I believe this small book is an important document. It is a genuine, authentic and intriguing addition to the field of ufology and paranormal investigation -- written by an upright “regular bloke” (his words) living day-to-day among what is one of the most important focal points for unexplained phenomenon in the world.
THE CIRCLE AND THE STONE is the story of NIGEL MORTIMER who lives in the North Yorkshire area of England near the fabled ILKLEY MOOR – a sub-realm of greater ROMBALD'S MOOR -- a location of incredible rock carvings and ceremonial stone monuments dating to the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. Other megaliths that have been erected here for reasons unknown and known throughout the ages.
In the late fall of 1980 Mortimer was a carefree teenager working as an office clerk. Suddenly, uninvited, without warning or reason, the home where Mortimer lived began to manifest strange poltergeist activity -- banging noises, doors mysteriously flung open -- and something extremely strange (and almost comical) happened to his sister. Then came the night of November 30 when Mortimer had a personal encounter with one of the famous glowing orbs of Ilkey.
Mortimer at first thought he had experienced merely a brief sighting. He awoke one night "for no apparent reason" and felt compelled to look out his window. In the icy cold skies, Mortimer espies an anomalous moving light -- a spherical object -- which moved across the sky, and then appeared to come straight toward him. He observed the object for a time -- experiencing many strange sensations as he did so -- but mostly forgot about the event upon awakening the next morning.
But in coming days, Mortimer came to feel that his sighting was more than a simple, passive event – the glowing orb seemed to have reached somehow deeply into his psyche, implanting a seed within him that would grow into a powerful and irresistible obsession with the bizarre manifestations of this enchanted region.
Mortimer could scarcely believe what was happening to himself. His first marriage began falling apart; his work life suffered – yet he couldn't set aside his deep fixation. A second marriage would later fall prey to his unstoppable quest as well. It seems that all aspects of the “normal life” for an honest man from a small English village would be consumed by ancient powers inhabiting the moorlands of England.
People have been reporting sightings and encounters with strange glowing orbs Ilkley Moor for uncounted centuries. That this phenomenon exists here is beyond question. The historical record is rife with accounts of bizarre encounters with “energy globes” that have come to be known my many names – “Wi ll-o’- the-Wisp, Jack o’ Lantern (or Lanthorn), Kitty Candlestick and others.
The well-documented historical record of this phenomenon adds credibility to Mortimer’s story – a man who has been living and prowling Rombald’s Moor his entire adult life. He has put his personal credibility and reputation on the line within his community, which adds weight to the integrity of his account.
So this book is not only a must read – but gets my highest recommendation – but now it is time for some tough love – and my tough love message comes in two parts:
The fact is, the technical rendering of the Kindle edition of this book is extremely rough. I would urge the author immediately to implement a thorough editing and reformatting. Much as it pains me, I owe it to the readers of my reviews to warn them that here they will find numerous typos, glitches, uneven formatting to the point of considerable distraction. I won’t belabor this – and so – I leave the issue there.
Second and more importantly:
I believe this book, The Circle and the Sword – as it stands --represents one of the greatest missed opportunities in the history of UFO/mystical/paranormal literature – but it’s still not too late.
Let me explain:
What we have here is one of the best personal stories of UFO/mystical experience encounter in the world. That’s not hyperbole. It’s a story that spans decades, and it is a saga of unquestionable integrity. In the context of history, the quest of Nigel Mortimer is important to the legacy of the region.
So what I’m saying is that this book begs to be so much more.
The combination of Mortimer’s personal story -- the struggles of his personal life, his obsessive quest, his inability to free himself from the powers of Ilkley Moor – combined with the astonishing (and authenticated) mystical phenomenon associated with ancient monuments – cries out to be expanded in deeper, richer detail.
For me, the very best books are those that read like a compelling work of fiction, but are, in fact, true stories. We have the beginnings of that here. Mortimer’s story contains the four primary key and classic ingredients of the best fiction: character, setting, theme and plot.
• Character – Nigel Mortimer is inexplicably obsessed, thrust unwillingly like an Odysseus into a journey of magical encounter. He is often lost, depressed and feels hope is lost. But he keeps pressing forward on his hero’s journey, finding strength, sometimes glimpsing wonders and joy, sometimes finding unexpected help along the way.
• Setting – What could be better? The ancient terrain of Rombald’s Moor, like something out of a Thomas Hardy novel. A scene littered with hoary ancient monuments, redolent with the ages, virtually shimmering with the latent potential of primeval energies – a picturesque, austere, yet beautiful landscape.
• Theme – The quest for ultimate knowledge; the challenge of melding the modern ufology with mythology and the genuine, lost esoteric mysteries from the mists of time.
• Plot – The main plot is a quest for knowledge and enlightenment. It’s a mission to uncover the secrets of a magical, hidden alternate universe. And there are subplots aplenty – the struggling relationships of Mortimer with his family; his sometimes dicey relationship within a modern community that has lost touch with its magical past and greater reality. Mortimer’s story is an alchemist’s heart-wrenching search for spiritual gold.
Mind you – I realize nobody is asking for my advice – and Circle and the Stone stands as a gem (although must be edited). However, I offer my comments as a fellow writer, journalist and maven of the UFO/paranormal genre who much admires this work, and wants more of it and from it.
Ken Korczak is the author of: MINNESOTA PARANORMALA