This article was published in the daily newspaper The Northern Scot, Scotland, on January 24, 2004.
The day Moray had a visitor from outer space
By FIONA McPHERSON
THE truth, they say, is out there and a mysterious X file is about to be dusted down at a seminar investigating local incidents which point to us not being alone in the universe.
Forget Roswell and even Scotland's own UFO sighting hotspot Bonnybridge - Moray has its own out of this world claims to fame.
The alien abduction and UFO talk to be given in Lossiemouth by Mr Alan Senior, will explore documented alien encounters.
It is almost 50 years since writer and amateur astronomer Cedric Allingham claimed that while walking on the beach at Lossiemouth he observed a flying saucer which landed close by.
From the metallic, glowing craft, which measured 50ft wide and 20ft high, a man appeared who looked to be human, although he had a high forehead and a tiny tube running into each nostril which Allingham considered to be a breathing device.
When Allingham drew a diagram of the solar system, the visitor nodded when Mars was pointed out. Allingham touched and photographed the saucer and also photographed the pilot, with the pictures published in his book two years later.
Retired Mr Senior, who teaches art classes at Moray College, has had a long-standing interest in the unknown, but he confesses to being sceptical of reported sightings and contact, despite a possible encounter of his own.
"When I was living in Lancashire in the 1960s, I did see something I cannot give an explanation for.
"I saw something which was metallic and oval shaped in the sky and watched as it appeared to stop and then took off, " he said.
"People are fascinated by space and the possibility of aliens. You have to be careful, though, as people do get carried away. You have to try to look for a logical explanation for things and at the seminar I will be trying to look at both sides objectively, but something perhaps just cannot be explained."
Mr Senior has given a number of talks on the theme of UFOs but the seminar at Lossiemouth Community Centre next Saturday is the first locally. It is being run as part of the adult learning classes organised by Moray Council.
It was while he was giving a talk in Glasgow that he met UFO expert Mr Ron Halliday, from Stirling, who reminded him of the Lossiemouth incident.
"I do remember Allingham's book which was said to have been influenced by another book. It did cause a sensation at the time, " Mr Senior added.
His seminar will also touch on supposed alien activity around Forres and Findhorn, where Findhorn Foundation cofounder Mr Peter Caddy was said to have cut down trees to clear a site for visiting crafts, believing Cluny Hill to be a power point where aliens could recharge their spaceships for the voyage home.