Reg Presley, who has died aged 71, was lead singer with The Troggs, the pop group which notched up seven huge hits in the mid-1960s including Wild Thing; in later years, he became an idiosyncratic philosopher and student of intergalactic travel.
His bold and highly original belief system, described in his 2002 book, Wild Things They Don’t Tell Us, concentrated principally on alien abductions, crop circles, and what he saw as the close relationship between UFO’s and ancient monuments. Presley also developed a scheme designed to reclaim deserts and even patented a fog-warning system.
It seems his life outside music had been unremarkable until Saturday, June 1 1974. “It was lunchtime,” he recalled. “I saw a news bulletin about a fire in Flixborough. It described how the blaze was melting windows half a mile away. I tell my wife about it. Six o’clock, I turn on the news again, and it says the explosion only happened at eight minutes to five. How did I see a report about a disaster four hours before it happened? Could the broadcast signal have been affected by gravity?”
Into my heart an air that kills From yon far country blows: What are those blue remembered hills, What spires, what farms are those? That is the land of lost content, I see it shining plain, The happy highways where I went And cannot come again.