In 1992, at around 8:00 p.m. on a quiet country road on the outskirts of Edinburgh, 2 ordinary men experienced an extraordinary event that has become enshrined in the annals of Scottish and world UFO mythology. The event, known as the A70 case, was the alleged abduction of the 2 men by extraterrestrials. Neither of the men, Garry Wood & Colin Wright, expected anything out of the ordinary to occur when they set out on that fateful night.
Their journey was from the south of Edinburgh on the A70 to the village of Tarbrax in East Lothian, a drive of some 15 miles. The journey, which normally takes around 30 minutes, was in connection with a domestic appliance repair. At around 10:00 p.m. they drove through the clear summers night at about 40 mph chatting about family and other general issues. Rounding a blind corner, in the vicinity of the Harperrig reservoir Colin abruptly leaned forward exclaiming:
What the hell's that?
Garry peered through the windshield, there ahead of the car, floating about 20' above the road was a 2 tiered disk shaped object. He remembers it being about 30' wide, wider than the road, smooth, black and shiny with no windows or illumination.
Garry, a motor mechanic by trade is familiar with mechanical devices and a range of metal finishes, found the appearance and finish of the object unusual. Wanting to get away as quickly as possible, he floored the accelerator urging their vehicle up to almost 70 mph. In Colin's words, Garry was driving like a bloody madman. As they passed below the hovering craft a shimmering curtain of light descended on the car,
Garry describes it as like looking at a detuned TV set, just flickering lights. Instantly they were enveloped in total, complete darkness.
Later under hypnosis Garry recalled standing presumably outside the car, it was still totally & utterly dark, not a hint of light, he couldn't even see the car, briefly he thought they had crashed and he was dead.
He blacked out for what subjectively felt like a few seconds, then abruptly he was awake and the car was veering all over the road. Garry could hear Colin shouting at him to watch out, then thankfully, he was able to bring the car to a stop. They looked at each other in disbelief, what had happened? The cool night air was a relief as they gathered their wits. Setting off again, they arrived at their destination still discussing their bizarre encounter. Arriving at Tarbrax they pulled over at their friend's house, Garry slipped his hand down to free the seat belt, it was already undone.
He was briefly puzzled but thought no more of it at that moment. Assuming the time to be around 10:40 p.m. they unloaded the items from the car and carried them to the door of their friends house. They knocked on the door, several minutes went by, then they heard an upstairs window open and their friend's head emerged.
He enquired none to politely just what they were doing and informed them that it was 12:45 a.m.
Naturally they thought he was pulling their legs, but no, he was not, they had lost 2 hours. The men had made the journey to Tarbrax several times and knew it normally took around 30 minutes.
Entering the house in a state of some agitation, the men attempted to describe what they had seen, even sketching the craft they had witnessed hovering above the deserted stretch of road. It was well into the small hours when Garry and Colin left for Gilmerton on the outskirts of Edinburgh, not surprisingly they did not return by the same route and neither man recalls much about the journey.
When Malcolm Robinson originally interviewed the pair a few days after the event, they both agreed that Garry and Colin were both clearly agitated and from past experience knew neither man was prone to either lying or dramatics.
The following day Garry felt utterly drained of energy, more than just the result of his late night, he felt really worn out. The following few days did not help matters, he was not sleeping at all well, he experienced vivid, disturbing dreams and his sleeping patterns changed for the worse. Eventually consulting his doctor because of severe headaches, he was advised to have an MRI, this proved negative.
As an additional precaution he underwent the uncomfortable procedure of a spinal tap but once again nothing untoward was diagnosed. Fearing ridicule, neither Garry nor Colin reported the incident to the police or media, they did however inform BUFORA. As a result of the event, Garry became engrossed in UFOlogy in an attempt at understanding what he had experienced.
Eventually, he heard of SPI, Strange Phenomena Investigations, and contacted them to arrange a meeting. This was arranged, and after 2 preliminary meetings, Malcolm, SPI's founder, suggested using the controversial technique of hypnotic regression to access what had occurred during this missing time. Although Garry and Colin had some misgivings, an initial session was arranged using Scottish hypnotherapist and psychic Helen Walters.
