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Missing Time Inside a Stone Circle

Nine Ladies stone circle
Nine Ladies stone circle in Stanton Moor, Derbyshire, England

On May 30th of this year I received a comment on my post titled Missing Time Experience? about the time slip and memory loss incident that I experienced in my early teens. The comment came from a woman named Linda Smith who, as I later learned, was an American and a frequent visitor to England, Scotland and Ireland. In fact, Linda went on to tell me that she visited the UK twenty-one times and is planning her twenty-second trip in September.

Linda complimented me on my article and then urged me to visit Great Britain, saying that that’s where she experienced her own episodes of “high strangeness”, including a missing time incident in Derbyshire, England and a very odd experience in Scotland. She also asked me to email her for details of both occurrences, as they were too lengthy to write of in the comments area of this blog. I’m always happy to hear from my readers, and I gladly emailed her as requested. I found both accounts fascinating.

With Linda’s permission, I’m going to recount each of these anomalous events as she described them to me. But rather than going into them both, I’ve decided to write about them in two separate posts. The Scotland episode is even stranger and more complex than her experience at the Nine Ladies stone circle, so I’ll cover that one in another article later this month.

Of ancient megaliths and magical objects

It was in the mid-1990s, and Linda and her husband (since deceased) were traveling in northern England. One day, they decided to visit Stanton Moor in the northwest part of Derbyshire and several miles southwest of Manchester. The Smith’s strange experience took place at a Bronze Age stone circle known as the Nine Ladies, an ancient megalithic structure consisting of nine stones, each of which stand a little less than 1 meter high and are arranged in a rough circle. The Nine Ladies megaliths are situated in  a woodland of birches, ash, and beech trees in Stanton Moor’s Peak District National Park.

Here is the story, as Linda tells it:

“We set out from Bakewell immediately after breakfast, around nine a.m. Finding the path off a country road, I set out to investigate because the path forked; my husband, with complications from diabetes, decided to wait. I soon discovered I had taken the wrong fork and retraced my way, only to find that my husband had elected to follow and try to catch up with me. We then took the left fork into the woods and without much delay came to the lovely Nine Ladies stone circle. A couple of other tourists were browsing. We really didn’t notice when they left, but we found ourselves in the center of the circle — alone in that beautiful wood.

My husband leaned down and picked up an object, saying, ‘Someone has lost a lens to their glasses’  and handed the object to me.  On closer inspection I saw that it was a round clear glass like a monocle, with an old-fashioned gold rim and a hanger. In the very center was a brilliant green triangle, about 1/3 inch in diameter.

Intrigued, I pocketed it and we returned to the car, thinking it would be lunchtime before too long. Can you imagine our shock to find the rental car’s clock indicating the time was 3:45 p.m.? We thought that it was, of course, completely wrong. But it wasn’t. Somehow, we had spent nearly seven hours in what would have taken no more than two at most.

And the ‘monocle’? When I got home with it, I was quite puzzled that the beautiful green triangle in the center was no longer there! It simply disappeared and never came back.”

Surprisingly, Linda described this story as being “ho-hum”, and perhaps in comparison with her other experience in Scotland, it was. I honestly can’t see how finding a mysterious object inside an ancient structure and then losing five hours or more can be described as “ho-hum”, even if this experience was less dramatic than her second. Frankly, I think I’d be rather perplexed and perturbed — but then Linda Smith may be made of sterner stuff than John Carlson!

What I found particularly interesting about this account was the finding of the strange monocle or lens. It made me wonder how (or if) it fits into the time and memory lapse Linda and her husband experienced after discovering it. Prior to this, I’d never heard of mysterious or magical objects being associated with missing time anomalies, and thus far I’ve been unable to locate other such reports.

And of course, the significance of the “brilliant green triangle” at the center of the monocle and its subsequent disappearance is also highly intriguing. If readers of this post have knowledge of similar reports or can direct me to any useful resources, I’d be very appreciative.

Missing Time — an anomalous event of many flavors

The subject of Missing Time is without a doubt the most-commented-on topic that I’ve discussed on the Paranomalist blog. In addition to the many blog comments, I’ve received dozens of emails from individuals across the USA and throughout the world who have been subjected to these strange occurrences. And with each account I’m struck by the sincerity of the people who have been so kind and courageous as to share their experiences with me.

The other aspect that I’ve found striking with regard to these tales of time lapse or missing time is that, while they generally share some basic commonalities, the variety of circumstances under which they occur is simply staggering. The significance of this phenomenon eludes me, and I realize that its cause may never be found.  However, having personally experienced an episode of missing time, I’m very reluctant to dismiss these reports.

