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Wednesday, 30 November 2011

ANOMALOUS OBSERVATIONAL PHENOMENA: What Landed At Gatton?

ANOMALOUS OBSERVATIONAL PHENOMENA: What Landed At Gatton?: The following is taken from Some More Things Strange & Sinister On a quiet Sunday afternoon the last thing you ought to expec...

What Landed At Gatton?


The following is taken from Some More Things Strange & Sinister

    On a quiet Sunday afternoon the last thing you ought to expect is to become embroiled in yet another UFO mystery.  Well, unless you are me that is. 

    In February, 2004, I answered the telephone to find it was Squadron Leader “Colin Tarr”, who had been an associate of Air Vice Marshall Sir Victor Goddard and Admiral of the Fleet Lord Peter Hill-Norton, and knew as much about the AOP Bureau as I did –and then some. I had never met Tarr nor spoken to him but he knew all the case reports we had sent to the Ministry of Defence as well as about reports that never got submitted officially.  When he initially contacted me I had thought it a hoax but he’d proven his connections easily.  For that reason when he asked “Fancy hearing something interesting?” I was interested but replied “I am retired now,you know” which got a loud laugh followed by “No such thing, old boy!”

    I was told that something unusual had happened in 1999 near to a place called Gatton, in Shropshire.  Some rough details were given but I pointed out that what I was being told amounted to not much at all.  “Wait a day or so and you’ll be contacted by a field officer –he’ll give you the details.” 

    Surprisingly, the person who contacted me I already knew so it wasn’t long before I had all the pieces.

    Around September 1999*, at approximately 15:15 hours and in good, clear daylight, a large number of observers including hill-walkers, horse-riders and botanist Nora Hill, saw a low-level flying discoidal object.  Walkers on Stiper Stones,were able to look down at the object as it passed and reported that the top of it looked “like mother of pearl.”  Colouration –possibly markings?—were reported.  The object was seen to land “heavily” and remained on the ground for some 6-7 minutes before ascending into the air and flying off.

    Looking at the information later supplied to me helped to conclude that there may have been a strong electro-magnetic field present because particles kicked up by the object created a circle around it.

    This would just have been another “UFO landing” had it not been for what happened next.   A local RAF man had mentioned that a team had been to the area to check things out and talk to some witnesses.  The RAF man immediately asked the Field Officer not to mention this, however, when another officer mentioned the team it was considered an “open fact”.

    The Field Officer contacted the base in question –MoD Boscombe Down. The MoD Boscombe Down is an aircraft testing site located south of Amesbury, Wiltshire. And it is run and managed by QinetiQ; the company created as part of the break-up of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency in 2001 by the UK Ministry of Defence. It is the home of the Empire Test Pilots' School.



    At the time of the Gatton landing it was known as RAF Boscombe Down and since 1939 had evaluated aircraft for the British armed forces and a lot more.  The Field Officer identified himself and requested confirmation that a team had been sent to Shropshire.  There was a delay as someone else was passed on to field the call.  This person   asked a few questions and then stated: “We don’t just send people out anywhere you know.  We are a busy establishment and I can’t recall anyone mentioning Gatton.”  After an apology for not being able to help the conversation ended.

    The Field Officer told me that it had been very interesting because:”I never once mentioned Gatton –just an incident in Shropshire!”  Made me wonder.

    But then came the task of talking to people.  For this the Field Officer called on a well known local man who had worked with Customs and Excise as well as the police and passed on local UFO reports, James Green.  While the Field Officer was talking to Mr. Green, a warden responsible for the area in question, the phone rang.  The caller identified himself as “Dr. David Clark, Sheffield University” –as it was a speaker phone the Field Officer confirmed this.  Mr. Green was asked whether he could investigate the incident and pass all the  data along to an address [a Post Office Box as it turned out]?  Mr. Green agreed, though he was suspicious as ‘Dr. Clark’ had mentioned knowing that he’d visited the site.

    The RAF team who had visited the site were reported to Mr. Green who had not been contacted and vehicles had crossed land without permission.  A Wing Commander who would not give his name but claimed to be from the Flight Investigation Unit, Boscombe Down, denied Mr. Green access to the area and stated that it was “for public safety”.

    Green, and others, watched as coverall suited men began sanitising the area; picking up anything that was not going into “odd looking vacuum cleaner style devices”.  A couple of other men were using devices that could not be clearly seen.  Site integrity was maintained until they had finished and with a “thank you” they drove off.

    All of this was duly noted down.  The odd thing was that the object, according to all the witnesses, was far too small to have been manned.

    When I later spoke to Dr. David Clark, at Sheffield University, he was brief and to the point: he had never heard of the Gatton incident and had certainly not contacted Mr. Green.  That was that.  

 Incidentally,there is no one else based at Sheffield University called “Clark”/”Clarke” with an interest in UFOs.  A request had been placed in with the report Mr. Green sent to the address given which stated that there was “something” that he didn’t want to put into writing so could he meet Dr. Clark?

