By Oliver Farrimond
SCOTTISH experts in the paranormal have launched a campaign to properly mark one of the most significant sightings in UFO history.
A small, crumbling cairn is all that marks the spot of the sighting at Dechmont, in Livingston, where 30 years ago today forester Bob Taylor claimed to have been assaulted by mysterious forces.
Mr Taylor, who died in 2007 aged 88, claimed to have been walking his dog in Dechmont on 9 November 1979, when he encountered a large sphere in a forest clearing.
The sphere, 20ft across, produced two smaller spheres with protruding metal spikes, which rolled towards him and attached themselves to his legs.
Mr Taylor woke up 20 minutes later with slight injuries, with police later saying that they were “baffled” by the incident.
And now the Scottish Earth Mysteries Research (SEMR) paranormal studies group have called for a fitting monument to be erected on the spot of the incident, which they believe would be a popular tourist attraction.
Ron Halliday, chair of the Scottish Earth Mysteries Research group, said: “There has been so much interest in this over the past 30 years, and it has received world-wide coverage, and all that’s there to mark it is the remains of a crumbling cairn which was set up in the 1980s.
“We want a proper monument or sculpture so that people can come here and have something to look at – and also find out a bit more about what happened.
“Having something there would definitely attract more visitors.”
Mr Taylor, who had no interest in UFOs until after the incident, was unconscious for around 20 minutes after being attacked by the spheres.
Unable to operate his truck, he walked a mile back to his home after waking, where doctors found grazes to his legs and chin, as well as tears on his trousers.
He returned to the scene with Lothian and Borders Police, who, despite finding marks in the ground where the sphere was said to have hovered, have been unable to solve the case to this day.
It remains the only example of an alien sighting becoming the subject of a British criminal investigation.
Mr Halliday, who will today return to the spot where Mr Taylor encountered the spheres, added: “Nobody ever doubted that Bob was on the level.
“He really believed until the end that he had seen some kind of spacecraft.
“He never tried to campaign about it, he just said that he had had this experience, and that’s what made it so believable.”