Well being in the world of researching UFOs and the Paranormal it goes without saying that the media always comes knocking on your door to help them with their programmes. This I have done all my adult life. The latest to come a knocking, were Channel 5 a major British corporation. They wanted to film me about a series of programmes that they were doing on UFO Conspiracies and they wanted to know what I felt or believed to be true on a few UFO incidents, including the famous Bob Taylor Livingston UFO Incident. And so on Wednesday the 25th of March 2015 I travelled by train from my home town of Hastings to Gatwick Airport where I met the producer and Director of the Conspiracies show, Phil Stein and his camera guy Harry Bryer. After a few pleasantries we boarded our Easy Jet flight and I went towards my seat only to find a black girl sitting there. With a kind word in her ear pointing out the error of her ways, she quickly moved to the seat she should have been in and all was well with the world.
One hour and 10 minutes later we touched down in Edinburgh which was decidedly more chillier than London Gatwick, that said, it was a lovely day and from there we hired a car and drove to the Dakota Hotel in South Queensferry which on the outside looked like a massive black shiny ugly lego brick but inside it was simply splendour of the highest order. Absolutely exquisite it was what a posh gaff. My bedroom too was very nice and lovely. After a period of time I was asked to go to a room in the hotel which they had commandeered to be their film studio (actually Phil’s bedroom)! The room was dark with two square bright lights on tripods facing two chairs, one for me to sit on, and one for Phil who would be asking the questions. Behind me, was a large white screen which depicted a brick wall basically to give that dimension to the filming. I was asked various things which comprised of the Scottish Livingston UFO case, the Calvine Pitlochry case, Government UFO cover ups and various other UFO issues. I suited up for this one folks, suit and tie (well you’ve got to look a wee bit respectably for the telly!) After the interview (where I signed my rights away on the usual TV contract!) I headed off to the bar to be met later by both Phil and Harry where we chilled for a short time afterwhich we all headed off to our respective rooms as we had to do this all again the next day, but this time on location. Incidentally whilst having a drink with both guys in the bar it was interesting to hear them talk about the TV industry and all the various shows that they had worked on, both here and overseas, wow that sure was one hell of an interesting discussion!
The following day I woke up to see torrential rain outside, “oh no” what a disaster, we were due to film in Dechmont Woods the scene of the Robert Taylor UFO incident, and this heavy downpour of rain did not look good. I knew that a spot of heavy rain wouldn’t put Channel 5 off indeed I have been filmed in rain before (by German Television on the slopes of the Ochil Hills in Scotland) and by another German TV crew in heavy snow near Bonnybridge) so I knew that this downpour wouldn’t put this lot off. Anyway we put all the camera gear into the car and headed off to Dechmont Wood. The rain was so intense that the driving conditions were treacherous. Phil turned round and said, “Well the weather centre says that this rain will pass at 09:00am”, we all laughed as we couldn’t see how this would be possible. Through the wonders of Sat Nav we found the road that leads up to Dechmont Woods and guess what! Dead on 09:00am the torrential rain stopped, we all looked at each other in disbelief, this wasn’t 5 minutes to 9am or 5 minutes past 9am, this was dead on 09:00am. Yes when those weather guys get it right they sure get it right. Anyway, we took all the camera equipment out of the car and Harry took care of the sound boom and we all headed off towards Dechmont Woods. Now let me say at this juncture that I was heading into Dechmont Woods from a new and different direction a direction that I had never came from before, it was always the other side of the woods, that I came from but I knew that as soon as I got into the woods I would find the location no problem.
WE WALKED RIGHT PAST IT!
