Go Back Report # 1032



by IAN McKERRON       

THROUGH the swirling clouds and drizzling rain the   "thing"   suddenly appeared—a magnificent cluster of coloured lights.

       Late-night revellers on their way home stared skyward in amazement as it hovered just below the low cloud base.

       It was large, very large. For a full 20 minutes its brightness lit up the sky near the town of Dumfries In southern Scotland. Then it vanished over the hills.         


But before the mysterious flying machine — a   “classic”   Unidentified Flying Object, according to an expert — disappeared it was witnessed by five policemen despatched to the scene after the local police station had been flooded by telephone calls.

       And Dumfries police took the unusual step last night of laying on a news conference with two of the policemen who saw the UFO.

       Sergeant Bill McDavid, 39, said his first reaction was that It was shaped like an airship with five or six white lights looking as if they were from different compartments.

       Because of the darkness he could not see an exact outline but his Impression was of a cigar shape. He drove to within a mile of it and it was no more than 500 feet above the ground. "It was certainly larger than an aircraft in the sky," he said.

       His colleague. P-c James Smith, said : " I never believed in UFOs up to now.     


       "It was raining at the time and the cloud base was very low. It remained stationary for about 20 minutes, then vanished over the hill to the west."

       The first reports were made to police just after 1 a.m. by Mary Blyth. 22, and her sister Vicky, 19.

       Mary said: "The lights appeared from nowhere. We just stood and stared at it in amazement."

       A spokesman at Glasgow Weather Centre said last night it was not unknown for bright lights to be reflected in the sky, especially if the cloud base was low.

       But he added: "If light from the ground is reflected in the sky it is usually just a yellowish glare. I have never heard of a cluster of coloured light in the way that has been described. I have no explanation as to what these people have seen."                                                               

This reference: SUNDAY EXPRESS, London, England - Aug. 31, 1980. With Thanks to The J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS): http://www.cufos.org/        


Police evidence adds weight to UFO


NO positive explanation has emerged for a UFO over Dumfries which was witnessed by, among many others, live baffled police officers.

       Eye-witness accounts, made even more credible by those of the trained observers, proved so remarkable that the police called a special news conference within hours of Saturday's sighting.

       The Ministry of Defence is saying little about its course of action, although emphasising that most unidentified fying objects turn out to be aircraft, space Junk, or caused by freak weather conditions.

       Professor Peter Sweet, head of Glasgow University's department of astronomy, said yesterday: "I hope the investigators treat this seriously. The report has to be treated with more respect than others because the witnesses include policemen trained to be objective and very careful about their observations."

       The RAF's West Drayton, Station in London which collates UFO information for the Ministry of Defence, has already received a report from the Scottish air traffic control centre at Prestwick Airport which sent out an aircraft to investigate — with negative results.

       The report says witnesses include "seven people at Dumfries Royal Infirmary, five policemen and a cast of thousands."

       The object is described as oblong in shape, white in colour, with three equally-spaced lights at the front and two at the rear.

       Many witnesses, including residents from Loch-doc council estate, said the large, brilliantly-lit, object was about 500ft. up, visible for almost an hour, and hovered or moved slowly.

       UFO sightings, at different times, were also reported at the weekend in Motherwell in Lanarkshire and the village of Straiton, in Ayrshire.

       Air traffic control, who receive about two UFO reports a month believe the sighting was a meteorological phenomenon. It is possible that an aircraft, perhaps military, was In the area at the time.

       Three of the police officers, Sergeant Bill McDavid, Constable Jim Smith and Policewoman Pamela Brown, all returned to the area for a second look yesterday.

       They were adamant about what they had seen after checking both in darkness and daylight the now blank sky. Sergeant McDavid said: “I've never seen a UFO before. I'm still sceptical, but I know what my eyes saw and I just cannot explain it."

       One possible explanation is that the UFO may simply have been the lights of a building at a GPO transmitter mast. The object was roughly in the same direction as the mast on top of Riddings Hill.

       A spokesman at police headquarters in Dumfries admitted last night, "This may be the simple explanation."   

It has been established that GPO engineers were working at the transmitter station from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. — and the UFO was sighted for almost an hour shortly after 1 a.m.   

The police also say that the cloud level at times was below the oblong-shaped building, and the lighting in the station would have been shining out of the windows.                                     

This reference: HERALD, Glascow (sic), Scotland - Sept. 1, 1980. With Thanks to The J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS): http://www.cufos.org/        

UFOCAT PRN – NONE           

Europe – United Kingdom, Scotland

Dumfries                                  Latitude 55-04-00 N, Longitude 03-33-00 W (D-M-S)

Prestwick                                 Latitude 55-29-00 N, Longitude 04-37-00 W

Loch-doc                                  Unable to get coordinates-CF-

Motherwell                               Latitude 55-47-00 N, Longitude 04-00-00 W [in Lanarkshire]

Straiton                                    Latitude 55-18-00 N, Longitude 04-33-00 W in Ayrshire

Reference: http://gnswww.nga.mil/geonames/GNS/index.jsp            


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