "seeded" with radium from
 an old watch dial. The observed radioactivity can be considered as due to
 natural uranium decay.

    This, of course, raises the question of why the Department of Health and
 Welfare would consider closing off the area from such radioactivity. The
 early tests by individuals at the University of Manitoba are trying to be
 located. These would be helpful, since it is possible that at that time (in
 1967), there may have been different peaks detected from elements with short
 half-lives. It will be noted, though, that the Whiteshell results, done in
 1968, showed nothing other than the 1979 run, so this may suggest that the
 early analysis yielded the same results.

    Again, however, there exists disagreement. A CAPRO investigator claims
 that Hunt's check of the site showed a much higher level of radiation than
 was reported.(15) It was suggested that the bulk of the radioactive material
 was in a rock fissure across the site, this being either missed or ignored
 by official investigators. This is most relevant to a review of the metal
 analysis.

                                     7
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                 THE METAL
                                 ~~~~~~~~~
    The metal is quite curious. A year after his encounter, Michalak returned
 to the landing site with an associate. With a geiger counter, they found two
 "W-shaped" silver bars, four and a half inches in length, and several other
 smaller chunks of the same material. All this was found two inches under some
 lichen in a crack in the rock, over which the UFO was said to hover. Analysis
 showed that the silver was of "high purity", and contained low amounts of
 copper and cadmium. Craig commented that the composition was "similar to that
 found in commercially available sterling silver or sheet silver."(16) Cannon
 contradicted this, saying the silver concentration was "much higher than
 would normally be found in native silver or commercially produced silver such
 as sterling or coinage."(17) The reported percentage of copper, however, at
 1% or 2%, is agreeable with that of commercial silver, though is indeed less
 than many specimens.

    The metal showed signs of heating and bending, and it was speculated that
 it was "molded" into its present shape. Support for the heating theory also
 comes from the fine quartz crystals which were found to be imbedded in the
 outer layer of the silver. The sand was similar to typical foundry sand,
 covering all of one bar and half of the other. But the _very_ odd thing
 about the silver bars was their radioactivity. The bars were also covered
 with small crystals of a uranium silicate mineral and pitchblende, as well as
 feldspar and hematite. These particles are held to the silver by a sticky
 "moist" substance, and could be removed by washing with ethanol and brushing
 with a soft camel hair brush.(18)

    Again, the two theories of Ra226 and U238 contrasted each other. But the
 same arguments apply. Since radium 226 is a by-product of U238 decay, it is
 even possible that both theories are correct, though traceable to U238.

    The problem, however, is not the actual radioactive mechanism on the
 silver, but why it was missed earlier by other individuals. The Department
 of Health and Welfare went to the site on more than one occasion, and checked
 the site thoroughly. Why was the silver not located?

                                     9
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          THE PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The most noted elements of the incident are the many severe physiological
 effects Mickalak experienced. When the object took off, Michalak was burned
 by a blast of heat or heated gas which came from a grill-like opening in
 front of him. His shirt and undershirt caught fire, burning his upper chest.
 He tore off these items and stamped them out, not wanting to cause a forest
 fire. Walking back to where the object had been, he felt nauseated, and had
 a strong headache. He broke out in a cold sweat, and began vomiting. Red
 marks began to appear on his chest and abdomen, burning and irritating. He
 logically set out for Falcon Lake in search of medical aid, wearing no shirt
 or jacket.

    He eventually made it back to Winnipeg, where he was examined at the
 Misericordia Hospital. He did not tell the examining physician what had
 happened, only that he had been burned by "exhaust coming out of an
 aeroplane". This was on May 20th.

    On the 22nd, Michalak's family physician examined him, and said that the
 first-degree burns on his abdomen were not very serious. He prescribed 292's
 for the pain and sea-sickness tablets for the nausea. Michalak went to a
 radiologist on the 23rd, who found no evidence of radiation trauma. A
 whole-body count taken a week later at the Whiteshell Nuclear Research
 Establishment also showed no radiation above normal background. The burns on
 Michalak's abdomen were diagnosed as thermal in origin. The curious geometric
 pattern of the burns led some skeptics to speculate that Michalak had fallen
 onto a "hot barbeque grill".(19)

    Over the next few days, Michalak reported that he lost 22 pounds from his
 normal weight of 180. However, his physician could not verify this weight
 loss, since he had not seen him for over a year. Yet, judging from the fact
 that Michalak reported an inability to hold food down, in one week, his
 weight loss could have been considerable.

