Index to This Site

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Traitors to the Human Race

    "The love of money", said Phocylides, "is the mother of all evils" - a maxim which was to become proverbial in the ancient world, being changed to the "metropolis of all evils" by Democritus, and the "root of all evils" by St. Paul.
     Greed for money and, as we shall see, for power can be a strong solvent of a person's morality. Thirty pieces of silver was enough to buy Judas Iscariot's treachery, and a long list could be made of those who turned traitor for the sake for pay. Greed can also dissolve the critical faculty. No-one would possibly fall for the Nigerian scam, for instance, if the prospect of enormous riches hadn't blinded him to the extreme improbability of the proposal. However, it takes a massive combination of baseness and stupidity to fall for a project which is both evil and utterly ridiculous, and one can must grant a certain grudging respect to a con artist who realised it would actually work.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Elves in the Andes ?

     Overlooked books are often sources of anomalies which are easily lost to our collective memory. Thus, a couple of Sundays ago, a friend of mine called Trevor casually referred to what he labelled the "leprechauns" of South America. Readers of this blog will be aware that I no longer automatically scoff at such stories. (Why, this time last year I was translating newspaper articles about a plague of goblins in Argentina.) Trevor mentioned how they had been seen by Brian Fawcett (1906-1984), the younger son of the explorer, Percy Fawcett, who disappeared in the Amazon jungle, almost certainly murdered by Indians, while searching for the Lost City of Z. Now, Trevor has provided extracts from Brian Fawcett's 1958 book, Ruins in the Sky, relating to his time working on the Peruvian railways, and the events took place near what was then the highest railway station in the world. The relevant extract is from pages 65 and 66.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Weird Happenings at the Battle of Acoma

     God, gold, and glory should have been the motto of the Spanish conquistadors. Possessed of an inordinate greed for wealth and power, combined with a hypocritical, but nevertheless sincere, religious zeal, they cut a swathe of cruelty and plunder through Central and South America. In the pursuit of these goals they were prepared to endure any hardship, and face any odds. Though their crimes were execrable, their deeds were nevertheless some of the most heroic ever recorded. This story is about the Massacre at Acoma in January 1599, but more particularly some very strange incidents at its climax.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Goblins, Shadows, and Unholy Things

    I regard the paranormal as a big jigsaw puzzle, of which most of the pieces are missing, and the major aim of this blog is to collect and present some of those pieces which are in danger of being overlooked or lost. For this reason, I do not normally report items which have appeared on somebody else's website. Nevertheless, I make an exception when the item is quite at variance with the normal theme of the website, and is in danger of being lost among the other details. Thus, the story of the psychics of Ape Canyon came from the Bigfoot Encounters website. Likewise, the tale of the miniature flying cyclist was discovered in the Castle of Spirits website, which contains literally hundreds of first hand testimonies of ghostly encounters. Nevertheless, a few of them are not what you might call run-of-the-mill ghost stories. Let's have a look at a few.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

When the Floor Gaped Open

     One of the interesting aspects of anomalies is that sometimes the really unusual, rare phenomena - so rare that they are usually overlooked - can be well documented. Thus, the case of the talking stovepipe was meticulously investigated by the police and other city officials, not to mention the crowds which gathered round. Similarly, the room that forced people to walk on their hands was investigated on the orders of the local magistrate. And the terrifying experience of a couple in Bristol in 1873 had its day in court.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

How Can Anyone Live Without Eating?

     I had already planned to write this article in this month, and only later realised how timely it would be. Right now we are in the midst of Lent and, as we shall see, some people take it to a whole new level.
     In A. J. Cronin's novel, The Keys of the Kingdom there is a nine day wonder when a girl is alleged to be living without food, and the congregation consider it a miracle until the priest discovers that she is being fed surreptitiously. But what can we think when there is strong evidence that things like that have actually taken place?

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Levitating Saints - and Others

     During my visit to Bhutan, one of my travel companions made a reference to levitation practised in Tibetan monasteries, and I commented that I wouldn't rule it out. "I'm glad you don't reject it," said our host (or our guide, I forget which).
    "In our society," I replied, "it occurs among two different types of people: Christian mystics, and the demon possessed."