21. A skeptic who believes
Exactly one month prior to the visit to Brighton, I’d had another encounter with a series of numbers. There were times when I was ready to just ignore all numbers and references to my story. But whenever I look at the extraordinary events of Christmas 2003, I am convinced God is behind it all.
I shared the phenomena with my friends of the email group of five:
This morning I woke briefly and looked at the clock radio. It showed 3.15 am (and it's Friday). For a few moments I contemplated rising, thinking I will make a contribution to 5AA talkback. I had been phoning regularly many Sat. mornings. Then I realized I was a day early. So I went back to sleep.
For my bible reading at a more reasonable hour this morning my bible fell open to Isaiah. I just started reading Chapter 30. It speaks about the foolishness of people relying on other means (rich connections) rather than God. Well before Verse 15 I knew something was coming up.
Verse 15: "For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength."
Then I remembered waking earlier at 3.15 am. Sadly, verse 15 is not over yet: "But you would not."
May we learn the lessons of old and U-turn towards Love and Peace.
(Verse 17 has an interesting number combination, (1 and 5) and today is the 17th!). How peculiar!
PS Is this just a game between me and my outside the square mind? Am I crazy to bring God into it?
Was I the only person amongst the 1.5 Million living in South Australia to ask why questions? Were there others, who noticed unusual connections or things that didn’t make sense, but never spoke out?
There was ever present doubt, reinforced almost daily by my family, if God would really use numbers and codes to make a point. I thought about this carefully and came to the following conclusion:
All things belong to God. This includes numbers. The enemy, call him what you may, always has a counterfeit ready to discredit whatever is pure. Numbers have been used by astrologers and fortune tellers. They are juggled into horoscopes to find out about the future. Should Christians use numbers in that way? Before all this happened – everything I had written in my two books - I would have also doubted that numbers ought to be viewed by Christians, in the way I do.
But is that a reason good enough to disregard the idea completely? If we did, are we not giving ground to the devil? Shall we dismiss the possibility that God can use numbers, just because Satan uses numbers? I don’t believe so. I am open to the option that God can use numbers to speak to his children specifically, if HE wants to. Who I am to limit God, to exclude any specific way HE wants to, to speak to me? I don’t make the rules.
We surrender ground to Satan to the same degree that we limit God's power. However, a word of warning! Nobody, please, become more preoccupied with numbers, codes etc. than with his word. A Christian’s first priority must always be an intimate, loving relationship with God, the ONE and only. HE does not speak to everybody in the same way HE did with me. HE most likely will be conveying HIS will to you in a completely different manner. Seek HIS will for your life through fervent prayer and utter dedication to HIM. How and where HE leads is not up to you.
On March 4th, 2004 I read a wonderful comment in the 1995 German daily bible calendar, which I so miraculously came across (Chapter 15). A well-known British theologian Oswald Chambers was quoted (translated from German):
“God speaks to us many times in an indistinct manner. He speaks to us in a way that is easy to misinterpret and we ask: “Is this really God’s voice speaking to me?” In Isaiah 8 and Verse 11 the prophet says: “For the Lord thus spoke to me with a strong hand”, meaning through himself, who speaks. Do we recognize HIS hand or do we call it all co-incidence? Get into the habit of saying: “Speak to me, Lord” and life will become an adventure”.
Wow!! How excited I was to read, for the first time, a similar theory to mine – that God often speaks in mysterious ways and that what happens to us may not be co-incidental. Even more encouraging was the fact that this was not a modern concept, but written about a hundred years ago by a well known theologian.
How I would have loved to sit down for a chat with Oswald Chambers. He would listen to my baffling stories and co-incidences, without objecting to my obsession with colours or criticize my linking of fluky names, numbers and letters.
We need more Oswald Chambers today, Christians with faith and courage, who pray with passion; men and woman dedicated to Christ using their creative minds to be led by the Holy Spirit; pilgrims who don’t worry about reputation, willing to be led outside their comfort zones.
We need more health professionals, who are willing to recognize their human limitations and think outside the sphere of their textbooks; psychiatrists and psychologists, who are as serious about trying to help their mentally disturbed clients, as they are in filling the vacant spaces in their appointment books, to earn more money.
My search for truth had almost reached a point of obsession. I had to be careful to not let my passion spin out of control. Another stay in a mental hospital would delay things for many months or years. I discovered more untruths in media reporting; at least this was how I perceived certain articles. I never tried to prove that a story had been invented or exaggerated. Making enquiries with public authorities, as I did following the reported triple fatality near Kaniva (Chapter 13), was as far as I was prepared to go, apart from reporting it to my email contacts.
