Why The 'Case of Kersey Village' Was An Impressive Time-Slip (Suffolk 1957)

Joined
Jul 31, 2005
Messages
6,145
Reaction score
8,477
Points
294
So if this was a time slip, and the church wasn't visible, then we can eliminate any date after the mid 1500's. Fair enough perhaps, but if we do accept that they saw the village as it was at that time, how could the shop as it appeared toward the end of the reign of Henry VIII be so unchanged in the intervening 500 years so as to be still identifiable in a photograph? I don't see how this could be the case.
The Shambles in York dates from about the 14th C, pretty much unchanged and coincidently mostly butcher's shops.
 

oldrover

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
3,982
Reaction score
1,422
Points
169
The Shambles in York dates from about the 14th C, pretty much unchanged and coincidently mostly butcher's shops.
But does it? When you look at a building what features would you use to possibly recognise it later? 30 years later in this case. The Shambles is pretty distinctive, and very pretty, the Bridge House dates I think from roughly the same period, but it's far less distinctive in construction. So what does that leave us to identify it?
 

INT21

Antediluvian
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
7,687
Reaction score
6,334
Points
279
Old Rover,

...a frost in August though is in my experience, pretty unusual...

It was supposed to have happened on a Sunday in October.

INT21
 

oldrover

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
3,982
Reaction score
1,422
Points
169
Old Rover,

...a frost in August though is in my experience, pretty unusual...

It was supposed to have happened on a Sunday in October.

INT21
Thank you. I thought that sounded a bit odd.
 

Carl Grove

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
899
Reaction score
975
Points
99
Location
Bury St Edmunds
Carl, thank you for your reply, I appreciate you taking the time. This is what I think, and please correct me if I'm wrong in any of the details, I am going purely what seem to me to be the agreed and cited relevant points here, I've not read McKenzie's book.



I don't feel any of these points lend anything to the authenticity of the account. A clear 'thrust' of the narrative is just that, but that narrative was created 30 years after the event as I see it. Again, correct me if I'm wrong but one of the men remembered nothing significant about the affair, and the remaining two were in contact with each other for some time before their version/versions were passed on to McKenzie. I won't labour that point as you'll be well aware of how much room for distortion this could have produced.

I don't find their willingness to reveal their identities unusual myself, I'm very used to people doing this and in an area where they will be very aware that what they're saying is certain to be read and seen by those they know.

As to the where and when, do we actually have a date for this exercise? If we do, has anyone checked back on the local weather reports for that day in the area to see how well they correspond with the men's accounts? If not, it's still worth doing as we could see if anything there corresponds with their story. I don't know Suffolk, but the weather in other parts of Britain can change anytime, a frost in August though is in my experience, pretty unusual. Either way it'd be hard to imagine anyone British finding anything strange about their accounts of the changes in temperature, wind, or lighting. Even if they'd recounted it the next day, but they didn't.



Again Carl, 'clearly defined' in the story that was passed on 30 years later. Is there any way to check how accurate this was? And as I'm sure you'd agree, for anyone to have a clear idea of the sequence of events after that length of time is a little bit suspicious. It seems more entirely reasonable to me to question whether this clarity wasn't in fact reached as the two men discussed the event in Australia three decades later.



And again these details were supposedly recalled 30 years later. After three decades they could identify the exact time the bells stopped wringing, when the unnatural silence set in, the weather changed, the shadows became flat? As you've carried out post graduate work on memory, can you cite anything that supports a level of recollection this good? Can you cite any studies that evaluate the likelihood of bias arising from the men's conversation prior to their presenting their story/stories to McKenzie? Or can you tell me exactly by how much their versions differed? Were they dissimilar enough to still essentially the same story but with understandable divergence in detail accounted for the subjectivity of each man's memory, or are they so similar as to suggest they'd been negotiated and 'agreed', unconsciously or otherwise, sometime much closer to their passing them to McKenzie, such as during their correspondence? This is why I mentioned a suspension of disbelief earlier.



For me that's one of the worst problems in this business, it wasn't like the medieval village of Kersey at all. The church, they claim, wasn't visible yet the 'street view' image confirms the fact that the tower is clearly visible at the end of the road they must have been on as it where the both the ford and the Bridge House are. And according to this site http://www.suffolkchurches.co.uk/kersey.htm the tower was completed by the mid 16thC. So if this was a time slip, and the church wasn't visible, then we can eliminate any date after the mid 1500's. Fair enough perhaps, but if we do accept that they saw the village as it was at that time, how could the shop as it appeared toward the end of the reign of Henry VIII be so unchanged in the intervening 500 years so as to be still identifiable in a photograph? I don't see how this could be the case.

