The Andy McGrillen UFO Sighting

Host of the popular podcast "That UFO Podcast" is commonly referring to having developed an interest into UAPs by having spotted a spinning 'ferris wheel'-like disc with lights in the early 90s in Glasgow. The only catch being that it was alledgly spinning too fast to be a ferris wheel. The story has recently also re-surfaced within a Guardian article:


Source: ‘They put me on a ship and took me into the sun’: the wild UFO podcasts taking over our earphones

There also various artistic interpretation of this event, also in the logo of the podcast itself:

From this artwork I have been eerily reminded of the starlink satellite trains:

Therefore, been wondering whether or not there is a more prosaic explanation for it.

Nothing in the article you quoted suggests the 'thing' was high in the sky. Many kinds of amusement parks attratctions would fit the bill, including a ferris wheel. Amusement park attractions can be tens of meters high, they are fitted with a lot of lights and lights can flash and seemingly 'rotate' as fast as they like even if the underlying machine is not moving at all.
I don't know if this applies to the Glasgow case, but in an urban environment one source of apparent rapid movement might be the lighting of shop signs, advertising hoardings, Christmas lights, etc. If lights go on and off in a planned sequence, there could be an appearance of very rapid movement, though nothing is actually physically moving at all (other than electrons!) A well-known example in the UK is the lights of Piccadilly Circus in London, as shown in this video. Coincidentally, around 4 minutes in the video, the lights do show a rapid 'swirling' motion.


I don't know if there was any relevant lights display in Glasgow in the mid-90s, but I note that it was a winter's night, so Christmas/Hogmanay lights are a possibility. In recent years in the UK there has been a trend for even ordinary houses to put up more and more elaborate lights at Christmas. They often cover the entire frontage of a house. It may be a competitive thing, with more elaborate lights showing a more prosperous (or tasteless) household.

Firework displays are also a possibility. In England, and apparently Scotland, these are traditionally concentrated around 5 November and New Year's Eve. But one might expect even a child to recognise a fireworks display. (The author says he was going to or from the Boys Brigade at the time. The BB covers mainly the teenage years, though there are junior versions for younger boys.)

Apart from that, I can only point out that a large rotating UFO over the streets of Glasgow around 9 p.m. would probably have attracted some interest from the media at the time.
not sure what 30-40 degrees looks like..maybe more like this Swinging chair ride?(only plays like 5 seconds)

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although M&D there got a newish Giant Wheel ride the summer of 1995 (mid 90s), it could look angled through the bare winter trees?

“It was up in the sky but you couldn’t see the bottom of it because of the houses. It was largely just lights, I remember.” Does his mother remember this too? “She remembers it,” he says. “But she’ll also always say it wasn’t aliens. And I’m not saying it was. But it was very strange.”

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We're really missing a lot of info here. Compass direction, exact date, elevation and apparent size.

I wouldn't be surprised it were a scintillating star, though. In the winter months Sirius, Rigel and Procyon are rising about 9:00 p.m.

Although the bit about not being able to see the bottom, because of the houses makes one think it had a large apparent size, that's not necessarily so. Eyewitness testimony related to stars is often surprisingly muddled and even weird. For example, witnesses often draw illustrations of stars with complicated shapes.

I've toyed with the idea that this witness was looking at two stars - perhaps Sirius and Rigel - and perceiving them as a single object.

Chromatic scintillation often is perceived as a spinning motion.
Let's think about the line of sight here. How could anyone see a distant Ferris wheel above the roofs of houses? Is Glasgow built on steep hills?

This particular Ferris wheel is surrounded by buildings at least as tall. Seeing this from a distance would be pretty unlikely.

In general, I'm not liking the Ferris wheel idea.
Let's think about the line of sight here. How could anyone see a distant Ferris wheel above the roofs of houses? Is Glasgow built on steep hills?

This particular Ferris wheel is surrounded by buildings at least as tall. Seeing this from a distance would be pretty unlikely.