During the first session, Garry became very emotional and burst into tears, there was nothing specific, only vague images and impressions, later regression sessions were to prove much more revealing. In later sessions both men remembered sitting in the car, which was stopped in the middle of the road, small humanoid creatures, 3 to each side, opened both front doors. Colin recalls Garry being placed on a type of stretcher or carrier, none of the entities were supporting it, the stretcher was free floating. Garry although he remembers none of this, does recall creatures approaching the car then a searing pain in his abdomen, as if his stomach muscles were being torn apart, as he says, You know if you've been electrocuted, your muscles all cramp up and it's really painful, you can't let go, it was like that.
For his part, Colin recalls walking up a ramp into the craft, which was lit by a dazzling white light. He remembers being in a circular corridor being led by one of the creatures. Although some of his recollections are hazy and seem to jump from scene to scene like a series of snapshots. He distinctly recalls a room leading from the corridor. The room was utterly featureless except for an unusual chair, it was curiously curved, almost organic in shape.
He was stripped naked and placed unresisting in the chair and subjected to some form of nonintrusive physical examination. He also remembers lying back in the chair looking at the ceiling, it was corrugated, translucent, there was soft, diffused lighting filtering through.
This memory transitioned seamlessly into being naked in a transparent container made from a material rather like glass or Lucite, straps at the feet and ankles secured him. Outside the container he could clearly see other men and women, all naked and all in transparent containers like his. Blowing around outside the container was a mist rather like the fog created by dry ice for stage and film visual effects. He also saw a number of tall, humanoid creatures, one was standing framed in a doorway opposite him, and another 3 were approaching the container in which he was imprisoned.
Abruptly the transparent material of his container began to frost up, he became alarmed and began to weep, no sooner had he done this than the frosting began to retreat, almost like film sequence running in reverse, until the material was once again perfectly clear. Colin nervously watched as an angular device rose from the floor. It was long and thin, like a rod with a small triangular head, 2 glowing red lights were set into one of the sides. There was a peculiar appendage about half way along the length of the device and the base was jointed at the floor. The entire machine moved up and down continuously and the appendage swung from left to right, although there was no pain, Colin thought it might be scanning him.
After Garry's initial session his recall improved dramatically. Like Colin he described being in a featureless circular room lying on a flat table, he was unable to move although he does not recall being physically strapped down. He was aware of a black, lens shaped device in the center of the room, the device was twisting and turning almost as if it were folding in on itself. It reminded Garry of a mobius strip. Although he had no idea of its function he heard it make a whooshing noise as if air was being displaced.
He had a further impression that the device was tuning or stabilizing itself. Prior to the steady whooshing sound he had the distinct feeling that the sound emitted by the device was wrong and lopsided, almost as if it was in some way out of balance or synchronization. The even whooshing noise indicated that it was now functioning normally. As he watched the device in fascination he suddenly became aware of a long, thin translucent arm extending over his chest towards his head, the arm abruptly dropped onto his chest near to his shoulder. This particular trauma affected Garry quite powerfully and he jerked out of the hypnotic trance his body convulsing.
On another occasion, he remembers a hole forming in the floor, it was filled with a viscous liquid of some kind, like a gel. While he watched this, a small column rose from the floor, Garry described it as resembling a tin can. It continued to rise until it was around 3' above the floor, the device gave out a noise rather like an electric motor and began to rotate slowly. Part of the cylinder rose from the main body and extended towards him until it was level with his eyes.
The tip of the extension had two red, glowing dots, at this point Garry noticed the pool of liquid start to vibrate. From the liquid a tall, incredibly thin frail looking creature slowly, almost painfully, emerged. Although bearing a marked similarity to a traditional grey it appeared emaciated, like a skeleton covered in skin. He remembers that the skin over its ribs looked discoloured and bruised. He later discovered that all the creatures had difficulty with the gravity and atmospheric pressure on, particularly the tall, thin translucent creatures that frequently tended to fall over. It was his impression that due to the bruised appearance of the creatures, the pool of gel was some form of therapeutic agent designed to treat the damage caused by their frequent falls.