    Also reported was a drop of his blood lymphocyte count from 25 to 16
 percent, returning to normal after a period of four weeks. These two counts
 were six days apart, but were associated with normal platelet counts on both
 occasions. This contributes to the argument against the theory of radiation
 exposure. A CAPRO investigator claims that the actual drop was from 25 to 6
 percent, although this is not supported by medical evidence.(20)

    There is some evidence to indicate that the red "welts" or burns went
 through periods of fading and recurrence, a most unusual medical situation.
 Because of the suggestion of radiation at the site, it was quickly suggested
 that the welts were radiation burns. This, however, is quite incorrect.

    Radiation was also blamed for the "awful stench" which seemed to "come
 from within" Michalak's body. It was suggested that a quick dose of gamma
 rays may have deteriorated the food he had just eaten, giving him a vile odor
 and causing him to vomit "green bile".(21) Individuals consulted on this,
 however, say that such a burst of gammas would have deteriorated _Michalak_,
 not just his digested food.

    Another physiological effect was the "insect bites" rash which appeared
 on Michalak's upper torso. Craig reported that the rash was "the result of
 insect bites and was not connected with the alleged UFO experience."(22)
 An RCAF Corporal, Davis, reported that he had been bitten by black flies
 when he was with Michalak searching for the site. Medical reports show that
 Michalak had "skin infections", "having hive-like areas with impetiginous
 centers". Later he had "generalized urticaria" (hives) and felt weak, dizzy
 and nauseated on several occasions. Several times, he was examined for
 "numbness" and swelling of the joints.

    A hematologist's report showed that Michalak's blood had "no abnormal
 physical findings", but had "some atypical lymphoid cells in the marrow plus
 a moderate increase in the number of plasma cells." This is in some
 contradiction to several sources (e.g. Naud, 1978) which claim that there
 were "impurities" in Michalak's blood. It is obvious that the reported
 irregularities in his blood would not in themselves be the cause for his
 condition.

    The swelling of his body, however, strongly suggests an allergic reaction
 of some sort. After an apparent reoccurrence of his swelling at work on Sept.
 21, 1967, Michalak reported that doctors diagnosed his affliction as "the
 result of some allergy". The events leading up to this diagnosis had Michalak
 feel "a burning sensation" around his neck and chest. Then, there was a
 "burning" in his throat and his body "turned violet". His hands swelled "like
 a balloon", his vision failed and he lapsed into unconciousness.(23)

    Later, he described how sometimes his wrists swelled so much that they
 filled his shirt cuffs.(24) What sort of allergy did Michalak have?

                                     12
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

                              THE MAYO CLINIC
                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    In August of 1968, Michalak went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester,
 Minnesota. The purpose of his visit was to undergo tests to determine exactly
 what was ailing him, as the doctors in Winnipeg appeared to be unhelpful. It
 is worthy of note that Michalak paid for the Mayo tests entirely on his own,
 as Medicare would not cover such a trip. He went and stayed at a hotel near
 the hospital, walking across each day and entering as an outpatient. He
 reported that he was given a thorough physical and psychological examination
 by various doctors, then sent home.

     But, the problems began. Michalak has bills from the Clinic made out to
 "Mr. S. Michalak", and also his registration card. He waited for several
 weeks, but received no word on his results. The CAPRO investigators appealed
 to APRO for help, and a medical consultant sent a letter to the Mayo Clinic,
 asking for the medical reports. In reply, he was sent the now-famous "letter
 of denial", which bluntly said that Michalak had _never been registered_
 there, and that they didn't "know anything about him."(25)

    This immediately spurred the shouts of "cover-up!" from individuals who
 learned of the letter, and rightly so, as this appeared to be a deliberate
 attempt to mislead the investigation. Was this a cover-up, or just a matter
 of incompetence? It perhaps was neither.

    Medical ethics is a very serious concern, and few realize the "red tape"
 which has been set up for both the protection of the doctor and the patient.
 There is a very great danger in releasing confidential files to unauthorized
 personnel (and this applies, obviously, to other fields as well, including
 ufology). Another letter to the Mayo Clinic was sent, this time accompanied
 by a release form signed by Michalak.

