Feb 11 2004 Robin Turner, The Western Mail
A PAIR of psychic investigators looking at the healing properties of an ancient stone circle claim it has made them seriously ill.
Brian Perinton and mother-of-two Claire Williams visited Carn Llechart stone circle in the Swansea Valley three months ago. They planned to investigate the healing properties and positive energy which standing in the centre of circle, said to have been constructed in around 2,000BC, was reputed to give to people.
Mr Perinton said yesterday, "I have never seen anything like it. Claire was bodily thrown from the centre of the circle by some kind of force. I felt it too. It was like being punched in the stomach.
"Since our visit we suffered severe headaches, stomach problems, lethargy and general illness. It was almost as if our energy was completely sapped by whatever was in the centre of those stones.
"We are starting to recover now but we want to find out if anyone else has had similar experiences. We would love to speak to them to find out if the illnesses and general feeling of weakness are the same.
"Then we can start some kind of scientific investigation into what could be causing this."
Mr Perinton, 65, and Ms Williams, 32, run a ghost detective agency in Swansea and have been called to offices, houses and other buildings in which owners or occupants claim to be troubled by spirits or apparitions.
In a recent mission they helped a pub in Neath to rid itself of an angry spirit, said to have been the ghost of a former regular who did not want to leave.
Carn Llechart stone circle, high above Pontardawe, is said to be one of the finest examples of a stone ring cairn or burial chamber in Wales.
The unusual circle is 40ft across and consists of 25 stones leaning slightly outwards giving a crown of thorns effect.
No one is entirely certain why the stone circles were created but they are a Celtic phenomenon. Archaeologists believe they could be giant calendars with stone shadows tracing the alignment of the moon and sun.
It could be the stones are tributes to the dead buried in the circle and some have even speculated they could be used to harness the energy of ley lines, thought to be lines of magnetic energy running across the earth.
Professor Clive Ruggles, of the University of Leicester, says great care is needed in interpreting them.
He said, "Just because a monument is aligned in a certain direction we might be tempted to interpret it as astronomically significant.
"But the Bronze Age people were not astronomers as we know the term today. However, celestial cycles and objects were extremely important to them."
Certain circular tombs in Britain have been found to point towards the rising sun and winter solstices.
Many believe stone circles have magic or healing powers, so much so that English Heritage was forced many years ago to fence off the country's best known stone circle, Stonehenge.
Scientists have carried out experiments at a variety of stone circles finding that the huge rocks tend to generate their own weak magnetic fields. But whether these can combine at certain times of the year as some pagans claim, so as to concentrate energy at a central point, has never been proved.
Mr Perinton said, "We would like anyone who has had a similar experience to contact our agency so we can build up a picture of what is happening."
The agency's number is 01792 417693.