Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Some Wayside Spooks

The Bridge at Eardisland
The lane that runs from Hereford to Weobley goes passed the gates of Wormsley Grange. It is around these gates that two imposing spectres are to be seen. They appear sometimes together and at other times separately.

The first phantom is that of a pretty young lady dressed in a long silk gown that seems to place her in the late 18th century. She wears a beautiful jewelled necklace and her fingers are heavy with rings. The second ghost is that of a tall gentleman dressed all in black and wearing a tall hat with a narrow brim. The ghosts linger by the gates, then turn away from the road to walk up to the house.

Although nobody seems to know who these ghosts are, it is widely believed that they can be seen only by those born between 11pm and 1am, that is around the time of midnight. An odd pair, it must be said.

Altogether more straightforward in a ghostly sense is the lady who rides her horse along the B4362 near Yarpole. She rides a prancing grey mount which trots along the centre of the road to the consternation of motorists who come across her suddenly. Some say that in the 19th century she was exorcised into Haugh Pool, but if so then she must have overcome the powers of the clergy to return to her old haunts.

The bridge that carries the lane out of the charming village of Eardisland crosses the tranquil River Arrow. The bridge is said to be haunted by some phantom of awesome power. This ghost, it is claimed, can cause horses to bolt, cars to break down and pedestrians to flee in blind panic. Perhaps fortunately it has not been encountered for some time.

Another haunted bridge is that which crosses the River Monnow from Kentchurch to Llangua, in Wales. The ghosts that are seen here are dancing their way over the bridge. They are described as being the phantoms of half a dozen finely dressed gentlemen accompanied by an equal number of beautiful ladies. Others think that these apparitions are fairy folk. Either way, it is probably best not to interfere with them.

Friday, 24 June 2011

A ghost with a message

Famously enigmatic is the message from the ghost at the Black Horse Inn, also in Cirencester (Gloucestershire) at Castle Street. Whether or not this hotel is still haunted is a moot point, though it was long famous for having the most active and startling ghost in Cirencester. This troublesome spectre was the phantom of an elderly lady, dressed in the fashions of the early 19th century. Though nobody ever accused her of being malicious, she was a very definite nuisance. She would wander into bedrooms when gentlemen were undressed. Confront ladies on the staircase and refuse to give way. And the occasions were beyond counting when she came from nowhere to startle guests who had locked their rooms for the night.

In 1933 the then landlord decided that the ghost had to go. He called in a local clergyman who was known to be sympathetic to those plagued by the unexplained and asked for an exorcism. Taking no chances, the landlord shut the inn for the evening and showed the vicar up to one of the bedrooms most frequently troubled by the phantom.

The old lady was clearly unimpressed by being exorcised. She appeared in the room as the ceremony got under way and seemed to be in a frightful temper. Unable to stop proceedings she moved despairingly to the window and gesticulated frantically at the glass.

When the exorcism was over, the curious landlord went over to the window beside which his resident ghost had vanished. Cut deeply into the glass was a single word: “James”. Clearly the ghost was there because of somebody of that name, but who he was and why she felt compelled to remain at the Black Horse she did not have time to engrave.

Strangely the ghost has begun to be seen at the Black Horse again. She seems to have first reappeared in 1999, with guests reporting an oddly dressed old lady upstairs. Since then she has been seen infrequently, but quite clearly. Whatever business she has with the mysterious James is obviously important.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Mystery of Yonaguni

In 1985, a discovery was made in Japan that still baffles the scientific community today. A Japanese dive tour operator, Kihachiro Aratake, strayed from his regular area into the waters off Yonaguni Island, near Okinawa. About 30m beneath the surface, he found a strange formation which, on further examination, appeared to be a man-made pyramid.

Ever since this date, the Yonaguni finding has been a source of immense controversy. Experts are unable to agree upon whether it is actually

a man-made structure at all, or simply a remarkable natural formation. If it can be confirmed to be man-made, it will undoubtedly revolutionize the way in which the history of our own species is viewed.

Scientists agree that this area of coastline became submerged by the rising oceans at least 10,000 years ago. Following the end of the last Ice Age, there was a huge global thaw that altered the world immeasurably and, over time, sea levels are believed to have risen by up to 30m. This means that any civilization in place at that time would have been destroyed, engulfed by the rising waters, with all traces of it remaining hidden to this day.

