By Steven & Evan Strong 18/03/20
Nothing under discussion is ours, it is not that what follows is unfamiliar to us as our rocks know of these activities and are more than capable of all that was described. Thankfully they just haven’t flown down that particular path, yet.
Undeniably this content is extending rock boundaries and participants dramatically. This incursion into the mystical realms begins with an Original woman who attended an Adelaide rock workshop we convened, and is followed by hundreds of non-Original witnesses from Western Australia. Of the many journalists and farmers who verified this sensational continually repeated phenomena, one person was a professional journalist (Jack Coulter-Daily Mail) who was sent by his paper to investigate rumours of a rock event he initially expressed huge scepticism towards. All who were sent to record or were already in the area, came away utterly convinced what they saw time after time was real, and absolutely genuine.
The First Flying Rock
To begin with, the first time we heard mention of rocks that could detach from the earth of their own volition, fly through the air unassisted, and in this case, intentionally attach to the chest of an Original male who had sung them, was at a rock workshop presented in Adelaide about four years ago. The Original woman who witnessed this attachment added more, in that this liaison was seen by many, often, and although the Elder had died, his wife was still alive. It was her intention to seek her out, and perhaps learn a small portion of this ancient knowledge. Before entertaining a solid degree of doubt or more, it needs to be appreciated that this lady was talking Old Way Business. Such things must never be distorted or misrepresented in anyway, as deception of this magnitude would not only contravene Original Lore, but it would deeply offend the Spirits.
Never for one millisecond did I doubt her words, nonetheless, for the many sitting on the fence, they need impartial and qualified witnesses at the scene of the miracle, when it is actually occurring. As undeniably real as this connection was, this second-hand account fails every scientific muster. But when it comes to the quality and quantity of witnesses testifying to the fact that “Spirit Stones” were flying through the air over fifty years ago, it was seen by so many and every possible ‘sensible’ explanation has failed to explain these “mysterious events.”
“Beginnings of an Australian Phenomena”
These bizarre events were “witnessed by small communities in the Southwest of Australia from 1946 to 1962,” even though “people experienced different types of phenomena,” the “great majority involved reports of stones falling from above.” What is undeniably true was that as these stone anomalies kept flying through the air and “the incidents became more frequent the Australian Press, caught up in the mystery, started giving the stories significant coverage.” So great was the interest “approximately 70 regional, state and national newspapers” became willing participants, of which Jack Coulter became probably the most vocal in his endorsement of the authenticity of what was occurring. So great was the public interest at the time, “the story had traveled across the Indian Ocean to Europe making the Paris edition of the New York Tribune.”
Throughout the many years this rock inspired display occurred, it all happened in Western Australian in four different locations, and all four are “within 300km of each other.” What took place was that “stones ranging in size from a pebble to a stone of approximately 35 pounds flew through the air at Boyup Brook, Pumphrey’s Bridge, Boddington and Mayanup. The stones, along with a variety of other objects were falling out of nowhere, landing in paddocks and even inside buildings.”
The timing and frequency within these four locations varied between “weeks” and much longer. At what could be understandably be regarded as the focal point of these mystical activities was a location where “stones have been gently falling on the Keninup, Boyup Brook property of farmer W. M. M. Hack for nearly two years. The occurrences have been intermittent and generally at the greatest intensity during winter months.”
As already mentioned, this paranormal activity was not only restricted to inorganic inanimate rocks, but also included “brass taps, kitchen utensils, cakes of soap and even vegetables.” What is common to whatever air borne object was in transit, is that in every case it was “elevated of their own volition and projected around rooms or paddocks.” What was, we believe, the first step towards solving this supernatural event was the repeated accounts of “glowing lights in the bush” being “reported in the vicinities where the stones had been falling.”
If this extensive variety of players and styles was not challenging enough, the list of “impossible” performances for the general public included “stones coming through roofs without leaving holes.” Coulter was a highly respected journalist and must have known referencing rocks entering houses with no visible means of entry was really pushing the boundaries, such a claim every mainstream scientist would regard as ludicrous and laughable today, go back nearly seventy years and that derision applies even more so. Yet knowing which way the prevailing conservative wind was blowing, Coulter took the opposite path. But it wasn’t just him as “the broader public became more curious and tourists came from all around. Experienced reporters were sent to investigate.”
