Need Debunking: Physical Evidence of UFO Encounter

Hawkeye

New Member
Hello all, for this thread I would like to highlight a specific claim regarding actual physical evidence of a UFO encounter, which would be the 1967 Falcon Lake UFO Incident. According to the man who allegedly experienced this UFO encounter, Stefan Michalak, he witnessed a pair of two UFOs flying in the sky around Lake Falcon, Winnipeg, Canada. One of the ships landed, and after trying to communicate with the pilots (whom he claims were speaking in an English accent) he gets near the ship. He touches it, and part of his gloves melts. The ship takes off, blasting him with heat from its exhaust port. His shirt and hat are burned.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falcon_Lake_Incident

Unlike other alleged encounters, what sets this one apart is the fact that the man in question did appear to end up suffering from burns and physiological effects from the ordeal. He was reported as having suffered from nausea, diarrhea, and overall weakness for about two weeks, losing 20 pounds. Doctors apparently recorded the fact that he was suffering from a very low lymphocyte count as well. The burns that were left on his body also reportedly would disappear and come back for the rest of his life.

How would one be able to rationally explain this story? I want to definitively say that Michalak faked the whole thing, but the physical symptoms aspect of this whole ordeal still confuses me. How would he be able to have a low lymphocyte count, as well as lose 20 pounds? Not to mention the burns that would allegedly disappear and reappear.

There are other parts to the story that highlight some interesting aspects of how the story could have more earthly explanations, but I would like to see if any of you guys could help with debunking/explaining specifically the physical symptoms aspect of this alleged encounter.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
How would one be able to rationally explain this story?
The explanation offered towards the end of the article you link seems adequate, though somewhat speculative. From the wikipedia article:

"Skeptics of the Falcon Lake UFO Incident state that Michalak's burns were as a result of an accident stemming from alcohol use, and that his claim was in order to hide their cause. In reporting the incident, Michalak would potentially dissuade any competitors from prospecting in his site. The subsequent frenzy by the public and media caused the reverse effect however, with numerous individuals descending upon the site.[3] The pieces of melted radioactive metal were purported by skeptics of the case to have been planted following the incident to solidify the hoax.[3][26]

"John B. Alexander writing in the Journal for Scientific Exploration states that some of Michalak's long-lasting effects, including the skin lesions which he claimed to be due to his exposure to the exhaust blast, were as a result of an allergic reaction. Alexander highlighted the inconsistencies within Michalak's testimony with regards to the event.[16]

"Aaron Sakulich writing for the Iron Skeptic agrees with the alcohol-use explanation.[27] Michalak's inconsistencies in his testimony when discussing his interactions with highway patrol officer G.S. Solotki as well as the nature of the drinks Michalak had prior to the incident were of note. Michalak's claim that he was sober was disputed by the staff at the Falcon Hotel, who stated Michalak had drunk several Presbyterians (a type of cocktail drink consisting of rye whiskey, ginger ale, and water).[27] Michalak's claim of his interactions with G.A. Solotki are directly disputed by Solotki's own report for the RCMP the night of the incident, which stated Michalak was reluctant to answer Solotki's questions despite his visible burns and possibly inebriated state.[27] In claiming that he was victim to a UFO related attack, Michalak could deflect attention away from prospecting competition on a site in which Michalak had already staked a claim."
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falcon_Lake_Incident
 
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Hawkeye

New Member
The explanation offered towards the end of the article you link seems adequate, though somewhat speculative. From the wikipedia article:


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falcon_Lake_Incident
Oh yeah I saw that at the bottom of the wiki page, and I agree that the explanation presented there is a lot more rational. I also was able to find the podcast episode from the Winnipeg Skeptics that covered this topic, and in that episode they mentioned some other events that highlight how Michalak’s story is at the very least inconsistent in certain aspects.

https://winnipegskeptics.com/2017/07/17/episode-122-ufos/ (Part about Falcon Lake starts around 30:00 and ends at around 46:00)

Overall I would say that I’m aware of how inconsistent this story is, at least how Michalak tells it. I’m just wondering how it would be possible to fake those physical symptoms? Or how he could’ve brought them upon himself using some DYI methods.
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
Oh yeah I saw that at the bottom of the wiki page, and I agree that the explanation presented there is a lot more rational. I also was able to find the podcast episode from the Winnipeg Skeptics that covered this topic, and in that episode they mentioned some other events that highlight how Michalak’s story is at the very least inconsistent in certain aspects.

https://winnipegskeptics.com/2017/07/17/episode-122-ufos/ (Part about Falcon Lake starts around 30:00 and ends at around 46:00)

Overall I would say that I’m aware of how inconsistent this story is, at least how Michalak tells it. I’m just wondering how it would be possible to fake those physical symptoms? Or how he could’ve brought them upon himself using some DYI methods.
As the Wikipedia article asserts, an allergic reaction.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
Yeah, recurring dermatitis sounds like an allergy more than some sort of recurring radiation burn (?) I also wonder about some sort of chronic skin illness.

