They just keep getting better
Apologies for the length of time between substantive posts, too much time enjoying the Canadian summer, the Hong Kong Autumn and a lot of heavy sailing and a nice Christmas at SDM, plus a sailing adventure in Boracay that is embargoed after my last post about the place 2 years ago.
When I left off on the subject of anomalies, I was pontificating about Egypt (specifically the age of the Great Sphinx).
A Word on the ‘Great’ Pyramids and More
Before I move on from my Egyptian experiences, I want to share a few thoughts on the three Great Pyramids.
Of course we’ve all seen pictures of them, seen them in movies and so forth, but until you have actually seen the things for yourself you simply cannot appreciate the scale of them. The images of them on the Net don’t do them justice as they are usually all shot in isolation with nothing in frame to indicate their size.
The picture above is a screen grab taken from video I shot when I was there in December 1994. It was shot at maximum digital zoom (64 X) on what was then a state-of-the-art Sony video camera and was taken from the window of my hotel room which was approximately 13 kilometers from the site.
They are quite simply gigantic and were the tallest man made objects on earth until the spire of Lincoln Cathedral was completed about 1300 AD (that’s assuming that they weren’t built by space aliens).
They are not only much greater in size than other Egyptian pyramids, they are greatly different in character – most of the other pyramids are little more than piles of rubble.
The bit about the space aliens was a joke, BTW – I am not trying to support that rather outlandish view – but when you compare the ‘Great’ pyramids to the other Egyptian pyramids they are certainly anomalous.
Twenty-five years ago I was convinced the the Great Pyramids were probably evidence of an unknown civilization, however more recent work has supported a prosaic explanation, as archaeologists have excavated the camps (and even found records) of the skilled workers who built them over many years. Or at least they claim to have done so.
The same is not true of the Sphinx though, a true anomaly and even though this is a ‘but I digress again’ moment I have hoked up this graphic, just to put it in perspective.
I adapted that graphic above from this excellent post putting the timeline of the universe human history and existence into perspective. Yes I know the graphic is hard to read – click on Ctrl + to blow it up. Enough digression (for the time being).
A Personal Ghost Story
I ain’t afraid of no Ghost
This is Cumberland Lodge, a 17th Century Grade II listed Heritage Building located in the grounds of Windsor Great Park, about a half-hour hike to the South of Windsor Castle, outside London. It is named after Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland.
‘Stinking Billy’ as the Scots nicknamed him, is best remembered for his role in putting down the Jacobite Rising at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, which made him immensely popular throughout Britain but, not surprisingly, not very well liked in the Hieeelands. Even some of his English contemporaries called him ‘Butcher’ Cumberland.
Here is a brief history of Cumberland Lodge, which notes that the last official private occupant of the Lodge was The Viscount FitzAlan of Derwent, the last Lord Lieutenant of Ireland before the Republic gained independence. This history also mentions other illustrious past residents, including Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, and his wife, Princess Helena, the fifth child and third daughter of Queen Victoria. It makes no mention of their daughter (one of Queen Victoria’s 42 grandchildren), Princess Victoria Louise Sophia Augusta Amelia Helena of Schleswig-Holstein, generally called Princess Helena Victoria, nicknamed ‘Thora,’ or ‘Snipe’. Thora spent her reportedly happy childhood at Cumberland Lodge and apparently maintained an apartment there until her death in London. She was buried at the Royal Cemetery near Frogmore House, a couple of miles North of Cumberland Lodge.
I am pretty sure I had the privilege of meeting her on a sunny Saturday afternoon in March 1991, almost exactly 43 years after her death in 1948. She was not amused.
In early 1991, while I was working for the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department, one of my projects involved drafting the framework for a Law (or an Ordinance as they are called in HK), to provide a framework for formalizing the Environmental Impact Assessment Process: “An Ordinance to provide for assessing the impact on the environment of certain projects and proposals, for protecting the environment and for incidental matters”.
I came across a notice of a week long professional course being held in March 1991 at Cumberland Lodge on the subject of Environmental Impact Assessment and Law and I persuaded my boss to send me off to it – not a hard sell as it was end of financial year and as usual we were looking for ways to spend the remaining money in our Duty Visit Budget, ‘use it or lose it’ as any civil servant will know.
So off I jetted in the first week of March, to that Green and Pleasant Land, where I spent the next six days in one of the 60 wonderfully appointed bedrooms in the Lodge, enjoying the lectures and discussions, the meals, the evening events and the 50 or so other professional environmentalists from all over the world. But I digress.
The schedule was full and the boss wanted me back in HK ASAP as we had a lot of work on at the time. I had one free evening, the Saturday after the course ended and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.
The previous year, I had had the extreme pleasure of meeting a young lady, a classic English Rose, who was visiting from the UK with a girlfriend in HK. I had previously had a brief fling with the girlfriend, but it went nowhere although we remained friends, more or less. She introduced me to the Rose (whom I shall call Rose). I was blown away by her beauty, intelligence and wild sense of humour and we started an entertaining and flirtatious correspondence when she flew back to England.
