UFO Conjecture(s)

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Robert Taylor 1979 UFO Encounter


On November 9th, 1979, Robert Taylor, a forester in Scotland, had a weird encounter with a strange “craft” in Dechmont Woods near Livingston, Scotland.

The incident is often referred to as the Livingston Incident or the Dechmont Woods Encounter and can be read about at UFO Casebook:

UFO Casebook

Or at Wikipedia:


And here is a link to a YouTube video about the incident:


What interests us, besides the nature of the alleged encounter, is that the described “craft” is highly reminiscent of a Hughes prototype for a lunar or Mars capsule to house astronauts:


And here is a graphic of another UFO sighting in Scotland:


And a representation of a Scotland event in 1964 (around the time of the Lonnie Zamora/Socorro sighting, which we think was a sighting of a Hughes lunar-landing prototype):


A CIA operative, Bosco Nedlelcovic, who communicated with us in the 1970s, told us that the CIA was engaged in staged flying saucer events – The Villas Boas case (as outlined in Nick Redfern’s book, Contactees, Chapter 20) and the infamous Scoriton incident in England (covered here in an earlier blog post).

We conjecture that the Robert Taylor episode was a CIA-staged event, using the Hughes prototypical craft, which was ensconced and tested in the British Isles in the 1960s/1970s time-frame.

Fate magazine’s account in 1980 outlines the event in a way that corroborates, we think, our Hughes/CIA view:



  • The incident occurred in the back end of a Scottish village, in a clearing in Dechmont wood....middle of nowhere.

    To what end would the CIA be testing landers there? If they were, as you speculate, staging flying saucer events, can you share your train of thought that places such an event in this location?

    Such orchestration for the benefit of one man is audacious.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Monday, May 23, 2011  

  • Kandinsky:

    I agree -- it is silly.

    But look at our posting about the Villas Boas case early on here at this blog -- or read a synopsis in Redfern's book, Contactees, as suggested.

    And wrap your head around the Scoriton affair.

    Then maybe you'll see why we can accept the idea of a CIA operation, as bizarre as that is in the scheme of things, real.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, May 23, 2011  

  • K,

    Why would extraterrestrial space visitors engage in an episode for one man, in the back woods as you say?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, May 23, 2011  

  • Rich and Josh, does it have to an 'either or' situation? It's a good case for basing some speculation on and that doesn't require a conclusion.

    Taylor's account doesn't describe anything we'd suspect the CIA of doing...plus the location is truly isolated. On the other hand, it's also absurd to suspect 'extraterrestrial space visitors' would stage it.

    I tend to see the 'Contactees' as bit-part media players and hucksters. Whatever they said or wrote is deeply dubious and apt to confuse if we take them seriously. Allied to those concerns is the evidence that Adamski and others were protected by the CIA (Nick's Saucer Spies for example).

    Bob Taylor didn't share much in common with that bunch. He had a one-time experience and was interviewed by his Doctor and Police within hours of his return. Dehydration, broken voice and the famous trousers. He had no tales of Venus, apocalypses or ban the bomb; his only message was one of abject bewilderment.

    What do we make of it all?

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Tuesday, May 24, 2011  

  • Greetings friends,

    In our french forum, we have already discussed a little this case last year not really famous in our country ( http://sceptic-ovni.forumactif.com/t1475-robert-taylor-dechmont-woods-west-lothian-scotland-1979-11-09 )

    The prosaic hypothesis made by David Slater in U.K. sounds really interresting and have sens than the CIA test imho and "gained" the most our consensus. Dunno if all here or there have knowledge of this excellent prosaic pist proposed by D. Slater? The link is the following:


    Best regards,


    By Blogger Gilles, at Tuesday, May 24, 2011  

  • Please, can we keep the CIA out of this one. Please, can we also keep the CIA out of Villas-Boas and Scoriton.

    Listen, those CIA guys are undoubtedly clever and devious, but they aint THAT clever. Enough said.

