“As I walk the woods, I can feel that at any given moment, two worlds are surrounding me: besides the visible world, there is the invisible world made of energies, mysteries, information, and intelligence. This other, hidden world is constantly communicating with us, or at least is trying to…”Duda 2019, 141
Now that I’m, thankfully, fully vaccinated against C-19, I decided to leave the city for the first time since December 2019. On Summer Solstice Eve I took a train out towards Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk. Rendlesham is known to people all over the world as the location for, what is still considered, the most significant UFO incident to have taken place in the UK. Late December 1980 saw multiple sightings of UFOs within the forest area. In the early hours of the 27th, lights were seen by patrol guards positioned by the East Gate of RAF Woodbridge. This was the height of the Cold War, tensions were running high, the lights could have belonged to enemy aircraft. Personnel followed these illuminations through the forest before spotting a hovering vessel, unlike anything any of them had ever seen. Floating on shafts of light, roughly 12 inches above the ground, the cone-shaped object appeared to be the size of a regular car. In attempting to approach, the military patrol disturbed the UFO and it sped rapidly away. Further sightings of bright lights were recorded the following night. Animals in a nearby enclosure panicked, the screams of women, who couldn’t be traced, were heard.
At the time, the only physical evidence found were the broken tops of some of the trees located around the clearing where the UFO hovered close to the ground, along with 3 small trigonous indentations. Radiation tests undertaken the following day recorded levels spiking ten times higher than regular ambient background registers.
The forest has changed greatly since December 1980. In 1987, southern England experienced The Great Storm, which caused widespread disruption and damage. Rendlesham Forest did not emerge unscathed. Many trees were felled by the high winds, including those that surrounded the enclosure where the UFO is said to have descended. Although large-scale replanting has been, on the whole, successful, there are spots close to the alleged landing site where flora still refuses to grow…
When I posted on Twitter that I was venturing to Rendlesham for the night I received differing responses. Some were from people who were worried about me spending the night alone in a forest. Others were from friends who thought I was heading to the site on a UFO pilgrimage. Well, I do firmly believe that something occurred in Rendlesham Forest in December 1980, and that UFOs are real. However, UFOs do not automatically mean extra-terrestrial activity. Yet, before anyone asks, I am also in no doubt whatsoever that we are not alone within this vast universe. To think otherwise is, for me, an extremely arrogant position. I find true peace and solace within woodlands. I’ve been extremely lucky to have spent extended periods bivvying in some of the most stunning forests in Germany and France. Places so ancient that you can feel the antiquity in the bowing of the branches, bent heavy with time. I do not fear the forest, for it is within these landscapes that I feel closest to The Hum.
In truth, I set off for Rendlesham for a number of reasons. I desperately needed to escape the city, to reconnect fully with the Natural Hum. I also longed to see the stars again. The light pollution where I currently live makes this nigh on impossible, and I feel the disconnection keenly. I needed to engage with different sounds too. Although many people would say that the forest is unnerving in its silence, I have never experienced complete soundlessness and, personally, have never found forests silent anyway. As mentioned above, there’s the creaking of the branches, the rustling of the leaves as they’re kissed by the breeze, the snufflings of the various diurnal and nocturnal animals that call the forest home, the songs of the different birds as they observe you from their arboreal high-rises…
If these sonic interventions were not enough to dissipate any thoughts of silence, then one only has to focus on their own being, on the intra-terrestrial, to realise that we are accompanied by sound throughout our lives; from the constant beating of our hearts, to the trickle of saliva slipping from our mouths down through our throats, and beyond.
I arrived at the forest a little after 4pm. Apart from two small families when I first arrived at the beginning of the UFO trail, I didn’t see anyone for the entirety of my visit. The UFO trail is a leisurely 3 mile mooch which takes in all of the key areas involved in the December 1980 ‘event’. Beginning the walk alongside a row of Old Skool telecommunication mini pylons was certainly heartening. The Hum really is never far from my side…
I found it quite odd that although I was wandering through a landscape which many people consider isolated, unnerving, I was in contact with the world through social media. Friends were keen to see the areas most closely associated with the Rendlesham Incident, and I didn’t mind obliging. For many, whilst daylight held out, they didn’t feel anxious for me. Yet when the dimsey hour descended, flowing onwards into night, I began getting many messages from concerned pals. It’s quite difficult to explain to others that the onset of darkness doesn’t frighten me, that it facilitates release, allows me to wander unseen, enables me to feel free.
