Dominating the hilltop above the small village of Washington, which nestles gently in the South Downs National Park lies the ancient hill-fort of Chanctonbury Rings.
Commanding a strategic position from both a military and historical perspective, the hill-fort has had over the years many uses, including religious and sacrificial.
The Beech trees found at Chanctonbury were the life long dream of a 20 year old young man named Charles Goring. When he decided to plant the trees on top of the Chanctonbury hill-fort there was a public outcry, for it was believed the trees would spoil the landscape and the majestic view of the beautiful South Downs. Charles Goring died in 1829, reaching the grand age of 85 years old and, fortunately, he witnessed many of his trees reach maturity despite the public opposition.
As the Beech trees grew thought the years their roots disturbed a previously undiscovered ruins of a Romano-British temple buried on the site. An excavation was conducted in the early 1900′s, the results of which showed the site to be that of a temple with a court, which had sunken into the soil. Further excavations would reveal several finds of coins and other objects of worth dating back to Nero (54-68 AD) and Gratian (375-383 AD). In addition to the Roman offering Anglo-Saxon coins have been also found, which suggests the temple was of significant importance and of great spiritual value to both the early Romans and Saxons of Britain.
With this full and established history however comes many stories and tales of supernatural events that span the paranormal and supernatural realms. Chanctonbury Rings has become connected with ghosts, witchcraft, UFO’s, and paranormal forces. There have been several investigations in to the rings and one of the most informative came from the Ghost and Psychic Investigation Group.
In 1974 the Ghost and Psychic Investigation Group was formed in order further investigate the claims of supernatural and extraterrestrial phenomenon.
On the 24th August 1974 four members of the Ghost and Psychic Investigation Group, camped down for a night at Chanctonbury Rings, during the latter part of the evening a member of the group who walked through the centre of the Ring was lifted several feet off the ground by an unseen force. Witnessed by the other members, the gentleman in question was heard crying out ‘No More! No More!’ and was obviously in considerable pain. After several seconds he was dropped to the ground landing injuring his back.
Over the past 50 years and more there have been an large number of UFO sightings reported. In most cases the sightings of UFO’s are nothing more than unidentified lights in the sky. But one particular reported case stands out from the rest.
On 31st October 1972. At around 10.45 pm, Mr. Simpson of Worthing, West Sussex was out walking up to the Chanctonbury Rings with two friends. As they approached the rings they saw what they thought were flames from a bonfire flickering among the trees on hill top. As they drew closer however the light faded out and out of the blue a loud noise was heard by the group above them and, looking up they saw a dull red glow emanating from a large object hanging in the evening sky over the tree tops.
Further information on the above event can be found at Chanctonbury Rings – Mysterious Britain