The day started out normal for Fort St. James bus driver Frances Honeywell, 47, who began her route down Tache Road. It was just before 8 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18 and she had already picked up a number of kids when she noticed an eerily strange looking object in the sky.
“It looked like a jet stream but very short and there where three symmetrical tails with a light blinking at the top. The thing that puzzled me the most was it wasn’t moving across the sky, it stayed in one spot,” Honeywell said, who included she watched the object for nearly 15-20 minutes. “It was so odd and very unnatural looking.”
At first she thought it might be a cloud but kept her eye on it for a few kilometres. She described the top of the object as an eye with an upper and lower lid, similar to what most might call a flying saucer.
“I’ve gone to many air shows since my dads a pilot but I’ve never seen anything like this from the ground or from in a plane. It definitely was not a plane or a jet. I thought about a helicopter which can hover but I’ve never seen a helicopter with jets underneath it and three jet streams at that.”
Environment Canada meteorologist Matt MacDonald said it may have been a lenticular cloud. A lens shaped cloud that is seen at sun rise or sun down often confused as a UFO since clouds at that time of day will take on optical affects from the sun.
“After looking at the archived weather observations from that morning I see there were a few alto-cumulus clouds (mid level puffy clouds) but couldn’t pick anything out in the sky,” he said.
There are a number of automated weather stations that read wind, humidity and temperature but, the closest human weather observer is in Prince George.
“It would be almost impossible to know for sure,” MacDonald said.
Many kids on Honeywell’s bus saw the object and talks about aliens made one little girl cry.
“I didn’t want anyone to be scared but it was bizarre,” Honeywell said. “It definitely wasn’t a cloud.”
Craig Houghton, the principal of Fort St. James Secondary also claims to have seen the un-earthly object.
“I did see something in the air from the window at the high school. It looked like when you see a plane but it had three prongs coming off of it and certainly didn’t look like your standard jet,” he said.
Brian Vike, 63, is a world-renowned UFOologist from Houston, BC. Since he started recording sightings of crop circles and mysterious flying objects in 2000, Vike’s received more than 1,100 reports from all over the world.
“I would say maybe it was a jet but not in that position and not for that length of time. Cloud formations dissipate… it could be something military or something coming back from space but it wouldn’t stand still for that length of time. I don’t know what it was,” Vike said in a phone interview, noticeably boggled by Honeywell’s drawing and description.
The northern lights have been visible for the past few days and were visible the night before the sighting. They are however ruled out as a culprit considering the sun had already come up by the time the object had been spotted.
“You could clearly see a blinking light at the top of it and at one point I could actually see the movement of the plumes. I later googled what I saw and the only similar thing was a plane that had gone through a cloud mixing the plane’s exhaust with the cloud’s vapour water but it didn’t explain the blinking, twinkling light on top. You have to take everything with a grain of salt but I’m not one to say there’s not something out there. Hey, it would sure be a good time to come with all those [beautiful] northern lights,” Honeywell joked.
If anyone has seen a UFO they can contact Vike at firstname.lastname@example.org.