The case of ghost ship Mary Celeste

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Perhaps one of the most durable nautical mysteries ever recorded.On the 7th November

In the year 1872 a ship was found drifting along the coast of Portugal. Her name forever carved in our memories and for good reason as nothing adds up in any theory offered. Alien abduction, pirates ,mutiny and many more equally silly ideas of what caused a very experienced captain to abandon his ship.

We must set out some of this story , even though you have heard it all before many times.Some of the facts have never been told. For instance no dinner plates of half eaten food ever was the case. Yet so many believe it to be true. The ship was under her own power and had sailed most of the way from the Azores   to the position  she was found to be in just off the coast of Portugal.

The brigantine from England named Dei Gratia Captained by  Edward Morehouse saw what looked like a ship in trouble. No sails just the jib and one top sail but she was unable to steer a course. Morehouse brought his ship near alongside of her but could make out only her name He sent  three signals without reply .He had birthed next to her in New York just two weeks prior bound with cargo of industrial alcohol for the port of Genoa .Morehouse was loaded for Gibraltar  seeing a deserted ship that had sent of before him mid ocean now coasting off the coast some 200 miles of course he now sent over his first officer.A giant of a man called Oliver Deveau  a trusted man with the favour of the crew. In the company of others he boarded the Mary Celeste to find it wet inside and sea soaked un made births. On closer inspection they found the port side windows all boarded up.Down in the hold one of the pumps was stoved in and useless. Water about 2.6 feet deep filled that boat bottom and the cargo was in tact save for one opened barrel. In the cabin all sea charts lay all over the place and the sextant had been smashed in. The yawl had gone and the rails that released the boat lay  where the boat had been launched.

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They counted the births belongings of each member of crew but two beds belongings were none. The 282 ton Brigantine was deserted with no sin or clue as to why Captain Benjamin Briggs had called the ship to be abandoned. On top of this Briggs had a wife and two year old daughter Sofie aboard. Morehouse knew all about them as both ships had loaded cargo in New York harbour some 11 days prior.

in the hold 1701 barrels of industrial alcohol was mostly in tact. One barrel had been opened. Some empty had leaked. No smell was present in the main cabin or crew quarters. Seven crewmen Briggs the Skipper and his family had all vanished leaving the ship to sail herself.

Azores is 972 miles from Lisbon Portugal. 1562 miles from London England and 2561 miles from New York.USA.  Some place between Azores and Portugal coast Mary Celeste had been abandoned. She could have sailed on no  real course for over 600 miles. The ships log had been left which no sailor ever would do was to loose the log. It was last entered just days before with no sign of happening. They had sailed the other side of Azores to try keeping out of a storm and had nothing more than that was logged.

Things looked very suspect but Morehouse had no choice than to take the charge of the deserted ship for salvage sale.

In December 1885 the Bark Alhama of Arendal Norway was found in much the same state abandoned and no trace of crew or captain. This too was just off the coast of Portugal . The crew of either ship vanished never to be heard of ever again. No one ever declared that they are the lost survivors.

i know race ahead to 1919. The Massive Iron battleship New Mexico was seen to shiver right down her length. Guns fell off turrets rattled the crew jumped over board as the fear was they had hit a bomb site. This lasted about ten minutes unexplained. research on her metal body seemed to relate to the old seamans fable of the sea quake being the cause.

Sea quakes we now know exist as in 1967 a Sperm Whale was washed right up a beach in Lancashire England. It was huge and on Northern News. I went to see this as she lay there for days before the animal rescue services and helpers towed her into the sea but she was dead.  Now we know that this great sea monster of a huge whale had been picked up and dumped by the sea quake that comes from the sea floor just as earth quakes do.

I read the story of Captain (retired ) David Williams who after a life time at sea in ships knows all about sea quakes and he thinks ,like me, that indeed Mary Celeste ended same way. The equipment may have started going wrong and Briggs found himself following the sextant only to find he was miles off track. Then the sea quake and it proved to much to bare. In the life boat all went and lost the rope that had them connected to the ship. Maybe the fear she was going down shaking loose of her timbers they decided to abandon.  All points to a hasty exit so if that was really what happened and I doubt it not then what happened to the people? Sadly they perished in high seas too many in an open rowing launch on the Atlantic Oceans hated run.

