This was my companion
A British reader sent a letter with a fascinating Third Man encounter
in Spain. I have transcribed it to help illustrate the incredible
diversity of these accounts. The writer is Mr. A. Watson:
I had never heard of the phenomenon of the third man until very recently when my wife pointed out a newspaper article based on your book, which I have since purchased and read. A few years ago I was in Spain on the Costa Blanca, in the Gallinera Valley near Pego. One side of the valley has the Ferado ridge steep sided. At the end of the ridge there is a castle overlooking the valley. It was a sunny afternoon with a few clouds in the sky. I left my wife to explore as I tried to climb up an incline or slope to get to the castle. It looked quite easy but I was soon scrambling on all fours trying to reach a height a few hundred feet above our parked car. However, not really noticed by me was how the angle of the slope was increasing and was completely bare of vegetation or rocks. My line of ascent was not direct. The minutes passed. Suddenly in an instant I realized I was in the most desperate life threatening situation. I was dead or as good as. There was nothing to hold onto, to prevent me falling. It was not possible to reverse moves I did not know how I made. Blind panic took over. The feeling of absolute despair was replaced in a flash by another. A presence which I can only describe as very strong. A comfort, an incredible comfort. If the was a prelude to death this was my companion. There was nothing to be seen, only felt and experienced. The panic went. Help was with me. My eyes scanned up the slope, a simple mistake or slip was death but now I had confidence and was not frightened. I saw something I had not noticed before a few feet above me. Ivy growing out of the slope in a crack. I reached it. It was growing out of a stump as think as a man's arm. It gave me a chance to rest. After resting I had to stand like a ballet dancer on this almost vertical slope to reach for part of the castle's foundations. I had survived the experience. The clouds were now black and threatening. A few heavy drops of rain soon became a torrent when the havens opened. Minutes earlier I would have been swept away. This was to let me know (I think) I had not won. I had been let off. Years
later the experience is still with me and has left a mark. Then I read the recent newspaper article about the thir man. Was it caused by "putative fear" (in your book)? I do not know. For me it was as real as real could be. That is why your book is so fascinating for me. Thanks for writing it. I have experienced the Third Man factor.
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Many people have encountered a sense of an unseen companion helping them, lending support or sharing wisdom. If you've had a Third Man encounter and want to share it with others, you're invited to post the experience here.