The Sad Death of Marion Sunderland

and the Green Stone Sale

- A Response from Andrew Collins

Thursday, 2 March 2006

It was with great sadness that I learnt a few weeks ago of the death of Marion Sunderland, one of the key players in the Green Stone story. She had been ill for some years, but still her passing was expressed by a sense of loss by all involved in the subject. She did much to promote the story during her lifetime, lecturing all over the world, and holding up the Green Stone as evidence of her words. Marion will be remembered as the person who continued to dedicate her life to the Green Stone even after many others had fallen by the wayside.

It was with equal regret that I learned just four days after her funeral that Gaynor Sunderland and her partner Andy Roberts, the well-known UFO writer and researcher, had put the Green Stone, the casket it was found in, and other questing items previously belonging to Marion, up for sale to the highest bidder. I learned this from a third party by email, and at first thought the whole thing was a joke.

'The Green Stone for sale', yeah, pull the other one.

However, I contacted Andy Roberts, who was handling the sale, and discovered that this was indeed correct. He also made it clear that if the proposed sale did not raise what he described as a 'reasonable offer' he and Gaynor would withdraw the sale and 'bury the lot' to confuse 'baffled archaeologists' and 'contemporary questers' in years to come. They gave until 11 March as a deadline for bids, and made it known that they had already received an offer of £5500.

I showed an immediate interest in the sale, and told Andy that I would put in my own bid in due course, which he duly acknowledged. I spoke to various friends who shared a common interest in the Green Stone story, some of whom had been present when various events had occurred around Graham Phillips and myself during the 1980s, and we agreed to put together a consortium in the hope of matching the highest bid for the items. In addition to raising funds ourselves, I enlisted the help of Simon Nugent and the website, which had already shown a great interest in the imminent sale. At the time the Eye of Fire, a red carnelian stone found in 1982, was said to be among the items for sale, but when I pointed out to him by email that Graham Phillips was insistent that this had been destroyed, Andy Roberts pubclicly withdrew this claim saying it had been a mistake, and that Gaynor had been confused and under stress following the death of her mother, obviously understandable. They did not possess the Eye of Fire, which, of course, was the subject of a best-selling book of the same title.



Old picture of Graham with Meonia Sword and Green Stone casket



The Swan's Neck with Bredon Hill in the backgound.

The Green Stone Appeal

Through we launched the Green Stone Appeal, whereby members could submit £50 or more in order to increase the amount of the final offer to be made by the consortium. Pledging this amount would not have entitled anyone to partial ownership of the item, simply a ticket to an event to be planned at a suitable venue in the vicinity of the Swan's Neck. This is the distinctive U-shaped bend on the River Avon where the Green Stone was found back in 1979. In addition to a day of lectures on the subject, where I would have explained why the story was still relevant today, those with a ticket would have been given a chance to have a one-to-one with the stone, and we could have ended the day out at the Swan's Neck, still a very magical site indeed.

Andy Roberts then announced that the highest bid for the Green Stone had risen from £5500 to £7000, an increase of £1500. By the way, there was no way that we could verify these bids, since this was a closed auction with no information being released regarding bidders or offers made. However, Andy did say that he and Gaynor might not necessarily sell to the highest bidder since they would have liked to see the Green Stone remain within the questing community. This provided a unique situation in that if we were unable to raise the required cash by 11 March, then it was possible that a lower bid by us could be accepted. Indeed, there was some indication in postings from Andy Roberts on that he and Gaynor actually hoped that we would be successful in our bid.

I was feeling slightly more hopeful that the future of the Green Stone could be secured. However, I was unsure about the prospect of greater success, especially in the knowledge that two years previously someone approached occult art dealer Ben Fernee of Caduceus Books offering him the Green Stone for purchase. Ben, to his credit, refused to have anything to do with it as there would inevitably be pressing questions regarding its legal ownership and provenance.
By Saturday, 25th February Andy Roberts had announced that a 'serious' bidder had now offered £8000, an increase again of £1500. Still, we remained hopefully that by 11 March, the deadline set for final bids, we could raise enough money through friends and to match anything thrown at us, and I can reveal that we were on course to do this. Two good friends were willing to put in an extra £5000 when and if necessary, and this was on top of the already substantial amount we had raised between us and


Green Stone Sold

Then finally on Thursday, 2nd March I received an email from a friend saying that there was a posting on from Andy Roberts in which he pointed out that the Green Stone had the previous night been sold to an anonymous bidder, and the matter was now closed. This was nine days before 11 March, the final deadline for bids, meaning that we were not even given a chance to match the amount put on the table by this anonymous bidder.

It is important to point out that Andy Roberts was fully aware that I was in the process of putting together a bid, and that monies were to be collected via the Green Stone Appeal on right up to deadline. What is more, we had exchanged emails on various occasions relating to the sale, and yet I was not informed of this quick sale before its completion. The whole thing has been like some kind of bizarre poker game, with moves and counter moves taking place on a more or less daily basis. Any bid we might have put in too early is likely to have been matched immediately. Everybody knows that you wait until the last minute to make your bid, watching carefully what everyone else is doing. Now we won't even be given a chance to do that.
So what happens now?