Perhaps the idea though is that the church itself was outside the time slip, allowing for the time period they experienced to be much later, but then what's the evidence for that? It's implied in the account that they had a bit of a look round.

'but in the laneway the windows in every house reflected back darkly except for one where there was a whitish-coloured wall showing inside, but the window-panes were too small to see through properly and mostly greenish in hue. We looked through windows, or at least one window, and I clearly remember a smallish room with a rear window. There was no furniture inside, no curtains, the white paintwork was dingy and had the appearance of ... a distemper or whitewash, certainly not of modern day quality.. There were no gardens in front of the houses, no electrical wires or antennae.'

They failed to spot the pub though, which I believe has been there since the 14th C. The pub is three doors up from the ford. So it sounds to me that either they in fact didn't look around too much, or their recollection is deeply flawed. I think you'd spot a pub looking through the windows.

Had they turned the other way though they'd have found themselves walking toward the church passed what are today smallish residences, so it's possible that this is the way they went and missed the pub. But then if that's the case where's the mystery? Remove their reaction to the place, which isn't indicative of anything objective, their accounts don't sound particularly unlike what you might reasonably expect from a very rural village in the mid 1950's. We read in the Smithsonian Magazine link that arrangements had been made to hide the overhead wiring. Yet the photos at the link provided by dream_decoder show that right by the ford there was at least one telegraph pole, visible in the 1955 and 1960 photos. But is this enough of a detail to favour a some totally fantastic explanation over two of the kids failing to spot something as mundane, and/or recounting it when they were discussing their 'strange' experience 30 years later?

Similarly, the carcasses 'rotting' in the butcher's shop, as I've said previously to get the best taste out of beef you hang it for weeks, the outside isn't going to look too hot. And this is a time before too much regulation, especially if this was done for private use. Do we know that much about the men's early backgrounds, were they rural, or urban, how experienced might they have been with meat handling. Were they witnessing something truly strange, or something which just seemed strange to them?

Laing's feelings were just that, his impressions. I've known people to get spooked over nothing but their own reactions to something otherwise pretty neutral, I think most people have.



I'm not sure it's a very good idea to compare one very suspect interpretation with another, there is as far as I know, as little objective evidence for the Versailles incident as this one so I think it could be dangerously misleading. But I definitely agree this really isn't looking like a time slip.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd have a few concerns about McKenzie quoting the Versailles incident to the men either. Whether intentionally or not, it certainly sounds like he was leading them. In fact it's certain, he provided information to his witness who then confirmed it as being 'spot on'. It makes no difference as to how apt a description this was for the men's experience, it came first from McKenzie. So I think it's entirely reasonable to wonder how much of the rest was?



It could be significant if we didn't already have serious reason to be concerned about how possible it would be to retain enough detail from 30 years previously to make the identification. We also have evidence above that McKenzie was at least rather poor at taking care not to influence the men he was interviewing. Further questions arise from this about McKenzie's methodology, such as did he know the history of the house, how many postcards did he send Laing, did he for example use some form elsewhere as a control? Did he check just how many butcher's shops there'd been in Kersey? Did he make any attempt to provide some context for this apparent anomaly? It doesn't look like it to me based on what I've seen, but I'm happy to be corrected.



What do we have in the way of evidence? An impression of something odd recalled to a researcher who clearly wasn't careful about his interviewing style, and no methodology presented here at least so we can get an idea of to the extent this happened. There's also no clear idea of what sort of phenomena it's supposed to represent in the first place either. In fact the only strange features would be the men failing to recall seeing the church, and the telegraph poles next to the ford. That isn't that weird to me.

So I'd agree this is a significant case, but it's more similar to the Bampton incident for me, the strangest thing for me is that like Bampton it's still considered as strange.
I have probably given somewhat the wrong impression of MacKenzie's approach; he is a very thorough and careful researcher. The point about Versailles he raised towards the end of his investigation and I think he would have been careful not to lead witnesses prior to getting their stories.
You repeatedly claim that the two main witnesses had plenty of time to discuss the experience in the 30 plus years between the incident and MacKenzie's investigation. In fact, they had very little contact with each other in the interim, their last meeting being in 1963. Both ended up emigrating to Australia and occasionally phoned each other MacKenzie had asked for witness evidence in his book Hauntings and Apparitions and Laing wrote to him in 1988. Subsequently MacKenzie contacted Crowley and received a letter (which I quoted from) giving a much briefer account of the experience. There are minor differences between the two witnesses' stories, but this is hardly unexpected.

