Index to This Site

Friday, 16 October 2020

The Dream That Led to Murder

      There are so many anecdotes of accurate premonitions of danger, either waking or dreaming, that we must accept this form of ESP as one of our evolved survival strategies. A strong premonition of this sort commonly induces the percipient to alter his behaviour in order to avoid the danger. But what if there are serious consequences of such an action? What if cancelling your plane flight at the last moment means losing both the fare and the cost of your holiday? What if your boss insists you make the journey? Worse still, how do you know that attempting to avoid the danger won't make it come true?

Thursday, 17 September 2020

"Just One of Those Things"

      Here's something I'm sure we're all familiar with: an item, usually a small one, inexplicably goes missing. Some time later it turns up in a place where it has no right to be or, even more puzzling, appears staring you in the face in an area which had already been thoroughly searched. Mostly we can put it down to absent mindedness, or some such "rational" explanation, but sometimes it is harder to explain. When we bought a second hand car, I purchased a logbook, which stayed in the glove box when I wasn't writing in it. Two weeks later it disappeared. I bought a replacement, and that one also vanished after six weeks. I wasn't game to tempt fate a third time but, six or seven years later, we collected the car from its twice yearly service, and discovered that the mechanics had left both logbooks, not obviously dirty or damaged, on the front seat. Obviously, they had been discovered in some nook of the car. How did they get there from the glove box? How come it happened twice? And why weren't they found earlier? Just the same, I am not (yet) prepared to invoke a paranormal explanation. It was "just one of those things". However, some other incidents are more difficult to dismiss.

Saturday, 11 July 2020

A Famous Family's Fairies

       A wonderful thing, the internet! So many old books and documents are now online. I first read this story in one of Janet Bord's books, and even she had to rely on a secondary source. However, it took me just an hour one night to run the original source to earth. The information this times comes from a highly respectable source: the Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould (1834 - 1924), clergyman, archaeologist, folklorist, novelist, short story writer, and father of fifteen. These days he is remembered mostly as the author of "Onward, Christian Soldiers" and Curious Myths of the Middle Ages, but in his time he was up there with Andrew Lang, Thomas Carlyle, and other prominent Victorian men of letters. And in 1890 he wrote In Troubadour-Land, a ramble in Provence and Languedoc. The relevant pages are 65 and 66 because he had travelled there both as an adult and as a child, so after describing an area known as the Crau, he introduced a childhood anecdote.

Monday, 22 June 2020

The Pixie on the Plane

     If you have been following this blog from its inception, you will probably be aware that, over the decade, I have gradually come to the conclusion that there really is something to sightings of the "little people", even if it is not possible to accept the whole of the fairy mythology. (If you want further information, see here.) However, there is one place I never expected to find them.
     In 1995 a then British police officer, John Hanson got interested in UFOs. After being joined by Dawn Holloway, they began a project of producing a comprehensive history of the the phenomenon. It is an indication of the immensity of the subject that they ended up with a series of ten (yes, ten) volumes entitled, Haunted Skies. And it must have been sometime in 2008 or 2009 that they received a communication from a retired headteacher on the Isle of Wight, who had an incredible story to tell.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

When Weirdness Came to Sydney

     Why would anyone go to the press and tell a story which made no sense whatsoever? Experience shows that deliberately seeking to make yourself a laughing stock is one of the rarest of human motives. For a bit of fun? Hoaxes like that follow a pattern. Usually they are inspired by something strange already published - say a bigfoot or a flying saucer. That is the impetus for some smart Alec to come up with a tall tale on the same topic. The idea is to produce something halfway plausible - something which will be published - so that you can sit around with your friends, laugh, and disclaim: "Would you believe? They actually fell for that baloney!" But producing something completely over the top out of the blue is usually not on the agenda. In any case, after three years, when everything has been forgotten, it is unlikely that somebody completely different will go to a different newspaper and relate a story arguably similar.
     Or perhaps something which made no sense really did visit Sydney, Australia half a century ago.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Introducing a New UFO Novel

"I can't believe it," he said. "We've actually seen a flying saucer crash in front of our eyes."
     Everything else in this blog concerns events which the witnesses claimed genuinely happened. But this is different. It is my first science fiction novel.
    Ever since my teenage years - approximately 55 years - I have been following the UFO scene, and I have become fully conversant with its many facets. I know what flying saucers are supposed to look like, and how they move. I am also familiar with the wide varieties of occupants observed in or near them, and even the weapons they are known to use.
    It will come as a surprise to most people that the interiors have been reported innumerable times, and by people's whose memories did not require hypnosis to be revealed. The descriptions are consistent: in ever single case they describe light diffusing the room without any obvious source, and doors for which no visible join in the wall is evident. Over the decades, too, other bizarre phenomena have been frequently reported: truncated light beams, beings levitated on light beams, humanoid occupants passing through walls to give just a short list.
     I had long held the intention, therefore, of producing a UFO novel which would be authentic - one for which it would be possible to say: This might have happened; all the phenomena described are known to be real.
     The central theme is simple, but I don't think it has been explored before. A group of bushwalkers, or hikers, are alone in the wilderness, when they happen to witness the crash of a flying saucer. On inspection, they discover, to their amazement, that the alien pilot is still alive, but injured. What would you do in such circumstances? They feel they have no choice but to treat him like a human casualty, construct a makeshift splint and stretcher, and carry him to civilisation. They do so with mixed emotions; one is excited, one is terrified, another is full of compassion for the injured alien, and so forth. But soon they discover that there are Others interested in the alien - and of their motives and technology they know nothing.
     The novel is self-published through Kindle Direct Publishing. Yes, I know the cover is crappy, but I am not prepared to hire a professional artist. It can be ordered through Amazon in whatever country you are in, and comes in two versions: a paperback and a Kindle e-book. The former I hope will eventually filter into bookstores and libraries. As for the latter, it costs the same as a large coffee, and if you don't possess a Kindle e-reader, the app can still be downloaded for an Ipad (tablet), PC, or phone. Amazon will also allow you to look inside the novel, if you are doubtful about my narrative skills.
     Let me know what you think. If you like it, tell all your friends, and write a review. We first-time novelists need all the help we can get.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

"Don't Go to Jersey!"

       On Maundy Thursday, 1899, the ferry, S.S. Stella departed Southampton with 190 passengers and crew, bound for the Channel Islands. They never arrived. Just after 4 p.m., in a heavy fog, it hit the Casquets Rocks. Within ten minutes, it went down, taking at least 77 persons with it. But one man was not present, for he had been forewarned by The Voice in the night.