World Coins

Royal Canadian Mint issues coin for UFO incident

Canada’s most famous UFO sighting occurred in 1967 near Falcon Lake in Manitoba. A novel new commemorative coin showcases the story in color. When illuminated by a flashlight that accompanies the coin, photo-luminescent technology reveals a different look to the reverse of the coin.

All images courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mint.

Canada’s most famous UFO sighting near Falcon Lake, Manitoba, occurred on May 20, 1967, when according to Stefan Michalak’s account, two glowing objects descended from the sky, one landing close enough for him to approach.

Michalak claimed that when the craft suddenly took flight, its emission set his clothes ablaze, leaving him with a mysterious burn and an unusual tale to tell. 

More than 50 years later, interest in the case remains high, and the incident is now the subject of one of the Royal Canadian Mint’s newest commemorative coins.

The colorful glow-in-the-dark $20 coin is sold out within two weeks of release, with a limited mintage of 4,000 pieces, but distributors still offer the coin as of April 19. 

The coin is novel in many respects, designed in an ovoid (egg) shape and relying on glow-in-the-dark technology to reveal what may not be seen in normal light.

Included with the coin is a black light flashlight that activates the glow-in-the-dark features.

Designed by artist Joel Kimmel, the coin represents Michalak’s account of what transpired on that fateful May day nearly 51 years ago.

Color recreates the springtime colors of the place where Michalak claims he saw two objects appear in the midday sky. 

The UFO on the reverse has a steel-like appearance as it hovers above him. Black-light-activated features complete the story, mimicking the distinctive red glow described by Michalak, while adding a yellow hue to the blast of hot air or gas that the amateur prospector said knocked him 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 Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

The UFO sighting

According to his account, around midday on May 20, 1967, Michalak was hunting for precious metals in Whiteshell Provincial Park when he suddenly noticed two strange objects in the sky. He said 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 meters 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, only to be met with silence. 

He said 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?” asks the RCM. “Where did it come from? It’s a story that has more questions than answers.”

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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 has been witness to many UFO sightings over the years, which continue even today.

Another famous Canadian UFO sighting took place later in 1967 — in Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia, where a series of orange lights were seen flashing in the sky before the unknown object crashed into the ocean.

In the same year, the world’s first UFO landing pad was built in St. Paul, Alberta.

According to the RCM, a 2016 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.

Coin availability

The $20 coin is encapsulated and presented in an RCM-branded maroon clamshell case with a black beauty box.

The RCM does not offer the coin through its website, since it has sold out its allotment.

Gatewest Coin, a major distributor in Canada, is also sold out of the coin.

The coin is available from Talisman Coins for $99.99 U.S., though prices may change based on market conditions. 

Delivery of the coin is not expected to begin until June 4, according to the RCM.

To learn more, visit Talisman’s website

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