Time Or Dimensional Slips

blessmycottonsocks

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It is an odd case, not like the "normal" time slip nor haunting. The physical effects upon both were striking and similar to those observed around Bury where the energies seem strong.
Agreed. It's the classic feeling of unreality, with normal sounds suddenly stopping, that I believe Jenny Randles refers to as the Oz factor.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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account indicates the woman had a mental image of the three, husband saw nothing ?
But both experienced the Oz factor (unnatural silence and feelings of unreality) and the secondary meaning of a time slip - namely having travelled several miles to Dorking, without being aware of any transit time.
 

henry

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reads more like an alien abduction ... or an old couple who couldnt keep track of their whereabouts, felt a little out of sorts
 

EnolaGaia

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account indicates the woman had a mental image of the three, husband saw nothing ?
That's correct. Mrs. Barton alone had a mental vision of 3 figures behind her. She never viewed the 3 figures directly (externally) because she felt 'paralysed' and unable to turn around and confirm their presence.

The popular account of their story cited above is from a blog. The blog got the story from Brennan's Time Travel: A New Perspective. Brennan got it from Colin Wilson's Beyond the Occult. Here's Wilson's seminal version of the story ...

In the summer of 1954 a couple who prefer to be known as Mr and Mrs Allan set out for a day in the
country. Both had been overworking recently, and they badly needed a break. They woke up feeling oddly
depressed, although neither mentioned this to the other. They took a bus in Dorking, but went past their
stop and alighted at Wotton Hatch, near the village of Wotton, birthplace of diarist John Evelyn. Instead of
walking back they decided to go and look at the Evelyn family church. And when they finally came out of
the churchyard they turned right and found themselves facing an overgrown path with high bushes on either
side. It led uphill to a clearing with a wooden seat. There they had a view over the valley, and they
decided to sit down and eat their sandwiches. They could hear the sound of a dog barking, and someone
chopping wood. But Mrs Allan felt oddly uneasy.

Suddenly a silence descended and the birdsong ceased. Mrs Allan was overcome by a sense of
foreboding and went icy cold. At that moment she became aware that three men had entered the clearing
behind her: although she had her back to them she could ‘see’ them quite clearly. All three wore what
looked like clerical garb. The man in the middle had a round, friendly face, but the other two seemed to
‘radiate hatred and hostility’. When Mrs Allan tried to turn round she found she was paralysed and unable
to move. Then the experience passed. She asked her husband if it had gone cold, and he touched her arm
and said she felt like a corpse. They got up and left hastily. Neither is clear about what happened next
except that at some point, they fell asleep on the grass. Then they found themselves in Dorking, both in a
state of confusion and unable to remember clearly how they got there. They took the train home for
Battersea.
 

EnolaGaia

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reads more like an alien abduction ... or an old couple who couldnt keep track of their whereabouts, felt a little out of sorts
Eric Barton was born in 1909, so he was circa 45 at the time of the incident. I'm not sure about his wife Irina's age.

Barton's 1997 obituary in the Independent:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-eric-barton-1254603.html

... doesn't give the impression he was an active outdoorsman. My point is that he and Irina may not have been 'old', but were more likely middle-aged, relatively sedentary, and not habituated to the exertions of country hiking. This, in turn, may be relevant to the story because ...

There is a well-known location near Wotton that provides a sitting place with a view over a valley, just as the story describes. This is the so-called 'God's seat' atop the ridge north of the church. This location is accessed by crossing a vale / valley northward from the church. According to the walking guide maps I can find the path leading away from the church would indeed be accessed by turning right when exiting the church's front entrance.

Once having crossed the vale / valley north of the church, there is a relatively steep climb onto the ridge to get to God's seat. If the Bartons walked to God's seat, they could well have arrived there quite fatigued and physically stressed. Over-exertion could explain the need to sleep and / or confusion over where and how long they hiked that day.

Continuing eastward from God's seat along the heights will lead one to Dorking.
 

PeteS

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Eric Barton was born in 1909, so he was circa 45 at the time of the incident. I'm not sure about his wife Irina's age.

Barton's 1997 obituary in the Independent:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-eric-barton-1254603.html

... doesn't give the impression he was an active outdoorsman. My point is that he and Irina may not have been 'old', but were more likely middle-aged, relatively sedentary, and not habituated to the exertions of country hiking. This, in turn, may be relevant to the story because ...

There is a well-known location near Wotton that provides a sitting place with a view over a valley, just as the story describes. This is the so-called 'God's seat' atop the ridge north of the church. This location is accessed by crossing a vale / valley northward from the church. According to the walking guide maps I can find the path leading away from the church would indeed be accessed by turning right when exiting the church's front entrance.

Once having crossed the vale / valley north of the church, there is a relatively steep climb onto the ridge to get to God's seat. If the Bartons walked to God's seat, they could well have arrived there quite fatigued and physically stressed. Over-exertion could explain the need to sleep and / or confusion over where and how long they hiked that day.

Continuing eastward from God's seat along the heights will lead one to Dorking.
Surely that is a pretty definitive explanation.
 