Bizarrely, he also recalled a small man apparently quite human dressed in a neat black suit complete with collar and tie who was watching the proceedings. He was standing among the entities all of which seemed quite deferential towards him.
In all, Wood remembers there being around 20 or 30 creatures present, the majority tall, a pallid grey color and frail looking. One notable variation from this was a smaller, rather bizarre looking being with an odd heart shaped face. On its face were some strangely familiar markings, these comprised colored facial stripes, 3 diagonally on each cheek. These were reminiscent of the tribal markings normally associated with members of the Native American tribes.
He looked at the creatures and mentally asked, Why are you doing this. The answer that appeared in his mind was surprising and not a little disturbing, one word:
While he was in telepathic communication with the creature he was able to see fragments of its existence as if the process was a two way street, the creature found this amusing but could not prevent it.
In a further mental communication the being said, In many ways you are more advanced than us but you have been capped. Our existence is much like your own, we also have concerns and needs. Just what capped means is open to question, but it is quite given what had already been communicated that the inference was, our development either psychological, physical or both, has been deliberately slowed down. Were we likely to present a threat to someone or were we perhaps too immature to deal with the responsibility that our development would bring?
Rather like handing a child a loaded gun perhaps.
Garry is certain that at one point they were taken underground, from the table where he lay, he could see tunnels leading off from a huge, central chamber hewn from solid rock, there was also an enormous machine close to him, possibly it was another flying machine like the one he had witnessed above the road. Perhaps Garry's most worrying memory was seeing a young woman seated naked on the floor, facing the wall, one of the tall creatures was standing beside her. As Garry looked at her she turned her head towards him, her hair was in a loose shaggy perm with blond highlights. She was sitting shivering with her knees drawn up to her chin, her arms were wrapped around her knees cradling herself, she had been crying and was clearly in the same predicament as him. He is convinced that should they meet again he would recognize her instantly.
It should be stressed that Garry is totally sincere in his belief and his sincerity shows, he certainly does not give the impression that he concocted the whole thing.
Following the alleged abduction and subsequent regressions, Garry and Colin dealt with their ordeal in different ways, Garry became deeply involved in the study of UFO's and the paranormal to the extent of setting up his own research group. On occasions he has collaborated with another Scottish researcher, Ron Halliday. Colin on the other hand went in the other direction entirely and has effectively rejected the event and refuses to discuss the matter, but given the trauma associated with the incident this reaction is not totally unexpected.
What follows is a transcript of a session in an A70 related typical hypnotic regression supervised and conducted by Helen Walters:
Helen: I want you to relive that night Colin, see it, feel it where are you?
Helen: Where is nowhere.
Colin: Just nowhere, complete blackness.
Helen: What are you looking at, what are you trying to see?
Colin: I feel I'm going up.
Helen: Going up?
Colin: Uh huh.
Helen: See it, feel it, can you hear anything?
Helen: See it Colin, nothing can harm you at this moment, listen to the sound of my voice,
Colin's body jerked suddenly.
Colin: Creatures, I'm telling them to get lost.
Helen: Where are you?
Colin: I'm in a Bright room.
Helen: What are they doing?
Colin: They're trying to undress me.
Helen: Tell me what's happening Colin.
Colin: I'm sitting with no clothes on.
Helen: Where are you sitting?
Colin: A metal chair, it's smooth and cold.
Helen: How do you feel?
Colin: Just cold.
Helen: Tell me what is happening Colin?
Colin: Something's in my right eye.
Helen: What's in your right eye?
Colin: I don't know, it's uncomfortable, like a red hot poker in the centre of my eye, it's really sore.
Helen: Who is putting this hot poker I to your eye?
Colin: I can't see anything.
Helen: Is your left eye open?
Colin: Uh huh
Helen: Why are you shaking your head?
At this point Colin was moving his head from side to side.