    The reports came immediately. Michalak had been found to be in good health
 but with neurodematitis and simple syncope (fainting spells due to sudden
 cerebral blood pressure losses).(26) The syncopes were suggested as having
 to do with hyperventilation or impaired cardiac output. This is interesting,
 as Michalak has indeed had heart problems within the past few years.

    The psychiatric report showed that despite the usual generalizations
 normally assigned to individuals giving a detailed UFO encounter story,
 there was no other evidence of delusions, hallucinations or other emotional
 disorders. It seems that there was nothing wrong with Michalak. He had no
 ailment _directly_ related to an encounter with a UFO.

                                    14
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            THE INVESTIGATIONS
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Michalak called the Winnipeg Tribune late Saturday afternoon of the
 holiday long weekend. It was not surprising that no one would help him then.
 But, the next evening (May 21), Heather Chisvin, a Tribune reporter,
 interviewed Michalak for the first time. She was the first one to talk to him
 about the experience, and her article must be considered as the first account
 uninfluenced by later documentation.(27)

    The first investigator on the scene, however, was Barrie Thompson, who had
 read the account in the newspaper, and immediately contacted Michalak.
 Thompson's investigation, on behalf of APRO, began the series of civilian UFO
 investigations. Michalak notes that "after hearing my story, he stated his
 belief that the craft was not an earthly creation." Michalak praised Thompson
 on several occasions, as "he was the first person who took my story
 seriously."(28)

    Soon, the Michlak household was in turmoil. Calls came in at all hours of
 the day or night, people dropped in at any time, and letters poured in.

    The CAPRO investigations included taking Michalak to get a body radiation
 count, and encouraging him to take other tests. One misleading bit of
 information said that Michalak had been to a clinical hypnotist and that he
 had been hypnotically regressed. While both statements are true, the clinical
 hypnotist had in fact only interviewed Michalak and not put him under. A tape
 of Michalak's hypnosis is in existance, however, but the session was
 conducted, apparently, by an amateur, who was a reporter for the Winnipeg
 Free Press at the time.

    The RCAF investigations were under the direction of Sqd. Ld. P. Bissky,
 who came to the conclusion that the case was a hoax.(29) He recently remarked
 that the RCAF conclusions were all available in Ottawa for perusal. Indeed,
 some documents are contained in the DND files, and have been obtained by
 several ufologists. A rather carefully-worded statement is in the National
 Research Council's Non-Meteoric Sightings File, DND 222, saying, "Neither
 the DND, nor the RCMP investigation teams were able to provide evidence which
 could dispute Mr. Michalak's story."(30)

    RCMP analysis by its forensic lab were "unable to reach any conclusion as
 to what may have caused the burn damage" to Michalak's clothing.(31)

    A theory came out, suggesting that the radiation at the site might have
 been caused by radium paint, possibly from someone scraping a watch dial
 around the site.(32) This is interesting. Was this just a candid comment, or
 did it suggest that there was a truly abnormal level of Ra226 at the site at
 the time? If so, why was it not detected in recent soil analysis?

                                    16
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------


                         THE GOVERNMENT COVERS UP?
                         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Apart from the Mayo Clinic "cover-up", the Canadian Government seemed to
 refuse access to information on the incident in 1967. On June 29th, 1967, it
 was reported that Mr. Ed Schreyer, then an MP, asked about UFO investigations
 in the Commons.(33) The Speaker of the House "cut off the subject without
 government reply." On November 6th, 1967, Defence Minister, Leo Cadieux,
 stated that "it is not the intention of the Department of National Defence to
 make public the report of the alleged sighting."(34) This was in response to
 requests by several cabinet members to obtain information on the incident. On
 11 Nov., 1967, it was reported that Mr. Schreyer formally placed a written
 question on the Commons order paper seeking information on UFO's.(35)

    The closed-mouth attitude of the government was not ignored by the press,
 which prompted several comments about it. About the case, one editor noted,
 "The attempt to keep it concealed can have only one effect - it will give the
 UFO legend another boost."(36) Of course, he was precisely correct. On 14
 October, 1968, House Leader Donald MacDonald again refused an MP, this time
 Mr. Barry Mather, access to reports on the Michalak case.(37) However, on
 6 Feb., 1969, Mather was given permission by a member of the Privy Council to
 examine their file on UFO's "from which a few pages have simply been
 removed." It was reported that outright release of the file "would not be in
 the public interest," and create a dangerous precedent that would not
 contribute to the good administration of the country's business."(38)