As always, please do not hesitate to comment on this blog post or to email me if have a question or any information that you’d be willing to share.

27 thoughts on “Missing Time Inside a Stone Circle

  1. This story has prompted me to recount my own strange experience in that part of the world.I have always been wary of talking about it. This is mainly because I don’t want it to detract from the work I do on cryptozoology. I really think the way forward on the discovery of new species is through objective independent scientific research. Whilst respecting the views of others, I have always shied away from any paranormal theories. Although my story has nothing to do with that, I guess my reluctance to tell it stems from the fact that I don’t want anyone to assume I am going down that path! It’s also highly personal, as you will read. I was actually down the pub last night discussing whether I should write it. I offer no conclusions; I will leave it to those who read it. I’ve decided to though, so here goes……

    My mother lives in the Peak District, in a beautiful village not far from Buxton. As a result, I have done much of my expedition training in the area, i.e. carrying heavy rucksacks and running, over the moors,as well as animal tracking. One of the activities I get up to at least once a year, is sleeping in some caves not far from the village, as part of a brush up on my survival skills. Its excellent fun, and we always end up chatting long into the night. About 4 years ago, I decided, with my friend Anthony, to go to the caves at the end of May. After a day of tracking, and some food, we had both pulled our sleeping kits out, when the cave seemingly started to vibrate! I then heard what can only be described as the the sound of what seemed like monks chanting, in harmony! I was very worried I was hearing and imagining things, until Anthony, turned to me and said, “did you just hear that? What was it?!!”
    “I really have no idea at all”, I replied very slowly.

    We were both totally thrown by this. There are no monks, and indeed no people full stop around where we were. It is difficult to access, and would be dangerous to traverse at night. Something else which I found the most disturbing part of the story, is that the night we were their coincided with the anniversary of the death of my sister, who died when I was a child….

    1. Adam — Very interesting (and bizzare!) story. Spooky! I do understand your reluctance to discuss the paranormal because of it possibly detracting from your cryptozoology work. It shouldn’t, but I can understand the concern nonetheless. While I enjoy discussing everything from cryptids, ghosts, ufos, parallel dimensions and more, I’m also a bit concerned about being labeled a fanatic or one of those “true believers” that believe everything they hear and read. It takes a measure of courage, I think, to talk publicly about personal experiences. Probably too late for me anyway. I’m sure that at this point most people who read my blog think I’m crazy.

      I’m DEFINITELY getting to England in the very near future. If we can work it out, maybe you can show me the area that this took place. And I have to see the Nine Ladies after hearing Linda’s story. But first we go to the pub. Priorities are priorities!

  2. Very intriguing. I like the stories very much. This world and universe is filled with so many mysteries. Anything is possible. 🙂

    1. I get so many emails from people who have gone through these strange periods of missing time, Tammy. It really makes me think that there’s got to be something more to it than just losing tracking of the time and being forgetful. I think for most sane people, one would notice if several hours passed without any memory of what happened. I can’t imagine that these are all incidents of just “spacing out” and being absent-minded. What I experienced myself was certainly strange in the extreme and has never happened to me (that I can recall) before or since. I have a number of other emails that would probably make very interesting blog articles, but I don’t want to fixate on this one subject. Maybe I’ll write a book!

  3. There’s a book titled “The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries” by W. Y. Evans-Wentz. It’s been a while since I’ve read it but as I recall the author travelled to Cornwall, Ireland, Scotland and Brittany and interviewed the inhabitants about their experiences with the “Gentry.” Stories of missing time were quite common.

    1. I’ll have to read that, Tom. I find the intersection between Faerie lore and the modern reports of aliens and missing time very interesting. A few years ago I interviewed Herbie Brennan, the Irish author who writes the “Faerie Wars” series of novels. He told my co-hosts and me about a time when he visited Longstone Rath, a Bronze Age megalith in Ireland. Herbie said he saw a herd of about 25 small white “faerie horses”, no bigger than cockerspaniels. Mr. Brennan also recounts this story on YouTube. You might be able to find our podcast somewhere on the Internet if you Google “The Paranomalists”. It was our very first interview, so the sound quality wasn’t great as I recall.

  4. I’ve had a missing time experience, but mine was a little different. See, I was in my room lying in bed, when I decided to get up. As I was getting up, I glanced at the clock. It said 4:50. But when I’d finished lifting myself off the bed, which took about five seconds, the clock said it was 6:12. I was stunned. How could that have possibly happened?

