Please read my last post to Janice everyone, under the heading “Enough of this, please”.
It is really applicable to everybody, not just Janice. I trust this post is really self-explanatory.
Please read my last post to Janice everyone, under the heading “Enough of this, please”.
It is really applicable to everybody, not just Janice. I trust this post is really self-explanatory.
I believe there is a postal strike for most of this week. That means (for me anyway) not possible to collect official Society mail for the PO Box and, obviously, no home deliveries. Can’t say I really mind! Gives me a legitimate excuse not to write letters or send out books which in itself really does take up time. No. Its not really being ‘lazy’ – just gives you an official excuse to be lazy, if anything!
Anyway, I’m still left with all the emails and telephone calls to deal with. Luckily, I have more than one phone line and another is ‘blocked’ by an answer phone, so I have a rough idea who’s phoning. One very personal line (so I know that’s always OK), one ‘medium’ line (so I just have to take a chance on that) and, as I said, the Answer phone. I also have three ongoing email addresses which work along the same principle. Oh! The price of fame (sorry infamouscy!).
I really mustn’t complain though. Luckily I have several dear people to help me with all this. As one of them said to me recently . . . “You just get on with the books, we’ll do most other things” Well, its lucky to have dedicated friends like that or I really would be in a mess!
What is a little difficult though is slight restrictions on physical travelling for me. Smashed a vertebra in my back about seven years ago which, in turn, has helped to semi-paralyse my left foot, which doesn’t help when I asked to do film location shots. I just have to say to people, ‘if you want to interview me you’ll have to do it with me sitting down – or at least standing still’. It doesn’t ever prevent filming, but no more climbing over walls or anything!
Do you know, the Council just never seem to give up. Yet another official called today asking for me personally about that bloody side fence. Lunacy! I told them that I didn’t own it and even if I did, I didn’t consider it to be dangerous and that I wouldn’t do anything anyway. He retorted (rather annoyed) by saying that it could be argued that as I had access to the garden, it could be argued that I would be liable for part of the cost. What a bloody cheek! Who do these people think there’re trying to frighten? I’m not just one of the gullible masses’, for God’s sake! I’m ME! And I’ve long since worrying about petty threats and ultimatums. If I can take the British Government to Court (which I did in 1985, and won) its hardly likely that I’d worry about threats from the petty local Council. I told him if they wanted to do that, just telephone me to make an appointment and I would arrange to accept Service. I more-or-less added that if they did that, fine, but in the meantime to stop worrying me. He left, but added that my attitude wasn’t helping. There had been complaints.
Well, I saw my ‘girl with no name’ again today; she’s really beautiful. I think I’ve said this before, but its not just physical, but much, much deeper.
Anyway, that’s all I’m saying for today!
I sometimes wish this old computer wasn’t so slow; its fine on the word processing but checking things online can sometimes be a nightmare – especially if its busy. I really am thinking of getting broadband to ‘come into the 21st’ century’ as DM would say.
Talking of ‘centuries’, there is now apparently another untrue statement being circulated around on the Internet that I was born in 1939, which would make me nearly 70! Can you image the mentality of some people who just go around blindly repeating such erroneous facts without even checking! No, I not going to tell you how old I am, but I’m certainly many, many years away from being 70! Where did this latest ‘joke’ come from? I frankly don’t know I can only imagine somebody has wrongly cross-referenced me with my artist friend (he was born around then I believe) who kindly shares so much space when you type in David Farrant on Google. What next? Is there no end to the erroneous conclusions?!
Funnily enough, one of the people circulating this on the Net, is herself well past her ‘sell by date’. She even had the audacity to call herself 28 recently. Well, she obviously intended this as a joke because you have to add at least nearly 40 years onto this! I don’t know, human nature! I’m still at a loss to understand this sometimes!
Very quiet today. Got a load more work done, but I won’t bore you with that. You’ll all be able to read it before long anyway. Thanks everyone for your private queries and encouragement about the book projects. Its easier to answer you all at once here in this respect, though of course, I will get round to answering all other communications and private queries.
I DO try and keep up to date, but sometimes it is difficult with so many other things going on.
Went out briefly today and saw my Indian lady again. Must be terrible to stand there all day having to rely on money from passing people. But at least I know she is genuine which is why I always have time to speak to her.
