The 1996 Fife UFO Incident

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
June 16, 2018
Last Updated
September 5, 2020
Estimated Reading Time
8 min read
Posted in
Aliens, Encounters

While making an impromptu visit to the shops one evening in September 1996 in Fife, a mother, her son, and her friend would find themselves in the middle of an incident so bizarre its legend still lives on today. Not only did the bemused and frightened trio witness a strange craft overhead, but also what they claimed were “figures” conducting unknown activities on the ground.

A mystical scene with two people facing a pair of gigantic cosmic hands

Is the Falkirk Triangle a hot spot for UFOs?

Scotland, as we have examined previously, has a huge UFO count for a country of its size. Many believe, for example, that the Falkirk Triangle is home to some kind of portal or alien base such are the regularity of the sightings in that region. Many other reports of UFOs occur throughout the country, much like the episode in Fife in the autumn of 1996.

All of those involved would choose to use pseudonyms for the purpose of the report. We will use the same names here. Tony Dodd, one of the UK’s leading UFO researchers and investigators at the time, would be one of the first to examine the incident. It is from his investigation that the encounter is so widely known.

A Last-Minute Trip To The Shops

At a little after 8 pm on 23rd September 1996, Mary Morrison realized she had run out of coffee. Along with her friend, Jane, they bundled Mary’s ten-year-old son, Peter, into their vehicle and set out on their way from Mary’s country farmhouse to a nearby town where a shop would still be open.

They weren’t long on their journey when they noticed a huge white light hanging motionless in the sky. Much larger than a planet or a star, they believed it was a helicopter performing a search of the area. Then, as they all watched amazed, the object “split in two”. Mary brought the car to an immediate stop. They all left the vehicle and stepped out on to the roadside. The entire area was now lit up brightly. Above them, they could clearly see a black triangular-shaped craft moving silently overhead. Several red lights appeared to be on the underside of the craft.

It eventually moved out of sight and the area returned to its normal feeling of sleepy serenity. Not quite knowing what to make of the encounter, they returned to the car and continued on to the shops. They made their required purchase and, now a little calmer, prepared to drive back to Mary’s home. That journey, however, would be even more bizarre.

More Activity On The Return Journey

As Mary negotiated the quiet country roads on their way back from the shop, the strange object suddenly appeared again. Only this time, it didn’t remain high overhead. Instead, it “rushed towards the car” stopping only several feet away. Peter became so unnerved he began to cry a little. Whether coincidentally or not, as soon as he did so, the object would retreat and rise high overhead once more. As before, they continued their journey and arrived home shortly after.

Once there, however, and after telling Jane’s daughter, Susan, about the incident, the intrigue in Mary and Jane was too much. They decided to return to the spot of the sightings, this time with Jane with them. Before they did, however, they would report the incident. At the time, many UK telephone operators would give out a standard phone number to the public to use for UFO sightings. That number was often manned by UFO author, Tony Dodd. Although Dodd himself wasn’t at the phone station that evening, a close colleague was. Dodd would write about the encounter in his 1999 book, ‘Alien Investigator’.

While the two families did return to the spot on the road where they had witnessed the object, they didn’t possess a camera with which to take photographs (as requested by the UFO hotline operator). Although they couldn’t obtain any visual proof, the report they would give following the upcoming experience is mind-blowing.

A lonely road at night

Many alien abductions take place on lonely roads

Figures That Were “Obviously Not Human!”

By the time they were on their way to the usually quiet road, it was approaching 9:45 pm. Mary brought the car to a stop when they noticed a bright blue glow just above the trees at the far end of a field at the roadside. As they continued to watch, they noticed colored beams of lights that would shoot red, green, and blue laser-like sparks into the air. It was as they watched this fascinating performance that they each became aware of the “silhouettes of several thin figures moving about on the ground”.

These figures were all the same size, around three-feet high and were “obviously not human”. One of them stood out from the rest due to its height, around a foot higher than the rest. It seemed these strange creatures were picking up “boxes or cubes” from the ground. The witnesses could also make out cylindrical objects. As a backdrop to this activity stood a “black shape” on the ground. The figures appeared to be going back-and-forth to this object, which appeared to be a ship. The more they stared at it, they could clearly see more and more of the black figures emerging.

Just above this activity, they could see “hundreds of small star-like things” in the air, simply hanging there. Then, out of nowhere, a bright light appeared from above, lighting up the area where they were watching events unfold.

Mary began to go into a panic of sorts. She suddenly put the car into reverse, driving backward at speed until an opening gave her the opportunity to turn the vehicle around. As Jane’s house was nearer to their location, Mary would take them there.

A Closer Look

They would tell Jane’s rather bemused husband of their encounter. Although he himself was about to go to work, he offered his wife the use of his binoculars should they wish to return to get a closer look (some sources state that Jane’s brother was at their home and had the binoculars in his car). Either way, the two women and two children returned to the spot a little while later, intent on finding out what was happening.

The scene appeared largely unchanged upon their arrival. The silhouettes were still moving around busily. And the blue glow was still very much visible behind them. They would each use the binoculars to get a closer look from the safety of a wall at the edge of the field. The aforementioned Dodd would send one of his investigators to interview the witnesses shortly after.

They would tell him that the source of the light was a “large, transparent, illuminated capsule-type thing”. It seemed to have indentions on the outside of it, “like a brain”. A smaller brightly lit capsule sat alongside the larger one. Inside (or near) was the figure who stood a foot taller than the rest. It appeared this figure directed events.