EnolaGaia

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It’s a possible explanation, it’s no more definitive than the original story without further investigation
Agreed ... The only aspect that's 'definitive' is that there is a known nearby site located so as to accommodate the (very scant) 'facts' of the Bartons' story without having to resort to imaginative hand-waving about shifting landscapes or time lapses.
 

henry

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but as with witnesses who are stoned, high or drunk, can the testimony be trusted, especially if nothing anomalous is actually seen or heard but only felt ...
 

Carl Grove

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I think every case has to be assessed on its merits. Sometimes people get a flash of intuition that can't be put in terms of a visual perception, just a sense of certainty that something specific is happening. For example, someone about to cross a busy crossroads after the light has turned green, may suddenly know that they should stay put -- then a speeding car races through a red light and it would have collided with them. No, I steer clear of cases involving drink or drugs, but this one isn't in that category, in my view.
 

CuriousIdent

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Apologies if this has already been posted, but my quick search didn't find it.

This is the account of a classic timeslip from the 50's by a man and wife - the Bartons, in the village of Wotton in Surrey.

"In the summer of 1954, Eric Barton and his wife Irina felt the need for a brief holiday. Both were feeling generally tired and stressed by life, and thought a bus trip to the country would revive them. They missed their intended stop, and wound up riding to the small village of Wotton Hatch, most famous for being the birthplace of famed diarist and gossip John Evelyn. Since they were there, the Bartons decided to examine the Evelyn family church, named after St. John the Evangelist.

When the couple left the churchyard, they turned to the right, where they found themselves on a badly overgrown path flanked by high, unkempt bushes. The Bartons followed this path uphill to a clearing with a wooden bench. They sat down there to eat their lunch and enjoy the view of the valley below. In the distance, they heard the sounds of someone chopping wood, birds singing, and a dog barking. Otherwise, all was quiet. It all should have been an idyllically peaceful and soothing atmosphere, but for some reason they couldn't identify, the Bartons were ill-at-ease. They had a strange sense of something being "off."

And then suddenly, these bucolic sounds ceased, and a peculiar hush fell over the scene. An icy terror crept over Mrs. Barton. She knew that things were very wrong indeed, but she still could not say how. Then three men wearing what looked like clerical garb entered the clearing behind her. Although she had her back to them, she somehow just "knew" they were there. One looked friendly, but the other two, in Irina's words, seemed to "radiate hatred and hostility." She wanted to get away, but stayed frozen in place, unable to move. Then the feeling of fear abruptly passed. The men vanished. Eric noticed that Irina's arm felt icy cold, like that of a corpse.

The pair quickly left what felt like an accursed spot, but they found themselves suffering from weakness and mental confusion. After staggering off, the Bartons collapsed on the grass, unconscious. After a period of time they found themselves in Dorking, without being able to remember how they got there. They thankfully took the train back home to Battersea.

Irina remained haunted by her experience. Two years later, she returned to Wotton Hatch, curious if she could recreate the inexplicable events of that day. She tried following the same path she and Eric had taken from the churchyard...only to find that the landscape had completely changed. There was no overgrown path, no hill, no clearing, no wooden seat. According to a local woodman, there had been none of these features on the estate in living memory. Eric revisited the area himself, and confirmed that it was completely different from what they had seen.

At this point, the Bartons realized that things were getting seriously weird. They contacted the Society of Psychical Research, but due to some bureaucratic confusion, their report was overlooked. In 1973, they repeated their story to solicitor and SPR member Mary Rose Barrington, who delivered a paper about the Bartons to the Society in the following years. Barrington researched the area around the Wotton church, and was able to verify that the hill and bench described by the Bartons did not exist, and, as far as anyone knew, never had been there. However, Barrington found an intriguing entry in John Evelyn's diary for March 15, 1696. He wrote of the recent execution of "three wretches," one of whom had been a priest, for the crime of attempting to assassinate King William. The men were hanged at a location matching that of the now-vanished landscape observed by Eric and Irina Barton.

Were these the three sinister men observed by Irina Barton? And did the Bartons indeed visit the area around Wotton Hatch churchyard...but only as it had existed in the late 17th century?"

http://strangeco.blogspot.com/2018/09/funny-how-time-slips-away-at-wotton.html

Intriguing. As others have questioned, of course, there is a significant difference between seeing somebody in specific period/ecclesiastical dress and simply getting a vivid impression that there might BE people standing behind you in period/ecclesiastical dress.

Certainly an odd experience to be sure, though. That is unquestionable.
 

CuriousIdent

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Eric Barton was born in 1909, so he was circa 45 at the time of the incident. I'm not sure about his wife Irina's age.

Barton's 1997 obituary in the Independent:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-eric-barton-1254603.html

... doesn't give the impression he was an active outdoorsman. My point is that he and Irina may not have been 'old', but were more likely middle-aged, relatively sedentary, and not habituated to the exertions of country hiking. This, in turn, may be relevant to the story because ...