    By Blogger cda, at Tuesday, May 24, 2011  

  • Kandinsky:

    You really have to read the Boas case as interpreted by Bosco Nedelcovic, early on here.

    And the Scoriton incident.

    Taylor's incident has nothing to do with Contactees. The reference is to Redfern's book where you can find the CIA insinuation.

    Taylor had a real episode, reported truthfully by him.

    But his truth has to be seen in the context of what the CIA was doing, according to Nedelcovic.

    You seem to have missed the point of the posting, which only makes sense, if any sense at all, when it is read in the gestalt of our whole oeuvre here.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, May 24, 2011  

  • Yes, Gilles...

    We know about Slater's view, and it is a stretch for us but not unreasonable.

    Persons reading this should check out Slater's hypothesis and also read the Nedelcovic CIA inference here or in Redfern's book.

    (Thanks for the link, mon ami.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, May 24, 2011  

  • CDA:

    You'd be surprised at how devious (and maybe incompetent) the feds here are.

    There is an article about the NSA and its action against one of its people (Drake) in the current New Yorker.

    The piece tells how the NSA, like the CIA, engaged in and engages in bizarre activities.

    The Nedelcovic story about Villas Boas and Scoriton is intriguing and believable, while also being fictive-like.

    What's your take on the Taylor episode? It is a very interesting case to my mind -- strange, weird even, but real.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, May 24, 2011  

  • I've reread Slater's hypothesis for the Taylor episode that Gilles Fernandez was kind enough to provide.

    Mr. Slater's hypothesis enthuses me because it is well-thought out and thorough, something that we and almost everyone who comments here fail to do.

    The only flaw in Mr. Slater's hypothesis is the lack of an explanation for the markings that Taylor's craft left on or in the ground.

    Otherwise the run-down by Mr. Slater is astute and reasonable.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, May 24, 2011  

  • Rich, you appear to have a tendency towards interpreting disagreement as a failure to understand your view. This isn't necessarily so. People can understand each other's perspective and still draw different conclusions.

    I don't see the relevance of Nedelcovic's claims in Taylor's account. I don't share your views that the CIA are the default suspects for close encounter claims. The 'truth' does not 'have to be seen' through Nedelcovic's narrative.

    Gilles' link to the belladonna explanation is more thought-provoking (for me) than the CIA version you favour. It's unfortunate that the author of that notion refers to Steuart Campbell (you must have read his work?). Campbell's explanation was without precedence or evidence. An inferior mirage of Venus somehow refracted through a temperature inversion iirc.

    At least the belladonna idea has some merit and can't be dismissed. In my experience however, dilation of the pupils (under psychotropic botanicals) can last for many hours and residual effects remain noticeable for longer. The Doctor would (should?) notice such physical effects instantly and
    take appropriate action. Despite my doubts, the idea is worth considering.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, May 24, 2011  

  • Now Kandinsky isn't an RRRGroup guy -- heaven forbid he's thinking.

    It's that Blogger wasn't allowing his comment to post, so we had to insert it for him.

    I appologize heartily.

    That aside, let me address is comment...


    It's not that I don't think you or anyone else doesn't get my obtuse views.

    It's that I want to make sure they see what prompts them -- my views, that is.

    They are based in part on material already online and posted previously.

    I don't always insert the reference as I believe, from the old school, that persons seeking out material on their own and not having it handed to them on a silver platter will remember it more readily; it will impact them more.

    The Nedelcovic view is iffy, if you read how we analyzed it when he passed it on. (That's in our footnotes to the posting about his offering.)

    But with several UFO incidents in Scotland and the crafts looking like the Hughes prototype, we think the CIA motif has merit.

    (Hughes and Raven Industries were intertwined -- Raven being a CIA front.)

    As for Slater's hypothesis, I think it has merit also. I like it very much actually, as I noted in my comment above.

