It is plausible that those hounds of hell were put in the minds of the observers to chase them out of there. Otherwise the logistics make zero sense. That it was also repeated years later informs us that this locale is useful for some reason not least because it is not occupied by humanity.
It also explains the name. Obviously they are in the habit of running off intruders. Pretty effective and who will tell that story except as an end of life report like this one.
Monday, July 03, 2017
By Brian D. Birch - I must mention briefly in introduction that I have experienced the 'paranormal' ever since my life was 'saved' by a person in spirit when I was a boy just 'three and a half' years old during the 2nd World War. Since those days I have had 'countless' paranormal experiences one of which I relate here.
My first alien encounter took place here in the United Kingdom in the early hours of Sunday 4th January 1969. I was home on Christmas leave being in the Royal Marines and with one week remaining before I was to return to my barracks. My brother Rob also a Royal Marine was due to report back to his barracks at Portsmouth that very day, his fortnight of leave having commenced a week earlier than mine had now expired. So in effect Rob and I had spent just one week at home together when our brother Dennis visited us.
On that Sunday he offered to give Rob a lift back to his barracks on the pillion of his motorbike, an offer that Rob was only too happy to accept. As a fellow Royal Marine I was fully entitled to use Rob's railway warrant so I decided to take the train to Portsmouth and say my 'goodbyes' to Rob there and I would return with Dennis on the pillion of his motorbike. This was to alleviate the boredom I felt after a lovely Christmas break as well as wanting to spend some extra time with my brothers.
I duly arrived at Portsmouth & Southsea railway station. However, a problem had occurred on their journey and upon my arrival I had to wait some considerable time before Dennis showed up at the railway station. Apparently the front tyre of his motor-bike had sustained a puncture just outside the city of Portsmouth. It's repair had taken some time to effect and Rob had to take his leave of Dennis in order to arrive at his barracks on time which was no later than 'three minutes to midnight' after which his leave would have expired so sadly I did not have the opportunity to say my goodbyes to him.
Dennis and I made our way together from the station in the darkness, climbing the hill en-route to the lay-by where Den had parked his motorbike. The view of Portsmouth, looking down at the city from the top of the hill where the motorbike was parked remains vividly etched in my mind to this day, the view of the lit-up town being truly picturesque. Den's 250cc motor-bike, it's punctured tyre repaired, was in sight at last and Dennis sat astride his machine, kicked-down on the starting pedal and the engine roared into life. I climbed onto the pillion, Den opened the throttle and steering his machine onto the road, we then sped away noisily into the dark, bitter cold winter's night.
I encircled my brother's waist with both my arms, shielding myself from the bitter cold wind of that early January morning. I was lightly dressed and shivered in that icy-cold air. My 'civvies' were essentially summer clothes of light fawn trousers and lightweight jacket, all that I possessed other than my uniforms. Alone with my thoughts I clung to Dennis as we leaned into every bend of that twisting turning road, the A3. I vaguely recall the occasional village as we passed noisily through, each one deserted, no road traffic whatsoever. Such were the country roads during that period of 1959, unlike the dense traffic at all hours one seems to encounter at the time of writing this narrative.
Even the villages we passed through appeared 'sleepy' and I wondered, as we passed through whether the sound of Dennis's motorcycle maybe momentarily if rudely intruded upon the sleeper's slumbers. Thus occupied with such mundane thoughts as well as thoughts too of our parting with Rob and my own pending return to my Barracks just one week hence, thus was my mind occupied as we made our way homeward to Kingston Upon Thames. Eventually we were approaching the traffic lights at the cross roads at the small town of Hindhead, the traffic-lights were 'with' us and we continued our journey over the crossroads, approaching the circular route of that road that then meandered around the perimeter of the 'Bowl' shaped valley called 'The Devil's Punch Bowl'.
We had motored around most of this unusual beauty-spot and were about to leave it behind us when suddenly Dennis throttled-down and steered his motorcycle onto the grass verge that then fringed the deep 'bowl shaped' valley. He then cut the engine. Dismounting, I inquired of my brother "trouble?" Den replied "no, just thought we might as well stop for a breather and to "spend a penny!" It took a little time for the 'ghost' sound of the motor-bike engine and the slipstream to subside completely before the comparative silence then took it's place in our ears; then, another sound made itself heard.
