Wednesday 23 April 2008


Recently I e-mailed Anthony about an odd event that I had as a teenager. I published it as a letter in Fortean Times some years ago. I still have the mag somewhere in the depths of my room but here is the story. I grew up in the little Welsh border town known as Hay-on-Wye today famous for it's secondhand book trade and it's literature festival every May. One for Mr Peake in the future perhaps?
I am coming up to 61 now and at the time was about 16 or 17 at most. In those days it was not uncommon to see lads fishing off the bridge at Hay, underneath which the River Wye flowed some 40 feet below. The art of fishing off this bridge was to catch a very light but up river breeze that was just strong enough to carry your line up river with a big old artificial fly on the end of it and dap the fly up and down on the pool which was slightly more on the town's side rather than in the middle of the river .
So this particular day I arrived on the bridge on my bicycle one morning and I think it could have well been in May perhaps early June. Although it was sunny it was not particularly warm and a cool up river strongish breeze was the order of the day. So I had decided to use a worm as bait and a lot of lead weight, even then the long line was lifting in the breeze. Out of my left eye I saw a man approaching from the town, down Bridge Street and onto the wide modern concrete bridge (rebuilt 1958). As he approached I had the impression he was some sort of religious minister or vicar. Although I don't now recollect seeing a dog collar but presume he must have worn one. Anyway not being a church goer I was rather a little timid of this chap approaching who then stopped on my left hand side and asked me how long I had been there, had I caught anything etc. I said I hadn't been there long and caught nothing. Now I must point out I had never ever seen this man before or afterwards and haven't a clue who he was. There was no one on the bridge beside him and me, you can see in both directions quite a long way. He said try straight down there below the bridge, I said there were no fish under there as I have tried many times, besides the river runs too fast and can't see your line and I needed a lot of weight. Anyway as he was stood there I hauled up the line added extra weight and dropped the line straight down, I am sure at this point he had just moved away from me and instantly a huge fish a really big chub had taken the bait. I turned to say I have got one and he had vanished. There was no way he could have gone back the way he came or gone on the other way in a few seconds. As I say the view both ways was distant and open. No car had come along to pick him up. As always no witnesses either. The fish was so big the line was going to break anyway so I jerked the line and snapped it. Then horror of horrors struck me, had this man jumped off the opposite side of the bridge whilst destracting me? I rushed over looked down but nothing just the river, the river was quite shallow on the downside so had he vaulted over the railings he would have been easy to see.
I quickly packed up my kit, jumped on my bike and still in disbelief cycled around town looking for him, what had happened, where had he gone?
How did he know I would catch a fish where he had pointed, was he a ghost? He was solidly human I thought but can't be sure of his face at all. He was grey haired, a light brown mac, a trilby type hat. Was he a figment of my imagination, was he my Daemon. Was there some warp in time, in my reality. I went home told my parents and my friends later that day. What could they say, nothing, no particular comment. I later told my much older sister who still today at 75 remembers me telling her. Memory of the event still seems clear to me but still puzzles me and it is odd with age you tend to question the event however my sister still remembers me telling her and I am grateful for that.


SM Kovalinsky said...

Rod; That is a very compelling experience that you have related: I can certainly see why it would leave a lasting mark, and on your sister as well. I do believe it may have indeed been a daemonic encounter, and involving some sort of cross-over in time. It seems highly likely. Thank you for posting this.

SM Kovalinsky said...

I might add as an afterthought that I had an experience somewhat similar, in the summer of 1998. I was at a park with my son, who was then 10, and an elderly black gentleman came up and spoke with me, very pleasantly. My son began to ask me why I was speaking to the air, and I was horrified , thinking that he was being silly and rude for fun, and that the man might think it was a racial slur on the part of my boy. He also seemed to vanish suddenly, and I have never forgotten it. My son always insisted that there really was no one there, and I have never hallucinated. It was solid and normal, but a very warm encounter. It comes back to me from time to time, and indeed your own story had brought it back now.

ra from ca said...

