Hannah McRobert's 1981 UFO revisited

Mick West

Staff member

The above image is of what many people consider to be a "good" UFO photo, in that they think it's not fake, and it shows some kind of saucer shaped craft. I thought it would be interesting to revisit this old case, and perhaps apply some more modern analysis techniques.

The photo at the top is the best resolution I could find of the entire image, however it's a scan of a print, and so not that close to an original. But we can zoom in, and see:
Metabunk 2019-10-04 14-11-40.jpg

Blurry with some compression artifacts. Seemingly better version do exist though:
Metabunk 2019-10-04 14-14-58.jpg

Of course in any old case like this, many people have already looked at it. An analysis by R.F. Haines was published in 1987:

Haines took some scans of the photo, but I've not found very good reproductions of these. I'll include what I have for completeness:
Fig1.jpg Fig6.jpg
Fig 7. Black and white image enlargement:
(a) Panchromatic paper,
(b) Blue-green sensitive paper.

Fig 9. Black-and-white enhancement with undistorted contrast

Fig. 12. Three-color enhancement of disc image.

He gives detailed location information:
This matches in Google Maps at the Eve river
Metabunk 2019-10-04 14-59-14.jpg

Certainly seems like a place where you might toss a Frisbee. But none were reported.

A newer analysis (although seeming performed on this different scan of the same print) concluded:

I think of all the suggestions for a nearby object, then pan lid initially seems to fit best for me. It looks shiny. But my attempts at replication were not very convincing:
Metabunk 2019-10-04 15-35-26.jpg

The Vancouver Island UFO Photograph (1).jpg

What about the first choice? A frisbee? Haines suggests this is not a good choice, due to the "dome", but there were some frisbees that had a raised central area that might fit, such as various Wham-0 Frisbees:

Metabunk 2019-10-04 16-00-42.jpg
Not sure that's raise up enough though.

So, still a mystery, but I don't see super compelling reasons to assume it's not a thrown object.

Any other options? I'm pretty sure it's not a bird.


  • Haines
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Mick West

Staff member
The illustration here on the left is a more pronounced bump.

1960 Wham-O trade catalog.jpg


This "Frisbeam" seems rather rare. Not sure what it looks like from the side.
s-l640-1.jpg s-l640.jpg


Senior Member.
I like the first drawing of the frisbee flying saucer.

or an old percolator lid? although the dome looks more domey than ive ever seen on a percolator, reminds me of the pop bubble in the board game Trouble.

and based on all the stuff you have in your garage and how you like to tinker about, i'm guessing anyone going out to take ufo photos would probably make their own in the garage.

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Much more likely to be a hubcap. Just the kind of thing you'd find on the side of the road. The old style wheel disks used to pop off.

Prime suspect: VW bug hubcap

There were plenty more with the central bulge. But the VW hubcap has the best overall shape.

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Mick West

Staff member
Prime suspect: VW bug hubcap

Nice. And certainly the type of thing you'd find at a bumpy rest stop.

More side-on (1966/67 model)

It seems maybe the side slope too much?

A different hubcap, not for shape, but to show color of rust:

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