UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Jul > Jul 26

They're Out There...

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2007 11:45:47 -0400
Archived: Thu, 26 Jul 2007 11:45:47 -0400
Subject: They're Out There...

Source: The Scotsman - Edinburgh, Scotland


Thu 26 Jul 2007

They're Out There...
Alice Wyllie

It was 60 years ago this month that a mysterious aircraft crash
outside the small town of Roswell in New Mexico set conspiracy
theorists' tongues wagging. It's fair to say that they haven't
stopped since.

In July 1947, materials were recovered from Roswell by the US
military that, to this day, the US government insist were the
remains of a top-secret research balloon. However, UFO
enthusiasts are convinced that what was recovered was in fact an
alien spacecraft, and that the government tried to cover up the

Roswell has since become synonymous with all things UFO-related,
and is a cult tourist destination, with thousands fans
descending upon the town this month for the anniversary

That Roswell might have anything at all in common with
Bonnybridge, a small town in Scotland's central belt, seems
unlikely. However, while the former is famous for its
otherworldly visitors, Bonnybridge can boast of being the
world's No1 hotspot for UFO sightings.

Part of the "Falkirk Triangle", whose other two points are
formed by Stirling and Fife, Bonnybridge averages 300 sightings
a year and more than one in three residents claims to have seen
something unexpected in the night skies there.

Local believer Craig Malcolm, 37, says he has seen around 180
UFOs over the past 15 years, and has 18 hours of video footage
that he believes proves there is something going on in the skies
above the Falkirk area.

"I first saw a UFO in 1991, right above my house. It was a disc-
shaped object hovering silently and it hung around for a good
five minutes," he says. "Since then I've seen triangles, tubes,
spheres, cigar-shaped objects, lights and colours. A couple of
years ago I was in the car with my dad and we both saw a cigar-
shaped object hovering nearby. Suddenly, two balls of light came
from it and moved towards us. I just thought, 'I'm out of

Malcolm says he has sent his images and footage to the Search
for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute in the US to be
analysed and that they confirmed that about 90 per cent of the
objects he had captured on camera were UFOs. "I was a bit
sceptical before I saw all this, but now I believe there's
something going on."

He's not the only one convinced: UFO enthusiasts from across the
globe continue to flock to the Bonnybridge area, desperate for a
close encounter of their own.

Thinking that a first-hand account of my own abduction by aliens
would be the scoop of the year, I bravely headed in the
direction of the Falkirk Triangle to take up position in an
optimum touchdown spot.

Quiet and a little dour, Bonnybridge could really be any faded
small town in Scotland, with little shops lining the high
street, and a hinterland of sprawling housing estates. There's
nothing to suggest that this place is in any way out of the
ordinary... until I meet local councillor Billy Buchanan.

After the first reported sighting in 1992, when a businessman
saw a sparkling, star-shaped object hovering above the road,
Buchanan called a public meeting to discuss strange goings-on in
the night sky. Since then, he has become an enthusiastic and
well-known spokesperson for the issue, with some residents
suggesting that he is exaggerating the incidents to gain
publicity for the town. For nearly ten years Buchanan has tried
to twin Bonnybridge with Roswell, making contact with Roswell's
mayor, although Buchanan is, as yet, no further forward with the
suggested partnership.

While Roswell has built an industry on alien-branded tourist
tat, the residents of Bonnybridge don't seem quite so willing to
embrace and cash in on their home town's unearthly reputation.

"I've been approached by merchandisers on countless occasions,
trying to sell T-shirts and stuff like that, but every time I
tell them no. I don't want all of this to be exploited," says

So what about the fact that there have been separate proposals
from Dutch and American companies for a multi-million pound UFO
theme park in the Bonnybridge area?

"I think that would be fantastic, and I'm still hoping it might
go ahead," Buchanan says.

Claiming to have spotted UFOs on a number of occasions, he has
relentlessly campaigned for a formal investigation into the
unexplained happenings at Bonnybridge, approaching both John
Major and Tony Blair to demand an investigation. He has logged
every sighting and compiled every UFO photo ever taken.
(Incidentally, he informs me, he also owns the world's largest
collection of locks of hair.)

But has he ever seen an alien lifeform?

"I've seen loads of stuff, and I've got the photos and [video]
footage to prove it. I've been ridiculed for it, my family's
been ridiculed, but the evidence is there."

Keen to get started, we head to the best spot for saucer-
spotting in Bonnybridge, a place believers call "the landing
strip". Standing on this elevated area of barren land
overlooking the town, Buchanan points towards Grangemouth, where
he claims he once saw a blue cylinder moving through the sky
from this very spot.

Maybe it was only because of the grey clouds in the sky, but the
closest we can see to a UFO is a leaf being buffeted over our
heads by the blustery winds.