It was quite loud and came from down in the Punchbowl itself. The sound, impossible to accurately describe, rose and fell eerily in an almost 'musical' series of echoing pulses. To describe it as 'strange' is in fact a gross understatement. It was truly a weird sound, impossible to explain except that it 'rose and fell' eerily and rhythmically and we were completely baffled as to its source. Undoubtedly it came from below where we stood, looking down into the Punchbowl itself. Unanimously, we elected to climb down, determined to discover the origin of that mysteriously eerie musical sound.
The initial 'thirty feet' or so entailed an undignified slithering down on our 'backsides' until we were able to advance on foot, progressing steadily deeper. There were scrub-like bushes around us and the ground I think was sparsely grass with areas of bracken covering either side of the narrow track and as we cleared the initial thirty yards or so the terrain sloped more gently and we picked our way further down into that 'bowl' shaped valley. After maybe some 'fifteen to twenty minutes' the ground sloped less steeply and with the stars to light our passage we continued to descend totally oblivious of the horrific 'events' set before us.
I recall that the stars were truly magnificent, seeming to glitter in the sky that early morning with the 'milky way' breathlessly visible as we shivered, picking our way carefully down towards the source of that strange 'musical' sound that was now becoming distinctly more mysterious, more eerie the closer we drew to it's source. I recall coming upon a track that ran 'left and right' of us, it was here that Dennis stopped, just in front of me. He turned to me and in a hushed voice he told me that he had a 'bad feeling' about this and that he felt we should 'turn back'. A feeling that I was likewise experiencing. I glanced back at the way we had come, the only light coming from the myriad stars in the heavens. I have no memory of moonlight however the light from the stars were in themselves bright enough for us to see where we were going. In fact I had seldom seen such splendour as that starry sky and the clearly defined Milky Way cutting it's swathe across the night sky. It was truly beautiful but at the same time that growing and inexplicable uneasy feeling had likewise encompassed me and looking back I was only too well aware that we had descended no small distance from where we had begun the descent. I shivered and readily agreed with my brother that we should perhaps make our way back to where his motorbike was parked.
That eerie, penetrating sound was by then seemingly louder and more ominous. Dennis was standing just ahead of me. There was tall scrub on either side of this track, quite high bracken. That eerie sound somehow, and this is difficult to adequately explain, felt like it was 'connected' physically to my body's nervous system. Then, before we had chance to begin a retreat, so that eerie 'musical' sound abruptly ceased! A brief pregnant silence ensued followed next by the sound of - and this again is difficult to portray in words - there came the sound of 'something' rising into the air. It was more like the sound of 'displaced air' than that of an 'engine' yet clearly audible as it rose just ahead of us and we were able to follow it's course of travel by sound alone. I dropped instinctively to my knees as Den did likewise.
We both sought to silhouette the airborne object against that backdrop of stars yet neither of us were able to see anything whatsoever. We were however able to 'follow' the sound path of what was obviously an 'invisible airborne object' first as it rose audibly into the air in front of us. It was a strange sound, utterly unlike anything we had ever heard before, a 'sound' that we were able to follow with our ears but not our eyes as it travelled off some distance, described almost a vast circle and then it came rushing back towards us to strike the ground with a resounding crash that ought to have been heard in the town of Guildford, some eleven miles away. The sound I likened to that of a large airliner crash-landing for there followed the unmistakable loud sound of a large 'metallic body' as it struck the bracken-covered ground and mowing-down small saplings it 'skidded' to a halt close to where it had 'lifted off' and to where we stood staring immobilized in that direction. The tall bracken and semi-darkness hid the area that this airborne craft had landed in front of our wide-eyed stares. It had actually seemed be completely invisible.
My mind was going crazy! The only explanation that presented itself to me at that moment being that it was, unbelievably a 'UFO'. The light was sufficiently bright that even a bird ought to have been seen flying against that back-drop of stars. We had however, seen nothing. But we didn't need to, the sounds alone painted a very clear picture. Vividly I remember the sound of foliage and light branches scraping loudly and ominously against a very obvious metallic body as the heavy, 'invisible' flying object 'crash landed' among that scrub and skidded loudly under it's inertia to stop maybe 'fifteen or twenty yards' in front of where we stood, gazing in disbelief. The distinct scraping sound of a light branch finally breaking free of that 'unseen' but obviously metallic and airborne craft imprinted itself indelibly in my mind.
