an 'odinary bloke', I saw a well-to-do upper middle class professional with a comfortable life style. He was well cared for financially and seemed more than happy in his cosy existence. John lives in a middle sized village where most of the property is listed and dates back to around the middle of last century.
It is what some people might term, an idyllic setting with bordering fields and trees and only a large air force base about three miles away to disturb their tranquillity. You might be thinking along the same lines as myself at this point. I initially thought of that air force base too, and the sometimes secret, stealth activity that surrounds them places. It would be a nonsense for us not to logically jump to that conclusion. I met John with his wife first time, a lovely lady in her late thirties, mousey brown hair and lovely hazel eyes, of average build and very, almost embarrassingly polite.
His kids are well brought-up and very well adjusted, very curious and insisted on lining the sofa as I spoke with John.
He told me the first encounter he had with 'mysterious lights' as he described them was round about August '95. "You don't really log details, do you," confessed John, as his spouse poured tea in to bone china cups of a white floral design. I placated. Personally I log everything.
I have more scraps of paper than I know what to do with, but obviously that is because of the nature of this type of work. What seems irrelevant to most, can often be a crucial factor to a philosopher. But I never said, I merely encouraged him to open up with polite conversation. I broached the subject again: "You say strange lights." My thoughts were back with that air force base down the road; approaching air traffic, that kind of thing.
John said he was on call, and received a phone call from an elderly patient about half a mile from his place. John confessed he and his wife Jean had a few glasses of wine that evening with a meal, so rather than risk his licence he thought he would take his bike as her address was only a short distance away. "My bike!" Interrupted his son, stabbing himself with his index finger.
John conceded the point, and progressed. He insisted the night was a marvellous warm example of English summer time.
The night sky was pitch and just a peppering of stars reflected its surrealism. John cycled down Rjcott lane, out on to the main road and headed off towards his patient's cottage.
John said he had journeyed no more than half way there when he had to pass along a narrow single lane track. As he cycled his way down the lane, with a bank of trees to his left, he suddenly sawa flicker of lights through them. "I didn't take much notice at first," revealed John. He said he thought it was a car driving slowly past, or maybe another cyclist or motorcycle rider. "A farmer perhaps," said John. He confessed it wasn't though. He looked confused at that point, and was immediately joined in a large chesterfield chair by his wife.
She took his hand for support and gently squeezed it until he smiled. "Sorry," he apologised. His children were now more intent on telling John's story than John was; as children so often do.
John composed himself, sipped his tea and replaced the cup back on its saucer.
He told me how, unperturbed he kept cycling until he reached a T-junction at the bottom of the road. "There's just a thicket hedge opposite then open farm land beyond that," he said.
I asked him openly what happened to him then? John retorted, that it all became pretty sketchy from there. I inquired, almost flippantly, if he thought he might have dreamt it? He afforded me a cold stare; one of those I'm not stupid types of stares.
There was a moments restbite before he continued. John revealed, albeit hesitantly, that as he rode towards the T-junction, he sensed something behind him, gaining, and casting a huge shadow over the top of him. "All around me was getting darker as this umbrella positioned itself," he admitted. I asked if there was any lights apparent at that point? In my thinking, all air traffic in the UK uses standard blip-navigation lights: If what John saw had been military, then standard navigational red/green lights would have been operational. He said there was nothing, just a monstrous shape making a progressive incursion on his route. "I know this is going to sound bloody stupid," insisted John: "But I stopped my bicycle and turned for a better look."
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