This is a small piece I was asked to do by my old friend David Gillham of Truro. He’s a great guy and I was very happy, and very proud to do it…..
My name is Mark and I’m a long-time friend of David Gillham, and also an attendee of his C.U.F.O.R.G. annual conferences in Truro. I first met David about ten years ago, ‘on-line’, via our mutual interest in the paranormal, and soon after that we began to meet-up for wild and often wet walks on high, bleak Cornish moor tops. We would also often chat about U.F.O.s, ghosts, and all things ‘strange’, whilst sipping coffee and eating his wife Elaine’s lovely cakes in his ‘man-shed’ in the back garden, (Truro’s very own Alien Central!)
I was very proud to be asked by David to do a quick write-up for this year’s 20th Conference. But I’m also going to sneakily slip in a quick tribute to him too! David is a very cool, friendly, knowledgeable guy, and he is very much an unsung ‘hero’ of the U.K. paranormal community. You won’t hear his name mentioned much on paranormal podcasts, but he has done so much to increase our knowledge in this field of study, and to also bring us all together. I hope that he, and you, approve of my write-up……
‘The Truth is out there’ (and it’s coming to Truro soon!)
Saturday the 7th October, 2017, is a date to note for your diary. It will mark the Cornwall U.F.O. Research Group’s 20th Conference! It is one of the longest running, and most respected conferences in the west country.
It all began back in 1995 when David Gillham, (C.U.F.O.R.G.’s founder member), and a long-time resident of Truro, had a sighting of an unidentified flying object from his back garden. David knew that it was highly unlikely that what he had seen that day was of terrestrial origin, and so he began his quest to find the truth. David read numerous books on the subject, he watched U.F.O. documentaries, made local and national contacts in the field, and went out on local sky-watches with like-minded new friends.
David soon realised that there was no local meeting place for those like himself who were seeking answers, for those that did not accept the inadequate, and sometimes ridiculous ‘answers’, (swamp gas anyone?!) that sceptics and certain scientists were only too keen to offer. And so an idea was born, he would set-up a ‘meet-up group’, and a website, for those needing to discuss their own strange sightings, and to have them officially acknowledged, and collated, to find any measureable patterns or trends.
It went very well, and, within a few months, he had set-up his own conference at Truro College. Among the first guests were David Icke, another truth-seeker and researcher that we all know, and Nick Pope, who was then working for the Ministry of Defence in London, collating U.F.O. sightings on behalf of the government. The first turnout for his conference was very encouraging as 330 people attended! This proved that there was a need for David’s fledgling research group and the annual conference in the wider Cornish community.
Cornwall has always been, and remains, a place that attracts mysteries and legends. I am currently interviewing witnesses to anomalous activities in Cornwall for my own book. The experiences that people have had, even in recent times in Cornwall, may surprise you. One particular story really got my attention. A tourist to Cornwall told of how he had got up in the early hours of the morning to get a glass of water from the kitchen. He was absent-mindedly gazing out through the window, across the bay. He claims he saw a huge black triangle emerging from the sea and shooting off at tremendous speed skywards! I have been given many similarly strange witness testimonies, and David himself has hundreds more in his own records. Cornwall is certainly a hotbed of ‘high strangeness’.
If you haven’t already attended one of David’s conferences, you may be wondering what kind of people would attend. Well, you can forget the out-dated, myopic, and stereotypical mainstream media view of such events. (You’d be hard pressed to find any ‘fruit-cakes’ at David’s annual conferences, well, unless it was in my bag alongside a packet of Jaffa cakes and a ‘Starbuck’s energy drink!) The reality, as I soon found out at my first conference 10 years ago, is that a huge cross section of the Cornish community attends, along with people from other parts of the south-west, and even from ‘up-country’ too. You will meet people from every ‘class’ and income bracket. You will meet students, retired people, farmers, policemen, teachers, lorry drivers, and from many other walks of life too. They all have a few things in common, and these include a hunger for ‘answers’ to the U.F.O. mystery, and an open, enquiring, and intelligent mind.
Between speakers you will be able to have a coffee with these lovely people and ‘swap’ experiences and ideas. (To be honest I enjoy the social side of the conference as much as I enjoy the actual guest speakers.)
What I like about David’s annual conference is that he always manages to find fascinating speakers. My personal favourites, so far, have been Robbie Graham, (doing a talk on the role Hollywood has in creating ‘hyper-reality’), Paul Weston, (who gave us an excellent talk which somehow drew together so many mystical and culturally diverse topics), and David himself, (as there is nobody else in the west country with his depth of knowledge and understanding of the U.F.O. subject). David has a gift for choosing interesting speakers who have a perspective that may challenge us and our pre-conceived ‘truths’, and surely that’s what we all need, somebody who will stretch our minds to new possibilities and new ideas?