Some of your points raise significant questions, but on the whole I don't feel that your arguments are convincing; basically they reiterate your position but don't really answer my query about what sort of evidence you want from time slip cases. You seem to be saying that because humans are not on the whole good observers, and have poor memories, then we should inevitably reject their evidence regardless of how good it seems.

Just to look at this from a different angle, suppose you were attacked on your doorstep and called the police. The officer asks you what happened -- someone pushed you to the ground and ran off when three of your neighbours ran over. So the policeman asks if you knew your attacker -- no, you say. He says that he has never heard a case like this before and he suggests you perhaps tripped over your step, and mistakenly think that someone pushed you. Can you actually prove that a crime took place? You say yes, my neighbours saw the whole thing. Just come over and ask them. And he sighs and says No, we don't do that. Why not, you scream. Well, scientific research has shown conclusively that people are hopeless witnesses and can't remember what they saw anyway, so it would be pointless. But one of them said he recognised my attacker, you cry -- it was Bert Bloggs. The policeman says, he is probably mistaken. In any case it is only hearsay. Do you have CCTV footage of the incident? We might look at that. But of course you don't...

So I can't help thinking that taken to its logical conclusion, your approach would make researching any unusual phenomena a hopeless cause. It might make life easier for those who want to maintain some kind of mental status quo but would frustrate anyone (such as myself) who has experienced plenty of strange things themselves and really want to find some answers. It would also spell the end of Fortean Times and other mysterious phenomena sites.

To answer one specific point, yes we do know the backgrounds of the three. Baker was, as we have noted, a Cockney, and in the 50s it would have been quite possible to someone in inner London to grow up in blissful ignorance of life in the country. But the other two were both countrymen and Laing in particular was clearly a good observer and a careful thinker. To my mind the details he provided are sufficient for me to rate this a fairly convincing case.

I think it is really up to you to say precisely what you would consider objective evidence for Kersey, or Versailles, or indeed any other time slip or similar experience. But you seem to be reluctant to say.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
16,448
Reaction score
21,482
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
... Did he check just how many butcher's shops there'd been in Kersey? ...
There was butchering performed at a shop in Kersey in 1957 (Stiff's, the general store), but it was pork / chickens rather than sides of beef. They were known for their hams, which typically were being prepared and hung up to cure during the mid- to late-autumn period.
 

INT21

Antediluvian
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
7,687
Reaction score
6,334
Points
279
..In fact the only strange features would be the men failing to recall seeing the church, and the telegraph poles next to the ford..

What about the difference in the nature of the road and ground in the area ?

INT21
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
16,448
Reaction score
21,482
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
...
For me that's one of the worst problems in this business, it wasn't like the medieval village of Kersey at all. The church, they claim, wasn't visible yet the 'street view' image confirms the fact that the tower is clearly visible at the end of the road they must have been on as it where the both the ford and the Bridge House are. And according to this site http://www.suffolkchurches.co.uk/kersey.htm the tower was completed by the mid 16thC. So if this was a time slip, and the church wasn't visible, then we can eliminate any date after the mid 1500's. Fair enough perhaps, but if we do accept that they saw the village as it was at that time, how could the shop as it appeared toward the end of the reign of Henry VIII be so unchanged in the intervening 500 years so as to be still identifiable in a photograph? I don't see how this could be the case. ...
The tower is not clearly visible from all points in the village. It is most obscured when walking right past it on the Church Hill (using the old, sunken lane).

Neither is it consistently visible from portions of the village other than those on the central / main lane. I'm trying to ascertain whether it should have been visible from the one butchering shop / site known (so far ... ) to have been operational during the 1950's.

As to the involvement of Bridge House ... One key detail missing is which window(s) of the Bridge House the boys used to peek inside. If it was the bay window at the front of the addition / wing used for a bakery (northern side of the building), there's reason to believe that didn't exist prior to the 19th or 20th century.