    1. Mary – Someone either posted a comment or emailed me a similar story recently. Sometimes it seems as if there’s just a jump in time with no recollection of anything unusual having happened and no sense of the passage of time. My missing time experience was relatively short too, but in my case I was walking and found myself in a different area of town when I “woke up”, or whatever. Other people report that they’re in the same place, just the clock has inexplicably jumped forward. I wish I could offer an answer, but I don’t what this is all about. I suspect that time is not so linear as we think it is.

  5. @John Carlson
    Yes, the Faerie/modern alien connection is very intriguing. UFO researcer Jaques Valle explores it in his book “Passport to Magonia.” There seems to be an evolution from elves from faery land riding in flying chariots, to advanced scientist from Shambala flying in steam powerd airships, to visitors from Venus in spacecraft, to today’s greys from Zeta Reticuli whose ships can travel 100’s of light years. I think there are still faeries like in the old stories, but some have evolved with and have even helped to shape our perceptions of them.

    1. Ho Tom Bombadillo! I read Jacques Vallee’s Passport to Magonia and Confrontations when I was a teenager and plan to read them again soon. In fact, I recently found my old copy of Confrontations at my dad’s house. If you read through this blog and a lot of the comments I make, I think you’ll see that I’m in agreement with Vallee and John Keel’s ideas that much or all of these strange phenomena are interdimensional in nature. Other realities interacting with our own and beings that can move between our world and theirs seem to be a natural condition of our planet. I’ve been reading some of Philip Imbrogno’s work recently too, and he’s of the same opinion. Interestingly, he was a protege of J. Allen Hynek, scientific adviser for Project Blue Book. Hynek was originally was very much a nuts-and-bolts UFO guy who believed he was dealing with extraterrestrials piloting space crafts visiting earth, and scoffed at John Keel and Jacques Vallee. But Imbrogno claims that towards the end of his life, Hynek came to agree with Vallee’s and Keel’s ideas that the phenomena was much more complex than that and probably of interdimensional origin.

  6. About five years ago I was off to run errands and went into my kitchen to get some iced tea to take with me. The electric skillet was still in the sink from breakfast and I decided to wash it before I left the house. Even though my water heater was only about 30′ away, it took forever for hot water to reach the kitchen sink. I often joked that the water was coming via Sri Lanka, the Suez Canal, and Bermuda. So I turned on the hot water and while waiting, I turned around to get some iced tea. I opened a cabinet, took down a glass, opened the ‘fridge and poured the tea. When I turned back around to the sink some 30 seconds later, the skillet was gone and the water was off! A quick search turned up the still-damp skillet in its usual storage spot. Did some helpful spirit wash the skillet for me? Or did I experience a time fugue?

    1. Peter – I like the helpful spirit suggestion! These things really are much more common than I ever imagined. It’s just very strange and although I have a few ideas, I have no real explanation. Weird stuff, but I like weird stuff.

  7. Interesting story. However I have to totally disagree with the comment about the stones being a little less than 3 meters high. Unless those trees are extremely tall the tallest stones in the picture are just slightly more than 1 meter tall. Three meters is almost exactly 10 feet, the height of a regulation basketball rim, which these stones don’t even begin to come close to. .

  8. i never have or had any weird missing time episodes. i think it would be cool. the closest i ever came to having a missing time experience is when some times after having a nap, i would feel REALLY out of sorts and disoriented, and it felt like i had to “catch up” to the rest of the day. and then of course there’s times (ha ha – “times”) when i’d be involved in some thing and suddenly notice time had passed seemingly faster than it should. other than that – never. and then there’s stories of people who seem to “go back in time”, and think nothing of it, despite how the people they see or even actually interact with, are dressed, until after the experience is over and they try to find the spot where they’d had this experience. and usually the spot is no longer there or just the ruins of what ever building they claimed to be in are there. wish some thing like would happen to me. but unfortunately, i live in new jersey, and nothing interesting or cool happens here.

    1. Nothing ever cool happens in New Jersey?! Jersey is the capital of cool — and weird!! Ever hear of the magazine Weird NJ? All sorts of strange things happen in the Garden State! I’ve lived in New Jersey for 38 years and I can tell you, there’s plenty of weird stuff that happens here. Do you know that there’s a “gravity hill” on Route 208 in Franklin Lakes? If you pull over to the median in the right spot and put your car in neutral, the car will roll backwards up the hill! I know this is true because I did this myself. I also know personally of several haunted houses in NJ, have had UFO sightings, and have been in contact with a LOT of people (police & state troopers included) who have had close encounters with huge, hairy humanoids. And I had my own missing time experience in my hometown of Ridgewood, NJ. Keep your eyes and ears open, Qwyzl, and you’ll learn a lot. New Jersey is weirder than most places you’ll ever go to.