The subject matter varies considerably, in the ten years I’ve been attending I’ve heard interesting talks on all kinds of ‘paranormal’ phenomena, not just on U.F.O.s., and sometimes the speakers will, quite unexpectedly, take us all off on wonderful, eclectic journeys, as they link subjects such as magic, history, culture, spirituality, mysticism and consciousness.
I’m hoping that this year’s speakers will do likewise, the line-up looks fascinating; we have Clas Svahn, (all the way from Sweden), talking about their ‘Ghost Rocket’ phenomenon, Tim Walter doing a talk on ‘The earth, it’s ghosts, and our part in its creation’, Nigel Watson asking the question “Are U.F.O.s extra-terrestrial craft?” (many of us think not, some, like me, think they may be inter-dimensional), and finally, after an afternoon tea break, Alan Foster will talk about ‘The spiritual consequences of U.F.O. disclosure, and contact with extra-terrestrials’.
If, like me, you would enjoy spending a lovely day with friendly, intelligent, open-minded people, hearing fascinating speakers, and other peoples’ other-worldly experiences in Cornwall, then why not get yourself down to Truro on Saturday October the 7th? You won’t regret it!
It is, once again, being held at the modern, and very stylish, ‘Fal’ building at Truro College. The doors will open at 9 a.m., and the first talk starts at 9.50 a.m. (Please arrive in plenty of time so as not to disturb the first speaker, thank you). There will be a mid-morning break, and an afternoon break with refreshments available, and, at lunch-time, you are free to mix with other conference attendees wherever you so wish. There are local fast-food restaurants very nearby, and a few pubs too.
The conference will be introduced, and very ably compered, by David Gilham, and his long time C.U.F.O.R.G. fellow researcher, David Lee. Tickets are available via David’s website (http://www.cornwall-ufo.co.uk/ufo-conference-2017.html) or by ringing him, or his lovely wife Elaine, on Tel 01872-276381. If you buy in advance the tickets are priced at £24 each, or they are £28 on the day. They are well worth the money, and it’s got to be better than doing the garden, going shopping, or watching the T.V. again hasn’t it?!
All the best to you David, and I hope that you are still around for the 30th annual conference, and way beyond!
Mark Anthony Wyatt
On Trencrom with David, 2011.
Well that was a good day. I met up with Michael William’s Paranormal Investigation team, the longest running and best group of its kind in the country. ‘Paranormal Investigation’ don’t do the ‘Scooby Doo’ type of ‘investigations’ so popular on the T.V. these days, their approach is far more intelligent and mature, taking in lots of historical research and local knowledge. Michael, if you didn’t already know, is a prolific Cornish author, (his latest is about Daphne Du Maurier and her sisters, but he has dozens of supernatural books to his name too), he is also a journalist for the ‘Cornish Guardian’, a publisher, a Cornish Bard, and a very long established and experienced paranormalist among other things.
We all met up across the border in Sourton (Devon), on the edge of Dartmoor, and then travelled in convoy over to Meldon. Meldon is a very pretty area with loads of industrial history. We were fortunate enough to have our own local expert guide with us, Mike Wreford. While we walked on the moor with Mike, he was telling us all about the fascinating history of the area, (lime kilns, glass works, copper and tin mining, quarrying etc.) We were briefly joined by a passing retired Dartmoor farmer/landowner friend of Mikes, who just happened to be passing by with his dogs, and he gave us even more history and detail.
From there we all headed back to the amazing, and very haunted ‘Highwayman Inn’ at Sourton, where we had a good pub lunch and lots of interesting conversations. I was lucky enough to be sat at a table in the dark, spooky pub, with, among others, a lady called Pamela, who was Colin Wilson’s secretary for many years, and she had some great stories to tell about Colin‘s life and career. All to soon the gathering came to an end, I look forward to the next one at an old manor house in North Cornwall in November.
Constructive comments below are very welcomed. Glowing praise even more so. It’s how I know that you have been here. Offers of highly paid writing or speaking gigs, though unlikely, would be lovely too. But just for the record, all spammers can just go and **** themselves.
All written work by Mark Anthony Wyatt, Bude, Cornwall. October, 2016.
Note; Any written work, music, images or videos that Mark Anthony Wyatt has created, remains his personal intellectual property! But any other images, videos, quotes etc., that were NOT created by me remain the intellectual property of those who created them.
You can also find me on ‘Facebook’..@ ‘It’s a Dark, Dark Night’ or ‘Mark Anthony Wyatt’.
