Category Archives: History

A History of Yeti Sightings

If you’re a fan of classic Doctor Who, you’ll probably love the two Patrick Troughton stories featuring the Yeti, from 1967 and 1968.  It’s not hard to see why Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln might have been inspired to write … Continue reading

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River Monsters

At the end of the 7th Century, an abbot of Iona Abbey on the Isle of Iona, named Adomnán, wrote Life of Columba, which contains the first ever mention of the Loch Ness Monster, albeit in the River Ness rather than … Continue reading

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Ghost Ships

At the risk of being accused of having poor taste, I have to admit that one of my favourite horror films is Ghost Ship from 2002.  Think what you like of that film, the opening sequence of the massacre on board … Continue reading

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Dracula: Contemporary Reviews

On 26th May 1897 the first edition of Dracula, by Bram Stoker, was published.  It went on to become one of the most popular books ever written, but what did contemporary reviewers think of the book at the time?  Lloyd’s Weekly … Continue reading

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Alice’s Adventures Underground

On this day in 1865, one of the most remarkable books ever written was first published, but its genesis can be traced back to the summer of 1862.  On 4th July that year, Dodgson went on one of his many … Continue reading

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Discworld and Flat Earth Myths

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels captured my imagination from an early age, and one of the reasons for that was the idea of a flat world flying through space on the back of four elephants, on the back of a giant … Continue reading

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Board Game Tour of Britain: Exeter

Exeter.  We have a mission: to follow the route of an old 1940s board game around Great Britain, sticking to the instructions as closely as we possibly can. Along the way we will look at the history of the places … Continue reading

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Momotaro: Sacred Sailors (Review)

In 1945 the first ever Japanese feature-length animated film was released, funded by the Japanese Naval Ministry as a tool for propaganda. As an anime fan with a keen interest in history, I couldn’t resist purchasing this as a special … Continue reading

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Abroad for Christmas #3

Alfred Basil Lubbock was a maritime author who fought in the Boer War, and wrote about his experiences in Round the Horn Before the Mast, published in 1902.  However, before being sent to the war, his ship was heading to … Continue reading

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Abroad for Christmas #2

The following quote is from Travels in Greece and Russia by the frankly magnificent author Bayard Taylor, published in 1859.  This man certainly knew how to live his life, and spent one Christmas Day in Lapland, travelling 40 miles across the … Continue reading

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Abroad for Christmas

American Quaker William Savery (1750-1804) was a notable abolitionist who travelled through Europe between 1796 and 1799.  His journal of travels was published posthumously, as A Journal of the Life, Travels, and Religious Labors of William Savery.  He spent one … Continue reading

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The First Trick or Treat

The origins of “trick or treating” are debatable, but can probably be dated back to one of various festivals and traditions from the middle ages in Britain. However, something strikingly similar and almost certainly unconnected can be found in the … Continue reading

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A Pioneering Film

In the very early days of silent film, France and Italy were the big hitters in the industry, with British filmmakers struggling to compete.  In the 1st April 1909 issue of The Bioscope, the editor welcomed a production that could … Continue reading

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Board Game Tour of Britain: Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight.  We have a mission: to follow the route of an old 1940s board game around Great Britain, sticking to the instructions as closely as we possibly can. Along the way we will look at the history of … Continue reading

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Cthulhu and UFOs at the Nativity

UFOlogists over the years have pored over the finer details of Renaissance art, looking for evidence to support their cause, and recently I have been having fun taking a scalpel to their findings.  The example I am going to look … Continue reading

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Spaceships at the Crucifixion

Once again I am indebted to a good friend for bringing another interesting painting to my attention, one that has fascinated UFO enthusiasts who went looking for historical evidence.  So here we have a 1350 fresco from the Visoki Decani … Continue reading

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The Original Foley Artists

Until the late 1920s films were all silent, with musical accompaniment generally provided live by a pianist. You might have seen clips of silent films with some very clichéd music playing on a hideous honky-tonk piano, such as Mysterioso Pizzicato … Continue reading

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Pliny’s UFO

Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis Historia is a fascinating piece of work, displaying an understanding of the world that seems remarkably ahead of its time. The first book concerns what we could broadly term astronomy. I recommend reading the whole text, … Continue reading

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The UFO Baptism

My article about UFOs in Rome provoked an interesting discussion among my friends, and I am indebted to one of them for sending me this image: It was sent as an example of the possibility of UFOs in art, and … Continue reading

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UFOs in Rome

When you look at lists of UFO sightings through history, one of the events that makes the list is recorded in Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita (The History of Rome), and took place in 218BC.  You tend to just see the … Continue reading

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