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Aliens, Monsters, a Haunted Abbey, and Goblins: All In One Little Village!

Over at his UFO Conjectures blog, Rich Reynolds has posted a fascinating piece of old film-footage of an interview with a woman named Jessie Roestenberg.  Jessie was someone I met a long time ago (the mid-to-late 1990s) at a UFO-themed gig in central England. With that said, now onto her encounter. Jessie said that, one day back in October 1954, she and her children had a classic George Adamski-type flying saucer-style encounter at the village of Ranton, Staffordshire. She also said that the UFO had built into its side a large “observation window,” through which could be viewed a number of human-like entities with long-blond hair. Researcher Gavin Gibbons wrote that Jessie’s husband, Tony Roestenberg returned home to find Jessie “in a terrified state.” As for those aliens, Gibbons added that their foreheads were high, “their hair was long and fair,” and they seemed to have “pitiful”’ looks on their faces. The strange craft reportedly circled the family’s home twice, before streaking away. Curiously, on the following Sunday, Tony Roestenberg had a “hunch” that if he climbed on the roof of his house “he would see something unusual,” which he most certainly did. It was a high-flying, cigar-shaped object that vanished into the clouds.

It’s important to note there is a particular aspect to this story that has largely been overlooked: the little village of Ranton is clearly what John Keel referred to as a “window area.” That’s right: there’s something very strange about Ranton. Back in 1879, a spectral Bigfoot-like creature – that has become known as the Man-Monkey – was seen racing across Bridge 39 on the old Shropshire Union Canal. Since then, dozens of sightings of the paranormal beast have been made, with the most recent encounter having been just a few years ago. Of the first, famous encounter in January 1879, Charlotte S. Burne wrote in her 1883 book, Shropshire Folk-Lore: A Sheaf of Gleanings: “Just before he [the man who saw the beast] reached the canal bridge, a strange black creature with great white eyes sprang out of the plantation by the road-side and alighted on his horse’s back.” The story continues:

“He tried to push it off with his whip, but to his horror the whip went through the Thing, and he dropped it to the ground in his fright. The poor tired horse broke into a canter, and rushed onwards at full speed with the ghost still clinging to its back. How the creature at length vanished the man hardly knew. He told his tale in the village of Woodseaves, a mile further on, and so effectually frightened the hearers that one man actually stayed with his friends there all night, rather than cross the terrible bridge which lay between him and his home. The ghost-seer reached home at length, still in a state of excessive terror (but, as his master assured me, perfectly sober), and it was some days before he was able to leave his bed, so much was he prostrated by his fright. The whip was searched for next day, and found just at the place where he said he had dropped it.” The fact that the creature was clearly spectral, and that encounters have been made for more than 130 years, demonstrates that the beast was clearly paranormal in nature.

Ranton Abbey

Now, we come to the village’s old abbey. At the Lost Heritage website, there is the following: “Ranton Abbey in Staffordshire was the site of an Augustinian abbey, founded in about 1150 and dissolved in 1536. Only the 14th century tower and part of the south wall remain, although the cloisters and other parts are known to have still been standing in 1663. A new house of which little is known was built after that date, and William Baker was acting as surveyor of works for Sir Jonathan Cope (c.1692-1765), 1st bt., presumably for alterations, in 1748-49 and 1752-53.” The County Seat states: “When the historic Ranton Abbey was accidentally set alight and gutted in 1942 by the Dutch troops stationed there, it was likely that it would go the way of many other houses and simply be demolished. Yet the Earls of Lichfield, who owned the 300-acre estate, simply left it and focused on turning the land into a first-class shoot, allowing the house to slowly collapse, leaving just the ivy-clad walls visible today. When the historic Ranton Abbey was accidentally set alight and gutted in 1942 by the Dutch troops stationed there, it was likely that it would go the way of many other houses and simply be demolished. Yet the Earls of Lichfield, who owned the 300-acre estate, simply left it and focused on turning the land into a first-class shoot, allowing the house to slowly collapse, leaving just the ivy-clad walls visible today.”

Psychic-questing books, like The Green Stone by Graham Phillips and Martin Keatman, and Andy Collins’ books on the subject, such as The Black Alchemist and The Second Coming, have long fascinated me. But, it’s Keatman and Phillips’ sequel to The Green Stone – namely, The Eye of Fire – that we really need to focus on here, today. While much of The Eye of Fire is far beyond the scope of this article, the relevant data relates to a July 1982 trip to the abbey that the team of investigators in the book embarked upon, as part of their quest to locate the Eye of Fire of the book’s title. Basically, the relevant parts of Philips and Keatman’s saga reveal how one of the characters in the book, named Mary Heath, created – back in the 19th Century – a monstrous “Guardian” at Ranton Abbey, whose role was to protect an ancient artifact, one that plays a vital role in the story. In essence, Mary created a Tulpa. Or, what is also known as a “thought-form.”

So, here at this little village of Ranton we have a supernatural creature that was created by the human mind, a Bigfoot-type beast with paranormal overtones, a UFO encounter and (wait for it) even tales of the “little people” in the area too: goblins, brownies and so on. I find it very difficult to believe that all of these seemingly random events – in this one little village – were so random at all. A definitive window-area? That’s certainly my view. And, finally: Jessie Roestenberg’s husband, Tony, was one of those Dutch soldiers stationed at Ranton Abbey in the Second World War (he settled in the U.K. when the war was finished and stayed there).

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Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.
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