I'm not in a position to say if the guy is faking any of it -- maybe, it's a thing people do. He may also be misinterpreting a skin allergy as UFO aftereffects. That's assuming he is indeed experiencing recurrent skin rashes.
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
Yeah, recurring dermatitis sounds like an allergy more than some sort of recurring radiation burn (?) I also wonder about some sort of chronic skin illness.

I'm not in a position to say if the guy is faking any of it -- maybe, it's a thing people do. He may also be misinterpreting a skin allergy as UFO aftereffects. That's assuming he is indeed experiencing recurrent skin rashes.
Or, as the article suggests, he was covering for a bender.
 

Hawkeye

New Member
Yeah, recurring dermatitis sounds like an allergy more than some sort of recurring radiation burn (?) I also wonder about some sort of chronic skin illness.

I'm not in a position to say if the guy is faking any of it -- maybe, it's a thing people do. He may also be misinterpreting a skin allergy as UFO aftereffects. That's assuming he is indeed experiencing recurrent skin rashes.
Yeah now that you mention it, recurring dermatitis as a result of some sort of allergic reaction could very well account for the recurring burn marks. The podcast episode from above also mentions some doctor that stated that the recurring burns looked more like a sunburn than anything else.

Would that whole low lymphocyte count thing also possibly be due to a severe allergic reaction, or maybe some simpler form of trauma that he could’ve had while drunk/inebriated? I’m not too sure what could cause that
 

Hawkeye

New Member
Or, as the article suggests, he was covering for a bender.
Not only that, but there’s a couple sources that state that he might have been attempting to shoo people away from the land that he was prospecting (not sure if that’s the proper word, but it had something to do with silver being found). A piece of “radioactive metal” allegedly from the ship is pretty much thought to have been planted at the alleged landing site
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
Would that whole low lymphocyte count thing also possibly be due to a severe allergic reaction, or maybe some simpler form of trauma that he could’ve had while drunk/inebriated? I’m not too sure what could cause that
Perhaps he already had a "low lymphocyte count", even before the whole event?
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
A 2nd or 3rd degree burn can get infected, and possibly the infection leads to the nausea and diarrhea?

Attributing the recurrence of the burn marks to the alien encounter is an example of magical thinking, as if the aliens had laid a witch's curse on the guy. The human body is not magical, and a one-time burn can't cause future burns to happen. The "it was aliens" explanation for the recurring mark doesn't hold up, yet UFO believers consider it confirmation!

A UFO launch hot enough to burn a bystander should have also thoroughly burned the launch site, was that ever documented?
 

Ann K

Active Member
Overall I would say that I’m aware of how inconsistent this story is, at least how Michalak tells it. I’m just wondering how it would be possible to fake those physical symptoms? Or how he could’ve brought them upon himself using some DYI methods.
The impression received by the patrol officer was that his chest looked as if he had rubbed it with wood ashes, but Michalak refused to let him get close.

RCMP report.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
are welding googles and possibly welding gloves normal in quartz mining?

edit add: from the cover of his book. it was welding gloves
1653744064501.png




Article:
donning his pair of welding goggles as protection.

...
he found it so hot that the fingertips of his gloves melted


Article:
The anomalous readings were subsequently uncovered to be due to a radium vein which was near the site.[3][26]


Would that whole low lymphocyte count thing also possibly be due to a severe allergic reaction, or maybe some simpler form of trauma that he could’ve had while drunk/inebriated? I’m not too sure what could cause that
maybe google causes. my first guess is alcoholism. or possibly radium poisoning, but ii'm not sure what a radium vein means. but since you aren't quoting anything and making us (the reader) do too much work, i'm going to make you google explanations for yourself.

lymphopenia causes


meanwhile: how he got himself (or the aliens got him) with a big grid on his belly and a little grid on the back of his undershirt is beyond me.
1653741533862.png

1653741570403.png
1653741733893.png
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
From the wikipedia article:
this part is flat out wrong, if we read that paragraph as prior to the UFO incident

