Flying somethings in the sky
Tuk residents latest of dozens of Northerners who have seen UFOs

by Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

AKLAVIK (Mar 10/97) - Vera Ovayuak is a believer.

The Tuktoyaktuk resident is one of five people who claim to have been followed by two UFOs along the ice road near Aklavik in the early morning hours on Feb. 22.

"It hovered over the trees and then glided so smoothly down to the snow near the ice road behind us," she said. "When it started moving to the right, another one showed up."

Ovayuak, who is the community's wellness co-ordinator, describes the unidentified flying objects as silver-grey with rows of windows.

"The one in front had four big windows and the light coming out of them was bright blue," she said. "You could see the one in front real good."

Ovayuak spotted the pair with her son Grant, along with Dorothy and Churchill Wolki and Lena Kotokak.

She said they didn't stop their truck for fear of what might happen. "I think we panicked and we were kind of scared," she said. "We weren't about to stop."

The unidentified craft disappeared after about 15 minutes when the group took a turn along the ice road. "We expected them to be there, but they were gone. Then we all got real quiet for about 20 minutes."

Ovayuak's group is not alone. Reports of UFO sightings in Tsiigehtchic were also reported recently after CBC Radio broadcast an interview with Ovayuak.

Jim Bronskill, a reporter with the Canadian Press who has researched the phenomenon, said that dozens of Northerners have reported similar sightings throughout the Arctic over the years.

Bronskill said that UFO sightings from the NWT have been on file at National Archives in Ottawa since records were kept.

Sometimes dismissed as the Northern Lights, atmospheric irregularities, drug-use or overactive imaginations, mysterious lights in the NWT have been investigated by the Department of National Defence, among other government agencies.

"I wasn't a believer of such things," said Ovayuak. "But now that I've seen them, I'd say never underestimate peoples' word."

"I'll never again travel without my camera -- next time, I'm going to take a picture," she added.