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Thursday, 27 June, 2002, 15:28 GMT 16:28 UK
'UFOs? I've seen 180'
A model of the alien said to have landed in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947
No need to go to the US to spot UFOs
Forget Roswell. If you want to spot UFOs, the "Falkirk triangle" is said to be your best bet. Here Scottish farm worker Craig Malcolm tells of his years scanning the skies for unidentified flying objects.

My nephew, who is four, loves watching the skies. We did the ET ride at Universal Studios and the wee man thought it was brilliant. Now he thinks ET is going to come and see him.

Something in the air
300 UFO sightings a year in Scotland
That's more per area than other countries surveyed
VisitScotland figures
I saw my first UFO in 1991 when I was 19. My big brother came into the house one night pure white - we thought he'd been in a car crash. He said, 'something's just chased me' - yeah, right.

We went outside and this thing was above our house. The only way I can describe it is a figure of eight rotating through the sky.

There was no sound; just pulsating lights coming off it. We videoed it, and when we played it back, we noticed smaller objects coming off it and flying off in opposite directions.

From there, it just snowballed. I've seen about 180 now, and have got 13 hours of footage of strange phenomena flying about in the sky above my house. I've also filmed planes and helicopters just to compare them.

Roswell UFO museum
Roswell has attracted UFO enthusiasts for decades
I sent this footage to SETI [the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute] in the US for analysis. It came back that 95% was UFOs and 5% was aircraft.

I'd been a bit of a sceptic before I saw what I saw; I'm a 100% believer now.

This stuff about Bonnybridge being the Costa del Sol for aliens, I think they're having a laugh. But if it creates a bit of interest and gets people up here, that's a good thing because tourism has died a death what with foot-and-mouth.

Conspiracy theory

I've had a few hair-raising experiences. Something chased me while I was in the car with my dad.

We believe there's something strange here, whether it be government or UFO

We'd seen something hovering and had got out to have a look when two balls came out as if to get us. At that point I jumped back in the car - I was all for leaving my dad on the side of the road, I was that terrified.

As we drove off, we noticed a red BMW sitting in a lay-by so stopped to ask if they'd seen it. These two guys said that they hadn't seen anything and that they didn't want to talk to us. Then they just drove off.

The next day, the police came to my work - I'd been in a company vehicle the night before - and asked why I'd been on that road. By the end of the week, I'd lost my job.

Bonnybridge: A remote spot to alien watch
I think there might be some kind of base in the area. There's a hell of a lot of activity, with military helicopters and such like flying about.

I know it's typical to blame the government, but I worked for the Ministry of Defence a while back and had my eyes opened by that job. I drove senior staff to and from military establishments all over the place - there's a lot more out there than people like to believe.

'Level-headed guy'

People who haven't seen things tend to be total sceptics and call me a crackpot. But I'm a pretty level-headed sort of guy and I don't drink or take drugs.

What if E.T. came home?
I know what I've seen, what my family's seen. These things are totally bizarre. They do neck-breaking manoeuvres. They disappear and reappear in different places. We've seen discs, triangles, tubes, spheres, all different lights and colours.

We all believe there's something strange, whether it be government or UFO. I reckon we'll never really find out what's out there.

Some of your comments:

Don't let them con you into a holiday in Bonnybridge on the pretence of spooky UFOs. All you're likely to get is grey skies, off beer and a bag of chips.
Scott, Edinburgh

25 years ago, would we have believed that a prototype Stealth Bomber was from this planet or made by some alien intelligence?
Colin, UK

This story could be a test to feel out the public's reactions. There's talk of planning a staged "mass invasion" to rally the troops and create a unified military response. In essence: martial law for all. Look up the Disclosure Project [see Internet links]. I wouldn't be surprised if this post is purposely omitted.
Jessica, Canada

When I was 10, my father and I saw a strange bright orange ball in the sky which disappeared when I took my camera out. I thought (hoped) I'd seen an alien space vessel. Two years ago I heard about an atmospheric phenomenon called "globular lightning". Now I am pretty sure that was what I saw.
Luca Coren, Italy

In California a couple of years ago I saw two lights descend from the sky and skim across the desert a mile away. They made no sound. UFOs, certainly, but extraterrestrials? Of course not. What I saw was almost certainly some kind of military aircraft, probably experimental and secret.
Mike Walsh, USA

I spent three years operating radar for the RAF in Scotland. At no time did I ever see a UFO. No one I worked with had ever seen one. Radar reflect more than just metal. Are we suggesting then that all of these UFO sightings are made up of zero (or almost zero) mass?
Steve, UK

Serving as chief engineer on board a cargo vessel in the 1970s I witnessed the only unexplainable phenomenon I have ever encountered. One magnificent morning in June at 0500 I joined the Mate on the starboard bridge to see a pulsating bluish orb hovering about 200 feet above the placid entrance to Loch Linnhe. We had a grandstand view for a full 15 minutes until it suddenly took off.
Roderick MacSween, Saudi Arabia

I have been looking in the sky for years as an astronomer and have found ball lightning, Russian satellite debris burning up etc. But nothing unexplained.
Jim MacGuigan, Canada

UFO stands for "Unidentified Flying Object", so even if it was just a plane, he still technically saw a UFO because he couldn't identify it.
Dan C, England

I think he's a lunatic. The idea is preposterous.
Travis Walton, The Fleets, England

Bonnybridge is right above the flight paths to Glasgow and Edinburgh with many planes circling. When they come head on at you they appear stationary and have a very powerful front spotlight. UFOs? No - just planes.
Scott MacIntyre, Scotland

I've seen one above a friend's house in Birmingham when I was only two or three. I remember an orange glow from windows, before it zipped quickly into the heavens. The following day on Newsround there were reports of sightings of similar objects all over Europe.
Julie, England

To consider that there aren't UFOs out there because other intelligent life doesn't exist seems to me to be the greater naivety.
Justin Haffman, Germany

In Cumbernauld I remember coming out of school (about 1978) and seeing a matt orange disk floating 100m up in the clear blue summer sky. It hovered about and then zoomed of over the Campsie Fells. It was seen by thousands and reported in the local rags.
Martin, England

Every leader of the world knows they are here. The questions are why? Yes, most are more advanced than humans but that doesn't necessary make them a threat. However, it is true that some are and this explains the reluctance of our leaders to go public.
Kevin Patrick Jackson, England

If the UFOs do for Falkirk what Nessie has done for tourism around Loch Ness, then Craig will have achieved his objective.
Mike, England

Craig Malcolm
"This thing was above our house, rotating through the sky"

See also:

24 Jun 02 | Scotland
25 Jun 98 | Entertainment
04 Apr 02 | UK
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