So by all   things proper that launched Yawl from the div on board showed that of a larger row boat carrying two masts and sails. If gas from the broken topped barrel had caused small explosion when the hatch was opened and lantern pushed in to see what was going on in the cargo hold.

Then we go back to sea quake it accounts for the men departing. The way the sails had been taken down was so they could use the spar to unload the boat. Now in a choppy water with earth quake power the ship sailed away as  the boat met water the line broken and the yawl could do nothing to catch the Brig. The thing then is how long can you survive outside of shipping lanes in an open boat on high seas with just a few cans of bullied beef and a bottle of water as we know that was all they took. It all points to loosing the rope that held them to the ship. I have thought of this every way possible over years of seeing every film and reading every book printed on the mystery. I can say it is not a mystery at all as if my theory is right it explains a sad story of misadventure only.

No doubt Briggs was not to blame nor his crew but something got them to quickly depart from that ship. We can look at Piracy but nothing was touched. Cargo in place and all crew belongings save for two unexplained. Those two men said that they last everything in the last ship that sank. Both of these men had been brothers.This led to the story of mutiny. I examined such but it explains nothing.

I think all sat in that boat and waited for the ship to stop shaking. Then they lost connection and with just two sails Mary Celeste sailed off and left them stranded.

Further more it may be said that no survivors and no one ever checked the graveyards in Azores islands nor in Portugal just in case bodies had been found.  Sad it is that they died, even that little Sofie aged 2. RIP

All we can ever do is pray for them as not one of them survived.  Nor would the sailors on the Norwegian vessel some 13 years later. Two tales of ships sailing alone just off the coast of Portugal points to sea quakes of mighty power. Both cases end exactly the same only the Mary Celeste stole the show.

Thank you all for reading my stories. Hope to see you again soon with my next amazing fact adventure. My intent is to keep it short and interesting just to wet your appetite and read all available on this fascinating subject .

 

Yours with respect Sir Kevin Parr Baronet.

 

Copyright kevin Parr Bt 2018

 

 

 

 

 

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Donald Campbell and The last Race

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To start at the beginning we have to look closely at Donald as a boy. The son of a mighty race ace and daredevil renowned in the form of Sir Malcolm Campbell winner of land and water world cups. A real speed king who had little time for his rejected son. For Donald worshiped him was not enough for this fame seeking father to love him. It was a feeling that would last even after Sir Malcolm Campbells death.

Donald was born on the 23rd March 1921 Canbury House Kingston upon Thames Surrey England. He lived in the shadow of his great victorious father. His desire was never to race as he believed he was no good at anything. He left school with less than average skills and sought a job in a factory. He was then to meet again his fathers able promoter and mechanic and friend in Leo Villa. Over time Villa was able to talk Donald into racing. It took time but here we are in Australia with Bluebird car winning the world championship.Donald at the wheel. His first comment was “Do you think the old man would be happy with me now.”

Over time Donald built up a track and water speed record as good as anything his father had managed. He was now land and water race winner in the same year. A speed king Ace who had been rejected by call up for war as health problems stopped him going into forces. Rejected by his father and now world champion with only the wish, to please his dead fathers memory.

He told of doing it all for England. It was true but under it all he felt a failure all his life. We think his father may even have beat him for being weak. Only no proof as Donald never spoke only to ask and annoy all he pestered ,”Will my father be happy with me?”

The day I saw Bluebird k7 power down Windermere water at such speed with a back view from where I stood massive water fountains like fish tail as the boat flew from sight. The roar of that Bristol Orpheus Gnat Fighter engine was deafening all ears around the lake end. It was really practice as Bluebird was moored in Norman Buckleys boat house in the shore line of lake and his Langdale Chase Hotel.
Buckley was a boat racer himself and the two hit it off. Campbell stayed at another hotel as Chase was always fully booked. I also know that he was short of funds at that time. Norman Buckley was one of the richest men around and so he introduced Donald to electrical engineering friends who ran a business in Kendal some 8 miles away. Here it was agreed that they would work on up dating Bluebirds wiring harness.

