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The Durham Lights #2: The Candidates December 19, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
The Durham Lights #2: The Candidates

In a previous post we set out, with some help from Charles Fort and David Clarke the history of the Durham Lights, shipwrecking lights that turned up on the jagged coast at Whitburn (North-East England) in the mid late 1860s and that were only banished with the opening of the Souter Lighthouse in January 1871. […]

The Durham Lights #1: Introduction December 15, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
The Durham Lights #1: Introduction

The Durham Lights (aka the False Durham Lights or the Whitburn Lights) are a nice example of a few chance and unclear facts morphing out of control and spawning suspect Forteana. From 1864 to 1870, particularly though not exclusively in the winter, wrecks became common on the Whitburn Steel, some aptly named rocks, between Sunderland […]

William Corliss RIP July 16, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary
William Corliss RIP

An email from Moonman brings the sad news that William Corliss passed away 8 July, a month and a half shy of his eighty-fifth year. Corliss, for those who don’t know, was the world’s greatest living anomalist. From 1974 to his death he collected curiosities culled from science magazines and journals. He then took these […]

The Allendale Wolf January 24, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
The Allendale Wolf

As this has been the season of the werewolf Beachcombing thought that today he would introduce the last English wolf, for yes, unfortunately the British Isles no longer have any of the howling ones. The conventional answer – and Beachcombing, in happier days, planned a book on British Dodos – is that the last English […]

Marchers on the Moon June 14, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Marchers on the Moon

                    Beachcombing has previously enjoyed picking over the Victorians’ and their telescope-fuelled speculations about intelligences on nearby planets. Today though he offers up not a Victorian astronomer but an early twentieth-century newspaper clipper: Charles Fort (1874-1932) who flirted with the idea of life on the moon (and, indeed, […]