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30 January 2012

Ghosts, aliens and UFOs...a new dimension of discovery

IT’S a fair bet that by the year 2112, scientists will have long discovered that there are more dimensions to life than we can imagine.

In fact, prove me wrong, and I’ll give 1,000 euros to anyone who produces this article exactly 100 years from now.

Joking aside,  I am not so stupid as to dismiss the bizarre stories of ghosts, UFOs, alien abductions  and the like as the fantasies of , shall we say, colourful minds.

I spent an hour on Saturday with local expat Mike Sweeney, originally from Southport, whose family have spent the last few months living in a haunted house near Guardamar (I’m not saying where, in case it sends local house prices crashing to the point where the sellers pay the buyers!).

It is only recently that cash-strapped Mike, his wife Debbie and their teenage children Aaron and Hollie managed to ‘escape’ to a new rented home where the supernatural action seems to have disappeared. Whether equipment and cans will still continue to fly about involuntarily in bars he frequents is another matter.

Their nightmare began with a mobile telephone disappearing during the night and then turning up on a bed two weeks later after being turned off and then back on.

The subsequent sequence of bizarre happenings included a Playstation control pad disappearing in front of Mike and Aaron and then being found in a completely different place two hours later, a ghostly figure, seven feet tall, appearing virtually every night, a mobile phone continually dialling 112 by itself, and a non-existent 5am ‘visitor’ crunching up the gravelled drive to the front door.

With the help of a digital recorder, Mike claims to have not only seen, but actually spoken to the shadowy ‘presence’, which can be seen on the stairs in the photograph.

Asked for his name, he replied in a ghostly whisper, either ‘Alberto’ or ‘Roberto’. Later, another whisper floated though the air, asking: ‘Why do you keep calling me?’’

When Mike called in a clairvoyant, the young psychic couldn’t get away quick enough. Terrified, she ran off praying the spectre didn’t follow her home.

So what is it all about? Do ghosts exist or are the Sweeneys imagining things?  

I doubt it’s all in the mind   because Mike is not the only one to have experienced the mysterious activity.
But could the explanation be that he has been subjected to unusual natural forces which man has yet not discovered and harnessed.

In other words, the ‘happenings’ may be an intrusion from a Fifth Dimension to life (and perhaps death) that those of us in this third-dimensional world cannot access – yet.

There are so many examples of supernatural events all around the globe that the phenomenon has to be taken seriously. The same thing goes for UFOs – thousands and thousands of sightings, many by large groups of people, are surely evidence that, in the words of Spock: There is life, Jim…  but not as we know it.

I am no expert on the supernatural, but much of what Mike has experienced smacks to me of classical poltergeist activity.

;Wikipedia describes a poltergeist as “a paranormal phenomenon which consists of events alluding to the manifestation of an imperceptible entity. Such manifestation typically includes inanimate objects moving or being thrown about . . .’’

Apparently, the agents for the poltergeist activity are often children or teenagers – which figures in Mike’s case. Apart from Aaron and Hollie, he himself had, shall we say, unusual experiences as a youngster.  
That should have been it. But a bizarre incident that occurred on Monday – less than 48 hours after I interviewed Mike – that could have come straight out of a Hammer House of Horror movie.

I was crossing the road to the Courier office with a colleague when a stationary car, which had been parked about 20 feet in front of us. Suddenly revved loudly and shot back in reverse at boy-racer speed.
We both screamed and at the same time dashed for safety – the car screeching to a halt literally an inch from flattening us.

Shocked, breathless and relieved, we went to remonstrate with the driver…and in the driving seat found, not a wild young man, but a repentant white-haired Swedish clergyman who must have apologised a dozen times for his inexplicable behaviour.

I didn’t ask his name, which maybe just as well. It’s probably Alberto or Roberto. Or even Damien…

Published in The Courier (www.thecourier.es) 27-11-2012

5 January 2012

Oh to drive in England, where all roads lead to groan

IT can only happen in England – and predictably, it did.

  A rare venture onto a motorway  during my three-week stay with my family in Manchester...and I spend seven hours crawling less than 200 miles down the M6 and M5.
Yes, the MDM struck again, just as it does every time I visit the UK. I’m talking about what is clearly a government order to the Maximum Disruption of Motorists department to cause drivers as much stress as possible through traffic delays.

I do as little driving as possible when I’m in England. It’s a pleasure to tootle around the Costa Blanca in my little Kia  Picanto because traffic jams, diversions and road closures are as rare as a Manchester football team losing a Premier League match.

But while it takes me ten minutes to travel 10km from my home to the Courier office at any time of day, driving the same distance across Manchester is a good hour’s toil, thanks to heavy traffic, copious sets of traffic lights and random holes dug in the tarmac and dubiously titled  ‘road works’.

Live Traffic Info at Stafford Services...but it was unplugged
I arrived in Manchester way behind schedule  on the evening of December 16 - thanks to a morning snowstorm in Lancashire which delayed the departure of my flight from Murcia by five hours. After a quick visit to see my newly-born grandson at Stockport’s Stepping Hill Hospital, my son-in-law attempted to drive me back to North Manchester  via the M60 motorway, which encircles the city.

We were trying to travel anticlockwise from five o’clock up to to midnight but  when we got to roughly 4 o’clock, damn it, the motorway suddenly came to an end. Flashing lights and diversion signs told us the M60 was closed anticlockwise. No reason...just  a loopy re-route that took us back onto the clockwise carriageway.

So 20 minutes of the orbital clock became 40 minutes in reverse. Thanks guys, maybe in 100 years’ time you’ll reveal the reason why it’s necessary to shut down major motorways, just like that, with no explanatory notice, and force thousands of motorists to make 30-mile detours.
A five-minute lesson from the Spanish roads authority might be a good idea. They have this outrageous idea that you should keep major roads open at all times. Yes, even after a major incident involving the loss of life, they actually try to AVOID shutting down the road for a week? Or even a couple of hours!

Then, two days after Christmas, I set off in my daughter’s Rav 4 to visit my stepmother in Cardiff, accompanied by my two young granddaughters Talia and Daisy. ‘’There won’t be a lot of traffic,’’ insisted my son-in-law. ‘’Everyone is still on holiday.’’

So off we headed at 11am for what in the past has normally been a three-and-a-half hour drive - though admittedly I had tended to travel after the evening rush hour.

MDM time: No prizes for guessing which country!
Four hours after leaving Manchester, we pulled out of  tha near-stationary 60-mile queue on the M6 and into Stafford services, hoping to find some sort of guide to the traffic ahead. A TV screen with a bold caption reading ‘Live Traffic Information’  told us precisely nothing about the gridlocked traffic ahead or behind – because the monitor was unplugged. The Highways Agency weren’t any help, either   – because we couldn’t find anyone working for them. 

Presumably because, like much of Britain’s 21st-century workforce, they were on their 14-day Christmas break.

As it happens, the queues did ease soon after we left Stafford services and crawled past  junction 14.  For the previous 30 miles overhead signs had been flashing regularly warning of ‘Long Delays, Junctions 14-12’. It was inevitable there would be no delays whatsoever between those two junctions...and of course, there weren’t any.