The WWII airfield at R.A.F. Bircham Newton in rural England has long been a focus for students of the paranormal and spiritualist mediums on a mission to help and heal.
The part of the airfield where even sceptics hear voices and the sound of phantom aircraft is now the site of tennis courts and it is here most paranormal activity occurs. So it was here that we focused our attention.
Setting up the machinery of paranormal research inevitably attracts attention and we soon had the obligatory bunch of jokers mocking our efforts.
The words of Horace Walpole came to mind: ”The world is a comedy for those who think, and a tragedy for those who feel”. And it was into the world of feelings that we were to enter.
Ghosts fall roughly into two categories. The first are those where the emotions of the past are impressed into the ether; like mindless recordings they play on endlessly repeating.
Then there are those that are alive to their surroundings but trapped in time and it was these that we wished to communicate with.
To be precise we wanted to find out why they were seemingly trapped and why they wouldn’t accept help to pass on.
In order to gain a verifiable record, we had with us the paraphernalia of Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) research. Plus we had some Ministry of Defence scanning devices not normally available to investigators, which meant we could snatch whole conversations from the past.
The British government has consistently denied using mediums and psychics during WWII and due to the negligence of Winston Churchill, whole intelligence departments ended up being run by Soviet agents. As a result a lot of PSY research with contributions from British psychics ended up in Soviet intelligence files, thanks to people like Vasili Mitrikhin, Oleg Bzorski and Oleg Kalugin.
In fact the British agent Peter Wright of “ Spy catcher” fame, spoke of the possibilities of EVP reclaiming voices of the dead from the British embassy roof during the troubles in Cyprus.
Wright also experimented on EVP from his home in Essex. Yet although a true patriot he was cheated out of his pension by the very government he served, while the Soviet defector Anatole Vrinisky described him as an electronics genius who was greatly feared in Moscow.
We stood about for quite some time on the windy tennis courts and the shouts and comments of the dead airmen amazed us and explained why they wouldn’t move on to the next world until they had their say.
All gave their names and rank but one airman acted as spokesman for the others and what he said really shook us.
With an emotional voice the airman told us that these bomber crews had been targeting not enemy soldiers but dormitory towns, where German soldiers families lived. These towns were largely undefended against attack because they had no obvious military value, at least not to any sane person.
However Winston Churchill thought otherwise and he ordered mass fire bombing, not of the Germany army, but of their families and homes.
Moreover Churchill had refused German peace offers, as he and his sponsors wanted Germany’s complete destruction, referring to it many times as “total war”.
This airman’s spirit told us that one cold and noisy bombing run, he suddenly found himself with other British airmen, in a pushing throng of women and children, making for a large staircase that arose up to where he could not see. He saw a mother trying to carry two injured children and on offering to carry one was shocked to see and smell, the child’s burned flesh.
It was at this point that he realised that although he spoke no German, he could understand every word spoken, and on turning to his comrades he suddenly knew that they were all dead.
Gone was any feeling of enmity the airmen might have once felt for the Germans. Instead they all helped the women and children reach the stair but almost to a man decided to remain behind themselves.
These men are both trapped and guilt ridden, they see themselves as war criminals, who signed up to fight soldiers, not the wives and children of soldiers.
Their anger after all these years was still palpable. Asked if they wish for help to progress on, almost to a man they said they did not. One airman with a Scots accent said it is justice for the dead that they waited for and please to tell their families they were all O. K.
We read for them the address of Canon Henry Scott –Holland, once dean of St. Paul’s:
“Death is nothing at all, I have only slipped away into the next room, I am I and you are you. Whatever we were to each other that we are still. Call me by my old familiar name; speak to me in the easy way you always used. Put no difference into your tone; wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow…what is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near just around the corner. All is well.”
Falsehoods in wartime by A. Ponsonby
Churchill’s War-David Irving
From Admiral to cabin boy by Barry Domville
Was the wartime bombing of civilians, a necessity or a crime? A.C Grayling
The Nameless War –Captain Archibald Maule Ramsey
Unfortunately the Churchill papers have been so altered and sanitised as to be virtually worthless.
T. Stokes lecturer in paranormal studies. 2002