Michalak's claim that he was sober was disputed by the staff at the Falcon Hotel, who stated Michalak had drunk several Presbyterians (a type of cocktail drink consisting of rye whiskey, ginger ale, and water).[27]
Content from External Source
from their own source link:
Article:
But here are the simple facts relating to the case: Michalak claimed that not only had he not been drinking on the day of the encounter, but he had not drank any alcohol, at all, all weekend. A quick check with the local bartender confirmed that, the night before the encounter, Michalak had come in and had at least 5 bottles of beer. When returning to the site with investigators, they stopped at a bar and he had quite a few “Presbyterians”, a drink made with Rye Whiskey and a 50/50 ginger ale/water.


and the hotel staff interview
1653743376591.png
https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/disco...FQ2ErViXFLSpvv8chpdku1TLpKpFa3A2kfgAGMwEf68U8
 

Mechanik

Active Member
My first thought on seeing the welding gear is that this could be the result of mixing alcohol and welding. Spilling hard liquor on yourself while working with a welder could be a disaster. Failure to cover your entire body during arc welding can also cause burns similar to sunburn, if he was using an arc welder.

Doesn’t explain the grid patterns, though.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
From the wiki page:
The craft appeared empty, and as he walked away, three panels slid in to seal the craft, and when he touched the craft, he found it so hot that the fingertips of his gloves melted.[1][2]
I thought all gloves worn by welders (especially in the 60's) were made from leather. Leather does not melt.

Michalak says the craft then turned counter-clockwise, revealing a panel with a grid of holes[1] that emitted a blast of heated gas that hit him in the chest, blew him backward, and set fire to his clothing.[8][13] Michalak says he immediately tore the burning clothing off as the craft flew away.[1]
The pronounced and defined small dots seen in the hospital (?) images, means he must have had his chest right onto the panel, like on top of it. Was he hugging the craft?


Not much material left, that sounds believable to me.
 

Hawkeye

New Member
are welding googles and possibly welding gloves normal in quartz mining?

edit add: from the cover of his book. it was welding gloves
1653744064501.png




Article:
donning his pair of welding goggles as protection.

...
he found it so hot that the fingertips of his gloves melted


Article:
The anomalous readings were subsequently uncovered to be due to a radium vein which was near the site.[3][26]



maybe google causes. my first guess is alcoholism. or possibly radium poisoning, but ii'm not sure what a radium vein means. but since you aren't quoting anything and making us (the reader) do too much work, i'm going to make you google explanations for yourself.

lymphopenia causes


meanwhile: how he got himself (or the aliens got him) with a big grid on his belly and a little grid on the back of his undershirt is beyond me.
1653741533862.png

1653741570403.png
1653741733893.png
I apologize if I’ve been making the community do more than what’s required of it, I’m still trying to get used to following the posting guidelines more thoroughly.
Regarding this topic I just wanted to see if any community members had some insight into potential explanations for some aspects of the case. I admit that I have a bit of trouble when it comes to investigating stranger claims like this case and finding more down to earth conclusions
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
The pronounced and defined small dots seen in the hospital (?) images, means he must have had his chest right onto the panel, like on top of it. Was he hugging the craft?
and how did his shirt catch on fire but his stomach hair doesnt singe.? it's weird, whetehr he did it or the aliens.
1653761616737.png
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
and how did his shirt catch on fire but his stomach hair doesnt singe.? it's weird, whetehr he did it or the aliens.
1653761616737.png
Good eye! Indeed, makes no sense. I guess he got a bit carried away while ironing his favourite working shirt? Perhaps he enjoys doing that while wearing them. Maybe it works better? Direct fit?

I get my coat.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
another pic. hi shat if "burned" at all seems to be in the back. like his undershirt is on the back..which contradicts the he was facing the thing, touching the thing. although he also says he was walking away.

these must be marks from a later date (as they dont at all match the incident marks). these do look like some skin breakouts of diseases/rashes but that's a bit f a coincidence... maybe from cupping? like a vaccuum cleaner type fake hickey thing??

michalak-evidence.jpg

and now im wondering when they say "burns on his chest" maybe they mean more like Rug burns. which aren't burns at all, are they?hhhmmm...i wonder why they call it rug burn.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
1653770999069.png

Article:
What causes a rug burn?
Even though rug burns can be minor, these injuries are a type of first-degree burn. If you fall down and your bare skin comes in contact with a rug or carpet, the friction from the fall may generate enough heat to remove or damage the top layer of your skin, resulting in a burn-like mark.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
are welding googles and possibly welding gloves normal in quartz mining?

edit add: from the cover of his book. it was welding gloves
1653744064501.png




Article:
donning his pair of welding goggles as protection.