In records I did find that Donald was not left Blue bird in his fathers will.No he had to buy it off his fathers estate? I can quite see Donalds rejection now.

About six days prior to the death race on Coniston Water Donald had confided in a friend that that he was about to go through a nervous breakdown. That friend told him not to race or drive but to check in with hospital.

The day of that fateful race Donald had drawn the death card in play of cards. He was always a very superstitious man and had a premonition he was about to die. Here he should have said no. But public and TV had all arrived early. He put on his brave face buckled up and hoped for the best. I do not think for one moment that he had a death wish. He had come all the way up and was still and even now today the only man ever to hold both land and water speed races titles in the same year. He had nothing to prove but racing was now in his blood. He smiled, climbed in and powered Bluebird K7 down the lake for try one. He recorded 297 mph Southbound. One thing he saw was the bow lift away from the water. Bluebird K7 he now realized was going beyond her ability in design. If that nose lifted more than 3 degrees up the craft would simply take off from the lake. He made the turn round fast as he knew that wake he had to break before it became too high. Time was all he needed and with engine warm he gave her full power back down the lake to the one mile marker and hope going through he would break his own record. Campbell always gave a running commentary over the radio to his team on shore.

His last words before Bluebird hit 328mph and lifted out of the water.

” Full nose up.pitching a bit down here. Coming through our own wash,er! getting straightened up now on track in rather closer to Peel Island …And we are tramping like mad,over. I cant see much and the waters very bad indeed. … Im galloping over that top and she is giving a hell of a bloody row in here….. I cant see anything , Ive got the bows out … Im going .UHHH!”

At this moment the craft had raised far out from the lake and backwards into a somersault and crashed down into what would be a concrete hard surface of water at that speed. At that exact moment Bluebirds perspex wind shield cuts Donalds head right off his shoulders he is dead before the craft sank.

It was a tragic end to a great and noble gentleman who gave his all that day. The simple truth is Bluebird K7 was not made to cope with 300 miles per hour. She could not take the power of flat out with the skill of such a driver he brought even more out of her than was ever expected. Death wish no it was win win and win again.

He had almost cried over John Cobbs death in Crusader on Lochness just a short time before. Now all mourned Donald who would not be found for another 36 years.
That day of race 5th January 1967 the 46 year old Campbell was lost. In 2001 was brought back up from the cold deep  waters. Donald-Campbell-with-Bluebird-Lake-Eyre-1963After a wide search for Bluebirds wreckage .In the deep gloom of an almost bottomless lake divers located the main fuselage of K7 but the nose cone end had not been located nor Campbells head. His helmet had been found still buckled proving he had been decapitated on impact. His blue overalls bearing the Union Jack flag found in bits around the headless skeleton that on DNA tests in Barrow in Furness Hospital matched with Daughter Gina and Donalds sister. 98 % fact recorded it was the remains of Donald Campbell.

He was buried in Coniston Village, Hawkshead Road cemetery, Cumbria UK.

Campbell had once told his sister that if anything happened Skipper and boat must stay together. He may still have that wish as nose cone and head will never be found in that cold dark waters of a Viking Lake in the land of mountains and legends he has joined the story of the area folk law. Along with Eric the Red and Kings Arthur and Dunmail who was the once and future King of legend. Roman fortress and Viking Halls, stone circles from before time was invented and now Donald Campbell is part of that story too.
He had not given up hope until Bluebird K7 killed him as it hit the concrete hard water he survived for just  seconds after impact as the screen broke off and all was over. He had a quick ending and one hopes above he can stand up to the father who rejected him as weak with more titles to prove who really was the better man.
I hope you remember his name and stand with me to protect his memory as he was a real gentleman in life and a legend forever. He was not weak as his over powering father had predicted he was just unloved. Even so he made a champion who has my respect

