Interlude: 'Tis a Magic Place

Well, of course it all began with a UFO sighting. 

There was an old saying, "When your neighbor loses his job, it's a recession. When you lose your job, it's a depression." So when your son has a high-quality UFO sighting, it's a 'flap', then when you and other family members have one a couple weeks later, I guess it's a 'wave'. 

The funny thing is that events conspired for us to be in that exact place at exactly that time. We were headed up to New England but ran into a wall of traffic- I mean a bloody parking lot on the Interstate- which required us to turn around and take another route, wasting a good 90 minutes of drive time in the bargain. So as we pulled into New Hampshire, we watched as two solid (meaning 'unblinking') lights of a sickly orange color and a distinctly nebulous form flew atop a Cessna (probably coming up from Manchester airport). 

I've already discussed this with a couple friends- Mike Clelland said he's been inundated with orange orb reports lately (they've been all over the usual UFO sites too). The plane and the lights were no more than a couple thousand feet off the ground and flying in a tight formation that no air traffic controller would ever allow. 

Detail from my son's video of his 
May sighting- golden/orange orbs?

My daughter said the orange lights broke ranks and went off in different directions when they broke pattern with the plane and flew over the car. Both my wife and daughter said there was a smaller white light bringing up the rear. These things do seem to come in threes. We couldn't determine if the lights were freestanding or part of larger structures. It could go either way, in my estimation.

Seeing as how I was driving and concentrating on the oncoming offramp, I wasn't able to study the objects in as great detail. I did get the sense that the pilot of the Cessna was probably oblivious to his companions, since they were over his head--and under the radar. 

Ball lightning? Earth lights? We were in the Granite State so it's certainly possible. But these lights definitely seemed to be flying under some kind of control, seeing as how they flew so tight (menacingly tight) over the Cessna. We drove back around the next day to see if there were light towers in that location but there were not (plus the altitude was too high).

 Had we not been taken by surprise and not spent so much time trying to figure out what exactly it was we were looking at, (the entire event took about a minute -see noteº) my wife might have been able to get some good photos, but they'd probably look a lot like the photo of the stars she took above there.† 

In other words, they'd change no one's mind.

Strange syncs abounded nonetheless: I was telling my wife about Valis (we were listening to Bowie on the drive up) and there just happened to be a truck (#13, no less) from a company called "Felix" parked outside our hotel all weekend. She booked our hotel in Salem, not knowing Salem plays a pivotal role in the novel I am working on (we usually stay in Manchester). Sleep has been a major issue for me lately so of course we pulled out of the hotel at one point only to find ourselves in back of a guy with the vanity plate "Sandman." 

We did get a picture of that...

We attended a family function on Saturday but found ourselves with nothing to do on Sunday morning, the Summer Solstice. It was also Father's Day so my wife asked me what I wanted to do and I said we should go to "America's Stonehenge", since it's (literally and eerily) right down the road from my mother's house (which is "a few miles" in New Hampshire parlance).

The weather had been threatening- the forecast called for thunderstorms all day but we got some very nice Vancouver-worthy drizzle instead. So we got some raingear and headed over to Mystery Hill, a crucial stop on the Lovecraft Express.

We'd heard a lot of badmouthing about America's Stonehenge but I thought it was fascinating.  I don't think the Brits are losing any sleep over it but aside from its nostalgic Americana value as a classic roadside attraction, the formation has a very deliciously creepy ambiance to it, and the rain and the mist gave it all the feeling of a classic X-Files set (the site is namechecked in a classic second season ep, "Die Hand Die Verletzt").

Adding to the vibe was this Summer Solstice procession, though the vibe was more Wicker Man than Mulder and Scully. The folks at the box office told us that Summer Solstice is normally one of their busiest days of the year, with hundreds of New Age pilgrims showing up to celebrate. Apparently the weather and Father's Day kept the revelers away, which probably doesn't say much about their level of commitment.  The rain was a bonus for us, lending a spooky atmosphere the site would probably lack in cheery sunshine.

And though certainly unintentional, these photos of pagan rites practiced behind barbed wire seemed to be a fitting metaphor of our times. That being said there was a distinct lack of energy to these rituals, a sense of the obligatory.*

 I don't want to sound judgmental but I don't understand why people show up to these things in their street clothes, bringing the associations of the mundane world with them. I would think they would want to separate themselves from their ordinary lives for these rituals, and wear flowing robes and garlands of flowers. I wonder if cosplay and conventions really are the ecstatic paganism of our time, with people really stepping into another reality.

