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Longniddry UFO 1963

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Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Joined: 23 Jul 2008

We received the following account of a UFO sighting from one of our readers and was wondering if anyone knew any further information or perhaps may know of a likely natural explaination.


Many years ago when I was a school boy living just ouside the village of Longniddry in East Lothian, Scotland my brother and I had an experience that I have never forgotten and still haunts me to this day. It was probably about 1963 but I cannot remember the exact year. It was late-on in the year around harvest time and it was just starting to get dark. We had been playing football in the village park and we were making our way home up the "Coal Road" to the house we lived in at Redcoll Farm. The sky was quite cloudless and it was a lovely late summer's evening. Suddenly, an object appeared from the horizon in the East. The object was the size of the moon when you see it sometimes in the countryside; very large and very bright. I said to my brother" Look the moon is moving" The object moved
slowly but was obviously out in space. It appeared to be covered in craters that were quite visible. It continued moving up into the sky till it reached the two o'clock position and it suddenly reduced in dimension to the size of a pin head and disappeared. It was like someone switching off an old fashioned TV. Just writing this has again brought back the fear and a shiver to my neck that I felt that evening. No one to this day has been able to provide an explanation. Can you?

When my brother and I arrived home that evening my mum and dad were sitting watching the TV. We were obviously excited and frightened by what we had just seen and asked if there had been a news flash or any reports on the news? No there wasn't so we asked our friends at school the following morning if anyone had seen this object? Again, no one had seen it. I thought at least there would be a report in the local paper but again there was no mention. Years later whilst installing a kitchen in a house in Houghton I asked the occupier whom I discovered was a trained astronomer, if he could throw any light on the incident? His only explanation was that it was a fire ball- a phenomena caused by lightening. I can say quite categorically that it definitely was not ball lightning. I have seen this phenomena during a storm and the object that we saw was definitely cold and massive and nothing like a fireball. A few years ago Halley's comet  came into view on its travels around the solar system. I had expected to see something quite large and spectacular like our UFO and was quite disappointed to discover that it could only be seen with a telescope or binoculars. Even Hale-Bopp was quite visible from our house in Houghton. It was nothing like this object. This object was not like a comet and it did not have a tail. Although I do not understand the workings of the universe I can see how a comet is in view for a period of time as the world spins on its axis. How could this object appear and disappear so quickly. Maybe 10 to 15 seconds at most. It started off large and grew larger as though we were looking at it from outside the end of an ellipse. It then diminished in size to a dot as it disappeared from view at an incredible speed. Anyway, there we have it- a real mystery.

Now at the age of 60 it's maybe time to find out. Maybe some of the members can throw some light on it?

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Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Only "earthly" explanation...

The only explanation I can think of right now is a weather balloon travelling at very high altitude. I know it's not a particulary good explanation but it's the only "rational" one I can offer.
These things have always been in wide use and can reach quite incredible speeds when borne by stratosphere winds and reflected sunlight can make them "glow" when observed from the ground.
Of course as i said this is the only "rational" explanation I can offer right now but if I learn more I'll be happy to oblige with my findings.


"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-

Agricola's picture
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Joined: 15 Oct 2008
The land around Longniddry

The land around Longniddry is relatively flat and to the east (although more ne than directly east)of the village is the airfield at East Fortune - about 15 miles away . Now a museum and aerodrome, in the early 1960s it was used as Edinburgh's main airport for a while as they developed the current airport site at Turnhouse. I'm wondering if the light was a plane coming in to land and directly shining at the boys, before dipping as it comes in to land, and the lights appearing reduced.



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