More broadly, I'm not entirely convinced the Bridge House is the site of the apparent butcher's shop they claimed to have seen. I'm starting to suspect there's been a conflation of specific sites and observations. The boys' narratives mention resting by the stream and seeing the local ducks, but this interlude isn't correlated with the butcher shop sighting. The Bridge House, standing at the ford / splash, would be a good candidate for a building they inspected right next to the ford, but I've seen nothing in the narrative(s) so far that actually indicates the mystery butcher shop was located right there at the ford.
 

oldrover

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
3,982
Reaction score
1,422
Points
169
Just to look at this from a different angle, suppose you were attacked on your doorstep and called the police. The officer asks you what happened -- someone pushed you to the ground and ran off when three of your neighbours ran over. So the policeman asks if you knew your attacker -- no, you say. He says that he has never heard a case like this before and he suggests you perhaps tripped over your step, and mistakenly think that someone pushed you. Can you actually prove that a crime took place? You say yes, my neighbours saw the whole thing. Just come over and ask them. And he sighs and says No, we don't do that. Why not, you scream. Well, scientific research has shown conclusively that people are hopeless witnesses and can't remember what they saw anyway, so it would be pointless. But one of them said he recognised my attacker, you cry -- it was Bert Bloggs. The policeman says, he is probably mistaken. In any case it is only hearsay. Do you have CCTV footage of the incident? We might look at that. But of course you don't...
Carl, very recently Australian researcher Mike Williams went a long way to addressing this point, so I'll borrow my main argument from him. And bear in mind this is hypothetical, as I'm not a policeman.

If that were to happen the police would interview the witnesses and would act on what I said, and for the following reasons. In the case of a physical assault there is an overwhelming amount of objective evidence for this having taken place previously to many people and on many occasions, the same applies to tripping, plenty of evidence for that being a well known and well understood occurrence. Both of these will usually result in some sort of objective physical evidence. Slightly less clear cut, is the possibility that I was making a false allegation, however there'd be several strategies to explore this too, as in could the person I was accusing account for where they were at the time I was alleging the assault took place, do I have any motive for making a false charge, is there any material evidence etc. There'd be known and understood precedents for them to weight their observations against, and objective methods open to them to investigate. In almost all cases criminal investigations involve tangible evidence. This isn't a very apt comparison for an alleged phenomena, based on subjective testimony only.

To recap, there would be a very stark difference between a refusal to investigate an event for which there are many established and confirmed explanations for, and an unwillingness to accept nothing but eye witness testimony for one for which there is none. Which is what we're frequently asked to accept in paranormal investigations.

And I've previously asked you to say what you found significant in this matter, so to return to the police analogy, I'm not refusing to speak to anyone. On the contrary I'm doing the opposite, I'm asking you to tell me what it is makes you think this case is significant, which you did and to which I replied that I find the most likely explanation to be a subjective recollection of the events. And that's what I still think.

So I can't help thinking that taken to its logical conclusion, your approach would make researching any unusual phenomena a hopeless cause. It might make life easier for those who want to maintain some kind of mental status quo but would frustrate anyone (such as myself) who has experienced plenty of strange things themselves and really want to find some answers. It would also spell the end of Fortean Times and other mysterious phenomena sites.
I can't agree with you there either, if investigating the paranormal comes up with a more likely, but less exciting, explanation where's the hopelessness? It'd be pretty pointless to engage in if either position was actually just interested in preserving a status quo.

As for the evidence I'd be willing to accept, anything that isn't better explained by a much simpler and well understood means, that's no big ask is it? Can you provide that?
 

oldrover

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
3,982
Reaction score
1,422
Points
169
The tower is not clearly visible from all points in the village. It is most obscured when walking right past it on the Church Hill (using the old, sunken lane).

Neither is it consistently visible from portions of the village other than those on the central / main lane. I'm trying to ascertain whether it should have been visible from the one butchering shop / site known (so far ... ) to have been operational during the 1950's.

As to the involvement of Bridge House ... One key detail missing is which window(s) of the Bridge House the boys used to peek inside. If it was the bay window at the front of the addition / wing used for a bakery (northern side of the building), there's reason to believe that didn't exist prior to the 19th or 20th century.

More broadly, I'm not entirely convinced the Bridge House is the site of the apparent butcher's shop they claimed to have seen. I'm starting to suspect there's been a conflation of specific sites and observations. The boys' narratives mention resting by the stream and seeing the local ducks, but this interlude isn't correlated with the butcher shop sighting. The Bridge House, standing at the ford / splash, would be a good candidate for a building they inspected right next to the ford, but I've seen nothing in the narrative(s) so far that actually indicates the mystery butcher shop was located right there at the ford.
From the ford which I think all agree that their story places them at, the church is clearly visible at the end of the road. My point is that if we're to take the detail that they saw no commercial premises at all is correct, and that's for the sake of argument, then they're unlikely to have progressed far up the road away from it and toward the Bell Inn.

The date of renovation/extension I have for the 'shop' section at the Bridge House is 18th/19thC.
 

