Nevertheless, although belief in these things is widespread, actuallysaying that you've seen one is another matter. It is as though people say to themselves; "I'm a reasonable person, but other people are not." Consequently, the number of phenomena that gets reported is still minimal, with some honourable exceptions.
The experience of David and Margaret Brennan is unusual by any standards, but that is only in comparison with other reports. I am convinced that face-to-face encounters with extra-terrestrials are going on all the time, but either people do not realize the enormity of what has happened or the enormity convinces them that silence is the most prudent course. Certainly, the Brennans made no effort to tell anyone but some close fiends and, in fact, were at pains to extract promises of confidentiality even from them. It was from one of these "confidential" sources that I first heard the story, a cautionary tale in itself, but I was able to convince David and Margaret that a greater good might be served if they let me give their experience a wider audience and that I, unlike their friends, would under no circumstances reveal their true identity.
The Brennans arranged to spend the Christmas holiday of 1987 with friends in one of the picturesque villages of Cornwall. The day for their departure was brilliantly sunny and warm, and they made good progress as far as Somerset, where a bad snarl-up kept them waiting for more than two hours. It was now nearly nine, and they were ravenously hungary, so they stopped at a transport cafe for dinner. They freely admit that, at the time, Brian, still not fully qualified as an accountant, and Margaret, a nurse, had little spare cash after paying the mortgage and the 101 other things that go with it. They would have liked to have stayed in an hotel, but that would have used up all their holiday money, so they decided to push on. They reached Exeter at about half-past ten and stopped to consult their map. Callington was the nearest big town to their destination, and this left them in a quandary: they could either take the A30 to Launceston, then drive down, or go via Plymouth and drive up. By that time Brian was feeling the strain of having been driving all day and suggested that, if they took the B3212 across Dartmoor to Tavistock, they would halve the distance and probably avoid the congestion of the A-roads. Margaret agreed, and they set off gaily, thinking themselves very clever to have found a route better than the one recommended by their more experienced hosts. Brian admitted he thought Dartmoor was no different from the rest of Devon, but simply a place where people kept sheep and ponies, instead of farming.
The weather had slowly deteriorated from late afternoon, and now a fairly strong gale was blowing and flecks of melting snow began to appear on the windscreen. It began to get very cold, and the snow turned to tiny particles of ice, lashing the windows under the full force of the wind. The heater, nevermuch good, seemed to have given up the struggle, and the condensation began to freeze on the inside of the windows. There had been no other traffic visible for a long time, and Margaret became slightly alarmed, but she said nothing. They had been incredibly imprudent in their packing, she recalls. In their minds' eye they had called up those famous pictures of St Ives, with palm trees and exoticflowers growing in the depths of winter and, recalling the common expression "the Cornish Riviera", had imagined they were going to some sort of British Florida. As a consequence, they had no warm clothing, no emergency heating, no brandy or even hot coffee.
The incidents after that they will never forget. Brian stopped the car, and his teeth were almost chatttering.
"I don't like this at all, love. We've got to get somewhere warm, and fast. My hands and feet are getting numb, and it's hard to drive. I'm turning back. Keep your eyes peeled for a farmhouse or something."
The tone of his voice terrified Margaret, and she stared out of the window, hoping to see a glimmer of light through the swirling snow and sleet. Brian turned the car, and they headed back towards Exeter. Then she did see a light, a momentary gleam to their right.
"Turn right!" she screamed. She remembers that the sight of safety crystallized all her terrors and made it seem as if it were their only hope. Brian swung the car onto a narrow track picked out in the headlamps, misjudged his angle and sent the car spinning off the road into a ditch. As he revved the motor to escape, the wheels dug themselves deeper into the wet ground. They got out to look and, with the help of a small torch, saw the hopelessness of the situation. The car was buried up to its axle in mud, and it would need a tractor to get it out. The coldness of the wind was unbeleivable, coming in unchecked from the sea and carrying a sandy sleet that stung savagely.
"Where was the light?" Brian shouted. Margaret pointed down the lane, but there was nothing now to be seen. He threw open the boot, and they ransacked it for every item of clothing there was, which was precious little. A couple of thin sweaters each, and two anoraks. They struggled into this inadequate protection, then Brian switched off the engine and lights. Supporting each other around the shoulders, they set off towards the light that Margaret had seen. The ground was sloshy and made walking even more arduous thanit might normally have been. It was only later, when they compared notes, that they found that they were both surprised how much they could endure. Certainly they were young, and they had hada good meal about an hour before, but the body-crushing wind that sought out many cracks in their armour, the whiplash effect of the sleet, and the apparent hopelessness of their quest made every step they took seem like a miracle. It was when Brian slipped and twisted his ankle that Margaret felt they would die. She remembers sitting down beside him, cradling him in her arms, not afraid any more. Nor did the cold seem so bad, and that told her that the end was close, but even that failed to awaken any emotion except a vague sense of regret that it should all end in so futile a way, after all their dreams. Brian was urging her to get up and fetch help, or at least save herself.