There is a well-known location near Wotton that provides a sitting place with a view over a valley, just as the story describes. This is the so-called 'God's seat' atop the ridge north of the church. This location is accessed by crossing a vale / valley northward from the church. According to the walking guide maps I can find the path leading away from the church would indeed be accessed by turning right when exiting the church's front entrance.

Once having crossed the vale / valley north of the church, there is a relatively steep climb onto the ridge to get to God's seat. If the Bartons walked to God's seat, they could well have arrived there quite fatigued and physically stressed. Over-exertion could explain the need to sleep and / or confusion over where and how long they hiked that day.

Continuing eastward from God's seat along the heights will lead one to Dorking.

And if that's genuinely the case of the lay of the land then it's relatively straightforward to see how they may have misjudged where they were and taken a perfectly natural route from one point to the other.

Interesting. Thanks for that EnolaGaia.
 

EnolaGaia

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And if that's genuinely the case of the lay of the land then it's relatively straightforward to see how they may have misjudged where they were and taken a perfectly natural route from one point to the other. ...
There are giant gaps in this incident's storyline, and some of them relate to where the Bartons actually were.

The biggest problem with the whole story is that Mrs. Barton seems to be the only one who claimed an encounter with figures in historical garb, and even she admitted she never actually viewed them. She merely 'sensed' (i.e., envisioned) them being behind her. This is a big red flag for me, and it could well be a side-effect of the fatigue / over-exertion that seems pretty evident in other elements of the story.

This in turn resonates with the claim the Bartons were under emotional / psychological duress (variously described as stress or depression) that motivated the bus excursion in the first place.

As to locations ... All versions of the story I've read state the Bartons 'missed' something. Most state they missed a bus stop. I've seen a couple that state they missed a bus or bus connection. Either way, there was a glitch in their outbound journey implying they didn't end up where they'd intended to go.

Another possible issue is the consistent claim they debarked at 'Wotton Hatch' rather than simply 'Wotton'. Wotton Hatch is the name of an estate outside the hamlet, not the hamlet itself. I couldn't find any map of that era that labeled the hamlet itself as Wotton Hatch. There was a Wotton Hatch Hotel in the hamlet.

It's pretty apparent they were 'semi-lost' (elsewhere than planned) when they got off the bus. The only thing that supports the idea they were actually at Wotton is the lack of any mention of Mrs. Barton not recognizing the church itself when she returned a couple of days later (as I recall). This is the only thing that prevents me from suggesting they weren't even in / at Wotton to begin with.
 
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Dick Turpin

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Eric Barton was born in 1909, so he was circa 45 at the time of the incident. I'm not sure about his wife Irina's age.

Barton's 1997 obituary in the Independent:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-eric-barton-1254603.html

... doesn't give the impression he was an active outdoorsman. My point is that he and Irina may not have been 'old', but were more likely middle-aged, relatively sedentary, and not habituated to the exertions of country hiking. This, in turn, may be relevant to the story because ...

There is a well-known location near Wotton that provides a sitting place with a view over a valley, just as the story describes. This is the so-called 'God's seat' atop the ridge north of the church. This location is accessed by crossing a vale / valley northward from the church. According to the walking guide maps I can find the path leading away from the church would indeed be accessed by turning right when exiting the church's front entrance.

Once having crossed the vale / valley north of the church, there is a relatively steep climb onto the ridge to get to God's seat. If the Bartons walked to God's seat, they could well have arrived there quite fatigued and physically stressed. Over-exertion could explain the need to sleep and / or confusion over where and how long they hiked that day.

Continuing eastward from God's seat along the heights will lead one to Dorking.
I think Enola’s hit the nail on the head here.

My Father had a potentially dangerous experience about 10 years ago whilst walking Beach Head, one moment he was striding forth confidently, the next he became confused as to where he was, what time of day it was, and even had trouble recognising my Mother ( his wife of 47 years ).

Thank god she was there with him.

With the help of a kind passer-by, they led him down to a pub at the bottom of the hill, and even with a stiff drink of brandy and coffee, it took him nearly an hour to recover properly.

Age wise - he would have been in his early 70’s
 
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I think Enola’s hit the nail on the head here.

My Father had a potentially dangerous experience about 10 years ago whilst walking Beach Head, one moment he was striding forth confidently, the next he became confused as to where he was, what time of day it was, and even had trouble recognising my Mother ( his wife of 47 years ).

Thank god she was there with him.

With the help of a kind passer-by, they led him down to a pub at the bottom of the hill, and even with a stiff drink of brandy and coffee, it took him nearly an hour to recover properly.

Age wise - he would have been in his early 70’s
Similar thing with my father. Got in car, drove mother to the local town, bought ticket to park, then 'came round' with no idea of where he was or how he got there. Had all the scans nothing found. Diagnosed as a TIA, never re-occurred.
 

Dick Turpin

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Similar thing with my father. Got in car, drove mother to the local town, bought ticket to park, then 'came round' with no idea of where he was or how he got there. Had all the scans nothing found. Diagnosed as a TIA, never re-occurred.
My old man was too bloody minded to get checked out by the doc. What does TIA mean coal?
 
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