...
he found it so hot that the fingertips of his gloves melted


Article:
The anomalous readings were subsequently uncovered to be due to a radium vein which was near the site.[3][26]



maybe google causes. my first guess is alcoholism. or possibly radium poisoning, but ii'm not sure what a radium vein means. but since you aren't quoting anything and making us (the reader) do too much work, i'm going to make you google explanations for yourself.

lymphopenia causes


meanwhile: how he got himself (or the aliens got him) with a big grid on his belly and a little grid on the back of his undershirt is beyond me.
1653741533862.png

1653741570403.png
1653741733893.png
No reason to have welder's goggles specifically, but if you're using a hammer you might want to protect your eyes from chips. Maybe he didn't have anything else so he tool his welder's goggles. T

You might want to have that kind of glove. I've worn latex gloves when doing hobbyist placer gold mining. Gravel gets your hands raw after awhile.

Re: The burns.

The pattern on his chest and on the back of the shirt look familiar, non?

Vintage waffle iron found on eBay.

s-l1600 (7).jpg
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Well, Deirdre, it looks as if we were thinking along the same lines in regard to the burns. The iron plates on these were typically removable, btw

These burns showed up later, right?

And maybe he burned the gloves when he was handling the hot waffle iron? And he just threw them into the story, because why not?
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
These burns showed up later, right?
yea he did go home on the bus before going to his local hospital. but he caught the 8pm bus, so it depends on if his wife was asleep when he got in (to burn himself with a waffle iron).

but since he was 'mining', it makes sense to me maybe he brought a torch, his welding googles, and welding gloves to do his mining stuff. google says you need like 2000 degrees to melt silver. the only question is if welding equipment in 1967 could fit in the brown suitcase the officer reported seeing him carry up from his ufo spot.

i'm also wondering if starting fires in that area might have been illegal, which could account for his big story. the reports are pretty pathetically undetailed. but his actions sound suspicious to me.

this is the most detailed report of events like a month later https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/unusual/ufo/Documents/1967-08-10.pdf

Maybe he didn't have anything else so he tool his welder's goggles.
possible but 1. those are definitely welding gloves. it has the same tuck by the thumb as modern gloves (as well as the white gauntlet part to cover your wrists)
and 2. in 1960 its hard to imagine any man in the USA not having a regular pair of safety googles. possible, but hard to imagine.
my dad had 3 and he barely did anything that required them. he did own a circular saw and we had a vice grip on our workbench, but i never saw my dad actually use the saw table. and this ufo guy was an industrial mechanic, i imagine he had a tool or two at home.


Screenshot 2022-05-28 163249.png






we can of course note that nothing was found until quite a bit later. not the burned glove, or burned shirt... he could have easily gone back and planted those things to match his story. but why bother making up that story in the first place? unless he was just bored and figured "hee hee i've got a great plan to fake a ufo"
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
Looking at that shirt... we're looking at a pattern of dots on the back of the shirt and one burned-away bit, to the left and right are the remaining shreds of the front of the shirt. Basing that on the lower neckline on the mostly burned away bit, typical of the front of an undeshirt.

1653784097412.jpgI'd be willing to believe his shirt caught on fire and he quickly tore it off leaving burns on his chest. I do not believe that a blast of heat hit him in the chest, set the shirt on fire, left burns in his chest, didn't mark his back, and then left a pattern of burns on the back if the shirt. Am I missing reports that his back suffered burns? Failing that, it is somewhat silly.
 

Ann K

Active Member
I'd be willing to believe his shirt caught on fire and he quickly tore it off leaving burns on his chest.
But as @deirdre pointed out, it happened without burning his body hair. I'd think that might be more likely with a radiation burn than with a fire.

Is it likely that he himself had possession of radioactive material and managed to injure himself with it? Nope, I don't want to speculate for what purpose and I'm not sure what would account for the pattern, but he certainly would not be the first person to underestimate the power of a radioactive sample.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
But as @deirdre pointed out, it happened without burning his body hair. I'd think that might be more likely with a radiation burn than with a fire.