INT21

Antediluvian
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
7,687
Reaction score
6,334
Points
279
Carl,

..someone pushed you to the ground and ran off when three of your neighbours ran over. So the policeman asks if you knew your attacker -- no, you say...

This approach would also mean the police were assuming that the three people who came to your aid were in collusion with you and trying to stitch up Bloggs for some reason.

But that is, in itself, a crime.

The problem with time slip cases is that in the end we believe it, or we don't.

There can be no 'proof'.

And in these days of hoaxes and scams, what are we ever to believe ?

INT21
 

Carl Grove

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
899
Reaction score
975
Points
99
Location
Bury St Edmunds
Carl,

..someone pushed you to the ground and ran off when three of your neighbours ran over. So the policeman asks if you knew your attacker -- no, you say...

This approach would also mean the police were assuming that the three people who came to your aid were in collusion with you and trying to stitch up Bloggs for some reason.

But that is, in itself, a crime.

The problem with time slip cases is that in the end we believe it, or we don't.

There can be no 'proof'.

And in these days of hoaxes and scams, what are we ever to believe ?

INT21
I agree absolutely that there can never be proof of anything except within closed systems such as maths and logic. I don't think we should look at these things in terms of belief or disbelief -- rather we should continue to collect data until the weight of evidence points to what is going on. I don't think there are many time slip hoaxes; I am sceptical of some of Tom Slemen's more elaborate cases, and have come across a few probable hoaxes (notably the alleged Rougham video), but it seems to me that 90% of witnesses are palpably honest and trying to find words to describe experiences that they found disturbing and mystifying. Focusing on isolated cases (as we are in this discussion) rarely gets us anywhere, although it does generate a lot of interesting ideas and relevant data. We need to look for trends and clues in the data.
 

Carl Grove

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
899
Reaction score
975
Points
99
Location
Bury St Edmunds
Carl, very recently Australian researcher Mike Williams went a long way to addressing this point, so I'll borrow my main argument from him. And bear in mind this is hypothetical, as I'm not a policeman.

If that were to happen the police would interview the witnesses and would act on what I said, and for the following reasons. In the case of a physical assault there is an overwhelming amount of objective evidence for this having taken place previously to many people and on many occasions, the same applies to tripping, plenty of evidence for that being a well known and well understood occurrence. Both of these will usually result in some sort of objective physical evidence. Slightly less clear cut, is the possibility that I was making a false allegation, however there'd be several strategies to explore this too, as in could the person I was accusing account for where they were at the time I was alleging the assault took place, do I have any motive for making a false charge, is there any material evidence etc. There'd be known and understood precedents for them to weight their observations against, and objective methods open to them to investigate. In almost all cases criminal investigations involve tangible evidence. This isn't a very apt comparison for an alleged phenomena, based on subjective testimony only.

To recap, there would be a very stark difference between a refusal to investigate an event for which there are many established and confirmed explanations for, and an unwillingness to accept nothing but eye witness testimony for one for which there is none. Which is what we're frequently asked to accept in paranormal investigations.

And I've previously asked you to say what you found significant in this matter, so to return to the police analogy, I'm not refusing to speak to anyone. On the contrary I'm doing the opposite, I'm asking you to tell me what it is makes you think this case is significant, which you did and to which I replied that I find the most likely explanation to be a subjective recollection of the events. And that's what I still think.



I can't agree with you there either, if investigating the paranormal comes up with a more likely, but less exciting, explanation where's the hopelessness? It'd be pretty pointless to engage in if either position was actually just interested in preserving a status quo.

As for the evidence I'd be willing to accept, anything that isn't better explained by a much simpler and well understood means, that's no big ask is it? Can you provide that?
I'll cut to the final question, because you have finally stated that you would accept anything "that isn't better explained by a much simpler and well understood means," which does give us a little closure. It sounds reasonable and logical, but the problem is that the decision -- in each case -- rests on a subjective judgment. My judgment is that the totality of details provided by two of the witnesses points to a time slip experience -- not a hugely significant one, but certainly one more thoroughly investigated than most, and including a high percentage of the features of time slips that crop up in many cases. The features that I find significant (sudden change in season, cessation of church bells, absence of any indications that the witnesses were in 1957 Kersey [no signs of life except oddly behaving ducks, no sign of the church tower which would have been clearly visible from the stream area, empty properties, no street lights, no telephone wires, no TV aerials, no cars or other modern vehicles]), and the sudden change back to the chilly autumn season and the sound of bells as they departed. In fact, I find it hard to think of any other information that the witnesses could have furnished, short of interaction with clearly non 20th century people, to make it more significant. What other details would have changed your mind about this case?
 

oldrover

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
3,982
Reaction score
1,422
Points
169
I'll cut to the final question, because you have finally stated that you would accept anything "that isn't better explained by a much simpler and well understood means," which does give us a little closure. It sounds reasonable and logical, but the problem is that the decision -- in each case -- rests on a subjective judgment.
I suppose to some it might seem subjective to suggest that the gap between experience and retelling led to an exaggerated/distorted version of the events that actually happened is a better explanation than a time slip. But it isn't really Carl, it perfectly objective because one is a well attested, well demonstrated occurrence, the other is purely hypothetical.

