History & UFOs
Part 1 - The 1st sighting, 1974.
I was Born 06/05/1962, in Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland. I've often wondered what first got me interested in the perplexing mystery of the UFO phenomenon. It's not as if folks in Scotland back when I was a lad, walked around with tales of flying saucers, (well not the sober one's), which I picked up on. Could it have been my younger brother Colin & I hiding behind the sofa watching a flickering black & white T.V. featuring Dr. Who’s preposterous rubber aliens scaring us rigid? I doubt it, but I can remember in 1968 when men were heading (supposedly) towards the moon asking my father, “do people live there too?”
'Even then I was told to “grow up“!'
I think the first time I knew anything about the subject was when I visited my town library in Kilmarnock. I was probably looking for monster books, Dr. Who had a lot to answer for, but a few of the books under the Supernatural section, had interesting covers and soon I was quickly browsing through the pages of boring writing towards the black and white photo's in the middle of the books. Not many monsters to be seen, but curious blurred pictures of flying discs. I’m told that I was a very inquisitive child.
'So as soon as my father replied they were “stupid pictures of hubcaps taken by idiots with nothing else better to do.” I was hooked.'
The photo's looked real, didn't look like planes, hubcaps or hats to me. Everyone I asked them about I got the same reply, "They're a joke, and flying saucers don't exist". But that was not what the book text read. Then, the bizarre world of the paranormal opened up to me, not only were people reporting flying saucers, but ghosts, sea monsters, everything I'd ever been told didn't exist was there in books. These things were not just a current fad either, these stories went back to the beginning of recorded history. Somebody was lying to me, and what I was reading about sounded a lot more plausible than the rebuff I was getting from the people around me.
Then I purchased my first paperback book, ‘The Warminster Mystery’ by Arthur Shuttlewood. I read it from page 1 to page 207, and that was it for me. I expected to see UFO’s flying around the skies at a click of my fingers. Alas this was not to be the case, and year after year I continued to read about other people’s sightings, whilst I was bored witless hoping the distant plane I was observing was a UFO.
But my waning enthusiasm was to take a dramatic turn. In Kilmarnock we lived across from a railway line which was the dangerous playground for most of the kids on our estate. Returning one summer evening with my Brother from Rugby Park football ground as usual we took the shortcut home along the railway tracks. To our right hand side, high in the sky was a bright orange line of light at an angle in the sky.
"It was motionless, and hadn’t moved as we walked the quarter mile home."
We stood in the raised railway track watching this object for half an hour. It just sat there, silent, doing nothing, just becoming brighter as the sky darkened. “I’m getting a camera”, I declared as I raced into our bungalow. I shouted excitedly at my parents that I needed their box Kodak camera because a flying saucer was outside! My father could not bear fools lightly and his response was not very enthusiastic to say the least, however I returned to my brother’s position on the tracks and watched as the object began to move slowly towards us. I could hardly see it in the tiny view finder but took a picture. Ten more minutes past and now it was nearly above us.
The streak of orange light had faded almost to nothing. I took another photo. Then as it was directly above us we both gasped as a small perfectly round black disc glided above our heads and off into the distance. Well we went squealing like excited pigs back into the house, much to the disapproval of my father who promptly reminded us that children were to be seen and not heard.
However, the next morning our father was not so scathing towards us as I was expecting, instead he told us that after we had gone to bed, he went out with our dog Kirsty into the back garden to do her business. As he stood waiting he said he was looking up into the clear star filled sky when all of a sudden a very large bright white light flew above him then suddenly shot off at an impossible right angle at a terrific speed. He was even impressed enough to write about his observation into his diary, which he filled in religiously each day. I remember reading what he had written as it concluded, ‘maybe there is such nonsense as flying saucers after all as I think I’ve just seen one”. Now coming from my Dad that was like Margaret Thatcher defecting to Labour mid-term!
The two photo’s that eventually came back were somewhat disappointing as although the background roof tops and sky/light cloud were visible the simplicity of the camera lens was not powerful enough to show the distant light.
Anyway I was not too disheartened I had seen my first UFO. This was to be the first of two further sightings in Kilmarnock back in the early seventies.