by Susan Swarbrick July 22, 2018 (heraldscotland.com)
• Here are some of the more famous UFO sightings in Scotland:
• On November 9, 1979, forestry worker Robert Taylor came across “a huge flying dome” in a woodland clearing near Dechmont Law in Livingston, Scotland. Taylor described it as a circular sphere, approximately seven yards (6.4 metres) in diameter, hovering above the forest floor. It was made of “a dark metallic material with a rough texture like sandpaper”. The outer rim was “set with small propellers”. As Taylor approached the sphere, two smaller spheres, each about three feet wide with protruding metal spikes “similar to sea mines”, dropped down from the mother craft and rolled towards him. Taylor claimed to have experienced an acrid smell “like burning brakes” and the sensation of being dragged. Taylor then lost consciousness and awoke, with his head pounding and a bitter taste in his mouth, to find the objects were gone. Taylor was unable to walk or talk. He crawled to his van but couldn’t start it and had to walk the mile to his Livingston home. Taylor was disorientated and disheveled with scrapes on his legs and chin, and torn work pants. The police returned to the site with Taylor where they found “ladder-shaped marks” in the soil where the craft was said to have hovered, and further marks following the path of the mine-like objects. The case is unique in British history as the only example of a UFO sighting becoming the subject of a criminal investigation. Taylor, who died in 2007, never sought publicity or financial gain – and always stood by every word of his account.
• In October 1996, Barry MacDonald captured a video of an orange oval light in the skies above Falkirk, Scotland. He watched as the UFOs changed from “big, black and cigar-shaped” to “a bright light criss-crossed by stripes of different colours”, and then becoming the classic white disc “flying saucer”. Falkirk continues to be a UFO hot spot with an accumulation of incidents stretching from the early 1990’s right up until last year.
• In April 1984, Sid and Gwen Freeman from Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland saw a UFO hovering over their garden. They were then visited by twelve men dressed in black. The town often gets reports of strange balls of light in the sky, and it is the location of Scotland’s first ever crop circle in 1990.
• In 1767, the Annual Register reported a pyramid-shaped object that moved “with great speed and disappeared a little above Blairgowrie (Scotland)” leaving a partly destroyed house and bridge.
• On August 17, 1992, Garry Wood and Colin Wright were travelling on the A70 near Harperrig Reservoir when they saw a two-tiered, disc-shaped object above the road. When they passed beneath the UFO, it appeared to emit a “curtain of white light” and the pair reported being temporarily enveloped in a black void for what felt like 10-15 seconds. Their car began shuddering and they emerged to find themselves driving on the wrong side of the road, with several hours were unaccounted for. Later, under hypnosis, both men recalled an alien abduction and being subjected to a medical-type examination.
• On October 7, 1990, at the Forth Rail Bridge just west of Edinburgh, Lyn Livingston caught sight of a circular object with a base made up of intermittent red, white and blue lights in the sky. The UFO was said to have rotated and appeared to change shape, forming a projecting cone of white-colored lights. It stayed in position for 15 minutes before drifting off towards the Fife coast. There were a number of witnesses and the incident received a lot of publicity.
• In December 1983 in Glasgow, Scotland, Tom Coventry saw what looked like a railway carriage-shaped object passed 20ft above his head. Coventry could see three windows at the front of the craft and swirling yellow smoke inside. He also said that everything stood still for a moment.
• In 1955 in west Glasgow, a UFO was reported at Belhaven Terrace children playing outside saw several ‘entities’ dressed in long white clothes and floating above the ground. In 1976, in nearby Westbourne Gardens, several people saw this silver disc-shaped object hovering about 100ft above the ground.
• In 1992, David Evans began seeing UFOs regularly flying over his home from a ‘base’ inside hills near Dunblane, Scotland. Evans also believed that something had come into his house and disturbed various things.
• One of the puzzles of the UFO phenomenon is that people do report different shaped objects and types of aliens. In one case, a 10-year-old girl walking in the woods in Meigle, Perthshire, Scotland, came across a group of small, blue beings. She was beamed up into a spacecraft where the beings looked at her and then beamed her back down. She had been gone for hours.
Ahead of the Scottish UFO and Paranormal Conference 2018 in Glasgow next weekend (July 28), we recount some of the most intriguing unexplained cases of flying saucers, strange lights in the sky and alleged alien abductions.
West Lothian: The Livingston Incident
Forestry worker Robert Taylor found himself at the centre of one of Scotland’s most famous UFO mysteries when he stumbled across a “a huge flying dome” in a woodland clearing near Dechmont Law in Livingston on November 9, 1979.
Taylor was checking the progress of new saplings when he saw what he described as a large, circular sphere approximately seven yards (6.4 metres) in diameter, hovering above the forest floor.
He said the object was “a dark metallic material with a rough texture like sandpaper”. The outer rim was “set with small propellers”.
As he approached, two smaller spheres, each about three feet wide with protruding metal spikes “similar to sea mines”, dropped down from the mother craft and rolled towards him. Taylor claimed to have experienced an acrid smell “like burning brakes” and the sensation of being dragged.
Taylor said he then lost consciousness and awoke to find the objects were gone. Head pounding and with a bitter taste in his mouth, Taylor was unable to walk or talk.
Eventually he managed to crawl to his van parked nearby but couldn’t start it and had to walk the mile to his Livingston home.
Taylor’s wife, shocked by his disorientated and dishevelled appearance, called the police and a doctor. There were grazes on Taylor’s legs and chin, but no other signs of injury; although the heavy work trousers he had been wearing were ripped.
The police returned to the site with Taylor where they found “ladder-shaped marks” in the soil where the craft was said to have hovered, and further marks following the path of the mine-like objects.
The case remains unique in British history as the only example of a UFO sighting becoming the subject of a criminal investigation. Taylor, who died in 2007, never sought publicity or financial gain – and always stood by every word of his account.
There would later be suggestions that he had suffered an epileptic seizure, mini-stroke or hallucinated after ingesting deadly nightshade berries. Yet, Ron Halliday, co-organiser of the Scottish UFO and Paranormal Conference 2018, gives short shrift to such theories.
“There was no evidence that Bob had any illness before he had this encounter,” says Halliday. “He was always personally convinced that he had seen something ‘out of this world’. Everyone agreed that Bob was a sincere person. He hadn’t made anything up. Something had happened to him.
“He definitely did see something ‘out of this world’ because I don’t know what else can explain what he saw. There was physical evidence that something had been there and clearly something had happened to him.
“I would say that of all the Scottish cases it is the one that seems to me that gives the most direct evidence of contact from another world.”
UFO capital: Bonnybridge and the ‘Falkirk Triangle’
The phenomenon of the “Falkirk Triangle” – which includes Bonnybridge and Camelon – was first reported in 1992 and the area continues to register more UFO sightings, around 300 a year, than any other place on Earth.
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