Stan Michalak can still vividly remember when his dad came home sick and injured after something happened in the Falcon Lake woods in Manitoba on the May long weekend of 1967.
It was something that put his family life into upheaval and remains one of the world’s best-known UFO encounters.
“I recalled seeing him in bed. He didn’t look good at all. He looked pale, haggard,” said Michalak, who was nine years old at the time and was allowed to see his dad for a couple of minutes on the day after what soon become known as the Falcon Lake incident.
Then there was the smell.
“When I walked into the bedroom there was a huge stink in the room, like a real horrible aroma of sulphur and burnt motor. It was all around and it was coming out of his pores. It was bad,” said Michalak, who co-authored the book When They Appeared with Winnipeg UFO researcher Chris Rutkowski.
The book will be launched on Saturday in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the incident.
“I was very afraid. My dad had been injured and I didn’t know anything about it,” Michalak told CBC News in recalling that Saturday 50 years earlier.
Within a couple of days, however, not only did he know more — so did much of the public.
The story about his dad being burned by a UFO ran in the Winnipeg Tribune newspaper “and that’s when everything pretty much hit the fan,” Michalak said.
Stefan Michalak was an industrial mechanic by trade and an amateur geologist who liked to venture into the wilderness around Falcon Lake — about 150 kilometres east of Winnipeg — to prospect for quartz and silver.
He had staked some claims the prior year and set out on the May long weekend in 1967 to explore some more.
On May 20, 1967, Stefan was near a vein of quartz along the Precambrian Shield in the area when the 51-year-old was startled by a gaggle of nearby geese that erupted into a clattering…