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Ancient writing appeared in apparent time slip


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A POSSIBLE time slip where two men and a “being” corresponded across the centuries has featured in a podcast. 

THE time slip featured in an episode of “The Why Files.”  (Photo: Facebook)
THE time slip featured in an episode of “The Why Files.”
(Photo: Facebook)

An episode of The Why Files titled The Dodleston Messages reviewed events which began in 1984 when teacher Ken Webster moved into a quaint property called Meadow Cottage in Dodleston, Cheshire. The eighteenth century house had evidence of a previous building on the site.

Unusual messages began appearing on Ken’s pre-internet computer, supposedly from someone living in the same place, but in the year 1546. It started with a garbled poem signed “L.W.” and evolved into communications scrawled directly onto paper.

Six-toed footprints appeared in the household dust of Meadow Cottage. Other prints seemed to walk up walls between the bathroom and kitchen. Ken painted over the footprints, but they returned the following day.

The occupants felt cold spots. A sudden breeze lifted a newspaper into the air. There was also a feeling of someone being present and noises like footsteps.

Ken’s girlfriend Debbie reported having her hair pulled. Household items were thrown around and also found stacked in gravity-defying piles, leading to suggestions of poltergeist activity.

Ken, Debbie and a guest called Nicola were sure somebody was playing a prank on them.

The writer of the odd messages asked who Ken and Debbie were, accusing them of stealing “his” house, saying, “Twas a greate cryme to hath bribed myne house.” The identity of L.W. was later revealed as a man calling himself Lukas Wainman. He claimed to be living in the year 1546. His notes were written in archaic English, with old-fashioned spellings, and vocabulary and dialect from the sixteenth century.

The Mystery of the Dodleston Messages: A unique supernatural detective story.

Language expert Peter Trinder studied the messages. He told Ken that they were in the early modern English of the Tudor period, and contained authentic dialect and old-fashioned usages a person today would not know.

The correspondence continued for eighteen months and amounted to up to 300 messages. Ken asked where and when Lukas was from, what college he attended and who was the reigning king of the time.

Lukas appeared equally sceptical and tried to catch Ken out with dates such as the founding of Jesus College in Oxford in 1571.

Finally, Lukas revealed his real name to be Tomas Harden or Hawarden. Ken found that someone of that name had been vicar of a church in Barrington Parva parish Gloucestershire in the 1550s.

Tomas made it clear he could see the couple in Meadow Cottage. Car enthusiast Ken had left a photo of a Jaguar on the kitchen table.

His otherworldly “penpal” wrote, “I have found your picture of the cart, but it is a crude thing for without the horse it won’t go far.” Events became even more unsettling when Tomas doubted that Ken was living in what was by now 1985.

 “I thought you were also from 2109 like your friend who brought the box of lights, pray” he queried.

Later, Ken wrote in his 1989 book, The Vertical Plane The Mystery of the Dodleston Messages, “Even if Lukas was sometimes hard to follow, this section was impossible to misinterpret... He must be hallucinating.” Ken decided to write to “2109” on the computer to see what would happen. They – 2109 referred to themselves in the third-person – replied “Try to understand that you three have a purpose that shall in your lifetime change the face of history.

“We, 2109, must not affect your thoughts directly but give you some sort of guidance that will allow room for your own destiny. All we can say is that we are all part of the same god, whatever he is.” The anonymous being now wrote regularly to Ken and Debbie, suggesting they were involved in an experiment or project with a “higher purpose.” The entity communicated in a very different tone and language, using scientific terms, but giving away little about their agenda.

Ken invited a team from the Society for Psychical Research to the cottage to investigate. They made three visits, but experienced no activity.

      Unusual messages began appearing on Ken’s pre-internet computer... (Artist's impression)
  Unusual messages began appearing on Ken’s pre-internet
computer... (Artist's impression)

Finally, Tomas wrote that he was being evicted from his land and would leave a book telling his side of the story to be found in the future. 2109 confirmed its existence. So far, the book has not been located.

The story was aired on TV in a 1996 episode of Out of This World hosted by Carol Vorderman. It has also featured on YouTube videos and in many online blogs.

Two years ago, Ken published a second edition of his “unique supernatural detective story” featuring “additional material and further thoughts.” The publicity states that “all involved in the experience are still, to this day, trying to make sense of what happened back in 1984.”


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