Thank you Rod and Susan Marie for your stories. I have not experienced anything like this as far as I can remember, but have heard of similar stories. Thanks again for sharing.

SM Kovalinsky said...

Nice to hear from you , Ra. Have been busy and slightly flu-ish, but would love an e-mail from you when you feel like it. I am not certain what the meaning of my experience was, but it occurred during a sort of momentous summer of my life, and of my husband's. Glad you liked reading of it. Hope you are doing OK and don't have a flu as I do!

Anthony Peake said...

I am fascinated by cases such as these. Are these external projections of the Daemon? If the Bohmian IMAX is an inwardly generated illusion then it is possible that the Daemon could extrapolate an image of its choosing into the visual field of its Eidolon. Indeed I have long speculated that the "Guardian Angel" phenomenon is Daemonic in origin. In my next book I have a section on doppolgangers and I suspect that both phenomenon are related.

Readers of my work will also know that I suggest the famed "Being of Light" encountered in many Near-Death Experiences is a manifestation of the Daemon. Now what is interesting is that this being can be perceived by the dying person as a religious archetype, a dead relative, a dead friend, a generic celestial being such as an angel, an alien such a a 'Grey" and even, suprisingly, a dead pet. But for me the most telling evidence is the reports that sometimes the BOL manifests itself as a person that is not only still alive but on questioned subsequently that person knew nothing of the NDE encounter. Clearly then, in the latter circumstance, whatever the BOL is it is not what it pretends to be.

I think that an itladian interpretation of encounters such as these is much needed.

Any volunteers?

Dreamer said...

What an intriguing story!
I find it especially interesting that you got the sensation that the man was from a "religious" profession, even though you didn't actually see physical evidence of that, such as a dog collar -- somehow you were able to intuit it.

I wonder if this being/apparition actually protected you from something dangerous that was about to occur -- something you aren't even aware of, because it didn't end up happening? Maybe his suggestion that you look for fish in a certain place -- or even his sudden disappearance, which caused you to "rush over and look down" --was a means of changing the course of events so that this "bad" thing wouldn't happen? (It could have been anything, from being bitten by a poisonous spider to falling in the river and drowning.) So although it might have seemed like he showed up simply to help you catch a fish, he may have appeared for a much more important reason.

Again, what a fascinating story!

Jesamyn said...

Rod . what a fascinating story.. thank you!!! I don't suppose all these years later that YOU have grey hair, a light brown mac and a trilby hat... do you??? i.e. your older Self advising your Younger Self, that would be very DoppelGanger..ish!!!

Anthony Peake said...

JESAMYN: What a great question. Do you remember in ITLAD the section where I describe Goethe's meeting with his older self on the road to Drusenheim? (page 250). I will post this section of the book to remind you all. This may also bring about some interesting responses.

Karl Le Marcs said...

Yes, I echo everyone's comments regarding the quality of the story relayed in your post.

Personally, I don't think the Daemon is capable of physically presenting itself to the Eidolon but as we've knocked that ITLADic football around in the playground a while ago on here, I won't start again!!!

Doppelgangers and messangers and the like are far too often reported to be dismissed, but I do assert much of what we think we percieve can be manipulated by our subconscious to fit what we are looking for.

I call it "pattern-finding", and as humans we do it by our very nature.

But, thank you for the curious story and for adding to the growing list of active bloggers here.

Anonymous said...

Rod, yes thanks for the comments on my story. As Jesamyn said could it have been my older self meeting my younger self? I have grey hair now but not the mac and trilby type hat. I don't think so but it has crossed my mind in later life.
The bit of the jigsaw that seems odd to me is how he did not just appear but walked down the street onto the bridge but then eventually vanished. Sadly I didn't see him go which was a pity. Mind you I think that really would have scared me had he just melted away.

Karl Le Marcs said...

Never mind meeting yourself, you've just thanked yourself !!!

*ironic smile*