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Thursday, 23 February 2017


1752 Bitton Gloucester, Aug 1. 

This week the following melancholy affair happen’d in the village of Bitton. DOGGETT, a labouring man, was employ’d to kill a cat, to effect which he took the animal by the hind legs and dash’d his head against a wall, then the cat immediately seiz’d him by the hand, and bit and tore it most terribly.

 At last, however the cat was mashed to a pulp, and the poor fellow apply’d to a surgeon with his hand, but his blood was so poison’d by the venom of the cat, that he dy’d on Thursday in the afternoon from Hydrophobia a slow and painful death.

(info source The Bath Chronicler)

Strange Sea Creatures, UFOs and much MUCH More!

I hope that the recent posts have educated and proven of interest to the thousands of you who have read them?

So, I would like you to seriously consider supporting me (and I need it) by having a look at the books I have written and think about purchasing one (you can buy all of them -I won't stop you!).

Thank you.

The Red Paper: Foxes, Coyotes, Jackals, Arctic Foxes and Wolves in the UK

 One for those interested in Wildlife -or cryptozoology!
The Red Paper:CANINES vol.1
 Terry Hooper
The Red Paper: Canids
(21 x 30cms)
202 Pages 
Photographs, illustrations and maps

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 and "country folk" were very far from "happy" -some even threatening local hunts -one intending to release a wolf for a hunt- with legal and other consequences. The summation of over 40 years research by the noted naturalist and former UK police forces exotic wildlife consultant 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. Private menageries, or single exotic "pets" as well as travelling shows helped provide the British and Irish countryside with some incredible events such as the 1905 "vampiric" sheep killer of Badminton, the mystery hounds of Cavan and Coyotes of Epping Forest.

The Girt Dog of Ennerdale is also dealt with in detail -was it a tiger? A Tasmania Thylacine? This book gives the exact facts and details for the first time. Up-dated 2013 edition includes a section on sarcoptic mange in foxes and treatment plus a list of wildlife sanctuaries and rescue centres in the UK.

Some Things Strange & Sinister (2013 -up-dated)

Some Things Strange & Sinister
A4 Format
358 pages
Heavily illustrated

After more than 40 years as an investigator and more than fifty as a naturalist,the author has opened some of the many files he has accumulated dealing with such things as..  

The Terrifying Events At The Lamb Inn, The Ghosts Of All Saints Church, Dead Aquatic Creatures of Canvey Island, captured bigfoot like creatures in India -all exclusively presented for the first time and with new added research previously unseen.  

PLUS a vastly expanded section on Spring-heeled Jack!  Photographs, maps, line drawings and up-dated to make 358 pages looking at Things truly Strange and Sinister.  

Cryptozoologist,Ghost Hunter,Ufologist or Fortean:this book has something for everyone -including the just plain inquisitive!   

ContentsForeword by Travis L. Whitehurst
Introduction        de occultis non judicat ecclesia                                                                            
The Bristol Rocking Horse        
The Terrifying Events At The Lamb Inn        
The Coonian Ghost        
The Ghosts Of All Saints Church        
His Luminous Chamber        
The Late Reverend Dr. Blomberg        
And More Ghost Stories        
The Thomas B. Cumpston Case        
The Chupacabra        
The Strange Case Of The Gotherington Gargoyle        
What’s Tall,Hairy And Vanishes?        
Mystery Beasts Of Ireland        
The Creature Of The Dump        
The Strange Creature Of Repton Woods        
The Bizarre Legends,Crimes And Truth About Spring Heeled Jack        
The Black Beast Of Darmstadt        
The Nameless Thing Of Berkley Square        
The Terrifying Case Of The U.S. Naval Transport        
The Case Of The Ghost Lear Jet        
Ghost Planes,Crashes And Dead Aquatic Creatures        
The Mitchison Loch Ness Monster Video        
From The Deep Below To The Air Above –USOs        
Aerial Encounters Over Austria        
A Crashed UFO In 1790?        
Angel Hair        
Quimper-Corentin:Where “Thunder Fell”        
Strange Aliens From Space        
The Llandrillo ‘Saucer’ And Other Crash Retrievals        
Transient Lunar Phenomena,Alien Structures And Moon Vegetation        
Whiddon Down-Saint-Jean-du-Guard:Impossible Correlations?        
The Venezuelan HorrorA Final Word.

