CLASSIC ARCHIVE MERGED: PAN(IC) IN THE WOODS

Discussion in 'It Happened to Me!' started by Anonymous, Sep 9, 2003.

  1. nicnac168

    nicnac168 New Member

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    MrTH,

    re-reading this has reminded me of a very odd morning I spent in the area near Jays Grave. This was one mid week morning in May probably 1994. To give the background, my family were in the UK for a short holiday fitted around a work activity of my husband and visiting a few relatives.

    We were based in a caravan park near Peter Tavy, one morning while Husband was working I was visiting MIL with our small children, the aim was for them to spend the day together whilst I did a bit of walking on the Moor.
    I was planning to do a short loop not far from Jays Grave- which spot I had always wanted to visit. I set off, parked up and saw grave ( no Gnomes) , then went a bit further and parked up in a lane near a farm to walk.

    This is where it all goes a bit fuzzy, I remember following a signed path around the farm and then walking for about 40 minutes towards a low tor with some smallish trees and rocks on top, I was suddenly very thirsty and hot so sat on the sunny side to take a drink, looking across moor I realised that the high Tor I could see was Staple Tor,which it should not be. Taking the bearings I seemed to be about 10 minutes away from the farm I had started from. I could just see the path, gently curving towards the farm. My watch suggested I had been walking for 45 minutes, what or where I had I been for 30 minutes to get so hot and thirsty?.

    I re packed and set off to walk around the low hill, to rejoin a second path which would take me to the end of lane where I had left the car. This was a shorter route than planned but I was really feeling a bit uncomfortable about the time I had been away. I recall being surprised at how quiet and windless it was. To cut a long story short I could not find the path down and ended up walking round the small hill two or three times more before giving up and going back to the farm. A kindly farmer asked if I was OK ( presumably he had seen me wandering round a hill top), I explained that Ii could not find my car, he laughed and offered a glass of water and a lift, it was about 5 minutes away.

    I was grateful and rather embarrassed ( probably why I have not thought of this for years), how can anyone get lost on in such a small area, he seemed quietly amused by it all.

    Obviously I did get home, Watch suggested I was walking for 3.5 hours, it felt a lot more, but according to MIL I was gone for about 4 hours. In reality I could not have been there for more than 2 to have been to Jays Grave and get to and from St Budeaux in the 4 hour time span

    So in summary, a fairly experience map reader managed to get lost on a fine day less than half a mile from civilization and lost all sense of time.

    Apologies for the length, but I have not thought about this for many years, I will have a look at maps over week end and see if I can find gridsquare.

    MIL said I had been Pixy led and I should have put clothes inside out!

    Nic
     
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  2. Zeke Newbold

    Zeke Newbold Carbon based biped.

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    Random thinking aloud follows....

    There is an area in West Siberia, in the Russian Federation, which some call the `Perm Triangle` (`Perrm Treyoogolnik`) located somewhere near the city of Perm. It is an area where people are said to get lost and wander about in circles and lose all sense of time - much as has been mentioned above. (I know of this place only through hearsay, but have spoken to one Russian whose relatives were caught in the Perm Triangle in this manner).

    As for Mr TH's succulently creepy story: it put me in mind of the TV show Sherlock and the episode called `The Baskerville Hounds` (obviously an update on the much retold Conan-Doyle classic), I have not actually seen this myself, but am told that the `Hounds` are eventually explained as being hallucinations caused by the testing of chemical weapons taking place in the vicinity of Dartmoor. I don't wish to get the FBI onto me, but might this story be based on some sort of rumour...?

    I am also put in mind of the wonderful Aussie film `Pic-Nic at Hanging Rock`. This probably deserves a thread of its own (and maybe has one) but my own research into it lead me to conclude that the novel it was based on was entirely fictional. Nevertheless there is that same sense of time being lost in the wilderness and of something ambiguous happening that nobody wants to talk about afterwards.

    As for friends not getting back in touch on Facebook: I really feel that too much is being read into this.Facebook is Cold-Shoulder Central.The ease of communication that it offers makes people churlish and lazy and I find that it's easier to lose touch with people now than it was in the days of phone calls and hard copy letters! There are plenty of `old friends` who have not replied to attempts to re-establish ties, and some that I myself have not replied to. The reason? Sheer bloody laziness. Sending a message is so easy I can always do it tomorrow and tomorrow - until `tomorrow` becomes the Twelfth of Never....

    And I wish - oh how I wish! -something strange would happen to me, for once! They say that when the student is ready the teacher appears. Well this `student` is sure as hell ready...where's the bloody teacher!?
     
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  3. davidplankton

    davidplankton Justified and Ancient

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    Don't really know where to put this, it's not a sighting of Pan but of a Human-like entity with horses legs. Quite recent sightings too.
    Feel free to suggest a better location. Doesn't belong in Cryptozoology or Ghosts in my opinion.

    The Horse Man of Bede.

    Follow Up Article on the Horse Man.
     
  4. smokehead

    smokehead Great Old One

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    Pan(ic) only happened to me once, on a glorious summer day at a boot sale, at Essington near Wolverhampton.
    Going down one line of stalls yet again after spending a couple of hours mooching, I wandered off for a smoke near a patch of heavily overgrown grass.
    How to describe the feeling? Fear, a sense of something not being right, wanting to get away. Just..... I dunno.
    As a fisherman I've spent plenty of time outdoors in rural places. Never had anything like that before.
     