People can be genuine and kind, and it is those sort of people that I can find time for.
I have had to decline to publish your questions/comments Janice, sorry. But I am putting this up as a main reply as I could not allow your reply in the form you sent it.
But I feel I should at least tell you why: Janice, I really don’t want to make certain other things public. I have nothing to hide, but I feel that certain issues are just best left away from here! My private life and relationships are really my business unless I choose to share these with anybody.
My Gosh! We seem to be getting enough of this hurtful nonsense from elsewhere, and I just don’t want to fuel such allegations further when they amount to no less than ’gutter press’ comments entirely without foundation. Please understand, I am NOT evading anything; or if I seem to be, it is to deliberately to avoid such issues ‘creeping in’ here. There is enough of this obsessive, hurtful nonsense elsewhere without my sinking to that obsessive level and entertaining it here.
You have really asked me some almost impossible questions to answer. I mean, ask me anything about life, or psychic phenomena, ‘ghosts’, life’ (please not politics though!) yes; but I have to draw the line about answering allegations that you might have read on the Internet made by an embittered people who had no ‘claim’ on me in the first place, as nobody indeed has (unless I want them to).
And after all, who really cares?! I most certainly don’t!
Your question, for example, to ‘name relationships’ I might have had, is really out of order here! You also strongly hint at ‘carnal relationships’ asking me to clarify these, if any.
Sorry Janice, really not here! This is not the “News of the World”, for God’s sake!
I can only answer you by saying, that physical attraction is indeed important, but if that is not there, then it is hardly likely that any intimate relationship could come easily. In other words, I would imagine that it would be difficult for anyone to make love to someone who they do not find physically attractive. I don’t want to sound ‘cruel’ to anyone here, but that is a fact of life.
If I have missed something, please tell me. But on second thoughts, maybe you’d better not! Just send me an email instead! Whatever, I really don’t want to discuss any personal relationships here! If I mention day to day experiences that might involve others, I do so only as part of daily experiences in life, not to in any way hurt others. And I have not done so.
Well, glad you liked the article, anyway. Please don’t get me wrong, Janice, you are still welcome to post here, but please keep your comments away from allegations being made by other people. Just let them talk to themselves on the Net; because nobody is really taking any notice of them!
And this goes for you too, Cat!
In fact it was summer 1977 when the trip to Dorset got underway. Three Society members accompanied myself. Yvette who was (then) BPOS secretary, and also an Initiate of a Cabbalistic Order; Charlotte, a psychic medium of long-standing and John, a member of the Society of Psychical Research, who knew quite a bit about legends of phantom black dogs from across the country.
We arrived in the general area described by Kennedy and spent the best part of an afternoon looking for the tree-lined driveway leading to the large old house where he had first encountered the ‘creature’. It was a task that turned out to be near impossible, for not only had Kennedy been unable to remember the exact location within a ten-mile radius or so, he recalled there had been no signposts, villages or towns, which was the main reason they had become lost.
Large old houses, there were many, but all lacked the long tree-lined drive remembered so distinctly by Kennedy.
Eventually, we tried to narrow the field down by trying to locate the Old Roman Crossing, but there was nothing called thus on any maps. There were plenty of indications of old Roman sites and tracks, but nothing to tell you if the word ‘Crossing’ meant a Roman ford that crossed some road, or maybe a site where two old tracks crossed each other.
By late afternoon we ended up in Cranbourne, a quaint little village some fifteen miles South West of Salisbury.
A few questions in one of the local pubs soon confirmed there was a ‘Roman Crossing’ some two miles up the road and a large black dog haunted the surrounding countryside. Apparently this was said to have this ‘devilish red eyes’ and could sometimes be heard howling in the night, and it. was supposed to be an ‘evil omen’ to any that actually encountered it.
I was a bit disappointed with this vague description. It seemed to be just a tale with over-tones from Conan Doyle and did not match the description of ‘stealth creature’ that Kennedy had encountered.
