Thursday, 26 April 2012

Britain's Last Prosecution for Witchcraft

The last woman ever to be charged under the Witchcraft Act in the UK was a medium named Helen Duncan. The crime under this act was not so much witchcraft itself, but having falsely claimed superhuman powers that did not come from God. She was found guilty of this crime and imprisoned, despite having produced startling evidence of her genuine psychic abilities during her career as a medium. The most convincing example of this occurred during the troubled days of the Second World War.

It is reported that, during one of her séances, Duncan appeared to bring forth the spirit of a sailor who had died while serving in the Royal Navy. The serviceman, who bore the words HMS Barham on his hat, told the assembled people that the ship had been sunk while in combat with the enemy several days earlier. At that time, however, it was officially denied that the vessel had been sunk. Only later was the truth admitted, the ship had been sunk exactly as Duncan had revealed. The government had kept the facts secret in an attempt to fool the Germans.

Later that year, Duncan came under the scrutiny of the law. Fellow spiritualists have since alleged that this was due to the authorities’ concerns over the possible risk to military security posed by her extraordinary powers. Police arrived at one of her séances, interrupting proceedings and searching the scene. Although they found nothing, she was nevertheless brought to court, where a variety of fraud charges were levelled against her.

In a move that caused some consternation among the public, and outrage among Duncan’s community of fellow spiritualists, Duncan was prosecuted under the Witchcraft Act of 1735, and imprisoned. The fact that the authorities were willing to use such an outdated and draconian law suggests a sense of desperation on their part, or at least an ulterior motive. Interestingly, in 1951, the Witchcraft Act was repealed and replaced with the more modern and specific Fraudulent Mediums Act - almost certainly as a direct result of the Duncan prosecution.

Once freed from jail, Duncan immediately began working as a medium once more. Yet her involvement with the police was not over, as in 1956 they again raided her séance in Nottingham while she was in a deep trance. She seemed to react very badly from the shock of being interrupted while in this state, and a doctor had to be called to treat her. Within five weeks of the raid, she was dead.

To this day, there is a campaign to clear the name of Helen Duncan among the spiritualist community, who are enraged by the way she was treated and by the nature of her untimely death.

Buy the paperback HERE

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The events of 1958 propelled the Sasquatch, or Bigfoot, in the World’s headlines. They unfolded with ever increasing speed to an astonished and bewildered public that found itself torn between excitement and scepticism. The fact that the stories got such wide coverage was partly due to the fact that reports about the Yeti had been filling the international news media for some years. Cryptozoology – though the word had not yet really caught on – was an acceptable topic for coverage. It was also due to the dramatic and very photogenic evidence that was produced. Any reporter will confirm that a good photo will “give legs” to a story and ensure that it continues to run, while the same story without a photo would soon die down and lose public interest.

The trail of events actually began in 1957 when work began on building a road through the Bluff Creek area of northern California that was designed to aid the logging industry by opening the region up to heavy machinery. The head of the firm hired to do the job was Ray Wallace, who had his brother Wilbur as one of the team foremen handling the actual workteam tasked with clearing a flat roadbed through the rugged and densely forested terrain. The Wallace company was an established construction outfit in the area and was running more than one project.

With hindsight workmen at a Wallace site near Mad River remembered that in March 1958 they found some strange tracks. Nobody could recall exactly what they looked like, and at least one man said that they were bear tracks while another said that they were faked by some unidentified prankster who wanted to spook the workmen. At this distance in time it is impossible to state anything definitive about this event, except that it was odd but quickly dismissed at the time. It is only later events that have given it any importance.