    He never received a response.


    We could all speculate on who the caller might have been but it really was not important to the incident.  I checked around, the Field Officer checked around and even Mr. Green tried his bit but we all reached a dead-end.  One UFO group did claim that they were told “small bodies were removed and flown off in a helicopter” but this was pure fantasy.

    To my mind, once everything had been collated, it was quite clear what had come down in Gatton and then flown away.  A Remotely Piloted Vehicle [RPV].  The size and details seemed right and similar devices had been tested for assessment as battlefield intelligence gatherers.  This was probably a far more up-to-date device than the one that created a huge UFO stir when it was sighted by a trainee pilot and instructor over Blackbush,Hampshire in the 1980s: that device had originated at Boscombe Down.

    I sent everything to Squadron Leader Tarr and washed my hands of the whole affair.  Why had I been contacted to look into a “possible UFO incident” if it was known from the start what the object was?  To confuse the issue –or to find out whether anyone had spotted something that might give a clue to why it temporarily landed?

    One thing I learnt with the AOP Bureau was that sometimes we were given leads that led to non-UFO events and the data we gathered was obviously useful to someone.  So, if you read of a “UFO crash” in 1999, at Gatton,Shropshire, you know what it really was!







 *It has been requested,for a specific reason,that the exact date is not given and I have agreed.





NB:sadly,since writing this chapter I have heard that Mr. Green has passed away.





Sunday, 27 November 2011

A Very Unexpected Surprise!

THANK YOU to all those who have visited this site since it was set up on Saturday -1000!!!



Now I'll have to keep posting!

Anomalous Photographs. July, 2010

The following photographs were taken on a hot sunny day in July 2010.  The location was Purdown, Lockleaze, Bristol, from which you can see most of the City.  The photographer and his partner were not the only ones present -so was I!

The photographer (DMH) shouted "I can't believe what I just saw -I think I got it on the camera!"  He then pointed out where the objects had come from and took a photograph.

I had been distracted at the time but I can make it clear that absolutely NO FAKERY was involved.

I waited to see whether the images showed anything and soon received this one:
 







And then I got an excited call about a figure in the window of the building the objects had shot from.  Look at the second window where you can see what appears to be a "Grey" type entity.



I can swear on any number of Bibles that these are NOT faked.  They show exactly what was seen at the time and the witness CAN be trusted. Had I not been distracted with my own suddenly malfunctioning camera (a few hundred yards away) I might have seen or photographed the same things.




ANOMALOUS OBSERVATIONAL PHENOMENA: The Red Paper:Foxes, Jackals, Wolves and Mystery C...

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The Red Paper:Foxes, Jackals, Wolves and Mystery Canids In The UK



The Red Paper:CANINES vol.1 
 
 202 pages
illustrated with maps, photographs
Price:£10.00
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Up-dated 2011 edition includes section on sarcoptic mange in foxes and treatment plus a list of wildlife sanctuaries and rescue centres in the UK. 
 
By the 1700s the British fox was on the verge of extinction and about to follow the bear and wolf having been hunted for sport for centuries. 
 
The answer was to import thousands of foxes per year for sport. But foxes kept dying out so jackals were tried. Some were caught, some escaped. Even wolves and coyote were released for hunting. 
 
The summation of over 30 years research reveals the damnable lie of "pest control" hunting but also reveals the cruelty the animals were subject to and how private menageries as well as travelling shows helped provide the British and Irish countryside with some incredible events. 
 
The Girt Dog of Ennerdale is also dealt with in detail. 
 
should be of interest to Cryptozoologists


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The U-Boat And The Sea Monster


 The following is taken from Some More Things Strange & Sinister



    It is claimed that,in April,1918,the British patrol vessel Coreopsis,out of Belfast, came across the German UB-85 submarine,on the surface and non-mobile.  The crew apparently abandoned the submarine and were all taken prisoner.  Obviously,the first thing the Royal Navy officers wanted to know was why the crew had not fled or offered any fight.

    Captain Gunther Krech’s explanation;they had been attacked by a sea serpent.

    Krech is reported to have told how the UB-85  had surfaced to recharge its batteries and to allow the crew to have a smoke. It was while doing this that a huge sea serpent climbed aboard. To say the least,the crew was rather startled and began to discharge their firearms at the monster.   This had little effect on the creature other than to anger it and it then bit down on the forward gun –causing  the sub to list side to side. 



    Captain Krech feared that his vessel would take on water through the open hatch and sink.  So the crew continued to fire away and this eventually caused  the serpent to slink back into the depths.

    According to Krech:

                     "This beast had large eyes, set in a horny sort of skull. It
                     had a small head, but with teeth that could be seen
                     glistening in the moonlight."


