Not in the Manual: Where Humor and High Strangeness Meet

The work of a UFO investigator can be interesting and exciting, but the antics and shenanigans are literally out of this world. Join me as I delve deep into my ridiculous personal experiences and case files dealing with ufologists, paranormal investigators, and witnesses; this is the stuff that’s not in the manual.


For the initiated, one simple truth about the star Sirius exists; that you have hundreds of pictures and videos in your inbox of this star, and every single email that these media files are attached to come with one of these subject lines:

1) What is this thing?

2) This light was following me…

3) Alien craft?

You may have others, and that is fine, but most of them are probably variations of the phrases above. I love this star, it’s bright and beautiful, but filling out case reports about it over and over is really starting to get on my nerves.

Now, listen. If you were one of those people who thought it was more than a star, it’s ok- I don’t blame you. Looking up at Sirius, it does a lot of weird stuff. It changes colours, shapes and even looks like it moves around a bit. It’s just plain old autokinesis and some fun atmospheric conditions wreaking havoc on your senses. It’s totally cool and I still respect you. Now, if you are in that minority of people (it’s roughly 5%) who sent a second report to me of a “strange object” you saw that looked identical to the first, and is exactly in the same spot that Sirius was only a few days ago, and it generally behaved the exact same way… I’m going to get annoyed, ever so slightly.

We all make mistakes. We tend to learn from them. Mistakes are a healthy part of a life long education. That being said, if we make the same mistake twice, within a couple days of each other, then something is wrong.

“Oh, it was Sirius?” you say to yourself when you receive my report. “That makes sense. There is even a link to a scientific article about how people often confuse it for a UFO. This is insightful and interesting. Now I know.”

Your inner monologue should really stop there concerning the sighting of this majestic star.

Of course it doesn’t though, because three nights later, this inner monologue runs through your mind.

“What the hell is that light? Weird. It looks a lot like the star Sirius, but it can’t be…even though it’s kinda in the same spot and looks a lot like it.” You take out your smartphone, and with the shakiest set of hands known to man, you begin to record a video of a little star in the sky getting jostled around. “This thing is following me,” you think to yourself. “It’s changing colours.” You start to lose your grip on reality, “Leave me alone! Go away!”

The next morning you decide to send me this crappy video along with an explanation of what happened, that a UFO was following you around. I have no idea how you managed to type with those twitchy vibrating digits you call fingers, but sure enough, it’s in my inbox. The subject line, “Alien craft?”

Can you blame me for being slightly snippy in my response? It’s the same star. It looks like it, it acts like it, and it IS it. I’m not asking you to take a course in astronomy or anything- I’m just asking you to be reasonable. Go and download one of those “Night-Sky” apps for your smartphone. Do me a favour, turn that on instead of the camera.