On 3 August the workmen on the Bluff Creek Road turned up for work to find some of their equipment disturbed. A spare tire weighing around 700lb had been rolled about, causing the men to wonder who or what had been interfering. On 27 August the workmen found that the site had again been visited by something odd overnight, but this time it had left footprints.

from SASQUATCH by Rupert Matthews. Buy it on Amazon HERE

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The Wolski Alien Abduction Case

No other facet of the entire Alien Encounters enigma has attracted more attention in recent years than that of abduction. The nightmarish quality of the reports makes these stories perhaps the most dramatic and intense Alien Encounters yet reported. Although the experiences reported vary a great deal, they nearly all fit into a definite pattern that has potentially disturbing implications.

One unusual case that forms a sort of bridge between the encounters that we have studied so far and the Alien Abduction proper is that of Jan Wolski, a 71 year old Polish farmer. One morning in the summer of 1978 Wolski was driving his horse-drawn cart through a wood near his home when he saw ahead of him two small humanoids.

The beings were about four feet tall and very slender in build. They were dressed in a tight fitting one-piece outfit of a silver-grey colour. Their heads were larger than a human’s would have been in proportion and had large, almond-shaped eyes of a very dark colour. The ears and nose were very small and the mouth little more than a slit. Bizarrely, they were bouncing along as if their shoes contained hidden springs.

When Wolski came closer, the two creatures noticed him and bounded over to sit up on the cart. One of them pointed forward along the lane, seemingly indicating Wolski to continue. The two beings then chatted to each other in a language that Wolski did not understand. He did, however, get the very strong impression that the beings were in a jovial and happy mood. After a few minutes the cart entered a clearing and the two beings jumped down.

They began bounding off toward a UFO that was hovering some feet above the clearing. The object was white and shaped rather like a house, with a pitched roof like that of a barn. At each corner were cylindrical objects from which projected vertical black poles topped by spinning spiral objects. A loud and intense humming sound was filling the air. As Wolski watched a black box-like object began descending from the UFO on four cables.

One of the humanoids then turned to Wolski and beckoned him over. Since he had got no impression of hostile intent, Wolski climbed down from his cart and walked across the clearing to the UFO. The being then gestured for him to enter the box, which he did. The box then ascended into the UFO.

Stepping out of the box, Wolski found himself inside a very gloomy room. There were two large tubes extending from one side of the UFO interior to the other, and a number of rods in the floor that Wolski took to be controls. Also on the floor were a dozen or so birds, apparently paralysed or dead.

One of the ufonauts indicated by hand signals that Wolski should undress, which he did. The aliens then studied Wolski visually and passed what seemed to be scanners over his body. He was then instructed to get dressed again and was shown back to the box-like lift apparatus. The lift descended with Wolski and the two ufonauts in it.

As Wolski left the lift he thought that he should bid his odd companions a polite goodbye, so he turned to bow and doff his cap. The aliens bowed in return, then the lift went up back into the UFO. The UFO then rose slowly up into the air before departing at high speed.

The Wolski encounter is interesting. In many ways it resembles an alien contact of the type we have seen already. He meets a UFO and its crew, is given a tour of the UFO and then allowed to leave. Like some Trickster ufonauts, the beings Wolski encountered had an interest in local wildlife, as shown by the birds on the floor. However, the encounter also has elements of an abduction experience about it. Wolski was undressed and subjected to a physical examination, albeit of a relatively brief and non-invasive nature.

Perhaps crucially, the beings Wolski met match very closely the description of the beings known to researchers as Greys. It is these Greys that have been involved in the vast majority of abductions.

from ALIEN ENCOUNTERS by Rupert Matthews
Buy the paperback HERE
Buy the ebook HERE

Saturday, 14 April 2012

UFO - Government cover ups?

An aspect of the UFO experience that has been of increasing importance in recent years are the stories and allegations of government cover ups and deliberate lies.

Undoubtedly the governments of several nations have set out to mislead the public over UFOs. They have dismissed sightings without any real evidence, have sought to discredit witnesses and have generally undermined research into the subject. Although some governments, that of the USA and UK in particular, have recently released documents that were previously kept secret and have made efforts to explain their previous clandestine activities in terms of Cold War suspicions, it is clear that many other documents remain classified and out of sight of the public.