 

Yours always my friends my readers and thank you for joining me again. Sorry it is not   mystery now but at least his earthly bones are at rest from the deep.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2018

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the occult

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The world in the summer of 1917 was upturned by World War. The little silent

village of Cottingley was just an area on the edge of the city Bradford, in the county of Yorkshire. Yet it was to be famed all over the world through the action of two young girls.
Come with me now to the garden were young Frances Griffiths aged 9 from South Africa and her cousin Elsie Wright aged 16 are taking photographs of fairies at the bottom of Elsie familys long garden. She had taken her fathers new camera out of his hobby darkroom and suddenly the lie broke loose on an unsuspecting world.

Elsies father did not believe but his wife Polly did. The five photographs taken can be seen above .They have been cleaned up with modern technology and we may see what we see more clearly than from the originals.

A mystery it was and perhaps still may be but not in the way of judgement. a child trick that took the world by storm. You see how it worked in the sadness of war the hope these photos brought to millions of a better world than ours hidden in the banks of a gentle stream and woodland setting. Perhaps they wanted it all to be true and so we now tell the story as we progress into the past.

Elsies mother took a long look at her daughters work and decided it was really magic. So much so she took the photos with her to a meeting of the Theosophical  Society. A group of dedicated explorers into the unexplained. Not a load of silly old folk but what became the nucleus of a universal brotherhood of humanity . Run by a writer named Edward Gardner who accepted the photos at first glance as real. He then borrowed the work to display with his lectures on the occult. His way with  words sold the people the right to believe in another more peaceful world than ever mankind could live in. A curtain over the horror of war.

Enter our stage Sherlock Holmes creator Doctor Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Gardner had shown photographs taken of Fairies playing with two girls in a woodland setting. Doyle, an occultist spiritualist believed the photos stood as real proof at last, that another world ran parallel with ours. That was enough to start the ball rolling.

Doyle was on tour so he sent Gardner a message to bring in expert help. Gardner found photo expert Harold Snelling who was famous for spotting false and trick photography. This expert then pronounced to the world that the said photographs had not been faked and stood up as real.  Here we can stop as years roll by. 1921 Doyle is planning a book on the occult and recalls the fairy photos. He sends in Clairvoyant renown  Geoffrey Hodson. A man that Doyle had dealings with and seemed to trust.

What happened then was shocking as after he spent time with the girls in Cottingley Leeds he returned to Undershaw House in Hindshead Surrey  and the home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Hodson declared that like these girls ,he himself saw the garden full of fairy life. Doyle was delighted and planned a series of talks on the occult using proof from the photos.He was entirely taken in hook line and sinker as a believer in fairies, elf, goblin and Gnomes.

Doyle made a good income from his lectures including the passage of proof that fairies existed as his big finish.He even had a book published on the subject.

Leaving that period of time behind we now roll fast forward to the year 1982 and we are able to witness a BBC interview presented by Joe Cooper with both Elsie and Frances as two old ladies on the subject of fairy photographs. It related to an article in The Unexplained Magazine as Elsie had admitted she had falsified all five fairy photographs from artwork painted by Frances cut out from stiff cardboard and pined into the ground for photoing. It caused a sensation I recall.

Frances had a book by Arthur Shepperson who wrote in  Princess Marys Gift book which bore many fairy drawings within its pages. From this Frances, a talented artist had painted just what would look life like. The girls then cut them all out, pasted onto board and there we have it, photos via a camera in the hands of two young forgers.

A lie that would have ruined Doyle reputation .Have brought down Gardner and that dishonest clairvoyant in seconds. But then in 1983 not one of them mentioned were around to be laughed at.

What a lie can do is beyond belief but is never the less true.Some Six people affected and for nearly 70 years two world wars and up to the 1980s five black and white photographs taken by children who with guile and devilment brought us a world beyond our own. Only to admit their guilt on air 67 year later.

