The Warminster Mystery

“UFO at speed over Warminster. Picture taken by ex-RAF bomber crewman and airborne fighter, Bob Strong, at 7:12 a.m. on 24 October, 1966.”

The books of UK reporter Arthur Shuttlewood (1920-1996) provide insights on the topic of unidentified flying objects and human contact with people from beyond our earthly realm, a subject  considered in previous blog articles about Orfeo Angelucci, Truman Bethurum and Daniel Fry, among others.  Shuttlewood’s first book The Warminster Mystery (1967) chronicles momentous experiences as he began to overcome great trepidation.  Formerly a policeman, Grenadier Guards NCO and a Warminster Urban Councillor, Shuttlewood was a reporter for the weekly newspaper The Warminster Journal on Christmas Day of 1964 when—as he recalled in a later book—”violent vibrations of unearthly quality . . . formed an unusual introduction to startling glimpses of spectacular spacecraft . . .”
He began working long hours to collect testimonials about local sightings of UFOs.  The events described in The Warminster Mystery occurred through April 1966.  The phenomena came to be nicknamed ‘the Thing’ throughout the community.  Shuttlewood explained: “Never having heard of Flying Saucers or UFOs, the majority of Warminster witnesses early on insisted, when interviewed by the author in his capacity as a journalist, on calling the phenomena ‘Things.'”
He observed about his predicament of reporting about “the Thing, still prolific and unceasing in its acrobatics” at the time The Warminster Mystery was published: “It has raised more beads of sweat on my brow than all other news stories I have handled strung together.”  He admitted, “I was myself most unwilling to believe in the Thing.  I had to see before I believed.”
Accounts of the Thing progressed from “sound and pressure waves pronging downward with barbed intensity” to sightings of “the glowing cigar with its mauve-red tendrils” and eventually “several discs were seen that spun silently in daytime flight.”  Sights in the night sky encompassed “clusters of white lights, orange, red, blue and even green-tinged orbs of fire crossing the heavens.”
A 1965 anecdote told to Shuttlewood by a mother was among the events that compelled him to consider the scope of the Thing phenomena.  The woman’s three children were playing one evening by a stream when “blasts of wind pressure” swept them off their feet, sending three-year-old Susan sprawling over the brink of the brook when “unseen hands plucked her free just in time.  With great gentleness, they lifted the stunned mite from the watery deep and bodily hoisted her up to the safety of the footpath . . . There was obviously a thinking intelligence, compassionate, behind its closed doors and portals . . . to have saved the life of a little Earthgirl at its mercy on that May evening.”

From that time the appearance of the Thing had my sympathy.  No mere mechanical or electrical robotism made it tick.  Was the benevolent spirit of Godliness behind it?  Surely the question, not posed facetiously, is not irrelevant.

Witnesses to the Warminster UFO phenomena reported stalled vehicle engines, halted wrist-watches and feeling alternating currents of heat and cold.  In September Shuttlewood, himself, observed “a colossal cigar-shaped spacecraft” and unsuccessfully attempted to film it with his movie camera.

I trained the camera on this gliding giant and felt the mechanism jump uncontrollably in my hands, needling pains shooting up my left arm and left side of my face which were exposed to the  phenomenon.

I have never suffered from a nervous tic.  Yet my face began twitching and my eye watering, as soon as I watched the cigar craft sail leftwards.  In fact, my left hand and wrist, also the left side of my face, were partially paralyzed by rays which it must have thrown out to thwart my camera.  This paralysis wore off fairly rapidly, although I was typing for two days with fingers of my right hand only.  And my left eyes persisted in watering for over eight weeks, the eyelid being sore and inflamed.

Yet my wristwatch had stopped—and has not kept good time since; the first occasion it has done this in three years.

Shuttlewood described other events that indicated the Warminster mystery encompassed phenomena that occurred not only in the sky.