Furthermore, it is known that human civilizations have thrived on coastlines for thousands of years, because the sea is not only an excellent source of food, but also facilitates important activities such as trading and transport. Yonaguni would, therefore, have been a likely location for a settlement to arise. Such a civilization would, however, have pre-dated all known cultures by thousands of years, since the oldest known city is believed to be Sumeria in Mesopotamia, which dates back to around 5,000 years ago. To double the accepted timescale of human development is to take a drastic leap. This, however, is not impossible, especially if there is real evidence to support it, as Yonaguni might prove to be.

Perplexing scientists still further is the fact that similarities have been noted between the architecture that appears to exist at Yonaguni and that which can be found above the sea on the coast of Peru.

Yet even the oldest of these Peruvian structures, built by the Moche people, are at the most 2,000 years old, leaving an inexplicable gap of many millennia.

Further controversy has arisen over the actual appearance of the Yonaguni structure. Underwater photographs of the site appear to show the presence of ramps, terraces and steps. While American geologists argue that these are nothing more than natural formations, Japanese scientists have claimed that tool markings can be found along the structure, suggesting that it might have been tampered with.

One person, however, has seemingly taken both sides of the argument, asserting that the site is both natural and man-made. Dr Robert M. Schoch, a geologist who made frequent dives to the site, actually suggested that the majority of the structure was indeed a natural formation, but one that had been chosen and modified by humans, in a process known as ‘terra-forming’. The discovery of what appeared to be a small staircase on the site was prime evidence of such modification.

The discovery of structures beneath the sea always generates intrigue and excitement, with people proclaiming that the lost city of Atlantis has been uncovered. However, the location of Yonaguni means that it is unlikely to been Atlantis. Rather, it would seem to have closer parallels to the lost continents of Mu or Lemuria, as both were said to exist in the region of Asia, spanning the Pacific and Indian oceans respectively.

Although the comparatively modern science of tectonics has largely discredited the notion that there were ever ‘lost continents’, many believe that they did, in fact, exist. Lemuria and Mu are supposed to have been destroyed by immense natural disasters that engulfed the continents. It is not impossible that ancient myths telling of the demise of whole civilizations have become altered and enhanced over time to encompass the destruction of entire continents. In this respect it could actually be possible that the end of the Yonaguni culture could have been mythologized or exaggerated into a story such as that surrounding Lemuria.

In drawing these parallels between Yonaguni and the mythical continents, the experts involved are hoping to advance the theory that there is a great lost culture of the Pacific. Tantalizing glimpses of such a culture are offered by the mysterious stone heads of Easter Island or the oral traditions of the Polynesian islands. Apparent similarities between Yonaguni and stone constructions on Hawaii and Tonga suggest a cultural bridge from pre-historic Japan to the coast of South America.

This theory also attempts to explain the similarities between many different cultures of the world, a large number of which shared a belief in astronomy and adopted the pyramid as a favoured type of construction. Some theorists, such as Graham Hancock, believe that this serves as evidence of an ancient seafaring culture that spread its wisdom around the globe. It is certain, however, that further proof will be required before the sceptical world of archaeology accepts such a drastic reinterpretation of man’s early history.

Perhaps, if the site around the pyramid is explored further, this evidence might be found after all. Or, if not, it is possible that proof could be located at other formations that have been discovered on the sea-bed close to the Japanese islands of Kerama and Chatan, and in the Straits of Taiwan. Now that technology is able to reveal more and more about global changes as a result of the Ice Age, it seems likely that further discoveries of this kind will be made in shallow coastal shelves around the world.

This offers us the exciting prospect of possible answers as to the nature of the origins of human civilization, but as always, each discovery is likely to raise further questions. Why, for example, has the pyramid been so evident in disparate cultures at different times of mankind’s history? The answer to this question looks set to remain one of the greatest mysteries of the ancient world.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Australian Yowie Reports

Thereafter the reports of the Yowie continued to be made in Australia, but in less detailed fashion. In 1930 Mr N. Hambly was near Wollongong, NSW, when he saw “a strange animal ... a wild bear”. In 1931 a girl called Molly saw “ a huge man with a funny head and long hair.” In 1933 Lola Irish was in the Megalong Valley of the Blue Mountains when she saw “a giant, hairy ape-man”. A couple of years later stockman Joe Carroll was riding out near Kempsey, NSW, when he saw an odd creature. “He was almost within 50 feet when he saw this creature about 5 feet tall with long hair and heavily built with long arms. When the creature saw him he got up from a sitting position and walked away with a steady gait.”

