The Aliens are coming!! Canada launches glow in the dark coin for its most famous UFO sighting

As usual, the Royal Canadian Mint has another extendsive selection of new coins this month including additions to ongoing series, some quirky new issues, and the obligatory maple Leaf themed releases. The unobtrusive coin we’re looking at here would normally have drifted under the radar as just another release, and to be honest, we’re not quite sure why that isn’t the case.

Possibly the most famous UFO sighting in Canadian history, the Falcon Lake sighting in 1967 is doubly interesting for a commemorative coin because the man who witnessed the event was an amateur precious metal hunter. To mark the event, the RCM has taken its hugely popular ‘Pysanka’ shaped coin blank and combined it with its equally popular glow-in-the-dark technique to produce this one-ounce silver coin. Depicting Stefan Michalak looking up at the spaceship he described, the image changes to an eerie view when the lights go out or the included blacklight flash is passed over it. Pass your mouse over the image below to see the effect.

The obverse is the same straightforward effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Sussana Blunt that the RCM uses on almost all its output. There’s a fine etched maple leaf outline pattern in the background, but other than that it’s a standard affair. Likewise, the packaging is the usual maroon snapper box in a coloured shipper box and with a serialised certificate of authenticity.

What’s baffling is the rampant appreciation that this coin is currently experiencing. Launched just seven days ago for $129.95 CAD, the price on the aftermarket has risen exponentially since. Just a week later, we’re seeing prices well in excess of $700, with asking prices on auction sites approaching $1,000 CAD. The 4,000 mintage has already completely sold out at the mint, but determining if this is a short-term feeding frenzy or a long-term investment is clearly a difficult determination to make. We suspect that prices on this will come crashing back down, but that’s a call we could be straight up wrong about as it’s incredibly difficult to predict market foibles. Buyer beware.

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DESIGN: Designed by artist Joel Kimmel, your coin is based on Stefan Michalak’s account of what transpired on May 20, 1967, near Falcon Lake, Manitoba. A full application of colour re-creates the springtime colours of the place where Michalak saw two objects appear in the midday sky. Based on the witness’s descriptions and sketches, the oval-shaped UFO on the reverse has a steel-like appearance as it hovers above him. Black light-activated features complete the story by mimicking the distinctive red glow described by Michalak, while adding a yellow hue to the blast of hot air or gas that knocked the amateur prospector on his back and left him with mysterious burn marks. The reverse includes the engraved word “CANADA”, the face value “20 DOLLARS” and the year “2018”. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

BACKSTORY: Around midday on May 20, 1967, amateur prospector Stefan (Stephen) Michalak was on the hunt for precious metals in Whiteshell Provincial Park when he suddenly noticed two strange objects in the sky. Both glowed with an intense red and  glare as they descended from the sky; one abruptly left the scene, but the other landed roughly 50 metres away from Michalak, who moved in to get a closer look.
The humming object was described as having a sulphurous smell, and it appeared to be made from a stainless steel-like material. Peering into a brightly lit opening, Michalak heard muffled sounds and tried calling out to them, only to be met with silence. He touched the seamless sides of the craft, which melted the tips of his glove; and when the UFO suddenly lifted off the ground, it emitted a blast of hot air or gas that knocked Michalak on his back, igniting his shirt and causing a grid-like pattern of third-degree burns to his chest.

What was the strange craft? Where did it come from? It’s a story that has more questions than answers. Michalak never claimed the craft was an alien one; neither did he waver in his account of what he had seen and experienced that day, even under the scrutiny of doctors, scientists, law enforcement officials and other authorities, who could neither corroborate nor disprove the close encounter.

  • Canada is a hotbed of UFO activity! According to a survey, 1,131 UFO sightings were reported in Canada in 2016… but only 4% of these could not be explained. Quebec also leads all other provinces in reported UFO sightings.
  • In 1967 (the same year as the Falcon Lake Incident), the world’s first UFO landing pad was built in St. Paul, Alta.
  • Another famous Canadian UFO sighting took place in 1967 — this time, in Shag Harbour, N.S., where a series of orange lights were seen flashing in the sky before the unknown object crashed into the ocean.
  • In 2016, a public opinion poll reported that four in five Canadians believe intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe, and nearly half of those polled believed aliens had already visited Earth.
COMPOSITION 0.9999 silver
WEIGHT 31.82 grams
DIMENSIONS 45.0 x 33.0 mm
MODIFICATIONS Colour, luminescence
BOX / COA Yes / Yes