Another old local that we spoke to, however, seemed a little more encouraging. He said the apparition we were describing had been reported a little up country and was indeed known as the “Dowdsman” amongst other things. It had been seen a lot along deserted roads at night, and as far as he’d heard, it was a half-animal half-human type of creature, like the devil. There were many stories of people going mad after they’d seen it – although he couldn’t name any particular instance. The legend of this beast, though, was well established and even as a boy he knew the dangers of walking alone at night – especially at full moon – lest “old dowdy would get yer”. He knew of a place called “Hound Wood” near a village called Tytherley five miles east of Salisbury and he though the wood had been named after this hound.
As there was about three hours of daylight left, we decided to drive the odd twenty miles or so to Tytherley and see if we could find one of the creature’s said haunts where we could spend our nightly vigil.
Tytherley was a tiny village and people turned out to be decidedly unhelpful when we began asking questions about the ‘ghostly creature’. Perhaps discouraged by the fact that four strangers had invaded their tiny village not long before nightfall, and even trying to act like merely interested tourists, I nevertheless got the impression of the Dowdsman was simply taboo.
Checking a map, I discovered that an old Roman track ran straight across the countryside just a mile to the north of the village and decided somewhere along this would be a good place to lay in wait for the ‘creature’.
We parked the car and lit a small fire leaving Yvette and Charlotte to cook some food in preparation for the long vigil. I went over the ‘creature’s’ dossier again with John and we concluded that if it was to put in an appearance, it would probably keep to its usual pattern of following a roadway – in this case the old Roman track. This was not so much a calculated guess as we realised that many types of earthbound phenomena will stick to natural ‘lines of energy’ along the ground and most ancient track ways and sites were build directly along these lines. The main theory was (although it was more than a theory as far as I was concerned) that certain energy centres within the earth’s field itself were especially conducive to ‘magnifying’ or ‘conducting’ psychic energy and that once understanding the Laws relating to these cycles of energy, it was possible to estimate the type of any given phenomenon. Of course, this was not that easy for before any accurate comparison could be made, it was first necessary to have some idea of the nature of the original phenomenon; but it was exactly this that had bought us to our eerie environment.
After food and coffee, we settled back to wait; to see if the apparition might actually appear. It was nearly midnight and a bright moon provided fairly good vision, although this illuminated ‘black shapes’ in the distance which were in reality no more than clumps of bushes. The glowing fire lit the immediate area and we sat with our backs to this staring expectantly over the moonlit landscape.
John, Yvette and myself sat silently, just waiting and looking. Charlotte sat cross legged, her body taut and unmoving, and her face almost like a ghostly mask except for eyes that seemed to stare intently at something else which nobody else appeared to see. I had seen her like this before and realised she had entered into a state of ‘semi trance’; or had ‘tuned in’ to a level beyond the normal conscious mind.
I understood this perfectly. Most forms of psychic energy exist at a higher level – or ‘frequency’ – than the one we term ‘consciousness thought’ and most mediums or other advanced Initiates in mysticism, are able to ‘tune into’ this and are actually able to ‘see’ ghosts and other psychic phenomena. I knew that Charlotte would be the first to sense the entity if it chose to honour us with its presence.
Everything stayed quiet, almost timeless, and eventually I leaned back against a tree and allowed my mind to wander. I realised that too much expectation of things reputedly psychic could sometimes be a bad thing as ‘ghosts’ rarely appeared when anticipated to do so.
Indeed, I tried to think of the countryside instead, and how some of its landmarks portrayed a lost and forlorn history.
The old Roman road, for example (although now a mere track), ran virtually unmolested until it connected up with Old Sarum to the West, and this swept in broken stretches until it met up with Winchester, another old Roman fortification some twelve miles to the east.
Shimmering now in the moonlight, I could just imagine this old chalk track brimming with Roman legions, and perhaps also serving as a ‘life-line’ for later Medieval traders. Was it possible that these traders later travelled with captive animals – some of them bears – to display at towns and fairs along the wayside? It was a well known historical fact that bear-baiting (the practice of enraging a chained bear with dogs) was a popular Medieval pastime, and presumably the animals needed some form of transportation.
A dense wood a little to the north also seemed to hold its own secrets, but the map told nothing about this other than to show that part of this was marked as a ‘Norman cemetery’. Not far from us also (though now hidden by the canopy of the night) lay “Hound Wood” – the place the old man had claimed had been named after the hound-like spectre.
Two hours elapsed but nothing unusual occurred until Yvette was suddenly startled by a darting animal.
