Index to This Site

Sunday, 4 June 2017

A "Jinn" in Transylvania

     Transylvania. Money out of nowhere. A playful spirit. A map for buried treasure. What more do you need for an entertaining Gothic novel? Yet this was the adventure in which the Hon. Everard Feilding found himself during five weeks in 1914. And before you start scoffing, you should be aware that he was the Secretary of the Society for Psychical Research and, with his cautious and sceptical attitude, was considered the best psychic researcher they ever had.

Monday, 22 May 2017

The Saga of the Monkey Girl

     Last month the news came out that the tale of an Indian girl living with monkeys had turned out to be a damp squib, so to speak. Really, there is only one authenticated case of a human child raised by animals: Bello, discovered in 1996 living with a group of chimpanzees in the Falgore Forest of Nigeria. Alas! He was no Tarzan. He appears to have been abandoned by his parents because he was both physically and mentally disabled. Another possible case was Assicia, later renamed Sylvana, who was discovered wandering alone in the jungle of Liberia in the 1930s. Although not found in the company of apes, she walked around on all fours, on knees and fingertips, with ankles bent, and scratched herself like a monkey. Baby Hospital, found by a missionary in Sierra Leone, may be another case, but the information is too sketchy to form a conclusion. As for the enigma of the wolf children of Midnapore, I have discussed them elsewhere. Suffice it is to say that the story appears to check out, even though it is impossible.
     What is certain is that certain feral children have lived in association with animals - which is not to say they were reared by them. Saturday Mifune had definitely been watched for over a year with a band of monkeys in South Africa before being rescued in 1987. Since he never learned to talk, it seems likely he was originally autistic or mentally retarded. One about which there is no dispute is John Ssebunya of Uganda, who ran away from home when his father killed his mother, and lived for some time with vervet monkeys before he was rescued in 1989. Unlike the others, he is able to talk, and eventually joined the Pearl of Africa Children's Choir - which means that his rise was greater than even the fictional Tarzan's. The latter rose from an ape tribe to the House of Lords. John went from a monkey tribe to the house of the Lord.
     So when I read about Marina Chapman, who claimed to have lived for five years with capuchin monkeys, I was inspired to read her autobiography, The Girl With No Name.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Ultimate Weirdness from the Timmerman Files

It's sort of difficult to try and explain this to anybody and have them not think you are making it up, or that you're from the looney bin.
     This was the opening statement by an interviewee for John Timmerman, who took the photo exhibit of the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) around 92 malls in the United States between 1980 and 1992. In the process, he heard so many stories that, after the first two malls, he brought along a tape recorder and taped the witnesses. Mostly, what he heard were conventional UFO reports - if "conventional" can be used for such a subject. However, as you should be aware, you can't probe very deeply into this field without unearthing stories which are very weird indeed.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Tiny Craft, Tiny Pilots

     Ever since the days of Tom Thumb and Lemuel Gulliver, shrunken humans, tiny humans, and tiny humanoids have be grist to the mill of science fiction. Unfortunately, as I explained in my sci-fi blog, they are biologically impossible. That is why I find reports of such beings so intriguing. The list of shortest people reveals a number of dwarfs slightly taller and, in some cases, slightly shorter than 2 feet [60 cm]. Nevertheless, many of them had disproportionate body parts, and all of them grew up and lived among people of normal height. A breeding population of such little people might run into problems. What is certain is that any sighting of a normally proportioned adult much shorter than this is unlikely to refer to anything of flesh and blood. So what are we to make of the following reports of tiny pilots of tiny craft?

Friday, 3 February 2017

Another Voice in the Dark

     A woman told how, just as she was about to cross the street, she got a strong premonition, a "bad feeling", and turned away - just before an out-of-control vehicle careered past. If she had attempted to cross, she would have been killed. This is an example of the most common ESP anecdote: a psychic warning of danger out of the blue. But is it possible for the premonition to be externalised as a voice? In my post of July 2014 I recounted the experience of a 19-year-old boy who was saved by a voice in the dark. He eventually went on to become a clergyman. Well, I have now been reminded of a similar experience by a man a few years older, and he, interestingly enough, also went on to become a clergyman.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

The "Mince Pie Martians" : the Original Account

     The 4th of January was the 38th anniversary of what the English press whimsically labelled the "Mince Pie Martians". It was on that date in 1979, two days from the festival of the visit of the Wise Men to Bethlehem, that a small West Midlands town allegedly received a visitation of three quite extraordinary beings. Under normal circumstances, I would provide an abridged version, but in this case I feel that it would be impossible to do justice to it without copying verbatim the written account of the alleged witness, 43 year old Mrs Jean Hingley. A briefer version originally appeared in The Dudley Herald of 12 January 1979, but it was left to a UFO researcher, Eileen Morris to interview Mrs Hingley and her husband several times, make extensive notes, and eventually type up the report, which the witness affirmed as accurate. Most of the other versions you will find on the internet refer back to secondary sources, particularly one by Alfred Budden in 1988, but this is the original, and thus has priority, so here goes. [Square brackets represent my own inserts.]

Saturday, 10 December 2016

The Man Who Could Summons Porpoises

     When I wrote my post on the ant whisperer, I explained that the reason I recount stories under the label of "sorcery" is that a lot of reliable eye-witness reports on the subject are being lost as the world becomes more civilised. I ended up with the comment;
     On New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea, there exists a practice known as shark calling, or summoning mako sharks. You can find a number of videos of it on YouTube, but it is apparently dying out. I watched a documentary about it on Australian TV in the 1980s, and was amazed by the results, but when the same team returned ten years later the success, although confirmed, was not spectacular, and the narrator commented that their power was obviously fading.
     So  I shouldn't have been surprised when, upon going back through one of my favourite travel books, I discovered a report on the summoning of porpoises a hundred years ago in what was then the Gilbert Islands, but is now called Kiribati.