A momentary silence ensued. Then, it started up again, that ominous, eerie 'musical' sound but now it was so loud being so close to where we stood that it was more ominous than ever. I felt like I had gone crazy. Already the word 'UFO' was pounding through my skull. I stared ahead, rooted to the spot as 'something' was now moving towards us through the scrub from the direction whence the UFO had come to a standstill. I had not the slightest doubt as to what that 'flying object' was, in spite of us not actually 'seeing' anything! My eyes were transfixed on where 'it' had come to that undeniable standstill. Now however it was but a few yards in front of us my eyes transfixed in that direction, my eyes riveted on what was undeniably approaching us. Then 'it' emerged, an enormously tall figure glided to where we stood transfixed in disbelief.
This 'thing' was floating about two or three feet above the ground and the body was too dark to see much detail but the 'head' was plainly visible. It wore an elongated helmet, stood about 'eight to twelve feet' in height and in the upper center of that elongated helmet was a solitary 'green eye' about the size of a tennis-ball. This 'being' glided rather than walked and stopped but a yard in front of me. It was then that a second and identical floating figure with the same elongated helmet glided to a standstill next to the first figure. I was aware of a black 'skirt' that had distinct 'folds' lengthwise and concertina-like and seemingly 'bell shaped' with what looked like the fan-like folds that one used to see as the concertina-like entrance to 'lifts' seen in various large shopping centres.
I also became aware of a smell, a 'hot metal' like smell that was 'sickly'. I stood transfixed, rooted to the spot in paralyzed terror such as I had never known in my life before, I recall crazy thoughts raced through my mind in rapid succession. 'This can't be happening but it IS!' Thoughts of 'those in government circles' would not believe what I was witnessing right now. Where were they who would not believe what we were now confronted by? Where were those 'in government circles' now who would scorn our stories? Ignorant sceptics now curled up snugly in their beds slumbering and most certainly not here and experiencing what Dennis and I were experiencing.
In the interest of veracity I have sought to record as much detail as I could remember. Sheer terror and disbelief rooted me to the spot. The next memory that presents itself was an intense desire to 'look at another human being' and that was of course my brother Dennis. I attempted to turn my head to look to my 'left' at where my brother was standing. I was unable to move my body but I managed to turn my head albeit mechanically and slowly with considerable effort as my body was cataleptic. As I got my head around to look to my 'left' I saw to my further shock that I was alone. Dennis was not with me! The shock of this realization resulted in 'feeling' returning to my legs. Shaky, trembling feelings but feelings nevertheless. The adrenaline 'overflow' that had temporarily immobilized my limbs now lent strength to my body and with my head and eyes fixed in the direction that Dennis had been standing for I knew that if I looked again at those two entities I wouldn't get away. I ran in blind panic-stricken terror, totally unaware of where I was running to. All that was in my mind was to distance myself from those two 'horrors' that I knew beyond any doubt were aliens! As I fled I was aware of high-pitched screams. Did those screams come from me? This Royal Marine who had formally feared nothing?
This Royal Marine who excelled in the boxing arena? I fear the answer to that question could only have been 'yes!' Or was it in fact the screams of my brother screaming for me to run? I do not know. I caught up with my brother unbelievably at the base of that steep thirty-foot incline and with hands clawing at the ground to scale that final steep climb up towards his parked motorbike. As I scrambled desperately I was expecting to be seized from behind, sure that 'they' were in pursuit and would not permit us to escape. Suddenly I spotted my brother just above me. I soon drew level with him and we both scrambled feverishly up the last of that incline together. I was slipping down a foot for every three that I made 'upwards' but at last I was at the top as Den leapt astride his motorbike and kicked the start-pedal down. The engine roared into life, I leapt onto the pillion as Den opened the throttle and away we sped.
I clung tightly to my brother's waist as we sped along that deserted road. I still feared being seized from behind. Eleven miles or so further on, just short of Guildford town, Den steered his machine into the kerb where a tall ash-fence ran parallel to the road. We alighted from the motorbike and collapsed on our haunches against that ash fence. One of us was saying loudly "what in God's name was it, what in God's name was it" I believe those words were voiced by me. Strangely, I remember nothing more of what followed.
