AN author investigating the disappearance of a Glasgow teenager almost 60 years ago says mystery still surrounds the case.

Andy Owens, who got in touch with the Glasgow Times last year for help researching the story, says his research has turned up an interesting piece of folklore.

On January 1, 1966, 19-year-old Alex Cleghorn, of Penilee, was walking along Govan Road with his older brothers William and David. The brothers claimed he was standing close to them when all of a sudden, he simply wasn’t there.

(Image: Newsquest)

Andy, who is writing a book called The British X-Files, says the article prompted many people to get in touch with him, including some connected to the Cleghorn family.

“Stacey Cleghorn contacted me to say Alex was her grandfather’s son,” says Andy.

“She told me they had always wondered what happened to him, and said her dad used to tell her this story about Alex just vanishing when she was wee.

“She said as a result of what had happened to Alex, her dad had never let her or her sister 'split a lamp-post.' This means that if there was a lamp-post in the street and one of them was going to walk on one side of it, and the other on the other side, then they were not allowed to do that.”

Andy, who lives in Yorkshire, is a hospital porter who writes books, articles and a blog as a hobby. He says he is an "open-minded skeptic" who has always been fascinated by unsolved mysteries.

(Image: Newsquest)

"My main interest is reports of strange phenomena, and I have also written for the websites Spooky Isles and The Skeptic, and the magazine Fortean Times," he says.

"I first read about the Alex Cleghorn mystery in a 1987 book called Modern Mysteries of Britain, by Janet and Colin Bord, and the details are repeated on various websites, but no-one knows much more."

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Andy has now written an article called Splitting the Lamp-post: The Strange Disappearance of Alex Cleghorn, all about his research into the mysterious case since our last article.

He discovered an article published in the Scottish Daily Express, on December 27, 1971, which revealed that Alex’s brothers had returned to the spot to walk the same route they had the night he disappeared.

William and David Cleghorn were retracing their steps in the vain hope that somehow, their brother would return.

In the article, the missing teen’s father, also David, said: “It will probably be useless.

"But as long as we still have hope we will try anything to find Alex. There are thoughts that he might have staggered onto a ship on the Clyde under the influence of drink.

"But if this had been the case Alex would somehow have got in touch with us.”

Andy says: “There are so many unanswered questions. As the family lived in the Penilee district, which is about two miles from Govan Road, where were they first-footing from?

"Had they celebrated Hogmanay at home and set off towards Govan Road – and why? Had they been to pubs or a friend’s house on Govan Road? Which direction were they travelling in?

“There are rumours of him falling into the Clyde, of an unidentified body being found, of DNA tests being requested - but the lack of information is baffling.”

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Andy also found a piece of information on the British Unsolved Murders and Disappearances website, where the Alex Cleghorn mystery is number 13 on the list.

“It states that Alex had disappeared on the section of Govan Road between Rathlin Street and McKechnie Street,” says Andy.

“I emailed the website owner to ask where they had got this information from, but received no reply, and similarly, got no response from the members of local Facebook history groups when I tried to find out if there was ever a tenement building on Govan Road between Rathlin Street and McKechnie Street.”

He adds: “If there are any Glaswegian historians reading this, perhaps they could enlighten us? The mystery still stands.”

Get in touch with Times Past if you can solve the mystery - email or write to Ann Fotheringham, Glasgow Times, 125 Fullerton Drive, Glasgow G32 8FG.