It seems that there are some places in this world that just seem to draw UFOs to them. For reasons not yet understood these locations are positively overflowing with such unexplained phenomena, and in many cases they have gone on to become noted hot spots of UFO sightings. One such area lies in the country of Scotland, and it is an area steeped in tales of UFOs, alien encounters, and high strangeness.
What has come to be known as the “Falkirk Triangle” is an amorphously defined area in central Scotland generally accepted as stretching from the the small, quaint town of Bonnybridge, going off east to Fife, and then spanning back west to Stirling, although the borders are rather malleable and are often also seen as enveloping some of the surrounding towns and villages as well. The area itself is mostly rural farmland, rolling hills, moors, and mining villages, not really much to see typically, but the area is know as an absolute hotbed of UFO activity, and ground zero for this seems to be the little village of Bonnybridge itself, which lies not so far from Edinburgh and is often called “The UFO Capital of Scotland.”
It certainly earns its nickname, as there are allegedly around 300 UFO reports a year from this one little town, with 1 in 3 town residents claiming to have seen something odd in the sky at one point or other, and this phenomenon can be traced back to at least the 1980s, when some high profile sightings put Bonnybridge on the map. One of the earlier big reports came from a fire crew who were fighting a blaze in 1989 when a red glowing orb of light allegedly flew right up to one of the fire trucks before shooting off into the sky, after which a second UFO, this one an intense white light, came down to float over the nearby Loch Ellrig. The objects were witnessed by numerous people who all described the exact same thing.
A perhaps even more well-known account from the town came in 1992, when local businessman James Walker was driving between Falkirk to Bonnybridge on his way home from work and noticed some strange lights in the sky. Walker stopped his car to watch these enigmatic lights move about in the sky, wondering what they could possibly be. He then continued on his way but the lights then allegedly formed a larger, star-shaped object that descended to ominously hover over the lonely road leading off before him, and he stopped his car to look on in puzzlement. As he sat there wondering what to do, the mysterious object then shot off into the night at exhilarating, amazing speed, remaining completely silent the entire time. This report really seemed to open up the floodgates on UFO sightings in the area, and sighting reports began to pour in at an incredible rate. People began to see UFOs prowling the roads outside of town, buzzing cars, hovering in the skies above, and even one reported as landing on a golf course, and suddenly Bonnybridge was getting a reputation as being a UFO magnet.
Another notable case from here supposedly happened in March of 1992, when the Sloggett family was out on a walk in the early morning hours. As they walked along they noticed some strange lights in a ring formation over the moor not too far away, which was enough to spook them into heading back to their home nearby. They would claim that a bright blue light shaped like a football would then pursue them to block their path, and a craft about the size of a house would land right in front of them, after which a door on the craft slid open and from within issued what sounded like a deep roar or growl. The family ran as fast as they could away from this unearthly sight and when they looked back the lights were gone.
Over the next five years, from 1992 to 1997, there would be hundreds of UFO reports in and around Bonnybridge, and there were numerous videos taken of these objects as evidence, with one resident named Craig Malcolm claiming to have taken over 18 hours of video footage of strange lights in the area. Another piece of strange footage was taken by a Mrs. Bonnetti, who filmed a bizarre black triangle flying above her neighbor’s house. The UFO activity became so intense that Cllr. William Buchanan of Falkirk District Council began writing letters to the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Defense expressing his concerns and seeking advice about what to do. It is perhaps no surprise that these pleas fell on deaf ears, and Buchanan would lament, “I have tried to get an answer for the people and have been ridiculed for it.” In the meantime, media attention was fully focused on the little town of Bonnybridge, and UFO talk was all the rage. However, the strangeness was not just confined to this one town, but rather seemed to extend to the surrounding areas as well, and this is where the Falkirk Triangle would begin to come into focus, and it seems that the phenomena even predated the Bonnybridge incidents.
One of the most well-documented and strangest UFO cases in Scottish history came from this area even before all of these encounters began in the area of Livingston, West Lothian. In 1979, a forester named Robert Taylor was at a place called Dechmont Woods, near the M8 motorway, when a “flying dome” appeared over the tree line, so close that Taylor would be able to make out that it was made of a metallic black material. He would then allegedly smell a burning odor, after which two smaller objects dropped from the main craft. At this point the two smaller objects fired a pair of metal rods at him, which attached to his hips, after which Taylor was overcome with the unsettling sensation that he was being pulled towards the strange object.
Shortly after this he awoke on the forest floor and the menacing objects were gone. Disoriented and not knowing whether he had dreamed it all or not, he was soon convinced that something was very wrong when he noticed that his clothes were torn and that he was covered with bruises, as if he had been attacked by someone, but he could not remember anything after that pulling sensation he had felt. He would find that his car would not start, and so he was forced to walk all the way back home, where he would tell of what happened and claim that a UFO had attacked him. Police would go to investigate the scene, and although they did not find any further evidence the torn clothes and Taylor’s general standing as an honest person and reliable witness have made sure that his story has been discussed and debated up to this day, with many holding it up as a genuine case of alien abduction, and the West Lothian area has been a hot spot of UFO activity ever since.
