A Strange Encounter with Large Lights on Hamilton
Nov-96, (a Saturday night),Whitehorse, Yukon, 10:30 to 11:00pm
by Lorraine Bretlyn and Martin Jasek
Lorraine Bretlyn did the initial interview with the witnesses in December 1997. Follow-up interviews and a visit to the sighting location with the family occurred in the summer of 1998 with Martin Jasek.
A mother and her two daughters aged 13 and 9 went to the Cinderella play at the Yukon Arts Centre. After the play, they were on their way home to Logan Subdivision and were driving along Hamilton Boulevard when they encountered three huge white lights the size of satellite dishes near the edge of the trees on the left side of the road. They were travelling along the gradual right-hand bend in the Hamilton Boulevard just before the Elijah Smith School. Without prompting, they both burst out laughing, and kept driving. By the time they reached the school, a few hundred metres later, they had both stopped laughing and spoke no more of the strange incident made stranger by their reaction to it, even when they arrived home where their husband and father awaited them.
Their father is interested and open to the UFO phenomenon and the mother and daughter would have been assured an attentive audience with him. But for reasons both of them cannot explain, they never said anything to him, or to the aquaintance who was visiting at the time nor to each for that matter for at least two days. Furthermore, they both had problems recalling the incident and both have no recollection at all of the 9 year old daughter even being with them in the car. The 9-year-old daughter remembers nothing but must have been in the car since she was with them at the Yukon Arts Centre.
Fig. 1. The mother's drawing of the lights off Hamilton Boulevard.
Feelings, perceptions, or thoughts during the encounter: The mother and the 13 year old daughter looked at each other and burst out laughing, continued to laugh for a short distance more, stopped laughing abruptly, and spoke no more of the incident to anyone or each other for at least two days, and when they did, had trouble even recalling the incident at all, which, when they both thought of it, was strange in itself.
Witness most amazed at, speculations, notes: Both the mother and the 13 year old daughter have no memory of the 9 year old daughter, who sat behind the mother in the back seat. They can't understand why they would laugh at a light for its sake, and is one reason why they discount the lights as being snowmobile lights.
- This encounter took place 1 - 2 weeks after the 9 year old daughter had a UFO sighting
(see, A Childs UFO Sighting is Confirmed by Adults across the Yukon)
- The mother does not believe they were snowmobile lights, neither does the 13 year old daughter. They were too huge to be snowmobile lights. But the 9 year old daughter said that they must have been, although they both could not remember her being there to say so.
- Initially the duration of the incident seemed as quick as the time it took to drive by the area at area speed, but in hindsight neither the mother or the 13 year old daughter are sure that more time didn't actually elapse. Because of their doubts, they are interested in seeking out a hypnotherapist to see if more was not actually involved then what they can remember.
- No other cars were seen on an otherwise busy roadway.
- The light was one like never seen before, it almost had a live quality to it.
- The mother thought of the lights as 3 individual lights and the 13 year old daughter thought of them as part of one unit.
- The lights looked like they were behind or in the trees just a couple of feet off the ground.
Subsequent interviews with the mother and eldest daughter yielded additional information about the incident. An estimation of the physical size of the lights was determined. Additional thoughts on what transpired during the encounter also became apparent.
The map below illustrates the route taken by the family and the location of the three lights (shown in red). The mother and daughter initially noticed the three lights when they were southbound on Hamilton Boulevard at point "A", triggering the laughing episode. The next thing they remember is driving along at point "C" where the daughter recalls looking over her shoulder at the lights through the rear window of their vehicle. At Point "C", the mother recalls looking straight ahead and just driving. When asked what the lights looked like when they passed by the them at point "B", both were surprised that they could not remember driving by the lights and looking at them through their drivers side window, at all!
Fig. 2. Map of Hamilton Boulevard in Whitehorse, YT.
This was something they didnt think about until they were asked the question. In fact they were asked to draw the configuration of the lights on a photograph taken from point "B" but were unable to do so. This unknown aspect of the incident triggered an hours worth of discussion between the mother and daughter. Thoughts like "I remember their being light all the way around the car" and "I do too!" came out in the conversation. At one point the daughter said, "its as though we stopped driving mom!" Another comment from the daughter was: " I was surprised that the lights were so bright but it didnt hurt my eyes. I didnt have to squint"
The mother and daughter were then asked to sketch the relative position and size of the three lights on a photograph taken from point "A". Although it was difficult to recall from more than two years ago, once they concentrated on the photograph they were able to draw it successfully. Each independently drew the position of the lights on the photograph. The result of the mothers sketch is shown below:
Fig. 3. Results of the mothers sketch of the three lights off Hamilton Boulevard. Note the size of the lights when compared to the vehicle in the photograph. The photgraph was taken looking south, Mt. McIntyre is the tallest peak in the background.
When the daughter was asked to sketch the three lights on a fresh copy of the photograph she asked if she could draw them as one unit. Although she does recall that there were three lights she said it was difficult to tell where one began and the next one started. The daughter therefore drew them as shown below:
Fig. 4. Results of the daughters sketch depicting the position of the three lights.
The comparison between the daughter's and mother's recollection shows that the location and size of the lights to be reasonably consistent. The size is almost identical. However, the elevation of the lights is somewhat higher in the daughter's drawing. Upon seeing the mothers drawing the daughter said, "maybe they were a bit lower than I drew them". Nevertheless, one could argue that this slight discrepancy is not significant if we consider that the drawings werent made until more than two years after the sighting.
The next task was to calculate the size of the lights based on these drawings, the distance from the camera to the trees, and the focal length of the camera lens. The mother states that the lights looked like they were near the edge or slightly within the trees so we do have an idea about their location. Scaling the distance from the map from point "A" to the lights we obtain a distance of 240 metres ( 820 feet). With knowledge of the focal length of the lens and the size of the drawn lights on the photograph one obtains the following two dimensions:
1. Each of the lights was approximately 6.4 metres (21 feet) in diameter.
2. The entire arrangement of the three lights spanned a distance of approximately 23 metres (76 feet).
Although there is likely some error in the estimate of the size of the lights, we can safely say they were huge, by any standard. It is therefore unlikely that they were snowmobile lights, aircraft landing lights, or street lights from the adjacent subdivision.
There doesnt seem to be any rational explanation for these lights nor how the three family members got from point "A" to point "C" without remembering where the lights were when they were travelling through point "B".
The case remains under investigation.