Dave Grohl telling his personal ghost story. Musical/creative people are frequently experiencers of anomalous events, it kind of goes hand in hand….and if he is just spinning a yarn, I don’t really care, because he does it so well!
I claim no rights to this video, or those appearing in it. It was not created by me, and it remains the intellectual property of those who did create it. Furthermore I make no monetary gain from showing this video on my website. If the owners of this content wish me to remove this post I will do so. April 25th, 2016. Mark A. Wyatt
This is one of Steve’s podcast appearances on Seriah Azkath’s excellent ‘Where Did The Road Go’. It’s a great conversation.
Ghost hunter Michael Williams has been interested in the paranormal for almost half a century. His new book focuses on strange happenings close to his home in North Cornwall.
These are his own words….
“It was 49 years ago, on Midsummer Eve, that I had my first paranormal experience, strange lights at Bossiney setting me on the ghost hunter’s road.
But for the writing of the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould I should never have begun this great adventure. He, like Hawker, the legendary vicar of Morwenstow, had no doubts about the reality of ghosts. Hawker also claimed to have conversed with angels.
I cannot make this journey across North Cornwall without saluting Colin Wilson, one of the greatest paranormal writers in literary history, who resided in Cornwall until his death last December. Conversations with Colin and reading his books – there are about twenty of them in my St Teath library – have shaped a deepening awareness.
In our cottage, I once asked him: “Why are so many intrigued by ghosts?”
Colin replied: “It’s quite a cocktail. Mystery and adventure, romance and a kind of other-worldliness all play their part.”
He was fascinated by the fact that some of our North Cornwall villages boast not one ghost but several. Recalling his commission to write a book called Afterlife, Colin said he was far from sure about the evidence for life after death, but when he had finished the manuscript, “the evidence pointed unmistakably to survival”.
There was a curious encounter at Wadebridge, a town soaked in history, folklore and ghosts. Ray Bishop, a fine photographer who lived in town, mentioned to a friend one afternoon that he was going to see a local shopkeeper called Mr X. However, his friend broke the news that Mr X had died. Upset by the news, Ray postponed his visit and some days later called at the shop to order some items. Ray said that as the female assistant disappeared into another part of the shop, Mr X emerged from his office.
“He looked very solid and real,” said Ray. “Though the man’s complexion was ashen I quickly realised I had misheard – he looked very ill but was clearly very alive. In fact we talked about the bad weather for the time of year and how it was affecting business in the town. When I returned home I phoned my friend and enquired whether he had misheard about the death of Mr X.”
“No,” came the reply. “He’s dead and buried.”
This is but one of many haunted tales from North Cornwall. I have taken readers on paranormal investigations to haunted territories like Bude Castle, Jamaica Inn and the Crow’s Nest, an inn where we had the extraordinary experience of meeting a Charlotte Dymond imposter – the only imposter spirit we have ever encountered.
On an investigation in October 2008 at the Davidstow Airfield and Cornwall at War Museum, which is dedicated to the history of RAF, our group of 13 members all agreed there was a powerful sense of the past enriched with strong undercurrents and emotions. So much so that several of us were quite exhausted at the end of our five-hour investigation.
At one point we divided into four small groups for a silent session. Those in the air-raid shelter, which contains a simulated air-raid recording, felt some strange sensations especially on the right-hand side of the shelter. Elaine Beckton, for example, smelled rubber: a link to the wearing of gas masks. Elaine Flew of Tintagel and I had a surprising experience by the Fairey Gannet aircraft out in the open. Quite independently, we heard softly spoken conversation coming from within the empty aircraft and the sound of machinery quietly operating as if from a distance.
Another unusual feature of the silent session was that some members spoke of an aircraft flying over the site but those of us out in the open knew no aircraft had flown anywhere near the location. It would therefore seem that the airfield retains some phantom sounds – strengthening the theory that, now and then, ghostly planes are heard returning to Davidstow around 3am. We all came away with the impression that something of wartime activity hangs in the air.
So we move on to the King’s Head at Five Lanes where mediums have made contact with a young woman called Cross, whose uncle was a well-known Devonshire highwayman. He occasionally ventured into Cornwall and, on some excursions, his niece, dressed as a man and riding a dark horse, joined him. They made a cunning combination, the niece often picking up snippets of information in the bar about members of the gentry making journeys.
We also learned the inn was used by smugglers and customs men, one of whom had been shot by a smuggler in the yard at the front. But young Miss Cross made it clear her uncle had no direct business links with smuggling, though he did have the occasional social drink with a smuggler or two.
The inn became a posting stage for coaches in the mid-1700s and a local vicar described it as “an establishment where smugglers and shadowy characters frequented and shadowy deals sometimes took place”.
