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Strange. Page 25 of 50.

lives in the east midlands and contacted me via letter with a very heartfelt appeal. In her correspondence she suggested, and I quote: "I've witnessed on a regular basis, a large black type craft, of a triangular shape. It sits still in the sky just slowly rotating in a clockwise direction.

On several occasions now I feel as though this craft has directly interfered with me personally." Her letter, in comparison to John's was strikingly similar. What we had, was two people whom had never met, they lived miles apart yet were experiencing the same set of circumstances.

As these similarities became more and more obvious, I believed for the sake of this book I had to investigate further. I drove one Monday afternoon, towards the end of August, to Paula's house. Paula, her husband Mike and two small children had sold up in London in early '90. Paula was becoming alarmed at the high crime rate and wanted her children, as they progressed towards adolescence and adulthood to receive a more stable education in a less crime ridden area.

Mike himself was a freelance designer and worked from home, and with new technology it meant he didn't have to remain in close proximity to those he contracted with. They purchased a smallholding in the east midlands and moved without any problems.

I recall Paula saying to me as I listened to her complaint: "The real problems started when we came to this place." Her eyes scoured the building as we stood outside in the yard, with chickens and goats running free. Her marriage by this time was at breaking point.

She was personally visiting an out patient's psychiatric unit, and her children were beginning to display all those classic symptoms of rebellious behaviour. What commenced as a happy, normal family was now rapidly in decline: In fact I would say it was falling apart at the seams. I had arrived at Paula's house late that afternoon, only stopping off on route at local shops where I made some discreet inquiries.

The village was about a mile from Paula's place and tiny. There was probably no more than thirty small houses, and most of those were just tied-cottages. Most locals were of mature years, and viewed me curiously the moment my car entered a secluded little hamlet. I felt very much a stranger as I stepped from my vehicle and made my presence known.

I remember quite distinctly, as I progressed towards a tiny tobacconist, if it was an extraterrestrial craft visiting this place, they were in for a very frosty welcome. But it's strange how things turn out. On arriving I was greeted with suspicion, two minutes inside the shop I was treated like a friend, and within five minutes two very sweet old ladies were chattering away to me as though they had known me all my life.

I exchanged pleasantries initially, then asked about Paula and her family: "The ones who live just on the outskirts of town?" Her response could not have been more positive if she tried. According to the two ladies I spoke with, Paula and her family were lovely people, the type you don't mind having around. The owner of the shop herself was a large, plump lady in her late forties I would imagine, although I have never really been much good at guessing ages.

She stood behind her counter, one arm outstretched to support her body weight, and stood in judgement of the gossip. One of the two old women kept referring to her as Beryl. I asked the three of them if anything strange had been happen­ing? Beryl said nothing ever really happened in the village, let alone something strange.

One of the two old ladies told me farmer Madden's animals had been slaughtered. I asked her, with a frown who he thought was responsible? The old lady informed me they did not talk about it. "It's terribly upsetting," she said, emotionally.

"Ministry take them away," said Beryl, un-prompted.

I had a feeling Beryl liked to be the focus of attention. I asked her if she knew which ministerial department that took them; and recollected how I thought it weird. Beryl said farmer Madden was paid well over the odds for them.

According to her his compensation was three times what it should be. Beryl said farmer Madden liked to boast about it in the pub each evening. I asked her what did he actually suggest?

Beryl said, as she exchanged her body weight from one arm to the other: "He reckons someone's cut them up. He said they have chunks cut from them; perfectly round holes in them, and sometimes their...

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