    It is inventive and almost unique.

    The Venus explanation is always a problem for me, whether in the Mantell case or any other.

    It's a stingy hypothesis, lousy actually.

    No one will confuse Venus for what they described as having seen.

    It's a bogus explanation almost always.

    I suggest that you fellows spend a few dollars on Redfern's books, especially Contactees.

    They will enlighten you, about UFOs and the CIA or NSA even.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, May 24, 2011  

  • Tenuous at best.

    Are we to assume a direct link between the Hughes lander (of which you provide only a very schematic diagram) with the object reported by this witness just because both happened to be spherical in form?

    Are you claiming that Euclidean geometry is the exclusive property of Earthlings? ;)

    And where do the two robotic 'probes' fit in all of this?

    By Blogger Red Pill Junkie, at Tuesday, May 24, 2011  

  • Dear Kandinsky and all,

    If you read closely the commentaries in Slater's blog, and in particulary the one made by our french forum member, Eric Maillot, there is no need of the "Venus explanation".
    Belladona seems to have its alcaloid : atropine, in french (I think it is the same in english). and atropine is well known to produce "Scotoma" or "Amaurosis". Scotoma or amaurosis is known by the formation of "dark circles" on the retina. So...
    Well, I'm not pharmacologist, just sharing ;)

    By Blogger Gilles. F., at Tuesday, May 24, 2011  

  • This is one of my favourite UFO cases, not just because it occured close to where I live! The physical aspects of this do make it hardeer to explain away.
    I guess some kind of experiment is as good an explanation as any- though the location isn't that isolated- Livingston is not far from Edinburgh, and the location is not far from the motorway that runs from Edinburgh to Glasgow, so essentially is in one of the more densely populated parts of Scotland. Would be easier to pull this kind of stunt in the Highlands or borders- unless being able to pull it off in a populated area was part of the challenge?

    By Blogger Scott, at Tuesday, May 24, 2011  

  • I must agree with CDA on this one. For the most part, the CIA and FBI are utterly incompetent, much to the dismay of conspiracy theorists.

    By Blogger Adam, at Tuesday, May 24, 2011  

  • It would be good (smart!) for readers here to look at Redfern's accounts of CIA and military experimentation with the public, around the world, which has been reported by legitimate media also, as you (should) know.

    Our conjecture(s) about Hughes Aircraft is predicated upon material we've added online here and at our other blogs (the RRRGroup blog for instance) and is corroborated, in part, by the Nedelcovic story -- which is presented here, at this blog, long ago, and also appears in synopsis in Redfern's book, Contactees (Chapter 20).

    It's unacademic to comment on our hypotheses or anyone elses without reading the material that supports those hypotheses.

    Commenters here are quick to offer rejoinders, without having read anything that premises the postings.

    That's ignorance at its core.

    Hughes and the CIA were conjoined.

    And Hughes Aircraft experimented with craft and space vehicles that were mistaken for UFOs or could have been.

    That can be found online, for those who take the time to look for it.

    The stupidity that abounds in the UFO community astounds.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, May 25, 2011  

  • "The stupidity that abounds in the UFO community astounds."

    Does that include your own?

    By Blogger steve sawyer, at Wednesday, May 25, 2011  

  • Yes, Steve, it does, and thanks for pointing that out specifically.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, May 25, 2011  

  • As an overview of the specifics as an aggregate sum, what your post's theme appears to be is pattern recognition, which of course then there is chaos theory, which Vallee has explored in what he calls the "physics of information, which then infers the connection between environmental information being bridged to an "observer effect." like the tale of the blind man and the elephant. The astrophysicist sees this perhaps as a energetic manifestation, the engineer as a process issue, the metaphysician as a Platonic archetype between material and immaterial as a third reconciling force, unrecognized by science. All of these are loaded perspectives and while all may bring something to the buffet, we have the sinking sense as a post editorial stance that these manifestations ( as the physics of information) there is a large hole in our ontology. I just posted links to Billy Cox and Lesley Kean provoking the consensus of averages, on their own fields,. One hopes this generates the heat needed from the ashes we keep alive. Best Wishes, and keep stirring the pot.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Wednesday, May 25, 2011  

