Jenny Randles - The Unexplained - Great Mysteries of the 20th Century


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Jenny Randles - The Unexplained - Great Mysteries of the 20th Century

  1. 1. Great Mysteries of the 20th Century
  2. 2. the •UnexGreat Mysteries of the 20th Century JENNY R A ND L E S INDEX
  3. 3. First published in Great Britain in 1994 byAnaya Publishers Limited 3rd Floor, Strode House44-50 Osnaburgh Street London NWI 3NDText copyright© 1994 Jenny RandlesAll rights reserved. No part of this publication may bereproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted ,in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,photocopying, recording or otherwise, without theprior written permission of the copyright owner.British Library Cataloguing in Publication DataRandles, JennyThe Unexplained: Great Mysteries of the 20th Century I. Title 001.9ISBN 1-85470-178-9 (hardback only)ISBN 1-85470-086-3 (paperback only)Designed by Glynn PickerillDesign Production by The R & B PartnershipEdited by John GilbertPrinted and bound in PortugalCover photographs by Fortean Picture LibraryFrontispiece, of a medium producing ectoplasm in a1920 experiment, by Fortean Picture Library
  4. 4. CONTENTSINTRODUCTION 619��]9�9 rrhe New Centurv I 8191�[1919 Portents of Var 20ln�J19l9 rrhe Roaring rlventies 3619J�]9J9 A Shrinking rVorlcl 44194�JI949 Disaster and Recovery 52191�]1919 Alien Encounters 66196�]969 The Space Race 86197� ]979 Challenge of the Paranonnal I02198�]989 Society and the U ncxplained II4T�e 199�� �rhe Future Beckons I26an� onwar�... I3 8 Further Reading 139 Index I42 Acknowledgen1ents 144
  5. 5. INTRODUCTION D u ri ng the twe ntieth ce n t ury the s t ra n gest t hings have h appened bot h in the worl d s of scien ce and of parascience. So-called normal science has witnessed a revo lution so i m me n se as to equal or even surpass those pion eered by N e w to n a n d Galileo. vVe h ave reached upward and outward int o space ,DrJWII1g or the p robed the in terior of t h e a tom,Jersey Dev1l.Phrlacielphi<J f venrng discove red h idden rad iation s ,Bu/letrn. jdnudry 1909 revealed a ghost u niverse fil led wit h time-travel ling phantoms and created techn olog ical miracles u nforeseen even by the writers of science fictio n. The si n i s ter side to th ese achieve m e n ts is the un leash i n g of natu ral catastrophes and the forgi n g of weapons capable of ending life on Eart h . No sin gle ce n tury i n history can m atch this record of i nven t iven ess, with its unl i m ited poten tial for crea tion a n d destru ction. In t he wake of t h is o- � a l l o iJin � char<re u � by t he forces of ration alism has come a deluge of p a ran ormal p h e n o me n a I h a t seem s t o herald a ret u r n t o t h e distant age of s uperstition. Ve have been asked to believe in f�tiries and spacemen , we have sought f(Jr meaning ITJ
  6. 6. i n past lives a n d we have u sed com p u t ers to probet h e futu re . Our ocea n s h ave teetued with m o n sters,o u r fields h a ve been speckled wit h m y s te riouscirc les a n d our sk ies h ave been overflown bydazz l i n g fleets of U FOs. It seems ap propriate, as the cen tury draws to aclose, to review the logbook of the last h u ndred years,examining some of t hese remarkable even ts anddevelopments to see how t h i n gs may inter-relate. To t h i s end I h ave d evised a c h ro nol ogy of t e nm os t e x t raord i nary decades , descr ib i n g m a n y oft h e broa d trends a n d i n dividual mvsteries that Ih ave paralleled, a n d often o u t stripped , t h e realitiesof I�Kt a n d t h e l�mtasies of fiction . They h a vewoven t hei r way, l ike an i n visible threa d , through Sw John Hunt leading the Everest exped1tion of 1951 Thet h e a n n als of t h is lascinating H1malayas have been the scene of several alleged sight1ngs of theperiod to cre;:tle a tapestry of Abom1nable Snowman.awesome bea u t y o u ts h i n i n g ,a n yt h i n g i n t h e pages of t heAmbim1 Nights. So c l i m b aboard ou r m agiccarpet for a ride t h rough thet we n tieth century. V h oknows w h a t wonders w es h a l l confi·on t? ITJ
  7. 7. THE NEW CENTURY ; s t h e twe n t ie t h centu ry dawn ed , t h a n ks tofi_ Da rwi n s t h eo rv of evolu t ion, t he b i rt h ofpsych oanalysis as pion eered by S i gm u n d Freud a nd t h e e x pe r i m e n tal research of Anton Pavlov,science seemed dose t o creat i n g an ordered,predictable world peopled by aut o m ata: a godlessU n i verse w i t h n o s p i r i t, no soul and no aherlile . More encou rag i n g were the first l�1lteri n g steps �ravitv-free enviro n m e n t as sc i e n t is t s a n di n to a uaviators converted age-old dreams i nto real i t y. Yet, as t rad it io n al rel igion declined , t h e hu m a nspi rit rebel led. creat i n g n e w modes of e x p ressionf(:>r its i n ner worl d , as if to prove to sci ence t h a t allwas n ot qui t e as s i m ple as i t seemed. [JJ
  8. 8. 19�� Boxi n g Day. the t lu-ee m e n left i n charge had vanished. :o weapons had been 14 FEBRUARY touched a n d there was no trace of a distur­ bance. The last log entry by the men. dated T H E VAN I S H I NG AT H A N G I N G ROCK 15 December, referred to t he calmness of O n e oft he most astonishing disappearances t he sea after the ending of a s t ra n ge storm on record t ook place at Ha nging Rock, not renlrded twen t�· miles away, a n d men­ ncar : lclbournc, inoria, :ustralia. T h i s t io n ed t hat they were afraid, praying and w a s recorded i n 1 he book Pirnic at 1/anging allirmi n g that God is oYer all. Roth by Joan Lindsay (1967), a n d was also 19�1 t h e subject of a n cthcrcal and eerie 197 5 film of the same title by Peter eir. The book, although labelled a novel, is by impli­ JUNE cation based on Ctrt. It tells of a school AN EARLY CLOSE E N C O U N T E R party on a day outin g at the isolated beauty spot, a n d hm,· four teenage girls and a The first rcconlcd dose encounter of the female teacher vanished after setti n g off, i n third kind (or alien contact) occurred at sight o f m a n y colleagues. t o explore a rock Bournbrook, est ilidlands, England, when lace in the bush. One girl retur n e d in a an objefl like a hut was seen in a garden by slate of deep shock. Another, in an equallr a youth. It contained two slllall men. under 4 cat atonic rondit ion, was found a week lat er. feet tall, wearing khaki suits and helmets, one :either could explain what had occurred. of whom approached the wimess bd(lre The three missin g members of the part} rctuming i nside. The o�jefl ncated an clcr­ were llC cr found. A strange pink cloud trical glow around its base and took oil sky­ seen hm·ering near br reinforced the ward wit h a whooshing noise. supernatural ,·iew that ther had slipped 19�11 into anothct· d imen s ion or time. The eve n t strtL(·k a cl10rd deep in t h e psyche because of i t s diren rhallcnge to s(·icnti(i(· omn ipo­ 0 AUGUST tence. On the other hand, whereas manr of T I M E S L I P AT V E RSAILLES the people a n d plares did historically exist, the Joan Lin dsay noel rontains serious Two English srhoolteachcrs, A n n e :tuber­ errors of f;lct and no contemporary media ley a n d Eleanor Jourdain, were on holiday accounts refer to the vanishings. hen in France. Visitin g the grou n ds of the asked in 1977 if she had i nvented it all, the Palace of Versailles 011 a hot sun ny day, author replied, e nigmatically, that this was they claimed to have been projected more impossible to answe r because fact a n d fic­ than a century back in time. They came tion are so dosclv i n t ert wi ned. I across the Petit Trianon, the small chateau giYcn by Louis X1 to llarie-,ntoniette, as19�� it had been on 10 August 1792, the h is t oric day when the French royal family was MID-DECEMBER forced lo flee. The 1 wo women wa ndered pat hwaS that no longet· existed, saw THE L I G H T H O U S E D I SAPP EARAN C E people in old-fashioned clothi n g and even On G Dc(·ember, .Joseph :loore Jell for witnessed a woman busy pai nting who three weeks lcae from t he desolate Eilean stared them ti.t ll in t he face and bm·e t h e :lor ligh t house on the Flaunan I sles, west resemblance o f :laric-Antoinetle herself. of Lewis, Scotland. hen he returned o n Only f(lllowin g later isits to the scene. T H E N E W C ENT U R Y