"If I go on, I'll drop in the next twenty yards, and we'll die seperately," she told him. "Let's accept the inevitable - let's die together."
Margaret says now, "It sounds terribly romantic, doesn't it - the lovers pledging themselves again in the face of extinction, but it wasn't like that. I was just too weary and depressed, and I didn't want to be alone."
Brian added, "You can't imagine how desolate and hopeless it seemed and, worst of all, how preventable it had been. I felt I had killed Margaret out of conceit and incompetence, and that was a very bitter thing."
As they lay together in the icy darkness, the light appeared again. Thinking it was an illusion, Margaret barely showed interest. Then a searchlight shot out from it, and they found themselves lit up. Brian, who was lying on his side, remembers feeling, rather than hearing, the vibration of a mighty engine. He likens it to the sound he used to hear as a boy when he put his ear to a railway line (This is a very good description of the noise emitted from the building that flew over our home in September 2000 - I described a heavy electrical humming like a huge transformer!). The prospect of rescue poured new life back into them both, and they clambered to their feet. Blinded by the searchlight, they could not see what lay behind it. Margaret says she imagined it must be some Moor rescue-patrol set up to look for idiots like them; Brian fancied it was an army unit that had stumbled on their car and came looking for them.
The searchlight went off abruptly, and they saw a tremendous building in front of them. It was four stories high and over a hundred feet broad and seemed to be lit from the inside, like a giant curve of translucent polythene. A door opened, and three figures emerged, silhouetted in the light from inside. As they approached, they both had a curious feeling that there was something inhuman about them; on reflection, they agree that this could have been because the figures were very tall but slim to the point of emaciation. They were wearing surgical masks and black one-piece suits. They stopped a yard away, and then one stepped forward, handing a cup to each of them: "Drink it. It will help." They swallowed the liquid and were almost instantly filled with inner warmth and a tremendous sense of well-being. (Brian compares the drink to very fine brandy, but without any real taste, and not having any later side-effects.) As Brian stepped forward to return his cup, in an instinctive gesture of thanks, his ankle gave way again, and he fell heavily. The figure bent and ran his fingures along the leg. Then he rose. "It is not serious." He turned to Margaret. "Can you drive?" She nodded, and the figure bent again and lifted Brian up - clearly being stronger than his frailty would suggest. It was a weird procession: the man with Brian in his arms, Margaret hurrying, almost running to keep up, and the two other silent figures following.
By now it had stopped snowing and the searchlight came on again to direct them to the car. The man placed Brian carefully into the passenger seat, then stood back to allow Margaret past to the driving-seat. "Wait there. Do not move whatever happens; we are going to move you to a place of safety." They thanked him profusely, but he just nodded, and the three walked back to the building. The door closed behind their benefactors, and they waited, expecting to see a truck appear from somewhere. What actually happened was that the "building" began to rise from the ground; the lights dimmed and the great mass of the thing began to drift towards them with increasing speed. Brian says he was almost overcome with panic and wanted to jump from the car, but the mans words, "Do not move - WHATEVER HAPPENS", kept him where he was. It was on a collision course, and they both ducked as its vast bulk seemed to be about to come through the window. There was only a slight shiver from the car, and a sensation of movement all around, and they stared out of the windows to see if they had moved from the ditch. Utterly incredulously they looked down to see the moor dotted with tiny pinpricks of lightand, here and there, larger concentrations. Coming up fast was a great sea of coloured lights, and they were swooping down towards it. Another barely perceptible jolt to the car, and they were on a quiet road in what turned out to be the outskirts of Plymouth. They sat there talking about the experience - they don't know for how long - then, still feeling warm and uplifted, continued their journey, with Margaret at the wheel.
THE AUTHORS COMMENTS
Brian and Margaret both admit that they couldn't swear to what they actually thought about the people and the strange building before the fantastic rescue took place. They say that the events that followed have too much coloured their memories and that anything they said would probably be misleading.
That these creatures deliberately came to their aid is self-evident. Quite how they knew that the couple were in trouble in the first place is not so easily answered. Was the light Margaret saw the UFO goig about some covert operation in a place it considered safe? If that is so, its occupants showed remarkable decency in revealing themselves to people who would never otherwise have lived to tell the tale. And the stranger's mastery of English was flawless - which might be sinister, were it not for the gallant way in which he behaved.
There are a number of minor inconsistencies between their two stories (I have talked about the experience to them both together and seperately). As with all my researches, couples who agree on every detail, and dot the Is and cross the Ts in the same place, don't get into the book. Knaves work their stories out too well; it is the honest who disagree. Without a doubt their story is true. I've talked to lots of people who have been in great danger, and to some who pretended to have been. There is a quiet intensity in the genuine ones as they talk about what happened, and I envy Brian and Margaret their encounter.
The craft pictured above is a "building" that flew over my home in September 2000 and I also envy Brian and Margaret their encounter!
We live in Ashburton a meer 28 miles from Plymouth on the very edge of Dartmoor and when that craft flew over our home quite slowly and majestically - It was heading in the general direction of the events that took place with Brian and Margaret!
These journals continue....Nov 06