Articles & Reports
The assessment of anecdotal reports – observation of extraordinary phenomenon at Hill End by Attila Kaldy
Hill End is situated some 80 kilometers northwest of Bathurst and was well known for its mining during the 19 century gold rush. Today you will find that it is a quiet, quaint little township and considering where it sits, it generates a reasonable flow of tourists.
Despite the subtle nature of this township, an intrusive and unpleasant element was brought to my attention in 2001. On the outskirts of Hill End, south of the old Bridle Track, phantom lights had been witnessed by a number of people over the years.
For a decade, I and a small group of people invested considerable time searching for these phantom lights. In a ten year effort, we had encountered a number of so far inexplicable occurrences.
In fact, one of the most incredible events was the pursuit of a shadow like anthropomorphic entity (2003) with a similar reoccurrence in 2009.
The last incident described at least two short, spindly yet unclear in appearance, human like figures hovering between trees. In addition, a number of red and white orb lights were observed appearing and vanishing at random. This was accompanied by volatile flashes in a nearby gorge.
Apart from the visually rich encounters with the unexplained kind, reports of audible phenomenon were also in abundance. Mysterious footsteps and rustling around the campsite was something that was almost continuously reported. Admittedly, participating in these exercises can influence one to subscribe to some convincing tales.
The environment is almost isolated: no power lines, rough, unsealed tracks, mountainous, untamed wilderness with a few scattered hobby farms miles away in the valley. The silence at night is almost deafening. Eerie encounters are virtually expected from this collection of unaccustomed elements. The fact is that the reality of these occurrences is far more down-to-earth.
A daylight inspection of the nearby landscape reveals an interesting and curious feature. I was intrigued by the in-situ produced, linier formations of milky quartz. In fact the whole region surrounding the campsite seemed to be a nursery for this type of stone. These ubiquitous crystals are typically known to form in beds. Its unique white shade is attributed to the entrapment of minute fluid inclusions of water and/or gas during the crystallization process. They are also known to form around hydrothermal veins as a product of gangue.
Although this region appears to fall on a geological fault line, I am not aware of any hydrothermal presence. However, it is more than likely that subterranean water veins originating from the Turon River and other water sources do exist and may well stretch out to considerable distances. This below surface stress would produce its own levels of electromagnetic (EM) field and possibly as high a frequency as the microwave range.
The EM field is subject to fluctuation. This largely depends on the geotechnical structure (below surface composition), flow rate and other minerals carried by subterranean watercourses. It is plausible that intersecting water veins and geomagnetic field lines could amplify the EM field.
As mentioned previously, the linier formations of milky quartz is something that is intriguingly noticeable. Understanding the subterranean nature of this region, one could rightly interpret these formations as a surface indicator of underground watercourses and thus it is likely that the crystallization process follows the abovementioned magnetic diffusion.
It is perhaps this very reason why the piezoelectric properties become apparent during the night. Considering that the geological make up includes reactive soil, it would be safe to assume that the pressures of mechanical stress would generate current flow within the structure of the quartz, therefore resulting in electronic discharge. The ‘orbs’ would be nothing more than a combination of natural applications.
In a recent visit to the location in 2010, I was able to measure a continuous fluctuation of 0.05 – 5 milligauss (mG) within 200 square meter area. On a number of occasions random spikes were noticed between 50 – 100 mG and higher. Whether this was a result of geomagnetic influence or some form of disturbance in the watercourse, we do not know for certain.
Is it possible that exposure to such a volatile EM field on a continuous and prolonged basis would interfere with our train of thought on a neurological level?
Dr Michael Persinger, professor of psychology at Laurentian University, conducted a number of neurological stimuli experiments, known as Cerebral Fritzing. The basis of this experiment was to stimulate an area of the cerebral cortex (possibly the Parietal Lobe) with the application of weak magnetic field. It is believed that the stimulus causes the targeted region to influence other regions of the Cerebrum that interprets the information as perception of a ‘presence’ and in some occasions visual processing. The result of this exercise leads to false perception (or misinterpretation) as well as visual and possibly even auditory hallucination. Persinger suggested that considering the level of influence caused by weak EM fields in a controlled environment, it would be highly probable that naturally occurring magnetic fields would also interact with the human brain thus creating illusionary side effects.
This case study offers a prime example of subjects’ mind starving for stimuli (expectations of an outcome). As a result we can conclude that the sensory channels became more receptive and influential to anomalies, fabricated by naturally occurring environmental conditions.
An experiment conducted by the Toronto Society of Psychical Research, led by Dr A. Owen - member of the Department for Preventative Medicine and Biostatistics at the University of Toronto - demonstrated the effects of suggestion.
In the experiment, a story of a fictitious 17 century character, dubbed as ‘Phillip’ was introduced to a collective. The purpose was to assess whether or not the group could in fact conjure up this myth as a form of manifestation. To achieve this, the collective would gather around a table and concentrate on this character, a similar method to that of 19 century spiritualist séances.
After practicing this technique for some time apparent results were finally produced. There were claims of taps and knocks and other forms of auditory phenomenon.
In other similar experiments, observations of apparitions would be reported by members of a collective.
This example is a key indicator of how strong mental activity can exert influence in a form of autosuggestion. It is true that much of our mental activity is unconscious. Much like meditative suggestions (known as medisuggestion) where the subject attempts to influence the subconscious by verbally or mentally repeating affirmations, the unconscious can then project images to the conscious mind, relevant to these affirmations. This need-want relationship between the conscious and the subconscious (and vise-versa) exhibits a degree of togetherness which results in projected images fabricated by this symbiotic relationship.
Considering the amount of plausible external influences, the above example provides a careful approach to investigations extraordinary in nature. Before drawing stern conclusions, one must consider the surrounding environment and how that could impact our observations and cloud our judgments.
Hauntings and Poltergeists – William T. Joines (2002)
Cultured Quartz Process – Charles Sawyer (2008)
Crystal Morphology and the dissolution of goethite - R.M. Cornell, A.M. Posner and J.P. Quirk (1973)
Black Book of Neuropsychology - Michael R. Schoenberg, James Glenn Scott (2008)
Psychic Mysteries of the North – A.R.G Owen (1975)