  9. 9. Above: the Pet1t T nanon, Versailles. Below: Eleanor ]ourda1n and Anne MoberleyT H E N E W CE NTU R Y
  10. 10. when they noted that pathways they had momentum and remained constant trodden in 190 I had since anished, and throughout the rest of the century. The when subsequently researching the history slaughter or world wars and countless of the grounds, did they come to under­ bloody local conflicts brought many stand many of these eents. bereaved rush i ng to Spiritual ist churches The women stood by their story until for comfort. their deaths, despite sceptical claims that The real reason for this sun:ess was that, they had stumbled across a costume party while conventional religions called for Ctith (the existence of which was ne,·ei- verified). as a path toward solace, they had no way of They described a llat feel to the imagery combating the adance of science. Indeed, and other strange sensations typical of some sects hn.>ke away and attempted to more recent sl i ps through time: and some bring hack a p u ritanical way of life and to modern researchers think this is indeed restore literal belief in the truth of the Old what happened. Somehow they slid Testamelll stories that had by now been through the years or tuned into a memory severely eroded by rationalism. On the left by the Queen in the grounds of the other hand, Spiritual i s m olfen�d hard evi­ chateau. dence, albeit in the guise or m ediu m s pass­ ing on often ,·ague tittle-tattle about deadI�Ol relatives and friends. But for many that was sufficiently persuasie. The only answer science had was to cry cheat and, often without any proof of this T R I U M P H OF T H E S P I R I T assumption, to argue that people were As the century began, mysterious eents deluding themselves. Thm, at one and the such as these confirmed the iew of many same time, Spiritualism established a har­ ordinary people that science was mistaken rier that science, with all its might, could to presume that all things could be barely dent: and it offered hope to a world resoled. The scient ilic desire to proe the fast being stripped to its spiritual bones. soul redundant was matched by the increas­ Inevitably, as a consequence of this and ing belief in Spiritualism. the maxim that one could fool some people This mm·ement had begun in the eastern most or the time, charlatans cashed in. United States after simple messages, Phoney mediums sprang up all over the believed to come from beyond the grave, place. The new gadgetry of science, from were received by the controersial Fox sis­ photography to X-ray tubes, was hi-jacked ters in llydesille, 1:ew York. The belief for experiments in which dubious spirit that the dead were in another dimension images, floating clouds or ectoplasm (the and that contact with them was possible transient matter of the spirit world) and spawned both religious institutions and the other such doubtful practices became rif(·. Society f(>r Psychical Research. The latter, It was some time before Spiritualism was based in London, aimed to persuade scien­ able to set its own house in order and as a tists to study such reports, and like its reli­ consequence a growing rili developed gious counterpart, it was soon to spread between the popular hclie,·ers and the sci­ around the world. entific sceptics, who accused these gullible The religion of spirit messages, with folk of believing only because they wanted preachers known as mediums, proliferated to and not because the evidence dictated it. in the 1890s and was legally constituted This rift widened as the century progressed. into the Spiritualists National Union in :owadays, Spiritualism has waned 1902. The appeal of the mm·ement gained slightly, but it has also become big business. T H E N E W C E N T U RY
  11. 11. thanks to the install! celebri ty status belief tha t Spiri t u a lis m p rov id es f(u· soalllmtcd by TV. Doris Stokes, Doris Collins, many.St e phen OBrien and many others hm·e As to whether it is tru th or delusion, likebrought their min istrations to the world, all spiritual m atte r s t hroughout history,packi ng Tnnes such as the Sydn ey Opera that q uestion remains a maller or faith.llouse, theatres in London s est End, 19�4etc., and dra wing in enormous ratings forthe media. In response , scientific vigilantegroups such as CSICOP (Commillee for the SEPTEMBERScientific lm·es t igat i on or Claims of the THE LEA P I N G M ON ST E RParanormal) have launched themselves asguardia u s of rationalism, sniping away on Spri ng - he el ed Jack was a bizarre neatur ethe fringes of the s u pema t u ral. b r i ngi ng often re po rted i n Viet orian Lon d on d uringdown the occasio nal victim, hut largely fail­ the n i n eteenth cen t u ry. He h ad grown toing to penetrate the armour of hope and legendary status. With his grotesque f<Ke, ancl clad in a black cape, he would appa r­ en t ly leap out of nowhere ami allack people in the streets, often lea v i n g them wounded though not dead. His name derived ti·om h i s repu t ed abil i t y to jump huge distan ce s i n one bou nd . Although 1 here were isol ated sight ings in London even after World War Two, t he l a st pro m ine nt o n e was in Liver­ pool in I !JO-t when the fig u re was said to have jumped over a b u ildi n g in William I lenry St reet. llowever, research by scep ti c Paul lkgg revealed this as an e x agg eration of a true story of a religiou s zealot who claimed the devil was chasing hi m a n d who leapt d angerousl y from rooftop to rooftop to escape the att ent ions of the police and lire services. Legend has assoc i a t ed this spur io u sl�· with a mani fe st at ion of the archetypal Victorian monster. 19�� JANUARY I T H E B I N BROOK POLT E R G E I S T On e of 1 he most frighteni n g polt ergeist out­ breaks struck Binbrook Fa rm, in Lin­ colushire, England. Ohjects 1110ed around the room on t h e i r own, hundreds of chick­ ens were found ski n n ed and slaug h teredAbove and opposite: two 1mag1nat1ve popular rendenngs, from1877 and 1904, of Sp1ing-heeled Jack. noiselessly even after a guard had been I 111ou n ted, and m yst erious fires spra n g u p from nowhere. In o n e case a teenage se r -THE NEW CENTURY []]
  12. 12. On the tomb.stonc, "ith upraised arms and rnge In Cery feature,towered the terrific form of 5pring-11ecled Jnck. FrleZtr and Unk.4.stood transfixed; their glwstly h<1rdcn slippld slowly to the gross, but they remained gnpin;:-, tcr:l6r-struck. cn;:cance hud fallen I T H E N E W CEN T U R Y