Not the rest of the journey home, not my farewell to my brother who lived in Feltham Middlesex a further 'thirty minutes' drive away and neither have I any memory of returning to my barracks. I do remember however that I couldn't bring myself to visit or to even contact my brother for some three years following that encounter, so angry was I with him for 'deserting' me down there in that Punchbowl. It was only upon hearing that Dennis was ill and lying in an isolation hospital in Feltham, close to death in fact, that had softened my hardened heart.
Dennis had contracted Hepatitis C. This dangerous illness had caused some of his fellow workers at Heathrow Airport to succumb and Den all but died himself. He was much later to explain that he had thought, when he ran, that I was behind him. Before he gained the foot of that incline, already high up that steeply sloping escarpment, he looked back and to his horror saw me standing before the two 'entities' that towered over me and worse still (he said) was the 'thousands of pairs of red eyes' that moved at incredible speed across the ground and had all but encircled me. Den realised that he had to escape to explain what he believed would inevitably result in my 'abduction' for he was convinced I'd not escape. His surprise to discover me alongside him as he clambered up that steep incline, he relayed to me many times over the ensuing years. I myself had not seen those 'red eyed' alien creatures bearing in mind I was in a state of sheer terror and was looking only ahead as I ran in blind panic to reach safety. I had not looked back.
Had Dennis gained the top of that steep incline before me (he told me) he would have mounted his motorbike and fled the scene. Only my super fitness as a Royal Marine backed by my intense fear, accounted for my having caught-up with him at the foot of that final steep incline above which was the road and his motorbike. That and the good fortune I had of effecting an escape when I'd no conscious idea of the direction in which I was blindly fleeing. I had only one thought, to put as much distance between myself and those two entities. I did not clearly see the bodies of those aliens but their helmets and 'skirt like' lower body I most certainly did. The elongated, helmets that looked like glass visors with a LED-like solitary 'green eye' where perhaps the face might have been, within that helmet. L.E.D's (Light Emitting Diodes) were not known then so far as I understand but today that is my impression of what the helmet was like. Some years later I asked Dennis to make a drawing of what he had seen.
That drawing depicted exactly what my memory was of those two alien 'beings'. I had the distinct impression that I was fortunate in not seeing the actual faces behind the glass helmets else maybe the shock would have been greater. Both figures were identical and I 'vaguely' recall a 'sickly odour' but maybe this was somehow due to my own fear, because I was terrified out of my mind and I have heard that 'fear' has a smell. Maybe it does - maybe it doesn't, I can only relate events as they occurred and my reaction to them.
That which I have written is a true account that in spite of occurring some 'fifty eight' years ago to my writing this narrative, nevertheless the memory remains firmly entrenched in my mind to this day. I did subsequently question my brother on what he had experienced that early January morning. He told me the events roughly in line with my own apart from one factor. He told me that when he turned to look back from his higher vantage point he saw 'hundreds of pairs of small, red-eyed creatures moving at rapidly in a closing-circle within which to surround me'. In fact, he said, these 'red eyes' had almost formed a circle around me and he knew that he wouldn't see me again and had to explain what had taken place. He was utterly surprised when I caught him up at the foot of that steep incline above which was parked his motorbike. My Royal Marine fitness fueled by sheer terror was without doubt to be thanked for that narrow escape from probable abduction.
An interesting footnote to the above story may not be amiss here in it's relevance to the above. We must now come forward some eleven years or so to 1970 . It will come as no surprise to the reader that subsequent 'vigils' to the Hindhead Punch Bowl should prove 'inevitable.' Such visits were undertaken with much caution and would take place usually between the hours of darkness and dawn the following morning. Brother Raymond accompanied me on one particular night. It is worthy of note that Dennis and his family had emigrated to Victoria, Australia in 1969. Raymond shares with us brothers an interest in the 'paranormal' as we refer to such matters.
