Encounters with the Unknown
Great Balls of Fire
by: Andrew Collins
It would be Sonya’s first-ever sampling of her partner, and future husband’s, new passion, exploring the crop circles that were spreading with more and more frequency in the fields of southern England. Paul adored the landscape around Avebury, and that coming Saturday—July 30, 1994—the plan was for the two of them along with a friend named Rob to climb Silbury Hill and remain there overnight. It was not necessarily Sonya’s first choice of an ideal weekend away, but she was happy to go with the flow and see what happened.
The drive from their home in the Midlands to North Wiltshire went without incident, and with some trepidation the three of them now climbed Silbury Hill on that pleasant summer’s evening. They had arranged to meet two friends, Kenny and Darryl, who were already there when they arrived. They too had come to do some sky-watching, and as they all greeted each other on top of Europe’s largest manmade mound, constructed in stages between 2500 BC and 2000 BC, they noticed a group of about five or six teenagers huddled together on its flat summit, which has a diameter of just under 100 feet (30 m). The youths, they felt, lived locally, possibly even in Avebury itself.
Time passed and as night fell Kenny wanted to know if anyone was up for going to an event, a global meditation, that was to take place shortly in Avebury. Paul, Sonya, and Rob decided against it, preferring instead to stay on the hill.
As Kenny and Darryl readied themselves to leave, a dense fog started to roll in across the fields from the direction of Avebury. Paul, Sonya, and Rob watched as it quickly engulfed the hill, leaving the summit like a dome raised above the clouds. Visibility in the immediate vicinity plummeted to around 15 feet (4.5 m), giving them a hazy view beyond this point, even though the surrounding landscape seemed completely clear without any fog at all.
After their friends’ departure, all went quiet inside the blanket of fog. Yet a short while later Paul, Sonya, and Rob became agitated upon hearing what appeared to be the sound of footsteps ascending the hill right in front of them (which, with its 30-degree angle of slope would make this difficult indeed; the usual route to the summit being via a spiral path). This recurring noise caused them to keep looking over the edge in order to try and catch a glimpse of any movement. Just as they thought they could see small dark forms (like children) ascending towards them, their attention was drawn to the sight of an orange ball of light, like a flaming torch. It seemed to be in the vicinity of the West Kennett long barrow, situated on a hill ridge about a mile (1.5 km) away to the south-southeast. Suddenly, a second ball of light, like the first one, appeared next to it.
At that moment there came a distinct smell of what Sonya described to me as like burning rubber, which Paul likened to either sulphur or the acrid smoke from a tire on fire. This seemed odd, especially as they were now watching what appeared to be two distinct fireballs. Adding to the increasing strangeness was the fact that the bells of St. James’ church, Avebury, now rang to announce that it was one o’clock in the morning at the same time that dogs on local farms began barking incessantly.
The fiery orbs were now heading in their general direction. At first they followed the footpath that leads from the long barrow down to the nearby A4 road. Trying to find a rational explanation for what was going on, the party wondered whether the lights were in fact flaming torches being held by travelers on their way down from the long barrow. Another explanation considered was that they were orange lamps on bicycles navigating the bumpy terrain, as the lights seemed to be bobbing up and down in a manner that might well suggest this fact.
All three watched as the fireballs now changed course slightly in order to cross a grassy meadow between them and the long barrow. Even as they reached the edge of the field, which is bordered by a wire fence and hedgerow, they continued their approach unabated, floating on to the main road and moving along it until they reached a small layby, some 170 yards (154 m) away from the party’s vantage point on the hill.
It was then that Sonya remembered that in her bag was a cycle lamp, so grabbing this, she flicked it on. Realizing that its light beam simply made visibility worse, she switched it off. Eerily, at that precise moment the two balls of light stopped dead in their tracks, at which time Paul, Sonya, and Rob saw beneath each of them a structured form, a tetrahedron or three-sided pyramid made up of equilateral triangles, its horizontal base level with, although slightly above, the road surface. The angled edges and corners were highlighted by dark “struts” that appeared solid enough, although the objects’ sides and interior seemed translucent. Every so often a lightning-like flash would run down one of its faces, like some kind of localized electrical discharge.
