The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
Over the many years that I have been acquainted with the UFO phenomenon, I have never had the opportunity to investigate for myself just how accurate UFO reports and articles are, whether they appear in Magazines, newspapers or those reports direct from the investigators themselves. However an event took place in Fife which gave me the opportunity to analyse reports and articles combined with on the spot investigation of my own.
I have been interested in the UFO phenomenon since 1974 after sighting a UFO. Since then I have read all the now legendary' books on the subject. I'll say here and now that I am not a UFO expert or researcher because I'm not, I've just maintained a close interest as the years have passed. As a member of the armed forces I have always kept a low profile as far as this subject is concerned, but I sensed an opportunity here to answer the questions which had lain heavily on me for many years.
The incident that I refer to, of course, is that of the alleged landing of a Triangular craft near Newton of Falkland on the evening of Monday 23rdSeptember 1996. On initial reading in the UFO Magazine (UK) Jan/Feb 97 Edition, I was sceptical to say the least, but I ascertained the location of the incident and over the next year I visited the area on many occasions, taking photographs and video footage of the area in question. I also obtained two other articles on the landing, again as with the UFO Magazine article, by investigators who had been there and talked to the witnesses. (Dave Colman of SUPR, from his article in Cover-up' and the other from SIGHTINGS magazine by SPI's Malcolm Robinson) It is these three reports that I wish to talk about in this article rather than the incident itself. After all, I am no nearer establishing, with any certainty, whether or not a large FT alighted at the foot of the Lomond Hills with its attendant alien creatures over a period of at least four hours.
However, what I can say with a very great degree of certainty, is that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way that this incident has been reported by two out of the three investigators of this event. Which of course leads to some more basic and equally fundamental questions as to the quality and accuracy of some reporting standards within the UFO research community.
Testimony by Mary which appeared in the SUPR magazine COVER-UP
Firstly, lets look at the story as told in 'Cover-up' by the witness named Mary. This is the only article to have been written by one of the witnesses directly, and not interpreted' by the investigator as in the other two articles.
Mary' tells a remarkable story, and provides enough information for me to identify the villages, roads and farm mentioned, including the points along each journey where they stopped to observe the craft and it's attendant aliens. I made the same journeys by car and proved the accuracy of her story, as far as the locations were concerned. I took photographs and video of each location and married them to the witness statements without error. Clearly she had made the trips she refers to, and also has a remarkable eye for detail. If you read her account you'll see what I mean, but as a taster consider this....
Mary stated on her third journey, after picking up the binoculars, that they stopped just before the hamlet, opposite a large space between the end of a wall and the end of a hedge' and also stated that she heard a strange electrical, buzzing, crackling sort of noise 'coming slightly to my left' as they sat at that location. Also, she states that she was startled by a bird cry coming from the high hedge on our left' and finally she could see 'the opening into the fields and the wall dividing them stretching away from us'. So, taking these four descriptions of the stopping place I was looking for a road which had a 'high hedge on the left side of the road and a gateway or opening into the fields on the right side of the road which had a hedge on one side of it and a wall on the other. Also there was a wall, dividing two fields stretching away from us' at that opening. I found the location on the map with the aid of the final clue, yes, the strange electrical, buzzing, crackling noise. High voltage power lines and their pylons make exactly the described noise occasionally when the weather conditions are right. So, it comes as no surprise to find a high voltage pylon within 100 feet of the opening and to the left' of their location.
So, all in all, a very accurate statement and one typical of the rest of the article.
The UFO Magazine article written by Mr. Tony Dodds.
Several photographs and illustrative drawings of the area accompany this article.
I'll comment on one of the drawings first.
The plate 2 drawing shows primarily, a wooded area consisting of coniferous trees and a road lined on one side by telegraph poles carrying multiple cables. Well I have to say that having subsequently travelled every road in the area, I cannot find any coniferous forests or old fashioned telegraph poles near the incident location or close by the roads that the witnesses travelled that night. I'm not saying that there are no coniferous trees in the area, just no large collection of them in the sighting area. Most are deciduous forests or mixed at best. As for the telegraph poles, this entire area is devoid of such things. So what am I saying here? Well, The drawing gives the impression that this area is a remote country road with little or no habitation. The reality is very different. The road the witnesses travelled along that night has the village of Falkland at the start of their journey with the villages Newton of Falkland and then Freuchie (the shop) all on the same road inside a total distance of 2 miles. In addition Freuchie lies on the A92 Kirkcaldy to Dundee road and is a very busy major highway through the Kingdom of Fife. This lies half a mile to the east of the sighting area and comes even closer at one point in its route. There are some three more villages to the east of the A92 and all within 2 3 miles of the encounter zone across a flat valley floor.
