Why is a small village in Scotland the UK's UFO hotspot?

A road sign in Scotland shows two aliens holding hands

There are nearly 300 reported sightings of UFOs in the Falkirk Triangle every year | Shutterstock

Aurora, Texas. Roswell, New Mexico. Bonnybridge? It might not be the first location that jumps to mind when you’re thinking about UFO sightings, but the small town of Bonnybridge in the Lowlands of Scotland can boast one of the busiest calendars for UFO sightings in the world. With nearly 300 UFO sightings reported every year over the past three decades, Bonnybridge has been nicknamed the UFO capital of Scotland. But what is it about this sleepy town makes it so prone to unidentified flying objects?

The Falkirk Triangle

Set in the heartland of Scotland, Bonnybridge is nestled between Glasgow and Edinburgh in the valley of Bonny Water. The unassuming village was ideally placed for the growing Scottish industry. When the Forth & Clyde Canal was built in the 1780s it passed by Bonnybridge providing it with ready access to commerce from across Scotland via the country’s best transport route. 

As Bonnybridge continued to grow thanks to the industrial revolution, it found itself at the crossroads of four major railways. Paper mills, sawmills, brickworks and iron foundries sprung up in the village, and although the railways eventually closed, the rise of motorways meant that Bonnybridge remained a vital location for commerce and industry. However, despite its fantastically rich history, the legacy of the village appears to be something altogether otherworldly. 

The hanging star

Perhaps the most well-known of the Bonnybridge sightings happened in 1992. When driving between Falkirk and Bonnybridge, local businessman James Walker was forced to stop his car on a country road. Just ahead of him, hovering above the road, a brightly shining star-shaped object was blocking his way. The object took off at tremendous speed, disappearing and startling the, understandably, frightened Walker who made a swift exit from the area. Since then, countless residents and UFO enthusiasts alike have come forward to share their own experiences.

With over 300 sightings of suspicious and unidentifiable flying objects each year, Bonnybridge has been affectionately nicknamed the ‘Scottish Roswell’. Sightings of strange hovering lights, cigar-shaped flying objects, and UFOs that buzz loudly over vehicles have startled motorists on regular occasions. Some have even claimed to have been kidnapped by alien entities in the Falkirk Triangle before being whisked away onto flying saucers for further examination.  With the highest number of sightings from across the UK (and possibly even the world), what is it about the Scottish Lowlands that makes it so popular for UFOs? Here are three theories that might explain what makes Bonnybridge so special.

Thinning of the veil

Much like the Bermuda triangle, there is intense speculation that the Falkirk Triangle is a window into another dimension. Theories suggest that the thinning between worlds is more fragile around Bonnybridge than elsewhere in the UK, making it an ideal slipping point between dimensional realms. Others believe that much like the Forth & Clyde Canal, an intergalactic stream or highway happens to run through the Falkirk Triangle, leading to a celestial stopover in the Scottish Lowlands. The scientific validity for all these suggestions, however, falls entirely down to speculation. 

Top secret

Much like Area 51, or Roswell, some believe that the unexplained flying objects are a little more terrestrial in origin. It wouldn’t be the first time that secret military training has been responsible for UFO sightings. With the growth of aviation and the need for secrecy for new and innovative designs, declassified files show that many otherworldly experiences just so happen to coincide with military testing. With its remote location and rolling landscape, the Scottish Lowlands is an ideal flight-testing area.

Ghost lights 

Mysterious hovering lights aren’t a new addition to the Scottish Highlands. Ghostlights, Will-o’-the-wisp and other spooky tales are often explained away by gasses from the boggy terrain. Balls of gasses have been observed throughout Scotland, and best explain some of the smaller sightings of lights dancing over the moors. However, it still leaves questions about the larger and louder experiences that have been reported.

The mysteries of the Falkirk Triangle are investigated during the upcoming first series of Craig Charles: UFO Conspiracies as part of Sky HISTORY’s Mystery Season. Craig Charles and Sarah Cruddas look into a handful of the reported instances that have happened around the infamous village of Bonnybridge. By assessing all the available evidence, the pair hope to conclude once and for all what’s really been going on.

Written by:

Jo Rowan