  13. 13. ,·;utl ca u gh t ablate as she wa s sweeping the o f fire sell down t wo feelers toward the f l oor and was hospitalitcd with serious groun d at Ynysybwl. inju ries. The ii J( ide nts lasted t w o months I t was argued that some of the lights and then ceased as ra pidly as they began. were probabl y mispercep tions of the planet The case became a pro totype f()r future enus, t hen bright in the night sky, or allacks of this nat u re the world Oer. Opin­ meteor a c t ivit y , which was liule understood ion at llrst was that cil spirits were to at the time. In any c ve lll, the myst erio us blame, but this altered later to the para­ li ghts helped l ary Jones to circulate her scientific theory that some unknown b u t religio us message, and when t he y finally latent energy within a traumat ized vinim d i s a ppeared, her influ ence declined. leaked out and was somehow t ranslated Kevin lcCiure conducted detailed i nto de stmn i v e phys ical force. Science research into the maler and regards the m ai ntai n s that such cases arc mere como­ phenomenon as an i mportalll phase in the dence or f:thrication. de velo p meut of religious v isions- strong in Cat holic communities of I rcland, France Sp ain ,19�� and but rare outside. :lodern researchers, however, think that these lights JANUARY may be produced by t he ground itsciL Rocks arc kuown to generate electrical sig­ L I G HTS O F I N S P I RAT I O N nals wheu p u t under strain, e.g. during E gryn i s a small village north of Barmouth earthquakes. Short -liwl glowing plasmas on the mid-Wales coast. In l!JO:> it became seem to be created in the atmosphere as a the cent re of a trad itional lethodist reli­ result of this l;mh line act ivity. In the years g i ou s revival that was dramatically st imu­ prior to the Welsh revial, they wac termed lated by a fanners wile named 1lary Jones . spooklights. Tod ay . of cou rse, the same The p rincipal reason f(>J· her astonishing lights wo u ld be seen as UFOs. achievements was the matute•· in which Researcher Paul Devereux has coined the strange light phenomena allached them­ term ea rthlight to define these glows and selws 10 her per son. llundrcds of people has f(mnd a bull line running right past saw them and her r;une soon sprea d. The the Egryn chu rch. t i ny chapel became a !(Jcal point fo1· pil grims. 19�� The lights were first wit ness ed by a train dri,·er at lensam in early January a t a time when Irs Jones was pre ac hing in the town. 30 JUNE lie said t h ey resembled glowing balls of fire T H E TU NGU SKA S KY C RASH that streaked away in many direrlions, then conver ged with a t remendous explosion An eart hlight t o end all carthlights was seen li ke thunder. Another person described a hy remote villagers in the Siberian taiga bright blue bar that straddled a pi t ch - dark forest near the Stony Tunguska River. Its country road. And many witnesses claimed origin remains the su �j erl of intense con­ to han: seen the l ight s hoering d i rectly trm·eJ·sy but its impact is beyond dis p u te. Oer lary Jones and inside chu rches where Shortly alicr 7 a . m . that morning, a white she preached. mass, brighter than the sun, appeared in the There followed six months of dazzling sky above northern Eu rope, creating ground li gh t shows in the skies that brought jour­ shadows. Within seconds it swept across the nalists s cu rry ing fi·om as (;u- a field as desolate land scape miles high in the aunos­ Lo ndon and lanchester. These were d ra­ phcre and t urned into a column climbing matically concluded on 2:� July w hen a bal l ertically upward and visible for hundreds T H E N E W C EN T U R Y
  14. 14. of miles arou n d . There fi1llowed a series of conltts tail . If a piece ol romet h a d h it thehuge explosions which were hc<Jrd sixty Eart h , it wou ld ha e largely aporized a n dm iles from th e impact point. spr i n kled l i n e dust 0T r t h e grou nd. Locals �linutes <Jfter the eent. a shock wa e i ndeed referred to a black rain t hat accom­spread outward. It uprooted trees and panied the Tunguska i m pact. Particles ofsmashed rooftops more t h a n se enty miles d us t tlll-0nl into t he a t m osphe re cou ld alsofro m t h e centre of destruct ion. If was felt as ha·e p ro d u ced t h e lum inous earth trem or in (;ermany and recorded :cvertheless. <Jfter n uclear weapons wereeen in Britai n . :lc<Jsured on widely d is­ lirst detonated in 19·1:-l and t h eir t c lfec spersed seismogr<� p h s, the wae <IS power­ wc..-e seen to be remarkably similar to t h oseful enough to circle t he Earth-twice� in Siberia. a pop u la r parascience t heory Fm· seH·ral subse q uen t nights �t range eme t·ged. as the Tung u s ka explosion t h eluminous douds lit t h e skies <Jhoe Europe result o f a nuclear-powered spacecrali t h atand Ahica. They glowed pink and yellow exploded on its way i n to the atmosphere?and were bright e nough fiJr people to read Sup porters poin ted out t hat lora! rein­newspapers outdoors in t h e absence of any deer d ev e loped scabs on t heir bodies and<Jrti liri<Jl lighti n g. there was some limited evidence li>r exces ­ Because of the remoteness of the im p<�ct sive radiation i n the area (although meas­zone and the i n tenention of the Russi <J n ured only fol lowing man-made nuclearreYolution it w<Js al most twenty years belilre detouations by t he USSR, which compro­a scien t ific expedi tion reached Tunguska. m ised t h e findings). K u l i k had l(mnd n oAstrono mer Leonard Kulik e x pe cted to find local people who s u lkred radiation sicknesse·idence of <1 meteor t hat h<Jd exploded on on his is it in I !l28; a n d by I 940. when heimpact. l c;n·in g a h uge crater and fragment s wen t again, direll eyewit nesses to t h e e e ntbehind . In fact, he fou nd neither crater nor were still f(nmd alive and well -i m probableft ·agments. Trees at t he exact centre or t he had they been ·ery c lose obse rvers to ae x plosion , a l t hough st r i pped of h<�rk, were n u clear impart.still stand ing; t hose in <1 SIIITounding area Several more recent exped it ions haYemany miles across were llallened . fou nd eYidence consistent w i t h t h e comet The meteorite theory was all but t h eory, i nclud in g cle ments and c h e m i calsdestmyed by t his eidence , which dearly on the g ro un d . r precise mappin g of theshowed t h at the object had exploded high impa ct damage also fits the idea. I loweve1·,in mid-air. so t hat t h e area immediately ot her Russian scientists who h ave isitedbelow was to some extent shielded . Th ere the area t hin k t h a t somet hing u nexplainedwere also repons by local tlnesters that t h e was to blame. Theories as diYerse as a l u m pglowing mass h a d seemed to cl t an ge d i rec­ o f an ti-maller explod i n g o n con tact wit ht ion in m i d-flight - a bet partially Yind i ­ t h e atmosp here, a n d e ve n a n u clear- pow­rated, d espite much argt1ment, b y a e ro­ ered space rocket fro m t he fu t u re whichdynamic reconstruc t ion. acciden tally crossed a t i m e barrier and t he n Scientists now 1�10111 1 he view that t he detonated, haw been proposed , bu t ,,·ith­object was a small comet. To create an out murh linmdati on.i m pact of <1 I :! -megatonne nuclear bomb. as Yet if the Tunguska explosion wasthis obj ect had done, it wou ld need to he raused by an impact from a piece of debrisseYcral h un d red feet in diameter, br bigger from outer space, one th ing is certain. Surht han a meteol. a happen ing is not all t hat rare and may he Comets are composed or a solid cru mbly expected by chance every few h und redcot·e ami ice th<Jt vapo ri tes in a shell on the years. Smaller ones wil l occu r seTJal t imeso u tside. Th is p roduces t h e characteristic a century. It would hae been pure l urk []] THE NEW CENTURY