    Krech’s rank was Kapitän Leutenant and,yes,there was indeed a UB-85 but there seems to be a lot of confusion so I’ll explain. The SM U-85,was a Type Mittel U submarine launched in 1916 and that served in the First World War until sunk on 12 March 1917.  That clear?  Good.  Now,there was an SM UB-85 –a   Type UB III submarine launched in 1917 and sunk on 30 April 1918.  Krech’s submarine was the latter.

    However,there was no monster.  Official German sites dealing with the First World War and submarines tell the same story as the official log of the Coreopsis:

               "(UB-85) Hit by gunfire of Coreopsis while attempting to dive.
               Resurfaced and abandoned by her crew at 5447N 0523W"

    So,the crew were taken off the submarine which was then sunk.  And let’s not get confused with  the submarine U-85 (1941) which was a Type VIIB submarine that served in the Second World War until sunk on 14 April 1942.

    No sea monster.






Above:a photograph widely used on the internet and in one magazine as being of the UB-85.  Two problems:[1] This is not a World War One type submarine.  [2] The submarine is flying the Swastika flag –making this clearly a Second World War photograph!  The source of this confusion may be a specific site that had “no photographs of the U-85 or the monster  so this photograph takes its place”.  You have to love the internet for such hilarious stupidity!


    And in 1934,Popular Mechanics [1] published a lengthy article on sea serpents and retold the incident involving  Captain [Baron] George Gunther von Forstner and his submarine the U-28.  In the article Baron von Forstner tells how on the 30th July,1915, in the North sea,he had just torpedoed a British freighter [Iberian –THS].   It was a sad and regular occurrence during the Great War.  But what von Forstner reported then happened was not.

    As the Iberian began to sink it exploded just below the surface.  This explosion caused a plume of debris to fly high up into the air –including  a creature that resembled a 60-foot-long crocodilian. According to sources,according to von Forstner the creature had  "…four limbs resembling large webbed feet, a long, pointed tail and a head which also tapered to a point." 

    As it shot up into the air the creature wriggled and twisted as if in pain before hitting the water and sinking out of sight.  No photographs were taken though von Forstner and six other crew observed the creature.  One source claims that all the men “agreed upon a drawing and entry in the log book”.  The source also wonders whether the explosion had killed a “living mososaur?”.


 File:German submarine SM U-28.jpg
Above:In the background the U-28 during World War One,commanded by von Forstner.



    I think the writer meant a member of the Mosasauridae.  It has been said that there were certain discreprancies in von Forstner’s story some 18 years later.  This is natural and you can find discreprancies after a week,a month or even days –it is a recognised problem with observers to events and one of the reasons why you contact any witness as soon as possible after an event.  Nothing untoward [2 & 3].

    In the 1980s I was told that von Forstner had drawn the image described and that he stuck to his account the rest of his life.  There are current attempts to contact the von Forstner family to see whether any first hand record survives.  So,one fake submarine attacked by monster story and one….?



References.

1.    “Is There A Sea Serpent?”,Popular Mechanics,September,1934,pp.398-401
       and 118A

2.    Eberhart,George M.,Mysterious Creatures:A Guide ToCryptozoology,
        pp.320-321. ABC Clio,2002

3.    Magin,Ulrich,”Forstner Sea Serpent Sighting A Possible Hoax?”,Strange
       Magazine no.2,p.4,1988


My thanks to the many WW I historians and specialists in submarine history whose help was invaluable –THS

ANOMALOUS OBSERVATIONAL PHENOMENA: What’s Tall,Hairy And Vanishes…….?

ANOMALOUS OBSERVATIONAL PHENOMENA: What’s Tall,Hairy And Vanishes…….?: The following is taken from SOME THINGS STRANGE & SINISTER http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/some-things-strange-sinister/149589...

What’s Tall,Hairy And Vanishes…….?


 The following is taken from SOME THINGS STRANGE & SINISTER


    Anyone who has ever read the classic book Strange Creatures From Time & Space, by John Keel [1], will have learned a little about the Indian version of the wildman.  In fact,there are any number of books on the subject of what are called Hairy Hominids in the trade –or if you prefer, the Yeti, Sasquatch, Almasti, Kaepre and so on [2-6]. 

    To many the subject is a little unsettling; we know of chimpanzees,orang-utans, gorillas and their intelligence, not to mention almost human-like features.  But these are seen as “below” Man and are, gorilla excepted, smaller than us.  No real threat.  Gorillas are the “gentle giants”, lying around eating fruit and leaves all day and hundreds visit gorilla territories with guides each year.  Chimps have tea-parties and make jolly funny tea commercials!  The orang-utan is just magnificent and, sadly, highly endangered.

    But, when you talk about more primitive man-like creatures with huge barrel chests, enormous strength and a height of 2-3 metres [8-10ft] it’s a whole different story!