    Bondarchuk (1979) reports that "portions of the complete government report
 are available for public scrutiny" at the NRC in Ottawa. However, "noticeably
 missing are the RCMP study of the burned items, as well as the government's
 final conclusion, if indeed one exists."(39)

                                    17
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Mention of the psychological aspects of the Michalak case must be made.
 Why, for example, did Michalak call a newspaper office for assistance? This
 one piece of evidence alone has served to convince some individuals that the
 case was a hoax and that Michalak was only looking for publicity.

    By the time Michalak made it back to his motel, he was exhausted. In his
 own words:

    "I did not go inside the motel for fear of contaminating people around me
    ...I felt detached from the rest of the world...The pain was unbearable
    ...the odour seemed to come from within me, and I could not escape it...
    I was afraid that i had ruined my health and visualized the resulting hell
    should I have become disabled...my mind centered on the possible
    consequences...

    "...there had to be some way of getting medical attention...I thought of
    the press. Things that happened to me were definitely news, if nothing
    else...I did not want to alarm my wife, or cause a panic in the family.
    I phoned her as a last resort, telling her that I had been in an accident
    ..."(40)

    Michalak felt that it was his "duty" to report the incident, and was
 initially unafraid of ridicule. However, since then, he and his family have
 become somewhat defensive about the incident, and get irritated to hear of
 skeptical accounts in print. Indeed, it is this writer's personal impression
 that Michalak is a very sincere individual. Also, psychiatrists could not
 find any evidence of emotional or mental illness in the man.

                                     19
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                  THE HOAX
                                  ~~~~~~~~
    Would Michalak have gone to so much trouble to perpetrate a hoax? There is
 no question that he bcame seriously ill, and even today displays some
 effects. If we can assume that Michalak burned himself while concocting his
 hoax, would he have then repeatedly pursued medical assistance and go to the
 Mayo Clinic to make it look good?

    One physics professor at the University of Manitoba, now deceased,
 believed that Michalak was experimenting with toy rockets, which exploded due
 to mishandling. He also suggested that he was amateurishly trying to hit two
 chunks of uranium together to make a homemade bomb. The grid-like pattern on
 his body was caused by the grill he was using as a support. This totally
 unfounded theory ignored most of the known facts of the case.

    An RCAF spokesman is convinced that Michalak was drunk and had fallen on
 a barbeque grill (one immediate objection to this is that such an act would
 give exactly the _reverse_ impression of burns actually found on Michalak's
 body.)

    Menzel's impression has already been related, claiming the case to be a
 hoax because Michalak could not find the site when with the Condon
 investigators.

    Ray Craig, the Condon Committee's investigator, concluded that:
 "If (Michalak's) reported experience were physically real, it would show the
 existence of alien flying vehicles in our environment."(41)

    He noted "inconsistencies and incongruities", and said that even with some
 of the other evidence associated with the case, he would have to stick to his
 "initial conclusion", namely that "this case does not offer probative
 information regarding inconventional(sic) craft."(42)

    Despite this apparently negative conclusion, the index of the report lists
 the case as an _unexplained sighting_.

    Craig found reason to question that the metal samples found by Michalak
 and Hart would have been missed by early investigators at the site. Stewart
 Hunt of the Department of Health and Welfare described his examination of the
 area as "as thorough survey", using three different radiation counters. It is
 definitely odd that the metal chunks were not found until a visit to the site
 a year later. Thompson remarked that the samples were deeply buried inside
 the crack in the rock, and that some effort was expended in getting them out.
 He also remarked that most of the radiation detected was inside the
 fissure.(43)

    Bondarchuk mentions that a close scrutiny of early soil samples showed
 that small silver particles were present, citing this as a reason to
 eliminate the theory that someone "planted" the silver bars.(44) However,
 this is not conclusive as native silver particles occur naturally in the area
 in small amounts, and their presence in the soil samples does not eliminate
 the possibility of "planting".

    Cannon also mentions this information, and that radium 226 was present in
 both the soil and metal covering. This apparently was considered as a prime
 reason to negate the watch dial theory.(45) Attempts to locate the CAPRO
 analyses have not been successful.

