Stone head mystery explained - VIDEO

THEY were being linked to the occult and other dark practices - but the great gargoyle mystery is now solved.

Wednesday, 3rd October 2007, 9:22 am
Updated Wednesday, 28th November 2007, 1:25 pm

Three mysterious stone heads appeared like magic at a South Yorkshire post office and caused a stir among the local community.

Braithwell postmaster Mike Hoyes and his wife Valerie first believed they may have been targeted by some strange sect with a sinister message.

But then the enigma became more puzzling, as more gargoyle-like heads began appearing across Goathland and Kilburn, North Yorkshire, and Arthington, near Leeds.

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York Museum even got involved, with experts examining the stones, each about one-foot tall, in a vain bid to find the answer. They too were left scratching their heads.

All the sculptures were accompanied by curious messages and a weird symbol that fittingly appeared to spell out the word 'paradox'.

A card posted with the stones at Braithwell Post Office said: "Twinkle twinkle like a star, does love blaze less from afar?"

But today the strange case of the stone heads was unravelled - an "art project" by a Yorkshire-based sculptor.

The man behind the mystery appears to be artist Billy Johnson, who runs an online shop with carvings exactly the same as the ones found in Braithwell.

Mr Johnson runs Paradox Carvings - and the word "paradox" has been chiselled into the stone heads. The Star contacted Paradox Carvings but no-one was available for comment.

However, Liz White, a director of the Art House, an organisation the sculptor is connected to, said: "He says that he wants people to do what they want with them, take them in, leave them there, give them away, whatever they want to do with them."

She said he told her 57 heads had been left across the north of England: "They're gifts for the people who find them, part of an on-going art project and not a publicity stunt."

But the explanation of the mystery prompted a feeling of disappointment back at the post office.

Valerie said: "It's had the whole village buzzing and everyone has been wondering what was going on."

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