Mac Tonnies, the late author of the book After the Martian Apocalypse, which is a study of the controversial “Face on Mars” mystery, believed he had the answer to the potential problems cited by Hawking: “Stephen Hawking condemned time travel because, in his opinion, it should enable a constant stream of visitors from our own future. He assumes, perhaps unwisely, that we’d be aware of these visitors, when in truth it’s remarkably easy to think of reasons our ancestors might choose not to visit at all.” Tonnies continued: “Other physicists are at work refuting the paradox of going back in time and killing your parents before you are born. If they’re right, a time traveler from the future could interact with others, including his or her past self, so long as no action was taken that would endanger the traveler’s own continued existence. It’s difficult to visualize how this might work, although the idea makes logical sense. Maybe the best analogy would be a physical system that relies on a principle of least action, such as a ball rolling inexorably downhill.” He further noted:
“The fascinating upshot of this is that there’s a chance we’re indeed being visited by advanced beings from our own future, but their interactions with us would be necessarily limited lest they doom themselves to nonexistence.” Tonnies also wonders if the many UFO sightings that have been reported for decades may not be due to the actions of aliens from the other side of the galaxy, but the result of time-traveling humans masquerading as ET to keep secret their real point of origin. “If time travel is possible,” said Tonnies, “the behavior of UFOs may be at least partially explained: formal contact with us would result in a causality violation of some sort, so they must remain content with maintaining their presence behind a curtain of subterfuge.” And if we are indeed being visited by time-travelers from the future, then surely the biggest question is: how are they getting here? A very good question! Moving on…
A key event of the First English Civil War, the Battle of Hopton Heath (a small village in south Shropshire) was fought on Sunday, March 19, 1643 between Parliamentarian and Royalist forces. The battle ended at nightfall, with the actual victory and outcome still remaining matters of very much personal opinion. The Royalists, for example, had succeeded in capturing eight enemy-guns; while the Parliamentarians believed that their successful killing of the enemy commander, the Earl of Northampton, was of equal – if not even greater – significance. But, without doubt of even more significance was a startling event that occurred at some point in the winter of 1974. It was late at night and then-thirty-six-year-old John ‘Davy’ Davis, a Lichfield, Staffordshire-based house-painter at the time, was driving near Hopton Heath when he began to feel unwell: an ominous tightness developed in his chest, he felt lightheaded, and, as he succinctly put it, “my left ear hurt and felt hot.”
Quickly pulling over to the side of the road, Davis was amazed to see the night-sky suddenly transform into daylight, while the road in front of him no longer existed: instead, it had been replaced by a mass of fields, heath-land and tangled trees. And, in front of him, countless soldiers adorned in what was clearly Civil War-clothing waged harsh war upon one another. Notably, Davis said that although at one point he was “nearly bloody surrounded” by the soldiers, it was almost as if they could neither see him nor his vehicle. This afforded Davis a degree of relief, as he was practically frozen to the spot, and “couldn’t have run if I had wanted to.” As it transpired, Davis didn’t need to run anywhere: just a few seconds later, the bizarre scene suddenly vanished, and Davis found himself sat at the edge of the road, with his car squashed against a large line of hedge, and with complete and utter normality returned.
Horning is an old village in Norfolk, England situated between Wroxham and Ludham, on the River Bure. On a summer’s afternoon in either 1978 or 1979, the Margolis family was enjoying a stroll around the picturesque village when, like so many before them and since, they were overcome by a feeling of distinct uneasiness and unreality – as well as total silence, and a slight dizziness. That uneasiness quickly mutated into concern, fright, and overwhelming disorientation as the landscape became “fuzzy” (“like a big heat-haze”), the houses were replaced by ancient cottages, and the road ahead of them became little more than a muddy track. As for the cars that had been in sight, they were no more. Instead, a battered and bruised cart appeared – that was being pulled by a large cart-horse. A thin man dressed in brown walked alongside the horse; yet appeared not to notice any of the family in the slightest. Suddenly, however, the modern-day sounds of cars and voices began to echo all around them, and the strange spectacle was now utterly gone.
