Thursday, 23 June 2011

17th June - the mysterious '72'

RAF Holmpton, Withernsea, East Yorkshire was built between 1951 and 1952 and started its operational life in 1953 as an Early Warning Radar Station.  It remained operational until its radars were relocated in 1974 then it was used as a training facility for RAF Radar Technicians until 1984 after which it was refurbished to serve as an Emergency War HQ for RAF Support Command.  With the end of the Cold War it resumed service as a training centre until 1995 when rebuilding added AREA 7, an Experimental Electronic Warfare Operations Centre (CCIS).  They moved out in 2001.  In 2004 public access was permitted for the first time.   A  more detailed history can be found at: 
 After receiving a warm welcome in the Guardroom our teams decended underground and along the 130 yard tunnel to the Command Bunker.  
Over half of our team experienced odd sensations of being pulled back away from the exit, of walking up a much steeper slope than it actually is, and, just about a third of the way into the tunnel, it is as if two MP's still stand on duty. 

My team first went into the 1970's PDU room where we took part in a silent vidual.  Part way through this it bacame clear that two of us were watchng the same area, that is the far section in the photo with the furled flag.  There are three desks in this section, the angled one and the flat one that are visible plus another flat topped one beyond the angled desk, but we were sure there ought to be a fourth in the corner.   
Moving between the four desks was a man in a short sleeved, well pressed, pale bue of white, we were not sure which, shirt and dark tie.  He was carrying papers, about A5 sized, between the desks either from the missing desk to the visible flat one or to the obscured, in this photo, desk and occassionally back again and from either the visible flat desk and the obscured one to the sloping desk but he did not carry any papers from the sloping desk to the others nor did he move diagonally between the desks.  The only information I could get from him was, '72'.  When asked what "72" was I got a look that implied, silly woman, if you're here then you should know that.
We spent the rest of the night wondering what the significance of "72" was.  
 A number of our people, on different teams for the investigation, picked up on the sensation of being followed when walking along the upper corridor; it was as if a lone airman continues his night time secutiry patrol, silently moving up and down the corridor, shining his torch into the rooms through the windows in their doors.
A number of our teams reported experiencing taps and knocks and vibrations travelling though the mattresses in the dormitory.
In the room with the WMD display several team members experienced feelings of lightheadedness, dizzyness and of being pushed out of the way by unseen persons.
All of our teams had visited the camp cinema during the night and all reported the same phonomenoms, so we all came together for the last session in here.  Shadows moved along the left hand wall while on the right small white lights would imtermittently flash on and off.  People sitting on the back row had the sensation of someone peering into their faces from close quarters, while knocks and taps on the wall were heard by all.
And the mystery of "72"?
Just before we left I asked the curator; "72" is a type of radar that had been deployed at the station at one time.

1 comment:

  1. What a night it was, as a quite sceptical member of the team even I was quite spooked in the cinema when someone was really in my face on the left hand side, but, all the other members were to my right!!!!! Spooky eh? Colin (Locations Manager L-pit)