Thursday 3 March 2011

News: 'Occult' graffiti linked to missing student

The family of a student who disappeared a year ago believe he might have last visited a disused underground bunker to see erotic "occult" graffiti, according to a story in The Yorkshire Post.

Missing 18-year-old Russell Bohling had apparently been looking at images of RAF Bempton, a former radar station near Bridlington, East Yorkshire, on his computer a couple of weeks before he disappeared on 2 March, 2010.

According to news stories, Russell's father is concerned that his son might have been in contact with an "occult" group or someone connected with the graffiti.

He told news site This Is Hull & East Riding: "Russell downloaded information about RAF Bempton's underground base. He had no interest in RAF installations but there was an occult based there in the 1970s which is more likely to interest an 18-year-old.

"Perhaps someone took him there to see the graphic images left on the walls by these occultists."

Police think it is more likely that Russell had an accident or committed suicide, although his body has not been found.

Intrigued, I did a bit of web searching about RAF Bempton. I have to say, personally, I found the building far more interesting than the graffiti - but then I'm not an 18-year-old boy.

RAF Bempton is a large, derelict and highly atmospheric underground complex last used officially during the cold war. To my mind it would be a fascinating place to explore. Although it is not open to the public and visits are rarely allowed, you can do an online tour via this website:

The graffiti, on the other hand, does not appear to my eyes to be in the slightest bit "occult". It is mostly erotic images of naked women and men, including quite a few pornographic cartoons of people engaged in sex acts. You can see some of these pictures here:

One of the naked figures is a buxom, scantily clad woman wearing a small pair of devil horns and some words on one wall say "Next Stop Hell" - Halloween party images rather than anything to do with the genuine occult. You can see these here:

That website also claims: "During the 1970's this large underground bunker complex was occupied by a Satanical witches cult."

Although it is possible that a Satanic or other occult-type group did use RAF Bempton 40-odd years ago, it is very unlikely that the group is still around. Also - as witches get tired of pointing out - witches are not Satanists; they are nature worshippers who honour pagan gods - they do not worship the Devil. And the graffiti on those walls really has nothing to do with witches or witchcraft - and almost certainly has nothing to do with the occult either.

I very much hope that Russell Bohling is found safe and well. My thoughts go out to his father, who must be desperate for any news about him. So, if anyone reading my blog knows anything about Russell's whereabouts, please tell him to phone his dad.

I also hope that I can put people's minds a bit at ease that this graffiti is nothing more than a set of crude and lurid images, unconnected with witches or the occult.



Unknown said...

I'm really, really trying to figure out how even the most conservative of people could consider this anything but plain pornography (well-done as far as graffiti goes, but still).

I suppose it's easier to externalize the tragedy and blame the disappearance on a "mysterious other", though. I feel for the parents, despite the image of the occult they're perpetuating.

Also, am I the only one whose inner Grammar Nazi flinched at the use of "an occult" as a noun?

Badwitch said...

I agree, calling someone "an occult" rather than "an occultist" is poor use of English.