To start with, Simon Nugent at will be returning forthwith all monies to those who pledged their £50 over the past couple of weeks. Secondly, life goes on, and nothing changes in the questing camp. At the end of the day it is the events which led to the finding of the Green Stone that are important and not the artefacts. These led Graham, myself and most of those involved on to even greater things, and this process continues today. Both Graham and I have written a number of historical books which were inspired by the events that took place in 1979, and very shortly you will see the full significance of the symbolism behind the Green Stone story when I announce details of my new book in May.


Simple Trinkets

The Green Stone is not about a tiny piece of polished agate, or even a battered brass casket, neither of which would have had any real monetary value outside of this subject. They were meant as trinkets, telling us that we had achieved something very special indeed, and that we could now move on to the next level. I find psychic artefacts every year. In fact, just last year we were led to recover a green stone egg from a churchyard in Kent. This, we were told, was destined to do the same job as the existing Green Stone. Its age or monetary value is irrelevant. It was probably machined the previous year in some mine somewhere in the world. It's what it represents that is important, for immediately after finding it we took it to Giza where it featured in an important meditational sketch, the fruits of which led us to a previously unknown structure on the plateau that instantly becomes the most likely candidate for an entrance to the so-called Hall of Records (it's a long story, I'll explain all in the book). The green stone egg can now be more or less discarded, since it's job has been done.

The original Green Stone has also done its job. It did that back in 1981 after Graham and I took to a series of power sites along the Michael Line, from Dorchester in Oxfordshire to Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, on the so-called Lights of Knowledge quest. In the future many other artefacts will be located with equal purpose, and that is the way of psychic questing. They are tools to be used, or simply trinkets to let you know that none of this is simply all in your head.

I have been amazed at the manner in which the questing community has been drawn together by this Green Stone sale debacle. Everyone has pulled together in such a way as to ensure that its legacy is secured for the future. Thus we should be celebrating and not commiserating at this time. All is not lost as I had feared, for I now realise that interest in the Green Stone and psychic questing as a whole is very strong indeed. Moreover, that in the future it will support further conferences and one-off events.


The Quest Continues

More than this is the fact that the Green Stone story still has magic in it, just as it did back in 1979. On Monday, 20th February our good friends Caroline Wise and Mick Staley received a fortuitous apport at their home just after my wife Sue conducted a meditation at our own home featuring the Green Stone. It began when Caroline's mobile showed that Sue's own mobile was calling her, an impossibility since she was still in meditation. Not knowing this, Caroline attempted to answer the call, but heard nothing. At that same moment she heard the front door open and someone walk into the hallway. Thinking it was Mick returning from work, she went to the door to find the hallway empty and the door still closed.

Immediately afterwards Caroline rang Sue, who let the phone go on to answerphone. On opening her eyes, Sue listened to the message, and hearing that it was Caroline, rang her back immediately. It was as she explained what had just happened that Caroline heard something heavy drop on to the floor behind the sofa, and on looking, with Sue still hanging on the telephone, she noticed a multi-faceted black crystal on the ground. Next to this curious black object lay a £50 note, which was the exact amount those members of were being asked to contribute to the fund. The black stone and £50 note had not been there two days beforehand when the sofa was last pulled out for cleaning.

That night a psychic session was inevitably hijacked by Green Stone concerns. Caroline's black crystal was linked with the black guardian stone originally said to have been contained in the casket when the Green Stone was found. This manifested in various forms, most particularly as a Puritan priest with a wide-brimmed hat who answered to the name of Pastor John. What is more, on two occasions - the first when this priestly figure was being described - the resulting digital audio WAV files recording the session displayed clear EVP (electronic voice phenomena), the second one being three seconds in length and featuring a sentence of five words.


This is virtually unprecedented, with similar EVP only ever having been received on a few portentous occasions, and even then often with some slight doubt over its exact nature. Yet these examples were crystal clear, and, as with the apports, completely inexplicable.

Images of sites connected with the Green Stone story flashed past, prompting us to visit places such as Dunstall Castle (the sham structure - pictured right - that featured in Gaynor's dream about the tower from which came the swan with the stone around its neck), Pershore Abbey (where local Knights Templar apparently guarded the stone) and the Swan's Neck itself.




Pershore Abbey at sunset on Sunday,

26 February 2006

Thus on Sunday, 26th February we unexpectedly found ourselves on a mini quest featuring aspects of the Green Stone story. One of the highlights of the day was when in the middle of a meditation in which the swan goddess Bridget (guardian of nearby Bredon Hill, which preserves her name) was visualised coming forth from the waters a swan gracefully swam into view. This was despite the fact that it was now dark, and I had never before seen a swan here. It was a magical experience for everyone present, and clarified for me the importance of the Green Stone.

It is a living entity that exists even today, and we can interact with it still on a multitude of levels, as art, inspiration, wisdom and knowledge. I know now that the questing community will never let this powerful force die, and I for one will continue actively to pursue the Green Stone/Meonia story for as long as I can. Most pertinent, however, was reaching Pershore Abbey just in time to conduct a necessary attunement. Using the sign of the black swan, our collective sight of cowled Templar priests conducting some kind of ceremony using the Green Stone in the dark dank crypts culminated with the abbey church's bells chiming and the assembled choir in the chancel launching into passionate song, almost on our behalf. I almost cried.

It leaves me to thank everybody in the would-be consortium - you know who you are - and Simon Nugent and everyone at for caring so much. Also Alex for informing me. It will not be forgotten.