UFO Stalks Two Boys on Grey Mountain near Whitehorse

January 5, 1968

From "Strange Sights in Yukon Sky" by John Magor, Canadian UFO Report, Vol 1, No. 1


Filed with the RCMP at Whitehorse is a report of a UFO sighting that must rate as something of a classic because of the proximity of the object, the details given by the two observers and the apparent interest of the object in what they were doing. The incident occurred under a cloudless sky late in the afternoon of January 5, 1968, with temperatures a few degrees above zero (F). The observers were Tommy Banks, 15, and Errol Smythe 17, both of Whitehorse.

Errol was not available during our brief visit to that Yukon city, but we spoke to Tommy who told us how the two of them had spent the afternoon touring the lower slopes of Grey's Mountain on their Skidoos. These slopes on the northwest outskirts of Whitehorse are studded with spruce trees and, with two or three feet of snow in the winter, are ideal for this kind of sport. The woods are not too dense and the slopes are gradual.

Tommy continued:

"It was just beginning to get dark and we had our lights on, though it was still clear enough to see everything, when we decided to start for home. Errol went first and I was following close enough to see him all the time until we came to a small knell and for a few seconds I lost sight of him.

"As I went up the knell I felt a sort of heat and when I got to the top I saw this bright thing moving just over the trees slightly behind Errol. It seemed to be following him. Just then Errol looked back -- he thought it was my light at first -- and he saw it, too." We asked Tommy to draw a sketch of what he saw. It was an egg-shaped object with two distinct bands of luminous color following the, lines of its circumference. The outside band was red and inside this was one of yellowish-orange. In the center the two colors seemed to blend and move in what Tommy described as a "pulsating" manner. The object, about 10 by 20 feet and flying horizontally, was noiseless. Although bright, its glow was not sufficient to penetrate the darkness under the trees.

"I saw it for about 10 seconds before it disappeared over the trees, and I guess Errol saw it for a little less than that," Tommy said. "When I felt the heat it seemed to me that my Skidoo was slowing down a bit. Maybe it was just because I was excited but it definitely felt that way."

After they had sped home and reported their experience, Errol's father and a friend, a clergyman, went to examine the spot where the sighting occurred. But the object had left no visible evidence. In that frigid temperature its heat apparently was not sufficient to affect the surface of the snow.

On Errol, however, the effect was more definite. Unlike Tommy he had no previous interest in the subject of UFOs and understandably was perhaps the more upset of the two, with the result he missed the following day of school. For Tommy the experience was also disturbing, but interesting. He had read numerous accounts of UFOs, written about them for school work and now had a unique personal encounter to add to his material .

How many other Ufologists wish they could be so lucky?


Sighting 100 Miles Away:

Unknown to either of the boys at the time a similar object was seen the night before over Atlin lake, 100 miles southeast of Whitehorse. We did not have time to check personally on this report but were particularly interested, not only because it tallied so closely with the boys', hut also because of the setting. Atlin, once a center of boisterous activity in gold rush days, is now almost a ghost town. A few trappers and traders still live there but long gone is the time when paddle-wheel steamers plied the lake carrying eager hordes in quest of Klondike gold. It was the era when Robert Service wrote, "The northern lights have seen strange sights ..."

Once more the north is seeing strange sights.


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