The encounter between a human and an UFO was broadly classified by astronomer Allen Hynek in his 1972 book — The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry into three types — Close Encounters of the 1st Kind, 2nd Kind, and 3rd Kind. Now UFO researchers have extended that to 4th and 5th Kind. When a person says he has seen an UFO then we can say he had a ‘Close Encounter of the First Kind’. If there are other eye witnesses from the same area and radar evidence, then this sighting becomes a very strong one. Hundreds of pilots, both civilian and military, have had this kind of encounters.
An UFO sighting or landing which leaves behind or causes measurable physical effect or evidence can be categorised as ‘Close Encounter of the Second Kind’. This encounter can cause physical side effects to the witness like paralysis or heat burns and other types of symptoms like his vehicle may malfunction or come to a halt. The animals in the vicinity may react. Sometimes the landed UFO leaves behind physical impression on the ground, chemical traces and scorched vegetation.
The UFO encounter of Stephen Michalak, an industrial mechanic in the Falcon Lake area in Manitoba, Canada on May 20, 1967, is a classic Close Encounter of the Second Kind case for two reasons. First, physical traces were found on the area where the UFO reportedly landed, and the witness experienced a series of physiological effects because of this encounter. This case was investigated extensively by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Department of National Defence (DND), the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), and the Manitoba Department of Health, the Condon Commission, and several civilian UFO groups from the US and Canada. Unlike the Americans, Canadian officials reacted quickly after some radioactive traces were detected in soil samples from the landing area as well as on Michalak’s garments.
According to one Canadian government document, Michalak on May 20, 1967 was examining a rock formation when two UFOs appeared before him. One of the UFOs remained airborne in the immediate area for a few moments, then flew off at great speed. The second UFO landed a few hundred feet away from his position. As Michalak approached the UFO, a side door opened and voices were heard coming from within, but Michalak was unable to see inside due to a bright yellow bluish light which blocked his vision.
Since Michalak knew six languages he tried to communicate with the personnel inside the object in English, Russian, German, Italian, French and Ukrainian but without success. When he approached within a few feet of the object, the door closed. He heard a whining noise and the object began to rotate anti-clockwise and finally rosed off the ground.
He reached out with his left gloved hand and touched the object before it lifted off the ground; the glove burned immediately. As the object left the ground, the exhaust gases burned his cap, outer and inner garments, and he sustained severe stomach and chest burns. As a result of these he was hospitalised for a number of days.
Soil samples taken by Michalak from the immediate area occupied by the UFO were analysed and found to be radioactive to a degree that the samples had to be safely disposed off. Later an examination of the UFO landing area was made by a radiologist from the Department of Health and Welfare and a small area was found to be radioactive. The radiologist was unable to provide an explanation on what caused this area to become contaminated.
Both DND and RCMP investigation teams were unable to provide evidence which would dispute Michalak’s story that he had an encounter with an UFO.
(The writer is the Director of INSETS: Indian Society for Extraterrestrial Studies and also the author of ‘Accidental Apocalypse’)