  5. Coal

    Coal Gone full 'folk festival'

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    Likewise, but I could list half-a-dozen places where I don't feel quite comfortable, where I always feel like something is a bit off.
     
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  6. smokehead

    smokehead Great Old One

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    I've considered it was some reminder of a childhood memory, try as I might I can't think of anything related to it.
    It's bugging me that I can't nail down the feeling, I suppose the closest I can get is that I was appalled, an odd feeling in a field teeming with people and activity.
    But the why, complete mystery.
    I'm obviously now curious about your own experiences, if it's not intruding.
     
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  7. smokehead

    smokehead Great Old One

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    The process btw was, the purchase of all three Lord of the Rings extended editions and a subsequent tv binge about a month ago.
    There then followed a period of going online to read about all things Lord of the Ringsy.
    Came across a fascinating series of theories about Tom Bombadil, the enigmatic, problematic character that never made it onscreen.
    One suggested he was a kind of nature spirit, sort of like a Middle Earth equivalent to Pan.
    Saw the thread, provoked a memory of weirdness at a boot sale.
    Eminently Fortean?
     
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  8. Coal

    Coal Gone full 'folk festival'

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    I can't believe they've not made a short of that episode of the book.
     
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  9. smokehead

    smokehead Great Old One

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    I think it was excluded as it didn't move the story forward, something of a diversion perhaps which in the book served as a passage for Tolkien to write about something personally important to him, but like the character himself, didn't really fit the overall narrative.
    I've read he was a deliberately enigmatic character, Pan possibly an influence.
    Tolkien wrote he was neutral, like nature itself, neither good nor bad, although its been pointed out his domain holds its fair share of malevolent creatures.
    I shall have to reread the section, from memory a lot weirder than usually thought.
    I'm still holding out hope for The Silmarillion, although if Jackson mucks about with that, there's no place, on this Earth or Middle he can hide from my wrath.
     
  10. Coal

    Coal Gone full 'folk festival'

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    I can see the argument, but if they cared about moving the story forward so much they'd have dropped loads of the Bilbo/Sam/Gollum stuff on the way to Mordor. Dull dull dull. And don't get me started on Sam's 'Yokelshire' accent.

    Interspersing that with the Battle of Helms Deep was annoying on so many levels.
     
  11. gellatly68

    gellatly68 Deity upon a velocipede

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    At least they dropped all the BLOODY singing.
     
  12. Coal

    Coal Gone full 'folk festival'

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    That was a relief if I'm honest. They kept the overbearing smugness of the Elves though, a 'bit elite and they know it'.
     
  13. smokehead

    smokehead Great Old One

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    I think the singing may have been Tolkien referencing his version of Genesis in The Silmarillion, the world created through the music of the Ainur.
    One theory has Tom, 'oldest and fatherless' to represent the act of creation itself, citing his constant singing.
    Reading up a bit on Pan, he is considered the God of impromptus, musical pieces improvised in the spirit of the moment, which Tom certainly does.
    The elves are interesting, through the oath of Feanor and the Doom of Mandos they are an ambiguous factor in LOTR, with their presence in Middle Earth not entirely benevolent.
    Better stop, I could talk LOTR all day.
     
  14. Coal

    Coal Gone full 'folk festival'

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    Isn't this creation legend very similar to the Celtic version, if I recall some long 'lofted' books on the subject correctly?
     
  15. smokehead

    smokehead Great Old One

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    From what I've read and understood from academia, Tolkien incorporated myths and legends from various cultures, Celltic, Nordic, Greek even in the Akallabeth, the tale of the destruction of the island of Numenor, which seems clearly based on the legend of Atlantis.
    Hence Tom as Pan seems a fairly straightforward lift to me, with the benign nature of Tom contradicted somewhat by the malevolence of the creatures in his domain.
    There is a distinct impression of that malevolence in reports of pan(ic) and Tolkien may well have been aware of the phenomenon.
    I have derailed this thread enough, although I'm going to read Arthur Machen's novella The Great God Pan, availabe online from the Gutenberg press.
     
  16. min_bannister

    min_bannister Justified and Ancient

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    Yes. I have read the Kalevala (the Finnish legend) and I can definitely see the influence on Tolkien. It is like all these things were poured into him, stirred around and then Middle Earth came out.
    Reading Arthur Machen is always a good thing. :clap:
     
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  17. smokehead

    smokehead Great Old One

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    I'm looking forward to it, although it's a little hyped 'probably the greatest supernatural story ever written' or something like that from Steven King, who tried his own version in a short story called N. I believe.
    Still, it's the liminal that coldly grips you, perhaps a recognition of your own feelings or impressions. I can barely remember most horror stories, but M. R. James's stuff for example hang around in some disquieting part of your memory.
     
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  18. Coal

    Coal Gone full 'folk festival'

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    One of my favourite words...
     
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  19. min_bannister

    min_bannister Justified and Ancient

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    Yes, this is it exactly!
     
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  20. escargot1

    escargot1 Justified and Ancient

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    Arthur Machen's novella The Great God Pan, is that the one where a woman has sex with Pan or the Devil or summat and because it's such a scandalous thing to mention, a character whispers in another's ear and the reader has to infer what's been said?
     
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