MEMBERS of a worldwide organisation which believes Cornwall's highest point is a holy mountain have recently visited North Cornwall on a pilgrimage.
The Aetherius Society regards Brown Willy, on the edge of Bodmin Moor, as having been charged with "holy energy" over 50 years ago.
Some 30 members of the society stayed in the Camelford area and made the pilgrimage to the summit, 420m (1,375ft) above sea level, on November 23, which they call Charging Day.
They were spotted on the tor by Davidstow resident and moor walker Arthur Boyt, who took photographs of them gathered in what appeared to be a form of worship.
Mr Boyt said: "The previous night I met a couple on the hill, but they were cagey about what they were doing there. The following day the group climbed over Rough Tor to get to Brown Willy. It took them about an hour.
"The crux of their visit came at about 2.30pm when the sun lined up with the positive and negative rocks they had chosen. They were standing up and chanting, like old revivalist preachers, and calling to Jehovah.
"It could have seemed mad to some people, but they were friendly and one woman told me she had been to Brown Willy on November 23 for the past five years.
"I spoke to them about the huge wind farm threat on Davidstow and they said turbines would seriously affect the power of the holy mountain."
The society is comprised of people dedicated to helping to heal and uplift humanity through spiritual action.
It was founded in 1955 by the late 'western master of yoga', Dr George King, in order to help the 'cosmic and ascended masters' to bring a state of balance back to humanity.
The society is based in Fulham Road, Chelsea, and Zascha Bresilley, a member who was manning the telephone there at the weekend, explained its beliefs and aims.
"There are 19 holy mountains all over the world, from Scotland, Cornwall and two in Devon, to Mount Kilimanjaro, one in California and two in New South Wales Australia.
"They are charged with holy energy, which can heal many of the things which are wrong with the world.
"The motives of those who go on the pilgrimages must be unselfish to heal best – good not evil – and the more people taking part, the more power generated.
"We know it has a positive effect – it could be someone on the other side of the world who is made a happy person."
Ms Bresilley said that the group stayed in the Camelford area and started their trek from the Roughtor car park.
"It went really well – there was a beautiful ray of sunlight coming through the cloud."
The society has around 1,000 members worldwide, including 400 in Britain, three of whom live in Cornwall.
It emphasised that Brown Willy is privately owned, and that it always obtains permission for pilgrimages to the site.