We look at the photos today and cannot see how so many millions of people could have been fooled. Was it a generation that needed hope, wanted magic and prepared to accept as fact utter nonsense? Or is that our clean up of those photographs show us far more than the soft, slightly out of focus, tinted originals.Photographs that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle held close to his eyes and unlike his Sherlock Homes character was totally taken in by the case of fantasy.

Perhaps we all hope for better worlds even now. I would be sorry for fairies in a world of today myself. I cannot say we are alone on earth but for most of us fairy tales really are just that.

A mystery cleared by the dismissal of a lie from the mouths of the guilty.

Thank you for your support in reading a tale that made the world sit up and listen to. Over a vast period of time 101 years, for many more than will admit all was truth and fairies did exist.  For three generations it was fact for some 45% of the population.The proof lay in those photographs.

The work by Conan Doyle was first publish in 1922 by Hodder and Stoughton London England. Entitled The Coming of the Fairies. It remains in circulation even today. In the pages of this book all five faked photos appear as Doyle used them as his big fact that fairies are at the bottom of your garden. He believed right up to his death. What power that lie did have to travel through from Leeds across the globe and exits for 101 years. Now that is the only mystery . As for Sherlock Holmes he would have spotted the fake and marked it as a case for Watson to write up. Not so his able creator. The first mentioned detective was penned far earlier by Edgar A Poe with inspector Dupin stories. The first real detective came after Doyle Sherlock Holmes first appearance in the London Strand Newspapers with Jack Whicher OF Scotland Yard 1880s who was a real human being not an invented character.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2018

 

Jack Whicher

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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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The Mystery of Cleopatra Tomb.

Mark Antony                                             Cleopatra

pjKehLvtsSdchwWxgG4CVGwx  Cleopatra was the last Pharaoh of Egypt. She was of Greek blood through her Great the grandfather General Ptolemy who had been granted Egypt by Alexander the Great. Cleopatra was a ruler with her brother but he had rebelled and so Cleopatra pleaded from help from the Roman Juio Caesar. Julio or Julius as we call him today ran a battle against young Ptolemy and the boy was drown by accident. Cleopatra was now head girl. She spoke nine languages and accounts of her such as that of Plutarch who wrote the life of Antony tells us that her actual beauty was not so remarkable that none could be compared with her.The character that attended all she said and did was something bewitching.

In this account I write I deal with not her rule ,though that in itself was excellent as she loved her people and had far vision. She spoke in their tongue though dealt in Greek. She studied finance and ruled in fair way. I deal with what really happened after that battle with Octavian in the seas off Actium Greece.

Setting the scene we see Julius return home to Rome having fathered a boy child with Cleopatra. He was called Ciserian and was breach born.His name therefore forever attached to the method of birth.

Mark Antony was Julius Caesars friend and was sent to talk sense into paying of taxes to Rome by Egypt. As Antony sailed into see her Cleopatra sailed to great him in barge where she was a Goddess and her guards all dressed as servants to her .The sail of this barge had been soaked in heavenly perfumes made by Cleopatra to drift into Antonys face before he ever saw her. It was a ploy that worked and so Antony with excited blood met with his future wife. Not that it was planed to work out that way.

Julius was dead his will decreed young Octavian would be Caesar and so when Antony replied he was in love and married to the none payer of taxes he had been sent to arrest all hell broke out.Octavian knew well that Antony was the greatest army General in Rome. So he could not win on land.He chose the sea knowing Antonys hate of sea battles.

Antony had no choice and went with the smaller Egyptian fleet against the might of Rome. Cleopatra did not as legend states join Antony but prepared for his safe return.

We know that Octavian won and Antony had fled to his new wifes side. Octavian at his heels Antony said his farewell and fell on his sword dead. Cleopatra cried but at the gates of the Nile Octavian had arrived with all Roman army at his side. She considered for a while than drank poisons. She did not use the snake as history says as the ASP poison can take all day to kill its victim. She had to finish it fast.

