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Monday, 24 June, 2002, 10:16 GMT 11:16 UK
Scotland dubbed 'top alien nation'
UFO image
Bonnybridge tops the list for reported sightings
Scotland can rightly lay claim to being the "Costa Del Sol" for aliens, according to tourism officials.

They are pointing to a survey which says that Scotland has the highest concentration of reported sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) of any country in the world.

The results have been published to coincide with International UFO Day and refer to 300 reported UFO sightings in Scotland a year.

According to the study, Scotland also recorded the highest number of reported UFO sightings per head of population.


In 90% of UFO reports, a bit of diligent research will produce a simple explanation

Graham Birdsall, UFO magazine

The researchers said Scotland had 0.004 reported UFO sightings per square kilometre and one sighting per 17,000 inhabitants.

The research was commissioned by VisitScotland, the national tourist organisation.

A spokesman said: "This confirms that Scotland is the nearest thing there is to the Costa del Sol for aliens."

The village of Bonnybridge in Stirlingshire has become a hub for UFO enthusiasts following numerous reports of sightings.

Visitor centre

The area became known as the "Falkirk triangle" and other "sightings" have been recorded in neighbouring West Lothian.

Bonnybridge councillor Billy Buchanan has called for a UFO visitors' centre to be built in the village.

Stirling-based UFO writer Ron Halliday said: "When you think of the number of sightings in Scotland compared to the size of its population, it is phenomenal."

Bonnybridge
Bonnybridge: Another dimension?

Of the Bonnybridge "phenomenon", he said: "One theory is that the area around Bonnybridge is some kind of window into another dimension.

"That would explain why some people see a UFO and others don't - because a UFO is some kind of paranormal phenomenon rather than a nuts and bolts spaceship.

"People are not so much seeing little green men as little grey men, tall grey men and different varieties of types."

Mr Halliday said it was important to emphasise that although there had been many reports of sightings, it was impossible to say that every one was an alien entity.

"But it does seem to be a bit of a mystery why Bonnybridge should be a target of spaceships from other planets."

Alien concept

Graham Birdsall, editor of UFO magazine, said: "UFOs tend to be attracted to regions that are fairly remote.

"Plus, if you have a remote area, look out for airbases - Scotland is littered with airbases.

"In 90% of UFO reports, a bit of diligent research will produce a simple explanation, but that still leaves 10% remaining unexplained."

However, Stuart Campbell, author of The UFO Mystery Solved, said he had "never been stumped" to explain a reported sighting.

"I claim that 100 percent (of reports) are explainable, it just depends how many explanations you have available.

"I have never found one that I couldn't explain."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Author Ron Halliday
"People have seen all kinds of things in the Bonnybridge area"
BBC's Huw Williams
"So far this morning, no bright lights in the sky"
Stuart Campbell, author and UFO sceptic
"I have never been stumped"
See also:

14 Nov 00 | Scotland
04 Jan 00 | Scotland
12 Jun 98 | UK
01 Jul 98 | Science/Nature
25 Jun 98 | Entertainment
Internet links:


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