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This interview was conducted and provided to us exclusively by Jonathan Tapsell.
Mr. Tapsell can be reached at by E-mail at

interview on his life & work

Conducted on 21st February 1999

Q 1 : Over the last thirty years you have become one of Britain's leading occult researchers and one of the main authorities on Satanism, how did you first come to get involved in this line of work?

It goes back to 1966 or '67 I suppose when I first began to get interested in the UFO reports in the national press I became interested in those, so when the opportunity arose to get involved in a local skywatch came up at Chanctonbury Ring. The Skywatchers experienced strange pains and cramps there and scattered and it was from following that up that the whole thing started.

Q 2 : Chanctonbury Ring, West Sussex is reputedly a place of mysterious forces and an eerie atmosphere is said to pervade the location you carried out several all night vigils there what did you observe?

The incident mentioned with the UFO group was one of the most dramatic one at the time but another incident occurred much later on witnessed by myself, my brother and two people who were interested in the place. We walked up the hill came to the clump of trees that used to crown the summit, everything was ok when suddenly one of the party was levitated about a metre above the ground. During this time he appeared to be having a conversation with some or something and in a great deal of pain, then after a minute or so he was smashed to the ground. He vowed never to return.

Q 3 : Your most famous case must surely be the discovery of the Satanic cult "The Friends of Hecate", in 1978. How did you come by this information?

I had been investigating reports of disappearing dogs that went missing at Clapham Woods, West Sussex. I put out an advert in the press to try and gain information and eventually I received a telephone call from somebody who wanted to know whether I still wanted to know about the dogs, when I said yes he suggested we meet alone at the crossroads, Clapham Woods. I had about half an hour to make up my mind and just decided to go because I wanted to find out more.

Q 4 : What happened at the meeting with this person?

Yes, was dark and I waited for some time. I began to walk away then a voice to one side of me in the bushes told me to stop, not to turn round and listen. This man was an initiate an occult group "The Friends' of Hecate", he said they were sacrificing the dogs to the Greek Goddess Hecate, they had powerful political connections and would tolerate no interference.

Q 5 : Was this threat serious?

They said any interference would be fatal, they were very well organized, large amounts of money were involved.

Q 6 : In your book "The Demonic Connection", several human disappearances are mentioned in around the Clapham area, what were the circumstances of these deaths?

The human disappearances of which there were several, most of which ended up as Open verdicts. Searches were made of likely routes, paths these people were thought to have taken and nothing was found...then sometime later bodies were found on areas known to have been extensively searched by Police.

Q 7 : Amongst your extensive files on Satanic activity you've amassed evidence of dark rites including animal sacrifice where has this taken place?

We already mentioned Clapham Woods, other areas further West such as West Kennett, long barrow where a goats jaw bone was found in one of the chambers there.

Q 8 : Are there any other areas involved in black magic?

Dartmoor, Tintagel in Cornwall, with Hastings, Eastbourne, Arundel, in Sussex. The concentration tends to be in the South and South West generally speaking.

Q 9 : Your video taped a man believed to be carrying a ritual sword away from West Kennett long barrow would you say this was a suspicious incident?

The West Kennett is definitely suspicious and being a burial chamber makes it attractive to certain areas of the occult.

Q 10 : You found blood at Fernworthy stone circle didn't you?

Yes there was blood on one of the stones it is an isolated site quite a way from the nearest village Chagford. On the edge of Dartmoor, perfect for sacrifices with next to no chance of being detected.

Q 11 : Have you ever had any trouble as a result of your investigations?

Yes plenty of that. Fernworthy that has just been mentioned an incident occurred there. I was pursued there in a hairaising high speed car chase for several miles by a vehicle which had blocked me going to the circle in the first place. Guns have been pulled on me for example at Clapham on the day I discovered a demonic mural on a wall. The most serious threat though I have received was in Worthing when a gunman warned me and my family would be shot if I didn't stop my investigations.

Q 12 : You were looking into a case in the Lewes area at the time what happened in that case?

I think the gun business in Worthing was related to the Lewes investigation. It was a strange one, it was a difficult one and I am fairly sure it is not over yet.

Q 13 : You are currently working on the Meonia Sword mystery can you tell us more about that ?

Several years ago another researcher, author wrote a book called the "Seventh Sword", which concerned the discovery of the mysterious Meonia Swords. The weapons concerned were said to have an occult history and were believed to be Victorian copies of the original Black Sword, several centuries older with a Masonic links. I was given this sword by a man with a great deal of Masonic regalia, I don't know his identity and we arranged the hand-over at a motorway service station of all places!

Q 14 : Did he say anything about the sword?

Very little except he didn't feel safe with it but wanted it in safe keeping.

Q 15 : What is your impression of the sword?

It is certainly a ritual sword I think it has been used by Masons, probably a lot more than that. I would like to compare this one with the Meonia Sword kept at Tintagel museum.

Q 16 : Have magical forces ever been directed against you personally and if so what form did this take?

A very difficult thing to prove ..several times I have been what you might called cursed but whether that has taken any effect I don't know. Perhaps it is significant that I am diabetic and diabetes comes along at the peak of your investigation and you tend to lose the scent because you are busy looking after your health.

Q 17 :What is the most amusing episode of your career?

I think one of the very first when I was with a local UFO group, no names mentioned , this took place at Chanctonbury, although there is no road up there it is a rough track and people often drive up there although they shouldn't do. This was late at night and we saw some lights coming up the track everyone dived for cover in the bushes except one of the group who wanted to confront the coming UFO with a brick! He was persuaded by the rest of those present that this was not a good idea only to find it was in fact car headlights.... and a Police patrol car at that.