Looking for a Manitoba summer vacation spot that may be slightly off the beaten path?
You can always hit the beach of the cabin – or you can check out some of the weird and wonderful recommendations from homegrown UFO researcher Chris Rutkowski.
Rutkowski, the author of numerous books on UFOs, documents paranormal sites and events on his Ufology Research blog, and he told 680 CJOB that Manitoba is home to a number of weird spots – from locations where UFOs allegedly landed, to sea monsters living in local lakes, and beyond.
The author said one of his favourite lesser-known spots in the province is the Sam Waller museum in The Pas – home to a variety of bizarre exhibits, most notably a cast of a sasquatch footprint taken by conservation officers and RCMP.
“Back in 1979, lots of people had seen this big, black, hairy eight-foot man-beast up near Gypsumville,” said Rutkowski.
“There was hair found on barbed wire fences, and there was a posse that took a tranquilizer gun out to shoot the darn thing.”
Of course, the best they got was the footprint, but Rutkowski said the museum is well worth a visit for other reasons as well.
“It’s a very weird museum. It has strange things – it has Buck Rogers pistol rayguns that were sold, it has a rocket that was shot up into space from Fort Churchill. It’s got things like a human appendix… I think it has a two-headed calf.”
READ MORE: UFOlogists to converge on site of 1967 Falcon Lake encounter
If that’s too weird for you, why not have a swim in one of two Manitoba lakes that are – if you believe sightings going back to the 1930s – home to sea monsters.
“Manipogo Provincial Park is northeast of Dauphin,” said Rutkowski.
“It’s a real jewel. It’s got some of the best beaches, crystal clear blue water… and it’s a location where a lot of people say they’ve seen this lake monster, Manitoba’s version of Nessie.
“It’s a really beautiful place and you might be able to see our version of the Loch Ness Monster.”
If there’s a Manipogo, there has to be a Winnipogo. That monster can, allegedly, be found at Westhawk Lake.
Stefan Michalak’s sketch of the UFO he said he saw near Falcon Lake in 1967.
Stefan Michalak’s sketch of the UFO he said he saw near Falcon Lake in 1967. Falcon Lake UFO Encounter / Facebook
The crown jewel of Manitoba’s paranormal mysteries, though, might be the Falcon Lake UFO incident.
Rutkowski is an expert on the topic. He co-wrote a book about the 1967 incident – which saw a local prospector mysteriously burned in an apparent flying saucer landing – with the man’s son.
The spot where the man said he witnessed the landing has become somewhat of a pilgrimage for amateur ufologists, with crowds converging on the area for the Falcon Lake UFO Encounter Weekend in May – an event featuring Rutkowski himself as a speaker.
“The site is visitable,” he said. “You can go into town and buy t-shirts and hats and the whole thing.
The Falcon Beach Ranch takes people in on a guided tour by horseback, so you get to be on horses, you get to be in a place where a UFO landed, see some beautiful country. It’s a nice excursion on a nice summer day.”