ALIENS BEAT UP BOB
It was a terrifying close encounter which led to the only case in British history of an alien sighting being the subject of a criminal investigation.
Exactly 25 years later, the case is still open on forestry worker Bob Taylor's brush with mysterious alien spheres on Dechmont Law.
Now on the anniversary of the event, UFO enthusiasts are set to descend on the site, to show that the truth really is out there. They have arranged to visit the site today to meditate in silence at the exact time of Mr. Taylor's encounter. (This was written in 2004)
The event has been organized by paranormal investigator Ron Halliday, Chairman of Scottish Earth Mysteries Research, who believes the encounter to be one of the most significant events in the history of UFOlogy. It is certainly one of the best-documented, and to this day defies rational explanation.
On November 9, 1979, at around 10:30 am, Mr. Taylor, then a forestry worker employed by the Livingston Development Corporation, parked his truck at the bottom of Dechmont Law.
He walked up the lower slope of the hill with his dog, and as he emerged into a clearing saw a large, circular, sphere-like object about 20 feet across. Mr. Taylor said it appeared to be made from a dark metallic material with a rough texture like sandpaper.
As he approached the object, two spheres, each about three feet wide with protruding metal spikes like old naval mines, dropped from the object.
The two spheres rolled towards him and despite his dog barking furiously, attached themselves to his trousers. There was an acrid smell that caused him to choke and he felt a sensation of being grabbed by the side of the legs and tugged forward.
The next thing Mr. Taylor remembered was waking up with his head pounding, a sore throat, and a bitter taste in his mouth. He calculated that he had been unconscious for at least 20 minutes.
"I was completely devastated afterwards," he recalled. "I couldn't walk and the doctor came to look at me. We went back with the police and found all these marks where it had been."
The police found unusual indentations in the ground, ladder-shaped marks where the craft was said to have stood and marks following the path of the mine-like objects.
They said they were "completely baffled" by the incident, which was treated as an assault.
Now 87, Mr. Taylor moved away from the area after the event, but on the eve of the anniversary he revealed it was still in his thoughts. "I stand by every word of my account of the incident," he said. "I told it as it happened and it's as clear as yesterday. It is the most amazing thing that ever happened to me.
"I know what I saw and it looked like a spaceship, a huge flying dome. I'm not surprised there has been so much interest in it over the years as it was such an incredible thing to happen."
Mr. Halliday believes going back to the site on the anniversary could yield some clues to the nature of the encounter, and has not ruled out the possibility of once again making contact.
"We want to go back to the site to mark this anniversary and perhaps by being there we will be able to make contact again with whatever it was Bob Taylor saw," he said.
"It is possible that this was something from another dimension which for a short period of time appeared in our world. That fits with what Taylor saw, as he said the object appeared solid but at brief moments was shimmering and partially transparent.
"Even skeptics believe he is telling the truth about what he saw, and no explanation has been given to what it could have been."
Mr. Taylor's encounter took place on the edge of the area known as the Falkirk triangle, one of the most "visited" UFO hotspots in the world. Around 300 UFOs are seen in Scotland each year, the highest concentration of UFO sightings on the planet.