The tetrahedrons now turned to face Silbury, as if alerted to their presence, at which all saw, either kneeling or sitting cross-legged, a small figure sitting inside each object, its hands clasped together on its lap. Adding still further to the surrealism was the fact that the beings, which were estimated to be around four a half to five feet (1.37-1.52 m) in height, seemed to emanate a dull orange glow. The weird sight prompted Sonya to exclaim: “They’re little people,” although why exactly she is not sure.
At this point the fireballs started to lift into the air, their orange glow reflecting off the tops of a small clump of trees positioned some 100 yards (90 m) from their position, causing one of the group to exclaim: “They’re coming up the hill!”
Paul and Sonya say that the fireballs quickly reached around 10 feet (3 m) above the hill’s summit, which is approximately 130 feet (40 m) in height. As the objects now closed in to within 15-20 feet (4.5-6.0 m) of the witnesses, Sonya says that everything—their movements, reactions, and responses—seemed to go into slow motion. She recalls putting her hands out towards the globes of fire, which were around two feet (60 cm) in diameter, just as she became aware of seeing the situation from two different perspectives—one through her eyes and the other from a disembodied perspective, somewhere behind and to the side of her. She described the sensation as similar to when she was in a bad car accident and the same thing happened then. For a brief moment after the impact, time had seemed to stand still as she became aware of glimpsing what was going on both through her eyes and from an elevated position outside of the car.
Paul said that as the globes moved in close, the air became highly charged with static electricity, which was even partially audible. Sonya goes further by insisting that she could actually hear the objects in her head. This she perceived as a faint “whispering” accompanied by a crackling, high-pitched sound.
Both Paul and Sonya recall turning around at this point and seeing the group of youths asleep in a circle, their bodies covered by what seemed to be black bin liners, which were glistening as if wet. The youths appeared lifeless, as though they were nothing more than a huddled mass of darkness. Yet later when they looked, Paul and Sonya saw that none of the youths were covered in this way, even though none of them had awakened from their apparent slumber.
At the same time, Sonya remembers swinging her head round, her hands still outstretched, and seeing Rob leap backwards just as the fireballs erupted into an intense burst of light, like some kind of silent explosion. Paul recalls something similar occurring.
All three then watched as the fiery orbs withdrew back to the base of the hill. Having reached their former position on the road, they now traveled back towards the lay-by. Here they inexplicably combined to become a single light source as the object now moved into the field, illuminating an old cow trough as it went. Here it came to a halt and initiated one of the strangest sequences in the whole episode. First one and then another small humanoid form, similar in size and appearance to those seen earlier inside the tetrahedrons, merged hand-in-hand from inside the much smaller globe. Neither stepped onto the ground but remained suspended in midair, still holding hands, before they quickly merged back into the fireball, which floated back onto the open road.
Beyond the fiery orb, Paul, Sonya, and Rob could now make out tiny pinpricks of light, which seemed to transform into three or four tetrahedral structures like those witnessed earlier, along with a similar number of small beings emanating, as before, a diffuse orange glow. The whole unearthly procession then started to float down the road in the direction of Marlborough, bathing the road in an orange glow as it went. So bright was this illumination that the three of them could distinctly make out the white lines running down the center of the highway.
At that moment a car unexpectedly approached from the direction of Marlborough, the first since the beginning of the episode. Paul, Sonya, and Rob’s first reactions were that it was going to hit the bizarre light display. As if hearing their words, the entire spectral troop shrank down into a single white ball the size of a tennis ball, which then shot into the hedgerow on the opposite side of the road.
As the vehicle reached the fog, the driver stamped on the brakes, at which there was an unexpected voice from behind them. It was a guy they had never seen before, who later gave his name as Jamie. He had been sitting on the other side of the hill just below the summit, and had got up for a walk around. Seeing them all standing up, he wondered what was going down.
