An ‘Angel’ which many British soldiers credited with saving their lives in one of the first, brutal battles of World War I may not have been sent from heaven after all – but from the stars.
UFO authors suspect that the famous “Angel of Mons” – described as either St George, St Michael, angels, or crowds of angelic warriors, may in fact have been extraterrestrial.
Many soldiers credited the strange apparitions with saving their lives – and it became a staple of parish magazines. The battle had been one of the first in which the British faced the Germans – and despite retreating, only 1,600 lives were lost.
Decades later, the story is still “swathed in controversy” according to Nigel Watson, author of the Haynes Manual for UFO Investigations, with some attributing the ‘Angel’ to a short story from the Evening Standard, others to British intelligence.
Kevin Goodman, a UFO expert and author of books of mysterious encounters in the UK, says
“The UFO enigma was unknown during the First World War conflict; the troops would relate to an event such as this in the only way they could, by thinking that they had a sign from God.”
Cas Lake, the radio presenter of the Unexplained Show says that both answers might be true, in a way – what the culture of 1914 would have described as ‘angels’, we would describe as extraterrestrials.
“My belief would be,” she says, that “If these angels did appear it was to protect and alter the future, and maybe also to help the belief in Angels. I certainly believe spiritual beings can intervene when needed.”
Among UFO enthusiasts, many believe that UFOs and angels are the same thing – or that sightings of angels have been of extraterrestrials, or even vice versa. A quick trawl of the web finds dozens of sites devotes to the topic.
Goodman, a writer based in Warminster, says that it is a case of cultural change: “The phenomenon has taken many guises throughout history. In times of stress, fear and possible imminent death one finds solace in something that we can relate to.”
Albert S Rosales says that there may have been several forces at work – many of them human. Rosales runs a website devoted to sightings of humanoid aliens and angels, and says, “Were
supernatural entities seen specifically at Mons? Perhaps. In every war there are such stories which remain between the realm of folklore and truth. Perhaps they are later exaggerated by religiousauthorities and maybe even the Government possibly to boost morale among the troops.
It’s clear that the soldiers themselves believed that something supernatural had intervened.
In Harold Begbie’s On the Side of the Angels, he quotes an anonymous Lance-Corporal who testified that during the retreat on 28 August 1914: “I could see quite plainly in mid-air a strange light which seemed to be quite distinctly outlined and was not a reflection of the moon, nor were there any clouds in the neighbourhood. The light became brighter and I could see quite distinctly three shapes, one in the centre having what looked like outspread wings, the other two were not so large, but were quite plainly distinct from the centre one. They appeared to have a long loose-hanging garment of a golden cloak.”
The story became almost a cult at the time. Books on it were published – as it ‘proved’ that God was on Britain’s side. Poetry celebrated the Angelic intervention: “They knew that holy angels/Were fighting on their side,” said one by Dugald MacEhern. These circulated widely in parish magazines.
But the origins of the story remain mysterious. Clearly some soldiers saw what they believed to be angels – but was the story manipulated for Government purposes?
Brigadier-General John Charteris wrote in a letter, “…then there is the story of the ‘Angels of Mons’ going strong through the 2nd Corps, of how the angel of the Lord on the traditional white horse, and clad all in white with flaming sword, faced the advancing Germans at Mons and forbade their further progress.
Charteris was said to work covertly for British intelligence – adding weight to the idea that battlefield hallucinations had been warped for political reasons.
Others claim that the story is simple fiction. The popular author Arthur Machen claimed that this legend was created by his fictional ‘The Bowmen’ story published in The Evening News, 29 September 1914.
In it, British soldiers call on St George for aid, and are helped by ghostly bowmen from the Battle of Agincourt. One fact that lends weight to this theory is that few reports of the incident exist before Machen’s story.
Nigel Watson, author of the upcoming book ‘UFOs of the First World War’ says, “Even today the legend is swathed in controversy. Theories about it range from it being a myth based on Machen’s story, the product of hallucinations due to stress and exhaustion, real angelic visitations, ghosts, swamp gas, airships or alien UFOs projecting or shaping themselves to the expectations of the witnesses.”
