Monday, February 3, 2014

England's Mysterious Road

Portsmouth Rd.
I just finished the book, This Baffling World No. 2, by John Godwin.  First published in 1969 and covering topics from ESP studies to the Moving Coffins of Barbados, this book was actually a little dry for me...it seemed like I was already familiar with most of the information contained therein...and it was dated to boot.  But, I was able to find a few little gems in there, one being a very mysterious incident that happened on an English road.

Between 1951 and 1955 a 2 mile stretch of road between Cobham and Esher in Surrey was dubbed the "Mystery Mile" when motorist after motorist reported being shot at by an invisible sniper while traveling that section of the highway.  It was apparent that SOMETHING was attacking these cars---each one contained holes in the windshield ranging in size from a normal bullet hole to about the size of a fist.  However, there were some problems with the alleged sniper theory.

For one, when police investigated the incidents, they found no where in the large, open expanses of field where a sniper could have hidden.  And while there was definitely an entrance hole in the cars' windshields (the only part of the cars ever affected) no exit holes and no bullets were ever found.

Reports continued to pour in, both day and night and unmarked police vehicles began patrolling the area, two of which became victims themselves of this unknown sniper.  In 1952 a London insurance agent named William Decker put into words what he and so many others were experiencing.  Decker saw a bright flash of light, then heard the windshield breaking, shattering glass all over his lap.

Again, no projectiles were ever found and local radio personalities and journalists filled the public's perception with stories of tiny meteorites, mad scientists with ray guns, and Russians with invisible bullets.  However, the reports eventually tapered off, ceasing altogether by 1955.  No explanation was ever given aside from claims that an overeager journalist turned a normal rate of windshield damage for any given road into something mysterious...and the matter was dropped. In fact, a recent Google search has provided no information on this event, despite claims that it was in all the papers at the time.  I did find something interesting about the road, though.

According to the map, there really are only two significant roads stretching directly between Cobham and Esher.  The most direct route is by Portsmouth Rd (A307).  However, A307 juts directly off A3, where in recent history, another mystery has cropped up!

One Sunday night in December of 2002, the Surrey police received a call about a car crash occurring near the town of Guildford.  The witness reported seeing the car leaving the road.  When police investigated, they did find the wreckage of a maroon Astra in a ditch, covered in foliage.  However, it was discovered the crash had actually happened 5 months earlier, and the skeletal remains of the young driver were still interred. Despite widespread public opinion that the witness saw a ghostly replay of the accident, police officials maintained the official stance that the wreck simply wasn't reported because the car was obscured by leaves and debris, and that it was spotted due to the winter season lessening the amount of foliage.




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