  • Without commenting on the specifics of the idea contained in the original post, let me just say that anyone who thinks the CIA was or is incompetent simply does not know anything about its history. I recommend starting with the Church Committee report:


    Has the CIA make mistakes, and foul up, during its history? Of course. What governmental agency, or private sector company or group, has not? But the CIA also has a long string of successes to its credit (and I define "successes" here in terms of their ability to run a project and keep it secret, not in the practical or even moral sense of the term), many of which, like the work of Donald Ewald Cameron up here in Canada between 1957 and 1964 with MKULTRA, remained secret for years afterwards (see the death of Frank Olsen, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Olson)... and many of which, I have no doubt, remain secret, and perhaps even still operational, to this day.

    Or, as my good friend the late Karl Pflock one told me, we only ever hear about the CIA's failures, and those things that they want us to hear about - and sometimes, for their own reasons, the two are one and the same. Everything else stays hidden.


    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Wednesday, May 25, 2011  

  • Since my comment on your Robert Taylor "conjecture" did not appear, I assume that I am one of the bloggers that you just want to "go away." Fine. But let me give you some idea of the sort of reader/blogger that you summarily dismiss.

    I am a Ph.d economist with a national reputation in the antitrust area. I've written several books and many hundreds of op/eds on regulatory matters over the last 4 decades, and testified before Congress on reforms in the antitrust laws.

    My serious interest in the UFO mystery started in 1958 when I watched the Armstrong Circle Theater/CBS/Air Force censoring of NICAP's Donald Keyhoe; it has continued to the present day. I've recently written several UFO op/eds including one (in 2009)calling for more government disclosure on the subject. (Unfortunately that one got me dropped as a Cato Institute "adjunct scholar"...a post that I had held for more than 2 decades.) In short, I am reasonably familiar with the subject, the leading cases, and most of the controversies, and with the difficulty of writing openly and honestly about this subject in a public forum.

    If you publish this, I stand by my original (unprinted) comment that your conjectures on the Robert Taylor encounter are simply not reasonable. A reasonable conjecture must bear some reasonable relationship to the fact as reported. Yours, in my opinion, does not.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Wednesday, May 25, 2011  

  • Dominick:

    Forgive us, but we lost a few comments it seems when our Juno e-mail went haywire overnight or earlier today.

    We couldn't post anything that was left at Blogger for some reason.

    I was able to get through and grabbed a few comments but didn't see anything from you.

    Now I'll read your comment and hope that you remain one of our better, enlightened commenters.

    You didn't swear at us did you?

    Your credentials allow serious consideration.

    But I have to disagree with you since if one takes into account what we were presented as a view by CIA operative Bosco Nedelcovic, one has to conjecture that Taylor may have been the subject of a CIA mission.

    Yes, it is loopy on its surface but we won't dismiss it out of hand.

    And some of us here have been at the UFO table for a few years more than you, and we have our own credentials.

    You can dismiss our hypothesis but we'd like to know why exactly.

    You've read the Nedelcovic story in Redfern's book or online here I assume.

    Do you like Slater's nightshade scenario?

    Do you prefer an extraterrestrial scenario?

    Or something else?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, May 25, 2011  

  • Rich, you're a provocative fella. 'The stupidity that abounds...' is a quote that we probably all agree on; applying it to those that post on your blog is widely off the mark. Again, there's no need to equate disagreement with stupidity.

    Is it possible that some incidents could involve the CIA whilst many others don't? I haven't read all of Nick's books or all your blogs. At the same time neither Nick or your group are the last word on the UFO enigma. Nick Redfern would balk at any suggestion to the contrary.