Alleged piece of crashed UFO from Berwyn Mountains, Wales.

 Some More Things Strange & Sinister 

Some More Things Strange & Sinister

Terry Hooper-Scharf
327 Pages 
Heavily illustrated

Follow-up to Some Things Strange & Sinister. For those interested in Ufology, cryptozoology, hominology, unusual natural history, ghosts and mysteries in general. The secret history of gorillas in the UK -before they were officially  'discovered'. 

The history of  the Wild men of Europe, the UK and US: something that in the 1800s become very "pop culture"  Very pop culture and totally forgotten today! Hominology. Sasquatch and Bigfoot -is there evidence for their existence?  

No sitting on the fence here -the Patterson-Gimlin film is looked at as well as other evidence.  The Author's conclusions? 

You might be surprised. Giant snakes. Amazons. The Giant serpent of Carthage. The Girt Dog of Ennerdale -another big cult 'creature' amongst paranormal and cryptozoological circles. The Beast of Gevaudan -what was it and were there really descendents of the creature in the 19th century -one of which was actually brought to London?   Believe it or not more than one incident of historical crocodiles cases in the UK.  In fact, far more than even the Author had thought . And, after more than a century of claims by 'researchers' that it no longer exists: The Silent City of Alaska and the near legendary 'lost' photograph taken of it.

 This and much more. Updated with extra pages and photographs.

Pursuing The Strange And Weird -A Naturalist's Viewpoint (2014 up-date)

Pursuing The Strange & Weird:A Naturalists Viewpoint

Terry Hooper-Scharf
249 Pages

UP DATE -From Dead Aquatic (Humanoid) Creatures, the giant squid and yet undiscovered sea creatures; submarine and ships crews encountering true leviathans.

There is a fully expanded section which also refers to the so-called ‘Ningen’ sightings and video footage.

Extinct animals at sea that have been re-discovered. The subject of Sasquatch and other mystery Hominids around the world is dealt with including a look at the “Sasquatch-killer”, Justin Smeja.

Dr. Bryan Sykes and his DNA test results for TVs The Bigfoot Files as well as the controversial Erickson Project and Dr. Melba Ketchum’s Even more controversial Sasquatch DNA test results.

Also included are two early French UFO entity cases that still baffle. Ghosts, strange creatures and the Star-Child hoax. All dealt with by the naturalist and pursuer of the strange and weird

  The Bizarre Legends, Crimes And Truth About Spring Heeled Jack (2014

The Truth About Spring-Heeled Jack  
Terry Hooper-Scharf
53 Pages  
Dimensions (centimetres) 20.98 wide x 29.69 tall  (A4)
fully illustrated and referenced

The terror and mystery created by “Jack The Ripper” has been the subject of countless books, magazine articles as well as movies and TV documentaries. Ask anyone if they have ever heard of Jack The Ripper and it is doubtful anyone would respond with a “no idea.”  

By that same token, ask people who “Spring-heeled Jack” was and you would be lucky to find anyone who had ever heard of him.  

Spring-heeled Jack was the subject (loosely) of a film The Curse of the Wraydons (1946) and Dominic Keating also appeared as Spring Heeled Jack in the 2010 film Sherlock Holmes by The Asylum film company. The character has also featured in both American and British comic books and a number of books, for both children and adults.  

But the fact that the Springald held the country –not just London– in a grip of terror much longer that the Ripper did is all but forgotten except for some half-truths and fanciful theories.  

Now be prepared to read the full story of Spring Heeled Jack

Berwyn Again.

Cartoon by Dan Pipard(?) no idea where I got this from but it seemed very appropriate!

If you have ever read a copy of John Hanson and Dawn Holloway's Haunted Skies -a UK UFO history encyclopedia, you will understand why John is one of the few people in Ufology I will cooperate with.

Recently, he asked me for a statement regarding the fantasy Berwyn Mountains (Wales) UFO crash. I outlined what had been going on regarding lies and threats toward me from Ufologists.  The only reason no legal action was taken was because the solicitor involved pointed out the main ufologist "obviously has problems" and enjoys the attention.

