Posts Tagged ‘Birmingham’

I did it! What did I do? Well I took the drive to see the Birmingham UFO group, here in the UK. I had gone with a specific goal in mind, to see a friend who runs a blog HPANWO and alongside does podcasts, writes books and runs his own Youtube channel.

Ben was there to speak about an incident in Nottingham, a Roswell type of affair that happened in 1987 in Nottinghamshire. Now I wouldn’t say I necessarily believe in alien contacts here on Earth in the manner that many may, but I am confident enough that science supports extra-terrestrial life somewhere out there so I would perhaps be a hypocrite to outright deny these things. More to the point this blog would be awfully boring with a NO stamped all over it… besides I think I am on the side of The X-Files here – I WANT TO BELIEVE.

So who better than to give me an interesting, and very interesting case? Well that would be a combination of BUFOG (link) and Ben Emlyn-Jones.

We’ve all heard the rhetoric if we have spent ANY time at all discussing the paranormal, UFO’s or “‘fringe” subjects… Missing your tin foil hat mate? Sounds like a patients got out of the local loony bin etc etc… and yet in a room of perfectly rational men (and yes women!) we were able to openly talk about experiences and beliefs. So have I seen a UFO is probably your first question? Honestly I don’t know is my answer, I know I have seen things in the sky that I couldn’t work out as a plane or helicopter and I know that I haven’t been able to work out how chem-trails do their thing or why – I am no aviation expert and yet I can tell you that I haven’t been convinced, in the slightest, that all things unexplained are weather balloons…

The case presented (link here for the full talk) was about the Nottinghamshire area, encompassing Mansfield down towards Arnold, see the video for the map or simply check it out online if you need the area. Now followers of this blog will no doubt recognise one of the areas in there, Ravenshead where I looked into Newstead’s Sanatorium.

12th November, 1987 is when the event happened and locals in the area remember the noise which came with a giant boom and displaced tiles and chimneys. The reports suggested two points of interest for crash debris, Thieves Woods and a portion of the land where Annesley Hall is located. The part which made me sit up and think about this was when it was mentioned the major road (A60) had been closed off and it was military intervention.

Now I cannot tell the story the way Ben does, he has done some great research, but I can tell you that there was some very interesting points brought up. For instance – why would it be closed in such a vast area for a whole week? Also the top soil was removed from that section which wouldn’t be normal for an average crash surely? And I have to admit I came away with questions, questions about the local area and what effects had come from it.

Is it possible that there was a military test that went wrong and they just needed to remove all evidence of it? After all as a civilian I don’t have a cat in hell’s chance of knowing anything they do and probably rightly so, I mean if I knew then it would mean everyone knew and secrets are sometimes a good thing. What if it was a military test for a nuclear plane/aircraft? Lets be honest modern fossil fuels are going to eventually pose a problem and so what if they were looking at a plan for that and the test didn’t pay off? Well that would still make it a UFO…

Did aliens crash? If so I wonder what did they want and why Nottinghamshire might be of interest? The thing is it has not been the only sighting in Nottingham perhaps there is something here of interest, because arrays of lights and various anomaly’s have been spotted and a quick check online even shows some old articles from the BBC, not that I can always say mainstream media is something without bias but it shows you that there’s interest here at least. Nottingham is pretty central to get to other major routes around the country so perhaps just like us our ET friends just find themselves passing by quite often…

So as you may guess from this article, as well as many others, I write with an air of middle ground, neither committing to nor denying events which I find presented to me.  What I can say with absolute certainty is that the BUFOG and HPANWO gave me an amazingly welcome reception, were open and candid, have a great sense of humour and if anyone could convince you of the reality of these events I’d pin my money on them! Unfortunately for me I missed a wonderful opportunity to meet a abductee who could have told me more but I met people that were able to confirm their sightings and what they felt was at play in this big old world of ours.

I hope they think I have been fair and just in my first review of this kind. I hope that it helps someone skeptical to think about approaching groups like this and to dive into the subject without bias or abuse. Without people like us, and people that go forwards with things you wouldn’t get conspiracy theories to become a matter of conspirifact… 1605 and the Gunpowder plot, 1865 and the Lincoln assassination plot, 1961 Cuban Plot, etc etc.

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‘The place has an eerie feel to it, the fact that things go wrong all the time and the fact our address is 666 is no co-incidence. There are mysterious forces at work here.’

Whilst perusing the internet I found an article, or few, about a firm of solicitors who are sure that the office is haunted due to the events going on, employees seem sure that they are being haunted by a dark force and those that are involved in the building are cursed with bad luck. The office is ran by Sarfraz Khan, LAC Solicitors are located at 666 Washwood Heath Road, Birmingham and he says that come 6pm everyone is right out of the door. Neither property next to theirs has reported any strange activity.

The Victorian era building is said to have a rather creepy feel to it and says that mysterious goings on are causing concern to the employees. He thinks that the 666 address is no coincidence and some believe that the “number of the beast” is behind it. The company specializes in disability grants, and one set of funding was £66,689 so he believes this may be linked to the 666 phenomenon. Sarfraz also explained that when they got their business account from TSB that 666 was in the account number.

Large puddles of water appear in areas where there is no sign of leaks, and dead flies end up inside light fittings and window edges. Maggots are sometimes found across the floor in one of the rooms. The mysterious visitor likes to move things including stationary and create strange noises. There has been an apparition of a woman spotted too; she seems to be a restless spirit that wanders the building making noises and leaving cold spots in her wake. Sarfraz has seen a white shadow cross the room once.