Soon, for no apparent reason and at frequent intervals, several more animals started running past us, crossed the Old Roman track and disappeared in a northerly direction. These seemed to ‘come out of nowhere’ and were running in a wild zigzag fashion; mostly rabbits as far as it was possible to tell in the dark, although there were some larger ones and we could make out a badger. Something had disturbed these animals, but whatever it was, remained an immediate mystery. Even an owl suddenly flapped away loudly into the night, though we had not seen or heard one all evening.
Suddenly, Yvette whispered excitedly that she could see something moving to the left of the wood. We followed her gaze and, sure enough, there appeared to be an animal moving steadily away from the edge of the wood. It was hard to tell at a distance what it was, but through binoculars it appeared to be the size of a small cow, although certainly not the same shape. It looked ‘rounder’ and didn’t have a cow’s long legs. In fact, it didn’t seem to have any legs at all; rather being a large black shape.
If we had any doubt that the ’shape’ was other than some supernatural entity, these were soon dispelled when the next moment it went ‘straight through’ a closed gate. It reappeared in a matter of seconds some ten yards further on. Now less than 150 feet away, it seemed to be moving in a wide circle around us, almost like some giant shadow that had broken free from the darkness. It was almost certainly of supernatural origin and without much doubt the same figure that had been seen by Kennedy and had been reported elsewhere in the district.
It was large and apparently formless in that it was not possible to discern any particular features; even its head being just another part of the dense black mass that appeared to make up the body. But the ‘body’ itself did seem to slant upwards and was bulkier at the top than the bottom part and it was probably this that gave an impression that it vaguely resembled a gorilla or bear. But there was nothing to suggest that it was any living animal; it made absolutely no sound, and passed straight through bushes and trees as one shadow might ‘absorb’ another if being cast together. Yet more than this; it seemed to generate an impression of overwhelming ‘malignancy’, although it was some kind of ‘supernatural intelligence’ as opposed to any living creature.
This potent atmosphere of evil seemed to increase as the ‘shadowy mass’ melted in and out of the darkness; only to be seen when it passed a lighter background or caught faint illumination from the fire. We all stared at it in fascinated horror; the situation seemed almost unreal, like a dream that had somehow managed to replace reality.
I fumbled for my camera but as I tried to see the ‘thing’ in the viewfinder, a strange thing happened. Suddenly I was overcome by an acute sense of dizziness; so much so, that I was forced to steady myself and put down the camera. Blood surged to my head and for a minute, I was oblivious to my surroundings. Its almost as if pointing the camera towards it had invited a massive surge of unwanted psychic energy. Sensing danger, I fought against an overwhelming desire to pass out and made a tremendous mental effort to repel whatever it was that was ‘attacking’ me. To some extent, this must have worked for gradually the oppressive force weakened and I was able to take some account of my surroundings.
Almost immediately, my attention was drawn to Charlotte who was walking in a daze towards the ‘shape’ which had now stopped in the distance. John was attempting to pull her back while Yvette was entreating me to help. Telling her to stay where she was, I ran towards Charlotte and grabbed her arm. John was holding her but with some difficulty as she was in some sort of trance. Her eyes were semi closed and she made pitiful cries as we dragged her back to the others and the comparative security of the fire.
John made up the fire and Yvette and myself propped her up against a tree.
I noticed immediately how cold she was. Her flesh was virtually like ice, and the small silver crucifix which she always wore around her neck was missing. Also something about her seemed strangely alien, as if we were only looking at a replica of her body. Her eyes were fully open now and she stared around with a glazed expression, her face looking deathly white in the shimmering firelight. She was not yet fully conscious but seemed vaguely aware of our presence. Some effect from the entity, had obviously badly shaken her up, and in this case she had not elected to go into a trance to make psychic communication, but had somehow been induced to go into one. I had seen Charlotte go into controlled trances many times before, but this was the first time I had seen her affected in such a manner.
We scarcely had time to attend to Charlotte, when John spotted the phenomenon again. He pointed and I noticed a distant black shape moving towards the darkened wood. I quickly fired two quick shots from the camera but even as I did so, the shape appeared to disappear into nowhere. The lingering light of the flash made it impossible to tell exactly where it had vanished, but when the film was later developed that two pictures only showed darkened countryside, and even had it been visible it would have been lost amongst the distant blackened shadows.