The changing light brought out the differing personas of the forest, of the flora, the fauna, and the trees, both individually and collectively. As the soundscape transformed with the setting of the sun, my senses intensified. The deep dark triggered a physical and cognitive awareness that, although hardwired into all humans, is rarely called upon by most. Touch, olfaction, sight, hearing, magnified to such an extent that, at times, it felt as if I was truly one with the forest. Sat within the nook of a tree trunk, enveloped by its canopy of branches and foliage, I felt the safest I had been since before March 2020. I finally felt comfortable enough to give myself over to The Hum. To allow it to permeate me completely, to initiate connection and, perhaps, gain guidance, clarity.
They pulsate and wake me up from my hibernating…”Bjork
Now I appreciate that to many readers this may all seem very odd, yet there are many examples of peoples around the world, even now, here in the 21st century, who believe in natural vibrations emanating through the earth, the seas, and the cosmos. I have previously written about the significance of The Hum within Southern Pacific cultures, but it is also revered and respected within other continents. The !Kung Sān people, hunter-gatherers of the Kalahari Desert, Southern Africa, believe that the Natural Hum permeates them, both individually, and collectively. Imperceptible natural forces, described by members of the !Kung Sān as a ‘silver stream of energy’, permit telepathic communication, and aid in hunting (hunters feel a physical vibration between the eyebrows when prey is close-by) (Duda 2019, 142). Whilst Lewis-Williams & Pearce (2004, pp. 104-5) highlight that Sān rock art depictions are not created purely for aesthetic purposes. The Sān believe that these images also act as energy conduits which, through the placing of hands, enables people, deemed ‘worthy,’ to link with The Hum.
As I was sat within the trees at Rendlesham I noticed that the stars had begun to appear. I must admit, my heart truly soared at the sight of them. I decided to take a walk beneath them, and ponder…
As I walked along the perimeter fence of RAF Woodbridge, underneath the glorious firmament, my mind wandered to a conversation that I’d had with my friend, Alice Gorman, which you can now access via the Liminal Lounge. We discussed the possibility of other planets, such as Mars and Venus, channelling The Hum. Alice believes that being free of all the background noise that permeates the Earth and its atmosphere, it could be possible to hear Martian and Venusian Hums. That they could radiate from deep within their cores, out into the surrounding cosmos, connecting with each other, with the Earthly Hum, and with the constant pulses that emanate from other planets, and the cosmos itself, a truly Universal Hum!
This idea filled me with such joy, potential scientific proof of a Universal Hum! Yet it wasn’t until I was out in the field, wandering through the forest, staring up at the cosmos, connecting with The Hum, that the immenseness of it all hit me. I suddenly became overwhelmed by a feeling that can only be described as truly sublime. Through channelling The Hum, I was both insignificant, yet integral; elemental, but unexperient, it was both terrifying and wonderful. All of the isolation I had endured over the previous 15 months, and the fears that this had brought upon me, melted away in an instant, at last, I had truly connected. I am now, finally, part of the machinery.
Now, I know that for many people reading this wee pondering, you may be thinking I am veering away from reality, into a world of complete fantasy, but why should the concept of Natural, Electric, and Universal Hums intertwining, enabling connection, be considered so radical, so untenable? Even by reading this essay, through the Liminal Worlds website, you are connecting with the Electric Ley. I can wander out to Rendlesham Forest for the night and connect with The Hum (or as Duda refers to it, the ‘Wood Wide Web), and then convey my experiences through the Electric Ley, via the Internet.
Smartphones, the World Wide Web, VR & AR, social media; these are the means by which many 21st century people engage with each other, and the world(s). Yet although the tech is different, the goal isn’t. People long to connect; with other people, with different landscapes, both near and far, indeed, with other worlds, but, for many, the idea of connection through stone, soil, wood, water, pylon, stars, seems a bridge too far. The majority are happy to ‘outsource their brains into the ‘clouds’ (Keller, 2011), but they remain sceptical at looking to the skies, or the soil, for pure connection.
It is not for me to decide how people choose to connect with themselves, with other people, with the world(s). Yet one thing I do know for certain is that connectivity is key. It’s important that we reach out towards the stars, that we imagine, that we wander, and ponder, but it’s even more important that we look out for each other, now more than ever.
Duda, V., 2019. Ancient Webs, Modern Webs, World Wide Webs. In: J. Hunter, ed. Greening The Paranormal: Exploring The Ecology Of The Extraordinary Experience. August Night Press, pp. 139 – 150.
Keller, B., 2011. ‘The Twitter Trap’ New York Times. [Online]Available at: www.nytimes.com/2011/05/22/magazine/the-twitter-trap.html?_r=2&src=twrhp
[Accessed 27 june 2021].
Lewis-Williams, J. & Pearce, D., 2004. San Spirituality. Capetown: Double Storey Books.