Notably, it seems that Mrs. Margolis may very well have been exposed to the odd scene for slightly less a period of time than was her now-late husband and their 11-year-old son. “I looked at them when I came out of it,” recalled Mrs. Margolis in a 1997 interview, “and it was like they were in a trance: their mouths were hanging down, and their eyes looked funny. Then they looked like they woke up and we were all back together again.” Interestingly, odd and unsettling feelings and sensations, such as those referenced in each of the cases above, were also referred to by author Andrew Mackenzie in his book Adventures in Time: Encounters with the Past. Such events, reported Mackenzie, are “often accompanied by feelings of depression, eeriness and a marked sense of silence, deeper than normally experienced.” Similarly, Jenny Randles’ book, Time Storms: Amazing Evidence for Time Warps, Space Rifts, and Time Travel firmly demonstrates that whatever we may think we know about the nature of time, in reality we may not even know the half of it.
Now, what about one of the most terrifying things: nuclear attack. Midway through the summer of 2017, something unforeseen and very unsettling occurred. In the second week of August three people contacted me with eerily similar stories of nuclear Armageddon in the near future. Not only that, in their nightmares the U.S. president (not Trump or Biden) was assassinated by North Korean agents, secretly working on behalf of Russia. When the U.S. government finds out the truth, North Korea is, in essence, turned into radioactive dust. But, it doesn’t end there: Russia is soon dragged in and, on the third day, nuclear weapons are used in Europe. The conflict grows and grows. In less than a week, an all-out nuclear conflict erupts. In less than a couple of hours, Europe, China, Russia, and the United States are destroyed; billions are dead, all as a result of that assassination of the U.S. president. To receive several such eerily similar accounts was, I have to admit, chilling.
Then, on August 8, I received a Facebook message from a guy named Kenny, who had a horrific dream of nuclear war two nights earlier. In Kenny’s dream, the U.S. president was shot to death by a foreign agent, something that led to a nuclear war. Kenny lives in San Bernardino, California and woke up suddenly in the dead of night in a state of terror. As Kenny explained, in his dream he was sitting in the living-room of a house in a small town outside of Lubbock, Texas. Kenny had no idea of the name of the town, only that he knew it was near Lubbock – a place he has never visited. In the dream, Kenny heard a sudden and deep rumbling sound that seemed to be coming from somewhere faraway. He went to the screen door, puzzled, and peered outside. To his horror, Kenny could see way off in the distance, the one thing which none of us ever want to see: a huge, nuclear mushroom cloud looming large and ominous on the horizon.Kenny continued that, in his dream, he was rooted to the spot, his legs shaking and his heart pounding. He could only stand and stare as the huge radioactive cloud extended to a height of what was clearly miles. The entire sky turned black and suddenly a huge wave of flame and smoke – hundreds of feet high – raced across the entire landscape, completely obliterating everything in its path. In seconds, there was another explosion, again way off in the distance, but from the opposite direction.
Pauline Charlesworth is someone who had a very strange experience back in the 1980s, an experience that just might have involved Pauline being torn out of our time and into the past. And, we’re talking about several thousand years ago. The location was an ancient “hillfort” in Cannock, Staffordshire, England called Castle Ring. Before I get to the story, it’s important that I share with you the history of this undeniably magical locale. Historic England say: “The monument is situated at the south eastern edge of Cannock Chase and includes the earthwork and buried remains of an Iron Age hillfort and the ruins and buried remains of a small medieval building identified as part of a hunting lodge. Castle Ring occupies the summit of a small hill which forms the highest point on the Chase. The hillfort is an irregular pentagon in plan and its multiple defenses enclose an area of c.3.6ha. For the majority of their circuit these defenses include a sequence of banks and ditches usually three banks with two ditches in between them. On the east side of the hillfort, where the approach to the site is over more level terrain, the central bank is more substantial, the outer line of defenses projects outwards and an additional length of ditch and counterscarp banking has been added.”
According to Pauline, it was a bright, summery day in July 1986 that her strange encounter occurred. As she worked on Saturdays, Pauline explained to me when we first met, she had a regular day off work during the week, and had chosen this particular day to prepare a picnic-basket, and take a trip up to Castle Ring. On arriving, she prepared for herself a comfortable place to sit, stretched out a blanket on the ground, and opened up her picnic basket that contained drinks, fruit and sandwiches. For more than an hour she sat and read a book, but then something very curious happened. It was as if, Pauline explained, she was sitting within the confines of a vacuum and all of the surrounding noises, such as the birds whistling and the branches of the trees gently swaying, stopped – completely. Pauline also said that “what was there wasn’t quite right.” By that statement, she explained: “The best way I can describe it is to say it was like I wasn’t really on the Chase, but it was as if I was in someone’s dream of what the Chase should look like; as if it was all a mirage, but a good one.”