Numerous visits have been undertaken to Hindhead over the ensuing years and the majority of visits have proved nothing more exciting than 'good company' and a several hour vigil supplemented with sandwiches and coffee. One night however, 'several' years ago, Raymond and I made a late night visit to the Punch Bowl 'eleven years' after that fearful night in early 1959. However, we elected to 'explore' the heath-land directly opposite the Devil's Punch Bowl, to search for the 'stone cross' marking a spot that overlooks the beautiful Surrey Downs towards Dorking, a spot where three vagrants waylaid an innocent sailor travelling to Portsmouth back in the 'sixteen hundred's'. The hapless sailor was murdered and his clothes taken to a nearby place and sold. The three murderers were apprehended and subsequently hanged on the hill nearby and a stone-cross marks the spot of the former gibbet where they were hanged. Their last view of this physical world being the beautiful Surrey hills.
Raymond and I arrived there in our brother Rob's car that we had borrowed. We left the vehicle in the car-park close-by and set off for the late night walk to the stone-cross. On this, the opposite side of the A3 road to the Punchbowl, runs a narrow gravel pathway along which we made our way. I carried a 'twelve-bore' shotgun that was in three sections within it's case as I had planned on doing some rabbit-shooting the following morning.
We walked along the track in silence, a tall pine-wood stood to our 'left and right' as we walked. Suddenly, without warning there burst upon our ears unbelievably, that same 'sound' that had enticed Den and I down into that 'bowl back in 1959. The 'sound' of an unseen object passing low over our heads from our 'right' and heading down into the Punchbowl itself. The loud musical sound emanating from this invisible flying 'object' was extremely loud and pulsating and in a split second I found myself on my knees yanking the shotgun from it's case. I was shaking violently. I had not heard that 'sound' since 'eleven years' earlier when Dennis and I met those two aliens. I was shaking with an intense feeling of fear mixed with excitement.
How many times had I reiterated my story to Raymond over the years. And now, unbelievably, eleven years later I was hearing it again and this time Raymond was my witness. In a state of extreme excitement we turned to retrace our steps. I had a portable tape-recorder in the car and I was bent on one thing, to record that unforgettable sound of the UFO. Invisible yet again and the noise virtually decibels in volume. My excitement was intense. Raymond at last had heard it for himself. Raymond, not an 'excitable' man at all, not prone to exaggeration and if anything quite the opposite, replied excitedly "I have never doubted your story Brian but hearing that sound for myself, well, it is not of this world!
My boundless excitement was targeted on where that UFO had just 'flown' to - down into the Punchbowl! We retraced our steps to return to the car-park and to our borrowed vehicle. I could barely contain my excitement as we nervously made up our minds to return to the car, collect our thermos-flask, pour ourselves a much needed coffee to 'steady our nerves' and then - we would follow on foot the A3 around the curved transit of the Punchbowl the place close to where Dennis and I had entered the 'Punchbowl that unforgettable night, eleven years earlier and where now, that 'same' UFO had undoubtedly landed all of 'eleven' years later. On reaching the car I put the shotgun into the boot, grabbed the flask of coffee and climbed inside the car and poured ourselves that welcome mug of hot coffee.
Impatient to set off, we made short work of our drink. However, our welcome respite was short-lived. We were suddenly and rudely interrupted by dazzling beams of light from behind where we sat in the car. For a moment I thought we were 'besieged' by the UFO. Instead, two police officers appeared and I wound down the window. They asked us what we were doing parked there? Never one to take lightly to intrusion or to police interference, I answered rather rudely I'm afraid, as the police officer and the 'special' opened the boot of our vehicle, without asking our permission. Free country? Well, up until then I had thought so! The police officers saw the shotguns. I was then accused of being an alleged cop-killer who was in fact already incarcerated.
At that time shotguns were available to possess without a license (oh happy days). The next thing we knew was another police vehicle arrived and more police officers poured out and Raymond and I were unceremoniously handcuffed and taken to Godalming police station where we were incarcerated in separate cells until 6AM the following morning after having spent some six hours in separate cells, we were then released without charge. Thus we missed a rare opportunity to record that 'weird musical sound' that Dennis and I first heard that unforgettable night when we came 'face to face' with aliens.
We had no 'real explanation' for being there at the Punchbowl at that late hour and I had no intention of explaining that we were there to 'look out' for UFO's. That explanation although authentic would no doubt have meant a longer detainment and a subsequent visit by 'men in white coats'. Thus we missed, Raymond and I, a great opportunity of recording on tape that weird, mysterious 'musical sound' emanating from what undoubtedly was a UFO. The same by all accounts that Dennis and I had encountered that unforgettable night eleven years earlier.