Her faithful servants moved her body whilst Octavian was burning Mark Antonys corpse in true Roman cremation style.

What happened to the body of Cleopatra is the mystery. Octavian searched but found nothing. He had seen her dead but where was she now?

Egypt was now under Roman rule.Octavian Emperor and had changed his name to Augustus Caesar.  He had Roman rule in Egypt and in celebration of his victory he paraded the effigies of Mark Antony and Queen Cleopatra on an ox cart tied in chains to the horror of all who viewed.

We leave that time as we now must be here today. For two thousand years her tomb had been untouched. We know that Professor Zahi Hawas  of the Museum of Egypt research department has theory that Cleopatra was burred in the Temple of Toposins Magna some 30 miles outside of Alexandre. As yet no real proof is found.

Cleopatra was of the Pholemaic Dynasty that had ruled Egypt for 300 years. She had a perfume factory and used lead based eye decoration not as fashion but to ward off the sand particle invasion that come in sand storms. Her eye lids  would suffer cracks so she invented the famous look for medical reasons. We know that she had illnesses as her whole family dealt in incest sex. She was really incest soup in fact. Married to both of her brothers was only half of that story.  She was 28 when she died. The last of the Pharaoh of Egypt is still a mystery as in deed she was in life. Somewhere around the Nile river Cleopatra must be hidden to rise as a goddess out of the sands of time. One day she will be found by men such as Mister Haswas and his team.

Antony was born in Rome on the 14th January in the year 83BC. He died on 1st August 30BC Egypt. He is either , as legend is burried with his wife Cleopatra or as what is more likely he drifted as dust in ash by cremation. I go for the later as it may account how the maid servants shifted Cleopatra body away from the palace.

It pays to watch Zahi Haswas research as funds have just arrived to assist his dig to find the tomb of Cleopatra in the ruins of an ancient temple cellar.

Thank you once more for your time reading it is my humble pleasure to be your guide into our mysterious past.

Yours faithfully, as always Sir Kevin.

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Copyright Kevin Parr Bt

Was it suicide,accident or murder that ended poor Amys life.

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Amy Robsart  original
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Amy from art painting 1800s
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Robert Dudley
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William Cecil

The death of a fine noble 28 year old woman, in 1560 it made history of a case. The wife of Robert Dudley first Duke of Northumberland  was found dead in her house at base of a stair.We have no idea where this stair was located or how many steps it had as nothing of Cumnor Place near Oxford now remains of it today. It has been passed around so many times as to her real fate and we  have a clear view to see if we but open our minds to logic not maybe that leads to fairy tales. Continue reading “Was it suicide,accident or murder that ended poor Amys life.”

The A6 road murder mystery

JAMES HANRATTY                                            PETER ALPHONS

In the afternoon of a dull August day in the year of 1961 a strange event took place just outside of London in Bedfordshire  countryside. A scientist was shot dead in the head.His young mistress raped and shot 5 times but survived to give witness details that may have hanged the wrong man.

Continue reading “The A6 road murder mystery”

Doctor Hawley Crippen case file

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Born in 1862 Michigan USA to an industrious working family who owned a thriving business young Hawley grew up rich. He had desired to study medicine and left the family home in Coldwater to seek out a student course which brought him to  the University of Michigan and passed all to qualify as  an MD with degree in Homeopathy and so then traveled to Cleveland hospital to further his education. His job chance came in New York office of Homeopathic company drug dept. Here he met his wife an Irish Nurse ,one Charlotte Bell. Within a year their child was born. A boy they named Otto. All was fine and happy days until in 1892 Charlotte died of apoplexy  leaving Crippen stunned and lonely with a child he was finding so difficult to help with the pressures of his job. His parents came to his rescue and took the child over. A life In sunny California was really the best thing leaving their hard working son to make his way in the world.

Some time later Crippen saw a stage play and fell head long in lust with Cora Turner who filled his heart as well as the stage. The real story thus must start here as we must quickly go on to the marriage and what was his end.

Continue reading “Doctor Hawley Crippen case file”