They Came and Certainly saw
And investigate they did, and each time the same paranormal parade was plain to see and impossible to deny. “Just after the natives shifted camp the stone phenomenon was witnessed by dozens of independent white witnesses. At 5:30 pm yesterday, when he (Ron Hack) returned from a nearby stock sale, he found a group of people in a half-circle behind his house. Stones were falling. They were picking them up as fast as they fell.”
What needs to be appreciated was that such was quality and quantity of independent rock displays, many of these unexplainable “events were not necessarily reported by press.” Sometimes this was because “the indigenous people chose not to report them.” Amongst all the sites, the farm of Ron and Helen Mack (Mayanup) experienced the most incidents and “they continued sporadically over several years.”
Who let the Rocks out?
When it comes to who and why these rocks fell at their will, the answer is easy and the same path we always take, ask the Original keepers of the Old Way. It is that simple, as they will know. And in this case, they certainly did. “The Indigenous communities, who were the most frequently affected, began to feel that the events were directly related to their connection with the spiritual world.” So strong was their belief and the repeated reality of falling rocks, “a sense of fear and superstition developed.”
Even the press joined in through ascribing devious magic as being responsible and went even further in ‘naming and shaming’ “a member of the Aboriginal community, Cyril Penny.” Reviled by the press as being a “jinx,” so great was the public attack “he left the area for some time.” It is of note that rocks kept falling before and after he left the area, and no apology or retraction was published in any tabloid outlet.
As to what was officially considered to be the creator of this hoax/prank/real event, “most people who witnessed the falling stones felt that human intervention was responsible: kids throwing stones or bored farmers playing a prank,” were the most popular excuses. That scepticism is entirely understandable and very much a reflection of a society devoid of magic and obsessed with the here and now. The real and present problem with this rational dismissal is that “the accusations were never proven.”
A “Review of the Explanations in the Press”
According to the scores of witnesses directly involved and reports tendered “in the press”, “the explanations can be broadly divided into five categories.”
As just mentioned, the most sensible explanation is centred around mischievous “locals” who threw “the stones from close proximity.” Such was the strength of this belief, “some of the locals were so sure someone was responsible that they went out hunting for the culprits.” As the stones began to fall at Boyup Brook, these men stepped in with guns at the ready and a itchy trigger finger ready to strike. This was a repeated situation upon which they were at a loss to come to grips with who, why or when, and in frustration, reverted to the tried and tested approach of ‘if it moves shoot it, and if it doesn’t chop it down.’
“Quite a few of the men didn’t believe a word of it and he and some friends went out there one night with their shot guns. They were going to bring in whoever it was, so they blazed away at the close trees and shrubs. Nobody came out and nobody was killed or wounded. The police soon put a stop to that.”
From a non-Original perspective all of this just has to be down to “human intervention.” The problem was that “the police and local investigations found no evidence to uphold this.” The press, as is their brief, looked for something, anything that might provide a logical explanation and came up empty, as “none of the press reports discussed possible motivation for human intervention.” In fact, after an extensive investigation into the mystical events taking place at Pumphrey’s Bridge, the police report was very clear that “there was no evidence found to indicate that a person or group of people was involved.” That total absence of a human hand or plan gave the officer investigating no option but to declare that it has to be “classified as a type of unexplained phenomena.”
So common were these incidents, all sorts of ploys and traps were set, and failed miserably. Whether it was sitting by the fence wire “to listen for any twanging,” or ploughing a “ghost break” which would give up the “tracks of any intruder,” nothing got clearer. On one occasion “more than 20 farmers surrounded the camp with shotguns, rifles, lamps and spotlights.” What needs to be appreciated is that these farmers had more than enough work at their farm and to sacrifice so much time and logistics staring into the night, means that this was real, upsetting and completely outside everyone’s capacities.
