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Some of Dr.Ivan's favourite Fortean accounts

Case 1.

The Night the Floor Fell Away

Most of us have heard of black holes that are said to exist in deep space. Black holes are collapsed stars which are so dense, their gravity won't allow anything to escape, not even light. Black holes can swallow spaceships and whole planets, but, if the following story is true, perhaps there are miniature versions of black holes here on Earth.

In the early hours of Tuesday, December 9, 1873, police were called to a railway station in Bristol, England, where an elderly couple had been found, quaking with fear. When the police discovered that the man had been firing a pistol, the couple were arrested. At the police station, the man, whose name was Thomas Cumpston, was still so excited, he could hardly get his words out, although it was clear he had not been drinking. Neither had his wife, who was a Liverpool woman. Mr Cumpston eventually told police that he and his wife had left Leeds and had arrived in Bristol the day before to begin a short holiday. They had booked a room in the Victoria Hotel, and had settled in well. However, about four in the morning, the couple had been awakened by strange noises. Mr Cumpston had got out of bed to see what the matter was, and suddenly found that the floor was opening up. A gaping black hole yawned open in the carpet and sucked everything into it, including the couple's shoes and a chair. Mr Cumpston found himself clinging onto the edge of the bed with his legs dangling into a black, bottomless void. Mrs Cumpston screamed and summoned up some inner strength to grab her husband by his nightshirt to pull him up. The most horrible thing about the incident was the sound of screaming, tormented voices that the couple heard. The voices echoed about in the black vortex.

The couple had to climb out of a window to escape, and at one point, Mr Cumpston fired his revolver into the black seething mass. When the police inspected the hotel room they found nothing amiss, and there were no bullet holes in the floor. The chair was missing, and so was the carpet and the couple's shoes.

The hotel Manager was quizzed, and seemed to know something, but probably didn't want to alarm the other hotel guests. He did admit that a spaniel he kept had vanished from his own room a week before. The dog was there one minute, and gone the next. Then three hotel guests came forward to speak to the police in private. They were all professional people and considered to be level-headed individuals. One was a doctor, and the other two were an ex Lord Mayor and his wife. They said they had been in the lounge on the previous evening, enjoying a conversation over a meal, when the room slowly grew dark. Within seconds the place was pitch black, and even the candles on the table could not be seen, nor the gas mantles of the hotel lamps. The doctor had been about to light his pipe, and he struck a match, but although he struck the match and heard it ignite, he could not see a flame. The flame was not seen by the two other people either.

It was as if some blackness had enveloped everything. The doctor yelled out as the match burnt his hand, and the lights in the room suddenly shone through the eerie darkness.

Albert Einstein once conjectured that there might be such a thing as negative space. Einstein described holes of negative space as caverns of nothingness. He said that an unfortunate man who walked into one of these voids would not be seen, nor would he see; he wouldn't feel anything nor could he be felt. He simply wouldn't exist any more. Perhaps these caverns of negative space were responsible for the bizarre incident at the hotel room. But what were those screams the couple heard in that black hole? Where they people who had vanished over the years, trapped in some sort of limbo?

Case 2.

Black Stick Men (or shadow people)

I was walking from a friend's house to my own, in the early hours of the morning after a night of general chat while I was at university here in London, UK, specifically, a relatively leafy suburb called Brockley in South-east London. I had drunk only everyday tea or soft drinks all night and had consumed no drugs whatsoever. I'd simply gone without sleep. The time was around 6am and dawn was literally breaking when a friend and I found ourselves walking down my street to where my apartment was located, when we saw a figure walking up the street towards us. The word we coined later to describe its movement was 'lolloping' - a kind of up-down bouncy walk. It took a few seconds for the two of us to realise this was no human being. I asked my friend: "See that man?" "Yes," was the reply. "It's not a man, though, is it?" I found myself asking. "No,' said my friend, sounding scared. "It isn't."

The creature was entirely black and like a cardboard cut-out, flat and one-dimensional. It had no features at all, and it had arms that hung down to its knees. It seemed to be ignoring us, then it seemed to realise we could see it and it began to 'lollop' faster towards us.

We ran to my front door and hid in the hallway as quiet and unmoving as possible when we saw the thing - we felt it was male - approach the front door and appear to look through the glass from the way its head moved up and down and around. It then turned away.

We didn't sleep for some time after that, discussing what we saw. It was shaped like many descriptions of 'greys' but both myself and my friend came away with the impression that what we saw was either of this world or from another parallel dimension. To all intents and purposes, it appeared to be sauntering along the road enjoying the walk before it became shocked to see us staring at it in horror. We instinctively felt this was not a creature to try and communicate with, this was not something that it was good to be near. We might have been wrong but neither myself nor my friend would ever like to see this creature or others like it again, though I'd love to get some ideas on what it was. We felt that if this creature had somehow gotten hold of us, we would not be around today to tell the tale to anyone who might believe us or at least give the story open-minded consideration.

Case 3.

A new Spring Heeled Jack case.

I was making my way to Farringdon train station after having spent an evening out with friends in the Clerkenwell area of London. Not knowing the place very well I got a bit lost and ended walking the streets for a while looking for someone to ask directions.

London seemed strangely deserted that night and I freely admit I was starting to worry, about missing my train home more then anything else, but I also had a feeling of unease you can only get if you are totally unfamiliar with your surroundings. If you were ever lost in a department store as a child you will know of what I speak.