There's nothing wrong with considering hypothetical explanations, but I think it's important to eliminate the more bbasic possibilities first. Something that isn't always done in my experience.

The features that I find significant (sudden change in season, cessation of church bells, absence of any indications that the witnesses were in 1957 Kersey [no signs of life except oddly behaving ducks, no sign of the church tower which would have been clearly visible from the stream area, empty properties, no street lights, no telephone wires, no TV aerials, no cars or other modern vehicles]), and the sudden change back to the chilly autumn season and the sound of bells as they departed. In fact, I find it hard to think of any other information that the witnesses could have furnished, short of interaction with clearly non 20th century people, to make it more significant. What other details would have changed your mind about this case?
There's nothing unusual on that list Carl, not unless you'd want to argue that their visit was recalled 30 years later in minute detail, which we both know it wasn't. And there's nothing surprising to me about all these apparent details turning up in the same account.

In my opinion this case, like the far more starkly illustrative Bampton incident, go to show the worrying lack of care, and the frequent confirmation bias I've come to expect from paranormal research I'm afraid.
 

oldrover

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
3,982
Reaction score
1,422
Points
169
Let me put my argument a different way. I've no objection to looking at any apparently inexplicable phenomena with an open mind. And I enjoy reading about other people's take on them, but I'm not willing to abandon the same attempt at critical thinking and honest scrutiny that I try my hardest to apply to my own area (which by the way finds very much against the relevant status quo, and I fully expect that if anyone actually reads it there'll be plenty of criticism. And that's fair enough). But I'm not seeing it here in what little I've seen of McKenzie's work, and so far I've seen no evidence of it anywhere else in the evidence in favour of time slips.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
16,448
Reaction score
21,482
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
... What other details would have changed your mind about this case?
Sorry to interrupt, but ...

Carl, there's one detail (or set of details) that I'd love to know, because the answer could well support or completely negate the notion we have a reliable base of witness testimony.

It concerns the bell ringing ...

The standard accounts have it that bell ringing was heard as the boys approached what they believed to be the village of Kersey, no bell ringing was heard once they were inside the settlement they visited, and bell ringing was again heard once they'd exited the central settlement area.

The accounts indicate they were exploring Kersey for circa 20 - 30 minutes.

I want to know how many bells were ringing (one versus many), and what the general ringing pattern was (e.g., single chime(s) versus multi-bell ringing versus a full multi-bell extended peal) - for both the periods during which one or more boys reported hearing the bell(s).

I'd also like to hear anyone's explanation for why a country church's bells might ring either:

(a) continuously for more than 20 - 30 minutes or
(b) in two installments or rounds no more than 20 - 30 minutes apart

... on a Sunday morning in October 1957.
 

Carl Grove

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
899
Reaction score
975
Points
99
Location
Bury St Edmunds
I suppose to some it might seem subjective to suggest that the gap between experience and retelling led to an exaggerated/distorted version of the events that actually happened is a better explanation than a time slip. But it isn't really Carl, it perfectly objective because one is a well attested, well demonstrated occurrence, the other is purely hypothetical.

There's nothing wrong with considering hypothetical explanations, but I think it's important to eliminate the more bbasic possibilities first. Something that isn't always done in my experience.



There's nothing unusual on that list Carl, not unless you'd want to argue that their visit was recalled 30 years later in minute detail, which we both know it wasn't. And there's nothing surprising to me about all these apparent details turning up in the same account.

In my opinion this case, like the far more starkly illustrative Bampton incident, go to show the worrying lack of care, and the frequent confirmation bias I've come to expect from paranormal research I'm afraid.
I don't think either of us are going to change our positions on this question. What you see as "confirmation bias" I see as "objectivity." If you don't find all these details that are wholly consistent with time slips "unusual" (actually, to be honest, having studied over 400 time slip cases, I don't find them unusual either!) then short of figuring out how to get you to experience something similar I can see only a stalemate.
 

