; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Monday, June 12, 2017

A Horrendous Odor, a Hellish Sound, and Lost Time

Tommy wrote to the Expanded Perspectives Podcast wanting to share his story of what he and a friend saw in 1996:

“I'm from a small town in Fife, Scotland called Newburgh. I grew up in Newburgh and spent the first 21 years of my life there. The town is actually celebrating its seven hundred and fiftieth anniversary this year so as you can imagine it has a rich history. The town is situated between the River Tay which is the longest river in Scotland and rolling hills and farmland, so essentially on one side you have nothing but water and on the other nothing but green. The town was originally founded by the Picts and then later was mainly inhabited by monks for a very long period of time. In fact, many of the buildings and structures which the monks built still stand today. The town's population is around 2,000 and it's a beautiful little corner of the world. It's a quiet wee unassuming place and although I don't live there anymore my family does and it will always be my home. I wanted to give you an idea of the setting for my story as certain geographical features play a part in the actual story. I've had other experiences there and I have friends and family members that, they too, have had experiences.

My primary school used to have book fairs every few months, where pupils and parents could buy books both fiction and nonfiction. All my friends and I were really into the paranormal and the unexplained and would spend weekends ghost hunting and exploring so we always opted for books on ghosts, UFOs and everything in between. One particular book which my friend had was Young Person's Guide To Ghost Hunting. There was a chapter in the book which stated: if you had ever had an experience with the unexplained you should document it with as much detail as possible. Well, as an avid hunter of all things mysterious I took this advice to heart so after my experience on that summer afternoon, I rushed to my bedroom and I wrote down everything I saw, heard and smelled in a little Batman notebook which I still have to this day. I'm very grateful and thankful to my younger self for doing so as I know over time memories can change and details can be exaggerated or forgotten. Although I can still see it is plain as day in my mind's eye I truly believe having this notebook in my possession corroborates my experience.

My experience happened during the school summer holidays when I was 10 years old. I'm 31 now so it would have been around 1996. It was an incredibly hot day. There wasn't a single cloud to be seen in the sky. The sky was as blue as can be and the sun shone all in its glory. It was actually unusually hot for Scotland. I'm sure it must have been one of the town's hottest ever summers. It was unbearably hot. At times my street and adjacent streets were very quiet and extremely peaceful as a lot of the families were either away on holidays or at the park or off to the beach in one of the neighboring towns or inside sheltering from the heat. Ordinarily it would be quite noisy due to the fact that there were a lot of kids in the area who would be playing at the swing park or playing in the street but that afternoon it was deathly quiet, a detail which is always kind of stuck with me. You could literally hear a pin drop a hundred yards away.

It was around 2:00 PM. My friend who I'll call Jay for the sake of his privacy and I had been playing with our wrestling figures in my parents front garden when the phone rang. It was our friend, I'll call, AR, for privacy, who had just got home from visiting family and wondered if we wanted to hang out at his house. My home was situated fairly central in the town you could see the river in the distance from the back of my house. Now AR's house was pretty much next to the river so it was around a 5 to 10 minute walk away. Jay and I packed up our toys grab something to drink and left through the back door of my house. To the rear of my house there is a small road through the street which leads to more houses then eventually a couple of different paths which we could take to get to my friend's house. On one side of the road there is a town clock tower, a few houses, and then a footpath. On the other side there are some parking spaces, then behind them more houses. As Jay and I walked along the pathway next to the road excited to get to AR's house because he had the latest Mortal Kombat game. Both of us commented on how hot it was and how we couldn't wait to get back into the shade. The town clock chimes twice for 2 o'clock about halfway.

Along the road it, really wasn't a long road at all, we noticed something on the ground glimmering in the sunlight. The closer we got to it the bigger it seemed to get almost as if it was spreading across the road. It looked just like an oil slick and honestly that's what we thought it was. It was multicolored and shiny and wet looking. One of our other friends dad's had been working on his car earlier that day in one of the parking spaces and we thought that he must have spilled some oil or some petrol. Other than the fact that the glimmering had caught our eye, we really thought nothing of it. Suddenly Jay remembered he'd forgotten to pick up a spare Sega controller so we ran back to his house to pick it up. A few moments later we were back on our way to AR's house and we're back on the same pathway we were on before. The thing in the middle of the road was still there glimmering in the sunlight and seemingly bigger than it was before. It had spread out from one side of the road all the way across to the other now and onto the footpath a few feet away from us. Needless to say we were a little bit curious so we decided to speed up to check it out. We approached it slowly and were instantly hit with the most god awful smell I could only describe it as a mix of burning rubber, my sister's nail polish remover and manure. Farmers in the area would generally spread manure on the fields surrounding the town, so it was an odor we were fairly familiar with but this was different. It was stronger, more potent and it made both Jay and I feel nauseous so we retreated about 25 to 30 yards because we didn't want to pass it.