We decided to wait until morning before searching for any clues to explain the phenomenon’s appearance. It had been a hectic night and Charlotte, for one, needed time to recover. Letting her sleep in the back of the car, we heated some coffee and sat close to the fire keeping an uneasy watch on the wood. The apparition did not appear again, however, and eventually a chilly early morning light began to illuminate the countryside. It was still very early, but somehow none of us felt tired; probably shaken into a state of ‘mental awareness’ by events of the previous night.
We had a brief look around after daybreak, but there were no physical clues, such as footprints or broken branches, that betrayed any clue about the phenomenon’s appearance.
I did find Charlotte’s small crucifix not far from the fire where we’d all been gathered. The clasp had been broken and it had been trodden into the ground, only its looped silver chain bringing it to my attention. I presumed she’d walked over this herself after it had fallen from her neck.
When she eventually woke up, sipping tea, Charlotte told us what she had remembered . . .
Looking surprisingly relaxed in spite of her ordeal, she told us that she had, in fact, been ‘concentrating’ on the wood, sensing that there was some ‘presence’ in that vicinity. She had not told us this as it was nothing really tangible; rather, just a sense or ‘impression’ that she had experienced in her capacity as a medium on other occasions. Attempting to effect ‘communication’, she proceeded to concentrate on this ‘presence’ asking it to give her some sort of message.
At this stage, she was still aware of everything all around her, but received a growing sensation that something was ‘returning’ her concentration.
At first, this impression was fairly mild but gradually some force seemed to pound into her forehead until she was aware of nothing but its presence.
It was like a ’dynamo’ of energy; stronger than her own mind and ‘alive’, in that it was an ‘intelligence’, like a living person. She tried to fight it off because she sensed it was evil; yet more than this, it was trying to ‘enter’ her body. She could feel a tremendous pressure in her head, stifling her thoughts and drawing her up into a ’black void of nothingness’ which was beyond the sphere of her reason. She continued to fight against it, but her efforts got weaker and weaker, while the pounding force increased all around her. She was totally at its mercy having lost all ability for logical thought. Yet she was conscious of the thing itself which was now communicating to her. It used no words, but gave out an overbearing impression of ‘heavy deadness’ and seemed to be demanding her completer surrender. She could do nothing; in fact, was aware of nothing save for the oppressive force that was absorbing her. Yet even in this semi-conscious state, she managed to realise that she was in extreme mortal danger, and she struggled and made a tremendous mental effort to break free from the force, but it merely overpowered her, and she felt her head swimming in a sea of icy blackness. She was blacking out and in desperation, although more by an instinctive action than by conscious effort, she entreated the help of Christ. At this stage, the thing seemed to go berserk with rage and grew violently agitated. It started to ‘attack’ her and she felt searing pain where it tore through her body. She couldn’t move and was suffocating, and felt the life being forced from her body, but she still struggled to hold on to the image of Christ. A minute or two later she must have lapsed in to unconsciousness for she remember nothing else until we awoke her in the morning. It was all like a lingering nightmare; but one which, in reality, she could swear actually occurred.
We had no reason to doubt Charlotte’s experience, nor were we in any doubt that she had, indeed, been under serious psychic attack. Having witnessed the apparition ourselves, it became increasingly difficult to believe it was anything less than an intensified form of supernatural evil; earthbound, and potentially dangerous in that it would ‘attack’ human beings. Like its formidable legend, the creature actually existed; though whether in substance as a manifestation of the devil, we had yet to discover.
At this point, however, the investigation could really proceed no further. We had done everything necessary in establishing the validity of the phenomenon (which, after all, was only our original intention) and succeeded beyond expectation, and now it remained to find out exactly what type of apparition it was (although I had my own theories on this, these had not yet been tested from an ‘occult point of view’) and what motivated its appearance. This, however, was not a task which could be accomplished by further vigils, or using another medium in the hope that she might be able to avert further psychic attack. It was obvious that the thing we were dealing with was powerful to the extent of being dangerous, and such entities could only be controlled by the medium of a full magical ceremony. This, though, was something that could only be arranged in London and must take its place along with other pressing Society investigations. For the moment, it seemed, the strange case of the Dorset Dowdsman would remain unresolved.