John Rimmer, the editor of the online Magonia Review, puts forward the idea that Machen and the soldiers were responding to a spiritual need:
“Amid the horrors of the First World War the desire for such spiritual intercession would be so strong in the minds of soldiers that, unable to find expression in any more ‘rational’ way, it was projected externally in the form of a memorable vision. Machen, more remote from the grim reality, and as a writer possessing an acceptable way of expressing these deep emotional responses, created an equally memorable ‘fiction’ from the same set of stimuli.”
William Friedkin revisits old haunts with new documentary on famous exorcist, Father Amorth
The New York Times
When you’ve got a demonic child in Washington splattering dark stinking bile, croaking gibberish, spewing vulgar personal attacks, lying to sow confusion, whining about the unfairness of the attempts of righteous men to compel the diabolical behavior and head-spinning outbursts to stop, who do you call?
The demon-buster himself, of course, William Friedkin, the director of The Exorcist.
Before Donald Trump became president, the most frightening thing that happened in the capital was The Exorcist, which brags on its DVD cover that it’s “the scariest film of all time.”
It could well be, if the measure is moviegoers putting down their popcorn in unison when Linda Blair gushes green vomit.
“That was oatmeal – the pea soup was just for coloring,” the 82-year-old Friedkin tells me, as we have lunch at 1789 in Georgetown, a restaurant opposite the steep concrete steps where Jason Miller’s tortured Father Karras fell to his death in a violent struggle with the demon.
Friedkin offers an eerie connection to the Trump White House, noting that he edited the film at 666 Fifth Avenue, the accursed Manhattan building with the Number of the Beast at the center of Jared Kushner’s money problems.
The book and screenplay were written by William Peter Blatty, inspired by a news story he heard about in a religious class: the 1949 case of a 14-year-old boy in a Maryland suburb of Washington. Objects appeared to move around on their own in the boy’s bedroom and he was violent and speaking Latin phrases. The boy, a Lutheran who grew up to be an engineer at NASA, underwent an exorcism, first with a priest from Georgetown University and then with priests in St. Louis.
After studying up on the case, Friedkin has decided it was “jive.”
“It just doesn’t hold water,” he says, eating asparagus soup that looks enough like what came out of Linda Blair’s mouth to make me a little queasy.
Friedkin’s career peaked in the early ’70s with two blockbusters, The French Connection and The Exorcist. Eventually he felt so out of touch with a Hollywood possessed by comic books and Sci-Fi’s that he began directing operas.
Now he has returned to the subject that haunts him with a documentary called The Devil and Father Amorth, opening this month.
Friedkin used a hand-held camera to film an interview with Father Amorth, the chief Vatican exorcist, who worried that “Satan rules the world” and was in the Vatican. He died in 2016 at 91.
The director, who had never seen an exorcism, also talked the priest into letting him film the exorcism of an Italian architect named Christina with whom he had done the ancient ritual many times.
“It was harrowing,” Friedkin says. “These five strong guys are holding her down. They’re sweating. Father Amorth told me that during one of the exorcisms, she accused him of his sins and they were real.”
Friedkin took this footage to neurosurgeons and psychiatrists, and one psychiatrist challenged it, saying Christina did not show “the classic symptoms” of possession, such as her head turning 360 degrees and her body levitating.
“I said, ‘Doctor, we made that up,'” Friedkin recalls dryly. “Blatty invented what we think of as possession and exorcism today, and I had to find a way to film it. Father Amorth never encountered stuff like that, but he encountered other extraordinary occurrences and personality changes and voice changes. But there was no levitation or head spinning.”
The filmmaker says that for his documentary he did nothing to amplify the guttural growl of Christina, which evokes the terrifying voice used by Mercedes McCambridge, which was dubbed in for Blair’s in the possession scenes.
“When she breathed into the mic, you’d hear five or six sounds come out at once, like John Coltrane playing the sax,” he says. “When I first called her, she said, ‘I’m in A.A. I had a serious drinking problem. I am a lapsed Catholic, but I still have strong ties to the church. So in order to do what you want, I’m going to have to start drinking Jack Daniel’s again and smoking cigarettes and eating raw eggs.’ And she wanted to have her own two priests with her at all times.”
Friedkin is chockablock with such tales.
He says the first of his four wives, Jeanne Moreau, installed a lifelong love of Proust in him by reading it aloud.