  15. 15. gTH�ARCH I that the I !10� object exploded tiveh· unillltabited area. Tlte next one could just as easily do so oYer London. Tokyo mer a rela­ or MUSEUM I the heart of :lanhauan, with all too ohYious ronseq11ences. l"ft" T t·. IIIIJ"J(I :"� . . . . CAUGHT!!! A�L��:� ; !! JlJJ 17 JANUARY I !,��,��-�:kE�,��:�� tommooitie of �ew • • • Je rsey. LS:, were plagued with sigluings of a giatll hat-like cr e al l t r e with a face t h a t was likened variously 10 a mule, a dog or a kan­ garoo. It was said to he terrorizing local brms, la ndin g. lcaYing strange marks and then leaping into the sky. The prints were in the f(mn of a single hoof and seemed 10 pass straight OYer obst ar le s such as fe nces. They were also [(>Und on heaches in deep snow. In matn· ways the tracks resembled those left in the still mvsterious incident in Febru­ ary Hl:i?i when residents of illages over a large area of South Devon awoke onl morning to find a line of single hoofjnints etched into a snowd rift. It spread f(H· many LEEDS DEVIL miles over the landscape a n d eYe n crossed Captured friday After a rooftops as if unimpeded! In 1909 reports began on li January Terrific Struggle. when policeman shot at the thing as it a EXKTJUl""Y.l> r.:.:n.t-�1 t:l." llF.RI!: Al 11noo no A "t:l-:1(. flew ner the Delaware RiYer in Penns1a­ The r-rlnl. JrlchliJI, }"<!roduu• :llon.el<r f""hl<h nia. Sounds like a sh r iek ing whistle were ltn�t lJN"G l"C"rrurlrla• J,..o �l:>tf•. heard. On 21 Jan uary firemen at est Swims l Flys! Gallops. Collingswood. :ew Jersey. were rep111edly allacked b the :�- foot monster with glowing .Ex.WbUed �al"l.1 lh11lar<t ey es. It then perched on a roof and they lu ,. ll:o••�" !lt .... t CJI�te. A UVING DRAGON turned their hoses on to it, to its apparent disgust! In lew Jersey. the sightings of the •- F_,_,me Than t.l.oe I"IJIN !llnn•t.•ro creature in conjunction with the finding of ot �Tth<>lftJr7. no�·y !tl�!il Tilt-: the hooljnints soon ga,·e rise to hyster ia. 81loiiT Ill A I.III:."U.IR. and the name Jersey Devil was coined, uro s· nt> �1-.:iATlO:-.· ... I� from a local legend IT"lUO nU.T. The wae ended with reports from �lorris­ THi.::ATRE ,·ilk, lennsyh·ania. that the creature had GA.,:Vrt (0:�n "lOl"J Y A tT>F.l""TJJ.l!l A poster tn the Phrlaceiphra Pubf:c Leager of a to the 1 Oc ADMITS TO ALL precu"5or jcr;ey Devil, th1s one exhtbited 1n captiVItyT H E N E W C ENTURY
  16. 16. flown into a barn and become trapped. The The first flight by a Zeppelin; LZ-1, over Lake Constance.doors were sealed and rein forceme nts Genmany. 2 July 1900.rapidly sent for. U n fortunately, when thebarn doors were opened, and despite there In fact, the first sighting occurred in thebeing no other obvious exit route, the autumn of 1896, in Sacramento and laterJ ersey Devil had van ished into the hinter­ San Francisco, California, when a cigar­world from which it had arrived and was shaped object with bright lights wasnever heard li·om again. reported floating in the aiL According to At least, not until 1 966, when Ohio had a research by Jerome Clark, frontier humourterrifying spate of visions of a creature pos­ had a field day. As the sightings continuedsessing a n u mber of similar features that almost nightly, many tall tales were spunbecame k nown as mothman. simply to outdo rival provincial papers. Eccentric inven tors came forward to claim, through agents, t hat they had b uilt the devices, then vanished without ever making public their secret. A further outbreak was reported across aP H ANTO M SCARE S H I P S wider area of the western and mid-westernAs the first primitive aircraft were flying on states in April and May 1 897. The firstdangerous short hops around the world, flights by genuine airships - which began inthe inexplicable appearance of a wave of Europe - were still some mon ths away. But,strange airships soon developed into a mys­ like the previous wave, the 1897 airships oftery of epic proportions. the western USA swiftly disappeared. T H E N E W C ENT U R Y
  17. 17. In Elml. howner, the problem suddculybectnw g-lohal, as scallcrcd reports came inh·mn :lr Zealand, ,ustr;tlia and especiallyti·otn Britain. On :!:� :larch, a policeman on patrol inletcrhorough, north-east of Cambridge.heard a buzzing engine aiHI looked up tosec a single floodlight auached to a darkcigar-shape silhoueued against the sky.Local police suggested it was an illuminatedkite. but as more reports J(,llowcd, rumonrspre;td that the Cermans were llying Zep­pelins on spy missions. There was real ten­sion between the two imperial nations in thenm-up to World ar One; but althoug-hthe activities of airship b u il der Count Fenli­nand von Zeppelin were well allested, it iscertain that no such spy missions were Cerlaun<·hed ag-ainst Britain in this way. nor didthe Germans hae the capability to do so. On 14 :lay. the captain and new of theSt Ofaj: steaming in the :orth Sea on· Blyth.:lort h u mherlaud, saw an object apparentlymaterialize out of thin air above. It wasagain described as a cigar with lights. An een more remarkable incident tookplace on Il-l :lay which has all the hall­marks of a UFO landing. If it werereported today. fe,,· details would need tobe a<ljttsted for it to be i u terpret cd as analien contact, rather than - as it was at thetime- a precursor to a Cerman im·asion. German army! The terrain was also Punch and Judy s h owman. l1 r C. Leth­ crushed llat.bridge, was walking home late at night m·er There were other reports of airship pilotsCa e rphilly :fountain in Smtth Wales when standing bes ide their craft, in one rasehe saw a cigar-like object 011 the grou n d . requesting water. But alter a few days theTwo men wearing strange fur coats were sightings tailed otT, lcaing the usual spent­talking- in an unknown language and reacted lation about mistaken identity and massinstinctiely when they saw the intruder, hysteria.picking up something from the ground and The sightings began again, howeer, injumping into their craft. which soared sky­ late Ell:!. One incident. above Sheerness,ward over some telegraph wires. As it rose. Kent, on 14 OctohlT, was then taken sot wo powerful searchlight beams were seriously that questions were asked in theswitched on. one at each end of the <Tall. Honse of Commons- possibly the first ever The witness returned to the site with p u b lic debate on UFOs. Lord of the Admi­li·iends to find objects on the grass. includ­ ralty and future prime minister, Winstoning a piece of blue paper with unknown Churchill, had the dubious priilege ofTiting and printed m atter abo u t the being the fi1·st goemment ollicial underT HE NEW C E N T U R Y [[]
  18. 18. pressure to come up wi th an answer and Tnal flrght of the Zeppelrn LZ -� over· Lake Constance, 1908warned of the need not to underestimatethe Cerman forces. A law was passed that ing light-in-the-sky pheno m e na not viewedprohibited airship flights without prior as airships. One. on 30 Ik cember 19i7,authority and allowed the police or army to inn>h·ed a golden egg sha pe seen ,-isingshoot one down if it failed to respond to from power lines, pu n ching a hole in thewarning si�nals. :o such inridcnt, fortu­ cloud cover which then gradually tilled innately, occur r e d . until no longer visible. The final fling of these airship waves :lodern researchers suspect that there ishel(>re war erupted came on the night of 2 I some sort of natural phenomenon of aFeb nt ary 1913 when reports lloodcd in glowing, electrical nature, possib ly akin 10li·mn scwral pans of Britain. :lost interest­ De·ereuxs earthlights. hen seen in 1977,ing was one from the small village of Exhall th e ionization caused the douds to Warwickshire. It was just a typical Today we understandably view these thingsdescription of a lighted object, but was to as alien cran, hut in 1909 and 191 :�. Iacquire more relevance because the same immer sed in pre-war hysteria , were theylocation has since generated several bscinat- seen as scareships? [[] THE NEW CENTURY
  19. 19. P O R TE N T S O F W A RT his traumatic decade, punctured by rebellion and reYolution, culminated in thetitanic and bloody clash or Vorld Var One, thewar to end all wars. Meanwhile the scientific reYolution gatheredrelatiYity turned our notion or the U niYerse on itsmomentum. Albert Einsteins general theory orhead. The f(wm taken by basic conceptions such asspeed, size, shape and time was rdatiYe to whereyou were and what you were doing. Atoms werecomposed of energy fields in constant Hux withinlargely empty space, beyond the grasp of ournormal senses. New Yistas opened up, ready f(wexploration. The UniYerse had suddenly become avastly more complicated place.