I know there is a lot of overlap with cosplay and paganism. It will be interesting to see how that develops. Maybe you need to step out of any pretense of ordinary life altogether for the magic to really happen. It occurred to me that the really exciting Mystery Hill rituals will probably start as cosplay, as theater, and evolve into something else over time.

All sorts of thoughts ran through my mind as we walked the grounds. Strangely enough, I grew up with a megalithic structure in my backyard- quite literally. My father's old house in Cohasset (where Witches of Eastwick was filmed) had a very Mystery Hill-like stone garden built of the native stone, a wonderland (of more recent vintage, mind) that I spent endless hours on when he'd have custody of us. There were also interesting natural stone structures in the woods behind my mother's house so Mystery Hill felt like coming home in a way. 

I felt like there was a lot of unrealized potential at Mystery Hill. I also wondered if it made itself available after hours for more secretive sects than the local Gaia enthusiasts. The funny thing is that I was originally planning to drive up on Thursday- a producer at the ABC affiliate in Boston wanted to interview me about Aleister Crowley's summer at Hebron and its connection to the Barney and Betty Hill saga

So how else could this all begin except with a rather startling UFO sighting?

UPDATE: New Hampshire has had a lot of UFO reports this year, many orange or golden orbs. Remember that most people don't report their sightings to these agencies.

UPDATE: Interesting news from Stonehenge Prime. A whopping 23,000 revelers show up for Solstice celebrations there.

UPDATE: Mike C sends a remarkably similar story to our sighting that was just posted on Open Minds today. Search for more in your area here.

UPDATE: Eric Wargo revisits the extradimensional hypothesis on The Nightshirt.

UPDATE: The syncs roll on- Time posts a picture today from Salem....Massachusetts.

UPDATE: Another orange orb spotting, this time in England, the day after ours.

º Note: I originally wrote 15 seconds but having timed that out I realized it was probably closer to a minute. It took long enough for us to look closely at what we were seeing- and comment on it- but not long enough for my wife to get her camera ready. I tend to err on the side of conservatism with these things, which isn't necessarily a virtue.

The missus said the sighting lasted "a while, long enough for us to discuss it." She said it lasted "at least a minute" and didn't know why she didn't get her camera out. I know why- because these things have a tendency to mesmerize the viewer.

† I razzed the missus the entire weekend for taking photos of everything and everything but the one time I really needed one... There was a lot of glare from street lights and whatnot so it's unlikely we would've gotten anything definitive to begin with.  Read this post for my experience of the difficulty of photographing unexpected moving objects in the sky. Still, it's bugging me- it was eminently picture-worthy.

*I was reminded of this when my mother showed me a current directory from my old church, a onetime traditional Methodist church that's now part and parcel of the World Council of Churches agenda. I was shocked by how small the congregation now was, a very common story among what was once called the "Mainline" denominations. In contrast, her current church- a hellfire and brimstone Baptist church- has a membership that could fill a small city. I'm not sure that's a healthy social trend.


  1. I have been to this place. There is a spot where there is a flat rock over a kind of channel or gutter.

    Later I was in the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland. We stopped to see some 2000+/- yr old ruins in some old lady's yard.

    They had the exact same channel or gutter under a flat rock as NH.

    1. Very interesting indeed. People badmouth ASH but don't look beneath the surface at those kinds of connections. I most certainly think there are many layers to this story.

  2. Well, I'd say the Universe is trying to tell you something, Chris. :)

    I've never seen anything in the sky I couldn't identify, at least roughly, in a few moments. I'm just guessing, but that "mesmerizing" feeling you described might be a big part of a *sighting*, as opposed to the aircraft I see almost everyday.

    Perhaps you're moving in the right direction?

    1. I look up at the sky all the time and see nothing out of the ordinary and then this thing hits us at the most inopportune time. The first thing that struck me was how close the lights were to the plane, how they weren't blinking (like navigation lights or lights from a warning tower) and looked weird and nebulous. If I weren't so well trained to stare at things all day and interpret them I might not have given it a second thought. But I knew it was a formation you wouldn't even see in a Blue Angels show- the UFOs were right in the plane's immediate airspace before flying off. Maybe they were earth lights (the area is lousy with granite), maybe some kind of weather phenomenon, but it really looked like they were dogging the plane and took off. New Hampshire has had a lot of sightings this year so it seems like it wasn't an isolated incident. And there seems to be a lot of these orange orbs about.

    2. I mean, we know what even tight military formations look like, they don't do that near civilian planes.

      I don't know what it was, but I think it was something *different*.