    The theory that the Sasquatch/Bigfoot, as well as other Hairy Hominids might be relic populations of Gigantopithecus [Gigantopithecus blacki] has been accepted by many researchers though there are those who say Bigfoot is the “Missing Link” between Ape and Man –this so called “Missing Link” was rejected by science long ago, though a number of primitive species of early man have been discovered over the years.  Besides, say the detractors,”if” Bigfoot is a gigantopithecus why have no bones been found yet?  The detractor using that argument is a detractor who either does not know what he/she is talking about or knows he has no counter-argument and is bluffing hoping their position or title will pull the bluff off!

    For centuries the Chinese have sold ‘dragon-teeth’ and bones that are ground up and used in “medicines” –these teeth and bones are usually purchased at markets or from dealers and are, in fact, ancient fossils. It was while looking through an Hong Kong apothecary shop in 1935 that G. H. R. von Koenigswald discovered a rather famous tooth.  In the sixty years since then some three jaw-bones and over a thousand teeth have been recovered, again, from apothecary shops but also in situ at archaeological digs.

    Scientists have managed to produce a “look” for gigantopithecus as well as discover more about it.  For instance, at Tham Khuyen, Viet Nam, the remains were found of a competitor for what has been proposed as a major food source for gigantopithecus, bamboo –the giant panda [extinct in Viet Nam].  In the same area, as well as the Hubei and Sechuan provinces of China, gigantopithecus remains occur alongside those of homo erectus. Teeth of gigantopithecus have been found in Wuming, China, and dated to around 400,000 B.C. –homo erectus was in Asia at that time and, it is thought, may have contributed to the ‘extinction’ of gigantopithecus there. 

    Interestingly enough, Hubei and Sechuan are two of the areas from which sightings of Hairy Hominids are made. Some areas of China where these reports come from are so wild that they are still not even partially explored.

    But what did gigantopithecus look like?  According to some,gigantopithecus stood 3 metres [10ft] tall and weighed approximately  2500 kilos [1,200lbs] –the appearance, varying depending on who is doing the reconstruction, from gorilla-like to very Bigfoot-like [when shown a selection of images some witnesses immediately point to the image of gigantopithecus].  With so few bones to go on,scientists have to start with reconstructing the head first since it is the most substantial item they have.

        Evolution-wise,gigantopithecus and the orang-utan are on the same line –they have a common ancestor known as Sivapithecus.  But a tree-living creature of that weight would be very unlikely so the model chosen for reconstruction was a combination of the largest primate known,the gorilla,and the extinct giant baboon Theropithecus oswaldi.   Bill Munn, a Hollywood “monster maker”, built an impressive model –but a model representing the largest gigantopithecus.

    The other version is of a 2.7m [9ft],1,200 kilo [600 lbs] giant gorilla.  Although the model constructed by Munn, with expert guidance, is impressive some feel it looks more dramatic than a gorilla almost 3 metres in height.  Believe me, a 3 metre gorilla standing upright would look impressive!

    When it comes down to it the appearance of gigantopithecus is scientific guessology –the best that can be done until a full skeleton or, perhaps leg or hip bone turn up.  But that it would be impressive is beyond doubt.

    Whether Sasquatch or the Almasti or even fei-wei are gigantopithecus relics we can only,again,guess at.  There is something called “scientific proof”,this usually entails the body of an animal.  Back in the late 1970s to 1980s,I corresponded with Russian Hominologist, Dimitri Bayanov, who produced a great deal of pioneering evidence on the “Soviet Wildman”, as people in the West called it.  

    John Green is another veteran Hominologist whose work has not just included gathering reports but mapping sightings, looking at possible diets and much more on the American Bigfoot.  In the late 1970s a rather heated debate centred around these gentleman and the question of “scientific proof”.

    John Green had suggested, in the pages of Pursuit, the journal of the Society for the Investigation of The Unexplained [SITU], that if the chance ever presented itself to a hunter, whether Yeti, Almasti or Bigfoot, the creature should be shot dead.  The reasoning was that a body would provide science with the ultimate proof and something for scientists to cut up and study .  The whole idea was upsetting to Bayanov who, quite rightly pointed out that, if these were endangered the individual shot might be the last breeding male or female and with a single bullet a very rare species might might become extinct [7].



    Luckily, a number of hunters, in the U.S., Russia and China, have looked into the faces and eyes of  these hominids and not fired.  The reason given being that the hominids were “so human” that they all felt they would be committing murder.  Those with the sole intention of gaining fame and wealth  through killing a hominid have been very unlucky –thankfully.   In Canada and certain U. S. states, the Sasquatch/Bigfoot is now offered legal protection “in case”.

    These hominids, as proven by Green, Bayanov, John Napier and Rene Dahinden, are true “gentle giants”, and will try to avoid human contact where-ever possible, though they have shown curiousity at times.  When you think of a 3 metre tall hominid then that is quite a break for those encountering them. 
    
    There are those,on the fringes,who claim that Bigfoot is killer.  Terry Albright,a Bigfoot investigator,believes that President Teddy Roosevelt, on a hunting trip, scared a Bigfoot into someone elses camp –their mutilated bodies found the next day.