  20. 20. 1911 SEPTEM BER M I RAC LE B L E E D I N G This was one of 1he first well-attested hands bled at rhe c entre poin t . lo ng report s of miracle bl eed i n gs. , pi ct u re of hel ie,·ed to he where nails were placed Christ in the French ,·illage dlllrch at llire­ d u ri n g cruc ifix ion ami familiar from many hea u -e n - Poitou began to ooze blood from religious port raits . We now know Ji·01n h is ­ the hands and the forehead. While scientists torical evidence, howeer, that crucifixion argued thar ir was ju st pi gment ation from victims had n ails hammcred t h rough rhe rhe pa in t seepi n g out. the deo ut llocked ro bones ar rhe wr is t as 1 he fleshy palm was too t he s ite, convinced t ha t t he local priest was soh t o support rhe hanging weight of a body. somehow responsible. The location of t he The b leed i ng intensified l(>r six months ami bleedi ngs was e xact ly t hat of the rep u t ed at t he same t i me a nearby stat ue of t he wounds of Ch r ist when crucified, i.e. on the Virgin wept rears. Afier the priests death in hands and crown. Yet, interestingly, rhe I �115 all these eiTerts ceased. 15 Septembre 1911 Decembre 191l P O RTE N T S OF W A R
  21. 21. 1911 1 4 APRILlfR E M O N I T I O N O F D I SAST E R The Tita uir, lll l i l t in t h e norl heru En g l is h port or L i e rp ool and stea m i n g li·om So u th;am p t o n t o New Yor k, is p robably t h e most i n b mous n a m e i n marine h istory. Seeral days i 11 1 o her m aiden voyage, t he so-ca l led u nsin kable l i ner s t ru c k a n u nseen iceberg. was holed deep a n d c a n ied 1 :>00 passengers a n d crew to t he bot t om of t h e At lan t ic Ocean . ;lore p eop le wou ld hae been saved fro m her hu ge cont i nge n t had n o t t h e owners. u l l edy nm vi n ced o f h e1· s ec u ri t y n egl ect e d t o pro v i d e e n o u g h . lilt.·boats. A side efkct of t he shocki n g disaster was t o set in mot ion one or the m ost po w erlia l psych ic experiences e·er recorded. For t h e fi rst t i m e t hen: was open t a l k o f precogni­ t ion - the abil i t y to s e e t h i n gs before t h e y h app e n . No fewer t h a n twenty cases arc k n ow n o f p eo ple who had p re m on i t io n s of disa st er bcli:>re t h e ship sailed. Some rdiased t o board ; ot hers had relat ives amon14 t h e pas­ s enge rs and sen se d u a ge d y . Famed n ews · ­ paper writer William Stead, who had h i mself wrillen in a n art icle t hat such a t ragedy could happe n , was warned expl ic­ i t l y in writin14 by a psychic t hat he was i n great d a n ge r during April I D I 2 a nd should avoid water and t ravel at t hat t i me. H e ignored t he w a rn i n g and paid w i t h h i s l i fe. Even more incredible was t h e case of ret i red seam a n 1organ Robertson who was stru gg l i n g to se ll his short stories. I n I H!IH, experiencing write1·s block in his New York aparl m e n t , h e suddenly had a v isi o n in1 w l a ich he saw a h u ge l i n e r sutler a catast ro­ phe w i t h an iceberg. I n h is t ra nce. he heard dearly t h e word s April and u nsi n kable. I n spi red by t hi s episode, he wrote his story The reck o l the Titan, i n w hich his ncar-ident ical su pe1·s h i p , t h e SS T itan. s i n ks on her m a i den voyage ali e r s t r i k i n g a n ------------- PORTENTS OF WAR
  22. 22. C R ETAC E O U S PA R K S i r ;rt h u r Conan D ovics I inion o r S U r1­u n seen iceberg, w i t h l w n dreds peri s h i n g i n g d i nosaurs had rea l - I i i (· i n s p irat ion li·mnneedlessly beca use o l i n adequate l i iCboat lege n d s and s t o ries fi1·st hmught hac k byCO"lL eigh t een t h -cen t u ry m issionaries li·01n the Scept ics argued t h a t t h i s was m e re coi n c i ­ Ali·ica n Con go. Th e n , in lat e El l :� . thed e n ce . Fo nne1· s e a m c 1 1 1 1 1ay u n d ers t a n d ­ Gerl l l an gon• n u n c n t sen t out t h e l i rst sci­ably have h a d q u a l m s about t h e s a f e t y or e n t ilic exped i t ion to ascer t a i n the l i kelysuch a big l i n e r. �lm·em·tT, Tita n or Tita 11ic t n l l h beh i n d t h ese t a les.was au ohious choice or n a m e l i ll · a h u ge Captain Frei h ei T von Stein set out on as h i p . Yet Rober t s o n kit s u re he h a d an lon g and t reacherous walk t h rough t heu n seen presence gu i d i n g his hand. Or j u n gl e swam ps of the Likou l a regw n ,cou l d it ge n u i n e l y h ave been precogn i t ion � encou nteri n g Tnomous s n akes, deadly i nsects all(l h ea d h u n t i n g p yg l l l ies as he ven­ t t u-ed into u ncharted t erritory sit u a t ed h u n­ or m i les fi-om any towns or c i t ies.Left survrvor> packrng the Trtanrc lrfcboats.Below: the last moments of the "unsrnkable liner. dreds ,her q u es t i o n i n g n a t ives a n d w h i t e h u n t ers who had explored the region , h e repea ted l y h eard lege n d s a b o u t a large beas t , sol l l e :.!0- :Hl li long. wh ich i n h abited a local l a k e . The creat u r e , n a med /1/Vkt•lt lllhe111be, was said to han a lon g n e c k and brow n body · all(l t o be bigger t h an a h i p popot a m u s . I t l i ved i n t h e l a ke caves a n d sur[Kcd periodi­ cally t o eat leaves fro m a f lower i n g I i a n a plant cal led uwlo111ho, stretch i n g its n eck u p wa rd rat h e1· like a giraHi.· . : a t i n:s who had ap proac hed the a n i m a l i n can oes h a d been a t t acked and d rowned when t h eir boats san k , but t h ere were no clai m s t h a t t h e 1 1 1 o n s t c r a t e i t s prev. V o n Stein never saw the o-ea t u re but was s hown a t rack by n a t ives w h o swm-e t h a t a s peci m en had recen t l y en tered t h e river s y s t e m at t ha t poi n t . l i e cou l d a d d l i t t l e except t h at t h e an i m a l wh ich left t h e m arks was abo u t t h e s i ze t h a t h ad been dcso-ibed and u n fiu n i liar t o h i m . T h e �cncral view o r zoologi s t s was t ha t t h e lege n d s m i g h t h a l h ad a bct u a l basi s , part i cu l a r l y because t h e creat w·e w a s n o t dep i ct ed as a tcrril)·i n g or carn ivorous beast (as is normal with such stories) but described as a p lacid p l a n t eater. I I erbivo­ rous d i n osau rs such as U ro 1/ nt. llo u r­ ished in t h e Cret aceous era a n d it was j u s t conceivable t ha t a tc"· s p eci m e n s s t i l l sm·- P O R T EN T S O F W A R
  23. 23. · . ;· . :.·: ·.. ·.Skeletdl model of o,p/odocus, the Cretaceous d1nosaur govern m e n t put d i llicult ies in the wa y. These trips estab lished m u ch u sefu l data,vived locally. B u t in the absence of proof, asse m b l i n g match i n g acco u n ts a n d reportsnobody seemed inclined to be too exci ted of how in 1 9[ 9 > a gro u p of pygmies ca p­by a collection of stories. t u red a n d ate o n e of t h e creatures. But t h e Subsequ e n t attempts to m o u n t d i nosaur scientists only had tantalizi n g near m isses,h u nts fa iled because of hostile n atives. I n as when one huge l u mbering beastthe 1 940s, however, a new field of research sp lashed i n to the water j u st o u t or sigh t .was lau nched by a group of pro fessionals American explorer Herman Regusterswho called t h e m selves uyptozoologists. visited in the 1 980s and his party claimed t oThey collected data and tried to create s e e t h e crea t u re several t i m e s a n d h e a r itspublic i n terest by searc h i n g for h i dden t h roaty roar. They took some d i m , d i s t a n tcreatu res such as moliflf mbnnbf. I n 1 958, pictu res t h ro u gh t h e d e n se t r e e o f their n u mber, Ber nard H e u ve l m a n s , Local sci en tist D r .Iarce l l i n Agnaga, fi·ompublished the first detailed accou n ts i n O n the zoological ga rde n s in B razzavil l e , alsot h e Track of U n k n ow n An i m a l s . made several visits a n d i n :l ay 1 9H3 came D u r i n g t h e 1 970s an American s pecialist closest yet to captu r i n g proof when h e wan­in reptiles visited the area several times and dered o u t i n to t h e sha llows to come withinsh owed i l l u strations of d i n osa u rs t o a rece n t a few h u n d red feet of a bas k i n g moklleeyewitness of t h e crea ture, who picked o u t m/Jembe. For half an hour the a n i mala DijJ/odoms as the most s i m ilar o n e . browsed on Iiana leaves before sinking The first serious expeditions specifically b e n e a t h the water. S a d l y , t h ro u gh a combi­desi gned t o fi n d the animal were orga n ized nation of h u m a n error, m isfort u n e a n d theby Professor Roy lt ackal , a biologist a t the extreme climate, none of h is p h otographsU n i versi t y of Chicago, with the re ptile spe­ s u rvived the t re k home.cialist, J a mes Powe l l . llackal moun ted sev­ The .J apanese have since tried twice, anderal more Yisits before the n ew Congolese a you n g B ritish ex-army man, B i l l Gibbons,P O R T E N T S OF W A R