At 2.35 one March morning I stood by the trees, eyes raised towards the starless sky.  The first sound came from close at hand, near a barn.  It was a heavy footstep.  I walked to the building—no one was in or around it; yet the sound was repeated several times, as though someone was walking in front of me and away from me.  I hurried to catch it up, whereupon it changed direction and I heard a shrill cackle of a laugh that chilled my spine.  For a moment I was rooted to the spot; then, fear of the unknown overcoming me, I fled down to the road, twisting my ankle as I did so yet not heeding the sharp twinge of pain.  Normally, I am not nervous: on the hilltop I was scared silly!

 This is the photo of Arthur Shuttlewood, at left, that appears in The Warminster Mystery.  He was “pointing out the spot where a UFO was sighted” for the Marquis of Bath.

Shuttlewood noted Anthony Brooke’s interest in the details of the most challenging incidents among Shuttlewood’s experiences.

I told him of fairly obvious hoax calls I have received late at night on the phone.  From Traellison, female queen of a planet (which she terms cantel) called Aenstria; from Caellsan, commander of Spacecraft No. 6; and from Selorik, English interpreter for Aenstria.  Although these calls unnerved my wife, who thought Russian agents were responsible, but which I took to  be the work of slow-witted imbeciles, I took them down in shorthand and rapidly relayed their contents to my Ministry friend.  Mr. Brooke took them seriously, especially Caellsan’s warning that “You Earth people are in danger of igniting your cantel from end to end, and in danger of destroying not only the creative system of your own cantel, and solar system, but also endangering ours.  For remember—the light from the suns shines upon us all!”

Shuttlewood revealed that “these three strangers” spoke to him for hours on the phone during a seven-week period in September and October 1965.

After the final call on 30th October, I dismissed the calls as definite hoaxes.  But Mr. Brooke did not dismiss them so lightly.  He imagined I had probably made genuine contact with space brothers from other aerial continents.

Shuttlewood’s reaction to such amazing circumstances revealed that a journalist can be ambivalent about his research when dealing with news that could result with an expected critical response.  An Appendix of The Warminster Mystery presents Shuttlewood’s recollections of more than a dozen calls from the envoys of the ‘cantel’ Aenstria.

. . . after ponderous thought, I eventually accepted them as sensible (as opposed to lunatic) ravings that found a sympathetic ear on a lighted landing.  But I discounted sentiments which would make me look foolish if trying to persuade responsible editors to publish them.

Caellsan’s voice was described by Shuttlewood as having little expression and “without any trace of accent.”  Caellsan’s commentary included:

“We ask you to help us put this important message before your cantel councils.  We wish them to think again over their supreme follies, although we cannot force them to our will.  Our beloved Traellison, Queen of Aenstria, cannot commit such power of decisions to our hands, and the Universal Spirit of Truth — whom your Earth peoples call God — banishes compulsion from our minds and hearts.” Caellsan warned strongly against harmful types of scientific and military experiment.  On the threshold of the nuclear age, Man could so easily topple headlong over the verge of safety into utter oblivion, from sanity to suicidal madness.  The envelope of our Earth cantel would, if we did not exert great care, ignite from end to end in a blazing inferno. This would surely destroy the creative system of our cantel; it could create upheaval throughout our entire solar system; and even adversely affect his own cantel of Aenstria by its outward repercussions.  For the atmosphere beyond our cantel is desperately thin, he revealed.  Earth scientists and astronomers, physicists and geologists, have as yet only incomplete knowledge of the immense universe opening out from all around their cantel. Selorik, who described himself as the English interpreter for Aenstria, had a high-pitched voice, soft and musical to the ear.  He sounded much younger than Caellsan, who was a senior spacecraft commander.  Selorik concerned himself, chiefly, with personal messages from his beloved Traellison.  From his sometimes agitated tones, it was obvious that he, too, felt anxiety over the things that worried her. She was perturbed over excess radiation in our skies; about the long-term effects of this in the way of mutations and grossly disfigured humanity on cantel Earth, both in and out of the womb; of man gradually poisoning himself and his kind by wrong chemical applications to the soil; by disease that would spread in future if potentially dangerous and malignant deposits are made in water or on seabeds by careless custodians of our communal safety. I was told that possible threats to our water supplies were uppermost in the minds of Aenstrians.  Apart from via the atmosphere, water crews were already engaged in exhaustive testing missions in this direction.  They are carrying out urgent remedial work, ready to salvage harmful piles of waste atomic products from seabeds and take them away for aerial neutralising if and when found.  It was emphasised that Aenstrians passed through these fretful stages of evolution many thousands of years ago, so they are only too cognizant of the tremendous dangers attendant upon them.

