UFO Photographed at MacMillan Pass

Horses go Ballistic

near the

NWT/Yukon Border

Mid July 1988

(Article and preliminary analysis by Martin Jasek , November 2001)

* Click on Images to Enlarge *

It was traditionally a week or two after the July 1, Canada Day long weekend when a local hunting outfitter out of Ross River would set out on the 5 hour plus drive up the remote North Canol Road. The two men were bringing horses and equipment up to the MacMillan Pass (Macpass) summit for the hunting season that would begin August 1st. The few weeks would give the horses time to get accustomed to the area before the clients arrived. A third man, Kevin went along with them to help out and to take in the magnificent scenery on the journey and also at their destination at the Continental Divide located on the Yukon-Northwest Territories Border.

The dirt road wound its way through a beautiful set of wide valleys and proceeded up through more narrow ones surrounded by sharper mountain peaks. The last hour or so of the drive was particularly striking since even the valley was above the treeline and thus the vistas were unobstructed.

Some time in the afternoon, they reached the location where they would be unloading the horses, about 2.5 km past the border and summit. Kevin grabbed his camera and proceeded to walk toward a gravel pile that looked like it would be a perfect location to take photos from. As he was walking away from the truck he snapped a photograph of it (Figure 1 below). In the back was one of the outfitters probably checking on the horses and getting ready to unload them.

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Figure 1. click to enlarge

He got to the top of the gravel pile, a couple of hundred meters away from the truck, and took a photograph of the impressive scenery to the south shown in Fig 2.

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Figure 2. click to enlarge

As he was looking through the viewfinder to take another photo, he suddenly heard an extremely loud fluttering sound approaching him from behind and above. He was tempted to look up but decided to keep looking through the viewfinder with his right eye, as whatever it was would eventually fly into view. He caught a brief glimpse of an object above him out of the corner of his left eye and a split second later observed an object through the viewfinder rapidly travelling out into the valley ahead of him, where it appeared to be slowing down. He snapped the picture  (Figure 3, arrow indicates UFO). The instant he snapped it, the object wavered and turned rapidly to the right and accelerated. The object also went silent when it changed direction. It disappeared into the distance up the valley shown on the right side of Figure 3.

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Figure 3. click to enlarge

Kevin ran back to the truck. All the horses appeared to be freaking out, trying to jump out of the back of the truck! The outfitters were horrified since the horses could easily break their legs if they jumped over the high guardrails. One of the men was on the edge of the truck trying to calm the horses down but with little success, the other was frantically trying to open the back gate. At one point the fellow on top grabbed a horse and was almost knocked off the guardrail. They were doing everything they could to keep the horses from critically injuring themselves.

The horses eventually calmed down and the two men said that they have never seen the horses act in this way. Kevin told them why he thought the horses had gone crazy. "I just seen a UFO!" he said. The two men didn’t believe him.


The photograph was taken on Kodacolor Gold 200ASA print film with a Pentax P3N using a 28-80mm or 28-70mm zoom lens. The camera is not available for inspection as it was subsequently stolen from the owner.

In 2001 Kevin lent the negative to us to have analyzed. A preliminary analysis has been done thus far consisting of a 4335dpi scan of the negative using a KODAK Professional PCD Film Scanner 4045 at a professional lab in Vancouver, BC. The negative strip shows no object in the frame previous or in the one following the one showing the UFO. This suggests that the object is not a result of a lens defect. A cropped portion of the raw scan (unenhanced) is shown in Figure 4.

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Figure 4. click to enlarge

The object appears highly symmetrical and its shape is not consistent with any conventional flying object known to the writer or the witness. The object consists of a domed top and bottom of a rectangle or a flattened cylinder. There appears to be a smaller dome on top of the larger one at the top of the object. Particularly striking is the light colored curve portion of the dome on the bottom of the object. Notice that it is whiter than the clouds in the background and brighter than the snow on the mountains.

Below (Figure 5) is a magnified image (400%) of the object showing the individual pixels.

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Figure 5. click to enlarge

The two pictures below (Figures 6 and 7) are contrast enhanced and bring out brightness variation of the object dramatically (Enhancement using Corel Photopaint 6.0, Brightness = -41, Contrast = +53, Intensity = +22). Other bright areas that are also visible in the unenhanced versions become more apparent. The left vertical side of the object also appears lighter. The bottom left and right corners appear to have "bright spots". There appears to be a white "bar" protruding about 45 degrees to the right and out of the bottom of the object. Also the entire object appears to be surrounded by a slightly darker hue.

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Figure 6. click to enlarge

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Figure 7. click to enlarge

The map in Figure 8 shows the location and direction the photograph was taken. Elevation countours are in metres. The truck with the horses was parked at "A". Kevin walked to point "B" where he had the UFO sighting and took the photograph. Line "B-C" shows the direction the UFO was with respect to Kevin’s position. Lines "D-B-E" show the angle of the full frame of the photograph. Trail "A-F" is the path that the outfitters were about to take the horses on.

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Figure 8. click to enlarge

Since the photograph was taken in a southeasterly direction and most of the object appears silhouetted, it is difficult to see how the bottom of the object would have been reflecting direct sunlight. It therefore appears that the bottom of the object is self-luminous and perhaps in future analysis the power output of this light source could be calculated if the distance to the object can be determined.

The angular size of the UFO in the photograph had to be estimated since the photograph was taken with a zoom lens with the focal length setting unknown. The full frame horizontal angular coverage had to estimated from the distance between two mountain peaks in the photograph and using the map above. A value of 50 degrees was obtained. Using the pixel count width of the UFO and comparing it to the full frame pixel count width, the angular size of the UFO was about 0.28 degrees or about 0.55 moon diameters.

(The duration of the UFO sighting was in the order of seconds. The witness will be contacted to provide an estimate of the duration. This information will be posted shortly.)

Similiarity with Lake Laberge triangle UFO sighting

About 9 years later (June 18, 1997) there was a UFO sighting that had some uncanny similarities with this case. Two witnesses observed a triangular object rapidly fly over them at low level. A very load "fluttering sound" was heard. The object sped out over the lake where it began to "shimmy" which was followed by an immediate turn to the right where the object disappeared into the distance. The full report can be found here.


Please send comments or suggestions for further analysis to: e-martin.gif (1115 bytes)

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