On 7 August 1970 Rex Gilroy was resting in a Bush area near Katoomba when he saw what he took to be a hairy, human-like creature walk across a clearing only a few feet away from him. Gilroy then began looking into Yowie reports and soon became convinced that a species of giant ape-men lived in the Blue Mountains. He established a natural history museum and spent his time trying to prove his claims. His work was not always very well organised, and Gilroy did sometimes make claims that could be disproved, but he did succeed in establishing the Yowie as a subject for serious research by others interested in cryptozoology. That, in turn, made people more willing to make reports about encounters with the Yowie.

In 1976 Billy Southwell was resting late one evening in his cabin near Lake George, NSW, when his dog began barking excitedly. Southwell opened the door and stepped on to the porch. Standing at the end of the verandah was an “apey-like” creature about 5 feet 8 inches tall. It was heavy set and muscular with ginger-brown hair about 2 inches long over its body. The creature turned and fled as soon as Southwell appeared.

In May 1977 Geoff Nelson was driving near Taree, NSW, when he saw a human-shaped beast well over 6 feet tall and covered in hair bound into the road from his right, run across the road and leap over a fence to disappear into woodland. In August the same year John Croker was riding a motorbike along a road near Talbingo, NSW, when he saw in the woods a human-shaped, hair covered figure about 9 feet tall. He rode off at speed, but returned later with companions. The creature had gone, but there were broken twigs and brush to show that something large had been there.

Friday, 17 June 2011

What is the truth about flying saucers?

The Truth, so the saying has it, is Out There.

But what is the truth and, more specifically what are people reporting when they witness a UFO or alien encounter. Therein lies one of the central problems of the entire UFO and Alien Encounter enigma. We are, by and large, dealing with what people report that they have seen and what has happened to them. Nobody has ever publicly produced an alien being or an alien spacecraft. There are occasional marks left by UFOs and aliens in passing, but no direct and incontrovertible evidence.

It is also important to recognise that the UFO experience is not entirely new. It was Kenneth Arnold’s sighting in 1947 and the widespread publicity it gained that pushed UFOs, or flying saucers as they were then known, into the public arena. But reports of UFOs and ufonauts have been around for centuries. These pre-1947 reports were generally interpreted as sightings of fairies, goblins, trolls or angels. Those inclined to believe in such entities took the reports as fact, those who did not dismissed them. Clearly whatever the truth may be, it has been around for a very long time.

Probably the most productive first step is to be clear over what we are talking about. As we have seen in the course of this book, there are several inter-related phenomena to be covered.

In the first instance there are flying objects that seem to be neither natural nor man-made. There is no acknowledged, rational explanation for these flying objects, which generally go by the name of Unidentified Flying Object, or UFO. These objects are sometimes seen during the day, sometimes at night. The objects may be picked up on radar, but often are not. Some of these objects are seen at remarkably close quarters and a few have a direct and observable impact on their surroundings.

Seen in connection with some of these objects are a variety of apparently intelligent life forms. Most of these are humanoid in form - having two arms, two legs and one head - but a few are not. Sometimes these entities ignore the humans who see them, sometimes they react. On a few occasions the creatures are reported to communicate with the humans who encounter them. In the Alien Abduction experience the communications are not always pleasant and the results for the humans can be distressing in the extreme.

There is nothing to prove that all these phenomena are related to each other. The strange lights seen in the sky at night are not necessarily the same things as the discs and other UFOs seen by daylight. Nor is it certain that all the flying objects contain life forms. Nor is it certain that the entities that arrive in UFOs are those that carry out abductions.

The various elements to the enigma have become linked largely because they seem to be so. But when evaluating the evidence it is as well to keep in mind that we might well be dealing with two, three or even more quite distinct phenomena.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Are there aliens in the Bible?