In an attempt to find something remotely rational behind all of this, “the Criminal Investigation Bureau received stones from reporter Hugh Schmitt but found no fingerprints and established the stones were of local origin.” Nothing made sense and everyone was at a loss to comprehend. Mrs Alma Ugle merely stated the obvious in conceding that “if it was our own people tossing stones at us we’d know. We wouldn’t lose a night’s sleep over it.” That the locals were shooting at straws and shadows and kept trying to resolve this, is absolute proof this was real and utterly unknown.
Coming From Above and Below
With the every notion of human intervention dispensed with, all that was left was a meteor shower coming down from above or propelled from within long tubes with “gas pockets” ejecting pulses of gas with “stones being thrown from a hole in the earth.” There are examples of such natural actions occurring, but none were on any of the farms being showered with rocks. “Mr. Donaldson, owner of the Pumphrey farm that witnessed many episodes of the falling stones, said that during his 26 years on the property, he had not found one hole that fitted such a description.” This “amateur” theory received no official or scientific endorsement with “no scientist reported as having an opinion that suggested this as a likely explanation.”
That some first assumed that there was a causal relationship between small rocks falling from above and a meteor entering the atmosphere then shattering into pieces lacks “any scientific evidence.” Obviously, an analysis was completed and according to “a prominent geologist” the stones “are all common” to location “where they were found.” However, such was the need to find something close to a rational explanation, the same rocks were taken to the “Director of Government Laboratories, Mr. J. C. Hood.” He found “nothing unusual” and also dismissed any trace of a connection to meteors, and was unable “to offer an alternative explanation.”
So, the three ‘normal’ and acceptable explanations were dispensed with as being irrelevant and totally not applicable, which then left the experts the two most likely reasons for the stones falling to consider: the “paranormal” and “spiritual.”
Venturing Into Unknown Realms
There is no science to support the three sensible possibilities raised, the reality is that every logical and scientific explanation suggested fails at every level. None of the three preferable explanations has a skerrick of proof, a solitary witness, photograph or confession. There is absolutely no chance the rocks were thrown by a human, part of a disintegrating meteor or propelled from below. The reason two esoteric headings (“paranormal” and “spiritual”) were openly discussed is simply because this is the only area that has plenty of witnesses and supporting evidence.
From this point on, every comment offered breaks so many scientific laws and paradigms, and no academic or scientist would begin to accept such outrageous descriptions. But what do these farmers have to gain by making what may appear to be outlandish statements that verge on being palpably ridiculous? There is no reason, financial gain or mischief here, these men and women could not sleep and tried everything they could to resolve these events, and all that got them was an empirical impasse. Despite the many reasons to keep quiet or look the other way, the stones kept flying, and in Mr Hack’s case, there were flying both ways.
“I fluked a most extraordinary session. It was broad daylight … a brick on the roof, brass tap from the kero drum hit wall S.W. Tried to calculate velocity by throwing it back at wall. Each time I threw, I was hit in the back of the head by a one or two pound stone.”
As the interest grew rapidly and correspondents kept turning up, the newspapers started to dabble into mystical regions and activities. The main topics for discussion had now moved past humans, meteors and shafts to “ghosts, poltergeists and other paranormal forces.”
What needs to be understood is that the unidentified force or energy involved is not rock specific, but more any moveable object inclusive. “The drama began on the night of May 17, 1955, when stones rained down on the Smith’s humble shack. A low, mournful whistle could be heard piercing the night air, and the Hack’s dogs were driven mad by the commotion, breaking their chains and running off into the night.” These dogs were there to protect and guard, and instead of defending their territory and human hosts, they fled in terror. Something was there and they knew what it was, that is why they broke their chains and ran away.
“What happened next defied all laws of science. Stones materializied out of nowhere to plonk on the rooftop, clatter on the dining room table and appear inside hurricane lamps. The stones were strangely warm to touch, but weren’t the only objects to be used by the strange force. Old bottles, potatoes, soap, knives, bones and even a child’s doll were tossed around inside and outside the home.”
Another associated phenomena mentioned often in many rock and object fly-pasts, was strange lights. “A light was seen by Jean Smith and a blue light by Aden Eades.” Mrs Hack was also present when a light flew past at speed. “Mrs Hack was sitting in her car outside the house at about 6 p.m. And saw a powerful light traveling fairly fast about 2 feet above a brook which runs through the property. When asked if perhaps the light could have been a car headlight, cycle light or lantern. Mrs Hack said definitely “no.”