    Albright also claimed in a TV documentary,In Search Of Mythical Monsters,that the Pentagon,the U. S. military headquarters,knows the truth and should reveal it to the American public.   It is more likely that a bear killed the trappers in the “Roosevelt Incident” –the President, himself, never saw Bigfoot.

    Claims of captured or dead Hairy Hominids do exist but have never been proven.  Opinions vary, rather as over the question of whether the Patterson and Gimlin film footage of  Bluff Creek, California, 1967: they are either genuine accounts or fake –as far as the film is concerned, the late eminent Hominologist, Grover Krantz, accepted it as genuine, as did Ivan T. Sanderson and the “Father of Cryptozoology”, Prof. Bernard Heuvelman.

    In the early 1900s British troops are alleged to have shot an hominid near Jelep-la Pass, India.  The body was shipped off but then all traces are lost.

    In Assam, India, during Autumn, 1954, head-hunters allegedly killed and ate a hominid, the bones and fur shipped off to a monastery at which point all traces vanish [8].

    In the late 1970s I had the opportunity to mount a paper-chase hunt after two hominids—the Mande Burung - or forest man – or a close relation.  According to a news item in the Indian Express [9 & 10]:-



                “A pair of  ‘strange humanoid’ creatures are reported
                to have been captured by tribal people in the Khamti
                Forest,Arunachal Pradesh.   Mr. R. Das,Superintendent
                of  Police,of Dibrugargh District,Upper Assam,said that
                the height of the creatures [one male/one female] was
                estimated at ten feet.

                “Mr. Das said that the administration was making the
                necessary arrangements to send the creatures to Tazu
                District H.Q. of Tirap,in Urizon Territory.”


    A captured pair of hominids.  As the Flying Saucer Review had reprinted the news item, I wondered whether that meant they had someone in India who could follow the matter up?  I telephoned the then editor, Charles Bowen, and asked –“No. FSR had no one in India”.  Had, I enquired, anyone else been in touch showing an interest in the report?  “No”, I was told. 

    I could either file away the report, as I had my fingers burnt before by an Indian Express item [11].  However, what if  this was a genuine incident?  I would never have forgiven myself.  So, I asked Mr. Jal N. D. Tata, who reported on UFO incidents in India, whether he might be willing to follow the matter up?I wrote to the Indian police H.Q.s mentioned.

    In early September, 1978, I received a response from Mr. Tata who had made various enquiries to try to locate Superintendent Das, but,apparently, he had been posted to another area.  The idea of Mr. Tata visiting the policeman prove unfeasible; the journey would take many days involving trains, boats and even ox-cart.  It didn’t look like I was going to have much success.

    In March, 1979, I was busily going over paperwork on local UFO reports.  As usual, I had poured myself another over-sized mug of coffee and began to type up a report when there was a knock on the door.  I opened the front door to find a smartly dressed Indian gentleman and, parked to his rear, a highly polished car with Diplomatic Plates.  I wondered what I’d done wrong now?  An outstretched hand proferred a small, square manilla envelope.

    “I am to deliver this to you,Sir,” said my visitor after I affirmed I was Terry Hooper.  The man then turned, got back into the car and was driven off.  I shrugged –I was used to odd things happening by then.  Returning to my office I opened up the envelope and found a letter dated 21st October,1978.  It read:-

“Government Of Arunachal Pradesh,


Sir,
  Information as asked for vide above are not available
at this office since the area seems under the jurisdiction
of the Superintendent of Police,Lohit District,P.O. Tezu,
Arunachal Pradesh.

  You are requested to communicate the matter to the
Superintendent of Police,Lohit District,Tezu who may per-
haps enlighten you on the subject.

                                       Yours Faithfully
                                    [signed] S. S. Sirohi
                        District Superintendent Of Police
                          Tirap District,Khonsa. “

 
    Well, that seemed straight forward enough.  So, a letter was sent off to Lohit District H.Q. on 13th March, 1979.  Then I followed this up with another in June….another in September and then I quit.

    There is only so far you can go before your head hits a solid wall.

    Mr.Tata and I had proven that there was a real Inspector Das.  But had the incident taken place?  Could two 3 metre tall hominids have been captured and taken away somewhere without a single journalist [even in India] hearing a word about it?  In 2004 I tried another follow-up but drew the usual blank.

    Only one man probably knows the truth –Inspector Das.  We can, however, make a good guess and come up with three possibilities:-

[1]   There was no such incident –it was a journalistic fabrication or hoax.

[2]   Two wild humans were captured and handed over to a hospital or whatever:
        Just in case this is what happened I’m following the theory up.

[3]   Two genuine,3 metre tall hominids were captured.


    I’ll go for [1] with [2] being an outside possibility.  However, the idea that such hominids might be captured and held secretly by the military is sheer bovine excrement.  Just what would the military do with large hominids?  The mind boggles at such claims.  Had this been a genuine incident I think the world would have been made are within days or weeks and top experts flown to India from the U.S., Europe or China.