Colin: I'm trying to get a good look at the thing, the thing that's doing this to me to me.
Helen: What's happening now?
Colin: Just took it out of my eye, my right eye's really burning, my eye's really watering, it's gushing.
Helen: What kind of material was it, what did it feel like?
Colin: It felt like there was something clamped on it, that there was something going into my eye.
Helen: How did you get there Colin, how did you get there? I want you to relive your journey
Colin: The car is in a big, bright, metallic room.
Helen: How did it get there?
Colin: It was lifted.
Helen: How was it lifted?
Colin: I don't know, I just feel it juddering and being lifted.
Helen: OK, go back to the beginning of your journey.
Colin: Just passing the reservoir on the left hand side, just passing the farmhouse on the right. Doesn't make sense, there's no road, nothing, the car is definitely off it. There seems to be some kind of force, there is nothing physical that I can see. I'm cold, I'm getting carried along at some rate.
Colin's body gave a powerful twitch.
Colin: I'm in that chair again...something's looking at me back in the corridor, it's...it was...ahhh...it's ugly.
Helen: Describe it Colin, describe the ugly thing.
Colin: It's ugly and it's lurking in that corridor, it comes and goes, it seems ancient to me. Ugly...it's really badly deformed, I'm not scared of it any more.
Colin began to laugh.
Colin: It seems that this thing has been in a fight and it's the loser. I think it's trying to manipulate me.
Helen: In what way?
Colin: I don't know, I think I'm pissing it off because I'm not scared any more. I'm laughing at it, it's weird it's away.
Colin's head turned to the right.
Colin:I can hear a noise behind me, I can't think of a word to describe it.
His body convulsed briefly.
Colin: I'm staring at a wee one.
Helen: A wee what?
Colin: A wee creature, it's not very happy with me, I don't think I was supposed to look behind my chair for some reason. It's looking at me with those black eyes but I'll not give in.
Helen: You won't give in to what?
Colin: It's trying to outstare me. It's away; I don't think it was very pleased with me. It just doesn't want me to see what is behind me for some reason. If I try to do anything they'll come round the corner and stop me.
Helen: What do you have on Colin?
Colin: Nothing, the chair is freezing, I keep wanting to get out of the chair but I bet it will be a big mistake.
Helen: Did they speak to you?
Colin: No, but I could tell it was pissed off. I'm looking at something, it looks like some sort of surgery tool, I think that's what went into my eye.
Helen: Can you describe it?
Colin: It sort of comes down and bends to the left and then bends down again, it's hard to describe. I've never see anything like it, it separates into four and there's all just things hanging from it.
Helen: Move on from there Colin.
He convulsed again.
Helen: What's happening Colin?
Colin: Two of them have got me by the feet and are dragging me toward a small archway.
Helen: How did you get out of the chair?
Colin: They grabbed me by the feet, I think I pushed them off.
Helen: What's happening now?
Colin: They're dragging me back to the car, they're not fussy about hurting me.
Helen: Where are you now?
Colin: Back in the car, back in the seat.
Helen: Do you have your clothes on?
Helen: Go back to when you put your clothes on, what's happening?
Colin: Putting my clothes on.
Colin: The wee aliens.
Helen: How many are there?
Again more convulsions.
Colin: There is a big alien in front of me doing something, my head is pounding. I don't know if it's giving me something or taking something out of my head. My mind goes black, then lighter, my head feels numb, it feels massive, it feels as if I've got a big forehead.
Colin's hand came up and he rubbed forehead vigorously.
Helen: What's happening?
Colin: Shooting pain, I don't know what they have done, but it's weird, my brain feels like it's swollen and pushing my head out like it's going to burst. I can't handle this, it's stopped, it's weird.
Helen: Can you move on, where are you now?
Colin: Back on the road.
Helen: How did you get there?
Colin: Big bang then a thud.
Helen: Anyone in the car with you?
Colin: Garry's looking at me, he's bewildered, Garry's asking me, did you see what I saw?
Helen: Did you see Garry on your travels?
Colin: No, just now.