Even before they had a chance to properly explain what was happening (Jamie had seen nothing of the earlier close approach of the lights), all four now saw the tennis ball-sized light come back out of the hedgerow and virtually swing around the back of the car. Having crossed the road, it entered a field to the east of Silbury. Yet somehow the driver failed to spot anything unusual, a fact later confirmed when it emerged that the vehicle was being driven by crop circle researcher Paul Vigay, who was on his way home from a conference.
The tiny light source was lost from view as it quickly moved around the back of the hill, causing Paul to rush across to the opposite side of the summit in the hope of picking it up there, unfortunately to no avail. The others continued watching the road and fields on the other side of the hill and were rewarded with one final light display.
Someone exclaimed: “What’s that?,” their finger pointing towards the field on the south side of Silbury Hill. All three then watched as a line of colored lights in an east-west alignment—one white, one blue, one orange, and a fourth one red—moved away towards the south-southwest, climbing a gradual incline before disappearing over the brow of a hill. Sonya described them as like “fairy lights” stretched out like beads on a string.
That was it—the whole bizarre experience was over. Quite suddenly, Paul, Sonya and Rob became aware of distant ambient sounds—birds calling, that sort of thing—which had been strangely absent during the light display. Indeed, after hearing the church bells announce that it was one o’clock and the dogs barking on local farms, a “deathly silence” had befallen the hill. This was strange enough, but the three of them became even more mystified when on asking Jamie the time, he looked at his watch and said it was 3:15 a.m. This made no sense, as it implied that the strange events had occurred across a period of around two and a quarter hours, which didn’t seem right at all. For them the whole episode could not have lasted any more than around fifteen to twenty minutes, implying a temporal distortion of nearly two hours.
For another hour or so the four of them remained together, attempting to fathom what had happened until, finally, the fog began to lift. Shortly after that, as the first light of day lit up the local landscape, the group of youths, as if suddenly clicked out of some kind of collective hypnosis, woke up, picked up their belongings, and left the hill in a single file without saying a word to anyone. Sonya recalls this as being particularly strange. A little while later the three of them departed the hill themselves, following a night that had been unbelievable in the extreme.
Editor Brent Raynes notes: The above article, taken from the newly released book Lightquest, is used with permission of both the author Andrew Collins and the publisher Eagle Wing Books, Inc.
In the full account, Collins describes how Paul, a musician and piano tuner came later to form a band with Sonya—a band that has been creating “electronic trance music” whose inspiration was linked entirely to their 1994 episode on Silbury Hill.
When questioned as to what happened that night, Sonya said that she felt as though some form of “direct communication” had occurred. Sonya and Paul both described how they felt that the objects not only behaved intelligently but also were aware of what they were thinking, while Paul was even open to the idea that the objects and entities were able to assume whatever form that they wished.
While Paul and Sonya admitted to still being puzzled over the missing time element, neither wanted to undergo regressive hypnosis in an effort to clear things up. Paul has a strong sense of knowing that during the close approach of the fireballs that some part of him was somehow somewhere else.
Collins points out with conviction that from his conversations with Paul and Sonya that they’re very intelligent, intellectual people—certainly not fantasy-prone people who would be inclined to misidentify some mundane phenomena, or people who would simply outright invent such a wild tale.
Collins noted: “The fact that the tetrahedrons and small light beings were witnessed emerging from and returning back into the balls of fire, tells us that it was these fiery globes, and not the small entities, that were the primary source of the intelligence involved. In other words, it would seem that these presumably plasma-based objects have the ability to metamorphosise or multiply into structured forms and humanoid figures, perhaps as Carl Jung predicted, in association with the desires, wishes, and expectations of the human mind.”
For more understanding and insight into Andrew Collins’s thought-provoking evidence and theories suggesting that the Silbury Hill event and many others described in this book are plasma-based alien intelligences, read his newly published book Lightquest: Your Guide to Seeing and Interacting with UFOs, Mystery Lights and Plasma Intelligences (2012, Eagle Wing Books, Inc.; ISBN 13: 978-0-940829-49-7; ISBN 10: 0940829495).