After an unreasonably quiet winter, we would appear to be on the cusp of the National Annual Summer Irish UFO Splurge. After the Blanchardstown report from April, we managed to remain calm and collected, but thanks to Paul Collins in The Munster Express of May 22nd any unfounded illusion of national sanity has been since been scuppered.
Collins confides that he is “very sceptical about such matters and tend to make fun of them, but, in the interests of balance, I feel bound to mention a story from the front page of last week’s Tipperary Star. A couple, described as ‘highly respected members of the community’ told the newspaper they saw an object in the sky between Derrynaflan and Killenaule on the night of February 28th last.
“Because they did not want to face ridicule and be the butt of local jokes they decided to remain silent about their experience but, once they heard a description of the object seen over the North Sea, they decided to come forward because their ‘UFO’ was almost identical. They said they clearly saw the UFO hovering at what appeared to be about 400 feet above the ground. The ship was approximately 250ft. wide and 100ft. high. It had lights, three on one side and two on the other, and had panels with vertical lines through them as distinct from windows.
“The husband and wife said there was no sound at all from the object which, at first, moved very slowly but then accelerated so fast it disappeared in an instant.”
It would appear that another hilarious summer is upon us. . .
On Good Friday 1993, Jesus Christ fled Dublin for Dundalk, armed with a *hammer* to protect himself from the demons that pursued him, only returning after 3pm, when it was safe (tradition holding that Jesus was crucified at 1500 hrs. A few months later, according to his courtroom testimony on May 28th, it struck him that he didn’t have the stuff to be Jesus, and relegated himself to John the Baptist, on a mission to ‘prepare the world for the second coming’. The unnamed man (at least in any conventional manner) was being tried for various forms of assault at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, where he dismissed his counsel, stating that that his “‘solicitors and barristers are not at one with God and are not to be trusted,’ Dr Stephen Curran, from the Central Mental Hospital, told the jury.”
“‘He was unconcerned about the court case as “he has bigger fish to fry’, the doctor added.”
The Irish Times 28th May 1998
And furthermore – The Humpty Doo Polt
Blather, over the last while, has attempted to gather together a coherent picture of the goings-on in the Australian poltergeist story. So far, Cheyne D. Conrad and Peter Darben have graciously contributed their observations to this paltry publication. Now fortean author Paul Cropper [co-author of *Out of the Shadows: Mystery Animals of Australia* ] who has been on the scene of the alleged poltergeist has seen fit to share his observations of the phenomenon, and to make some corrections.
I was intrigued enough by the initial press reports to visit Humpty Doo and spend 4 days (April 27th-30th) with the residents at the house, together with my friend Tony Healy — this was the week after the Today Tonight ‘expose’. On the last 2 days we were joined by a reporter from the Sydney Morning Herald (Frank Robson).
We all witnessed classic polt activity — showers of stones (apparently through the roof and ceiling, in one instance I witnessed), objects thrown (knives, glass, gravel, pegs, crucifix, coins, scissors, pot lids, bullets, spanners, stones, brass fittings, batteries), beds disturbed, messages written on walls, etc.
In all, Tony and I witnessed around 24 incidents over the 4 days we were there, and some of these could not be explained away as sleight of hand or some other kind of hoax. As far as Tony, Frank and I (and every other visitor to the house we interviewed) were concerned, something very strange was happening there.
Firstly, a few corrections to your original report by Cheyne:
* the total number of witnesses was over 30, not 17
* the house was fibro, not timber, and about 20 years old
* Kirsty’s last name is Agius, not Aggis
* Kirsty *never* owned up to hoaxing, despite being badgered by a Today Tonight reporter by phone for nearly an hour late one night
* the freelance cameraman who was filming when the item was supposedly thrown does not believe that Kirsty threw anything (the image was ‘discovered’ back in Sydney later)
Peter Darben’s update contains further inaccuracies:
* While only a few incidents were caught on camera, all of the Today Tonight team were convinced the polt was legit – the problem was it didn’t seem to like being photographed. Quite often, the individuals changing camera film would have items thrown at them!
* the throwing ‘hoax’ was never admitted by anyone
* there was independent evidence available – the other witnesses. Tony and I spoke to several local newspaper and Darwin ABC journalists who had arrived at the house skeptics and left believers. These witnesses were there to prove the story the hoax, and all saw things that totally baffled them. You can also include 3 priests who visited the house, who were all convinced.
* the money. Today Tonight did pay around $1000 to each person, but that was after they had taken over the house completely for a week, often making the group stay outside for hours on end. At at the end of this, they accused them of hoaxing – seems like small compensation to me! Further to this, the group could have made a lot more money if that was their ultimate aim, as the media fury was still in full flight while we were there. Instead, they refused to have any further media involvement. I got to know all of them, and I just don’t believe that they were hoaxing this at all.
* the group was NOT evicted (See the Australian News Network, April 21st).
The house was in pristine condition because the group had paid for repairs — out of their own pockets! So much for the money motive! Most of the polt damage was confined to things that they owned.
The group did move out voluntarily at the end of the week we were there. In the end, they had had enough of the polt, of not being believed and of the media and public frenzy. As far as I know, the house is still unoccupied.
Tony and I are doing a story in Fortean Times of our experiences, with further details on the case.
Just wanted to set the record straight.
[See also Fortean Times FT116:34 for Tony Healy and Paul Cropper’s account of the goings on at Humpty-Doo.]
Paul Cropper & Dave (daev) Walsh
June 5th 1998