    There is no doubt, though, that the metal samples are very suspicious.
 They even had an obvious "seam" which tended to suggest fabrication, as if
 someone moulded the silver in a definite shape. Did Michalak produce these
 himself? Or, did someone _else_ produce them, and plant them at the site?
 If so, why? Even without the metal samples, the case was a significant one,
 needing no support. In fact, the samples tend only to confuse the case. But
 an amateur UFO "buff" would probably not have realized this, and thought only
 that the samples would enhance the case. Since the case attracted many such
 individuals, it would be difficult to determine whom this might have been.

    Another theory would involve the "cover-up" scenario, and have the
 government fabricate the samples themselves. However, evidence for this idea
 would be difficult to obtain and essentially impossible to prove. If true,
 this would raise the question of why the government would deliberately
 enhance the case and then create an aura of secrecy, lending themselves to
 suspicion.

    Other hoax theories can be postulated, but all need the necessary proof,
 including a motive for their devices.

                                    22
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

                               CONCLUSIONS
                               ~~~~~~~~~~~
    There is no question that something very unusual occurred on May 20th,
 1967, north of Falcon Lake. There is no question that Stephen Michalak came
 back from his prospecting trip badly burned and seriously ill, claiming that
 he had encountered a strange craft. But is the account true?

    Can this case be effectively proved beyond a shadow of a doubt? The
 evidence includes the following:

    1. an eyewitness account of a vehicle behaving in ways not attributable
       to conventional craft.
    2. physiological damage to the witness, the mechanism of which is not
       immediately obviuos.
    3. a visible "landing site", consisting of a ring of loose soil,containing

       a bare patch of rock.

    Does this prove that an alien craft landed near Falcon Lake? Unfortunately
 not. Major problems include the metal samples found at the site and the
 radium detected (was it in evidence in different samples?). Clearly, the
 investigations at the time were varied but at the same time were confused,
 abd several bits of information are lacking. All of the CAPRO investigators
 agreed that Michalak was a very sincere individual, and detected no effort
 on his part to fabricate the account. This writer found this to be true from
 his own interviews with Michalak, and found no reason to doubt his veracity.

    If we assume that Michalak's story is truthful (and we have no reason
 immediately obvious to suppose otherwise), then we have a solid report of a
 landed UFO, complete with physical and physiological effects. What could it
 have been?

    Keel (1975) suggested that Michalak was a victim of a "game" played by
 ultraterrestrials, wanting to confuse him in his attempt to locate the
 site.(46)

    Bondarchuk (1979), a proponent of the ETH, describes his analysis by
 saying that Michalak was burned by "an intelligently guided craft of
 unconventional structure and of unknown origin." He, too, finds evidence of
 government intervention in the case. He also observes that the publication of
 Michalak's book, which to some suggests a hoaxer's methods, was financially
 not a successful venture, and the experience proved to be more costly to
 Michalak than a boon.(47)

    This writer is hesitant to give a final evaluation to the case. Personal
 interviews with the Michalak's have shown them to be sincere people, and not
 prone to irrational acts. They are intelligent, level-headed individuals, and
 well-read on many subjects. Their annoyance at their notoriety is apparent,
 and their defensiveness at further proddings show that they have been
 subjected to severe ridicule and criticism since the incident first hit the
 media in 1967.

    Investigations are continuing. If officials were convinced Michalak was a
 hoaxer, why was he not prosecuted for public mischief? Was there no definite
 evidence towards this end? It certainly would have been an interesting court
 case, arguing about the existance of UFO's. I think Michalak would have won.

                                    24
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                 EPILOGUE
                                 ~~~~~~~~
    Today, over thirteen years after his experience, Michalak remains
 convinced he had encountered something he wasn't supposed to see. His
 convictions are firmly entrenched. He has read several books about UFO's
 since 1967, and is still frustrated by not knowing what happened to him.
 He has been to Carmen, Manitoba, where "Charlie Redstar" was a nightly
 spectre over that town for many months, and heard stories from witnesses of
 their own experiences.