    But then, The Sun [London] ran an article well worth reprinting here,and my thanks to them for permission to do so:


       “DNA tests could reveal 'yeti'

       By STAFF REPORTER

       “The yeti's existence could finally be confirmed as scientists wait for
       the results of a DNA test on a hair claimed to be from the beast.
       Initial tests showed the sample - brought back from the Indian jungle
       by BBC journalist Alastair Lawson - had human and ape-like characteristics.

       “British ape expert Ian Redmond said: "Under the microscope, they
       look slightly human, slightly like an orang-utan and slightly like the hairs
       brought back by Edmund Hillary.

       "These hairs remain an enigma. They could be a new species, but the
       DNA tests will hopefully tell us more."

       “Sir Edmund brought back similar hairs in the 1950s from his Everest
       expedition.

       “The hairs were found in the Meghalaya state of India after a forest
       worker claimed to have spotted the creature over three days in 2003.

       “Believers reckon the hair comes from a three-metre Indian version of
       the yeti - also known as the abominable snowman.

       “Dr Redmond and scientists from Oxford Brookes compared the hairs
       of an Asiatic black bear, yaks, orang-utangs and gorillas.

       “The biologist said: "The hairs are complete with the cuticle, and between
       3.3cm and 4.4cm long and thick and wiry and curved.

       "At one point we thought they looked like they came from a wild boar.
       That was quite a tense moment, but when we got a sample from the
       museum it turned out they were quite different."

       “He added: "My concern is that if we do find something unusual, it will
       be from a very small population of animals and I would want to talk to
       the State Government and Indian Government so they are not inundated
       with people trying to catch one for a museum."


    This reference to human and ape-like characteristics is interesting as similar results came from hairs found in Nepal in the 1990s that were tested.  And, again, from the United States when hairs were obtained by a team working in association with the TV series Monster Quest.

    It is interesting, though, that the two allegedly captured hominids were in Arunachal Pradesh because, in 2004, the Arunachal macaque [Macaca munzala ] was discovered in the mountains of the Arunachal Pradesh. It lives at high altitudes, between 2000 meters and 3500 meters, making it one of the highest-dwelling primates.  But they are not 3 metres tall.  However, if one primate can be discovered..?

    Personally, I would have thought to best thing would be to go by local knowledge and set up as many camera traps as possible for a year in known hominid active areas. The idea of putting up one or two camera traps for a short period in a specific area is akin to those who go ghost hunting or hold “UFO sky-watches”; two to three hours then leave.  Pointless.

    But those two hominids said to have been captured in India will always have me wondering:true or false?





Saturday, 26 November 2011

And More Ghost Stories…….


photo: (c)M. D. Hooper

    The “Henacre Road Haunting” very briefly got into the Press in 1990 [1 & 2].  Apparently,Kim Jye and her children had moved into the 1960s first floor flat in Henacre Road, Bristol, sometime in 1988/1989 –the local council would not specify the exact date.  By August,1990, a priest had been called in.

    Kim Jye had reported seeing the ghost of a man wearing dark trousers, white shirt and “with an old-style bobbed haircut” on at least four occasions.  But the 21 year-old was not the only witness.  Christopher, 3 years-old, had a rather bad time of things in his bedroom.  According to his mother: ”My little boy would not sleep in this particular bedroom for at least seven months –he said a man was coming to get me.”

    The newspaper account didn’t make it quite clear whether young Christopher was stating that he’d merely seen the ghostly figure and felt it was ‘after him’ or his mother.

    Whatever, Father Michael O’Regan, of Our Lady of the Rosary, was called in and he performed a blessing ceremony.  By July, however, the events at the flat had driven Kim Jye and her three children to take refuge at her mother’s home, the first blessing having failed.  Father O’Regan contacted Bristol City Council who took the alleged haunting seriously.  Mike Griffiths, a council spokesman, told a reporter:-


                 “We are taking it seriously.  We are taking it as a legitimate
                 problem,taking it on face value,bearing in mind we have a
                 letter from a man whose moral credence must be impeccable.”


    Presumably the Jyes were moved.  The council would not discuss the matter as it concerned a tenant and they could give no information.  So far I’ve not managed to track down Kim Jye and there appears to have been no further disturbances at the flat –that I’ve been told of.

    The Parkside Hotel stands next door to the ITV West TVstudios, Brislington,
Bristol.  In the 1970s I had visited the hotel on a number of social occasions, as I had been in the local newspapers regarding other investigations at the time I was recognized by one staff member who furtively asked me: ”Are you on an investigation here?”  When I pointed out I was attending a function the person in question clammed up and left.  I later learned he was an assistant manager.


    The twenty-two room hotel itself dates back to 1760 and was at one time a convent for the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. In 1997 a Dutch TV crew stayed in the hotel to see whether they could film anything.  As far as I can find out they never did.