Several theories have been advanced to account for the evidence of government secrecy. The starting point for most of these are the reports of UFO crashes of the later 1940s and early 1950s. The Roswell Crash of July 1947 is the best known of these alleged events. There is enough evidence relating to the Roswell Crash to indicate that something strange did come down into the desert. The Invasion Hypothesis holds that it was an alien spacecraft, and that the dead crew were inside it.

Opinion among UFO researchers is more divided over the Aztec Crash, the Paradise Valley Crash, the Laredo Crash and others. Some believe that most if not all of these events were real UFO crashes. Under this scenario it is thought that there was a clandestine war going on between the USAF and the mysterious intruders. The reported loss of several aircraft and UFOs in a short period of time would indicate that some sort of hostile action was taking place. That the series of crashes ended in the early 1950s would indicate that the hostilities ended.

Other researchers view the rash of poorly documented UFO crashes quite differently. They see the rash of reports, all made with little supporting evidence, as signs of a cover up. This scenario envisages the Roswell Crash as being the only genuine event that saw the USAF retrieve a crashed UFO and its crew. The decision was then made by the USAF high command that it would be almost impossible to keep such an event entirely out of the public view, especially as a press release had been issued from the base before the news black out was imposed.

The false stories of crashes elsewhere were therefore concocted and spread as a smokescreen. The USAF could therefore dismiss the reports of the Roswell Crash on the grounds that the other crash reports had all turned out to be bogus, implying that the Roswell Crash was no different.


Thursday, 12 April 2012

NEW BOOK - Puss in Boots

My friend Barbara Hayes has a new book out.

A retelling of the classic fairy tale for 21st century youngsters by a master storyteller. 

We are all familiar with Puss in Boots, of course, but there is a lot more to him than a pair of boots. What about the hungry snake or the rabbits? The story as we usually hear it today is a very much shortened version of the original.

Fairy Stories have been told for hundreds and hundreds of years. No one really knows when they started or who first wrote them  - or told them I expect. They probably started before many people could read or write.

Anyway they have been told and retold and everyone who tells them alters them a little bit to suit themselves or to please the people listening.
So Grandma Chatterbox when she was younger (which was a long time ago) went round and about and over the hills and far away searching for the oldest versions of Fairy Tales which she could find.

So now Grandma Chatterbox is going to tell you Fairy Stories as close to the oldest versions that she can get. After all it is part of every child’s education to know all the traditional tales.

Puss in Boots was originally a French folk tale, written down by Charles Perrault in 1695.

Grandma Chatterbox just loves the old stories, and simply adores telling them to young children. The vocabularly and grammar in these stories is specially adapted to be suitable to younger children. When your children get a little bit older and start to learn to read you will find that the vocabulary contains words that they will be learning. Increase the type size on your tablet or other device and you can read along with your children.

So, are you ready for a story? Good, then I will begin...

* Dedicated FaceBook page for the Crandma Chatterbox ebooks is HERE

You can buy the Kindle version of the ebook HERE

You can buy other ebook format versions HERE

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Explanations for the Roswell Crash?

The sceptical researchers then turned to reports of alien bodies. Assuming that the eyewitnesses who reported seeing dead aliens had not been talking about July 1947, but had only placed their memory at that time in response to the excitement generated by the Roswell Incident, the researchers looked for events at around that time that might explain the reports.

They noted that most of the reports had certain features in common. The events generally featured a craft that had apparently crashed and which contained aliens. The aliens were usually said to be dead, lifeless and not moving. The the aliens were said to be humanoid in shape, but not entirely human in appearance. Several reports said the humanoids had only three fingers, or lacked a thumb. The aliens were also said to be bald or hairless and to be dressed in tight-fitting, one-piece outfits. Quite often the bodies were said to be found by and hurriedly retrieved by military personnel arriving in jeeps or small trucks. The witnesses seemed to place the wrecks at two sites, one on the Plains of San Agustin near Socorro and a second to the north of Roswell.