Rather fuller in detail, because they were believed to be of great importance, are those incidents that the witness took to be an encounter with the gods, demons or other supernatural entities.

The one that is quoted more often than any other is the meeting between the Hebrew prophet Ezekiel and God that took place on the he banks of the River Chebar in 592bc. In Chapter 1 of the Book of Ezekiel in the Bible, the prophet records:

“And I looked and behold a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud and a fire infolding itself and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber out of the midst of the fire. Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man and every one had four faces and every one had four wings. And their feet were straight feet, and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides and they four had their faces and their wings. Their wings were joined one to another, they turned not when they went, they went every one straight forward. And their wings were stretched upward, two wings of every one were joined one to another and two covered their bodies. And they went every one straight forward, whither the spirit was to go they went and they turned not when they went. As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire and like the appearance of lamps. It went up and down among the living creatures and the fire was bright and out of the fire went forth lightning.

“Behold one wheel upon the earth. The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl and they four had one likeness and their appearance was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. When they went, they went upon their four sides and they turned not when they went. As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful and their rings were full of eyes round about them four.

“And when they went I heard the noise of their wings like the noise of great waters, as the noise of a host.”

Ezekiel goes on to give even more detail, including what sounds like a glass dome over the wheels, before going on to explain that this bizarre and startling apparition was “the likeness of the glory of the Lord.” Ezekiel goes on to record that God had spoken to him passing on a message of doom and catastrophe to be visited upon the Israelites for their wickedness.

Quite clearly Ezekiel was trying to describe something that he had seen which had made a massive impact upon him, but which he had not fully understood. He himself interpreted it as being a sign from God. Some modern Ufologists have interpreted it as being a UFO and have sought to get behind Ezekiel’s words to reconstruct what it was that he saw. The work of NASA rocket designer J.F. Blumrich in producing a mechanical flying machine that matches Ezekiel’s description is particularly persuasive.

It has also been pointed out that some of the appearance and behaviour of God and his angels, as recorded in the early books of the Bible, is distinctly un-Godlike.

When God and two angels visit Abraham at Mamre, as recorded in the book of Genesis, they appear as three perfectly normal - though very handsome - men. The foursome then sat down and ate a meal of roasted veal cooked by Abraham. Sitting down to a hearty meal might, some modern researchers say, be appropriate behaviour for an alien at the end of a long journey but is hardly fitting for an omnipotent deity.

Other modern writers have gone further, suggesting that most if not all early deities were, in fact, aliens. It must be admitted that the antics of many pagan deities seem to be both ungodly in their emotions and pettiness as well as very physical. It is also pointed out that a large number of them seem to need mechanical devices to carry out their divine powers. They need chariots to fly, staffs to unleash destruction or helmets to be able to see afar. All of this has been taken by some writers as evidence that these “gods” were in fact very mortal beings equipped with highly advanced technology. The most obvious identification for these figures would be that they were aliens visiting Earth and should, therefore, be linked to modern reports of UFOs and their occupants.

The most outspoken advocates of this theory of ancient aliens have been the Swiss writer Erich von Daniken and Britain’s Brinsley le Poer Trench, better known outside of paranormal circles by his title of Lord Clancarty. Both writers were most active in the 1960s and 1970s, when their ideas gained wide acceptance among many members of the public.


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Roswell in 1947

Whatever it was that happened at Roswell took place in the summer of 1947. The world was a very different place sixty odd years ago. World War II had ended only two years earlier, so people were still trying to adjust to peace and to the new shape of the world. People alive then knew things and took things for granted that today would seem odd or peculiar. Similarly there was a lot that we now accept as commonplace that would have seemed quite bizarre to a resident of a middle American town like Roswell in 1947.

Before embarking on a study of what did or did not happen at Roswell that summer, it is worth spending a bit of time reviewing the world as it appeared from Roswell at that time. The way in which the people of that town reacted to the events that unfolded that summer had much to do with how the world seemed to them. Modern people would probably react quite differently, and the views and knowledge of the people of the time needs to be borne constantly in mind when reviewing the evidence. A person’s behaviour that might strike us as odd or suspicious might have been perfectly natural back then.