    But what was being seen at the hotel?  According to Chris Romer of the Cheltenham Student Parapsychological Society Research Group [CSPSRG], who had been one of the investigators to look into the goings on in 1996, quite a lot was happening. 

    There had been reports of a ghostly nun walking across the restaurant by several witnesses.  Of course, the nun ties in with the old convent which, interestingly enough, some of the witnesses had not known about.

    Then there was the bar –and any number of jokes you can make out of ghosts seen in bars.  Sounds had been heard and what was called a “poltergeist” had moved glasses in the bar.  However, as noted in the chapter on the Ghost of All Saints Church, this was not what you could categorize as a poltergeist but rather a haunting in which objects were moved.

    According to Manager Rob Green, when I talked to him in 1997; ”quite a few people who work at night have seen some odd things.”  Mr.Green suggested I contact the CSPSRG as they were preparing a report.   It was now Chris Romer who told me of events at the hotel while his team was investigating.

    A camera was set up in one particular room with a bad reputation, apparently visitors had not stayed long.  A male and female investigator were left to keep the room under observation and the camera had, I was told,picked up a vertical bar of red light that appeared above the bed.  There was embarrassment over the next part of the report; apparently the two observers felt “odd” and the next thing they were engaged in frantic sexual activity!  More the embarrassing because, apparently, neither was “very keen” on the other.

    There were also other manifestations and a report/case file did exist.  However,by 1998,Mr.Romer still had not been able to find out who had this document [3-5]. 

    In 2005 there was a report of another ghost sighting at the hotel by a staff member –this filtering through to me from a newspaper reporter.  The hotel has kept its mystery tenants it seems.


But there are other little known ghosts in Bristol and some harken back to the siege of Bristol during the English Civil War.

    Having been born and raised in the St Werburgh’s area of the city, I and other kids liked visiting the old bomb sites in the early 1960s and especially the “haunted houses”.  We also trekked regularly to Eastville Park and Stapleton Woods.  Prior to his attack on Prince Rupert in the Civil War, Cromwell had mustered his New Model Army in the area of the woods.  I had heard, as a youngster of a ghost in the woods but as none of the gang had ever seen it who cared?

    A Roundhead figure was once seen quite regularly;he would approach people as if to say something –but then walk right through them.  Had the Roundhead seen the modern day walkers –and if he had,did they suddenly vanish in front of him?  I can find no record of the figure being seen after the 1980s, quite odd.

    My grand dad, Bill,being “Hanham born ‘n’ bred”, told me that a serving girl whose name had been Sally, lived on a farm in the area and during the Civil War refused to tell the Roundheads where Royalists were hiding.  In an attempt to escape, Sally got to the roof –it’s uncertain whether she jumped or was thrown or was simply killed there.  Her ghost has always been seen on the roof though I have failed to discover which farm –if it still exists.
    
    Another spectre no longer seen, I believe since the 1970s, is “The Starving Monk”.  At a time when saying Mass was illegal,priests often visited stately homes and were  hidden in “priest hid holes” if the authorities turned up.  The ghost in question was said to haunt Oldbury Court and originated from a time when there was a stately home in the area. 

    The monk was said to have been hidden,forgotten and to have starved to death –a not very likely tale.  But for a long time the monk was seen but modern changes may not condusive to ghostly wanderings?

    Another ghost I’ve heard very little of in recent years was that of Jenkins Protheroe, aka: ”The Evil Dwarf Highwayman”!  Protheroe would beg for money but if he didn’t get as much as he had expected he had a novel method of getting more –he held up the person in question and robbed them.  However, you can only get away with this behaviour for a certain amount of time.  Protheroe was captured and tried for his crimes.  In 1783, at the top of Pembroke Road, Clifton, Protheroe was hung and haunted the area –but no longer? 

    I’m still trying to find out whether a German Luftwaffe aircraft did crash at the old Whitchurch Airport during World War Two.  The area, now Hengrove Park, has been undergoing a great deal of development in recent years and I’ve heard of no sightings of a German pilot said to haunt the site. 

    Interestingly enough,the mid-1990s saw a rash of ghost reports.  At Mulberry headquarters, Kilver Court, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, “something” was up-setting the security guards.  Everyone was keeping tight-lipped but one security guard reported that when he switched off all the lights they were suddenly turned on
   again –  this happening several times and “strange things” happened but that was all we learned of the affair [6 & 7].

    In 1995, another couple fled their council home due to a ghost.  Michaela Barber and her partner, Shane, lived in a house in Leg Of Mutton Road, Wells, Somerset.  Things would often vanish from where they had been placed and were not seen again.  On one occasion, having left the house, the couple looked back and saw a curtain very clearly lifted.  No one living was in the house.

    One morning, at 8.00 a.m., the couple fled their home and swore never to return.  Apparently, Michaela had found her five-months-old baby under his high-sided cot.  A toy tv suddenly turned itself on.  Again, tenant confidentiality meant the council would not tell us where the couple were eventually moved to [8& 9].