One place within the triangle that would prove to be very odd is the motorway called A70 road, which runs a route between Edinburgh and Ayr, passing right through the Falkirk Triangle. In August of 1992, witnesses Garry Wood and Colin Wright were driving along a stretch of A70 through West Lothian when they had a rather bizarre and terrifying experience near the Harperrig reservoir. It started when they experienced 2 hours of missing time which neither of them could account for, leaving them puzzled as to what had happened. They underwent hypnosis, upon which it was revealed that during that 2 hours they had been taken aboard an alien craft and then brought to some sort of underground base lined with people frozen in glass jars, where they were experimented upon and then released. Weird stuff, indeed.
There is also the nearby mining village of Gorebridge, also mostly considered to lie within the confines of the Falkirk Triangle, and possessing its own tales of strangeness. Here there is an old coal mine called the Blinkbonny Mine, from which some strange reports have come in, such as that of two people hunting for Christmas trees who claimed to have been chased by a “luminous, floating, green eye” coming from the mine. Throughout the 1990s there were numerous reports of UFOs plaguing the residents of Gorebridge, most of it centered around that mine, and it was widely featured in the media at the time. The town was also the origin of several compelling pieces of UFO footage, such as three glowing orbs over a field and another buzzing a 737 jet on its way into Edinburgh Airport, the incident apparently reported by the pilots as well.
Another area of the Falkirk Triangle is the town of Grangemouth, just 3 miles east of Falkirk. In 1991 two photographers at the BP chemicals plant in Grangemouth saw flashing lights circling the Kincardine Bridge, which they at first took to be a helicopter. The object drifted over to the nearby Grangemouth Stadium, where it hovered for several minutes before suddenly dropping with astonishing speed to come rushing right over to hover 300 feet above the witnesses, emitting a pulsing hum before shooting off. This was obviously no helicopter. In 1994, there was also an entire team of cleaners at the Grangemouth oil refinery who would report having seen flashing lights cavorting about in the sky above them.
Other areas of the Falkirk Triangle with numerous weird reports of UFO activity are the town of Larbert near Bonnybridge, the Rosslyn Chapel, and a place called "Newton of Falkland," near Falkland in Fife, from where there was a truly outlandish 1996 report of a field full of ant-like aliens commanded by taller white entities, the whole scene overshadowed by a massive black triangle covered in twinkling lights, apparently some sort of bizarre mass landing. Interestingly, despite all of this alarming UFO activity in and around the Falkirk Triangle, the government has long been rather nonchalant and uninterested about it all, and indeed in 2009 the Ministry of Defence closed its file on UFO investigations altogether, with one briefing prepared for Defence Minister Bob Ainsworth reading:
[The MoD] should seek to reduce very significantly the UFO task which is consuming increasing resource, but produces no valuable defence output. In more than 50 years no UFO sighting reported to [the MoD] has ever revealed anything to suggest an extra-terrestrial presence or military threat to the UK [and] there is no defence benefit in [MoD] recording, collating, analysing or investigating UFO sightings. Investigations into UFO sightings, even from more reliable sources, serve no useful purpose and merely divert air defence specialists from their primary tasks. Accordingly, no further investigations should be carried out into UFO reports received from any source.
It seems that whatever is going on in the Falkirk Triangle is either being ignored or covered up by the Ministry, and yet enough sightings and encounters come in from the region that it has continually incited discussion as to why this area should have so much such phenomena gravitate towards it. One idea is that the area, for reasons not full understood, serves as some sort of portal through which these beings and their craft can easily travel through from place to place, perhaps even allowing inter-dimensional interlopers to come through the veil into our reality. It could also be that there is some mystical property to the land itself, steeped in history and legend as it is, full of tales of imps, fairies, and other supernatural entities, making this all perhaps more of a paranormal phenomenon dressed up and morphed by our own modern sensibilities and the popularity of UFOs. Andrew Hennessey of Stargate Edinburgh Tours has mused on this, saying:
Is there some ancient connection between history and mythology, between land use of the Falkirk Triangle to the alien-looking events that are unfolding before our very eyes here today, on the ground, under it and in the skies? Is there some sort of timeless pageant or battle being waged between beings of Light and beings of Darkness within this same mysterious Falkirk Triangle?
Of course there are the more mundane explanations. The area is home to several military bases, as well as two busy airports in Edinburgh and Glasgow, so perhaps it is just misidentified aircraft or even experimental craft being tested by the military. The area also has several large oil and chemical plants, the flames of which could perhaps be at the root of some of the reports. Some have even suggested that it is a trick of atmospheric phenomena combined with traffic on the motorways that meander through or even just hallucinations. None of these really fully explain these reports, though. Whatever the case may be, the Falkirk Triangle has remained an intense center of UFO activity in the UK, and continues to stir debate and the imagination.