Carl Grove

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
899
Reaction score
975
Points
99
Location
Bury St Edmunds
Sorry to interrupt, but ...

Carl, there's one detail (or set of details) that I'd love to know, because the answer could well support or completely negate the notion we have a reliable base of witness testimony.

It concerns the bell ringing ...

The standard accounts have it that bell ringing was heard as the boys approached what they believed to be the village of Kersey, no bell ringing was heard once they were inside the settlement they visited, and bell ringing was again heard once they'd exited the central settlement area.

The accounts indicate they were exploring Kersey for circa 20 - 30 minutes.

I want to know how many bells were ringing (one versus many), and what the general ringing pattern was (e.g., single chime(s) versus multi-bell ringing versus a full multi-bell extended peal) - for both the periods during which one or more boys reported hearing the bell(s).

I'd also like to hear anyone's explanation for why a country church's bells might ring either:

(a) continuously for more than 20 - 30 minutes or
(b) in two installments or rounds no more than 20 - 30 minutes apart

... on a Sunday morning in October 1957.
I hope someone keen on bell ringing might give us an answer. He or she might also have a go at explaining why the church tower, as well as the sound of bells, disappeared after they entered the village!
 

oldrover

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
3,982
Reaction score
1,422
Points
169
I don't think either of us are going to change our positions on this question. What you see as "confirmation bias" I see as "objectivity." If you don't find all these details that are wholly consistent with time slips "unusual" (actually, to be honest, having studied over 400 time slip cases, I don't find them unusual either!) then short of figuring out how to get you to experience something similar I can see only a stalemate.
Fair point. I've got to ask you though, was one of these 400 cases Bampton, if so what was your take on it?

Have you written on the subject? If so I'd be interested to read it. And I don't say that as someone looking to knock your work.
 

oldrover

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
3,982
Reaction score
1,422
Points
169
I'd also like to hear anyone's explanation for why a country church's bells might ring either:

(a) continuously for more than 20 - 30 minutes or
(b) in two installments or rounds no more than 20 - 30 minutes apart

... on a Sunday morning in October 1957.
I've never been to church in my life and know nothing about them, but I'd guess they're rung before a service, as a throw back to the days when they were used to draw the congregation in?
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2005
Messages
6,145
Reaction score
8,477
Points
294
I've never been to church in my life and know nothing about them, but I'd guess they're rung before a service, as a throw back to the days when they were used to draw the congregation in?
Yes, this is typical on a Sunday, around 9 - 10am.
 

catseye

Old lady trouser-smell
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
1,269
Reaction score
3,956
Points
169
Location
York
Noting that all three drank from the stream...

can we rule out any kind of pollutant that might have caused a slight 'change of state' in the minds of the three? Maybe they drank differing amounts, which might account for why one participant was seemingly less affected than the others. Although I can't, offhand, think of anything which might have given rise to a temporary feeling of 'unreality', I know that water quality back in the 50's was far less tightly policed than it is nowadays and farmers were also using substances like DDT (only banned in the 70's and now being thought to be a possible causative in Alzheimers).

So is it possible that the water they drank set up a mental state that was then reinforced in a 'folie a deux' ?
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2005
Messages
6,145
Reaction score
8,477
Points
294
I've never been to church in my life and know nothing about them, but I'd guess they're rung before a service, as a throw back to the days when they were used to draw the congregation in?
Actually, the bells would ring to call for service and then be quiet while the service took place. This might explain why the village was deserted - they were all in the church.

Would the bells ring again as the congregation left?
 

Carl Grove

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
899
Reaction score
975
Points
99
Location
Bury St Edmunds
Fair point. I've got to ask you though, was one of these 400 cases Bampton, if so what was your take on it?

Have you written on the subject? If so I'd be interested to read it. And I don't say that as someone looking to knock your work.
I thought the Bampton case a bit ambiguous -- aside from the floral display and notice being there on one visit and not on the next no real evidence. The suggestion that the map was burned one day and unsinged the next implies more of a dimensional or glitch experience. Interesting but very inconclusive.

I got seriously interested while researching a local time slip mystery. The report I wrote can be downloaded from my Dropbox account:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2bci69we0ji3avi/THE%20ROUGHAM%20MYSTERY.pdf?dl=0

If this fails, I have uploaded the Rougham Mystery to several sites and a search should find it somewhere!
 

oldrover

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
3,982
Reaction score
1,422
Points
169
I thought the Bampton case a bit ambiguous -- aside from the floral display and notice being there on one visit and not on the next no real evidence. The suggestion that the map was burned one day and unsinged the next implies more of a dimensional or glitch experience. Interesting but very inconclusive.