    But we note, again, this movement of objects –and  that includes the baby.

    The Royal Clarence Hotel, Bridgwater, Somerset, was in the news, albeit a small column [10], in 1982.  Why so little space was given to the incident in question seems odd because the ghost spoke to a member of staff.

    A woman in white had been seen many times over the years,several times outside a blocked off door which used to lead to the minstrel’s gallery.  Mrs Rita Walsh had worked in the hotel kitchens since around 1977/1978 but had seen nothing odd.  In December of 1982 this changed.

    Mrs Walsh was working alone when she saw the infamous woman in white move toward her.  Mrs Walsh told a reporter:
    

                  “When the woman approached,I tried to scream for the
                  night-porter,but I just couldn’t get a word out.

                  “The ghost told me I should not be frightened as she
                  would not hurt me.  She was so friendly that I was
                  able to ask her why she wasn’t resting,and she said
                  she just couldn’t,then she disappeared.”


    Just what do we make of this?  A ghost actually speaking to the living without a so-called “medium”. 

    There are, of course, types of this phenomena according to researchers.

    The most common form of ghost appears to be what might be called a “Crisis Apparition”.  This is usually a “vision” or disembodied voice of someone under great stress –at the point of death, for example.  This vision/voice is seen or heard by someone close the person in crisis.  As we know nothing really about the process of dying it is possible –possible—that there may be some kind of telepathic link between the dying and loved ones.  In many cases, no doubt, these may be self-induced visions of a dying loved one by a person.

    The “Collective Apparition” where more than one person sees a ghost.  This can be at a séance or some other locale.

    The “Haunting Ghost”  is where a ghost walks about, plays or looks out of a window, is seen seated or going through some other mundane task.  Here you could class the Parkside Hotel nun or even the Royal Clarence Hotel woman in white.  Some parapsychologists feel a “psychic record” of a person may be “imprinted upon a place of tragic death, a beloved garden spot or room.

    Then we have the “Presence” where “something” is most definitely felt but nothing seen or heard.  These reports may indicate some form of electro magnetic or other phenomena creating a localised effect felt by person present –such as in the “Luminous Chamber” case.

    There are also the “One-Offs” –ghosts seen at a location with no spectral history known to the witness,investigators or others in the area.

    “Poltergeists” [angry/noisy spirits] have been recorded since at least the 12th century.  Unexplained bangs, crashes, foul smells, sudden cold spells in a house or place, inexplicable voices, objects appearing and disappearing and even levitation of of victims are “symptoms”.   Here we can place the Lamb Inn, ”Coonian ghost”, the      Parkside Hotel and the Leg Of Mutton Road events.   Parapsychologists use the phrase Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis [RSPK].   ‘Demons’, ’Satan’ and even elementals have been blamed in these cases –but then so have adolescent girls/boys who are seen as the “focus” in these cases.

    In the Leg Of Mutton Road affair there was no adolescent, only a baby.  We are not aware of an adolescent in the All Saints Church case either.
 
    But that leaves us with the woman in white at the Royal Clarence.  Here ‘she’ knew Mrs.Watts could see her and was alarmed but placated the witness by telling her no harm would befall her!  When asked why ‘she’ was not resting, the ghost responded to the question.

    How –how—can a dead person’s ghost walk around knowing his/herself to be deceased and start up a brief conversation?  The Royal Clarence case isn’t the first of this type of “conversation” either.  It infers, rather strongly, that there is life after death and in some cases, well, hundreds of cases, something has prevented the dearly deceased from “passing on” –“finding eternal rest”.

    This I simply find impossible to accept for so many reasons.  Billions of people have lived and died on this planet and “Heaven” must be suffering some severe over-crowding!  One disaster after another adding thousands upon thousands more to the ‘population’ –and what of dead animals?  Of the highly intelligent dolphins?  Is it just humans who go into an “after life”?

    Scientifically, I cannot accept that.  So what is going on?  The truth is that I will keep on investigating and, one day, hopefully I can have a ‘conversation’ with something like the woman in white!

References.

[1]      “Family Flee Home In Haunting Fear”,Roger Burton,Bristol Evening Post,
           11th August,1990:p.5

[2]       Henacre Road File          

[3]       “TV Probe Into Haunted Hotel”,Bristol Evening Post,15th April,1997:p.12

[4]        Personal conversations with Chris Romer and Rob green [1997 & 1998]

[5]        Parkside Hotel File

[6]        Wells Journal [date not given]

[7]         Annals no.26 ,October-December,1995:p.15

[8]         Central Somerset Gazette 6th July,1995

[9]         Ibid 7:p.14      

[10]       “Hotel’s Ghost Speaks”,Bristol Evening Post,31st December,1982



Note: a number of the incidents mentioned in this chapter are currently under re-investigation in the hope of gaining as much information as possible.  They are, still, little known events.                                                                                                                     

From Some Things Strange & Sinister (minus photos)