So I put my case and the facts here on the blog (link above).  This has now, since September, 2015, been read and shared by 53, 961 people. The fantasy of Berwyn Mountain and crashed space craft should be put to rest.  However, I have been alerted to the fact that certain persons are referring to my having been (still being) a "government agent" and even "a ranking officer in a covert Ministry of Defence unit investigating UFOs". Fantasy -my entire career of 1974 to present can easily be documented.  I just let people with "problems" carry on.

Just do not take them seriously. No alien space craft  crashed on Berwyn or onto any other part of Wales.

So, the Trappist-1 System IS Habitable And We KNOW What The Planets Look Like?

So let's talk some sense because it seems that after NASA gave its ground-breaking news last night/morning people were fantasizing.

NASA discovered seven (7) planets orbiting Trappist-1.  Three (3) were in what we would call the Habitable Zone of the planetary system.  NASA have checked the orbits and gauged sizes based on calculations except for the largest one.  SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) have checked but detected no signals from the system.

That is it.  Trappist-1 is 40 light years away so not even the nearest sun outside of our system which you might think they would concentrate on but let's not downplay this: this is a full planetary system and a major discovery.

So, sorry, fantasy conspiracy theorists it was NOT the announcement of the arrival of 'Nibiru'!

Of course, the "Disclosure" fans jumped on to this. "Intelligent life is just around the corner!" and "habitable planets found!" they scream.  But, surely, hasn't their "Disclosure" project revealed everything about intelligent life visiting this planet?  And, hey, what kind of lousy NASA cover-up was this?

Although the NASA folk explained it was obvious from questions after (particularly the Press) that not everyone understood.  In a way NASA, itself, has to accept some blame for this.


(1)  There are seven planets.  
(2)  We know the estimated sizes of six of them so far. 
(3)  We know three are in the Habitable Zone
(4)  We know the system is 40 light years away and not the closest just has the most planets so far             found.
(5) SETI have not detected any signals from the system.

It is unknown whether any of these three planets can allow any life to exist and survive. It will take years before deep space observations will tell us whether there is oxygen and water or even what the planets are made of. 

If there were intelligent life (speculation) it might be that they use completely unknown forms of inter-communication or might be able to prevent detection of its technology from beyond its system. Maybe they do not want to encourage outside contact?

Remember how approx 95% of native peoples in the Amazon were wiped out by diseases spread by the Spanish and Portuguese -it is why there is minimal contact with "hidden" tribes these days because Western diseases could wipe them out -they have no defences against these diseases. Some notable scientists have said that we (Earth) should not advertise our presence to other life beyond the planet which might be hostile or even see Earth and its life, Human and animal, as one big food selection.  Which is a pretty dumb thing to say since our first radio signals (1920s on -some to deliberately attract intelligent life) are now light years out and I think nuclear tests and all the technology we are using must be akin to a huge interplanetary neon sign!  In other words: too late.

I emphasise again that this was big news because those involved in finding exo-planets or even supporting those doing this work, have been seen as time wasters -as emphasised ("in your face!") at the press conference.  You have to remember that the first scientific detection of an exoplanet was as far back as 1988, but the first confirmed detection was in 1992.  From 1992 up to the 22nd February 2017, there have been 3,583 exoplanets in 2,688 planetary systems confirmed and some 603 multiple planetary systems confirmed. This is the first time a full planetary system of this size has been found, but I'm guessing it will not be the last.

People with no idea jump to conclusions and "Habitable Zone" becomes "has life or very likely has life".  It does not. The planets are merely in the right place.

As before, NASA has had artists create these wonderful images of what the planets look like from space as well as from the surface. People latch on to that.  These images are pure fantasy. We do NOT know what the planets are made of or if they have atmospheres let alone whether they have seas and ice. People seeing these NASA images assume that this is what NASA has seen.  That bloody Trappist 1e tourist poster is pure and utter fantasy.

NASA has to take 100% responsibility for all the misperceptions based on these images because we are, sadly, many, many decades (if that) from having equipment that could get fuzzy images of the Trappist-1 system.

It is an important discovery but take a deep breath and check out the reality.