However, Buchanan reassures me that not only is there definitely
something extraterrestrial going on around Bonnybridge, but that
there are also people who don't want us to know about it.

"My phone has been tapped in the past," he says calmly. "I don't
know who is trying to listen to me, but I do know that the
government isn't telling us everything. They couldn't remain
completely silent on the subject, though, so a while ago they
released a statement saying, 'There is nothing happening in
Bonnybridge that is a threat to national security.' Now what
does that tell you? That there's something going on, but the
government is not prepared to tell us."

Exactly what he thinks might be "going on" is unclear, but
evidence for UFOs is slowly mounting. One day in 1994, three
cleaners on their way to work said they saw five UFOs, and when
they got to work they found that some of their colleagues had
also seen flashing lights and orange orbs glowing in the sky
that same morning. In 2004, a number of locals claimed that a
cigar-shaped flying craft had landed on a nearby golf course,
and other reported sightings range from star-shaped objects to
balls of light.

Nick Pope, who ran the government's UFO project at the Ministry
of Defence between 1991 and 1994, when the Bonnybridge sightings
began, believes there is some substance to these claims.

"During my time at the MoD we did receive reports about
sightings in the Bonnybridge area. I was sceptical at first, and
of course the vast majority could quickly be discounted as
weather balloons, satellites, that sort of thing, but there were
a small number of credible cases, where witnesses were police
officers or pilots for example, or where movement was captured
on radar," he says.

But of all the fascinating places on the planet that alien
visitors might choose to explore, why Bonnybridge?

"When people ask me that, I ask them, 'Why Bethlehem?'" says
Buchanan. It's not the most logical counter-argument, but I let
it go. "UFOs tend to be drawn to more remote areas, and areas
that have air bases, and there's plenty of those in Scotland.
There's no explanation, but Bonnybridge is a very historical
place. Some people believe that the real Stone of Destiny is
buried here, and it's been suggested that aliens are guarding
it. That's just one of the many theories."

Ron Halliday, the Stirling university-based author of UFO
Scotland: Beyond the Falkirk Triangle, has his own theory, which
is just as bizarre. "I believe Bonnybridge is some kind of
window into another dimension, into the future or another world.
That would explain the fact that many people have seen things
very briefly that have then disappeared inexplicably," he says.

For every believer, there are plenty more sceptics. Dr David
Clarke, a British UFO sceptic and author of Phantoms of the Sky,
UFOs: A Modern Myth? and The UFOs that Never Were, says: "What
tends to happen is that after an initial 'sighting' people want
to believe that what they are seeing is something more
interesting than a plane or a cloud, but more often than not
that's exactly what they are seeing. Aircraft, clouds, balloons,
lanterns, that's what people tend to be spotting. They're just
responding to a craze."

Another rather catty theory, offered by the astronomer Patrick
Moore, is that the sightings in probably occur more often when
residents are staggering out of the local pubs. Well, as cynical
as it sounds, it would certainly explain periods of "missing"
time that cannot be accounted for, seeing stars or lights, and
waking up with a mysterious headache in the morning...

Local Alien Reaction

Ian Mathieson, 67 and Jim Paul, 71, left, both retired

"A couple of years ago, we were leaving the bowling club at
about 11pm when we both saw what looked like orange balls of
light moving very quickly across the sky. They were low-flying
and silent, and they shot across the sky so quickly that we
couldn't take it in. We just looked at each other in amazement.
Of course no-one believed us, but we hadn't been drinking."

Akbar Ali, 36, Owner of Omar Stores In Bonnybridge

"I've been in Bonnybridge for ten years, and I've never seen a
thing. I often come to work very early in the morning or leave
very late at night, but never anything. It's probably a load of
nonsense, but we do get some tourists coming through
occasionally and asking about it. It's put Bonnybridge on the
map, and wherever I go, when I mention Bonnybridge, people say,
'Oh aye, aliens!' I find it quite funny, it's made the town

Gary Tattersall, 17, shop assistant at Switchzone Computing in

"I've thought that I've seen something a couple of times, but to
be honest it was nothing. I think that there's a tendency to
convince yourself that you've seen something because so many
others claim they have. We all find it a bit funny here
actually, and we tend to have a bit of a joke about it after a
few drinks. I'm not sure that many people around here take it
seriously, though."

Jeannette Ferraioli, 50, cafe owner

"A few years ago I saw a little line of bright lights in the
sky. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. I watched them
for a while then went indoors to get my husband, but when we
came back out they were gone. I was a sceptic until that point,
but now I definitely believe that there's something going on.
I'm not sure what it is, but there's just so much evidence, so
many people have seen things."

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



[ Next Message | Previous Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |

UFO UpDates Main Index

UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp

Archive programming by Glenn Campbell at Glenn-Campbell.com