The circumstances described by Shuttlewood make it evident that the quotations of the Aenstrians are not word-for-word accurate.  In the following passage quoting Selorik, the first statement seems tangential in context with the others.

“We have made your earth town our base.  You must tell your people not to be alarmed.  We are not here to hurt them.  They must learn to know us.  And you, dear Shuttlewood, no matter where you go or seek to hide from us, we shall be also.  We have important work to do and you must not try to escape your responsibility either.  You may be certain we shall meet many times.”

Shuttlewood wrote in The Warminster Mystery “I leave it to the judgment of readers to decide whether the substance of these messages rings a responsive bell in human hearts and minds” and that “until the Thing crews confront me in the flesh, I shall not alter my strong-minded view that those odd calls were nothing more than leg-pulling by someone with a distorted sense of humour!”  This perspective would change as chronicled in his following book Warnings From Flying Friends (1968) with further contacts by the Aenstrians.  Shuttlewood’s sensibilities altered from those of a skeptical journalist to those of a chronicler of evolutionary events that he realized could bring others an expanded awareness of life.  He entitled his third book UFOs — Key to the New Age, published in 1971.
There is a You Tube documentary video available for viewing entitled “Interesting Old Video — The Warminster Thing . . .”  As I began watching it, there were inserts of newspaper clippings and one featured the quote “This Thing Is Not Treated Seriously” with the by-line noticeable: “By Peter Hiscocks.”  Also shown is that an early article in The Warminster Journal was entitled “Bell Hill Mystery.”  Unfortunately, the documentary narration soon turned blatantly glib and mocking.  A brief clip of Arthur Shuttlewood was intercut with a momentary insert of him gesticulating while describing something.  This technique was obviously intended to create a chaotic impression in relation to Shuttlewood among unanalytical viewers.  I soon stopped watching the video.  One can find more considerate and detailed information in the books by Arthur Shuttlewood chronicling the astonishing local events.  Seven titles are presently available from booksellers yet two are American editions with alternate titles.
Considering Earth’s current environmental and social challenges resulting from our world’s present economic systems, the human race remains very much in need of the warnings from Queen Traellison.  Her commentary quoted by Shuttlewood included, “. . . the eyes and minds of many are clouded by misapprehension and lack of true understanding as to the prime purpose in life.  We are all children and living parts of the great Creator, the Living Force who controls every single particle of the universe, human or inanimate.” Shuttlewood’s description of Queen Traellison having a “strangely sweet, sing-song voice” correlates with Truman Bethurum’s reports of “the lady space captain Aura Rhanes” and her “sweet, high-pitched voice” in Aboard a Flying Saucer (1954).   Bethurum also reported that his trips aboard a flying saucer left pocket watches in a “useless condition.”  The Foreword of Bethurum’s book The Voice of the Planet Clarion (circa 1957) divulged:

Captain Aura told him to write down the visits and what was said, in the manner in which she spoke.  Upon his return home, after the second visit, he took his pen and started to concentrate.  To his surprise, the words flowed from the pen, as if Aura, herself, had hold of it.  The following pages are the result.

Here are some stanzas from The Voice of the Planet Clarion that offer examples of Captain Aura’s sentiments.  She seemingly could be cousins with Queen Traellison.

“You asked of our great problem. It was to control magnetical force. You know that we have solved it, Both pro and anti, of course!” “Your deserts and plains could be transformed overnight, To a place, that from heaven, would look plenty bright! The money you spend every year for a War, Would bring water in, if need be, from afar.” Then her sweet voice rang out, “You know, here we are!” I recognized it as Aura Rhanes, My friend from another planet or star.

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