The first thing to bear in mind is that Roswell was dominated by the nearby base of the United States Army Air Force (USAAF). At this date the air force was still officially part of the United States Army, as it had been for decades past. That would change before the end of 1947 when the United States Air Force (USAF) as born. Of course, the new organisation was staffed by all the same men and women who had formed the USAAF. They were working on the same bases and doing the same jobs. However, there was a period of some months when administrative arrangements were changing over when some of the support staff and higher echelons of command were in a state of flux. It was at this time, it is alleged, that some of the files relating to what had been the Roswell Army Air Force (RAAF) base but was now the Roswell Air Force (RAF) base got lost. 

In itself, Roswell was a fairly typical small town of the date and place. It’s location in southeastern New Mexico put it in a somewhat remote area. The surrounding land was dominated by dry scrubland with intermittent pastures that made arable farming impossible, but was good territory for livestock. Cattle roamed widely over the landscape, herded by a small number of ranch hands and cowboys. The open country was very sparsely populated, with the more arid areas barely being visited by humans at all.

Many of the jobs in Roswell depended on the presence of the military base. Anything likely to affect the base would affect the town, so the people may have been more interested in international or military events than did residents of other small towns. This is important as there were two events unfolding in the background that would have been known to all residents of Roswell and may well have affected their reactions to what happened.  

Monday, 6 June 2011

The Flying Peaches of Shreveport

Rather similar was the case of the “flying peaches of Shreveport” which occurred on 12 July 1961. Three builders were repairing the roof of a house when suddenly they came under bombardment from a hail of what they took to be golfballs. The objects were small, round and hurt when they hit. The builders looked around expecting to see a gang of teenagers throwing golfballs, but could see nobody. The balls seemed to be falling vertically down from a cloudy sky. They retreated from the roof and took shelter. The bombardment continued for about five minutes. When it stopped the workmen ventured out and found that what they had thought were golfballs were, in fact, unripe peaches, green and hard. They collected up around 200 of them.

When the workmen reported the incident to the police, they suggested that the peaches had been scooped up from some nearby orchard by a strong gust of wind and then deposited on the hapless workmen. The story got into the local press, and a reporter contacted the US Weather Bureau for an explanation of how such a strong updraft could occur. The Bureau replied that such a weather event would be most unusual event. They studied the weather charts for Shreveport on the day concerned and announced that it had been a calm day without the conditions necessary for creating the sort of mini-tornado which alone could lift 200 peaches into the sky.

Again the single shower of peaches was all that occurred. The event did not progress into a poltergeist visitation.


Friday, 3 June 2011

The Beautiful Damsel of the Silent Pool, Surrey

Also unclear is the true nature of the beautiful damsel of the Silent Pool. This beauty spot lies just off the A25 a mile west of Shere and today has its own car park. This beautiful pool of crystal clear water nestles beneath towering trees at the foot of the Downs. It is a famously charming spot which tempts motorists passing on the A25 as much as it does the more energetic walkers on the North Downs Way, which runs along the crest of the hills half a mile to the north. The pure waters come from rain which falls on the North Downs and spends years soaking down through the chalk before striking a layer of impervious clay and being forced to the surface.

Elsewhere the springs form small streams, but here the waters are caught by a ridge of sandstone and form a delightful, tear-shaped pond. Sheltered by the trees and the hills, the spot is charmingly quiet. On occasion the birds and the breeze fall still and the Silent Pool truly lives up  to its name.

This peaceful scene is sometimes disturbed, local legend has it, by a most beautiful and mysterious figure. Splashing about in the pure waters is sometimes seen an attractive young lady. Entirely naked, the spirit washes herself and swims playfully before diving into the waters and disappearing from sight.

Who she might be is not clear. According to a version of the story first written down a century and a half ago, the beautiful young woman was a local peasant girl named Emma who lived here in the early 13th century. She was in the habit of bathing in the clear waters of the Silent Pool, but one day while she was bathing a nobleman rode by and saw her. Overcome with lust for the pretty farm girl, the nobleman splashed into the Silent Pool in an attempt to grab the girl and drag her ashore. Rather than give in to his decidedly improper advances, the girl waded into deeper water, slipped and drowned. The girl’s cries attracted her father who arrived too late to save his daughter, but in time to see the evil nobleman ride off.