The three of us then walked up the slope of the nearby golf course then entered the woods where we started to walk down a forest pathway. I was doing a piece to camera whilst at the same time trying to stay on my feet! The reason being that due to all the previous heavy rain the ground was wet muddy and slippery and I didn’t want my footage to end up on one of those ‘It Will Be Alright on the Night’ outtakes! Thankfully I managed to stay on my feet and I took both Phil and Harry up a stretch of forest path which I thought was the correct direction to go. As soon as I got to the top I knew that it was the wrong one, (all this while being filmed by the camera) With slight embarrassment, I said right guys, let’s go back, it must be down the other way so we all about turned and walked back the way we had just came. Just as we got to the bottom of this path I saw much to my further embarrassment the actual UFO landing area, would you believe it, I had actually walked right past it whilst looking to another area of the woods. I let out a big shout of, “There it is, it’s right in front of us” and I duly pointed to the spot. The camera was then thrust in my face as they wanted that footage of me actually finding the spot again. I continued to state in an excited manner that the spot had changed so very much since I was last there. Parts of fallen trees were strewn across the area and the actual cairn which was placed by the Livingston Development Corporation with the help of SPI back in 1992 to commemorate this incident was heavily covered in moss. I wasn’t expecting to find the site so quick as we had only been in the woods for a period of say 10 minutes or so, but then again, I was coming into the woods from a totally different direction. How I wish I knew about this shortcut before!
FIVE HOURS AT THE LOCATION!
Now that we had found it, it was time to get down to work and we spent nearly 5 hours at this spot where they filmed interview after interview after interview with me. Now I know this story off by heart, I could tell it backwards, and I nailed the story first time round (which I was happy with) But I should have known better, I was asked to do it again and then again and again, and again, and again at different spots in the landing area. Whilst I had no real problems doing so, it was admittedly a bit tiring and tedious. But having worked with the media all my life I know to expect this. But of course when you are telling the story many times, sometimes you slip in extra words to enhance the story which I did but they never always came out like that! In other words I made a right tit of trying to tell the story in a flowery fancy way! I just hope they use the first few takes and not the ones of me trying to be clever! At one point Phil put a filter on the lens of the camera which made the blue sky purple and the drifting fluffy clouds drifting over a purple sky looked very effective and created an ambience to the Bob Taylor UFO site. Whilst the rain was off, it was still pretty cold in the woods and you’ll see my breath blowing out on screen as if I was standing on a ski slope on the French Alps! I did many takes walking around the site looking down at the ground and explaining all about the marks on the grass that were found at the site, all this whilst trying to remain on my feet as the ground was slippy and muddy from the previous mornings rain. As I was speaking to camera a gust of wind blew up and suddenly I was covered in many pine needles that had come down from the nearby trees, (I hope that bit doesn’t make the cut!)
After we finished there, we walked up to another area of the woods where there is a bench. At this point I was asked to show to camera the actual trousers that Robert Taylor wore on that eventful morning which showed the rips. That was OK except for the fact that my backside was getting wetter and wetter and my trousers were soaking up the rain from the wet bench. (Ah the things you do for the telly eh!) Prior to this, I had walked over to a wire fence which separates the woods from the busy M8 motorway which is adjacent to Dechmont Woods. The reason I did so was to look for the water treatment plant and tower to which Phil Fenton gave as an explanation for the Livingston UFO Incident (too much to go into here folks but happy to send people the information should you wish) After we finished filming in the woods it was time to head back to the car and where we would then head off to film in the street where Robert Taylor lived at the time of the incident. I should point out that whilst we were filming at the scene of the Bob Taylor Incident, two female joggers came running past us and shouted out, “Ah looking for UFOs are we, ha ha ha” This brought a smile to my face for clearly they knew what had occurred at this spot. The woods see a lot of joggers and walkers indeed my ankles are testimony to this as a number of dogs rushed over to inspect my ankles whilst we were in the woods, brushed away by their embarrassed owners. Harry and I left Phil in the woods as Phil wanted some final shots with himself wearing a small pinhole camera attached to his head and both Harry and I walked back out onto the golf course heading back towards the car. As we were walking down the golf course we looked up towards the top of the golf course where we saw 3 golfers waving angrily at us as we were directly in their line of shot. This didn’t look good, and if we weren’t careful we would end up with a golf ball hitting our head so we crossed over a small wall and eventually got back to the car unhurt. We were later joined by Phil where we then drove off to film in Robert’s previous street.
