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Aliens and spaceships are a bit passe these days, but 736 reported UFO sightings across Canada last year shows an "underlying, real phenomenon" going on, says one of the country's top UFO researchers.
"It's true, we don't have as many aliens on TV as we used to - they used to be on commercials selling us everything from Pepsi to decongestants," says Chris Rutkowski, director of the Winnipeg-based Ufology Research institute.
"And yet the phenomenon persists, which to me says there is a basic underlying, real phenomenon that extends beyond media and pop culture."
Rutkowski's annual Canadian UFO Survey last year recorded the third-largest number of sightings in its 17-year history - down from a record of 882 sightings in 2004.
British Columbia and Ontario had the highest number of recorded cases, but Saskatchewan posted an all-time record of 98 sightings.
The tiny community of Maidstone just east of the Alberta boundary accounted for more than half of the reports from Saskatchewan.