NB As explained, the last part of The Dowdsman has never before been published before in article form and was written from old notes only recently re-discovered dating back to 1978/9.
The copyright is exclusively my own and no part of this article should be reproduced without prior permission being obtained.
PS For Hesselius, Gareth has responded to your further points about ‘trapped ghosts’ which appears in the replies to “An Essential Question”. David
Well, as you may have gathered, Gareth came last night instead of his usual Friday. Unfortunately, he didn’t get around to doing any typing on part 2 but he read what I’ve done so far and said it was fine. I will finish it off myself tonight and post it tomorrow.
How was my meeting yesterday? Fine thanks. Unfortunately I cannot say much on here in that direction as I have been told that some people have been closely reading this blog. Now, I don’t care who reads it, but I’m certainly not going to give any details of personal relationships that could affect other people. Me? Personally I really don’t care. So much has been written about myself and ‘witchcraft’, women, and all the rest of it, that only the imaginations of school children could do better. So imagine away!
I have also been told, however, that I am frequently being named on the Internet as various peoples’ ‘Ex’ – ‘Ex lover‘, that is.
Well, just for the record, I am nobodies ‘Ex’, I do not belong to anybody and have never done so (with the exception of one person). To imply that I do – or did – seems just a desperate attempt by some people to link their names with myself, thus trying to give a false impression of past relationships with myself. It really all depends how you define the word ‘relationship’. Working relationships? Well, I could hardly deny that, I’ve had plenty of those!
So, to answer your question publicly Janice as you suggested I should, I can only advise people to take such statements very lightly if or when they come across them. I am nobody’s ‘Ex’ in reality, but if certain people choose to make such claims (and write virtual books about these on the Internet) I can hardly stop them. Oh, the irony!
As I said, I shall almost certainly be putting up part 2 of “the Dowdsman” here tomorrow. My other two books “Dark Secrets “ and “Shadows in the night” have now almost been amalgamated into one new book. The second part of my autobiography is still to be done (now that will take some time!) and all this has held up the new magazine. Please be patient, everything is getting done!
I have also decided to combine my last series of booklets into one volume. As you will probably know, these are still available on Amazon but I just wanted to put all these together with the introduction of a couple of new characters. Should be fun and give me a chance to use a lot of unused material I’ve got.
Anyone got any suggestions or contributions they want to make, please email to my main email address given on my main Website at : davidfarrant.org
All for now though everyone,
Writing this a little earlier to day as Gareth is coming tonight. And hopefully he can finish typing up those pages for me. It really is a job. I believe I said, it really is difficult because the box had all got damp and the old carbon copies were barely distinguishable in some places. (God only knows where the originals are – help Gillian!). Re-reading the piece, I felt tempted to rewrite it, but its going in as I originally wrote it as to try and ‘change history’ (plenty of other people around who try to do that) somehow wouldn’t be truthful as that is how it was written at the time (even though I’ve since changed my views about what the apparition actually was) and that’s how its being published.
I did the same with Dark Secrets and Shadows in the Night as I believe I made clear in one of the forewords. I typed from the original manuscripts (some of it even written in faded pencil) and changed virtually nothing (except to correct grammar obviously). Don’t know why I’m even making a big thing of it really; just to say Part 2 (hopefully tomorrow) is published as it was originally written.
Quick look at the Randi site just now but nothing except a PM. Pleased really. I have been trying to let that ‘wind down’ for some time. I really just haven’t got the time for all the answers.
Postal strike today apparently, which would explain why there’s been no letters. Good! I don’t feel like answering any letters either.
Still preparing two new videos for the main Website. Not that easy as they have to be converted from video onto DVD. But I’ll get there!
When I think back, I’m rather proud of the original Website set up in 2001. It was way ahead of its time (thanks mainly to DM) and had no less than ten working videos. Might seen commonplace today but this was long before Utube remember, and about the only site which had any videos at all. This was one reasons it was so popular and attracted so many people. (Notwithstanding that some of these were originally sent as ‘spies’!)
Well, this is an early post for a change. Have a meeting at 5, then I have to be back here for 6.30 so as not to keep ‘Dracula’ waiting!