The King’s Head has long had a haunted reputation. Peggy Bray, a former landlady, is reputed to take an occasion stroll around the place at night and, more recently, a ghostly girl has been observed in the bar, seemingly real, only to suddenly disappear. Room 3 upstairs has an interesting reputation. More than one visitor has heard inexplicable tapping on the outside of the bedroom window and, on investigation, found nobody there. I have felt unseen presences in this bedroom and in the corridor outside.
Most significantly, four of our members did a night investigation here and picked up the sound of loud footsteps and a door latch being lifted in the empty bedroom and have them recorded. I have heard the recording three times – and know all four members are people of integrity.
So, thank you, Mr Baring-Gould”.
Haunted North Cornwall by Michael Williams is published by The History Press(thehistorypress.co.uk) at £9.99.
These are genuine original 1950s audio witness testimonies. They are well worth a listen!
I do not own the copyright on this content. I am merely letting other people have an opportunity to hear these wonderful historic recordings too. I make no claims on any of the material here, and I make no monetary gains by re-publishing the content. My only wish is to entertain/educate.
Mark’s first Book is now available on Amazon! It’s called ‘Wyatt’s Weird World!’
Mark was born right at the beginning of the so called ‘swinging 60s’, but the only swinging he ever did was from a rope hanging from an old oak tree at the bottom of his garden. He was fortunate enough to be raised in the beautiful rural Tillingbourne Valley, in the south east of England.
As a very young lad, his Mum and Dad read him bedtime stories, these had included the likes of Enid Blyton’s ‘Famous Five’ books, Capt. W.E. John’s ‘Biggles’ series, and the Arabian Nights tales of ‘Ali Baba’. But one early evening in the mid-sixties, his Dad told him a story that would change his life. It was his yarn about a creepy nocturnal encounter with a ‘glittery man’ riding a bicycle, the terrifying apparition of a dead gunpowder worker! Later that night Mark just couldn’t get to sleep due to the image of the ghostly gunpowder worker. His Dad’s spooky story had, quite unintentionally, sent Mark off on a long, creepy, dark, winding road, and it is a road on which, 50 years later, he still travels!
Mark would regularly come away from Guildford library with a bag full of ghost story collections. The ‘Biggles’ books were soon consigned to the past, and he moved on to stories by writers such as M.R. James, H.P. Lovecraft and W.W. Jacobs.
There is an old maxim that says ‘if you take an interest in the paranormal, it will take an interest in you’, and that has certainly been the case for Mark. He began to experience the occasional strange event in his home, the surrounding countryside, and even while on holiday many miles away. As he matured, his reading matter significantly expanded, it now included books by authors such as Colin Wilson, Michael Williams, and Brad Steiger.
He bought his first property in 1983, and in that little flat, and in every home that he has lived in ever since, in Surrey, up in Northumberland, and down to Cornwall, the weirdness has followed him around like an obsessed stalker, leading Mark to consider that another old maxim may be true too, the one that says ‘people are haunted, not places’!
Mark’s personal experiences in this book begin with the scary tale that got his ‘Weird World’ started, his Dad’s chilling ‘Gunpowder Ghost’ story. The stories that follow it are in an approximate chronological order, beginning with his very early spooky boyhood experiences in Surrey, and eventually reaching down westwards to Cornwall, where he currently resides. However, most of the short stories can be read separately, so you can, if you so wish, just randomly dip into the book at any place.
When Mark isn’t doing his own writing, he still loves to read books about the paranormal and the esoteric. In recent months he has been reading work by serious cutting edge researchers like Jacques Vallee, John Keel, and Robbie Graham, and also good old fashioned ghost stories collected by the American author Steve Stockton. Mark likes to keep up to date with the latest research in the paranormal world, so he listens to a few of the better paranormal podcasts. He enjoys a good natter about paranormal topics with his very knowledgeable, experienced friend, Derek Thomas, or anybody else that is on a similar wave-length!
Mark would like you to know that he does other ‘stuff’ too, his life isn’t all paranormally orientated! He’s quite ‘normal’ most of the time! He plays finger-style acoustic guitar, he listens to many different genres of music, (but admits to a slight addiction to the music of Mike Nesmith). He walks on Bodmin Moor with his dog. He reads biographies, he rides his bike down Cornish country lanes, he watches dark Scandinavian crime dramas, and he still likes to find time to go back to his roots in the Surrey Hills occasionally, to do a little fishing and just wander around the local hills and woods.
He is currently working on a collection of witness testimonies to strange paranormal phenomena in Cornwall, which he hopes will be published by the spring of 2017. Thank-you.