Next the Photographs.
Three plates are included in the article showing the general area from 3 different locations. Mr. Brian Rooney, UFO magazine's Scottish investigator (dispatched by Tony Dodds to carry out the investigation), took these photos in the days immediately following the incident. All three do actually depict the general landing area but have been taken so as to show no evidence of large-scale habitation. Only one farmhouse appears in one plate, however Freuchie lies within a mile of that farm to the south. So again why depict the area as sparsely populated when it is not?
And lastly, the article itself
Numerous errors highlight themselves upon comparison with the version that 'Mary' wrote for David Colman's Cover-up magazine. Timing errors such as the first journey start and the sighting on the return journey from the shop, do not match at all. Also, this article quotes their own UFO Magazine as the magazine picked up in the shop by the witnesses but the witness states that it was the 'Alien Encounters' Issue 3 which they purchased.
There are many other errors in this article, mainly in the who said what to whom and when, during the encounters. The reader should read each article them for themselves. Believe me, the errors are obvious.
The reader should also compare the incident review as it appeared in Tony's book as this disagrees with his own UFO Magazine article in a number of places.
The SIGHTING magazine article by Malcolm Robinson of SPI
No photographs or drawings with this article, only text.
This article was compiled from the one and only interview that Malcolm Robinson had with the witnesses Mary and her son Peter. Neither Malcolm Robinson nor SPI ever gained access to Jane or her daughter Susan to conduct an interview.
Again this story is inaccurate and in many ways it is just that, a story. There is no attempt to analyse the information gained from the witness 'Mary' only her story is retold in a hazy manner with no detail of any journeys or locations presented to the reader.
The biggest error or difference is that in this article, it is Jane's HUSBAND that loans them the binoculars and is GOING to work (at 10pm?) and not Jane's BROTHER who is going HOME from work, as in both the other articles. Therefore if we are to believe this version of events, the witnesses made a completely unnecessary journey of some 'miles' to 'the village where Jane's brother lived' (at 11:30pm) to get binoculars which they already had. (thats assuming Jane and her husband were not living in separation of course).
During the second encounter, down the back lane' whilst they observed the creatures and the 'spinning' coloured lights, they got frightened and 'they all jumped back into the car and quickly sped away from the scene'. But according to 'Mary they never got out of the car at that point, as is quite obvious from her comments about this part of the encounter in her own story.
Again I cannot describe all of the errors and inaccuracies contained in this report in the available space, so I do advise the reader to obtain the relevant article and compare it with the others, and you'll see my point!
The inaccuracies contained in both Glossy' magazine articles (UFO Magazine and Sightings magazine) have led me to reappraise all of their reporting accuracy and investigative quality. To illustrate my point, SPI only met and interviewed 'Mary on ONE occasion to produce their article. and UFO magazine's chief investigator, Tony Dodds, never interviewed the witnesses 'face to face' but only by telephone. Now correct me if I'm wrong here, but as this case was hailed by Tony Dodds himself as one 'of such significance'. Then why did he not come a mere two hundred miles north to investigate for himself when, at the time, he could jet around the world to attend numerous UFO conferences each year at considerably more expense.
Anyone who has carried out an investigation into any matter will be able to tell you that an investigation cannot be opened and closed in one meeting with the witnesses or conducted solely over the telephone. More questions are raised as the investigation proceeds requiring further visits to the area and witnesses to check validity of statements, answers, alibis etc. Therefore it is not feasible that either SPI or Quest International (UFO Magazine) carried out a proper scientific investigation into this incident before having their 'stories' published.
Personally, I find this lack of real scientific investigation worrying. If this is the best that we can expect from the major players in the world of UFOolgy then how will we ever see the subject taken seriously whilst this shoddy and totally inadequate quality of investigation is allowed to take centre stage.
Site updated 23rd April 2005 email to firstname.lastname@example.org