FILMING AT BOB’S OLD STREEET
Again through the wonders of the Sat Nav we found ourselves in Bob’s old street that he had lived at at the time of his encounter. We parked the car and unloaded all the gear. Out came the fluffy grey boom mike, the camera and tripod and three total strangers to this street were sticking out like a sore thumb. Soon the curtains were twitching in the street. Blinds were pulled down and faces were peeing out. We had been in the street five minutes and all the neighbours had clocked us. I soon got miked up and did my piece to camera saying something along the lines of here is the street that Robert Taylor came back to after his experience. Just then a woman in a pink dressing gown rushed out of our house and ran up to us and said, “Are you SKY News”, “No” we replied. “Then what are you doing here” she continued, we explained why we were there to which she replied. “No no you can’t film here, the house you are filming well the tenant of that house died in there a few days ago and his two sons are in there at this minute clearing the house, please stop filming” At this I just wanted to leave the street. This threw a new light on the filming at this spot. I said to the guys that we had better go, but Phil was quick to point out that we had to get these shots and he wasn’t leaving till he did so. At this point I left them to it and walked away from them whilst admittedly they did take the camera and tripod further back up the street. Then another woman rushed out of another house and came up to me and said, “What’s all this, what’s going on here”? I again explained why we were there to which she replied, “Oh, how exciting, nothing like this has happened in this street before, will we be famous”? I said that her street was already famous and whilst she did remember the case, she had only lived in the street for 15 years or so and the Livingston case happened 36 years ago. Anyway the guys eventually called it a day and we re-loaded all the gear back into the car and I thought that was it, but no it wasn’t. Phil asked Harry to take the car to the bottom of the street where he would film out of the car window. And so slowly the car drove up the street with a big camera stuck out the window filming all the houses. Thankfully we got to the end of the street and that was that, er, oh no it wasn’t. “Let’s do it again Harry” Phil said, and round two of house filming was in progress. I still laugh at those householders all standing behind their curtains and blinds sneakily looking out their windows as this strange car slowly drives down the street with them looking puzzlingly out their windows. And with that done, it was time to head off to Livingston itself where we grabbed a bite to eat at Waggamamas where after they got me a taxi to Edinburgh Airport and my job was done.
AND IN THE END
It had been two hectic days of travelling and filming as I sat in Edinburgh Airport the tiredness of it all suddenly hit me thankfully I only had a few hours to wait for my flight back to Gatwick Airport where I would then get a train to my home town of Hastings in East Sussex. I finally arrived back home at 10:55pm and after watching a paranormal show on satellite I headed off to bed and awoke the next morning ready to go to work at the Hastings & St Leonards Observer. At the end of the day folks, all I can hope for when this show airs sometime either in July or August this year (2015) that I come out OK. Television can manipulate people and have them say things out of context, I know, as it happened to a friend of mine. Thankfully I have been portrayed OK by the various television companies that I have worked with over the years. That said, I ain’t no spring chicken and looking at myself on Phil’s ipad monitor during the hotel interview I looked old and tired and there ain’t no makeup in the world that can sort that out. But yes I enjoyed the filming, I am reasonably happy with it, but it is to what bits that Channel 5 will use that makes me wonder should I have done it in the first place. Only time will tell. You know there is something which I feel should be done at this site folks, and that is a UFO trail with little markers in the forest showing local people (and visitors) where to go and find the location of this important UFO encounter. Not so silly a suggestion because as we know we have the famous Rendlesham Forest UFO trail which saw another famous encounter. I think I should have words with the Livingston Council about this one. So stay tuned as they say. Oh and on a final note, I got told off by the other half for having mucky shoes when I arrived back into the house from my Scottish woodland endeavours. Ah, it’s always good to come back home.
More news about when this series on Channel 5 will be aired when I have it.
(c) (Malcolm Robinson March 2015)