UFO sighting in woods near Livingston made headlines around the world 40 years ago when forestry worker Robert Taylor reported seeing an alien spaceship around the area.
The Dechmont Woods incident is not the usual UFO sighting as it was investigated by the police. The rips to the trousers of Mr Taylor were treated as evidence of an assault, but the police could never figure out what had happened to him.
The 61-year-old described how he observed a 30ft-high dome-shaped UFO in his testimony to the police. He said that he saw the mysterious object in a clearing in the forest close to the West Lothian new town on November 9, 1979.
He revealed how two-spiked spheres rolled out towards him. He also explained to the police that he was aware of being grabbed on either side of his legs as he passed out. He woke up in a tangled state 20 minutes later.
Mr Taylor, who passed away in 2007, was a teetotal churchgoer and respected war hero. Throughout the rest of his life, he never changed his UFO sighting story.
He told the police that he came across the UFO in a clearing while working alone, checking gates and fences at Dechmont Woods at 10:30.
Spiked objects rushed out towards him and tried to grab him, and all he could remember was a strong smell of burning.
He then went to his van shaken, drove it into a ditch, and hobbled home. When he reached their house, he told his wife, Mary, he had been attacked by a spaceship thing. The police were contacted, and officers found themselves investigating an attack on a forester by extraterrestrials.
Scene of the crime investigator Det Con Ian Wark said he observed mysterious marks on the ground. He saw around 32 holes, which were about 3.5 inches in diameter. He also spotted marks similar to those created by the type of caterpillar tracks usually fitted on bulldozers.
The officer checked Mr Taylor’s employer Livingston Development Corporation to know if there was a machinery that could make such marks but did not find anything to match.
The police officer said the strange marks on the ground were only to be seen in the clearing where Mr Taylor had experienced his reported close encounter.
Det Con Wark explained that these marks just arrived as they did not come from anywhere or go anywhere. The police officer added that these marks just arrived as though a helicopter or something had landed from above.
According to the police report, the marks on the ground indicated that a large object weighing several tons had stood there but no indication it had been driven or towed away.
The ripped trousers of Mr Taylor were sent for forensic examination, and the analysis revealed the trousers appeared to have been damaged by something hooking them and moving up. It is important to note though that modern DNA techniques were not yet available in a forensic exam that time.
Forty years had passed, and the incident remains a mystery.