There were two main reasons for this. Firstly, I did not possess any powers on my own; always conscious to not initiate any action without HIS guidance or specific revelation. To disprove what had been reported in the press would be costly, or impossible to do without assistance. And I had not found anyone that read my stories or emails and offered real, practical help.
Secondly, even if I was successful in disproving certain details, would journalists openly admit to their errors? I cannot imagine the press publishing reports damning themselves? I’d be running the risk of being conveniently side-lined into a mental institution, something I had feared right at the start of my journey on Anzac Day 1999.
It was rather ironical that in 2003 my experiences revolved around car crashes. Not only am I a driving instructor, but my writings to a large extent dealt with fatal car crashes, which were perfectly timed and/or involved names of specific people.
One Sunday in Mid December 03 a series of events again lead to a, by now almost typical, extra-ordinary chain of events involving crashes. The scripture reading in church that day was Zephaniah 3 and Verse 15 (…the king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst).
During coffee in the hall I spotted a new face. I did what I do regularly - introduce myself and speak to the newcomer. I am glad I did; had I not done so I would have missed a spectacular car-crash later that morning. The middle aged gentleman man said, he normally attends a northern suburbs church. On this Sunday their service was relocated outdoors and held at Ridley Reserve, Elizabeth. It was part of an interdenominational church gathering, which he did not want to attend.
Now I remembered hearing this event publicized a few months earlier during another meeting. At the time I felt urged to attend this event, but because I had not written it down, I had forgotten all about it. Instead of returning home I decided to drive straight to Ridley Reserve, 20 kilometres to the north in Elizabeth. I knew I would be very late. As per ‘The Advertiser’ newspaper next day over 1000 people from many churches sat in the blazing sun on that hot Sunday morning.
At the end of the service I made my way to the front, where I recognized a musician named John. I chatted with the bald-headed, middle aged guitarist, as he packed up his instrument. I knew him from the church we had attended at the time, when I had the stress problem (Chapter 9, More in number). To my surprise his was the only face I recognized that morning.
Much later I remembered his name, John, his surname hardly more than an “L”. As I am writing this I am amazed, because if I removed the vowels of his wife’s name, all that is left is PTL.
Regularly I attend functions in churches, at political meetings or other public gatherings and notice people’s peculiar names. At a dinner in Feb. 04 Isobel and I sat at the same table as Mr. Kiss. Had someone engaged some wishful thinking, hoping she would get the hint? Good try, may I say, but it would take a much more direct approach to make her see.
Had I attempted to suggest that Mr. Kiss was not there by chance, she would have suggested her usual “fix-my-mad-hat-husband-treatment” – a chat with the shrink, followed by months of a low dose of, small, round pills. Strangely, it had been a random decision by Isobel, to sit on the table near this stranger we had never met. In a crowd of over a hundred guests this was remarkable. I smile at God’s (and/or people’s) humour every time I think of that man's name.
On my way back from Ridley Reserve, not far from the outdoor church service, I was caught in a traffic hold-up. Driving slowly past, I saw that a Land-Rover had smashed into bus stop 58, demolishing it. It had come to rest on its side on Main North Road. My curiosity urged me to turn back to the crash scene to have a closer look. A policeman warned me to stay well clear of the wreck.
It was difficult to see a reason, why the car had mounted the kerb and overturned on this almost straight stretch of the three-laned main road. I did not find any skid marks. The wheels and tyres of the crashed vehicle seemed all intact; there was no sign of damage, not even a flat tyre. I tried to point this out to another bystander and the policeman. But he only reiterated that I ought to keep away from the crashed vehicle.
The crash must have been regarded as major. I noticed two TV News crews, Channel Seven and Channel Ten at the scene.
The next day I read an article in the Advertiser (by Rebekah Devlin) about the church service. It was very positive, which made me feel good. However, there was not a word in the entire newspaper about the major car crash that had happened nearby at the same time. I couldn’t understand, why two TV crews were filming the incident, but not one word was printed about it in the Advertiser, our only major daily newspaper in South Australia.
Instead, that Monday I read about an elderly couple was involved in another road crash that allegedly had occurred the night before on Darley Road, Paradise. Again I was skeptical about this story. The main clue that something was amiss was the photo of a four-wheel-drive vehicle involved. It looked just like the one from the previous day’s crash; but more intriguing was the fact that, despite having jumped the median strip, the wheels in the close up picture in the paper, looked also undamaged!
