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URECAT - UFO Related Entities Catalog

URECAT is a formal catalog of UFO related entities sightings reports with the goal of providing quality information for accurate studies of the topic. Additional information, corrections and reviews are welcome at patrick.gross@inbox.com, please state if you wish to be credited for your contribution or not. The main page of the URECAT catalog is here.

1930, Tomintoul, Banffshire, U-K., Alexander Irvine and a friend:

Brief summary of the event and follow-up:

This is one of the numerous "entities sighting" coming from ghost stories books that British "skeptical" ufologist Peter Rogerson introduced in 1973 in his catalog of such reports. It came from a 1955 book by Scottish poet and writer Alasdair MacGregor, and later, because it looks like it includes a UFO and UFO occupants, it appeared in a few ufology sources, citing Rogerson as the source, without any additional information.

We are told that in Tomintoul, Scotland, in 1930 approximately, at 09:30 p.m. two men, Alexander Irvine and a friend, were walking along Smiddy lane when they spotted a white light "like a meteor."

When this light got brighter, the two men could see a number of figures moving inside it. The witnesses thought they had seen a ghost and linked their sighting to the death of a local nun.

Basic information table:

Case number: URECAT-001687
Date of event: About 1930
Earliest report of event: 1955
Delay of report: 25 years.
Witness reported via: Not known.
First alleged record by: Ghost stories book Alasdair MacGregor
First certain record by: Ufology catalogue Peter Rogerson.
First alleged record type: Ghost stories book.
First certain record type: "Skeptical" ufology catalogue.
This file created on: September 20, 2018
This file last updated on: September 20, 2018
Country of event: U-K.
State/Department: Banffshire
Type of location: From a lane in or near Tomintoul.
Lighting conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
UFO departure observed: Not reported.
UFO/Entity Relation: Certain
Witnesses numbers: 2
Witnesses ages: Not reported. Adult or aged.
Witnesses types: Not reported. Men.
Photograph(s): No.
Witnesses drawing: No.
Witnesses-approved drawing: No.
Number of entities: Several
Type of entities: Humanoid or human
Entities height: Not reported.
Entities outfit type: Not reported.
Entities outfit color: Not reported.
Entities skin color: Not reported.
Entities body: Not reported.
Entities head: Not reported.
Entities eyes: Not reported.
Entities mouth: Not reported.
Entities nose: Not reported.
Entities feet: Not reported.
Entities arms: Not reported.
Entities fingers: Not reported.
Entities fingers number: Not reported.
Entities hair: Not reported.
Entities voice: None heard.
Entities actions: Were inside UFO, moving.
Entities/witness interactions: None.
Witness(es) reactions: Observed, went.
Witness(es) feelings: Not reported.
Witness(es) interpretation: Ghost, related to the death of a local nun.
Explanation category: Extraterrestrial visitors or invention.
Explanation certainty: High.


[Ref. jc1:] JEROME CLARK:

Tomintoul, Scotland, 1930 (approximately): At 9:30 p.m. two men walking along a lane spotted a white light "like a meteor." When it got brighter, the witnesses could see a number of figures moving inside it. The witnesses thought they had seen a ghost and linked their sighting to the death of a local nun (Rogerson, 1973b).


Albert Rosales indicates in his catalogue that in Tomintoul, Ecosse, in 1930, at 09:30 p.m., Two men walking along a lane spotted a white bright light descending over the area. As the light became brighter the witnesses were able to see several figures moving inside of it. This sighting was interpreted as a ghostly apparition.

Albert Rosales indicates that the source is Jerome Clark, The UFO Encyclopedia Vol. #2".

[Ref. js1:] JEAN SIDER:

The author indicates that in 1930 at an unknown date, at 09:30 p.m., in Tomintoul, Scotland, there was a close encounter of the third kind.

He indicates that two men, walking along a path, observed a bright white light coming down from the sky in the area, As it got stronger, the witnesses had the opportunity to see several silhouettes that moved inside. This incident was interpreted as a ghostly apparition.

He says the source is "Rosales, according to Jerome Clark, The UFO Encyclopedia, vol 2."

Jean Sider comments that ghosts in Scotland are not surprising, except in what must have been the "sheath" of brightness of a flying object brilliantly illuminated. As a result, it no longer belongs to spiritualism, but to ufology.

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

In 1930 - Tomintoul, UK

In 1930 21:30

Tomintoul, UK

(Ambiguous location - more than one place with this name).

Close encounter with a an unidentified craft and humanoid occupants. One object was observed (Irvine).

Hynek rating: CE3

Vallee rating: CE3

The source is indicated as: "Rogerson, Peter, World-Wide Catalog of Type 1 Reports".


Date: 1930

Location: Tomintoul Scotland

Time: 2130

Summary: Two men walking along a lane spotted a white bright light descending over the area. As the light became brighter the witnesses were able to see several figures moving inside of it. This sighting was interpreted as a ghostly apparition.

Source: Jerome Clark, The UFO Encyclopedia Vol. # 2

[Ref. th1:] TERRY HOOPER:

I Blame Myself -No One Forced Me Into This!

Well, I have had to take a chance. I have searched the Magonia website and their list of books and I have trawled through every one of my books of folk-lore and so on. No "MacGregor" book from 1955.