Well, I still haven’t finished typing up Part 2 of the Dowdsman yet; its longer than I thought. I might wait till Friday to finish it, as Gareth’s here and he’s a far faster typist than me. Not that I’ve asked him yet, but sure he’ll do a few pages.
What else? Had a few approaches about Halloween (should say ‘for Halloween’) interviews and articles, I mean.
Been working on the combination of my other two books, really flying along with that. Its going to be difficult when I come to re-write the part about A. It’s a long time ago, but that memory is still so much a part of my life. What I mean is, it is always ‘there’ but I don’t really want to write about it as that only brings it to life again. But then I realise I have to really. One thing I always try and do in my books, is keep them truthful. You can’t just select certain things when they all make up a part of life. At least, I can’t. Better not to write anything in the first place if that were the case.
On another note, I received a letter from a large distributor this morning asking if I could supply some more copies of a recent publication as the previous batch of 200 had almost completely sold out. Of course, I’m pleased but it all means extra work. I mean, I can’t drive, so it means I’ll just have to get someone to drive me over there with a couple of boxes of books. (Far too many to realistically post; rather just pay for the petrol and give them something ‘on top’ for the trouble).
Why is life so hectic sometimes?!
I thought to give everyone a break (not least myself), I would put a ’sneak preview’ of a ghost case I am including in the reprint of “Dark Journey” in about a year. (I still have to keep to my schedule of completing the other three books first).
In fact, the ‘beginning’ of this this weird case I have published before under the heading “The Dowdsman”. But only yesterday, I found some damp notes in my back room (no, no knickers this time!) written in 1979 or so, which dealt with the end part of that investigation.
The article is quite long so I will have to do this in two parts (well, I don’t have to but I haven’t finished typing the end section up yet!).
So, as a ‘break’, here is part 1. Part 2 will have to be tomorrow or soon thereafter or I might be accused of neglecting my ‘Girl with no name’! . . .
Perhaps one of the most memorable cases of psychic phenomena investigated by the British Psychic and Occult Society (BPOS), involved a ‘bear-like’ apparition said to haunt rural country roads in Dorset by night. This nocturnal apparition has long been the subject of many strange tales and happenings, and is said to take the form of a large black shape that is seen by lonely travellers and motorists. Descriptions of the apparition vary according to the accounts of witnesses, but basically it is described as a dense black shape appearing to ‘walk’ upright on two legs, resembling a bear or gorilla. According to witnesses who have been unfortunate enough to have encountered it on foot, the apparition emanates an aura of intense evil and a deathly silence descends upon the area of its appearances, as if all nocturnal life is aware of its presence.
Of course, like many other cases of unexplained phenomena that might filter back to the BPOS, such reports are at first treated with a certain amount of scepticism; at least, until an investigation has been mounted and the possibility of any logical explanation been discounted. The Dorset case was to be no exception to this rule.
In fact, I first heard about this case in the early 1970’s from a man who lived quite close to me in North London who claimed to have had a vivid and terrifying experience with this apparition in 1969.
His name was James (Jim) Kennedy, and when I went to visit him at his Highgate home, he told me that in June 1969, he had definitely encountered some ‘bear-like’ creature that had ‘stalked’ him along a Dorset lane late one night. I was impressed by Kennedy’s account. He came across as a sincere and logical person and not one who seemed prone to fantasy of exaggeration.
My contemporary notes that I made about the case at the time are as follows:
Last year Jim Kennedy and some friends had a frightening experience whilst returning from spending a weekend camping in Lulworth Cove in Dorset. He was with four other people and his wife and small daughter, and they were heading towards Salisbury en route for London, but they became hopelessly lost. To make matters worse, the camper van broke down on an unlit B road and they found themselves in the middle of nowhere with no sign of human habitation
After a while, Jim decided to try and find help and with two of the others they set off into the night They walked about a mile or so when, they came to a long tree-lined gravel driveway and in the distance, loomed a large old house. It was approaching midnight, but one or two of the windows were still lit which suggested the residents were still up.
Not wishing to alarm the residents so late, Jim decided to wait at the bottom of the drive while the others went to ask permission to use the telephone.