  24. 24. D•nosaur and human t•-acks 1n D•nosaur Valley State Park. dinosaurs did lin� i n t hese swamps d u ringGlen Rose. Texas. (See also page 39.) the late Cretaceous geological period some sixty-fi·e m illion years ago and the area hashas been there t wo more t i mes (most remained almost una ltered.,·ecently in 1992) in what has been dubbed It i s perhaps feasible t hat a few such crea­Operation Congo. This was s u pported by t u res may ha·e su n·ied in t h is remotea paranormal magazine which sold region. But as estern society intrudesdinosaur T-shirts to raise funds! eer furt her into Africa, they are hou nd to lt uch anecdotal eidence has been gat h­ come under t h reat . I t may be a race againstered and latest t h in king is t hat the creature extinction to come up with hard eidenceis an eOIed ersion of Allantosaurus. Such abou t t he worlds last su rviing d inosa u rs. PORTENTS Of WAR
  25. 25. t h e non·ls in volved ext raord inary dept h of191J 13 MAY research k nowledge about distant ami fu t u re t i mes - fi-mn the B iblical era to Vic­ T H E T E S TA M E N T O F torian London . PATI E N C E WORTH Prior to her etHoun tcr wit h Pat ience, M rs Currans wri t i n gs had exh ibited no h i n t of On 1 his dale Iearl Curran and a fi·iend, sophist ication or skill; and a fter she died, using a ouija board i n t h e C u rran home at Pat ience ldl sile n t , Jea,·ing behind the m ys­ St Lou is, M issouri . first saw the name Pa t tery of her highly pra ised literary genius. C speh out by t he moving glass. Pea rls So was t h is a real con t act fi·om a departed h usband. deten n i n ed !0 prove the i ncom ­ spirit or did Pearl Curran tap some hidden ing message a t ri<·k or t h e m imi, p retended creat ive source from wh ich gn·at writers he had once known an I rish man named have long derived inspi rat ion? Pa t . For a t ime t hat fict it ious individual sent Automatic writers today continue the messages ,·ia t he hoard , bill soon a n ew and t rend. Rosemary B rown, a London house­ more powerful voice took con t rol. On 8 wife, writes m usic t h at she says is dictated by J u ly. t he cryptic words that llowed out dead composers such as Beet hm·cu aud whentcr Pearl Cu rran used the device Liszt . Healer :latthcw :Ian n in g has created were explicitly signed Pat ienn· ort h ·. f:.thulous pai n t i n gs in 1 he style of a rt ists stKh Patience, belying her name, soon out grew as Diirer ami Picasso. A woman in t h e USA the slow ouija hoa rd , graduat ing first to au!O­ has in f(>J·mcd me t hat she is cu rreutly seek­ matic Ti l i ng; pen in hand, she would t ake ing an agent to market t h e autobiogra phy of over �Irs Curran and write lengt h y scripts, Billy the Kid, determined to correct t h e and finally took to sending words straight f;1Jse imagr of h is outlaw days fl·om beyond into the consciousness of her medium. t h e grave. I have also received tapes fi·om a It req uired some cHi>rl to ext ra<t i n for­ :ew York med i u m , Bill Ten uto, containing mation abou t hersel f fiOm Pat ietl<T. She verbal messa14es abou t t he real purpose of was reponedly a Quakn girl who emi­ his m u nl c1· spoken by li:mner Beat ie, John grat ed fi·01n Dorset to t he U SA in the seven ­ Le n n o11 . : lr Ten uto also reports that teen t h cen t m-y a n d died you ng d u ring a n Len non is d ictating new music to some I ndian attack. S h e spoke in a rchaic lan­ world renowned song writers. gu age. complete with spelling and usages t hat l i n guistic sc holars veri fied as bei ng t otally correct . Lat er. lwH·er, she began to u t ilize a more modern idiom. Pa t ience ort h seems to have expressed 1914 E hersel f fi·eely in literary limu. Across twent y-five years she came up wit h mill ions of words, including widely an·Jaimed I :- ���-J:�j<� �>;:l� ��t�e:.:.�,,��:ught 0 -- - e-� st at :I ons i n Fland e1·s in August 1 9 1 4 . novels, plays and poems, some of w h ic h Legend has i t that spect ral interven tion were published without rcferetHe to t h eir may have saved t he day fiJ1· the Allies. bi tarre <Tca t ion. Pat ience dirtated t hem B 1·it ish t mops made a D u n k i rk-style with­ with aston ishing rap id ity. Once, when d rawal against a l l t h e odd s and a vastly asked h>r a mol l o of about I � 0 characters to su perior Cerman army. Although t h ere put on t h e wall of t h e :l isso u ri state c1pital, were sound reasons as to w h y t h is was pos- she <h·afted a literary ode of exact ly the sible ( t h e British had bet ter wt·apons and requi red lengt h . in t h e brief time i t t oo k fi>r highly d iscipli ned sold iers). the victory !carl C u rran to write dow n t h e words. An d II fro m the jaws of defeat was h ailed as a m i r- PORTENTS OF WAR [[]
  26. 26. acl e by pol i t icians keen to rally t h e t roops A corner o f the ANZAC pos1t1on at Gdllipol1. scene o f the ill­and the nation after what had almost been fated Allied landing of Apnl 19 1 5 .a cat astro p h e . A fe w w e e k s lat er (in late September) t h e h ad done anyth i n g- oth e•· t h a n i n v e n t a tal c .Lon d o n EPtniug Nt·w� t:arried a s h ort piece I ndeed . when asked to q u o t e h i s sources,of fict ion by Art h ur M achen called Th e h e e x p l a i n e d that t h ere were n o n e as it wasBowmen in w h ich a sol dier at Mons u n t r u e . B u t by then so m e pe o p l e were soi n vo k es t he s p i ri t of St Ge01·g-e, bel i eve d t o t a ken i n b y t h e accou n t , t he y refused toride t o t h e rescue of E n gla nd whenever she beli eve 1lachen s denials!is i n p eril . The s a i n t a n d a ho s t or a n g-e l ic In Ul l 5 t h e s t o ry was p roc u red by allbowmen reinforce t h e d es pn a t e Allies a n d manner o r bod ies, rel i giou s a n d m i l itaryt he Germans are heavily felled b y magical a l i ke . i t n esses, u s u a l ly secon d - h an d , camean-ows t h a t leave no m a rks. forward w i t h tales t h ey had h eard fro m The talc h a d a g•·eat dlect on B r i t is h m e n at t h e fro n t and en· u t u a l l y act ua l eye­morale. It was re pri n t e d , o f i e n by c h u 1-ch wit ness acco u n t s s u rfacld fro m so ld i ersj ou rn als, as proof of d i v i n e support of t h e clai m i n g to h a ve seen the p han tomwar, a n d soon became t a ken for fact . Even­ bow m e n .t u all y a special bookl e t was p rod uced t o sat ­ In july I 9 I 5 l ach e n fu elled t h e l i re b yisfy d e m a n d . prod uci n g a book . The Bowllllll !111(/ Othn Appare n t l y i l achen n e·e•· p ret e n d e d h e Lt•gnul. of the Wa r. H e d escribed how h is PORTENTS OF WAR
