SITUation Report 11/96
The newsletter of the Society for the Investigation of the UNEXPLAINED, UK branch
SITU – Out in the Fields
Operatives Shelley, Pickles, Belknap-Long, Edwards and Castiglione recently investigated a spate of cattle mutilation reported near Wimborne, in Dorset. Could this be linked to the prevalence of alien abduction stories from the same locale, wondered SITU?
'We started with the theory that there might be a connection, but we were soon able to discount it,' Anne Castiglione told SITUation Report. 'All but two of the abductees we dismissed as deluded, whereas the cattle had been tormented by earthly means: there turned out to be a Satanist coven operating in the area.'
During a raid on the coven's base, Elmore Pickles distinguished himself by his bravery, single-handedly rescuing three chickens that the diabolists had captured. Dorset police are considering charges against the miscreants.
Elsewhere, four SITU operatives spent the summer investigating rumours of a lost tribe dwelling in the depths of the French Camargue. The trail was a false one, it seems. 'We had a lot of trouble tracking these beggars down, I can tell you,' said Kath Wilton, 'and when we got them in the end they turned out to be just a bunch of hippies who'd gone back to nature in the Sixties.'
So was it a waste of time? No, said Alain Roget. 'We really worked well together as a team: and, what's more, we found some very interesting archaeological artefacts. It may well turn out that Neanderthal Man survived in the Camargue to as recently as ten thousand years ago!'
- New branches have been established in Bristol, Macclesfield and St Austell. This means we now have 23 branches operating in the UK!
- The Chelmsford branch hosted an interesting and instructive talk from Dr Michael Nair on 'Linguistic correspondences between Egyptian and pre-Columbian American civilisations', with coffee and biscuits afterwards.
- In Southampton SITU members held a fund-raising car boot sale, Mrs Edwards in particular doing well with her 'Martian artefacts'.
- The Hull branch have prepared a set of 'UNEXPLAINED quizzes' which they are happy to give copies of to any other branch. Contact Martha Fellowes for details.
It's an UNEXPLAINED, UNEXPLAINED, UNEXPLAINED World
- A Portland, Oregon woman reported encountering a six-foot tall shrimp in her local launderette.
- Crop circles have been observed as far afield as Ecuador, Côte d'Ivoire and Tahiti this year.
- Recent meteor impacts have caused the geological formation known as 'The Face on Mars' to develop a frown.
- Despite persistent US Governmental denial of a cover-up, the 'Airbase Briefing Papers' relating to the Hangar 19 (Roswell) incident have still not been found.
- Could Luc Jouret's 'Order of the Solar Temple' be linked to the 'Order of the Eastern Temple', the occult movement which listed Aleister Crowley among its members?
- The October sky was disrupted by seven meteorites which fell at regular intervals onto a ten-mile square piece of land in Cornwall – owned by the Ministry of Defence.
The X Ploits
October 23: Operative Marks and I travelled to South London to meet Gunsem Jalaa, a car mechanic who claims to be possessed by the spirit of an ancient Tibetan monk called Namcha Barwa. This unexpected visitor enables his host – it is claimed – to eat fire, walk on hot coals and pierce his body with knitting needles without pain, not to mention speak with the dead, predict Lottery numbers and levitate his elderly father. Namcha Barwa is also making his host's fortune: we had to queue round the block to gain an audience with 'the Master', along with forty or fifty other men and women, all keen to part with their money for the benefit of his wisdom.
As we entered the Jalaa family's lounge, now converted into a shrine, there was a hushed, expectant silence. Unfortunately, this operative was unable to see above the heads of the crowd and so missed 'Namcha Barwa' raise his father from his bed, duvet and all. As the crowd applauded, one girl suddenly dropped to the floor, foaming from the mouth and shrieking incoherently. When I managed to calm her down, she declared that she was now the Princess Sangsang, come to wreak death upon the world. Not unsurprisingly, the room was empty in seconds, and 'Namcha Barwa' was less than pleased.
Operative Marks's explanation for these events is that they are unusual example of the phenomenon of the transmigration of souls, and that Namcha Barwa has, probably unwittingly, opened a gateway for other souls to enter living bodies – and not all of them with aims as benign as his. In my opinion, however, these events are nothing more than a hoax. Inability to register pain is not a superhuman feat, but a well-known medical condition – angiospastic anaesthesia – that occurs in arterial disease when the peripheral nerves are damaged by an impaired blood supply. Furthermore, I could find no record of a Princess Sangsang in Tibetan history – though a recent newspaper story did relate the death, in the local zoo, of a giant panda called Sang Sang. When asked whether he seriously believed that this girl could be possessed by a panda, operative Marks replied that animals, too, have innate desires to ascend to a higher state of being.
I spent the next day trailing 'Princess Sangsang'. Far from wreaking death, she attended school, then led me straight to a man named Dambajan Jalaa – brother of Gunsem – from whom I witnessed her receive a large sum of money. Interviewing Gunsem's father, I learned that Dambajan and Gunsem had been on bad terms for many years; indeed, their rivalry extended back to childhood, and involved a dispute over selection for a school hockey team.
From the evidence, I surmise that Gunsem Jalaa fabricated the Namcha Barwa story for material gain, and that Dambajan, bitterly resenting Gunsem's success, paid one of 'the Master's' clients to discredit his brother.
Gunsem Jalaa's ability to levitate his father, however, remains unexplained.
This issue we talk to Andre Swahn, Briefing Officer in our UK branch of SITU.
Andre grew up in South London, around Wimbledon – home of the famous Wombles. He remembers spending long summer afternoons searching for their burrows on the Common. 'Even then I had the urge to investigate, and to doubt when I was told they didn't exist!' he laughs. But did he ever find Bungo, Orinoco and the others? 'That'd be telling!'
He first became formally involved in the Strange as a teenager. 'I'd read various sensationalist coffee-table conspiracy theory books – Illuminatus!, The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail, Coming of Age in Samoa and so on – but I realised there was a lot more going on in the world than those authors suspected.'
At this point Andre started writing for Crop Circular magazine, but left when he had a difference of opinion with editor Ken Wisbech. 'I don't want to talk about it. It was a difficult time for my family and I: we don't even mention that man's name now.' Cerealogy's loss was our gain, though, for Andre then joined SITU, rising to his current post over the last two years. In it he is personally responsible for the majority of operative mission briefings, so you'll all probably meet him sooner or later!
'The main thing I would say to operatives is, read your briefing thoroughly, and re-read it while you're on the mission. Don't just file it away in a drawer!'
A Note from the Editor
Hello! I hope you like this issue of SITUation Report. Remember, do write in with your thoughts about the newsletter, or about SITU as a whole, or even just about strange things that have happened to you! After all, SITUation Report belongs to all of us, not just to me. As you can see I managed to get hold of a few exciting new fonts for this issue – eye-catching or what!
Until next time,