The heating system has a history of malfunctioning, despite regular maintenance and light bulbs that have been changed are known to blow within a couple of days of being fitted. Electrical malfunctions also include the internet crashing when there are no issues known, the main servers and phones going down when there is no fault on the line and the fax machines producing errors for no reason. They have had telephone calls where there is no one on the end of the line. Three technicians were brought in to try and iron out the strange glitches in the IT System, they went bankrupt months later. It seems that the paranormal activity at 666 has been linked to this unfortunate collapse of their business.

Safraz once nearly missed his flight to Germany; he had packed his passport and checked it several times before he set off. When he got to the airport he could not find it. He madly dashed back and it was lying there clear as day on the desk.

A colleague, Javirya Bibi, added that they had a car which was fine that morning, they parked outside of the office and when they went home the brakes felt loose. A mechanic said that the brakes had failed and that they were named Javirya had got to work that day, but they remain adamant that thee car was fine that morning.

Perhaps the most tragic story of the events is about the loss of a woman at the place. The firms five workers now refuse to work late after a woman in her 50’s did so and later that night died of a heart attack. The woman was in her 50’s and in fairly good health but her body was found slumped on the floor at the foot of her desk the following morning.

A psychic advised the staff they may be able to combat the curse by hanging religious artifacts on the walls but it seems that this has not abated the situation at all.

For me there are some mundane explanations for quite a bit of this, that are being attributed to the curse and whilst I may be wrong here is what I could surmise. They are looking for a link to the number 666; the grant is not a solely numbered 666 neither is the TSB account. I believe they are seeing something in it based on their predisposition to the number of the property.

Some other bits I think I can comment on based on personal experience, the calls with no one at the end may well be automated sales calls; they can take a while to cut in or if the systems on the sales sides are not working it produces a silent call. In regards to system glitches this happens to many companies, sadly this is usually down to a badly built network infrastructure, I can’t say without seeing it but it seems to be that if the technicians didn’t know enough then poor business planning might be more to do with the bankruptcy than a curse.

In regards to the car, I don’t know exactly what the mechanic saw, the details aren’t sufficient enough but a brake cable failure could cause a sudden stop. There are many mitigating circumstances so I am not entirely sure that parking the car there would cause it, however again I was not there and don’t have full details.

I sincerely hope that there is not a death associate with the paranormal side, sadly it may well just be a tragedy that the woman suffered a heart attack whilst at work. This may well, sadly, have been onset by things like the fear generated by the rumours. If anyone knows more, or has even worked there, I would be interested to know more.

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Sloss Furnaces is a National Historical Landmark in Birmingham, Alabama. It was a large iron-producing blast furnace from 1881 to 1971. After it’s closure ir was one of the first industrial sites to be preserved for the public use in the USA. It is used as a museum that also hosts festivals and concerts. There is also an annual Halloween attraction – Sloss Fright Furnace. I’ll be honest I had never heard of the place until Ghost Adventures did a show there and I happened to see it.

Colonel James Withers Sloss was one of the founders of Birmingham and helped to promote rail-road development. He founded the furnace company and the first blast was initiated April 1882. The facility produced an impressive 24,000 tons of iron and won a bronze medal at the Southern Exposition at Louisville, Kentucky in 1883.

It was sold in 1886 when Sloss retired, the Sloss-Sheffield Steel and Iron Company then installed new equipment from 1902 onwards, the furnaces were modernised between 1927 to 1931. Through the modernising they also became on of the largest sellers of pig-iron in the district and the world. During this time they build 48 small cottages for black workers near the down-town furnace, the community became known as Sloss Quarters.

In 1952 the furnaces changed hands, then sold two decades later in 1969 to the Jim Walter Corp. The area had suffered from serious pollution and the U.S Clean Air Act pretty much spelt its demise. The Jim Walter company donated the property to Alabama State Fair Authority as a museum of industry. In 1977 the Birmingham voters approved a $3.3 million bond to stabalize the main structures and develop the visitors centre.

So now the industrial history is out of the window lets get onto the ghosts.

In the early 1900’s James Wormwood was the foreman of the graveyard shift, there were 150 workers there to keep the furnace fed, only the poorest and desperate men would risk this job in the summer, and Wormwood was apparently quite willing to make the workers take risks to ensure he impressed his bosses. 47 men lost their lives under his supervision and there were also numerous accidents that left other man unable to work. They were also not allowed breaks or holidays.

1906 it’s possible that karma took her chance, James Wormwood lost his footing at the top of the highest blast furnace (Big Alice) and was killed instantly when he fell into a pool of melted iron ore. Beofer that date he had never been up to the furnace top, no one was convicted of murder but rumours state it is possible a worker pushed him. It was not long after this the graveyard shift was disbanded.

It seems that Wormwood still considers his job important, and workers had complained they frequently felt that there was an unnatural presence around them on the site. In 1926 a watchman was injured, he had been pushed from behind and told to get to work by someone unseen. In 1947 there were three men found knocked out in a boiler room with no recollection of what had happened. Samual Blumenthal was a night watchman who in 1947 described coming face to face with a half-man and half-demon creature that tried to push him. When he resisted the monster tried to beat him with his fists, Samual had intense burns and died before returning back to Sloss.

So how much is really the haunting of former Wormwood or other violently ended lives or how much is the sensations of being in the massive complex at night or alone in these vast areas? Sloss Furnace has gained one of the reputations of haunted that sits alongside the Eastern State  or Danver so I have decided it’s one for the blog.