What is a fascinating as it is intriguing, is that the lights were but one accompaniment to this mystical salvo. “Just before any stones fell there was a bird like cry-it was a bird like ‘clack’ sort of noise each time. People never heard the noise during the day time. Before, during and after stones fall there is a weird, uncanny heavy and depressing atmosphere in the air.”
Such was the volume and repetition of associated warning signals, some of journalists went the extra ‘mile’ and openly acknowledged something mystical was afoot. In fact, “the notion that poltergeist activity is associated with individuals became a starting point for some journalist’s interest at the time.” They did this simply because every other potential avenue was literally a ‘dead-end.’ Nothing else made sense, and equally, the locals were giving them nothing but mystical settings and players.
Nor was this a casual reference hedged with equivocations. One journalist noted that Original “poltergeists usually work through an adolescent.” One article appearing in the Blackwood Times focussed on one female Original teenager. Her name was Audrey Krakouer who was 14 at the time the rocks fell. It was claimed that she “was perceived as the focus person for hundreds of stones falling in their camp. Approximately one hundred people were present and they carried out an experiment, where each time Audrey was led away from the house stones would fall … Similar stories were told about Jean Smith and a non-Indigenous boy Harvey Dickson.”
Nearly one hundred people saw the stones falling and chose to move one young Original girl to see if there was a connection, and there was! Case solved. If any more proof is needed, it was also conceded that when the Original people were consulted they were adamant that “it was accepted knowledge among Aboriginal communities that spirits can leave the body” of people while still living.
Aden Eades was involved in a very similar situation when stones were falling. In an interview given in 2004 well after rocks fell, he made mention that his “entire family was taken away from their tin humpy to a location several miles away, but the stones continued to fall. He also remembered the efforts the local farmers went to try to find stone throwing culprits-with no success.”
So convinced were the locals that stones were falling, and that no traditional explanation held sway, one farmer decided to take the matter into their own hands by seeking out Original Old Way practitioners.’ “Ron Hack, the owner of the farm in Mananup, felt inclined to travel 90 miles to Mt. Barker to bring “native witchdoctor,” Sammy Miller, back to his home. Sammy told Mr. Hack that the ghost responsible for the falling stones was the spirit of Alf Eades.” Sammy also said that “the spirit would remain present until Mr. Eades either recovered or died.”
Put This all Together
The non-Original witnesses who personally saw stones falling run into the hundreds. Chasing up “witchdoctors” repositioning young Original teenagers, aimlessly blazing away with shotguns, rocks with no footprints or fingerprints, spotlights and lamps shone the light on nothing, and so the futile attempts to make sense of this came to nothing. This certainly happened and not one report published ever suggested the entire community had cooked up this charade, because that would be untrue.
But what is it that was seen so often and what made the rocks take flight? The only truth remaining is that rocks, and many other manufactured items, were independent in transition, and the dogs ran away. The Original people never questioned the authenticity of all that occurred, knowing that some form of spirit force was responsible.
As for science denying any notion of spirit force activity, a valid and quite sound experiment on site was conducted by the locals which was witnessed by many non-Original people. When Audrey left the scene the rocks fell, when Audrey stayed the rocks remained stationary in situ. Whether labelled magic, spirits or poltergeist is a personal choice, but past these descriptions there was nothing else. There was no deceit involved, surely one of the 70 reporters would have exposed any fakery or deception if it ever existed.
In combination, what was seen and validated, were thousands of rocks and quite a few assorted objects flying through the air, along with glowing lights, bird clacks, a depressing atmosphere and warm rocks. Put that altogether and there is magic in the air, in the rocks and all points in between. That is not our opinion, but the truth of everyone who attended. If it wasn’t one of “our own people,” and no-one else was ever seen or caught with a rock in hand, then whatever agency was responsible had to be either “spiritual” or “paranormal.”
All References From:
Jag Films (Director- Allan Collins & Producer Jennifer Gherardi), 2005. “Overview: Explanations for ‘Falling Stones’ “, Falling Stones, (Jag Films – ABC Australia, Margaret River, WA).