In retrospect maybe that was a blessing in disguise because knowing my enthusiasm and my 'adventurous' spirit I or we would almost certainly have ventured beyond our safety limit in my endeavour to capture the best possible recording and that would entailed a deeper descent into the Punchbowl at a time the UFO was without doubt 'down there'. An adventure that we may well have regretted. So, it is possible that 'police intervention' was 'Heaven sent' after all :) My story cannot end here because I had every reason to remember my brother Dennis's account of the 'hundreds and hundreds' of small, red-eyed creatures that raced at enormous speed across the ground to where I was standing transfixed, paralyzed with fright before those two giant alien figures.
The exact date was I think about 1966. The memory is otherwise vivid. My brother Jim and his family moved into Devonshire some two hundred miles away, in 1963. Their home became a regular holiday venue for my first wife Marion and our daughters Caroline and sons Brian (junior) and Stephen our youngest. I would spend countless hours taking Jim and his son Jim junior 'ghost-hunting' at Buckfastleigh - another creepy 'catalogue of paranormal experiences' took place there. We would also drive to Okehampton and onto wild Dartmoor.
One particular night-drive to Okehampton I drove onto the Northern moor by way of a newly-constructed service road that led to infamous Cranmere Pool - a place that we were particularly keen to explore. It was the first time of driving on that road which was built of concrete and would entail parking at the furthest point some fourteen miles distant after which a trek of a further few miles would be necessary to reach reputedly 'haunted' Cranmere Pool. 'Bengie' was the reputed ghost of Cranmere Pool. On that night we had driven onto that service-road rather late out of Oakhampton.
Looking ahead as I drove we had noticed a strange bright semicircle of white light behind the top of a distant tor. A tor being a rocky outcrop of what many thousands of years ago were mountains of granite, long since eroded. Curiosity got the better of us and I drove along that concrete road heading drawing ever closer to the puzzling distant circle of light around that tor ahead of us and to our 'right'. It proved driving for there was no place where we would be able to pass any oncoming vehicles should we encounter them.
Such was exceedingly unlikely at that hour, more so as the moor was desolate and that road led to the 'middle of nowhere'. As I drove towards that distant circle of white light an inexplicable sense of danger came over me. It was my 'sixth sense' (this had served me countless times in the past). I said nothing to my older (equally 'psychic' brother) who sat next to me. Christine, Jim's daughter was sitting immediately behind me, she must have been about 'fourteen' at the time. Young Jimmy the eldest of his children was also in the car. The feeling of unease persisted and grew more intense as we gradually covered the miles on that narrow road which was literally just wide enough for my Ford Consul and I saw no place where it would be possible to do a reverse-turn due to the steep drop-off from that road onto the peat moor and this made me feel exceedingly 'uncomfortable' but I said nothing to my older brother as I searched for a suitable spot to stop and to view that mysterious white light behind the pinnacle of that tor. I was only too aware that the road ended in a 'lollipop' shape at the very end, some fourteen miles I believe, further along that road. This was the only place where one could reverse-turn a vehicle in order to drive back. A strange foreboding resulted in silence now replacing our hitherto light-hearted conversation.
As we continued along that eerie road, getting closer and closer to where we would be level to that that now even more eerie white arc of white light behind that tor, looking for all the world like a giant halo. What could it be? No noise emanated from that direction.
It was certainly not a helicopter and no vehicle could possibly climb that steep, deep crater-filled, boulder strewn and bog littered moor. My skin began to crawl, a sure sense of 'danger' was making itself known when Jim's voice interrupted the hitherto silence "Bri? I have a bad feeling about this place, I think we should turn back?" So, my brother was aware of this also? I didnt reply, I was searching the road ahead and the very prominent 'drop off' that effectively prevented me from executing a much wished for 'reverse turn'. I said nothing and again, after a couple of further minutes Jim repeated his suggestion that we should 'turn back'. His repeated advice, impossible to follow caused me to lose my temper in sheer frustration and with a steely tone to my voice I shouted to my brother that there was no f****** place where I could reverse to turn the car around. This was a Ford Mk 1 Consul 1600cc vehicle. The road was constructed of some eighteen inches thick of concrete that stood proud of the surrounding moor and I was unable to execute a reverse-turn as the road was so narrow and the 'drop off' onto the moor was deeper than the radius of the wheels so that the car chassis would thus be in contact with the road and the wheels thus suspended.