I had caught up with her briefly in Phuket in December 1990 – she was on a holiday with her lovely parents and I had just finished an adventure, delivering a Yacht from HK. I knew I wanted to see more of this raven-tressed, emerald-eyed stunningly curvaceous and fascinating beauty so the first thing I did after checking into Cumberland Lodge in March 1991 was call her and ask if she was free for dinner the following Saturday, the last and only free evening I was to have on the Duty Visit.
“Ah,” she said, “No, I have something on”.
My heart sank…
“…but I will call him and put it off.”
We arranged that she would drive in from her home in Winchester (she sang in the Choir at Winchester Cathedral) the following Saturday after my course ended and pick me up at the Lodge. We’d go back to Winchester, have dinner, she’d put me up in her spare room and drop me at Heathrow the following afternoon for my flight back to HK.
As they like to say in Canadia…‘Poifect’.
She turned up late Saturday morning – I had given her license plate number to the guards at the Windsor Great Park South-East entrance at the Fox and Hounds Pub and so she drove straight to the Lodge where I was waiting and we had a slightly awkward reunion.
We went for a walk on the Great Park grounds and as we were crossing the footbridge from Windsor Castle across the Thames into Eton, heart pounding, I reached out and held her hand and…
There was a 10,000 volt electric shock and our awkwardness disappeared. I remember her leaning into me and the rest is a blur…
Until we got back to the Lodge. We loaded my gear into her car, then…
“Say, Rose” I asked, “Would you like a tour of the Lodge?”
Since her business was sales and marketing manager of a publishing house specialising in high-end illustrated guidebooks for Cathedrals and heritage buildings it didn’t take a lot of effort to persuade her. We wandered the vast, empty building (the other participants in my course and most of the staff had left in the morning), admiring the art, the architecture and each other. No question, cupid’s arrow had struck both ways and, dare I say it, we were falling in love.
We looked through an inviting doorway and walked, holding hands and buzzing on each other, into the room pictured above – the Chapel at Cumberland Lodge. About 1430 in the afternoon, March 9, 1991 and the sun was streaming through the West facing windows, the room warm and welcoming, dust motes dancing in the sunbeams, until…
The dust motes froze. We both felt the temperature drop as if the room had been plunged into liquid nitrogen. We both stumbled as a wave of cold and hate and resentment hit us and we stopped, looked at each other and wordlessly backed out into the hallway shuddering.
I didn’t have to ask if she had felt the same thing. We were both very shaken. I asked anyway,
“Did you feel that?”
“Yes,” she said, “what was that?”
“I don’t know”.
We backed away carefully down the hallway and two doors down there was an office door open and a guy bent over a desk inside. I knocked on the door-frame.
“Excuse me” I said, “My friend and I were just touring through the Lodge and something funny happened in the Chapel down the hall, do you know anything about that room? “
“Ah,” he said, “That room has an interesting history.”
It turns out that the bloke was the in-house Cumberland Lodge historian, working overtime on a Saturday afternoon. He related to us that the Chapel had formerly been part of the apartments – the sitting room in fact – of none other than our late friend Princess Helena Victoria. Apparently after her death, childless and bitter, the occupants of the Lodge had found the atmosphere in that room so depressing that it had been converted into a chapel in an attempt to lighten things up, to lay the ghost so to speak.
While Thora is not part of the usual litany of ghost stories that are related to guests at the Lodge (a murdered servant girl who wanders the halls at night, a former stablehand in what is now the conference center I recall), I have no doubt that’s who Rose and I ran into. She really did not like her peace and quiet disturbed by this (dare I say it) handsome young couple wandering in on her, buzzing with romance and passion, and she let us know in no uncertain terms.
Some Experiences with Telepathy
Do you know what this means, young man?
We’ve all had the experience of feeling someone is watching you, only to turn around, and… sure enough – eye contact with someone behind you.
Rupert Sheldrake a British biologist and paranormal researcher has done a lot of amazing work on this phenomenon and others related to telepathy which he puts down to something he calls ‘Morphic Resonance‘.
My two favorite experiments are one with dogs that know when their owners are coming home and another which published three short Japanese verses in the Los Angeles Brain/Mind Bulletin. One was a nursery rhyme which has been learned by untold millions of Japanese children over the centuries, the second a specially commissioned modern verse by a Japanese poet, and the third merely Japanese sounding gibberish. Readers were invited to try to memorise them and report which were easier to learn. Not surprisingly, the real nursery rhyme proved much easier for English speakers to learn than the other two. Here is a link to a pretty good article about Sheldrake’s work.
Rose and I had a pretty strong telepathic bond. I would know when she wanted me to call or was about to call me and vice versa. I often get the same thing with close family members and I am sure most people are used to this phenomenon.