Much of what was reported did not make sense. The culprits, who had stolen a car and caused the crash, fled and were seen a few kilometres away. It was reported that they were later seen again near the crash scene. Why did they drive back to the place of their crime (in the stolen car), instead of fleeing as far away as possible?
To express my doubts and frustration about this report, I sent the following email to the newspaper the next day.
Gd’onya, Rebekah, for humbling yourself and reporting good things happening in the north. (P. 22, today’s ‘tiser).
I was searching in vain for a brief report on a serious road crash that occurred nearby at the time of the church service. Despite two TV crews on the scene, the advertiser must have missed the 4-wheel drive that demolished bus stop 58 and landed on its side.
Mind you, this crash, plus a few I had doubts about lately, looked somehow unreal, almost as if staged. The wheels of the four-wheel drive look just like the ones in today’s paper on Page 11, totally undamaged, despite having mounted the kerb at high speed. I didn’t see any skid marks or tyre marks either at yesterday’s crash at Elizabeth.
The elderly couple, unfortunately getting in the way of the high-speed chase, was lucky to be alive, by the look of the pic. (Out at 2.36 am at their age?). If the guys who stole the car were spotted heading north on Glynburn, they were heading back towards where they stole the vehicle. I’d get away from that spot!!?? One last observation. The photo on page 11 must have been taken at least 3 ˝ hours after the crash. Does it take that long to clear a crash scene?
I know this info is of no use to Crimestoppers. I just wanted to share it with someone.
Dieter Rolf Fischer
PS 1. Please tell Marty Smith (P.17) that Jesus does get tired, but saving lives is what drives him.
PS 2. Is there a vacancy in crash investigations??
The photo in the newspaper showed the crashed vehicles casting long shadows. Sunrise was around 6am, the crash had been reported as having occurred around 2.30 am, 3 ˝ hours earlier. Why was I skeptical again and again in regards to reported car crashes?
On February 28th 2004, one crash was not only reported as a car crash, but also as a murder. I had heard on the radio that the previous night a man had been run down in a car before being stabbed. He was supposed to have died later in hospital. I stumbled across the scene on Grand Junction Road, Wingfield, purely by accident, if you pardon the pun.
I was surprised that, 14 hours after it had happened, officers of the forensic squad were still working near the vehicle, a white Magna Sedan, the one that ran down the pedestrian. I clearly remember seeing black marks, as if a tyre had rolled all over it, all over the paintwork.
In the paper the next day the photo of the white Magna showed the paintwork all clean. Either a different car was shown or the photo had been touched up. The only explanation I have is that the investigators had caused the black marks on the vehicle, looking for fingerprints. Otherwise, why would this be?
The locality of the alleged crime also intrigued me. It occurred in Hill Rd. right near the corner Penley Av. The street before the crash scene is called Plymouth Road, which runs off Grand Junction at approx 30 deg. angle.
The newspaper article, which reported the incident as a murder, included a diagram of the streets mentioned above. Plymouth Rd, was spelled Plymaouth Rd. Penley Av. had turned into Penny Av. But I spotted something even more remarkable – Grand Junction Road and Penley Av formed into a large L, while Plymouth Road and Hill Rd looked like a large V.
I could see it clearly : LV = 55 = L-Victory.
The article takes up all of page 5 of the paper, apart from an advertisement for a large resort hotel, headed: Ask for his hand today – or take all of him next weekend.
A day or two later another double fatality occurred (allegedly) in a quarry in the Barossa Valley, when a large earth moving truck fell, almost vertically, over a cliff. The newspaper article contained some suspicious data, teasing my ever vigilant, skeptical mind. I couldn’t understand, why the truck initially fell 40 metres, before coming to a halt on a narrow ledge, looking undamaged. Had computer imaging, utilizing today’s technology, painted a fake picture to illustrate a fabricated story?
I visited the Liebherr Earth-Movers factory in Para Hills and showed a young engineer the photo from the newspaper article. He said that he and his colleagues had also discussed the unusual calamity and were equally puzzled, why the truck had come to a halt, looking undamaged.
What would the head of the ‘Sceptics Society’ think of my questioning? Would they accept me into membership? One, who is skeptical about car crashes reported in the newspaper in the early 21st century, but believes that 2000 years ago a man walked on water, healed the blind and produced enough food to feed thousands, from just a handful of loaves of bread and a few fish?