NASA page on the discovery:

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Habitable Planets Found, NASA Announces Major Space Discovery | TIME

The Curious Case Of The Linkes

Soviet Zone of Germany 17th June, 1950
Source: Kathimerini newspaper (Athens, Greece), 1952
CIA files
The Hynek UFO Report pp 204-205

"Berlin, July - Furnished with the sworn testimony of an eyewitness, Oscar Linke, a 48-year-old German and former mayor of Gleimershausen, West Berlin intelligence officers have begun investigating a most unusual "flying saucer" story. According to this story, an object "resembling a huge flying pan" and having a diameter of about 15 meters landed in a forest clearing in the Soviet Zone of Germany.

Linke recently escaped from the Soviet Zone along with his wife and six children.

Linke and his 11-year-old daughter, Gabriella, made the following sworn statement last week before a judge: "While I was returning to my home with Gabriella, a tire of my motorcycle blew out near the town of Hasselbach. While we were walking along toward Hasselbach, Gabriella pointed out something which lay at a distance of about 140 meters away from us. Since it was twilight, I thought that she was pointing at a young deer. 

Above: Linke and his daughter after getting to West Germany.

"I left my motorcycle near a tree and walked toward the spot which Gabriella had pointed out. When, however, I reached a spot about 55 meters from the object, I realized that my first impression had been wrong. What I had seen were two men who were now about 40 meters away from me. They seemed to be dressed in some shiny metallic clothing. They were stooped over and were looking at something lying on the ground.

"I approached until 1 was only about 10 meters from them. I looked over a small fence and then I noticed a large object whose diameter I estimated to be between 13 and 15 meters. It looked like a huge frying pan.

"There were two rows of holes on its periphery, about 30 centimeters in circumference. The space between the two rows was about 0.45 meters. On the top of this metal object was a black conical tower about three meters high.

"At that moment, my daughter, who had remained a short distance behind me, called me. The two men must have heard my daughter's voice because they immediately jumped on the conical tower and disappeared inside.

"I had previously noted that one of the men had a lamp on the front part of his body which lit up at regular intervals.

"Now, the side of the object on which the holes had been opened began to glitter. Its color seemed green but later turned to red. At the same time I began to hear a slight hum. While the brightness and hum increased, the conical tower began to slide down into the center of the object. The whole object then began to rise slowly from the ground and rotate like a top.

 "It seemed to me as if it were supported by the cylindrical plant which had gone down from the top of the object, through the center, and had now appeared from its bottom on the ground.

"The object, surrounded by a ring of flames, was now a certain number of feet above the ground.

"I then noted that the whole object had risen slowly from the ground. The cylinder on which it was supported had now disappeared within its center and had reappeared on the top of the object.

"The rate of climb had now become greater. At the same time my daughter and I heard a whistling sound similar to that heard when a bomb falls.

"The object rose to a horizontal position, turned toward a neighboring town, and then, gaining altitude, it disappeared over the heights and forests in the direction of Stockheim."

Many other persons who live in the same area as Linke later related that they saw an object which they thought to be a comet. A shepherd stated that he thought that he was looking at a comet moving away at a low altitude from the height on which Linke stood. 

Above: Linke with an interpreter
After submitting his testimony to the judge, Linke made the following statement: "I would have thought that both my daughter and I were dreaming if it were not for the following element involved: When the object had disappeared, I went to the place where it had been. I found a circular opening in the ground and it was quite evident that it was freshly dug. It was exactly the same shape as the conical tower. I was then convinced that I was not dreaming."

Linke continued, "I had never heard of the term 'flying saucer' before I escaped from the Soviet Zone into West Berlin. When I saw this object, I immediately thought that it was a new Soviet military machine.

"I confess that I was seized with fright because the Soviets do not want anyone to know about their work. Many persons have been restricted to their movements for many years in East Germany because they know too much."

 Above: The Linkes with interpreter

There have been various theories put forward depending on the particular bias of the author involved. 

(1)  The idea that this was a Soviet device being tested and that the "flames" sighted proved this as "this has never been reported in any other UFO sighting"

Well, incorrect.  "flames"/"jets" or what have been interpreted as such by witnesses in UFO sightings have been reported.

