The summer of 1989 was a period when something dark and disturbing descended upon the town of Newport, England: farm animals were found dead under mysterious circumstances. They were not the victims of attack by wild animals, however. Rather, they gave every indication of having been ritually slaughtered; sacrificed, even. One of those who was determined to get to the bottom of the grisly matter was a man named Rob Lea, on whose farm some of the killings occurred. According to Lea, in August 1989 his father woke to a shocking sight; nothing less than five sheep lying dead in a field and placed in circular fashion. Their throats had been cut open, too. Not by savage teeth, however, but by what appeared to have been a very sharp knife. Even worse, the bodily organs of the poor animals had been removed from the bodies and laid out in triangular patterns. Clearly, those responsible were human. But, what kind of human would stealthily kill someone’s sheep in the dead of night? And why? Those were the questions swirling around the minds of both Rob Lea and his father. In view of all the above, it’s very easy to see why the Lea family concluded that a secret band of “devil worshippers” were the culprits. As it transpires, they were not far from the truth.
Rob Lea’s father quickly telephoned the local police, who were soon on the scene and who took the matter very seriously, suggesting that the family should not discuss the matter with anyone else, lest doing so might provoke deep concern – and maybe hysteria – across Newport and its immediate surroundings. The family, it transpires, was fine with that, as the last thing they wanted was the local media descending on the farm. Despite an intense investigation, the police found themselves with not even a single lead to go on. The outcome was that the matter was eventually dropped, amid apologies to the Lea family that – despite putting more than a few officers on the case – the authorities were at a loss to find the culprit. Or culprits. That wasn’t the end of the story, though: Rob Lea decided to briefly become what we might call an amateur detective. He was determined to find the guilty parties, and may well have done exactly that. I was able to meet personally with Lea in 2000 and listened carefully to his controversial story. Within minutes of us meeting, and from within the confines of a large, padded envelope, Lea extracted seven, 6 x 4, 35mm, color-photographs that clearly and graphically showed the scene of complete carnage at his family’s farm eleven years earlier. In other words, and if nothing else, that part of the story could at least be firmly validated. But this was merely the beginning of things – as I had suspected it almost certainly would be after Lea began to divulge the facts.
He continued, with a slightly detectable degree of nerves in his voice, and admitted to me that when he first began digging into the animal mutilation mystery he was, for a short while at least, a firm adherent of the theory that deadly extraterrestrials just might possibly have been behind the predatory attacks. As time progressed, however, and as he delved ever-deeper into the heart of the puzzle, he found that, in many ways, something much more disturbing than alien visitations was firmly afoot. By the late 1990s, said Lea, he had quietly and carefully traveled the length and breadth of the British Isles in hot and diligent pursuit of the answers to the conundrum, and had inadvertently stumbled upon a sinister, and possibly deadly, group of people based near the English city of Bristol – that Lea had grandly dubbed The Cult of the Moon Beast – that, he asserted to me, were using slaughtered farm animals, and even household pets, in ancient rites and archaic rituals of a sacrificial nature. The purpose of the rites and rituals, said Lea, continuing, was to use the sacrificed unfortunates as a means of conjuring up monstrous entities from some vile netherworld that would then be dispatched to commit who-knew-what atrocities on behalf of their masters in the Cult of the Moon Beast.
It transpired that Lea had been stealthily watching the activities of the Cult of the Moon Beast – which, he stressed several times to me, was merely a term that he, himself, had applied to this closely-knit group of individuals that numbered around fifteen – for approximately seven years by the time we met. He admitted he had no firm idea of the group’s real name, or even if it actually had a designated moniker. Although the cult was firmly based in the city of Bristol, England, said Lea, its members were spread both far and wide, with at least four hailing from the east-coast town of Ipswich; two from the Staffordshire town of Cannock; two from the city of Exeter; one from Tavistock, Devonshire; and five from Bromley, in the county of Kent. Lea related to me how he had clandestinely and doggedly tracked the movements of the group and had personally – albeit stealthily – viewed no less than three of their dark practices: one of which, he said, had occurred in early 2000 near the Ingrestre Park Golf Club, deep in the heart of the Cannock Chase woods in Staffordshire, which had been the site of numerous encounters with a veritable menagerie of mysterious beasts, including werewolves, Bigfoot-type entities, ghostly black dogs, and huge marauding cats. According to Lea, the Cult of the Moon Beast was engaged in occult-drive rites designed to summon unholy beasts that originated within a realm or dimension that co-existed with ours.
He added that certain locales around the country – and, indeed, across the globe – allowed for a doorway or portal to be opened to order, if one followed the correct, ancient rites, rituals and “rules of animal sacrifice,” of which the Cult of the Moon Beast seemingly had a deep and profound knowledge and awareness. Numerous such portals existed in Devon, Cornwall, and Staffordshire, Lea assured me in an earnest fashion. Lea told me that the beasts in question were not physical, flesh-and-blood-style beings – at least, not in the way that we, mere mortals, understand things. Rather, they were a form of non-physical intelligence that could take on the appearance of whatever was in the mind’s eye of the beholder – and, more often than not, that of a large black cat.” But why? According to Lea: “Mind-power: fright, suggestion. They’ll stop your heart in a beat with fear. You want someone dead, you kill them through fear; fear of the unknown, fear of anything. That’s much better than risking taking someone out with a gun or a knife; there’s less of a chance of getting caught.” Lea continued further that the Cult of the Moon Beast was linked with some very influential people and that, when needed, the cult was “hired for its services” – and paid very handsomely, indeed – by the highest echelons of private industry, and even by the Intelligence services of the British Government. As he explained it to me: “You want someone dead, then you give them a heart-attack by having a monster appearing in their bedroom at night. Or you drive them to suicide by making them think they are going mad if they are seeing werewolves.” An ancient cult, working and killing in stealth? Death by conjured-up, monstrous entities? A conspiracy that reached the heart of the British Government? Yes, so Rob Lea claimed.