    In this writer's experience with UFO investigation, he has found that many
 UFO witnesses see more than one in a lifetime. That is, if a person sees one
 UFO, he or she will probably see another at a later time in their life. This
 is the "repeater" phenomenon which is considered to be an indication of
 insincerity in witnesses by several ufologists. This author is in
 disagreement with that belief, as the UFO phenomenon suggests a close link
 with the individual witness' psyche, possibly involving an "awareness
 threshold." While this may not be empirically proven or testable,
 theoretical ufology can only draw on apparent relationships, and there exists
 some evidence to indicate an association between a witness and the
 "perceived" UFO.

    In this regard, it is interesting to note that Michalak has reported
 another UFO sighting. It occurred in northwestern Ontario several years ago,
 while standing near a lake. He said that he observed "the same thing" as he
 had seen at Falcon Lake, though at a much greater distance from him, flying
 through the sky.

    Are "they" keeping an eye on him? Or is Michalak simply one of those
 people who is now encouraged to look skyward for unusual things?

    The mystery continues.

                                    26
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          FOOTNOTES AND REFERENCES
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
     (1) Gillmor, Daniel S., ed. _Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying
         Objects_. Bantam Books, New York, 1969. p. 319
     (2) Menzel, Donald H. and Ernest H. Taves. _The UFO Enigma_. New York:
         Doubleday & Company, 1977, p. 104
     (3) Gillmor, _op_. _cit_.
     (4) Gillmor, p. 320.
     (5) personal Communication to author, 1980.
     (6) Michalak, Stephen. _My Encounter With the UFO_. Osnova Publications,
         1967, p. 36.
     (7) Gillmor, p. 322.
     (8) Michalak, p. 32.
     (9) Gillmor, p. 322.
    (10) Gillmor, p. 321
    (11) Bondarchuk, Yurko. _UFO Sightings, Landings and Abductions_. Methuen,
         Toronto, 1979, p. 41.
    (12) _IBID_. p. 42.
    (13) Letter from R.F.S. Robertson to J. K. Fondren, dated 14 August, 1968.
    (14) Analysis was supported by Ufology Research of Manitoba.
    (15) Personal communication to author, 1980.
    (16) Gillmor, p. 323.
    (17) Cannon, Brian C. _Strange Case of Falcon Lake_. Part 3. Canadian UFO
         Report, Volume 1, Number 4, July-Aug, 1969, p.26.
    (18) Letter from R. J. Traill to S. C. Robertson, dated 13 June, 1968.
    (19) Personal communication from Dr. Sunil K. Sen to author, 1977.
    (20) Personal communication to author, 1980.
    (21) Unnamed doctor, in Michalak, p. 38.
    (22) Gillmor, p. 320.
    (23) Michalak, p. 35.
    (24) _Winnipeg Free Press_. Jan. 17, 1968.
    (25) Letter on record from Mayo Clinic, dated 1 April, 1969.
    (26) Letter on record from Mayo Clinic, dated 13 Jan., 1970.
    (27) _Winnipeg Tribune_. May 22, 1967. "'I was Burned by UFO' - City Man"
    (28) Michalak, p. 25
    (29) This statement is curious, as Cannon records Bissky as saying, "there
         are certain facts, such as Michalak's illness and burns and the very
         evident circle remaining at the site, which are unexplainable." in
         _Canadian UFO Report_ V.1, #4 July-Aug., 1969, p. 26.
    (30) National research Council, _Non-Meteoric Sightings_ File, DND 222.
    (31) _IBID_.
    (32) _CAPRO Bulletin_. V.2 #2 Jan.-Feb., 1969, p. 5.
    (33) _Winnipeg Tribune_. 29 June, 1967.
    (34) Michalak, p. 3.
    (35) _Winnipeg Tribune_. 11 Nov., 1967.
    (36) Undated clipping in UFOROM files.
    (37) _Winnipeg Tribune_, 14 Oct., 1968.
    (38) _House of Commons Debates_, 6 Feb., 1969, Ottawa, The Queen's Printer
         p. 5236.
    (39) Bondarchuk, p. 44.
    (40) Michalak, pp. 20-21.
    (41) Gillmor, p. 323.
    (42) _IBID_., p. 324.
    (43) Personal communication to author, 1980.
    (44) Bondarchuk, p. 43.
    (45) Cannon, p. 24.
    (46) Keel, John A. _The Mothman Prophecies_ Saturday Review Press, NY.,
         1975, p. 169.
    (47) Bondarchuk, pp. 44-45.