The 1930 Tomintoul case seemed to have dead ends everywhere. I even searched through my huge stack of magazines and newsletters from the 1950s-1970. Nothing,

An internet search...nothing. But I was able to search a large internet archive reserved for researchers, or people with nothing better to do...only the 1937 The Peat -Fire Flame by Alasdair Alpin MacGregor, is listed and I already have a first edition copy of that.

There are a few books by A. A. MacGregor -none listed by Magonia. Only one was published in 1955 and that was The Ghost Book: Strange Hauntings in Britain by Alasdair Alpin MacGregor. Is this the reference to the report?

Well, it better be because I just purchased a copy from a contact -and I won't get my money back if it is not.

The whole point in citing references to a report is that it must be accessible to researchers to double check the details. As I have found IntCat lacking in accuracy in places I was NOT going to take what it read without double checking.

Ufologist on site after cite quotes this 1930 incident and 99% of them quote Jerome Clarks UFO Encyclopaedia. According to Jerome he was citing IntCat!! So he has asked me to up-date him when I find anything out. And I shall.

Look, it is simple. If you mention a case then the reference source is given. If that source is the same reference for the next report you simply write "ditto pp.----" (whatever the page numbers are. If the source is not used again until report 15 then (if it was the first reference source) you write "Ibid 1pp---" and the page numbers. It is that simple yet Rogerson and Magonia (who seem impossible to get hold of), critical of so many writers/researchers and sources do not abide by the first rule of research: always cite your reference".

This is why Ufology is never taken seriously. People like me have to come along and then correct sources and details.



1930 (approx date)


Alexander Irvine and a friend were walking in Smiddy Lane when they saw a white light like a meteor. This light brightened and in it a number of figures could be seen moving slowly along the lane.. It was regarded locally as the prevision of a nun’s death.

MacGregor 1955 p200

Points to consider:

Tomintoul, meaning "Hillock of the Barn", is a village in the Moray council area of Scotland; until 1975 it was in the county of Banffshire.

Alasdair Alpin MacGregor (1899 - 1970) was a Scottish poet, writer and photographer, known for a large number of travel books, books about the Scottish folklore, and and ghost stories books. In 1955, Alasdair Alpin MacGregor himself claimed he encountered the phantom of a grey horse at an overgrown water trough in Cumbria.

Peter Rogerson was a British "skeptical" ufologist who started a catalog of "entities" reports in the 1970's, and developed the notion that all were misinterpretations and inventions; just like ghost stories and the such. This is why he included all sorts of encounters that have intrinsically nothing to do with UFOs.

In this case, the figures are inside some light, so it is not entirely silly to view it as a possible CE3, really related to the question of UFOs and their occupants.

However, the report is of dubious origin - MacGregor was not a skeptic at all, he was a stories collectors - and so poor in content that just about anything could be said about it: aliens in a UFO, religious "vision" claims, or merely a pure invention...

I want to add that I experienced Terry Hopper's dismay too. The earliest "ufological" source, Peter Rogerson, gives almost unusable source references throughout his catalogue, and this did not improve in the 2016 latest version. Just a name, a page, a year, is not proper source reference, specially when the source is outside well-known ufology works (every ufologist would guess what "Clark, 1^p90, 1992+ would mean, but "MacGregor 1955 p200" is obviously not very helpful, unlike, as I put it: "The Ghost Book: Strange Hauntings in Britain", book by Alasdair Alpin MacGregor, Robert Hale publisher, U-K., page 200, 1955." I learned with experience that "skeptical" authors are capable of making the same mistake proponents ufologist do, and Peter Rogerson's catalog is a good example: mispelling of places (In one 960 instance the city name "Vernonia" was spelled "Victoria", for example), incomplete source reference, information details lost, no effort at all to look for potential or obvious prosaic explanation, etc.

The shoddy source reference also hides to the layman the nature of the source: not a UFO book or ufology investigation report, but merely a ghost book by an author who was not a ufologist, and much more a poet than a scientist...

One last note: the source [ud1], which I believe to be some sort of copy of the famous "UFOCAT" catalog that I never found published anywhere, gives a name of a witness: Irvine. This did not allow me to discover more information, but I note that there are families of this name in Tomintoul nowadays (2018). This also suggests that there is more information on this case than what Rogerson gave or more than I could find.

List of issues:

Id: Topic: Severity: Date noted: Raised by: Noted by: Description: Proposal: Status:
1 Data Severe September 20, 2018 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Primary source [am1] not available. Help needed. Opened.
2 Ufology Severe September 20, 2018 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Almost no description of the object and the entities. Help needed. Opened.
3 Ufology Severe September 20, 2018 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Almost no quantitative data: no exact date, no duration, no distance, no angular size, position of UFO unknown (in the air, on the ground, moving, still?). Help needed. Opened.
4 Ufology Severe September 20, 2018 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross How the report was made known is not told. Help needed. Opened.


Extraterrestrial visitors or invention.

Sources references:

* = Source I checked.
? = Source I am told about but could not check yet. Help appreciated.

Document history:


Main Author: Patrick Gross
Contributors: None
Reviewers: None
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history

Version: Created/Changed By: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross September 20, 2018 Creation, [jc1], [ar1], [js1], [ud1], [th1], [ta1], [pr1].
1.0 Patrick Gross September 20, 2018 First published.

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This page was last updated on September 20, 2018.