    3. I know. And I wouldn't even blog about had I not had two corroborating witnesses. Initially my wife thought it was just planes flying in formation but I explained to her that planes would never fly that close together and that navigation lights are not solid orange. Maybe it was earth lights attracted to the plane's magnetism but without something to study it's impossible for me to say definitively. It literally pains me to talk about this without pictures, but I should have told my wife to get the camera out. I keep wondering why I didn't. It's not unusual.

    4. This is actually the kind of report that gets my interest. I know you are rigorous in what you see, not flighty or quick to assume.

      I have no answers, but the questions are interesting.

  3. About two years ago, someone made a comment on this blog, asking the author; " I wonder if you sometimes feel like you might be some sort of unwitting emissary of the Nine?'" He went on to say; "You're not just pulling at the threads here, but are weaving quite an extraordinary tale...Writing is the ultimate magic." I think the Secret Sun is now part of the ongoing saga of the Nine. Many thanks for
    connecting so many threads together for your fellow truth seekers.

    1. Well, there are all kinds of stories I try to follow here. Hopefully we can find some possibility in this world. It's so easy to get beaten down by the constant stream of bad news- I know I do. I wonder if this was all about getting me off a track I was stuck on and reminding me of the greater purpose. It's very hard to sometimes- this has been a very challenging year.

  4. I'm not sure why Stonehenge is so famous (there are stone circles all over the world) but I think it's the location. Derbyshire in the U.K. appear to have stone circles that are better preserved than Stonehenge and look more magical.

    I saw my first ever 'Sundog' the over the weekend. Odd really for June from what I've read they appear in winter not mid summer. There weren't any rain clouds but the sky had a light covering of cloud all round, and a bright and colourful section of a rainbow just sat there like someone had rubbed the rest of it out with an eraser. I don't think it was a circumhorizontal arc as it was an upward section accompanied by a very warm feeling/presence. I did think about popping down to Stonehenge for the solstice, I haven't done so since I was a kid and to be honest I don't think I'm pagan or druid enough for all that, the Fringe Festival in Glastonbury looked more appealing but not as appealing as just chilling.

    1. Well, I think you have to see it in context of its time. But you're right, it's just one of many similar sites. Very interesting about the sundog- I've done some writing in the past on the phenomenon. Very significant to the ancients.

    2. I saw something while visiting relatives in New Mexico when I was 13 years old in the late afternoon on a practically cloudless day that could not be mistaken for anything but some kind of flying things; metallic and glinting in the sun.

      In the wide open skies of NM, it is hard *not* to notice anything up there because your visibility from the ground is so open with no trees or high buildings to obstruct your line of sight. What pulled my brother and I from casually noticing something in the sky to standing in open mouthed awe was when the two objects, which were flying parallel to one another, suddenly began performing the most amazing aerial feats we'd ever seen (Note: we were Air Force brats and had seen our share of airplanes having been born and grown up on bases from South Carolina to Japan).

      Twirling around one another, looping, intertwining, and near 90 degree turns that literally stunned us with the brain fear of seeing something that your mind could not comprehend. My brother ran to fetch my father and uncle to come see this, as well. When they came back, the objects were still performing their aerial dance, probably in the 10-20K feet range somewhere, clearly visible from our point on the ground. My father, a retired officer and Command Pilot in the United States Air Force at the time---a WWII aerial combat vet and veteran of Korea and Vietnam---could not identify the objects and stood with us and observed them for what was like several minutes before the objects resumed their parallel course and flew off West, into the sunset. Afterwards, my father notified a local Air Force base and reported the observations. Nothing ever came of it, to my knowledge.

      I don't know what we saw that day except that they seemed to be made of metal (glinting metallic in the sun, as I said) and under intelligent control. They left no exhaust or trails. They were slightly oblong in shape and had no indication of wings or other airplane or rocket features. As they were too high to see small details, I can only describe what I could see.

      I have never seen anything like it again and would like to embellish the story with some follow up like I was missing time or I found some weird blisters or I became an X-man, but nope. I got nothing but my memories of the event. Now that I am in my 50's, I can still recall to some satisfaction the details of that observation because it was so extraordinary. Beyond that is just speculation and a mystery that will probably, for me, not be solved.

    3. Fascinating story, Bill. And you were certainly in the right place at the right time. It seemed you were treated to a special air show. This phenomenon is constantly mutating- I wonder if we will see that kind of display again soon.