                                    29
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

           NEWSPAPER ARTICLES ON MICHALAK IN THE UFOROM COLLECTION

           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  Winnipeg Tribune     22 May 1967  'I was Burned by UFO'-City Man
  Winnipeg Free Press  23 May 1967  2 Support Local man's Report
  Winnipeg Tribune     23 May 1967  Experts May Probe Man's UFO Claim
  Winnipeg Free Press  24 May 1967  UFO Case "of Greatest Scientific Interest"
  Winnipeg Tribune     24 May 1967  Expert Doubts UFO Sighting
  Winnipeg Tribune     26 May 1967  U.S. Team to Check UFO
  Winnipeg Free Press  27 May 1967  A New UFO Report
  Winnipeg Tribune     30 May 1967  UFO Man Still Away From Work
  Winnipeg Free Press   2 Jun 1967  UFO Man at Scene Fails to Find Site
  Winnipeg Tribune      2 Jun 1967  RCMP Conducts UFO Search
  Winnipeg Free Press   5 Jun 1967  U.S. UFO Expert in Winnipeg
  Winnipeg Tribune      5 Jun 1967  UFO Expert Arrives
  Winnipeg Tribune      6 Jun 1967  No trace of UFO Located
  Winnipeg Tribune      7 Jun 1967  UFO Expert Leaves City
  Winnipeg Free Press  29 Jun 1967  20 UFO Reports
  Winnipeg Tribune     29 Jun 1967  Schreyer Queries UFO Reports
  Winnipeg Tribune      3 Jul 1967  'UFO Burns' Heal
  Winnipeg Tribune     11 Nov 1967  UFO Probe Sought
  Winnipeg Free Press  17 Jan 1968  Burns Back, Says Michalak
  Winnipeg Free Press  18 Mar 1968  'Victim' of UFO Ill Again
  Winnipeg Free Press
   (Leisure Magazine)   6 Apr 1968  UFO Sighting in Manitoba
  Winnipeg Free Press  21 May 1968  Find Made at UFO Site
  Winnipeg Tribune     14 Oct 1968  Ottawa Refuses to Reveal Reports
  Winnipeg Tribune     15 Nov 1968  Ottawa Mum on 'UFO Sighting'
  Brandon Sun          17 Nov 1968  Says Government Fears Panic
  Winnipeg Free Press  22 Apr 1978  "Answers" (query re Michalak)

                                    30
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        A FALCON LAKE BIBLIOGRAPHY
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Aggen, Erich A. Jr.  Further Aspects of the Hostility Theory.
               _Flying Saucers_ #67. Dec. 1969, pp 14-15.
    Bondarchuk, Yurko.  _UFO Sightings, Landings and Abductions_.