Next, look at the object drawn. Read how Linke describes it and the men.  One might assume that, yes, it is possible that the Soviets captured German scientists (that we know) and got to work trying to develop a former Nazi German prototype.  There are points to make regarding this idea.

Firstly, the Soviets would not be developing such a device in East Germany because it was too close to the West and as seen after the Peenemunde flights and later with the Skandinavian "Ghost rockets", Allied Intelligence would have its men on the ground looking at every aspects which includes sneaking in to East Germany to check a site for traces or any clues.  The Soviets were very secretive and had their research facilities inside the USSR where secrecy was guaranteed.

Secondly, the object involved does not look anything like what the German scientists had been working on between 1939-45.

Thirdly, what the "men" were wearing does not fit what Soviet test pilots were wearing back then.  Also, if these were two Soviet pilots they would not have run on hearing the girl calling. They would have "secured" the Linkes and no one would have been the wiser.

This theory does not hold up.  Also, in 1980, I got to ask people who would know what they thought of the case?  "Well, it was not a Ruskie and it was not one of ours!"  Which helped, I thought!

Objections as to the appearance of the entities can be dismissed because humanoid-like entities as well as others have been reported over the decades.  As I have noted previously, at one point it was said any non-terrestrial life forms would not be humanoid -this whole idea went out of fashion in recent years so, again -objection over ruled.

(2) Linke's case is exposed as a hoax as it took elements from the Spitsbergen crashed flying saucer hoax. It was claimed -but proven a hoax in the same year and even in 1977 we were discussing it as a hoax- that a flying saucer had crashed off the coast of Norway on the island of Spitsbergen in mid-1952.  This is two years after Linke's account so he would not have pre-knowledge of any such claim!  In fact, it seems others have tried to link the Spitsbergen case to that of the escapee. 

It means that this theory comes crashing down itself.  I have never read an account where Linke has made any such claim.  In fact, years later, Linke was located in the West and questioned by researchers and did not exaggerate nor veer from his original account.  US Ufologist, Ted Bloecher, in the November, 1980 issue of The MUFON Journal , stated that Linke was a credible witness and that the account, in details and consistency, was persuasively authentic and concluded that: 

 "This sighting should be included among the list of unexplained UFO reports." 

Detractors point to the fact that "names" within Ufology have never included Linke's account in their books and that Hynek only quoted the Blue Book report without comment.   It is never pointed out that some of these same "credible" authors have, for decades, been including hoax and other invented as well as erroneous material that they have never even investigated themselves in their books. 

Pot calling the kettle black.

As for Dr Hynek; my late colleague, Franklyn A. Davin-Wilson, asked Dr Hynek at a UK UFO convention about the case and the response was "It's a very puzzling one" -maybe people should have asked Hynek while he was alive for his thoughts?

(3) Linke admitted it was all a hoax to get into the West.

I checked recently and Linke never recanted his testimony. Never said it was a hoax.  Also, you did not have to have any reason to escape to the West other than that you were escaping from the East! If I've missed a genuine confession let me know!

(4) I need to emphasise this.  It is claimed by some, that the account was made up by Linke so that he got some kind of preferential treatment when he got to the West. In fact, it didn't.  He was questioned, perhaps a little more closely because of the account, like everyone else who escaped to the West (escapees could be spies after all).  That idea falls apart.  In fact, thinking about it, Linke could have made a lot of money from his account at the time but instead he reported it and that was it.  Nothing more.

It comes down to what you believe.  Was it a genuine extra-terrestrial scout craft?  Was it a Soviet test craft?  Was it a hoax -when Linke never pushed it to the point of getting anything out of it? 

It is an interesting case yet it is only testimonial evidence.   No one got to check soil of flora samples from the site.  No one got a geiger-counter or even basic emf detector there.  If the Linkes saw that object and those entities then they saw them.  We did not and if it makes you feel more comfortable thinking they did not then so be it.  In my mind it still has a very big question mark next to it. You just never know.....

de occultis non judicat ecclesia. Or: “The Church has not decided about ghosts and the ghostly”

Intro: Since this was first written and published in Some Things Strange & Sinister my views and
theories regarding so-called "ghosts" have changed.  However, that does not affect the material/incidents within the article.