      Sorry to disagree, but thanks for the comment anyway!!

  9. I have been to Stanton on a few occassions camping with friends and family and have experienced some odd things. On one occassion we had been sat around the camp fire having a few drinks with friends and were heading off to bed. As we were about to zip up our tents and say goodnight, I noticed that our friend in the oppersite tent was looking very worried, I asked if he was ok and he said he had just seen a big black dog and that it had been staring at him, we were laughing at him as we had 2 large breed dogs amongst our group and felt there was nothing to be so worried about, however he persisted in telling us that the dog had frightened him and he wasnt comfortable going to bed alone. The following day we went off home and thought no more of it, until I was looking up the area for hauntings as I had had another experience which I will tell you later, I saw a story on a ghost dog that is said to roam the area and fits the description of what our friend saw,I feel bad now because we were laughing at him at the time.

    In the second incident I was out in the same spot with my 3 kids and their dad and we had been there a few days, we decided we wanted to stay some more but had commitments at home that needed addressing so my O/h and 2 children went back to Sheffield to sort a few things out, leaving me and my daughter there with our dog.

    He had been gone a while and I had been busy building the fire ect ect when suddenly I started to feel uncomfortable I glanced up and saw a man standing staring at me, not looking very happy at all, he wasnt dressed in old fashioned clothing and appeared very much alive and kicking, Id say he had a barber type jacket on or similar, with a longish basin haircut, but the look in his eyes was evil, if he was real im certain he had bad intentions towards me.

    I looked round to call my dog and looked straight back at where he had been standing but he was no longer there, the area is wooded but there was no sign of him anywhere. I was so scared everywhere I looked seemed to be a threat to me all of a sudden, where as before it had been my first choice of free breaks away from home, due to its beauty and peacefulness.

    I stayed put for a while, unsure of what to do next as the way back to the road was in the direction i had last seen him, yet the place I was standing in was scareing me also so i had no choice but to head off through the woods and back toards the road.

    As I was walking through the woods I began willing my O/H to ring me as I had no credit on my phone and was now possibly walking towards danger, as if by magic my phone rang where my O/H asked if I was ok as he felt like something was wrong…Weird.

    Whe I got back I contacted the police to report the weird man, but I have often wondered if he could possibly have been a spirit, his modern dress could be explained as I understand that an eco warrior lost his life out that way whilst protesting, maybe he didnt want us there anymore??

    whatever the explanation, I didnt like it and although I have been back a few times I can honestly say that it did put me off.

    Stanton is a beautiful place and I have fond memories of my times there, but iv got to say, its a strange place sometimes.

  10. Hello John
    This is a great story. I love the Nine Ladies and the beauty that it holds. Great to hear that it is now protected from the quarry industry.
    It holds a great attraction simply because why are the stones there? For what purpose? What’s the reason for being so small? Wonderful mysteries.
    It found it inspirational that I wrote a children’s book using the Nine Ladies as an important tool in the fight against evil.
    This is a great site.
    Keep the great work flowing
    I’d like to link this from my facebook fanpage – https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Faeries-of-Birchover-Wood/397556786944411
    Can I have your permission?
    Kind regards

    1. Thank you, Ian. Yes, you certainly may link to the site or directly to the article, whichever you prefer. Thank you for taking the time to post your comment. — John

  11. i recall an incident where my niece and i were watching out the back porch at the stars in the sky..suddenly a large red ball appeared and circled the house..my niece and i got into my car and went and followed the red ball of light…i parked my car near a field and watched as the ship came down ..red,white and green lights on the ship turned to a deep blue colour once it lowered itself with in tree level..the ship was huge and i was so thrilled at what we were seeing ..i would have to say the ship looked more retangular made with what looked like bolts not sure..we were only 2 blocks from the house..it was now 915 pm when i started my car up and as we headed back to the house i guess time went by..we both woke up in the yard and as we walked up the steps and opened the door the clock on the kitchen wall read 11pm..without even thinking we said good night and went to bed..it was as though we were totally lost ..bren