Suddenly, this giant oil slick, for a lack of a better description, started bubbling and smoking slightly and within a few seconds it began to rise from the ground. We were terrified. It made the most terrible sound I have ever heard and thinking about that alone still gives me chills. It sounded like metal chains in a washing machine being accompanied by a choir of screaming animals, only louder and more violent. It was truly oppressive and deafening and it physically hurt our ears. I remember standing there with both hands covering my ears while witnessing what happened next. It suddenly shot up from the road and within seconds it must have been 40 to 50 feet in the air. It still looked like a multi-colored oil slick but it had gotten even bigger and it took on an almost transparent quality. Everything behind it or through it took on a strange mixed of color and against the blue summer sky it was extremely jarring. Imagine a perfectly painted blue canvas with an ugly mix of color right in the center of it, not quite brown, not quite green. It was kind of like that the thing was still bubbling and smoking and it was still giving off a horrendous odor and emitting a hellish sound. We stood there frozen in terror, unable to take our eyes off of it. It hovered in the sky above us for what felt like forever but in reality it must have only been 10 to 20 seconds when we suddenly saw it rise up higher into the sky then shoot off into the distance. It sounded like the end of the world. When it zoomed off, it made such a terrifying noise, it left a purplish black trail in the sky behind it which seemed to take ages to disappear and the odor was still noticeable albeit much fainter than before, the thing stopped in the sky above the river next to a hillside farm on the edge of town, which is roughly three-quarters of a mile from where we were, we could still easily see it but at this point it looked more like a giant black smudge in the sky and it appeared to be surrounded in smoke or some sort of dark haze. It hovered in place for a few seconds and then out of nowhere a massive and I mean massive bright yellowish green beam of light shone down from the sky above it and surrounded it and the brightest light I'd ever seen, what sounded like a huge metallic thunderclap reverberating from the distance, the massive beam of light lit up even brighter then it disappeared as quickly as it appeared and the smoking black thing was gone without a trace.

Jay and I stood the middle of the road frozen in absolute shock and terror, so much so that we were almost run down by an oncoming ice-cream van. By this point the weather had turned. It was overcast and it had started to rain. We decided we didn't want to go to AR's house anymore because honestly we were both so terrified and shaken. We turned around and began to walk back to my house which was only about a minutes walk away. When we heard the town clock chime 4 times for 4 o'clock. Jay and I commented on the fact that the clock must be broken because it had literally just chimed for 2 o'clock a few moments ago. We got back to my house and my mom told us that AR had called several times looking for us. Confused I called him back and he was pretty upset. He asked why we hadn't gone to his house and he was pretty angry that he had to hang out with his little sister for the last two hours. He said he could have come to my house if we didn't want to go to his and we didn't have to ditch him without telling him. I was utterly baffled and I had no idea what he was talking about. We had literally just been on our way to see him. I looked at the clock in my parents living room and it read 4:05. I asked my mom about the correct time, if it was right or not and, you guessed it, she said, 'Yeah, it's 4:05.' Not only had Jay and I witnessed something completely strange and unnatural to us, we had also somehow lost 2 hours of time.

Over the years Jay and I have discussed this experience and to this day both of us are still as confused about it as we were back then. I've chosen to keep quiet about it until now for fear of ridicule whereas Jay has spoken to a few people about it, one of which was an older man, I'll call him, M, for privacy. Jay was at the pub one night a few months ago casually talking to a mutual friend about ghosts and UFOs and whatnot and he was telling our friend about the experience we had when we were kids when suddenly M interrupted. Now M told Jay about how he had lived and worked on the farm on the edge of town and admitted that while he was working in the fields one day he too saw massive bright ray of light appear in the sky and beam up when he can only describe a black smoky thing which happened to be hovering above one of his cattle barns. M also stated that he had to dismantle and burn his barn and replace it with a new one because after the incident his livestock simply refused to enter the building. Jay couldn't believe it and when he told me, neither could I. It was as if we could put to rest any doubts we ever had as someone else had actually seen what we saw and admitted to seeing it. It was all the proof we ever wanted or needed. I mentioned earlier that the town is small and all these years I believed and still believe that more people saw with J, M and I saw. The place is simply too tiny for something like this to go completely unnoticed. I honestly believe more people witnessed it but were and still are too scared to come forward.”

Source: Expanded Perspectives Podcast from a video titled “Unusual Encounters #1” published on 28 Apr 2017

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