The scene of a close encounter with a UFO is set to attract visitors from across the world after being officially recognised by a council.
West Lothian Council has created a “UFO trail” in woods where a forestry worker claimed he was attacked by a craft from outer space almost 40 years ago.
It remains the only such incident in the UK to have led to a criminal investigation and made headlines around the world.
Bob Taylor said he was left injured and traumatised after the close encounter in Dechmont Law Woods in Livingston in November 1979.
He claimed he was walking through the forest with his dog when he came across a large dome shaped craft hovering in a clearing. He said two smaller spheres with spikes protruding from them came out and grabbed his legs before dragging him towards the larger object.
He recalled smelling an acrid smell and a hissing sound before passing out and woke up 20 minutes later, dragging himself back to his truck which mysteriously wouldn’t start. He managed to walk a mile back to his house. On seeing his dishevelled state, his wife called police and a doctor came out to check him over. His trousers were ripped and he had grazes on his chin and thighs. Police initially treated the incident as an assault but after visiting the scene, they discovered two “ladder” indentations on the ground and 40 small circular holes that followed the path of the mine-like objects.
Forensic tests on his clothes showed it was likely they had been ripped by a sharp upward pull, such as a mechanical device.
Various theories have been put forward to explain the bizarre encounter, from an epileptic seizure to the planet Venus.
Mr Taylor, who was well respected in the local community, never deviated from his story right up until his death in 2007 aged 88.
West Lothian Council has now placed marker posts and a display board in the woods to point the way to the scene of the baffling incident. It is the only officially recognised UFO site in Scotland.
Tom Conn, executive councillor for the environment, said: “The Dechmont Woods encounter is Scotland’s most famous alleged UFO incident, and has featured in a number of books and TV programmes. The information board will help visitors to Dechmont Law find the exact location of the encounter, as well as give details of Mr Taylor’s report of the incident.
“Dechmont Law is already very popular with local residents, especially runners and walkers, and we hope this board will help more people discover and enjoy the picturesque area.”
Scottish author Malcolm Robinson, who has been campaigning for three years to have signage placed in the woods, welcomed the move.
He said: “UFO fans the world over will now be able to find with ease the location of Scotland’s most intriguing UFO incident. This is Scotland’s biggest case of its kind and the marker posts and display board will ensure that the site will be easily reached by those who flock to it each year.
“The Dechmont Woods UFO site is the only site in Scotland that officially recognises an event of this nature and whatever UFOs may be, there is no denying that this case stands head and shoulders above anything that has been seen in Scotland.”