Is it likely that he himself had possession of radioactive material and managed to injure himself with it? Nope, I don't want to speculate for what purpose and I'm not sure what would account for the pattern, but he certainly would not be the first person to underestimate the power of a radioactive sample.
whatever he was doing, his behavior with the police was super suspicious. i mean you're all burned up and hurt but refuse to let the cop see it close up? and then he wouldn't go in the police station, and then wouldn't accept a ride to a hospital from police ...but was ok with waiting a few hours to enclose his radioactive self in a small bus with other passengers (to travel home).

and when the police took him out he couldnt find the spot? (until he had enough time to find a better spot, or clean up remaining evidence of whatever he was doing out there) ...

my spidey sense is tingling.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I'd be willing to believe his shirt caught on fire and he quickly tore it off leaving burns on his chest.
yea but even if you pass out and your cig ignites your front, it doesnt really explain the back burned that much.

based on what happened when my girlfriend lit the woods on fire when we were freshmen in high school and how i finally got it out. i don't think he had his shirt on when he started whatever fire. or he started the woods on fire and took his shirt off to beat the flames out but realized quickly that nonwet cotton shirts catch fire quick. that would also explain the back of his hat... something catches fire you grab the bill of your hat and try to fling the fire piece to a safer area* (a sort of scoop with the back of the hat)..that doesnt work and finally you realize to use your overshirt (which is missing from this story) and run to the river and wet it**.

*this is how my friend spread the fire. i wanted to kill her.
**this is how i put it out. i was super flustered after (like his behavior attributed to the ufo sighting), almost ran once or twice but like 500 acres would have gone up and fire trucks could never access the area. i wanted to kill her.it was super hairy. i have no idea how we would have explained our appearance if a cop drove past on our way home. luckily we weren't hurt and didnt have to flag anyone down.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Radioactive material is getting needlessly exotic. What we see on this man's skin are 1st degree burns, which are superficial. Most of what you see is due to inflammation. A heat source much below the temperature that would scorch hair is entirely adequate to cause these marks.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
A heat source much below the temperature that would scorch hair is entirely adequate to cause these marks.
A common example would be a sun-burn.

I expect natural, non-enriched radium would cause burns basically only from contact: Pierre Curie had radiation burns on his fingers, and on his arm where he kept a radium vial strapped to it for hours.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
But as @deirdre pointed out, it happened without burning his body hair. I'd think that might be more likely with a radiation burn than with a fire.

Is it likely that he himself had possession of radioactive material and managed to injure himself with it? Nope, I don't want to speculate for what purpose and I'm not sure what would account for the pattern, but he certainly would not be the first person to underestimate the power of a radioactive sample.

If he was subject to radiation and causing burns, it is quite unlikely it is visible directly after it happened. Here in this link it is discussed.
Where radiation burns differ from thermal burns is the amount of time between contact and seeing the burn damage. A thermal burn is immediately apparent after contact with a hot object, but radiation burns may take even weeks to present.

Sounds to me highly unlikely his burns were caused by radioactivity.

The "hot air jet" sounds even more unlikely as you cannot get these defined dots when using hot gasses.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Would that whole low lymphocyte count thing also possibly be due to a severe allergic reaction, or maybe some simpler form of trauma that he could’ve had while drunk/inebriated?
Agree that, at best, this low lymphocyte count thing may have been naively connected to the case by the witness. Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

Or something real but unrelated that was knowingly folded into the case in an effort to deceive.

But why are we even assuming that this low lymphocyte count thing is real? Where did this info come from? Neither doctors nor cops would release this kind of info to the public. The info would have to come from the witness. This may be another bit of concocted evidence.
 
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Hawkeye

New Member
Agree that, at best, this low lymphocyte count thing may have been naively connected to the case by the witness. Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

Or something real but unrelated that was knowingly folded into the case in an effort to deceive.

But why are we even assuming that this low lymphocyte count thing is real? Where did this info come from? Neither doctors nor cops would release this kind of info to the public. The info would have to come from the witness. This may be another bit of concocted evidence.
It seems that the Wikipedia article cites this as the source backing up the lymphocyte claim:

https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/news/podcasts/Pages/ufo-falcon-lake-incident-2.aspx

From what I can gather this seems to be a transcript of a podcast episode that has “Stefan Michalak's son Stan and UFO researchers Chris Rutkowski and Palmiro Campagna” elaborating on what happened.

Maybe it’s because I’m not looking hard enough but I haven’t found any public records/documents of the low lymphocyte effects. I was under the impression that this would’ve been recorded in some hospital records, but at this point I haven’t seen anything like that, even though Wikipedia claims that there is:

“…Mayo Clinic correspondence by physicians attending to Michalak.[2]

The source for this claim being https://falcontrailsresort.com/close-encounters-of-the-2nd-kind
 
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