An extract from "THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF UFOs" by Lynn Picknett
ISBN 1-84119-075-6 Published by Constable & Robinson, Constable publishers, 3 The Lanchesters, 167 Fulham Palace Road, London, W6 9ER. Paperback £7:99UK (2001)
Pages 165 - 168
SEPTEMBER 1996, FIFE, FORFARSHIRE, SCOTLAND
Towards the end of September 1996, Mary, her ten-year-old son and a friend, Ann, drove from their home in Fife to go shopping in a nearby village. Not far into their journey, they were startled by the sight of a huge, noiseless triangular craft hovering menacingly over their car. The UFO emitted three searingly intense beams of white light from its underside that illuminated the countryside, making it look as unreal as a film set.
However, the object made no attempt to stop them or interfere with them in any way, so they drove off as fast as they could, very disturbed by the experience. Once home, Mary told her fifteen-year-old daughter about the giant triangular UFO - to be greeted, perhaps unsurprisingly, by a certain amount of scepticism. In order to prove her point, Mary drove her daughter (and the others) in the direction in which they had first seen the craft. As Brian Allan of the Scottish organization Strange Phenomena Investigations says:
Matters became even stranger Brian goes on: Abruptly, part of this haze containing some of these beings detached itself from the main body and drifted towards them across a ploughed field. By this time, the group had seen quite enough and quickly climbed into their car - not quickly enough, however. Just as they were on the point of moving off, the daughter screamed out that there was a creature standing next to the car 'grinning' at them. As the vehicle moved off, an intense burst of blue light emanated from the field behind them, throwing everything into sharp relief.
"Incredibly, when they arrived at the sanctuary of their home, although alarmed by what they had seen, displaying either great courage or astonishing foolhardiness, they decided to go back for another look. This they did and again claim to have seen more small creatures moving around in the woods ..."
After investigating the case, Brian Allan noted that some of the witnesses claimed to have returned from the sighting "bearing marks and abrasions on their bodies", while one of them said she had seen a UFO hovering close to her home. Perhaps most significant of all is the claim of the young son that he has seen a "small grey creature floating outside his bedroom window and also in their bathroom" - and the being actually "followed him to school and assisted him with his schoolwork [entirely unseen, it has to be said, by any classmates or teachers]". Had the lad been unduly influenced by the movie E.T, one wonders? Or perhaps he really did have an invisible friend who just happened to be a grey alien.
Brian Allan checked with the MoD, the Meteorological Office, airports and the police and discovered no corroborating evidence or data that would help explain this rather sensational case. As he admits, "All the evidence we have is either entirely anecdotal, or totally apocryphal. whatever [it is], it is not the best foundation for a solid case."
Perhaps it is also relevant that Mary was a UFO enthusiast before her sighting, subscribing to periodicals such as Flying Saucer Review and Alien Encounters, although of course in itself this means little. After all, writers on ghosts can - and do - actually see them, so why shouldn't UFO buffs see UFOs?
As Brian says: because the witness is familiar with UFO lore, then they would make an excellent subject, (but] because of this very familiarity they could concoct an excellent fabrication. I do not say that this is the case, but it does fuel doubt." This case embodies many of the problems involved in assessing a claim of the more dramatic type of UFO sighting, and the necessity to treat them with objectivity - although where the line is drawn between scepticism and trust is difficult to define. Brian said:
"There is a feeling about the case that maybe, just maybe, it exemplifies a hoax that got out of hand and the investigators had in effect 'painted themselves into a corner'. [The witnesses] were in a position where, because of the attention they were receiving they could not deny it. If on the other hand, it is true, then the witnesses were extremely fortunate to have experienced an encounter of this kind. For myself, I have to state categorically that I have deep reservations about the case."
It might also be added that if true, the witnesses were extremely fortunate to escape without suffering the trauma of physical injury or abduction.
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