All "Orb" photographs are (c)2017 Terry Hooper-Scharf -see note at end of posting.


And for those who don’t understand Latin, the title is from a pronouncement stating “The Church has not decided about ghosts and the ghostly”.  After all this time you would think they might have.  Surely, it is fundamental to Christian belief?

Not being a clergyman I’ll remain puzzled.

 I am one of those sad, depressing people who believe you are born, live and then die.  Finito.  Otherwise, why have none of  those who might want to, in fact who promised to, made a re-appearance after death?  People like Charles Fort [founder, against his wishes, of Forteanism], Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Harold T. Wilkins, Arthur Constance or my late colleague Franklyn A. Davin-Wilson who sat down weeks before his untimely death and said to me: ”Terry, after I’m dead, don’t s*** your pants if I pop up in front of you!”

 Every New Years Day at Midnight I toast Franklyn but nothing and if some obstinate old sod was going to return from the dead it would be him!

 The history of the Church is full of accounts of ghosts of all types and there are numerous cases of  poltergeists (one of the most famous British cases, the Lamb Inn will be detailed in a later chapter).  Whereas the Church in general with all its theologians have taken centuries but left it up to individuals to make their minds up,the Catholic Church is another matter.

 Though with all the Press and Media sensationalism over recent years the Catholic Church tends to be less public it takes a fair stance.  As one of the more conservative religions, there is nothing in its teachings or practices that says ghosts can or cannot exist.  In fact,by the very records of Catholicism it seems clear there is every reason to suppose that ghosts do exist.  There is nothing stating that followers of the faith cannot or must not encounter or report ghosts.

 I often feel quite disgusted when I see a priest of any religion on TV,Radio or in printed interviews declaring that “there are no such things as ghosts”.  That is tantamount to stating that there is no belief in Heaven or Hell in their religion…or God.  In which case, there is the admission that the Church has been ripping off its members for centuries. 

 Regarding Ghosts, Poltergeists and the Catholic Church, I would highly recommend Shane Leslie’s Ghost Book [1] –if you can find a copy.  It is really fascinating reading.

 My personal experience on so called “ghostly matters” are not very spectacular.  Back in 1966/1967,I was living in Dalborn,Germany.  One overcast,slightly drizzly but very oppressive thundery day,along with two of my cousins,I headed for a stream that had become flooded –we had much fun crossing the stream using the trunk of an old tree placed there by someone months before.  We watched as soldiers in trucks drove by and waved but the horrible,smokey brown low cloud made little difference –we were having fun! 

 Not far from the stream, in easy view, was an upward sloping path near to a reputedly haunted mill [though we never knew that at the time].  The entire length of the path was covered in an arch of tree branches with the far end allowing in light.  At one point, all three of us turned to look up this path. At the very end of  the path stood a tall, misty grey figure devoid [seemingly] of any facial or clothing features.  The figure moved forward.

Three kids ran like Hell!
Of course, in the prevailing weather conditions it is possible any normal person might have seemed grey and featureless.  That would explain it away to my satisfaction.  But why did all three of us turn at the same time and run without speaking to each other?

In England, in my grandparents St Werburgh’s home, we had a typical terraced house situation for the mid-1960s.  The old tin bath has on a hook outside the back door for bath nights and the toilet was outside the house.  The row of houses looked out onto Mina Road Park and there was a stream, an off-shoot of the River Frome which ran under houses.  On more than one occasion, while seated in “the throne room” I heard voices quite distinctly, though what exactly was being said I couldn’t tell you.  I was not the only person to hear these voices –my mother dreaded having to use the outside toilet but just said, in a thick German accent “it’s spooky”.

In a small back bedroom over-looking the garden, privy and park,there was definitely something “odd”.  The room had been given over to my mother and father on returning from Germany.  Within the week my mother would not even venture into the room alone and rooms were swapped around.  It is odd but, thinking about it years later, I recall my grand mother never ventured into the room by herself either and never used it for a bedroom.  Two later lodgers did complain about “something wrong” with the room.

