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Sasquatch sightings wanted
Filmmaker Raymond Yakeleya writing book with hopes of better understanding paranormal phenomena

Robin Grant
Northern News Services
Friday, June 9, 2017

When filmmaker Raymond Yakeleya was growing up in Tulita, he said elders used to tell him stories of the paranormal persuasion.

NNSL photograph

Raymond Yakeleya: Edmonton-based filmmaker is writing a book about supernatural encounters. His goal is to shed light on the number and type of sightings in Canada as well as to better understand what people are seeing.

They warned him about the Sasquatch and UFOs in the area and told him not to stray too far alone.

"I first started hearing stories about trappers in the winter, especially when they were out hunting and trapping with their dog teams, that they would see strange lights in the sky," he said.

"The UFOs would stop. They would start. They would go at incredible speeds. Sometimes you'd hear a UFO had followed a trapper back to his cabin."

Now, many years later, Yakeleya is exploring supernatural encounters and sightings in a new book, Morning of the 13th Hour. He is looking for anyone with paranormal experiences related to UFOs, alien abductions, Sasquatch and water creatures to come forward. He said he hopes by exploring the topic, people will better understand paranormal phenomena in Canada. The book, which he is currently researching, is inspired by the stories he has gathered from indigenous communities, as well as the experiences of his family in Tulita.

"Everything changed when I heard that one of my brothers told me that he had seen a UFO in the 1980s," said Yakeleya, who runs the film company Earth Magic Media. "I could tell that he'd seen something and it was really deep in his mind."

He said according to his research, there were many UFO sightings near Tulita in the 1980s. But the first official reports were filed in 1968 and 1969. The first Sasquatch report was filed 1973, he said.

There are several well-known UFO sightings in the NWT. In 1960, a UFO crashed near Yellowknife River on Clan Lake. Yellowknifer reported that on June 18, 1960, a man told the Yellowknife RCMP about a strange object flying out of the sky and crashing into the lake. According to the story, author Chris Rutkowski stumbled upon the RCMP reports related to the event while "poking around" the library and Archives Canada website.

Yellowknifer reported at the time the investigation that followed the report included the military and RCMP, but nobody was able to find what had crashed into the lake that night.

UFO sightings in Canada are a fairly common occurrence. According to the Canadian UFO Survey conducted by the Ufology Research of Manitoba, sightings in 2016 were at a record high with 1,131 official reports filed that year. It was the fifth year in a row that was above 1,000 cases. A total of 18,038 Canadian UFO reports have been cataloged during the past 28 years.

According to the 2016 report, only one of those sightings took place in the NWT - it was in Fort Smith where someone spotted an orange light descend then make a 90-degree turn before flying off.

Yakeleya said he hopes talking about supernatural sightings openly, without judgment, will give people the chance to learn from each other.

"When people start talking or see things that are unusual and they try to learn about it, people say, 'You're superstitious or maybe you've been drinking,'" he said. "We don't listen to people who have seen something unusual."

Yakeleya said indigenous people are the strongest source of evidence of the reality of paranormal encounters.

"We are on the front lines," he said.

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