UFO over Maiden Castle in 1998
When experts from around the world - specialising in UFO, crop circles, government conspiracies and the paranormal - gathered at Dorchester's Corn Exchange for an Unexplained Mysteries conference, all were agreed: Dorset's a mysterious place!
Taking part in the conference was, among others, an extraterrestrial abduction researcher from the USA, a modern day Indiana Jones who's been to Egypt and an animal healer.
And according to the advertising blurb for the Unexplained Mysteries conference:
"The truth is not out there - it's in Dorchester"
Dorset has more than its fair share of mysteries with their roots deep in local folklore, and conference organiser and UFO and Crop Circles expert David Kingston ran through some of Dorset's most mysterious places:
A set of longbarrows - ridges in the hillsides which are very ancient burial sites - extend along the Ridgeway between Weymouth and Dorchester. At certain times they emit strange sounds - a bit like singing and have been nicknamed the 'Singing Marys' by the locals years ago. And that is something that can't be explained - no satisfactory answer has ever been given.
An old Roman Road runs through where Thorncombe Woods, near Dorchester, is now, and there have been several reports, including one from a policeman, of ghostly apparitions of Roman legionnaires marching along the road.
Effigy of Lawrence of Arabia
What was the Antelope Public House in Dorchester town centre - which was pulled down when the area was pedestrianised - had a story of a motorcycle figure which would appear by the old fireplace.
It was strongly thought to be an apparition of Lawrence of Arabia who used to frequent the pub. And even now the shop on the site, the staff find strange things happening on the shelves where the goods are on display.
Maiden Castle Hill Fort
The hill fort outside Dorchester is a magnet for UFO sightings - one as (relatively) recently as November 2004.
According to David, a lot of people say there are a some very ancient ley lines that run through the site and it could be that they are attracted to the energies from that. From his research, David says it has normally been an energy centre like military masts or nuclear power stations which attract them.
Dorset had nine crop circles around Maiden Castle in 1995. We found that the seeds and the heads were totally deformed but the funny thing is the following year they grew without any water and without any light - so it can't be explained away by a stomping board. There are less reports now as farmers are against people tramping over their fields without permission so seem less likely to report them.
last updated: 17/04/2008 at 12:55
Have Your Say
What do you think is the most mysterious place in Dorset? We'd love to hear your suggestions!
christin harris & jamie gaston