I got seriously interested while researching a local time slip mystery. The report I wrote can be downloaded from my Dropbox account:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2bci69we0ji3avi/THE ROUGHAM MYSTERY.pdf?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/2bci69we0ji3avi/THE%20ROUGHAM%20MYSTERY.pdf?dl=0
If this fails, I have uploaded the Rougham Mystery to several sites and a search should find it somewhere!
No that's come out fine thanks Carl.

Thing is with Bampton, as it won won best floral village (or whatever) for the year the incident took place, and the visit took place in the summer, if there was a time slip it'd have been on the following day when the flowers were gone.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
16,448
Reaction score
21,482
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
I'm accustomed (in the American context) to bell ringing as the signal for an imminent gathering (e.g., Sunday school or the main service).

As far as I've been able to ascertain so far, the main Sunday service at St. Mary's is - and was - at 1100. This factoid appears to be leveraged in multiple accounts claiming the bell ringing indicates the boys approached Kersey village shortly before 1100.

In other words, the attribution of the boys' anomalous observations to a timeframe circa 1100 - 1200 most commonly seems to derive from a presumed timeframe of a Sunday service rather than any direct confirmatory evidence relating to the boys' own movements (e.g., a boy's report of a watch reading).

Carl's quoted text above (post #47) indicates the boys started off from circa 5 miles away (from Kersey) at around 0900. Five miles cross-country in 2 hours is do-able for 15-year-olds.

As a result, there's no problem with the notion the boys made it cross-country to Kersey village in a couple of hours.

Why, though, would the bells still be ringing (or resume ringing) after 20 - 30 minutes?
 

oldrover

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
3,982
Reaction score
1,422
Points
169
Actually, the bells would ring to call for service and then be quiet while the service took place. This might explain why the village was deserted - they were all in the church.

Would the bells ring again as the congregation left?
This is what I thought. But then I assumed that church services go on for quite a while, and as I understand it they weren't there that long. Unless they walked out of the village then heard another set of church bells ringing in a later service elsewhere.
 

oldrover

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
3,982
Reaction score
1,422
Points
169
I'm accustomed (in the American context) to bell ringing as the signal for an imminent gathering (e.g., Sunday school or the main service).

As far as I've been able to ascertain so far, the main Sunday service at St. Mary's is - and was - at 1100. This factoid appears to be leveraged in multiple accounts claiming the bell ringing indicates the boys approached Kersey village shortly before 1100.

In other words, the attribution of the boys' anomalous observations to a timeframe circa 1100 - 1200 most commonly seems to derive from a presumed timeframe of a Sunday service rather than any direct confirmatory evidence relating to the boys' own movements (e.g., a boy's report of a watch reading).

Carl's quoted text above (post #47) indicates the boys started off from circa 5 miles away (from Kersey) at around 0900. Five miles cross-country in 2 hours is do-able for 15-year-olds.

As a result, there's no problem with the notion the boys made it cross-country to Kersey village in a couple of hours.

Why, though, would the bells still be ringing (or resume ringing) after 20 - 30 minutes?
So, are we not sure of the day?
 

INT21

Antediluvian
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
7,687
Reaction score
6,334
Points
279
...can we rule out any kind of pollutant that might have caused a slight 'change of state' in the minds of the three? Maybe they drank differing amounts,..

Yes, we can rule it out as they were apparently aware that something was a bit odd before they drank. And it is highly unlikely that anything in a stream that may 'poison' them would wear off as soon as they left.

INT21
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
16,448
Reaction score
21,482
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
Noting that all three drank from the stream...

can we rule out any kind of pollutant that might have caused a slight 'change of state' in the minds of the three? ...

So is it possible that the water they drank set up a mental state that was then reinforced in a 'folie a deux' ?
That's a good point ...

It's unclear from the various accounts precisely when and where they took some water. Not all the retellings state they took water from the stream, and there was a public water pump in the central village area (though not on the main lane, so far as I can tell).

The main counterargument would concern the timeframe. There aren't many pollutants one could ingest in water that would put you in a notable biochemical / psychological funk in less than 20 - 30 minutes. If one accepts the relative sequence of events insinuated in the various accounts, they were already feeling something was 'off' by the time they were at the ford / splash area.

Can we rule it out? No.

Is this a viable explanation for their anomalous experience? I'd say 'not likely' if we're talking about water taken in the central village, but 'possible' if they'd drunk any stream water earlier during the circa 2-hour hike to the village.
 
Top