The evening when that photo was taken I was at a ‘Pirate Party’ at RHKYC where I had just won a bottle of champagne for ‘Best Pirate Costume – Local Division’ (I sprayed brown skin coloring on, died my hair and mustache black and picked up a couple of cheap plastic toy swords), when I suddenly realized she was trying to get in touch with me. I bailed on the party and bolted home to find a couple of fairly frantic messages from her on the answering machine (pre-cellphone days), about what I haven’t got a monkey’s but it was important at the time.
Very anecdotal and not evidence of very much, my skeptical ex-brother in law and slightly less skeptical physics prof brother would no doubt assert (my brother has been getting a little less skeptical lately – after all he deals with quantum physics where lots of spooky stuff is normal).
Again, we have all had many of these experiences through life. In fact, if you ever look into the Rosicrucians, and get interested enough to join, as I did in the early 90s, you will be given written lessons on how to develop these ‘powers’. I resigned after I discovered a much faster way to study these mysteries through Reiki. According to most ‘credible’ sources Reiki is a pseudo science and quackery. Same people who told me dowsing was BS. But I (as usual) digress… I’ll come back to Reiki in a future post.
Last telepathy experience for this post, time I wrapped this up:
Anyone who, gawd knows why, follows this blog will know that I am a paranoid gun nut with enough legally acquired and fully licensed firepower back in the armory at SDM to stand off a platoon of Spetsnaz Commandos for quite some time. This is only part of the security at the place as I also have remotely monitored alarms and, more relevant to this post, remotely monitored video coverage of the property and the front entrance hallway. I must admit I don’t pay a lot of attention to it but it is useful and my tenant T, who you may recall from my UFO post in 2015 appreciates the security it yields.
When I first rented the place to her in late summer 2014, we agreed she would move in a couple of days into September, I gave her the keys and the alarm codes, briefed her on all of the systems and buggered off back to the 852 before she actually moved in.
A couple of days after I got back, not having heard from her, I had a little remote snoop.
It was clear they had moved in, T and her (at the time) four year old daughter L (plus their dog N – name not in clear to protect the dog’s privacy, of course).
L thought the place was great – I agree with her – and she ran around checking it out. This is a screenshot from the video playback showing when they actually moved in. Obviously I have blocked out her face. She’s a cute, intelligent and thoughful kid and will be a heartbreaker like her mom in the fullness of time. But once again I digress.
When I first started my snoop that morning in HK, I tuned into the live feed. The lights were on in the entrance hall and the lounge, someone was there… good!
I switched through the five cameras.
This is a screenshot of the feed from SDM Camera 2, which looks out the lounge window onto the front lawn and the walkaway to the front door, taken at 0940 hrs, HK time on 5th September 2014, or about 2240 hrs on the evening of September 4 SDM time.
Since it is dark outside, what it mainly shows is the reflection in the window glass of the lounge. The black rectangle in the upper left corner is the reflection of the camera, the blue recording light on the camera reflected in a couple of panes of glass (I have double glazing). The four white lights on the left are the solar powered courtesy lights on the front sidewalk, the reflection of the curtains in the middle and on the right, a reflection of the back SE corner of the lounge bounced off the mirror over the fireplace. a portion of bookshelf to the right lower just beside the fireplace.
The double reflection from the SE corner of the room shows a big old antique Tibetan cabinet, with a couple of my real antique Katanas on top of it, the big old lamp and some Chinese porcelain on top of the cabinet, some artwork on the walls and just below the lamp, the back corner of the couch which faces the TV, not in picture.
I watched the live feed for 30 seconds or so, trying to work out what I was looking at, going through the thoughts I have just set out above.
And just as I realised what I was seeing, there was movement on the couch below the lamp.
“My god,” I thought, “That’s T on the couch watching the tube, with L on her lap… how sweet is that?!?”
Then this happened. Unfortunately the cameras only record once a second and the video missed the movement that made me realize what I was seeing, but it certainly caught what happened next. I confirmed it with her by email a day or so later. Sitting there, watching some kiddie video or something, daughter on her lap, she suddenly felt that someone was watching her through the window and jumped up, ran over and slammed the curtain shut.
Explain that one James Randi. They’ve been in the house about 4 hours, they’re relaxed and comfortable, buzzing on mother – daughter love, receptive… and 1 second after I realise I am watching them real time, T feels it and jumps up and closes the curtains cause she feels me watching them.
“Coincidence” snorts Randi and my ex-brother in law. What are the odds of that? Pretty damned unlikely I would have to say and if I run some numbers – four hours equals 14,400 seconds and 1 second after I focus my attention T reacts. So about 15,000 to 1. I think not.
I thought I would finish this series with this post but I realize I have a couple more personal yarns to record, automatic writing, some rather amazing channeling experiences and, as promised, Reiki.
So watch this space, and keep your eyes on the sky.