  27. 27. fict io n had become acce p t e d as fact a n d group {the First - F i ft h ) was. This was not areallirmed that i t was no m o r e tha n a st ory. regim ent b u t a battalion , a m u ch s m a l l e rYet it did not p re,·e n t the book beco m i n g a body of m e n .ru naway best-seller in many co u ntries . l l istorical records , indeed, note t hat ondo ubt less with m a n y readers believi n g the 1 2 August (not 21 August as repo rted) fi ct io n . ,au thors disavowal t o be t he rea l m a n y of these m e n v a n ished . though not B y t he e n d o f the war the legend had i n to a my s t e r ious clo u d. : l oreover, evenbeco me so entwined that so m e psychic their puzzling loss is part ially explained.a u t hori t i e s even alleged that : I achen had ar records show that the group um t i n ued t u n ed i n to real w i t nesses to t h e ,·ision a t to fight , and t h a t a ft e r hostilities ended, thet he Fron t, usi n g t elepathy directly from the bodies of some 1 22 of t he 266 m iss i n g m e ntroops a t :lons. H e o n l y thought t h at he were f u n d . Presumably o t hers were killed ohad i n v e n t e d t h e st ory. It was rea l l y tru e ! i n the light i n g but thei1· bodies had not Lat e r in t he war, a nother s t r a n ge eve n t bee n t raced three years lat er.occUlTed which, l i k e the bow m e n a t :lons, Frederic k Reichardts son con linned i nsti l l holds sway today. This did, a t least, 1 9� 2 . afte1· h i s fathers death, t hat h e hadhave som e f act ual basis i n war records. been told the story of the vanish i n g regi­ It s u rfaced in 1 965 when an old soldie1· a t me n t d m i n g the G a l l i poli ca m paign soona li h ieth reu n io n o f t h e :- e w Zealand a n d a fier his birt h i n 1 93 2 . T h u s it had not sud­Australian t roops i n voh·ed i n the Gallipoli denly been i m·ented at the fi ftieth reu n ioncampaign came forward. Sapper Frederick in J 9(i5 , as m a n y sceptics had p r e,·iouslyReichardt and two others told o n afTida,·it argued . Clearl y it was based on some sort ofhow on :.? l Au gust l �� 1 5 an entire regi m ent act ual episode.(the First - Fourth :orfolks) was seen to As for the s tra n ge cloud, lkgg d iscove re dm arch towards I I ill (j() above the hot that a very u m t s u a l m i st a n d clo u d f() n n a­deserted Sula Bay area of the Dardanel les tion was re liably see n to have covered thei n Turke y . Directly above t h e m ho"Cred a area on :.? I A u g u s t a n d that this was notedvery s t ra n ge cloud. below which another in the record books on the oppos i t e page tocolum ned cloud perched upon the hill t h e reference to t he d i sappeara nce of theslope. Despite the wind. this cloud never Firs t - F i fth soldiers n i ne days preYiously.moved . The seyeral hu ndred soldiers Bcgg co ncluded that the two u nrelatedmarched o n a clange m u s ofTens i,·e i n to the e·euts were con fused in the m i n ds ofmists but ne,·er e m erge d fro m the br side. Reicha r dt and his colleagues clown theAn hour later the cloud l i fted and the men years. part icularly given t h e scars o f warhad disappe are d with it. In late 1 9 1 8 , after they had endured after 1 9 1 5 . A cmiousthe war. the Turks denied that they had ever misty cloud was i n deed see n . A few hun­ca p t u red or en gaged these m issi n g troops. I t dred men did vanish, hut not i n expl icablywas as i f they had been spirited away. so. ,ud the l i n k between the two events An exce l l e n t in Yest i gation of his torical that has f()rged a supernat ural lege n d wasdata was mounted by researcher Pa u l Begg merely a coi n ci d ence.who checked facts that were widel y or com·se. nobod y can ever prove, asass u med by ot her a u t hors to be tru e . these eyewit n esses co n t e n ded t o thei r dyi n gI n deed, t h e s tory freque n t l y appeared i n day . that the 1 44 m en s t i l l u n accou u ted formystery hooks m·er the next three decades . did uol vanish in so m e supern a t u ral fash­Begg s research, l w-e·er, encou ntered ion. As s uch the legend will e n d u re .som e serious prob l e m s . The Firs t - Fo u r t h was a p parent l y not Bowmen ofMons. b y A . Forest1er. used in the Christmasi n voh·ed i n am· va n ish i n g tric k , but another london /1/ustrored News. 1 9 1 5. The ed1t1on of thePORTENTS OF WAR
  28. 28. 1916 SUMMER 1917 G H O STLY P H OTO G RA P H FA I R I E S AT T H E B OTTO M OF TH E O n e o f t h e f1 r st i m p ressi v e phot ographs o f GARDEN an appari t ion was t a ken in Ti n ge1ri ck . B u c k i n g- h a m s h i re . s o u t hern E n gl an d , by a Alt hough lf.:w p eo p l e , even i n r u ral co m m u ­ re t i red police d e t ec t in� i nsp ect o r. ! l is p i c ­ n i t ies , any l o n ge r bel ieved i n Elirics, t wo t u re showed t h ree women c1�j o y i n g a you n g cousins in t h e suburb of Cot t i n glcy. garden p a r t y ; h u t i n t r u d i n g i n t o t h e image on t h e o u t skirts o f Bl·adf(Jrd , West York­ was t he f i g u re of a sem i - t ransparen t . ghost ­ sh i n >, England, cert ainlr did. And t he ev i ­ l i ke dog. i o bml y at t h e t i m e remembered d ence t hey p roduced was a t t he heart o f a s ee i n g i t ;I p jw a r or depart . as it a pet st rangt> rase t h at received wide pu b l ic i t y . back rrom I h e gran�? Fou rt ecn -yt•ar-old Elsie rig h t o ft en p l ayed 1ri t h I 0-ycar-old F1·ances Griffi t h s in The ghostly dog at the ·l rngewick tea party. t h e wooded beck at t he rear of h e r house. PORTENTS OF WAR
  29. 29. The famous photograph of the Cottlngley gnome. later was gazmg not at the weird spm t s butadm1ned to have been a hoax. s t ra i ght at t he camna. W h e n l a t e r asked about this odd i t y . the girls explained t hatFor bot h girls it was a m agical place, f(n· they saw liliries all or the t i me but havingt hey had regu larly obsered fairies - s m a l l . yo u r photograph taken was a nove l t y !et hereal, flying cre a t u res - li m n i n g o l l t or A m on t h l a t e r Frances fi l m ed Elsie play­t hin air in the b u shes. i n g with a gnome. The m a n n er in which Their stories were not believed. Elsies her ha nd was out s t re t ched was laterfather was part icu larly dism issive, and ascribed by psychic sou rces t o mystic e n er­mainly u n happy t hat they got dirty or wet gies, though Frances m a t lt_ l of bct l yin the process, co n duct in those days u n be­ explained i t as the res u l t o f h e r ineptit udecoming of a yo u n g lady. behi n d the l e n s . The girls showed these pic­ Opi nions changed. howeer, o n a day in t u res to liiends and t ried t o convince ! l rj u l y when the girls bo rrowed his camera. Wright , who s t i l l thou ght the m lakes. I t was�lr right deCioped one photograph on o n l y two years later when ! I rs Wright . whowhich so m e s t ra n ge white blobs showed up. was i n teres t ed in the supern a t u ra l , tookThese crys t a l l i zed i n t o a n imag e of danci n g them t o a meet i n g o f psychics in B radf(Jrd.fai ries parading i n Ji·ont o f Frances, who that the story too k off PORTENTS OF WAR
  30. 30. Psychic researchers, who moun ted ani nvestigation, were divided abou t theauthenticity of the two photogra phs. It waspointed out that the i mages looked suspi­ciously two-dimensional and i n focus,whereas the background iews of the girlst hcmselCS were more fuzzy. �loreoel·, thefairies had surprisingly modern hairstyles.Even noted fairy lore experts fou n d that abit m uch to sw::�llmv. lobody examined theoriginal plates and, on the assumption thata pictu rc is worth a thousand words· , thetestimon y of the two girls went u nchal­lenged. Little heed was paid to the fact,either, t hat Elsie h ad worked for a photog-P O R T E N T S OF W A R
  31. 31. Above left and right: two of the Cottingley Fa1nesphotographs.Left: the banks of the beck at Cottingley, playground of thefa1ries.rapher for some months and was quite atalented artist, constantly drawing fairies(because, as she remarked, she was alwaysseeing them). The girls we1·e reunited in 1 920, butalthough they were lent a new camera, inthe presence of others they always failed toproduce an image. Left on their own sometime later, they d id, nevertheless, obtainthree more fairy photographs. Finally, inAugust 1 92 1 , a noted psychic was sent to the PORTENTS OF WAR