Then, out of the trees, came a horrific form running directly toward her. It was, said Pauline, a man. The man, however, was quite unlike any that she had ever seen before. He had long, filthy hair, a matted beard, and a “dumpy” face that was far more prehistoric than modern in appearance. He was relatively short in height, perhaps no more than five feet two inches, and was clad in animal skins that extended from his waist to his knees, and with a long piece of animal skin that was draped over his right shoulder. In his right hand, the man held what were undoubtedly the large antlers of a deer that had been expertly fashioned into a dagger-like weapon that looked like it could inflict some very serious damage indeed, if needed. Pauline said that it was very difficult to ascertain who was more scared; her or the man. While she stared at him in stark terror, he eyed her curiously and in what Pauline described as a disturbing and sinister fashion. On several occasions he uttered what sounded like the words of an unknown language: “It was like he was angry and firing questions at me,” she added. But that was not all. In the distance, Pauline could hear other voices getting ever closer and closer and that, collectively and ultimately, grew into a literal crescendo. And then she found out the source of the noise. Through a break in the trees came perhaps thirty of forty more similarly clad people, mostly men, but others women, and all chanting in an unknown, and presumably ancient, tongue.
It was soon made clear to Pauline that some sort of significant ceremony was about to take place inside Castle Ring – and she, no less, was right in the heart of all the brewing action. The men and women proceeded to sit down at the edges of the Ring. One man, much taller than the rest and who she assumed was the “leader of the group,” marched over to her and said something wholly unintelligible; but that she understood by the curt wave of his arm meant that she should get out of the circle. This she quickly did and retreated with shaking legs to the tree-line. For more than fifteen minutes she sat, transfixed with overwhelming terror by the sight, as this curious band of people continued to chant and sway in rhythmic, hypnotic fashion. Then, out of the sky, came the most horrific thing that Pauline had ever seen in her entire life. It was, she recalled, a creature about four feet in height, human in shape, with oily, greasy black skin, thin arms and legs and a pair of large, bat-like leathery wings. And, just for good measure, it had two hideous, red, glowing eyes, too. “It was like the devil,” recalled Pauline, perhaps with a high degree of understandable justification.
The creature slowly dropped to the ground and prowled around the Ring for a minute, staring at one and all and emitting hideous, ear-splitting shrieks. Suddenly, seven or eight of the men pounced on the creature, wrestled it to the ground, and bound it firmly with powerful ropes. It writhed and fought to get loose and tore into the flesh of the men with its claws; but was finally subdued and dragged into the forest by the same tribe-members. The remainder of the party followed and Pauline said that the strange atmosphere began to lift and the area eventually returned to its original normality. For several minutes she stood her ground, too afraid to move, but then finally returned on still-unsteady legs to her blanket and quickly scooped up both it and her picnic basket and ran to her car. I have left until last one factor that, in some fashion, simply has to be connected to the saga related above. The book that Pauline had taken with her to read at Castle Ring was Robert Holdstock’s acclaimed fantasy novel, Mythago Wood.
Ironically, the book is one of my all-time favourites, and one I read at least once a year. The story tells how, after the end of the Second World War, one Steve Huxley returns to England upon getting the news that his father has died. George Huxley had devoted his life to the exploration of the ancient Ryhope Wood that backed up against the family home and kept detailed records of his research into the mysterious area. But Ryhope Wood is unlike any other. It is inhabited by the “mythagos” of the book’s title. And what, exactly, might they be? They are creatures and characters from British folklore and mythology, such as Robin Hood and King Arthur, whose curious existence is directly tied to the imaginations and minds of those that believe in them and who, in unconscious, collective fashion, help bring them to some form of quasi-independent life, in the depths of the magical Ryhope Wood. Of course, in view of the Mythago Wood connection, the skeptic would say that Pauline’s unearthly experience was merely the result of a bizarre dream – or the absolute worst of all nightmares, perhaps. And, maybe, that really is all it was. More than a quarter of a century later, however, Pauline herself is still convinced that something very strange and diabolically evil occurred on that summer day in long-gone July 1986, and that she was provided with a unique glimpse into Staffordshire’s very ancient past via time-travel.