I stared helplessly at the swarms of 'red eyes' now bearing rapidly down upon us. No way could they be animals. No animal runs at such speed in the dark on that 'bolder strewn' and bog-infested and deep gullies that abound on that moor. Besides which those 'red eyes' were so vast in number that they appeared like a swarm of many hundreds upon hundreds if not thousands. No creature could move at such speed especially in the dark over such a dangerous terrain. Already thoughts sprang to my mind as to what Dennis had seen in vast numbers that moved swiftly across the ground down in that Punch Bowl.
I hadn't seen them but Dennis had. Now however, I realised that what I was seeing was what Dennis had seen. Still I said nothing because I knew only too well that panic would take place. Momentarily I was tempted to get out and to run the nine miles back to Okehampton but I knew I could not outrun the speed of those 'red eyed' entities. Besides, I couldn't leave my young niece Christine or nephew Jimmy either. I sat there in helpless silence as Jim and Jimmy having exited the vehicle sought to lift the rear wheels back onto the road, I said nothing of my mounting fear but my heart was beating alarmingly.
Then Jim said "let me out Bri and I'll find a safe place to reverse". I stopped to let Jim out and drove slowly behind and keeping pace with him, my eyes constantly drawn to that tor which was now considerably closer I knew only too well what that terrain looked like off the road. My thoughts were interrupted by my brother "here Bri, you can reverse here!" I looked at the drop-off, it looked far too much of a 'drop' to try a reverse-turn. We would surely be suspended on the chassis with the wheels suspended out of contact with the surface of that narrow service-road. Jim insisted "no it's alright you can do a reverse here!" Against my better judgement but exceedingly uneasy by then, I reversed the car with the steering-wheel as hard 'left' as space would allow.
A sudden loud crash ensued and true to my better judgement the car was now suspended on it's chassis, the wheels spinning helplessly out of contact with that service-road. I knew it, I bloody well knew it! Anger and curses helped not one bit and Jim and Jimmy got out of the car and going to the rear attempted to lift the Ford Consul back onto the road but their efforts were in vain. At most they, Jim anyway, was partially lifting the car off it's springs but no more than that for the wheels were still overhanging the drop-off. I sat there resigned to battling the inevitable horror of those alien creatures swarming in droves now so much closer to us. Then, Christine, sitting behind me suddenly let out a piercing scream. "What are those? What are those?" She screamed! The rocking motion at the rear of the car ceased momentarily. I pictured Jim looking up to see what Christine had screamed at.
Then, nothing short of a miracle occurred. when Jim literally lifted the rear end of that heavy car with Christine and I sitting in it, bodily off the ground and threw it at an angle onto the road so that the car was now almost facing the opposite escape direction. With a strength born of sheer panic he had lifted that vehicle bodily and threw it around to face the opposite direction. Both Jim and Jimmy dived head first into the car, slammed the doors shut and I drove out of that hellish place like the proverbial bat out of hell.
I drove fast for some distance, climbing to gain the top of each steep hill then, upon no sign of those 'red eyes in my rear view mirror I would stop momentarily atop each hill and Jim and I would step out of the car to look back whilst safely keeping the engine running. I knew that if by chance the engine stalled then we could 'freewheel' down the other side of the hill to restart the engine if the battery failed us, a possibility I was fully aware of.
Soon those 'red eyes' would hove into view rapidly moving towards us. We actually saw the horde divide into two vast armies, One vast horde on either side of that road. We would then get back into the car and drive to each successive hill-top and repeat the observation until at last we were able to see the town of Okehampton way ahead and below us on our 'right' after which we saw no more of those 'red eyed' aliens who had then given-up the pursuit. I have never been back to that place on the Northern Moor. Brother Jim is no longer with us alas, he sadly 'passed over' on the 27th August 2009.
Just under a month short of his 'eighty first' birthday. I doubt that I will ever return to Dartmoor - memories would sadden me too much apart from my own ill health. At nearly 'seventy-eight' now and diagnosed with 'end stage kidney disease' I drive no more preferring now to be driven by my son or daughters. I guess though, 'never say never' for I would love to revisit wild Dartmoor once again.