The Livingston Incident, also known as the Robert Taylor Incident or the Dechmont Woods Encounter, is claimed by some to be a highly convincing instance of an encounter with a UFO: and by others to be anything but.
Robert Taylor worked as a forester for the Livingston Development Corporation, whose (then) role was to develop what at the time was known as Livingston New Town. On 9 November 1979 he parked his pickup truck on a road close to the M8 motorway and walking up a path through a newly-planted forestry area a little to the north of Dechmont Law, a prominent local hill.
Robert Taylor later reported seeing what he described as a "flying dome" some 20 feet in diameter, hovering above the forest floor in a clearing about a quarter of a mile from his truck. He described it as being "a very dark grey colour" and having an outer flange with arms on which were mounted propellers. He also reported a powerful, choking smell "like burning brakes" and said that two smaller spheres caught him and dragged him towards the larger dome. He lost consciousness, and when he came round the objects had gone. He was, however, unable to start his truck, so walked to his home in Livingston. (Continues below image...)
When Robert Taylor got home he was muddy and had torn clothes, and his wife called a doctor, who treated him for grazes to his chin and thighs. She also called the police, who took Taylor back to the site of the incident. They found marks on the ground that looked like ladders where the Taylor said the large dome had been, and other marks he said had been made by the smaller spheres. The police recorded the incident as a criminal assault, apparently making it the only UFO sighting in the UK that has been the subject to a criminal investigation.
How you feel about the incident probably depends on how you feel about UFOs more widely. It is clear that many believers consider it to be amongst the strongest UFO sightings on record. Others have attributed it to an attack of epilepsy accompanied by hallucinations, brought on by Robert Taylor having previously suffered from meningitis. No-one has doubted that Robert Taylor, who died in 2007, genuinely believed that what he saw was real.
The best way to reach the site of the Livingston Incident is from the car park just beyond the entrance to Deans Community High School. This leads to an open area of land that reaches its highest point at the summit if Dechmont Law. A good way to get your bearings is to look at the "Dechmont UFO Trail" information board and map near the car park. Having crossed the flank of Dechmont Law (the minor detour to the top is well worth it for the views) you enter Dechmont woods and round the end of Deer Park golf course. Good forest tracks lead then you to the site of the incident, marked by a plaque attached to a large rock by the Livingston Development Corporation in 1991.
It's an enjoyable walk, but when we went we encountered nothing more alien than the noise of the traffic from the nearby M8, which can be heard from parts of the track. Dechmont Woods is now very mature woodland, and as you look around it is hard to imagine how any form of flying vehicle could possibly have landed here. It's worth remembering that it looked very different in 1979, when the forestry was much less-well developed. A quick search on YouTube" for "Robert Taylor UFO Encounter" throws up film of Robert Taylor returning to the scene with a film crew and reveals how the area looked at the time.