The large craft that the figures were coming and going from was a little way in the distance. Lots of different colored lights adorned the exterior of the craft. Perhaps even visible light from the interior. There were also several “groups of figures” who were engaged in various activities. Some of them would venture into the woods, carrying objects with them. They would place these on the ground and then pick something else up before returning to the craft.

A depiction of an orb-type drone

A depiction of an orb-type drone


Jane would recall that as they watched these events unfold, cocoon-shaped capsules emerged in a blue mist from the woodland. They moved of their own accord, similar to modern drones. One of them suddenly zoomed across the field to where they stood. It was much larger close-up. It was made up of small capsules, each containing one of the dark figures. Jane recalled there were “dozens of them” inside. She began to scream.

Suddenly, things became vague. There was lots of shouting and cries of panic. Jane remembers shouting they should “get out of here”. The next thing they knew, they were in the car and pulling up on the driveway of Jane’s home. Nobody would sleep for the entirety of the night.

Over the course of the next day, all apart from Peter had “strange bruises or discolorations” in various places. Jane, for example, found one on her upper right leg and another under her right breast. Susan would discover a similar mark on her right shoulder.

As time progressed, memories of the evening began to return to them. While all could remember previously locked away events, Jane would recall the most detail.

Memories Of Abduction?

Although she couldn’t recall how, Jane knew she was taken on board the craft. It was extremely bright inside and Jane believed she was paralyzed somehow. The figures were around her, busily performing various procedures on her. She didn’t recall any pain, nor any malice in the intentions of her apparent abductors. She would even state, “I don’t think they enjoyed doing what they were doing. It was just work”.

Whatever samples they were taking, they would hand them to a taller figure who stood in the background. She would recall hearing them communicate, but not out loud, inside her head. This communication was high-pitched “like whales”. Following the witnesses arriving home that evening, although they didn’t recall it until later, Jane would ask Mary if she had seen her go on board the craft to which Mary replied she had. Ultimately, Mary would later recall these events in full, as would Susan and Peter.

Dodd’s investigators would also examine the area where the incident took place. There were several burn marks on the ground, as well as several “semi-circular impressions”. Even stranger, throughout the area was a “white spider-web material”, distributed as if the result of a blast. Dodd would state that although the area was completely inaccessible from the road, it had the appearance that a “heavy vehicle had been on the land”.

The Strange White Figure With Lots Of Teeth

Around a month after the incident, on 20th October, a friend who had a son the same age as Peter would come to visit Mary. As the two women chatted and caught up, the two young boys played quietly in Peter’s bedroom. For reasons he couldn’t explain, Peter suddenly felt an urge to look out of his bedroom window. When he did so, a white figure with “lots of jagged teeth” was looking back in at him. His friend also witnessed this strange creature. It was floating in the air, and after a moment longer, it would float upwards and out of sight.

Neither boy mentioned the sightings to their parents. Later that evening, however, it returned.

Mary had prepared a bath for her son, and after making sure he was settled in the bathroom, she would make a phone call. Several moments later, she could hear Peter’s distressed voice calling “Mummy! Mummy!”. She rushed to the bathroom finding her son in a state of panic.

After managing to calm him down a little, Peter claimed that when his mother had left the room, he suddenly noticed the white figure with the jagged teeth. It stood near the sink, looking at him. As soon as Peter screamed for his mother, the creature vanished into thin air. It would be several weeks before the young boy was willing to be left alone in any part of the house.

Whether these last incidents are an additional visitation and are connected to the September sighting is unknown. If we accept that Peter’s friend also saw this mysterious and menacing creature, then it is unlikely to be a hallucination brought on by the initial bizarre episode.

Artist's impression of the strange figure with sharp teeth

Artist’s impression of the strange figure with sharp teeth

Credible In Their Anonymity?

Neither Mary or Jane, nor their children, wished for publicity from the event. One of the families would even move away from the area such was the affect it had on their lives. UFO investigators who have met personally with them state the two women to be reliable and credible witnesses. All were also “profoundly shaken” by the encounter.

If the witnesses were looking for financial gain or attention, then their encounter has all the components to potentially attract such “rewards”. The fact that over two decades later they still refuse any publicity or monetary compensation for their identity is perhaps a strong indication of the authenticity of the incident.

And, if we accept for a moment that authenticity, what exactly did the four witnesses stumble on to that evening in the countryside around Fife? It would appear to be some kind of sample collecting mission. Was it a “one-off” or does this happen on a regular basis? It is perhaps worth noting that had the witnesses not returned to the location a third time, the incident would likely have remained a sighting lasting a matter of seconds. Instead, it remains unexplained, and one of the most intriguing UFO alien encounters on record.

The short video below features some close-up shots of the location.

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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  • Patrick says:

    I can remember that i was an child of 8 years. I was looking outside the window and saw a sphere with loads of different lights. The sphere looked metal en i saw little orb looking lights. with green blue and red. It seemed the time stood still for a moment. When I blinked again with my eyes it was gone. I never talked with someone about this. I thought that I saw a hallucination. Somehow this article makes me think that it might be true what I saw.

  • Jack says:

    Not as dramatic but during the years 1971 and 1972 I was an employee of an hay cutting crew we worked 6pm to 6am in open fields within approximately a 50 mile radius of Mt Hope,Kansas Usa on different occasions we witnessed UFO’S performing incredible feats of aerial maneuvers. We swore not to speak of it because of redicule small towns can be brutal They are real and have been here a long time but until you witness them it’s difficult to believe

    • Michael Walker says:

      A lot of times people will make fun of or ridicule people for saying things that they dont understand.Especially things of this type.

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