If you are aquatinted with London you will know that one minute you can be in the most modern metropolis then turn a corner and you are in a Dickensian cobbled alleyway, well It was down one of these alleys that my attention was drawn. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a darting figure. I turned instinctively to look. The alley was lit sporadically by old fashioned street lamps. It was behind one of these lamps I thought I could make out the shape of a figure trying to conceal himself, I pondered for a second on what it could be. I decided I would react to it in the traditional English manner, to overt my gaze and pretend nothing was happening. As I was putting this plan into action I heard a burst of shrill laughter, I turned to face the alleyway once more. Coming toward me in great lolloping movements was a tall, thin figure. It moved silently and was dressed in what looked like tight black leather. I could not make out its face but I was transfixed by this apparition. It moved as if it were dancing in reverse, coming closer toward me moving like a giant string puppet. Just as I gathered my wits enough to run it issued another ear piercing laugh, crouched on the ground then shot off upwards out of my view. I did not try to see where it had leapt to I ran as fast as I could until I found a main road. I followed the main road to the station and only just got the train home.

I had/have no idea what it was, probably a practical joke of some kind. However a search on the internet the next day brought up the name "Spring Heeled Jack" not seen in London since the Victorian era.

Case 4.

The Superstition Mountains.

The Superstition Mountains in Arizona have long been a place of unexplained paranormal stories, hence the name. From the stories of the Lost Dutchman's mines, to being a place of multiple portals where Reptilian humanoids come up from the depths of the Otherworldly to prey upon hapless human victims, unearthly lights that glow at night lighting up the delicate desert skies, as ships come to and fro between dimensions. This has always been a place of mystery, and obsessive exploration by brave adventurers who would debark into its depths to seek out its unrevealed secrets never to return. It is a legendary place with a history that goes back to stories shared around campfires of many Native People and as well the Conquestadories that were familiar with this mountain range centuries ago.

What are the truths behind the legends if any, well which one are you speaking of ? What I can tell you is that having been a long time resident of the South West I have made my treks into this place of mystery, and it is a place where amateurs be forewarned DO NOT LINGER after dark. Things happen here that cannot be explained, even by the most experienced of Shaman or explorers of the Paranormal. Here the crust that lies between this world and others must be very thin, for the access to inner Earth is almost an open field. In the space of a day one can experience several time and dimensional shifts, in the space of a few hours, even if you are not looking for that. There are many trails, and no kidding you can very easily get lost, and I would not rely upon my GPS, it does not always work in this region. Temperatures can reach over 130f in the day and drop 50f in a matter of a few hours.

The Superstition's are a place where time has refused to adhere to man's rules, and seems to do its own thing, at times almost in defiance of man. If you are a sensitive, this is a place where you will experience one phenomenon after the next, and it can be devastating to the weak of heart. Best know who you are, and have a keen respect for the desert, and if you do not believe in paranormal experiences before you play here, you will after you leave. The Apaches called it the Devils playground.

Like in the Colorado Rockies, and Red Rock canyons of Sedona there are many portals and spirit faces to be found in the rocks. Some are just that Spirit faces, some are not at this point I am not making any claims as to what or who might have created them. I assure you that portals exist, and it is not exactly like walking through the park to enter one of these. If you do come across one keep in mind that if you can pass through then something can pass through going in the opposite direction. Keep in mind also that some Sipapoos are stationary others are moving, yes I said moving from one location to another like waves of energy. Also they are not always accessible, some are open all the time, most are not, so if you went through one, there is no guarantee it will be open when and if you return.

For anyone to play with Sipapoos without having a strong constitution, and spiritual and mental understanding of these matters is to play the part of a fool. Remember the legends, some people never returned from this place when they wandered off. If you have to see this place as I did let me give you a few pointers especially for you beginners.

We suggest you plan your visit between October and May its cooler, you have no idea what hot is till you have been lost here for a few hours in the summer heat. Make note of the weather, flash storms, and flash floods are a real danger. Let the ranger station know you are going in there, people hike all the time in certain areas. Pick a trail that the rangers patrol occasionally stay to the trail, just look at the ground for signs of traffic, footprints, bike tracks etc.. The pictures presented here were taken along the Peralta Trail. This has an easy access off Highway 60 and is clearly marked. And it would not hurt to let a friend know of your planned adventure either just in case you actually do have an encounter of another kind, and please don't go in alone the first couple of times. Now you've been fairly warned
I have had many paranormal experiences perhaps a few too many, therefore these kinds of experiences do not through me off balance, and I am trained as a Shaman amongst other things, in how to deal with inter-dimensional shifts, and Sipapoos, the windows. as the old-timers called them, windows to the Otherworldly. SO as my Gran & ma used to say be careful when you go walkin in the world of Spooks and Spirits.Very often we find that it is the degree in which we deal with matter, and what we harbor in our hearts that dictates the outcome of events.

And by the way should you run into a crazy old coot, with a beat up old Stetson and a donkey, smelling like the Earth itself, well listen intently, then you just may have a real story to write home about. But don't be surprised if when in one instant as you turn around to pick up your gear and upon straightening out and turning back around he has completely vanished. Youlll have to think about how you are going to tell that one to your friends and after a few days you'll think lost it, that it never happened, until you reach in your pocket and pull out that gold nugget, or Amethyst crystal that somehow got there.

To come across one Wizard would be interesting enough appearing amongst the rocks, but how can we explain to the linear reasoning of the rational mind ... twins ? You tell us.

Or are the old Indian stories correct and they are beings turned to stone for the evil they once employed, as a result of some ancient war of the Shamans.... Or could they be as some claim, and argue extra-terrestrial in origin?


Tony B Stanforda's cosy corner