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They came from the skies; Is a string of UFO sightings in the heavens above Scotland evidence that we are a tourist trap for extra-terrestrials?

It is a small town in the heart of central Scotland.

But Bonnybridge has earned its place in the unexplained history books along with Roswell, in New Mexico, and even the Bermuda Triangle With more than 300 sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects reported above the town every year, Bonnybridge has become the UFO capital of the world.

Councillor Billy Buchanan says so many residents come to him with concerns about what is happening in the town's skies that he has appealed to three prime ministers - David Cameron, Tony Blair and John Major - to order an urgent investigation.

As yet no official investigation - we know of - is under way.

The Ministry of Defence say they are "satisfied that there is no evidence that the United Kingdom's airspace might have been compromised by hostile or unauthorised foreign military activity."

But mysterious sightings in the area known as the Falkirk Triangle, which branches from Bonnybridge to Stirling and Fife, continue.

Everything from space ships landing to mysterious balls of light have been reported.

Some unexplained sightings have even been caught on film.

Publicity concerning the sightings started in 1992 when businessman James Walker said he noticed some strange lights in the sky while driving home.

At first, he thought they were stars but was startled when he saw them move and assumed a triangle shape.

Around the same time, the Sloggett family reported one of the most extraordinary sightings from the UFO hot spot.

They claimed to have been walking towards Bonnybridge at around 7pm on a clear March evening when they saw a circle of light ahead of them.

They said the light appeared to land in a nearby field.

The family continued on their journey, but say they were stopped by a football-sized blue light hovering above the road ahead of them.

Later, Isabella Sloggett said: "My daughter Carole and I saw a UFO land right in front of us. A door opened and there was a howl-like sound.

"I screamed and ran off terrified."

Since then, further UFO sightings from this alleged portal to another dimension have come thick and fast.

Several people who live near Bonnybridge have separately filmed what appears to be strange white objects hovering in the sky.

Often it is groups of people who spot seeing the same mysterious objects at the same time - such as a group of cleaners heading to work at Grangemouth oil refinery in 1994 who all spotted flashing lights in the sky.

UFO expert Ron Halliday says investigations have revealed that most of the sightings people report over the town were "misidentifications" caused by planes, satellites, weather balloons or planets.

But he says many of the sightings cannot be explained.

Paranormal investigator Ron, a former assistant registrar at Stirling University, said: "When a sighting is made the first thing you have to do is try to eliminate what might be the obvious reason why a light or mysteriously shaped object is in the sky.

"It is generally accepted that probably 85 per cent of UFO sightings can be explained as misidentifications of objects including planes or even planets.

"But that leaves 15 per cent where there is no explanation for what has been seen and in some cases even photographed or recorded on film.

"It is up to the individual to decide whether or not they believe that a solid object they have seen hovering in the sky above them is indeed a space ship travelling from an unknown planet.

"Scientists have suggested that there could potentially be other dimensions which exist alongside our own.

"Could it be that above Bonnybridge, we are seeing into another world and that these sightings are dimensional interactions?" No one knows why Bonnybridge, with a population of just 6000, should be the most likely place on Earth to experience a close encounter of the third kind.

Many have suggested that it is the area's proximity to Grangemouth and the towering flames that come from the chimneys at the refinery that might make the area an obvious landing spot for alien life.

Others have suggested that it is the lights at Grangemouth, and the area's closeness to Edinburgh airport, that lead to so many people mistakenly believing they have spotted a UFO.

Whatever the answer, UFO experts say their investigations in the area will continue.

Famous sightings of UFOs across Scotland On November 9, 1979, forestry worker Bob Taylor was shocked to discover a large circular craft in front of him in an area of woodland known as Dechmont Law, near Livingston.

As he approached it, he claimed two objects, which looked like naval mines from World War II, dropped from the craft, rolled towards him, and attached themselves to his trousers.

He claims they started to drag him towards the UFO. Bob then became aware of an acrid smell which made him choke.

The next thing he remembers is waking up on the ground. His trousers were ripped and his legs were cut and bruised.

Police investigated and found several ladder-shaped impressions in the area. Evidence seemed to back up Bob's claim that he had been dragged across the ground.

Police could not solve the mystery and the file remains open.

In August 1992, Gary Wood and Colin Wright claim they were abducted from a car after seeing a large UFO on the A70 outside Edinburgh.

Gary and Colin were delivering a satellite TV system to a friend in Tarbrax.

Colin claims he noticed a very large UFO flying about 20 feet above the road.

Gary, who was driving, accelerated and as their car passed underneath the craft the friends say they experienced a "void of blackness". After what seemed just a few moments, they were on the same road as if nothing had happened.

When they got to their friend's house, they realised the journey - which should have only taken 30 minutes - had inexplicably taken two hours and 45 minutes.

In an attempt to find out what happened to them, they underwent hypnosis which revealed they had been abducted by small grey extra-terrestrials who had communicated with them through telepathy.

In March 1992, the Sloggett family witnessed a blue ball of light near Bonnybridge.

They claim a UFO landed in front of them and a door from the spacecraft opened.

The terrified family then ran away.

In 1976, a 10-yearold girl called Karen claimed she was abducted in woods near her home in Meigle, Fife.

She claimed she saw strange blue creatures before she was lifted up into a spacecraft and examined.

Karen eventually returned home hours later. Karen now works as social worker in Glasgow and stands by her recollection of events.

In January 1992, farmer Arthur Moar claims a flaming ball landed in his back garden in Shetland. He says the ball looked like a globe of the Earth, complete with continents.

In July 1947, Andrew Cherry was waiting at a bus stop near Portobello in Edinburgh when he claims a disc-shaped spacecraft appeared from 300 feet in the air.

He said as the craft got closer he could see an alien wearing dark clothing operating a control panel.

In September 1996, Margaret Ross, of Falkirk, filmed what she believes is a UFO on her video camera.

The half-moon shaped object was hovering in the sky for more than 40 minutes before disappearing.

She said: "It didn't frighten me. I was just fascinated by the changing shape. I was speechless. I just watched in awe.'' In October 1992, policeman's wife Pat Macleod is absolutely convinced she saw a large UFO which landed on an area of open ground near Niddrie Burn, Duddingston, Edinburgh.

She said the object looked like the planet Saturn.

Andrew Swan, a cable-layer with Scottish Power, stopped his car at Armadale Academy in West Lothian to watch a huge electrical storm on July 30, 1994.

There, he said, he encountered a large UFO behind a row of trees. He went round to take a closer look armed with a spotlight from his car.

When he tried to shine the light on the object, the bulb immediately exploded.

He says the UFO flew off "at breathtaking speed" a few moments later.

CAPTION(S):

PROBE Councillor Billy Buchanan has asked for investigation

EERIE Wooded area near Livingston where Bob had his close encounter

ALIEN CRAFT Impression of the UFOs seen by forestry worker Bob Taylor

STRANGE Picture of a UFO sighted over Edinburgh in 1998

SHOCK Bob Taylor holds up drawing of the craft he claims attacked him in wood

UNCANNY Watchers were startled by unknown craft which was spotted hovering over the capital

WATCH THE SKIES UFO spotters gaze out over the Forth Valley in central Scotland where sightings are frequent
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 11, 2012
Words:1451
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