Although this version of the girl’s tragic fate seems to be widely believed in the area, it is sadly untrue. The evil nobleman and his unwelcome advances were invented by the writer Martin Tupper in a short story he wrote in 1858. In this story, set in the early 13th century, the nobleman is identified as King John from a cap he dropped at the scene of his crime. The local priest takes the cap to Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was born nearby at Friday Street. Langton uses the evidence of the cap to sway the barons against King John. The King’s crime becomes the basis for the doctrine that nobody, not even the king, is above the law. This doctrine is then enshrined in Magna Carta by the outraged Langton and the barons.

A good story, but sadly it is nonsense. Langton was born in Lincolnshire, not Surrey, and he had nothing whatsoever to do with the vicar at Shere. Moreover, whatever motives the barons had for drawing up Magna Carta, the plight of a peasant girl was not among them. Nor is there any historical record of King John ever molesting a peasant girl - though in truth he did many shocking things. Tupper simply invented the tale and grafted it on to the local legend of the attractive phantom.

Which leaves us to wonder who the beautiful maiden of the Silent Pool actually is. She may indeed be a poor drowned local girl, but there is a more interesting theory. Water sources, such as the Silent Pool, were sacred to the beautiful water goddesses of the pagan past. It is clear that the more atmospheric the place – and the Silent Pool is nothing if not atmospheric – the more sacred the spring was considered. Could it be that the beautiful ghost of the Silent Pool is simply the half-forgotten memory of a powerful pagan goddess?

We know that before Christianity came to England the pagan English believed in not only the great gods, but also in a multitude of local spirits and paranormal entities. Natural landscape features each had their own minor deity or spirit to stand guard over them and care for their well being. Water features tended to attract beautiful young goddesses, so it is reasonable to assume that a water feature as noticeable as the Silent Pool would have been the home of such a lovely deity. Perhaps she lives there still.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The Sacred Arm of St Oswald

In 635 Northumbria faced a threat to its independence when the pagan King Cadwalla of Mercia led an army to invade and conquer. Northumbria was, at the time, in the hands of a young and untried prince named Oswald. Just before the two armies clashed, Oswald erected a wooden cross and ordered his entire army to kneel and pray for victory over the pagan. The battle was won and the site quickly renamed Heavenfield. The cross has since been replaced by a small chapel, open to the public most days.

Oswald soon became an ideal Christian ruler. One day he was sitting down to lunch with Bishop Aidan of Lindisfarne when the steward interrupted to say that a crowd of beggars was outside asking for food. He asked permission to send out the unwanted kitchen scraps. Oswald refused and instead ordered the steward to take the royal meal outside for the beggars, then added that the silver platter on which it was being served should be cut up and distributed as well. Aidan, later to be made a saint himself, was astonished at the generosity. He flung himself down on his knees, grabbed Oswald’s right hand and declared “May this hand never perish.”

Some years later Oswald had to face Cadwalla’s son and successor in battle at Oswestry, Shropshire. This time the victory went to the pagans. As he fought, Oswald was surrounded by his enemies. He lifted his arms to pray, but a savage blow from a pagan sword severed Oswald’s right arm at the shoulder. Another sliced off his head. When the Northumbrians got their dead king’s body back for burial they kept the head and arm to serve as religious relics. The head was put into the tomb of the great northern saint, St Cuthbert, while the arm was put in a silver casket and sent to Lindisfarne.

When the Viking wars began, the silver casket was opened and the holy arm of Oswald found to be as fresh and soft as it had been on the day it was interred. This was widely held to be a miracle and the arm was carried by monks away from Lindisfarne for safe keeping. It ended up at Bamburgh where it became the focus for pilgrimage. When King Henry VIII closed down the monasteries during the Protestant reformation of the 16th century, he also ordered the closure of chapels and reliquaries maintained by monasteries. The small chapel of Oswald’s arm was one of these. But when Henry’s soldiers came to take possession of the silver casket and the arm inside it, they found that both had gone missing along with the monk who looked after them. The monk had, it was said, taken the relic to a safe hiding place. Where that was nobody ever knew and neither monk nor sacred arm have ever been found. They are thought to remain still somewhere near Bamburgh.