  12. When my son was very young he was always accused of daydreaming. He always denied it and would get very upset.
    When he was eight he was diagnosed as having petite mal seizures. When this occurred he would come to a stop for various lengths of time then continue what he was doing. The first time I saw this we were eating supper and he stopped with his fork halfway to his mouth, stayed that way for over a minute then continued on eating. When I asked him what he was thinking about he wanted to know why I would ask a question like that out of the blue. He had no realization fo the loss of time.
    My wife and I saw it a few more times before it was diagnosed. Some were as short as ten sconds and some were longer.
    When we knew what to look for we realized it was happening more often than we realized, sometimes lasting over half an hour. He would take our word for it that it had happened because at times he was watching TV and the show would end and a new one start while he was gone.
    I have heard of people having similar experiences, but never two people having the same lapse at the same time.
    Now you have got me curious.

    1. Raymond — Thanks for submitting your observation. That’s really interesting and food for thought concerning this missing time business. I wouldn’t doubt that petit mal seizures account for at least some percentage of these incidents. But yes, there are certainly many accounts that are much more difficult to explain rationally — such as when two or more people have the experience at the same time.

  13. After four full years (where does “time” GO??), I had to reply to Adam Davies’ excellent and, for me, evocative article about his experience in this beautiful (if spooky) part of England with the vibrations in the caves of Derbyshire. Even though my subsequent little adventure involves no time slip, it’s so similar in effect to Adam’s I simply have to mention it . On a really mystical tour of ley line southwest England a few years ago, I was highly privileged to go with a small group into Stonehenge at sunset. We circled the stones first and touched each one, then assembled in the center for meditation. Then we were left to our own explorations. Everyone flocked to the Altar Stone while, for reasons I just couldn’t explain even to me, found myself drifting to the upright stones in the center of the trilithon group with the cross stones on top. Unaccountably, I reached out and placed a hand on each upright stone beside me and was absolutely stunned to feel the whole structure start to vibrate! I thought I was in an earthquake, to be honest, and wondered crazily what kind of headline I would make with something like “falling stone in Stonehenge smashes American tourist”! And, just as strange, I felt absolutely no fear –just like in all my weird adventures! (for which I am deeply grateful) . The shock gradually got replaced by intense curiosity. Although the quaking didn’t diminish at all, I felt guilty at depriving the others of the experience. So, saying nothing, I tried feeling similarly all the other uprights. Nothing. No vibration. Went back to my quaking stones. They started up again the minute I touched them! Looking behind me, I saw in the distance the Heel Stone. (Could there be a connection? Maybe the ancients called it Heal Stone? No idea). But I do know, like Adam, that spot was rocking, so to speak. One wonders if the Word in the beginning, as the Bible says, was sound. I did mention the phenomenon to a few of my travel companions but quit when I realized I was the only one who had undergone what was, to me, one of my life’s most profound experiences. A last speculation — Stonehenge being the crowning giant of all the stone circles, so to speak, maybe my Nine Ladies experience was my own preparation? Hmm. But I do know I’ll treasure the memory the rest of my life.

  14. In 2013 me and a few younger friends attended ‘summer solstices at nine ladies’ – we arrived at about 3pm pitched our tent and started to converse with others who had done likewise into the late evening – we was all enjoying each others company – talking around each others camp fires. Later in the evening I found myself alone outside our tent as my friends became lost to me after talking to others – to cut a long story short I found that I had lost at least two hours in time, I became seriously worried & confused about ‘why the time had gone by so quickly – I started to feel concerned about my safety & went inside my tent. I felt extreme danger, I kept vomiting but no food was inside of me to vomit. I felt there was ‘something’ inside the tent with me thus preventing my from getting outside – in turn I felt an even more danger outside my tent preventing me escaping.

    I closed my eyes & covered my head with like a frighten child with my sleeping bag trying to dismiss the event – there was nothing in the tent visible to the naked eye but there was something unseen in that tent – I couldn’t wait until daylight arrived, as it happened about 3 hours before daylight my friend came back to the tent to a sigh of relief – I’m 45 years old & I have witnessed fear and anxiety after witnessing and losing my partner (JANET) to bone cancer – I’m of sound mind but this event scared the life out of me – never before in my life has such an unexplained event taken place.

    For the record I had no drugs or alcohol – I told only a few people, but I was totally embarrassed & confused something on the night had managed to generated unadulterated fear within me – still 18 months on I find the whole experience …… Speechless

    Its fair to say I have been ‘warned’ I will never visit nine ladies again !!

    Richard Jacques

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