Happily married to Sherry Lansing for 26 years, Friedkin says, he wasn’t really “Hollywood’s most combustible director,” as The Telegraph once called him.
“I don’t drink,” he says. “I’ve never done drugs. I’ve never tried grass. But I think Miles Davis is a reason to live.” He does cop to slapping a couple of people to get the sad and angry performances he wanted, noting that another word for director is “manipulator.”
He did not want Gene Hackman to play the iconic New York police detective Popeye Doyle in The French Connection.
He gave the role to Jimmy Breslin instead. “He had exactly the look I had in mind, a Black Irishman,” Friedkin says. “The first day, he was great, great, great. The second day, he forgot what he did on the first day. The third day, he didn’t show up. Comes Friday, he shows up and says, ‘Hey, isn’t there a car chase in this movie?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘You know, I promised my mother on her deathbed I wouldn’t drive, so I don’t know how to drive.’ I said, ‘You’re fired.'”
He gave Hackman the part, and they sparred so much during filming that at the end, he told a producer: “I may get away with this thing, but if I had to do ‘The Gene Hackman Story,’ I wouldn’t hire this guy.” He acknowledges now that Hackman is one of the greatest American film actors.
After lunch, Friedkin makes me descend the Stairway to Hell, the 75 steps in the movie’s climactic scene that I had avoided my whole life. I saw The Exorcist on my 21st birthday and was so unnerved, I went to bed and missed my own party.
Standing on the steps, Friedkin channels the demon, growling, “Your mother still rots in hell, Karras, you faithless slime.” Tourists taking selfies on the stairs look around, startled.
And even all these years later, I still want to crawl under the covers.
Does this 1917 photo prove time travel is possible?
A BIZARRE photo of what appears to be a time traveller in 1917 has resurfaced online after scores of disbelievers have finally found a piece of ‘evidence’ which made them question the laws of physics.
The photo taken more than 100 years ago in Canada, portrays a group of men, women and children sitting on the side of a hill of some sorts.
But eagle-eyed observers have noticed the photo stands out for a very particular reason – what appears to be a man straight out of the 20th century.
The photo was discovered in Lester Ray Peterson’s 1974 book ‘The Great Cape Scott Story’ – a tale of the Canadian region’s history.
What has fascinated those who came across this photo is how out of place the ‘surfer man’, as some have called him, appears to be.
He is wearing a very baggy t-shirt and shorts, sporting a modern windswept haircut and is clearly at odds with everyone else around him.
Looking closer at the people around, the man to his left appears to be utterly stunned by his presence.
Further to the right a woman also appears to be pointing her hand at the supposed time traveller, leading many to speculate the man was out of place and out of his time.
In fact, it almost looks as though he jumped right into the scene as the photo was taken.
YouTuber Jamie D. Grant found himself gobsmacked when he picked up the book and came across the mysterious photograph.
In a YouTube video titled ‘Time Travel proof found. Truth or Illusion?’, he says: “Notice the group, their clothes, their hats. Even how they sit poised for a photo.
“Now look closer. His head uncovered, his hair, his shorts. The man on the left stares in disbelief.
“Has a mysterious traveller proved the impossible and journey through time? What do you think?”
The ‘surfer man’ has joined the ranks of the so-called ‘time travelling hipster’ who appeared in a 1940s photograph with a fashion sense seemingly decades ahead of those around him.
But as some have pointed out, ‘surfer man’ may appear to stick out like a sore thumb from the rest of the crowd, but his clothing could have very well been in vogue.
One person commenting on the book on GoodReads.com, referenced a Post Gazette article, saying: “In the comments to the article, someone mentioned that t-shirts were around then and that they made it into the common lexicon soon after that date – it appeared in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in the 1920s.
“This Article says they were worn by US Navy sailors as early as 1913.
“Considering that other guys in the picture are also wearing shorts, I’m going to say that he’s not a time traveler.
“Other than Bill and Ted, what time travellers would think that a t-shirt and shorts would be the best thing to wear when time-traveling into the past anyway?”
In either scenario, physicists all agree that it is impossible to travel back in time by our current understanding of the universe and its laws.
According to Professor William Hiscock, of Montana State University, we can move forward due to the the time-dilation effect of Special Relativity. Moving backwards however is a dead end.