    4. I think a reason for the iconic status of Stonehenge is (a) it is unique in its design, with the massive trilithons, lintel stones and horsehoe arrangements (b) William Stukely.

      Stonehenge is great, but I personally prefer Avebury.

    5. Stonehenge has that look, for sure. Plus it also has the Spinal Tap tribute on its side. How can you lose?

  5. "I propose that there is a spiritual control system for human consciousness and that paranormal phenomena like UFOs are one of its manifestations. I cannot tell whether this control is natural and spontaneous [...] – or if it is artificial in nature, under the power of some superhuman will. It may be entirely determined by laws that we have not yet discovered." Jacques Vallee, Dimensions, ch.10 The Control System
    Chris, I'm sorry for the confusion I lately caused in regard to the Control System. The good news is that the tension thesis is still into play as a possible supplement. I guess it's just a bit to vague for a scientific approach (parameters?). But the whole phenomenon may be ultimately beyond any scientific approach.
    Best wishes.

    1. Oh, I'm very familiar with the theory. It certainly seems to be apt. I've seen it work on people. Quite recently, in fact.

  6. Might be a little off-topic, I think my son might have seen a pukwudgie in New Hampshire this past winter in the seacoast area.

    1. Not off-topic at all. I'm quite familiar with that little scamp. Care to tell the story?

    2. trying to post the story. i keep getting this message:

      Your HTML cannot be accepted: Must be at most 4,096 characters

  7. Try breaking it up into a couple posts. That should work.

  8. Very interesting UFO encounter. Too bad you can't find out who the pilot was and contact them to see if they saw anything.

    My first (and only compelling) UFO sighting was of two orange orbs flying swiftly over Philly on the night of July 4, 2009. They seemed to be sort of playing or dancing with each other as they flew over. I pointed my flip video camera at them but nothing turned out. I checked MUFON a couple days later and they got other reports of orange orbs over Pennsylvania the same evening. My first thought was they must be flying down the Eastern seaboard observing the fireworks displays.

    1. It's very difficult getting pictures of small lights in the sky, especially from a moving vehicle. My son said the lights he witnessed were actually quite large but they look like little dots on the video. You can see, for instance, how the unmoving star/moon alignment came out in the headline photo. As to the pilot, he may not have seen the lights as they were above and to his left. If memory serves it was a Cessna, and the cockpit is shielded by the wing. I keep checking for reports. It's odd how ordinary it all seemed- my wife assumed it was another plane until I told her that two planes at that distance would inevitably collide. And it's also odd how common these orange orbs are becoming.

  9. So here is the pukwudgie story. I told it several times when it first happened, and then again when I put two and two together just these last few days.

    I now live more or less at the New Hampshire seacoast area, but I grew up maybe 70 or 80 miles away. So I am not really that familiar with it.

    When we first moved up this way, I was surprised to learn there is an area called 'Great Bay' on the NH seacoast. It is literally a Great Bay. I think the NH coastline is maybe 4 or 5 towns long. I think the Great Bay borders about as many more towns, but sort of a little bit inland. I was surprised to learn of its existence. I had never heard of it before.

    Anyway, I looked and saw there was supposed to be some kind of federal wildlife refuge near the old Pease AFB, which is now partially a commercial airport I guess.

    So one day during the winter I drove up there with my wife and 2 boys. One was 4 and the other about 1 1/2 at the time.

    It was pretty well deserted in the winter. There is a long kind of access road into the refuge area. The parking lot was cleared, but there were only a couple of other cars. We had passed some joggers, which I took to be the people associated with the other cars. I didn't see anyone else around when we got out of the car.

    The place is very poorly marked. I gather there is one footpath that goes one way, and another that goes the other. That seems to be about it. Next to the parking lot was one of the paths, which is a narrow raised kind of boardwalk through the woods.

    This board walk was completely mounded over with snow. I remarked to my wife at the time that you would think with all the money the federal government has, that they could afford to spring for a guy to come out with a snow shovel and clear off this walkway. There were some random footprints and ski tracks around. None of them looked like they were fresh that day.

    Although the walk seemed like it would be likely to be impassible, I thought we would try it since we had taken the time to drive over there.


  10. So my older son was running on ahead. I was in the middle. And my wife was slowly coming along behind carrying the baby.

    At one point my wife was a fair bit behind me, and I felt like I should wait up for her.

    I should mention this place turned out to be hard up against the runway for Pease. So every 5 or 10 minutes you get a nice earsplitting jet take-off noise. I was saying at the time, 'I bet the endangered wildlife loves this every few minutes all day long.'