  32. 32. hc(-k and saw t he bi rics along will1 you could sec t he head o f t he hat p m t hatFrances. btl l 110 photogra phs proved possi­ was hold i n g up t he gnome. I t was st icki n gble. " her t h a t t h e girls moed apart and o u t of t h e figu res ches t : alt hough Conansl Opped seei u g a n yt hi n g s t r a n g e. B UI t hey Doyle had t hought t h is t o he a psyt:hichad left a legac y of fie p hotographs t h a t umbilical coni �con t i n ued to i n t rigue bclieers and As f()]· t he fifth im age, w h ich is somewhatdoubters al i ke. less dear or t wo-di mensional , a curious dis­ lh coi u cidence Sir Art h u r Conan D oy l e crepancy has e m erg ed . Elsie said t hat i t waswas w r i t i n g an a rt icle on bi ri e s f(>r t h e also a hoax _just l i ke t h e other f(HJ r , b u tChris t m as 1 920 ed i t io n or S/rand magaz i n e Frances u n t i l h e r dea t h w a s adamant t ha tprecisely w h e n t h is saga bega n . I l e used t h e t h i s w a s t h e o n l y real f;1iry photograph t h efi r st t w o photographs ( a n d t h e lat t e r t h ree l w o girls ever took.d u r i n g a El2 1 sequel) to press his case t hat These hoax phot ogra p h s date from af iries were real. I I is belief i n them p art ly a t i m e w he n t h e world was on a t h resholddcri,-cd fi·01n his fat her, diagnosed m e n tall y bet ween d y i n g bel iefs i n magic and folklorei l l . wh o had long reported seei n g t hem . ami emergent scien t ific supremacy. TheyDoyle a l so held d e e p Spiritualist rom·ic­ offer many t e l l i n g lessons to su pe rn a t u ralt ions about t h e existence of other d i m e n ­ researchers. Lat er popu larizat ion of o t h e rston s . stra nge i m ages suggest 1 hat 1 hese lessons In 1 92 2 , Do y le , ha,· i 1 1 gdoued h i s hcs t -selling lictious t o foc u s o npsychic researc h . published h i s work o u e l c ­ largel y aban­ went H oax . largely u nheeded ccn more h i-tech societY or i n a much n o t , t h e Cot t i n gley (airy pho­men t a l s , The Coming of 1111 Fairit.l, w hich tographs h;n·e one fi nal t w ist t o ollc1·, w h ichlegit i m i zed the phot ograp h s of Elsie a n d may n e v e r h e resoled. Bot h Elsie rightFrauces for all 1 he world to sec. Fairies and Ft·atJCcs G r iffi t h s , c·en o n t heir deathwere a popular t opic of co n n·rs at i o n . . l ore bed s, i n sisted t hat regardless o f t h e status ofbooks f()llowed and fairy sight i n gs w e re col­ their much debated phot ographs t herelect ed, a few still be i n g re po rted een were real fairies and clcs in Co t t i n g le ytoda . heck and t h a t t hey bot h often saw t h e m . . l uch later. w i t h t h e adnl l l of modem ���7tec h n ology. the rat her d u bious nat u re of ·the Cott ingley phot ograp h s soon bec a m e · MAY - OCTOBER !TH E FAT I M A M I RACLEc i d c n t . Com p u t er e n hancement t ech­n i q u e s d e , e l o ped fi·om t h e deep space pro­gra m m e showed t he fa iries to bet wo-dimensional and p robably mere paper O n I :� :-. J a y 1 9 1 7 t w o girl s and a b o y agedc u t -o u t s . But the two wome n , still a lic fi ft y be t ween () and 9 years old were tendingcars after t heir adcn t u re , refused to s h ee p i11 t he ru ral area of F< l i m a , in nort h ­ ladmit 1 h a t t h e y had been cheat i n g. I n 1 966 e rn lort ugal , when a beam o f light flashedElsie s pok e of fil m i n g fi gmen t s or my i mag­ fro m the sky and a small, glo w i n g figu re ofination· and on B BC T in 1 97 1 just a woma n , clothed in a st ra n ge rad iance,wanted t o leae 1 he sul�jcct open . a p pea red . She spoke of coming from Th e t r u t h . i f t ru t h i t he. e m erge d o n l y a hean·n and asked t h e c h i l d ren t o ret urn ond ecade lat e1· sho n h· bd(Jrt t he cousins the L :l t h of each successi·c motl l h . Thedied. Both finally co n f(-s sed t hat t he fi rst ston· soon got out and o n the U t h o f each((m r photogJ-aphs were o u t r ight h oaxes. motl l h a cr ow d gathered. Only t h e origi nalThe i m ages were s i m p l y pa per d raw i n gs by t h ree wit nesses Cer saw t h e being. Tl 1 eyElsie. I ndeed t he y pointed to the fact t hat called it a n a ngel: hut t h e c h u rd1 a u t h m-i-P O R T E N T S OF W A R
  33. 33. t i cs soon i n t erpreted it as t h e irg i n � l a r y . S1nce the visions at F,it1ma, the v1 1lage has become a world- 1amous centre of pilgnmage. Prophecies w e r e give n : one of t h e i m m i ­l l l l l t R u ssian Reo l ution and t h e other 1919abo u t oriel ar Two. : e i t h e r . howclT,was p ublicly rCcaled un til alter t h eseec n t s occurre d . : t h i rd prophecY was MAYgien by t h e c h i ld ren u nd er seal to t h e a t ­i r a n t e l l i n g of a m ; u o r t ra u m a s t i l l to come. l LIVING FOSSIL This third p ro p h ec y was reportedly : m i ner extract i n g roal b r below t h e s u r­opened i n secret by the pope i n 1 9!i0 but - r;�re of the :et h erseal Colliery north-east o fdesp i te i n structions to do so - not t h e n B i rm i n gham in the E n glish �lidlandsrevealed t o t he world . R u m o u rs as to i t s fo u n d a small brown toad bu ried a l i eco n te n t i n clude a n uclear war. n at u ral i n side a coal sea m . :ot rese m b l i n g a n yglobal disaster a n d the dcst rurt ion of t h e normal toad , it measured o n l y :� i nches i nCat holic Ch urch . d i ameter, a n d ap peared t o b e b l i n d a n d to The fi n a l ·i s i t of t h e · a n gel was on 17 hae no mou t h . B u t it was u n doubtedlyOctoheL A crowd o f 70,000- 1 00,000 ga t h ­ a l i ve a n d adjusted t o i t s s u rrou n d i n gs oerered t h is t i m e from fa r a n d w i d e t o s e e a t he next few <Ia ys.p redicted m iracle. �lany on lookers There are m a n y o t her reliable i n st ancesi u sisted that a hole was p u n c hed t h rough a of small a n i m a l s bei n g f(m n d alie i nsidera i n do u d at noon and a s p i n n i n g d isc, pre­ l u m ps of mck. The coal seam wou ld h aesu mably the S u n , pou red down great heat limned 200 m i l l ion yea1·s ago, so most scep­and b l i n d i n g rad ia n ce o n to the grou n d . t ics assu m e that the a n i m al some howbclc)re corksuewi n g eart hwards a n d t h e n e n t ered a cra<·k and became t rapped t hereretreat i n g u p aga i n . :o a t t est able photo­ after its birt h in recen t t i mes. H oweer,graphs of t h i s phenomenon exist despite t h ere are t h ose who speculat e t h a t t h e crea­exten sie eyewit n ess accou n t s. t u re m i ght h ave en tered w h e n the rock first Sce p t ics argue t h at t h is was an opt ical formed and t h en lied i n suspen ded a n i ­i l l usion brou g h t o n by mass h y ste ria and m a t i o n for m i l len n ia , or t h a t it was tele­i n t e nse expect ation. A more recent t h eory ported t h ro u g h t i m e a n d space d i re c t l y i n t oh as deeloped t ha t t h ese isits were rea l l y t h e rock c;n- i t y .b y a l ie n s i n a lJ FO masquera d i n g as a reli ­ In tnllh, nobody k nows how t h esegious m i racle. embedded a n i m a l s get t h ere. P O R T E N T S OF W A R
  34. 34. THE ROAR I N G TWE NT IE ST h i s decade, f(: n- all i ts postwar u n certa i n ties, was in many ways a n e xc i t i n g period.Electri c l i gh t i n g and cars were beco m i n gcom mon place. T h e ci nema was a popular a rt for m .R a d i o w a s e n te r i n g many h o m es a n d t a l k i n grad io (televis i o n ) w a s u n der develop men t . Scie ncee m phasized t he way in w h ich i n v isible rays couldt ravel t h rou gh space a n d c reate action a t ad i s ta nce. All t h i s a ffected the worl d o f the para n o r m a l .Science fictio n , t o o , looked to t he fu t u re w i t hst ories of robots a n d c i v i l i za t ion to c o m e , refl ect i n gt h e s p i r i t o f t h e age. A n d h a v i n g conquered t h e a i r,t h o ughts t u rned to t h e n e x t grea t fro n t i e r. O n ed a y we m i g h t h a ve t h e abi l i ty to reach t h e stars.