And so,the two boys were moved into the room.  I was an insomniac even at that young age and on many occasions felt an unknown presence –I did have a waking dream once when I saw the silhouette of a bent over witch complete with pointed hat and threw a shoe at “her”. 
On another occasion we were all downstairs and heard very loud banging from upstairs and in the room in question.  My parents and grandparents rushed up to find my older brother quite incoherent on the floor  stating something had thrown him against the wall.  I was ushered downstairs so I could not hear what else was said.  That ended our time in that room.

 Only years later, after we had moved out was I told that the little dark room had always had an odd atmosphere.  My mother seemed quite at ease with telling me these things though never in front of my older brother. 

Apart from mysterious deposits on cars parked at Greenway Boys School [see Introduction], my time in Southmead was quiet.  Nothing odd.
 Around 1975, we were temporarily living in a caravan park on the outskirts of Ramsgate, Kent, not 2 kilometres from the sea.  Here things became interesting again.  My father got a temporary job at the Hovertel, then not too far from the Ramsgate Hoverport.  Employed there as a bouncer was a man I’ll call “Ted”.  Ted was around 1.9m [6’ 6”] tall, had a thick, bushy moustache and a very notable broken nose.  I wasn’t surprised to learn that this brick-wall of a man had been a paratrooper [possibly a mercenary at one point] and later a policeman.  Not the type of man you wanted to annoy.
 While we were all seated around the bar area one evening, Ted was eating his dish of snails in garlic butter when the manager noted that some crates needed bringing up from the cellars below.  Ted coughed and replied “You know what you can do!”  I pointed out that a big strong lad like him shouldn’t worry about lifting a few boxes and he came back with “I have no concerns about boxes –it’s what’s down there!”

 We were told how the cellars were linked to old smugglers caves, not unusual around the English coast.  Apparently, the reason Ted and the manager were the only permanent employees (which I always thought was odd) was that the cellars were said to be haunted.  Both men had been in the cellars one night when the temperature dropped suddenly and both men shivered violently.  Nothing unusual in that they thought but then the electric lights started dimming.  Ted was not in the least bit concerned – until both heard deep breathing and voices from out of thin air.  Records were broken getting up the steps.

 I asked if I could go down the cellars myself but Ted took my arm and whispered in a very deliberate manner: ”You do not want to go down there alone!”.  My father laughed it off (but not to Ted’s face) and lasted a week as a cellarman but would not go back there after something happened in the cellars he would not discus

 All a bit of an anti-climax for me.  Then, one night, during full Moon when the whole area where we were staying was as visible as in daylight, I saw a shadow and looked upward to see a huge bird gliding silently above me at about 6 metres –and it was a big bird.  Today, considering other “big bird” sightings in the UK at the time, I feel sure this must have been a European Eagle Owl (now breeding in the UK), but at the time it made me jump!

When we returned to Bristol we moved into a house in the Knowle area.  Things did tend to go missing but later turned up exactly where you’d looked.

 Occasionally, things “fell” from the wall unit.  I say “fell” though I saw an ornament slide three inches off the shelf before falling straight to the floor.  As there were quite a few of us, I slept on a sofa downstairs watching what TV there was until close down, insomnia still being a problem.  I was lying back looking at the open window when I quite distinctly saw a dark figure move from one doorway, leading upstairs toward the kitchen.  “I didn’t even see you come in” I said,  thinking it was a family member.  But the figure had vanished.

My mother’s attitude was  that there might be a ghost in the house but, as she pointed out, dead people can’t hurt you.

The funniest incident happened one Christmas.  The living room was decorated out and I had just watched a TV programme about ghosts and the devil with a sister and my younger brother.  “Yeah, right.” I said loudly, ”if there’s a devil let him pop one of the red balloons!”  A red balloon then popped!  I just wished the scene had been preserved by video camera.

Without doubt the only place I have felt really frightened in was a house my youngest sister and her partner had moved to in Bath.  The top floor belonged to someone else but the lower two floors was theirs –the bathroom on the lowest level.  The place was spacious and I was really impressed. It was a lovely Summer day and anything odd was far from my mind.
At one point I had to answer the “call of nature” and took the steps down to the lower area.  A few feet from the bathroom I said “come on give me a clue –I’m lost!,” I had the strongest feeling that someone was behind me –my sister or her partner.  I turned when there was no reply.  No one was there.  I continued, calling myself a few unprintable names for talking to myself. 