In general, I'm not liking the Ferris wheel idea.
Here's the ground level, but of course it doesn't give the heights of buildings. The source is,-5.01251&center=55.85142,-4.24484&zoom=11

His description reminds me of the amusement park ride known as "Zero Gravity" in some trade circles, which lights up and spins very fast, then tilts.

At night:
We're running into a very important issue here. Compounding errors.

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Hendry, A. (1980). The Ufo handbook: A guide to investigating, evaluating and reporting Ufo sightings. Sphere.

We're getting a very vague description from the witness. It's natural to "fill in" details. In this case the witness himself says, "And about half a mile down the road there was what looked like a ferris wheel, tilted on its side at a 30- or 40-degree angle. It was spinning ridiculously quick, like a washing machine. So, you know, if it was a carnival ride then everybody on it was dead.”

So some of us are getting primed to fill in carnival ride like details.

Let's keep in mind that:

-The number one nocturnal light UFO imposter is astronomical bodies.
-Scintillating stars are often reported as spinning. The words like a Ferris wheel have often been used.
-We're not getting a report from the witness about apparent size.
-There are no reports (I've ever seen) about carnival rides as the cause of UFO reports.
-There's no credible line of sight between the witness and any carnival ride.


I'm including these additional pages - not to say I've identified the OP UFO - but to give some idea of some consistent things we run into.

-Witness testimony is often very surprising. E.g.: They don't know what stars look like? They don't mention apparent size. Weird motions. Illustrations of stars with complicated shapes. Witnesses grasp at every explanation except the simplest one. Witnesses will deny it was a star.
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-There are no reports (I've ever seen) about carnival rides as the cause of UFO reports.
I know of one -- not a case of mistaken identity, but a Flying Saucer shaped ride that rises into the air on a column, giving riders an elevated observation platform, being used to make a UFO vid.
amusement park ride ufo europe.JPG


Somebody shot video with the lift arm column hidden behind a tree, here's still from that video:
ufo amusement park ride.jpg

I don't know if the person who shot that phone-video footage is the one who then claimed a "real UFO," or whether that claim was made by others swiping the video and reposting it. At the moment it seems to be making the rounds on TikTok as a UFO seen in Russia.
Hello folks!

Just been told about this!

So, here is a modern day pic of the street, the angle is a little off. I’ve drawn the blob to represent where the object was very roughly, like I said it wasn’t up in the sky. Four others saw it too.

Happy to answer any Qs but it was over 20 years ago

Can you provide a google maps link to this location?
I asked Andy on Twitter and he said it was Aldermans Road in Glasgow. I think this is the Streetview location.!5s20150701T000000!7i13312!8i6656?entry=ttu

Imagery only goes back to 2015, so it seems a little different to what is in Andy's photo. but most of the features correlate.

55.890073° -4.355596°

The line of sight (above the trees in the distance) would place the 'ufo' in the grounds of Jordanhill Park.


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Ah very interesting! I wonder if they may have been doing a show of some kind at that park, perhaps involving lights or large balloons?
I can't help noticing there is a crane behind the blob.Is it possible there was some construction work going on at the time of the sighting?
The original description says the observation was made at "night" so presumably in darkness. Also says "spinning" so presumably circumferential lights indicating a spin. "It was spinning ridiculously quick . . . if it was a carnival ride then everybody was dead."
Many large round objects like carnival rides (as described by the witness in his post here re size) have fixed circumferential lights which are triggered in sequence to appear like movement.
In short, any lights which seem to communicate the movement of the thing they are attached to, don't (necessarily).
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At his invitation and with respect, some questions for the witness:
What was the duration of the observation?
Was this duration until it ended or changed or seemed to move away?
Or while ongoing until witness went indoors?
Any attempt to get closer and investigate during the observation?
Or to the apparent location next day or days?

As we say downunder about our belov'd constitution, "It's the vibe of the thing."

And the vibe of this thing is: unusual but not bizarre, unexplained but not inexplicable. Not inexplicable enough to warrant any degree of at-the-time or on-the-scene investigation by the witness. (so it seems.)
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