September 13th 2003

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Date: September 13, 2003
Time: 11 p.m.

On September 13, 2003 I was photographing the Saskatoon skyline after dark. At 11 p.m. I was set up to photograph facing north. The stars of the Big Dipper were hanging brightly in a clear sky, over the tallest buildings of the downtown of the city. It was a wonderful composition, with the lit-up buildings and streets of downtown, a couple of famous landmarks and one of the older of the many bridges of the city forming a beautiful view.

Although it was dark, there was a lot of light radiating into the sky from the city. I snapped off a few timed exposures, hoping to finish the roll of film before heading home. As I opened the shutter for one shot, I noticed dim lights or light-coloured objects in the sky, 30 or 40 or more in two lines forming a "V", travelling from about NE to SE, with the point of the "V" leading. It was as though I was looking at a flat formation, travelling horizontally, and looking up at it from below and to the side. The points of light were travelling very high in the sky, about twice as high above the horizon as the Big Dipper. The entire formation covered an area of the sky that was as wide as the downtown, about as wide as the Big Dipper.

I couldn't really make out what they were, but what struck me was that the lines seemed perfectly straight and had about the same number of dim lights in each. A few moments later, I noticed other lines of dim lights in V-formations. The other lines were travelling at a much lower altitude, almost directly across the river valley from my location (I was at the top of the river bank near a bridge) and I noticed that the shapes of the formations were changing. I quickly realized that these lower travellers were flocks of birds, probably snow geese. As they got closer to the downtown lights and to my location, it was much easier to see that they were birds, hundreds of them, with perhaps a dozen or so in each formation. I looked back at the formation that had first caught my eye and I noticed that it was moving a little slower than the birds and it was still in the same V-shape that I had seen several seconds earlier.

It was much dimmer than the birds. Perhaps this is because it was higher, and therefore further from the city lights. This would also give the impression that it was travelling slower. In any event, the formation was holding a very constant shape, not changing like the birds below. The birds were changing position within their flocks and some were moving between flocks. Their lines were not very straight. I looked back and forth between the birds and the higher formation a few times, to see if I could find comparisions between them. Then at one moment when I looked back for the high-flying formation, it wasn't there any more. I watched the birds for several more seconds and they remained easily visible as they continued on their way parallel to the river. I found the whole episode so fascinating that I forgot that my camera's shutter was still open.

The resulting photo appears to have been exposed for about 3 - 4 minutes, so that's how long the event lasted. The birds were low enough to have been in the photo, but they were too dim and travelled though the frame too fast to register even as streaks on the film. The higher formation would not have been in the composition at all. I tried a photograph of the sky in the direction I saw the lights or objects moving, but nothing showed up on that frame, either. I really have no idea what I saw at the higher altitude. It may have been birds, but it just seemed so different from the flocks of birds, in its shape and behaviour. The formation seemed too "perfect" to be a flock of birds.

About the attached photos: There's really nothing to see, but I wanted to give you an idea of the length of the event. Frame #35 is facing north, approximately 3 - 4 minutes @ f/4.0. Frame #36 is facing northwest, 60 seconds @f/4.0. Film is Kodak EL-135 (ISO 400). The rows of orangish or pinkish "lights" in the sky are reflections of the city's street lamps on internal lens elements of the camera. The slides were scanned at 2000 dpi on a CanoScan 9900F scanner, then adjusted in Adobe Photoshop to match the original images as closely as possible. The images were then resized to fit a width of 400 pixels, and saved as JPEGs with low compression (higher quality) so they could be attached to this message.

Saskatoon, SK CANADA

I would like to thank this witness for his wonderful report and providing photos to give us an idea how things looked.

Brian Vike, Director
HBCC UFO Research


UFOINFO http://www.ufoinfo.com/sightings/canada/030913.shtml