The expert said: “Time travel into the past, which is what people usually mean by time travel, is a much more uncertain proposition.
“There are many solutions to Einstein’s equations of General Relativity that allow a person to follow a timeline that would result in her (or him) encountering herself – or her grandmother – at an earlier time.
“The problem is deciding whether these solutions represent situations that could occur in the real universe, or whether they are mere mathematical oddities incompatible with known physics.”
The professor underlined that no experiment or observation in the universe has ever indicated such time travel occurs.
Philadelphia Experiment – The Real Story Here
The Philadelphia Experiment is an event during 1943 in which the United States Navy purportedly teleported a Navy destroyer escort, the USS Eldridge, from Philadelphia to Norfolk. They also made it invisible – as in, to the naked eye. Most people believe the incident was either a hoax or the ravings of a lunatic, however, some still believe that it may have really occurred and that there is a large conspiracy to cover it up. What is interesting is that the tale of the Philadelphia Experiment has made it into the annals of American legend. So, what’s the real story?
VIDEO is at the end of the article.
The story of the Philadelphia Experiment begins in October of 1943 in Norfolk, Virginia, though the story did not turn up until more than ten years later. Purportedly, some men aboard the SS Andrew Furuseth saw a ship spontaneously appear in the water in Norfolk on October 28. The story goes that it came from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The destroyer had first disappeared and then it instantaneously teleported to Norfolk. The disappearance and the teleportation were apparently two different functions of the experiment. In other words, the disappearance was not the result of the teleportation, but rather came before it.
Once the USS Eldridge reached Norfolk, it was clear something went wrong. Some of the men had disappeared during the trip. Others had gone mad. Some kept becoming invisible and then regaining their forms. Others still had become fused — yes, fused — with the ship in various ways. Perhaps that is why no U.S. ships currently have invisibility cloaks and teleportation devices. It could also be that the story is completely false.
The story of the Philadelphia Experiment comes from a man named Carl Allen or “Carlos Allende,” his pseudonym. Carlos wrote a detailed description of the event, along with claims he was a witness aboard the SS Andrew Furuseth when the USS Eldridge arrived in Norfolk, Virginia. He sent the description to the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research. The public got hold of the story and it took off, despite the many unlikely events described in the letter.
Carlos Allende wrote that the Philadelphia Experiment was made possible by Einstein’s “unified field theory.” Einstein supposedly told Carlos all about it himself. This is not direct proof that the story is mere myth, but it does lend a bit to the crazy factor of the claims. Firstly, it is common for such myths to borrow from the genius and fame of great scientists. Oftentimes, it is easy to refute these myths because the works of great men are typically followed closely. There is no evidence that Einstein ever met Carlos Allende and there is no evidence that his work resulted in a disastrous teleportation.
The USS Eldridge, like most other Navy ships, especially in war times, had a thorough log of where it had been in October of 1943 and the months around it. These logs are currently public information. According to them, the ship was nowhere near Philadelphia in October 1943. The SS Andrew Furuseth was also not in Norfolk at any time the Eldridge was present. Furthermore, William S. Dodge, the man in command of the boat at the time of the Philadelphia Experiment, later said that neither he nor any of his crew saw anything strange in Norfolk, Virginia.
The Office of Naval Research conducted an investigation. They did not find any evidence that the U.S. Navy was conducting experiments in teleportation. Of course, rendering ships invisible or stealthy is always an interest, but that pertains to radar, not to the human eye. As far as the U.S. Navy is concerned, no such technology exists.
In 1994, Jacques Vallee wrote an article about the Philadelphia Experiment. He had written about it before and, at that time, had requested that anyone who might have more information contact him. Someone did. Edward Dudgeon had served as an electrician in the Navy between 1942-1945 on the USS Engstrom. He said the Engstrom was in Philadelphia during the summer of 1943. The nature of his job allowed him access to the classified nature of the equipment aboard his ship and the USS Eldridge.
Far from being teleportation engines designed by Einstein (or aliens), the devices enabled the ships to scramble their magnetic signature using a technique called degaussing. The ship were wrapped in large cables and zapped with high-voltage charges. A degaussed ship wouldn’t be invisible to radar, but would be undetectable by the U-boats’ magnetic torpedoes.
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