    Anyway, as I was waiting for my wife, my son older wanted to run ahead of me. So I said alright.

    So he kind of went winding down the path.

    There was a short stretch where he was out of sight. I found myself kind of looking his way and then back towards to my wife, thinking whether I ought to go see where he had gotten to. I figured he wouldn't get off the path because the snow would be too deep.

    Just about the time my wife caught up, my son came walking back up the path.

    He said something like, 'So daddy, I saw a little man over there. He had a basket of candy around his neck, and he wanted me to reach in and take some. But I said no, and that I had to come back to talk to you.'

    Well, so that immediately caught my attention, as you might imagine.

    We never really have had any conversations about not taking candy from strangers. I don't recall that I have even heard anyone mention the idea of strangers with candy in his presence. I was saying to someone the other day, I feel like that was something people were always going on about when I was a kid [early 80s], but you don't really hear anyone talking about it anymore.

    So I said to myself, 'I guess I better go see about this.'

    I was expecting to see some kind of pervert or hobo down the path. Something like that.

    So he took me down to this area that was out of sight from where I had been standing.

    There were a few trees that had kind of melted holes or depressions in the snow around their trunks, as I guess it had been slightly warmer around that time. I think it was maybe February or March.

    So my son pointed with kind of a downward motion, indicating something small to one of these holes by a tree trunk. He said the little man had been right there. I asked what he looked like, and he said he was small and had 'metal colored skin'.


  11. He clearly was kind of struggling to describe what he had seen. It was a 'little robot...well not really a robot..some kind of little man. He had metal colored skin. You know metal coins? Nickels? Like metal?'

    He was markedly specific about what he had seen, which both I and my wife remarked on. There were no signs of any footprints or anything at the spot where he pointed. It seemed from his description that he would have been seeing something about 2 feet tall or so.

    Well, so we were right back in the car after that.

    He still refers to having seen this little thing from time to time since then.

    The other day, I was poking around online and clicked on a link and then another link to another etc etc until I found myself reading about pukwudgies.

    I have heard people refer to pukwudgies before, but I have never really heard of any formal description of them or anything.

    As I was reading, I saw the height was supposed to be 2 to 3 feet.

    But then the thing that really caught my eye was that they are supposed to have grey skin.

    I had never heard that before whenever I had heard people refer to them.

    I immediately thought of his insistence that the little man had metal colored skin. He clearly was looking for the word grey or silver.

    Out of curiousity I did a google image search for 'pukwudgie' and showed him the pictures. There is a photo on the third page of results that looks kind of cartoonish, but he affirmed that they looked like what he saw.

    I thought it was interesting he passed over a lot of other pictures before he immediately pointed to that one as it was going by. I was just scrolling down the pages.

    It is on this page about halfway down. Don't know how to put in a direct link to the image.

    I know this looks like a cartoon, but he jumped on it as soon as he saw it.

    Of course, it could all just be nothing, but I have never know him to be one to make up stories.

    We have had trouble with him recently being afraid of coyotes and insisting he hears them howling. I have been telling him 'There are no coyotes! Go to sleep!'

    But then last night, there was a lull in the road noise for a minute and I could faintly distinguish, far away, sort of blowing on the wind, the sound of coyotes howling. They sounded really far away, like maybe off in the next town or something. I think he must just have really acute hearing, and he has been picking them up when we were not. So I would have said maybe he was making up the coyotes, but even that seems like he was really hearing it.

  12. Thank you. Love the little shuttle/UFO/X20 craft sticker on the truck when you zoom right in to the photograph.

  13. Have you never heard of Newgrange? Saw it and other stone circles, chamber observatories and Neolithic sites in Ireland. Where they remain unaltered except by time. Curious, why would you expect pagans who mark the solar alignments to appear in flowing gowns? For your entertainment? Because they must as non Christians of European descent be quaint? The old ways are part of my everyday life. And the style of clothes I wear everyday are suitable for worship. What a shame the rain kept you from seeing the alignments. Was this your first visit?

  14. The little man who offered the child candy is a form of classic story of the fey. Good thing he didn't eat anything. He might have been taken. Read Diamonic Realities by Patrick Harpur for more bizarre parallels to this tale, told by a child too young to have read the stories, but truly a classic account.

  15. just happened to run across a story from NZ about an orange "orb" over a Fraser Cove:

  16. Hyperblimps (or their developments) could some UFO sightings.
    I chuckled this week when Noel Edmonds was in the news saying his parents are orbs that sit on his shoulders - he maybe right, bless him. Thanks again Chris.