While he was waiting, Jim lit a cigarette when suddenly, something in the distance caught his eye, and he noticed a distinct dark figure coming down the drive towards him. It was a bright full moon, and the surrounding area was bathed in moonlight, but the dense trees prevented any clear identification of the advancing black shape. But he could see that the figure kept crossing the path, then emerging again from behind the trees, each time getting closer towards him.
At first he just watching the emerging figure with interest thinking it to be some large dog or other animal, but when it got nearer and he could see it more clearly, it took the shape of a large bear-like creature and he noticed it was making no sound on the loose gravel.
By now, more than a little perturbed that the figure may in some way be supernatural, Jim turned back towards the van, taking cautious glances over his shoulder to check the distance of his ’advancing adversary’.
He walked as fast as he could but didn’t run sensing that it might be dangerous to show fear; although he felt like doing so as the ‘thing’ was getting uncomfortably close. All the time, he was aware of an overwhelming sense of evil that the ‘creature’ appeared to emanate, and he felt as if he was being drawn back by some malevolent force. On reaching the van, he took one final glance over his shoulder and noticed to his horror that the thing was less than twenty feet behind.
Once inside the van, he told the others what had happened and, seeing he was in a state of genuine shock, they went outside to investigate. If they had any doubts, these were soon dispelled when the ’thing’ suddenly reappeared and went ’straight through’ a thick privet hedge into an adjourning field. It then re-emerged farther down the road and seemed to be circling the parked van.
It was not spotted again, although a deathly silence had descended on the area broken only by two horses in a nearby field which were galloping around wildly in the moonlight and crying out in a petrified manner.
Eventually help arrived and the AA service man remarked that there had been wide reports of this phenomenon over the years. It was often spotted by motorists only to disappear in the glare of the headlamps. It was known locally as the “Dowdsman” and one of its favourite haunts was the “Old Roman Crossing”.
After hearing this intriguing account, I decided to mark the ’Dowdsman sighting’ down for a full investigation by the BPOS, although this had to be put ’on hold’ due to other investigations then pending and a series of other events that prevented the somewhat long trip from London. But I made several interim enquiries in the meantime, and several references and replies to letters seemed to suggest that there was some definite mystery to be investigated in the area.
PART 2 SOON . . .
Well, everything seems to have quietened down once again on the Randi front now that people seem to have run out of things to say. It seems no-one has really got any answers to my replies, other than to just rely on their usual technicalities. I can only question why people take life so seriously with so many issues when none of it is really necessary. They really do seem to take mundane issues so seriously there. I guess my only ‘sin’ is that I just can’t seem to see the ‘seriousness’ of such arguments; but then, I am not a materialist! I guess that is really a main part of the problem over there.
So, to get back to today; in this mixed up material world.
‘Material issues’ all have to be dealt with obviously, but I just like to think that life is available for all without necessarily having to be divided into issues of just plain ’black’ and ’white’. Some people actually do this, you know: I mean, just accept life to exist as perceived only by the five physical senses, and that there is nothing beyond these.
All I have done in my books and other writings over the years is to point out that this may not be the case, but that a greater Reality almost certainly lies beyond the so-called five physical senses.
I get many varied opinions on this subject both ‘on’ and ‘off’ line. Peoples’ opinions on the subject would probably make a book on its own, and it is almost tempting to publish some of the more extreme comments. But I would never do so out of respect for peoples’ privacy, for not only is it illegal to publish or pass on private correspondence without permission, I believe this is also morally wrong.
Anyway, to get away from these issues; today has been fairly quiet for a welcome change,
A load more letters today that have to be dealt with, but other than that, basically nothing (well, I say ’nothing’ but there are a few book orders that I really have to deal with fairly urgently).
I saw her again today. What a refreshing change it was! I know she was glad to see me (and ’no’, I am not being ’big-headed’) and we seem to be getting closer.
It is an almost lovely feeling to be appreciated for what you are, without anyone knowing anything about you. But that will have to come in the future at some stage, I suppose; although at the moment she seems content to accept me as I am.
NB Talking of private correspondence and communications, some people keep asking me to tell more about the ‘Girl with no name’.
Well, I’m just not saying yet Got to keep some secrets!
But I’ll give a small clue to go on with . . . She’s about 5 6’ with black hair, and the first initial of her first name is in the middle of the alphabet. Well, at least you know she’s not a blonde now!