Chris Rutkowski

Chris Rutkowski has been studying reports of UFOs (or PFTs - "pesky flying things," as he sometimes likes to call them) since the mid-1970s. A writer and editor for science and technology publications, he also writes about his investigations and research into UFO cases.

He has four published books, including: Visitations? (1989) and Unnatural History (1993), the latter of which is in its third printing. Mysterious Manitoba (1997), co-authored with Dave Creighton and Brian Fidler, was released in November, 1997. A fourth book, Abductions and Aliens, has now been published by Dundurn Press . He also has contributed chapters to many anthologies such as Phenomenon and Frontiers of Reality and UFO 1947-1997, a 50th anniversary collection of UFO cases. He is a contributing editor of International UFO Reporter and is the editor of the Swamp Gas Journal, a ufozine that has been published since 1978.

Rutkowski has appeared on numerous TV series, including Unsolved Mysteries, Sightings, CBC's Undercurrents and A&E's The Unexplained. (He was even a "mystery guest" on Front Page Challenge, and, though he usually won't admit it, was actually the subject of an article in the tabloid newspaper Weekly World News!) His radio appearances have included CBC's Quirks and Quarks, Ideas, the Action Line, Sightings on the Radio, the MicroSoft Network and on Carpe Diem on Talk America, which was simulcast on AM, shortwave and on the Internet.

He's also a netizen, frequently inhabiting IRC channels devoted to UFOs and answering questions posed by newbies about UFO stories and rumors.


Other Relevant Background

Chris Rutkowski has been involved in many writing and media projects for more than 20 years. In 1996, he was the co-writer and narrator for the Canadian TV special The Monster of Lake Manitoba, about a Loch-Ness-like creature reported in a Canadian lake. Also in television, in 1989 he was producer of the music special Making a Joyful Noise. As far back as 1975, he was the host of UFORUM, a bi-weekly program that aired on a local cable channel.

On radio, he has been a guest on many Canadian and American talk/interview shows, discussing UFOs and other space-related issues. From 1975 to 1977, he was the host of UFORUM, the radio equivalent of the earlier TV series. But his most peculiar stint was his portrayal of the "Miracle Worker," a regular and recurring comic character on a morning comedy program in Canada that ran from 1975 to 1992.

In a rather different and unique medium, Chris has been the producer, writer and a narrator for several feature planetarium programs, including The UFO Phenomenon (1976), The Planets (1977), The UFO Primer (1981), Moonlight Serenade (1983) and Amateur Nights (1989).

Chris also wrote Strange Tales, a weekly column in the Northern Times newspaper in Thompson, Manitoba, from 1984 to 1985. In addition, he was a regular book reviewer for the Winnipeg Free Press from 1987 to 1989.

In other literary endeavours, Chris is a member of the Winnipeg-based SDGE writer's group and contributed to its recent chapbook Sex, Death and Grain Elevators (and assorted jerks), which was published in 1998. He has been on the executive of the Winnipeg Science Fiction Society and has taught courses in science fiction and astronomy through the University of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg Parks and Recreation Program.

And, as if that wasn't enough, Chris has been a member of the avant-garde jazz group The Experimental Creative Music Workshop since 1983. He has played at numerous public performances and has appeared on several recordings by the ensemble.

Chris is Communications Officer in the University of Manitoba Public Affairs Department. He writes for the U of M Bulletin and other university publications. He is editor of NOVUM, which features articles on research at the University of Manitoba, and often writes for it as well. He also is involved in the design and development of World Wide Web pages for the U of M.


A few comments

As an astronomer, I share the majority view that intelligent life exists elsewhere in our galaxy (but not necessarily here on Earth!). I believe it possible that an advanced, technological civilization may have found ways of traversing interstellar distances without violating physical laws. However, after more than 20 years of research and investigation, I do not see any incontrovertible evidence of this.

My opinion is that if UFOs are not physical phenomena, they definitely are sociological or psychological phenomena. In either case, they are worth scientific study, because they have, at the very least, permeated the minds and imagination of the populace, if they are not physical phenomena.

I first met modern-day contactees in the 1970's. In the late 1980's, abductees began seeking my help in understanding their experiences. I and my colleagues in UFOROM (Ufology Research of Manitoba) have been actively investigating a broad spectrum of reported experiences since 1975. Although many cases are intriquing and a small percentage are unexplained, they do not offer conclusive proof of extraterrestrial visitation.

I am interested in bridging the chasm between "believers" and "debunkers" in an attempt to catalyse rational discourse on these topics. I know that, deliberately or otherwise, incorrect information has been propagated by individuals who have made "names" for themselves in these fields of study. Because of some training in deconstructionist educational theory, I am critical of published research and popular interpretations of the phenomena.

My philosophy: "Don't always believe the believers, but also be skeptical of skeptics."

My favourite quote as it relates to abduction experiences: "If you remember your experience, it is probably just a false memory; if you don't remember it, the memory was erased."


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