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2 Unknown Scottish Mysteries That Remain Unexplained

Updated on April 3, 2019
Astrid McClymont profile image

Graduated with a Masters in Criminology Research Methods in 2019 with 8 years experience in writing crime fiction.

Scotland, though spectacularly beautiful, has a mysterious quality, an eerie feeling that is often found creeping along the dramatic landscapes. If you've ever been to the country, you'd be struck by three things; how friendly people are, how cold it is, and how the mist rolling across the mountains and cities makes the place look as though it belongs to another world. Here, we take a look at 2 Scottish mysteries that have flown under the radar and remain largely unknown.

Ben MacDui
Ben MacDui | Source

The Grey Man

It appears that wherever there is a mountain, there are local stories involving some monster lurking up them. Whether they be the Abominable Snowman or a Sasquatch. Scotland, meanwhile, has The Grey Man. What is significant about The Grey Man is that he is only experienced on the second highest mountain in Scotland, Ben MacDui in the Cairngorms. It is situated in a stunning part of the country that attracts the most accomplished of mountain climbers.

So what does this Grey Man look like? Unlike other reports of mountain beasts around the world, he is not covered in hair or appear even remotely animalistic. Instead, he shows himself to climbers in the form of an enormous shadow, usually in the winter, leaving behind freakishly large footprints in the snow. His presence is also signalled by the sound of phantom footsteps, although climbers can never discern where they are coming from.

Meanwhile, people who experience him often speak of feeling the most intense, terrifying feeling of their lives as though they are gripped by pure dread. This usually sends them fleeing from the peak. What brings a certain amount of credibility to the accounts of The Grey Man is that he has been witnessed by experienced climbers such as Professor Norman Collie. Not only was he an expert in organic chemistry at the University of London, and therefore a man used to thinking critically, but he also had 35 years climbing experience. Although he had climbed peaks in the Himalayas, the Rockies and the Alps, he told a conference in 1925 that his experiences at Ben MacDui were the most frightening of his life.

As he ascended the mountain, he heard the unmistakable sound of footsteps following him, but with a stride of at least 3 or 4 lengths his own. He was then struck by a tremendous terror that made him descend the mountain at record speed. Afterwards, he vowed to never return to the mountain alone.

But is there really a spirit or mysterious monster on the mountain? One current explanation is that people are experiencing a phenomenon called a Broken Spectre which often occurs on mountain tops. In essence, this happens when you are actually viewing your own shadow, but because of the conditions, it is enlarged, sometimes surrounded by flashing lights, and often projected onto nearby clouds.

Whether it's a spirit, an omen, a monster or just a trick of the mind, we'll never know for certain what The Grey Man is.

The A70, West Lothian
The A70, West Lothian | Source

Alien Abduction – A70 Near Balerno

On the 17th of August, two men were driving on the A70 toward the small town of Tarbrax situated about 15 miles outside of Edinburgh. If you are familiar with the A70, who will know that as soon as the city of Edinburgh gives way to the countryside, you are immediately plunged into a rather dark and bleak landscape. This length of road stretches through the Pentland Hills along vast moorland, and it was here that the two friends reached a blind bend.

Suddenly, one of them, Colin Wright yelled out to his friend, “What he hell is that?”

As they both gazed skyward, they saw a craft in the sky about 30 ft wide and 20ft off the road. To them, the craft appeared to look just like your stereotypical flying saucer made of solid metal. As expected, the two men were terrified and Wright stepped on the accelerator to make an escape. But as they drove beneath the craft, they entered what felt like “a void of blackness” or as Colin described, “a shimmering curtain.”

It was then that they both felt a force hit the back of the car, then a moment later, they were simply driving on as though nothing had happened. The UFO was gone, and the peculiar black, hazy void had vanished.

The two men carried on driving and arrived at their destination slightly before one in the morning. But this did nothing to settle their fears as they realized the usual thirty minute journey had taken almost two and a half hours. And two of these hours were completely unaccounted for.

Immediately after the incident, Gary began to feel unwell and began experiencing severe anxiety and headaches. After reaching out to UFO expert Malcolm Robinson, he was encouraged to undergo hypnosis. In these sessions, he revealed that he had been abducted by small, grey aliens with translucent, bone-shaped limbs.

Yet the most terrifying moment of his experience involved being placed in front of a hole in the floor filled with a dark, viscous substance. Slowly, a head began to appear from the hole before some arms climbed onto the ground. He said - “The creature must have been bigger than me. It was like a skeleton with flesh around it.”

If that wasn't a frightening enough spectacle, he went on to describe the creature as having an enormous head with large, glassy eyes that were dark and most definitely not human. It began speaking to him telepathically explaining he had been abducted for an examination. Strangely, his friend, Colin appeared undisturbed by the incident and didn't share the need to discover an explanation for their experience.

We'll never know if the two men were actually abducted by extraterrestrials, or whether Wright's hypnosis sessions revealed anything genuine. All we do know is that something happened on that road that can't be explained.

© 2019 Astrid McClymont


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