Many years ago, a very popular television series showcased fictional stories about unexplained and frightening experiences that befell individuals. While the series was the product of a superbly imaginative brain, it appeared to have drawn inspiration from actual events that randomly occur around the globe and are conveniently archived as hoaxes or paranormal activity. Many people (including some scientific minds) believe in Inter Dimensional Phenomena. The notion is based on something called Inter Dimensional Hypothesis (IDH), which postulates that other invisible worlds coexist parallel to ours or in the words of the well-known paranormal researcher Brad Steiger, “We are dealing with a multidimensional Para-physical phenomenon that is largely indigenous to planet Earth”. IDH followers believe that inter dimensional travel may also be possible through portals, accounting for unexplained paranormal appearances. There is also the common belief that legends featuring monsters may not be mere figments of imagination, but wisps of racial memories based on actual events.

There is an area in the Pacific Ocean near Bermuda referred to as the Bermuda Triangle – a name popularized after it was coined by author Vincent Gaddis in a 1964 magazine article. This triangular shaped area covers approximately 500,000 square miles of ocean roughly bounded by Miami, Bermuda and Puerto Rico and is home to strange phenomena and mysterious disappearances of ships and airplanes that continue to baffle both skeptics and believers. The first recorded anomaly is said to have been witnessed by Christopher Columbus, when he sailed through the triangle on his first voyage to the New World. His account reported ‘a great flame of fire crashing into the sea one night and the appearance of a strange light in the distance a few weeks later’. The great maritime explorer also mentioned ‘erratic navigational readings’.

In March 1918, USS Cyclops, a US Navy cargo ship with over 300 men and 10,000 tons of manganese ore onboard disappeared somewhere between Barbados and the Chesapeake Bay. The ship did not send out a distress call and no wreckage was found. The incident may have been catalogued as nothing extraordinary, but in 1941 two of Cyclops’ sister ships similarly vanished without a trace along the same route. It was then that a pattern emerged as vessels crossing the area either vanished or were found drifting and abandoned.

The disappearance in December 1945 of five Navy bombers carrying 14 men raised a furor, putting Bermuda Triangle center stage. The aircraft designated as Flight 19 had taken off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to practice bombing runs over nearby shoals. As they flew over the ocean, the leader’s compass began behaving erratically. All five planes flew aimlessly until they disappeared without trace or debris. That same day, a rescue plane and its 13 man crew also vanished in the same manner. Similar incidents began chalking up, including three passenger airliners, which had sent “all’s well” messages, just before they went silent. Where did all these ships and aircraft go, is a mystery that has generated radically divided opinion that includes a vast majority, who believe that they had perhaps found some sort of an interdimensional portal and crossed to the other side. As far as we are concerned, inter dimensional phenomenon is no mystery, since our divine book clearly speaks of a race created by fire and known as Djinns. These creatures exist and go about their daily life invisible to the human eye. Sometimes it happens that they cross into our dimension in the form of para normal activity.

Our home in Lahore was a sprawling single floor structure built inside a spacious compound. It was often that our ‘malis’ uncovered human skulls and bones, while digging holes to plant trees. Research indicated that the premises had been a large graveyard dating back two centuries. That may have been the reason that we often experienced strange and mysterious happenings in and around the house. Take for example the occasion, when a departing guest raced back to the house in a state of stark fear. We pieced together his incoherent story and found that as his car approached the ancient ‘Peeloo’ tree (found mostly in graveyards) on our drive, he found his way was blocked by a very tall female figure, with disheveled hair and fiery red eyes. Others had told us that while passing under the tree, they had seen themselves being followed by a black dog – many yards long. As far as we were concerned, we too felt the anomalies, but over time discovered them to be harmless even to the extent of being protective, as in the case of the burglar found lying unconscious under the window of our outhouse. On revival he spoke of having been lifted bodily by a very tall entity (as he was busy forcing the window open), who warned him that he was trespassing a premises under ‘their’ protection. We frequently experienced a most pleasing aroma of some ‘ittar’ in the house and outside it, as if a group of unseen and scented beings had passed by. We played under the ‘peloo’ by day and night and were never bothered. In the words of my late mother, “When you believe in something unexplained, then you learn to coexist peacefully with it”.

 

n            The writer is a historian.