    If we must bandy around terms like 'ignorance,' it's much the same charge against anyone insisting that only their sources carry weight. Assuming that 'rejoinders' are ill-informed or made on the spur of the moment is irrational.

    @ Gilles' your links and suggestions make for an interesting line of inquiry. The notion is inventive! Where I have questions is about the secondary explanations for the tracks. These tracks are part of the fabric of Taylor's account; the material evidence. My comments about Campbell's overall explanation were intended to underline his willingness to conjure up improbable details. As hallucinations don't leave physical traces, the idea remains inconclusive and intriguing.

    I also wonder about the likelihood that Taylor would be eating exotic vegetation. If we put ourselves in the situation, would we risk eating unknown plants? Who would? He was an outdoor man with food in the kitchen at home. What would motivate him to eat a quantity of belladonna? By all accounts, it's a bitter-tasting plant with an unpleasant smell...

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Wednesday, May 25, 2011  

  • Further on the general CIA angle, I recommend the excellent documentary RFK to anyone interested in just what they might be capable of - compelling and thought-provoking stuff.


    I would also add my own story, which I first recounted a year ago in my review of Rich Dolan's UFOs and the National Security State (see: http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/2010/05/ufos-and-national-security-state-vol-ii.html)

    The relevant excerpt:

    As for Dolan's anonymous sources that I and many others have been so critical of over the years, let me just say that my view changed when I was contacted in 2007 by a retired high level intelligence source who insisted on remaining anonymous. I met this man while in Washington in September, 2007 (which explains why I insisted that my travel companion Kris McBride and I tour the government sector separately the first afternoon we were there), and I recorded our conversation, with the understanding that it would not be released while he and his wife were still alive.

    What I can say is this - he didn't give me any answers.

    It doesn't work that way.

    Rather, he encouraged me to ask questions, not about UFOs in particular, but about the broader issue of how the intelligence agencies manipulate information to keep us from seeing what really happened. He gave me a few clues about where to look, and what questions to ask.

    If you're familiar with what I've written since, or pay attention to what I may say in the future, you'll see some of what I've discovered, if you know where to look... and if you're willing to ask the right questions.

    A final note of caution, however. At the end of my conversation in 2007 with my "source," I jokingly asked him why no-one had ever contacted me about becoming an intelligence asset.

    His response?

    "How do you know they haven't, and how do you know that you aren't?"

    I find that a lot of people think they know what the government is or is not capable of, when in fact they know absolutely nothing at all about the true workings, history or agendas of the intelligence agencies (this includes conspiracists like Stan Friedman re: MJ-12, who go too far in the other direction).


    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Wednesday, May 25, 2011  

  • Kandinsky:

    You always make good points.

    And I know you're a Kimball follower.

    He makes good, intelligent points also.

    But we get some really nutty stuff here, and a lot of stuff from people who don't have their own blogs or sites but like to pollinate other blogs (ours and others) with their inane, rote UFO material that they've purloined from others since they don't have an original idea in their fevered brains.

    I enjoy a good intellectual whipping, which I get from Kimball, CDA, you, and a few others.

    But the ignorant bastards, jealous of our popularity -- yes, we are popular in some UFO circles -- get my goat.

    They merely attempt to undercut views that go against their belief system(s).

    They never offer anything unique, imaginative, or interesting.

    You provoke and question intelligently. You are one of the persons we like to hear from.

    As for most of the other blokes?

    They mean nothing to me or to good thought or inventive ideas.

    So there you are...

    Read Redfern, read Contactees and his new Men in Black book, coming soon.

    You'll be enlightened, that's for certain.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, May 25, 2011  

  • Now, as to the specifics...

    Rich, you're nuts! ;-)

    And yet, if not in this particular case then in general, as a way of looking at things, you've taken the right approach (the same one Dick Hall always took) - look for patterns and common characteristics to sightings / cases, and then go from there.

