On a recent visit to London I found myself wandering down the affluent Kings Road and caught myself at the junction for Smith Street and Markham Square. Smith Street is a quiet street in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its salubrious location doesn’t hint at the strange encounter that occurred there in 1948.
Sir Peter Horsley, a former Royal equerry and Deputy Commander of RAF Strike Command, was invited to a flat in Smith Street by a General Martin to discuss UFOs with what he believed would be a group of like-minded individuals. Horsley had been very interested in UFOs (something with he shared with Prince Phillip) but was slightly reticent about attending the meeting, concerned that it was some sort of fringe group. On arriving at the flat a Mrs Markham showed Horsley into the second-floor drawing room. The only other person in the room was the mysterious ‘Mr. Janus’. Horsley was unable to give a good description of Mr. Janus, the standard lamps seemed to be arranged in a way that cause a shadow to stop Horlsey getting a good look at him. As Mr. Janus sat back in the chair, they begun to discuss UFOs.
Mr. Janus was keen to meet Prince Phillip but Horlsey said that this would be extremely difficult. Mr. Janus then begun to talk about the physics involved in UFOs travelling such distances, Horsley believed that Janus could read his mind as the questions Horsley was about to ask, Janus seemed to effortlessly segue into. Janus spoke at length about the subject of interstellar travel, the existence of God, contact with ETs, and the destruction of Earth.
Horsley felt throughout his encounter and even until his death that Mr. Janus was not of this Earth. In his autobiography ‘Sounds from another Room’ he wrote “What was Janus? Was he part of an elaborate hoax or plot, was he a teacher, an imaginative prophet of the future or what he had insinuated – an observer?”. Horsley was well respected and held high positions within the establishment and most believe he was not liable to flights of fancy. It is worth noting that ‘Mrs Markham’ probably took her name from the street adjacent to where the flat was in Smith Street was (Markham Square), indicating that she was not who she claimed to be. Many have laid claim that the whole event was an elaborate charade by MI5 to test Horsley and his loyalty. Some have pointed to the contactee/space brother type feel to the experience (which was ultimately of its time) to discredit it.
Standing on Smith Street, a curtain twitches, it all feels very normal but who can say what goes on behind those curtains…