However, without warning, and despite every attempt I made to fight it, I had the overwhelming feeling that I was not alone and my heart started pounding.  Anyone who has ever played “tag” in the dark or blind-folded will know the sensation that someone is close to you.  This was over-powering!

 I stood for several seconds, taking deep breaths and trying to slow my heart beat, at which I succeeded.  I even moved my hand around to see if I could feel a “cold spot” but nothing.  So, I decided that my need for the toilet facilities was far more important.  However, as I got to the bathroom  door I was overcome by an almost unbearable feeling of fear –so intense, in fact, that I started retreating upstairs before deciding I was being an idiot.

Again, I moved down the stairs and felt a “presence”.  Again I retreated upstairs. 

I said nothing and on my next visit decided that I was not going to be put off from going downstairs by irrational fear.  The same sense of fear was there but in  the length of corridor between the bathroom and the back garden door the sensation was stronger.  I stood for a few minutes before slowly returning upstairs.

The only intimation I had that something might be odd was when my sister decided to visit the bathroom and her partner said out loud: ”Oh, she’s going to be brave and go down there alone!”   I let that go.  On the next visit we walked down the stairs to get to the back garden and my sister rushed past the bathroom saying that she was sure it was haunted.  After making a joke I asked why?

It seems that an old woman who lived in the house before had drowned herself in the bath.  When I asked at what point she had been told of the death and when she had first felt the sensation the answer was a quick “months after we moved in and
a long time after sensing it”.

I did check and, yes,an old woman had drowned in the house and the house had not been easy for people to live in –people had moved in and out.  Whatever the sensation was though, it was not proof of ghosts just a very interesting experience.

What I do know is that both my mother and I got “butterflies” in the stomach whenever we drove over a certain point in a road we frequently used.  It was only when I jokingly said “hang on to your stomachs” one day that I discovered she also got the sensation.  A friend in the local water board checked for me and learnt that there was an old underground stream at the point in question.

Suicides and breakdowns often increase prior to thunder storms due to changes in the electromagnetic field.  As a child in Germany, and later on in life, everyone knew that if I uncharacteristically fell asleep during the day a storm was on its way.  It was infallible.  As I’ve gotten older I tend not to fall to sleep but get plenty of warning of even non forcasted storms.

 Even the objects moving might have a natural explanation and there were underground streams in the old St Werburgh’s house.  

So,like the Church,I’m still not decided…but I’d dearly love to see a genuine ghost!


Orb photographs. The phenomena of "Rods" and "Orbs" only exploded onto the scene with the advent of digital cameras and it was shocking to see some allegedly 'expert' people who earned their livings with cameras announce that they could offer no explanation for "orb" photographs.

Digital cameras are nothing like the old film cameras.  Digital cameras pick up far more information per image and record it faster.  "Rods" are nothing more than insects.  If you think "rods" are some form of unknown paranormal life then you are fooling yourself -though there are people still making money out of exploiting this.

"Orbs" are not manifestations of spirit energy. Having viewed so much footage of orbs shown as evidence by TV shows it is clear that dust and even insects, spiders web and so on are the main culprits.

My photographs are perfect examples. Five minutes before I had changed the cat litter tray and there was no visible dust from the Fuller's Earth. With lights off I waited and then took photographs using the camera flash. Orbs.  So many I was a little surprised but you can clearly see that these are dust particles.

If you check out these enlargements you can clearly see where the camera flash caught them and the dust molecules making them up.

Now, here is the thing: "orbs" do exist.  I have a note made after talking to an artist I knew.  His mother had gone downstairs one night and seen a couple of "coloured orbs" come out of the floor. Another friend reported how his then girlfriend screamed out one evening from the top of the stairs -and he saw the then moving, fading orbs of light that had, apparently, appeared out of thin air.

Historically there are a good few, some more dramatic, such cases that are little known about. I believe that this phenomenon is far more common than we might think.  It has nothing to do with ghosts but the explanation -fully referenced and backed up by examples- will have to wait until I, one day, complete my re-writing of Grey Book: The Report On Unidentified Flying Objects. And note that what was seen in the two incidents referred to were not explainable as dust particles, insercts or by other mundane means.