    The CIA for Socorro and / or Dechmont Woods? I don't buy it, but for reasons noted above, I wouldn't rule it out... and I would also find it as likely, if not more so, than the extraterrestrial explanation.


    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Wednesday, May 25, 2011  

  • Paul:

    I always end up being right....



    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, May 25, 2011  

  • Here is a summary of the UFO sightings or 'incidents' alleged to be the work of the CIA, in various forms. I have compiled these from the writings of people like Dr Leon Davidson and his followers. They may only be a small subset of the total number:

    1.Adamski's sightings and contacts (even his trips to the moon.)
    2.Villas Boas
    4.Allingham, in Scotland 1954 (by letter from Davidson to me)
    5.Two sisters, contact in Norway, August 1954
    6.Scoriton, UK
    7.Washington radar-visual
    8.Green fireballs

    So the CIA are indeed a very clever lot (a bit too clever in my view). Can anyone add to this list, or is it getting out of hand? Or is it just too dotty for words?

    By Blogger cda, at Thursday, May 26, 2011  

  • Bragalia tells us that Allingham was a pseudonym for a noted British astronomer who hoaxed his sighting and flying saucer photograph.

    Leon Davidson was convinced that the CIA was responsible for Socorro too, interpreting the known to be errant insignia as a CIA logo, re-imagined by the agency in a creative way.

    The CIA surely monkeyed around with UFO creations, just as it created other psy-op scenarios.

    But these "events" are only concomitant with a real phenomenon, and were imagined by the agency for some bizarre and still unknown cold war purposes.

    The CIA, like some UFO geezers, has mucked up any serious UFO research or investigations by its shenanigans.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, May 26, 2011  

  • The CIA:

    Can't kill a single Cuban dictator in over 5 decades.

    But staging a UFO invasion? well, that's a piece of cake.

    By Blogger Red Pill Junkie, at Thursday, May 26, 2011  

  • I may not have read your comments thoroughly enough, and my apologies for that. My query is this:

    IF some governmental/military outfit is perpetrating frightening situations upon humanity, what is the gain? And surely within those hallowed walls, there has to be someone who will talk. I can't get my head around a reason, no matter how hard I try, unless it is one huge chapter to be added to the psychology manuals.

    Good people have had some terrifying experiences, and others have made details up. Separating wheat from chaff is not easy, but definitely there are some strange things going on.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, May 27, 2011  

  • Anon:

    Psychological operations were "training sessions" for cold-warfare, according to writers, such as Nick Redfern.

    Or maybe even preparation for how to handle an actual ET invasion.

    Either the way, the efforts were (are?) surreal and stupid.

    Who really knows how the spy-mind works?

    The problem lies in that some episodes were not, perhaps, a psy-operation, but a real encounter with something paranormal or extraterrestrial even.

    Whatever occurred, we're merely conjecturing here...


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, May 27, 2011  

  • >"we're merely conjecturing here..."

    So glad that you keep that in mind, because some of the times the tone of your posts has the flavor of pontification --and those little white hats look silly on anybody :P

    By Blogger Red Pill Junkie, at Saturday, May 28, 2011  

  • RPJ:

    Can't we pontificate, if we want to?

    It is our blog after all.

    Or do you want it to be your blog?


    By Blogger The Reynolds Group, at Saturday, May 28, 2011  

  • Blogs are about the exchanging of ideas and points of view.

    No one should pontificate. I don't stand it even in my own blog!

    By Blogger Red Pill Junkie, at Saturday, May 28, 2011  

  • RPJ:

    Blogs, I thought, were personal expressions -- many pontifical, at least those I read, and many not.

    We're just elitist bastards here so I'm glad you'e tolerating our hubris.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, May 28, 2011  

  • I thought readers might enjoy this video, 'The West Lothian Question.' It's a good watch and features lengthy interviews with Taylor.


    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Sunday, May 29, 2011  

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