It did not take the researchers long to realise that the reported crashed craft and alien bodies were said to have come down within 100 miles of the White Sands Proving Ground. In the 1940s and 1950s White Sands was the site used by the USAF for test launches of experimental rockets, aircraft and other flying objects of many different types. Some of these were of very unconventional design and certainly did not resemble a conventional aircraft of the time. Several of them could, especially if mangled by a crash, fit the description given of the supposed crashed alien spacecraft.

The presence of alien bodies at first seemed more of a challenge to explain. However, it soon emerged that among the top secret experiments carried out at White Sands were some that would today be viewed as distasteful and probably immoral. These involved strapping chimpanzees and monkeys into small compartments inside rockets or aboard experimental aircraft, then firing them off into the air. The unfortunate animals were attached to monitors that recorded the physical effects on them of being sent aloft in such extreme circumstances. Inevitably many of the animals perished, often in conditions of great pain and distress. It was all in the name of scientific advance and at the time was considered perfectly acceptable by the scientists doing the work.

The report, however, concluded that none of these White Sands launches could have explained the reports of a crashed alien spacecraft. The reason for this was that, according to the official records of White Sands, none of their launches had come down either at San Agustin nor near Roswell. The records showed that every single launch had either come down within the vast area covered by White Sands itself, or had been successfully destroyed in the air by the on board self-destruct devices. These were always fitted so that if a device did go off course it could be destroyed before it came down to cause damage to civilian property or expose the secrets on board to to the prying eyes of Communist agents thought to be in the area.

from ROSWELL by Rupert Matthews. You can buy your copy HERE

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The Rosenheim Poltergeist Arrives

The poltergeist that struck the office of a Bavarian lawyer in 1967 was to take this ability to mess about with modern devices to a new level.

As so often, the Rosenheim visitation began fairly quietly. Herr Adam realised that something was wrong at his offices at 13 Konigstrasse in the spring when several telephone calls were cut off. Then the phones began to ring when nobody was calling. Herr Adam called in the engineers when all the phones rang at once, but the lines were all dead. Working in the office at the time were Herr Adam, a manager named Johannes Englehard, two clerks  - Gustel Huber and Anne-Marie Schneider - and a part time junior named Frau Bielmeier,

First on the scene was an engineer from Siemens, who had installed the office equipment. He found nothing wrong, but the malfunctions continued. The engineer returned and again found nothing wrong, but he replaced all the telephonic equipment. When the new equipment malfunctioned as well, Siemens suggested that the fault might be with the external Post Office lines. The Post Office could find nothing wrong either, but as the problems continued they not only replaced the external lines and the Siemen’s equipment but also installed a meter that could record all calls made in or out, together with the times they were made.

On 5 October the meter sprang into life recording an outgoing call even though nobody in the office was on the phone at the time. Two weeks later the same thing happened again. On this second occasion a Dr Schmidt was visiting the office and signed his account of the event for Herr Adam to show the Post Office.

The Post Office then produced the log of calls recorded by the meter over the previous 5 weeks. This showed hundreds of call made to numbers that Herr Adam and his staff denied making. In particular there were 600 calls to 0119, the speaking clock. The Post Office declared that all the calls recorded were genuine, had been dialled from the Adams office and presented Herr Adams with a huge bill. Herr Adams was furious. He studied the list of calls and found that on 20 October 1967 the speaking clock had been dialled 46 times in just 15 minutes. Given the mechanical dialling mechanism of the phones in the office, dialling 0119 would take 17 seconds, so it was physically impossible for anyone to dial the clock so often in such a short time. The Post Office refused to listen and demanded payment of the bill.

Herr Adam refused. The Post Office took away all the phones except one that had a lock on it, with only Herr Adam having a key. The mystery calls continued to be made. But the strange manifestations soon escalated.