As the US military releases videos of ‘unidentified’ flying objects, renowned Scottish UFO investigator and paranormal researcher Malcolm Robinson tells Michael Alexander why, after years of scepticism, he believes aliens have almost certainly visited Tayside and Fife.
When the US Department of Defense released three declassified videos of “unexplained aerial phenomena” at the end of April, the Pentagon said it wanted to “clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real”.
The videos, which had already been ‘leaked’ in 2007 and 2017, included a 2004 clip filmed by two US Navy fighter pilots which showed a round object hovering above the water, about 100 miles (160 km) out into the Pacific Ocean.
Two other videos filmed in 2014 showed objects moving through the air, one of which is spinning. In one, a pilot is heard saying: “Look at that thing, dude! It’s rotating!”
Inevitably, the videos have rekindled debate about Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) and conspiracy theories about government.
But do they really point to the existence of alien life?
Renowned Scottish amateur UFO investigator Malcolm Robinson has extensively researched thousands of cases over the past 40 years – including numerous cases in Tayside and Fife.
He says 95% of UFO sightings are explainable by “natural identifiable solutions”.
However, the self-confessed former UFO sceptic puts these American military videos firmly into the 5% unexplained category.
He stands by his now long-held view that “non-human intelligence” has probably been visiting Earth for hundreds if not thousands of years.
“What’s surprising when you look at the US military footage is that it involved a rather large military exercise involving the USS Nimitz – the pilots clearly don’t know what they are looking at, and the speed these things are moving at, around 2400 mph, is quite staggering,” said Mr Robinson.
“We have two possibilities when it comes to explaining what might have happened.
“The first possibility is it’s America’s own ‘black budget’ technology being tested and these film clips were released simply as a way of distraction. The US government and military would be happy for these lights to be masquerading as UFOs, like a smokescreen, knowing full well the video is going to come out.
“Let’s not forget that the stealth bomber was flying in America for 10 years before the American military finally put their hands up and said ‘yep it’s ours’. This had already given rise at the time to many false UFO reports.
“The other possibility is that these truly are UFOs – because similar things have been seen flying in our skies for millennia, right through recorded history. The speeds at which these craft have been described is superior to any Earth-based technology. It’s like tossing a coin I guess. You weigh up the options and you decide what you feel is right.
“But if you want to know what I truly think, I don’t think it was black budget technology. The immense speed and manoeuvrability of these objects suggest to me we managed to capture something very mysterious on film and I’m just thankful we have that out in the public domain.”
Mr Robinson, a now 63-year-old East Sussex-based former newspaper advertising executive, was always interested in strange phenomena as a small boy growing up in Tullibody, Clackmannanshire.
But as he grew older he felt there was no validity to the claims of ghosts and poltergeists.
In 1979 he decided to start his own group – Strange Phenomena Investigations. His main aim was to disprove and show “what a lot of nonsense” they were. Yet as he learned more, he came “off the fence” and started doing lectures and more media work.
In 1992 he became one of the main investigators for the so-called ‘Bonnybridge Triangle’ multiple UFO sightings. Working with local councillor Billy Buchanan, he concluded 95% of the sightings reported over the Stirlingshire town had identifiable solutions.
The others, however, were less clear cut, and they petitioned Downing Street for answers. Their call for a government inquiry was turned down because the “objects did not pose a threat to the security of the UK”.
It was against this backdrop that he became involved in other investigations.
Mr Robinson said he remains deeply sceptical about many things. But his investigations over the years have thrown up more questions than answers and on balance he is “not embarrassed” to say he now believes in alien life.
“My studies over 40 years have clearly shown to me that we are dealing with a non-human intelligence that’s always been with us,” he said.
“It sounds fanciful. But at the end of the day there’s enough evidence to suggest that things have been seen in our skies – many in Scotland as well – which defy description. They do not conform to classic aircraft design or helicopters.
“They are in the main low level close proximity objects that you could more or less throw a stone at – some of them have been so close.
“The bottom line for me is there is a lot of nonsense out there – a lot of UFOs are misconstrued as the planet Venus, as satellites traversing the night sky etc etc. But believe you me, there is a substance to some of these accounts.
“Let’s not forget we laughed at Marconi, we laughed at John Logie Baird with the invention of the television, we laughed at the Wright Brothers.
“What I’m trying to say with these analogies is just because something looks and sounds ridiculous, we shouldn’t laugh at it. Yes, we have to be very careful but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater or the egg could truly be all over our faces.”
TAYSIDE AND FIFE CASES
Throughout history, human kind has always had the desire to learn and know more about the paranormal.
But while investigating reports by “good honest people” over the years, Malcolm Robinson has also had to keep in mind that he’s dealing with human beings and will always look for a rational explanation first. For example, were they drunk or hallucinating? It’s also been suggested film and TV can influence what people think they’ve seen.
In his book UFO Case Files of Scotland (Volume 2), a chapter on Tayside cases included the detailed testimony of a former nurse who witnessed an “unusual looking UFO” over Perth in 1979 which left her “rooted to the spot”. She told how all the “normal background sounds disappeared” and revealed she’d had other, similar, experiences over many years.
Malcolm learned that she was “quite psychic” and posed the question “could it be…that she was in a position to view an object unseen by anyone else who did not share her psychic faculty?”
In another incident, Mr Robinson investigated the case of a police officer who was at home in Forfar in the summer of 1980 when he saw a “strange orange glow” in the sky.
He described the strange object as being “shaped like a rugby ball with a white top and a glowing orange base”. It also had “four bright lights shining down from its underside and appeared to be hovering in its own air space”. The object then faded to a pin prick, and then re-emerged as a bright glow – continuing to hover for just under an hour. Neither the police nor the military could offer an explanation.
Mr Robinson spoke to a former cinema projectionist who, in 1954, was walking in woods near his home in Crieff when he was astonished to observe a “disk shaped object passing overhead at a uniform speed”. It made no noise whatsoever, and it continued on its journey in a northerly direction towards Perth. In prophetic words, the witness stated, “Had I not seen this with my own eyes, I would be an unbeliever about UFOs”.
The book also went into great detail about an incident at Blairgowrie in 1984 when a beam of light “shot out” onto the stomach of a woman doing tapestry work in her garden. Feeling a warm sensation, she looked up into the sky and observed a long translucent object above her house to the east. It was also witnessed by her husband and son who phoned the police. Helicopters later appeared above the house with police, who took soil samples, telling the family they were “conducting tests”….
Yet another unusual shaped UFO was sighted in Dundee in August 1995 when a former member of the Special Forces walking his dog spotted a “cone shaped light” which was coming out from a silver metallic looking object. It’s possible he saw an unusual plasma effect from the afterburner of an RAF Leuchars Tornado, but like most cases of its kind, this sighting remained unidentified.
Following various sightings around Dundee in 1996 – the same year as the alleged ‘Fife incident’ when a family driving near Newton of Falkland claimed they saw a large black triangular shaped ‘craft’ and numerous small grey ‘beings’ in front of some woods – a senior physicist at Dundee University told The Courier: “I would not rule out the possibility that there are aircraft of extra-terrestrial origin”.
The truth is, indeed, out there….