               Methuen, Toronto, 1967, pp. 37-45.
    Bucek, Steve.  The Michalak Case.  _APIC Bulletin_ #1, 1968, pp. 14-15.
    Bucek, Steve.  Michalak Report, Hoax or Reality. _APIC Notice_, undated.
    Cannon, Brian C.  UFO's - Mania or Mystery? _Canadian UFO Report_ V. 1 #1,
               Jan-Feb., 1969, pp. 14-15.
    Cannon, Brian C.  Strange Case of Falcon Lake, Part 1. _Canadian UFO
               Report_, V. 1 #2, Mar-Apr., 1969, pp. 10-12.
    Cannon, Brian C.  Strange Case of Falcon Lake, Part 2. _Canadian UFO
               Report_, V. 1 #3, May-June., 1969, pp. 11-12.
    Cannon, Brian C.  Strange Case of Falcon Lake, Part 3. _Canadian UFO
               Report_, V. 1 #4, July-Aug., 1969, pp. 24-26.
    Crain, T. Scott, Jr.  Flying Saucer Casualties. _Flying Saucers_, #73,
               June, 1971, pp. 7-9.
    Farish, Lou and Dale Titler.  UFO's - Touching is Believing.
               _Saga's UFO Annual_. V. 1 #1, 1975, pp. 30+
    Gillmor, Daniel S., ed.  _Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying
               Objects_.  Bantam, New York, 1969 "Case 22", pp. 316-324.
    Holzer, Hans.  _The Ufonauts_. Fawcett, Greenwich, Conneticut, 1976,
               pp. 37-39.
    _House of Commons Debates_.  6 Nov., 1967, Ottawa, Canada. The Queen's
               Printer, p. 3919.
    _House of Commons Debates_.  6 Feb., 1969, Ottawa, Canada. The Queen's
               Printer, pp. 5234-6.
     Kanon, Gregory M.  UFO's and the Canadian Government, Part 2.
               _Canadian UFO Report_, V. 3 #7, Spring, 1976, pp. 17-18
    Keel, John A.  _The Mothman Prophecies_.  Saturday Review Press, New York,
               1975, p. 169
    Lorenzen, Carol and Jim Lorenzen. _UFO's Over the Americas_. Signet,
               New York, 1968, pp. 27, 29, 38-41.
    Lorenzen, Carol and Jim Lorenzen. _UFO's: The Whole Story_. Signet,
               Toronto, 1969, pp. 195-8.
    Lorenzen, Carol and Jim Lorenzen. _Encounters With UFO Occupants_.
               Berkly, New York, 1976, pp. 11-12.
    Magor, John. Editorial: Ottawa's Useless Report. _Canadian UFO Report_.
               V. 1 #3, May-June, 1969, p.1.
    Menzel, Donald H. and Ernest H. Taves. _The UFO Enigma_. Doubleday & Co.,
               New York, 1977, p. 104, "Case 22".
    Michalak, Stephen.  _My Encounter With the UFO_. Osnova Publications,
               Winnipeg, 1967.
    Naud, Yves.  _UFO's and Extraterrestrials in History_. Ferni Publishers,
               Geneva, 1978, V. 3, Part 1, Chapter 6, pp. 147-156.
    Rutkowski, Chris.  The Michalak Case  _Proteus_. #4. October, 1977,
               pp. 10-21.
    Schwarz, Berthold Eric. Psychiatric and Parapsychiatric Dimensions of
               UFO's. _In_ Haines, Richard F., ed. _UFO Phenomena and the
               Behavioral Scientist_. Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, NJ, 1979,
               Part 2, Chapter 6, pp. 113-134.
    Sifakis, Carl.  _Official Guide to UFO Sightings_. Drake, New York, 1979,
               p. 121.
    Smith, Susy.  _Strangers From Space_. Manor Books, New York, 1977, pp.
               139-40.
    Steiger, Brad and Joan Whritenour.  _New UFO Breakthrough_. Award Books,
               New York, 1968, pp. 47-8.
    Story, Ronald D., ed.  _The Encyclopedia of UFO's_. Doubleday & Co.,
               New York, 1980, pp. 230-1.
    Tokarz, Harry. Are UFO's Boon or Curse to Medicine?  _Canadian UFO
               Report_, V. 4 #7. Summer, 1978, pp. 8-11.
    Vallee, Jacques.  _Passport to Magonia_. Regnery, Chicago, 1969.
               Appendix, Case #844, p. 345.
    Vezina, A. K.  Canada, 1967 - A big Year for UFO Research. _Flying
               Saucers_, #58, June, 1968, pp. 8-10.

                                    33
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

                             FURTHER REFERENCES
                             ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The UFOROM library collection does not contain all the references
 available on the Michalak case. The following list is a selection of
 references not held at the time of this writing. They are included for
 completeness and may be incorrectly cited. Other references, of course, may
 exist, and readers are encouraged to write the author, who would be greatly
 interested in further citations for inclusion in the bibliography.

    Flying Saucers, Feb., 1968, p. 29.
    Flying Saucers, Sept., 1972, p. 34.
    NICAP: Strange Effects from UFO's, 1969, p. 72.
    Flying Saucer Review, Jan., 1970, p. 12.
    Ted Phillips' Trace Cases, #276.
    NICAP UFO Investigator, June, 1967, p. 7.
    NICAP UFO Investigator, May, 1967, p. 23.
    Brad Sparks' Computer Catalog of Type 9 Cases, #106.
    UFO Nachtrichten, May, 1968.
    Luis Shoenherr's Computer Catalog, #2078.
    Early CAPRO Bulletins printed in Winnipeg, 1967+


Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast

At:

http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/

These contents above are copyright of the author and
UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced
without the express permission of both parties and
are intended for educational use only.

[ Previous Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |

UFO UpDates Main Index

UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp


Archive programming by Glenn Campbell at Glenn-Campbell.com