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Napoleon and the Great Pyramid: Myth and Reality December 2, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Modern
Napoleon and the Great Pyramid: Myth and Reality

One of the best WIBT (wish I’d been there) moments in history must have been that wonderful occasion when Napoleon ascended to the royal chamber in the Great Pyramid and asked to spend a minute alone with the pharoahs: perhaps it is so fantastically attractive as history because no one was there and so there […]

Baby Eating Eagles #2: Video Evidence? November 11, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
Baby Eating Eagles #2: Video Evidence?

A couple of years Beach wrote a blog on birds of prey ‘stealing’ babies: the following post serves as an update of a subject that greatly interests both this blogger and those who arrive here by google. Since the original post two important events have taken place. First, a video was put up December 2012 […]

The Existence of the Mermaid is Now Certain c. 1794 September 24, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
The Existence of the Mermaid is Now Certain c. 1794

We haven’t done mermaids for a long time. Yet who can forget the submarine and the mermaids or the Queen of Cuba or the mermaid that ate boiled fish or for that matter Christopher Columbus and the mermaid and the mermaid killed in Exeter. Oh happy days… Anyway, from memories of the past to a new […]

Spirit Photo Fakes September 23, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Spirit Photo Fakes

Beach has been enjoying, thanks to the Count (a longstanding friend of this blog), some fabulous spirit pictures, from the golden age of spiritualist shysterism. These were spirit sittings where men and women were photographed and spirits were invited into their presence. The spirits were then, if we are to believe the skeptics, as in […]

Hydropathy: Roby Comes Through August 31, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Hydropathy: Roby Comes Through

Hydropathy was one of Victorian England’s most interesting errors, the belief that by ‘taking the waters’ various serious conditions could be cured. Stuff and nonsense? Well, according to modern medical science, yes: and Darwin in the nineteenth century himself experimented with hydropathy (for his mysterious health condition) concluding that any success was really just a […]

Victorian Lesbian Cobblers August 26, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Victorian Lesbian Cobblers

A week in which this blogger has had a thrilling time reading works on the history of lesbianism: some surprisingly good books out there. Anyway, one of the most fascinating facts about sexuality in western Europe and later European colonies is that way that there was one standard for male homosexuality and quite another for […]

The Golden Ghost of Mold #5: Against the Golden Ghost! August 20, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary, Modern, Prehistoric
The Golden Ghost of Mold #5: Against the Golden Ghost!

An attempt follows to draw the not-so-golden threads of the Golden Ghost together.  We have definite evidence from Rev. Clough that in 1833 when the grave was dug that there was the story in the locality of a golden ghost associated with the tomb. However, there are a number of problems with this. First, only […]

The Golden Ghost of Mold #4: Ludlam’s Account August 18, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern, Prehistoric
The Golden Ghost of Mold #4: Ludlam's Account

Another from our series on the Golden Ghost of Mold. This report dates from 1966 and from Harry Ludlam’s fun The Mummy of Birchen Bower. Ludlam was a ‘gifted amateur’ with a better grasp of facts, in this case, than the Oxford published Walter Johnson, who we were a little rude about in a previous […]

The Longest Sentry Duty August 17, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
The Longest Sentry Duty

Beachcombing is not a huge fan of Bismarck (what’s there to like?), but his memoirs have some great passages. This story is one of those WIBT (Wish I’d Been There) moments and relates to a visit to St Petersburg in 1859. If Beach had read this at second hand he would have pressed the ‘legend’ […]

The Golden Ghost of Mold #3: The Golden Woman of Mold August 16, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern, Prehistoric
The Golden Ghost of Mold #3: The Golden Woman of Mold

In two previous posts we have discussed the traditions (ahem) behind the Golden Ghost of Mold. Now we want to look at the person who was buried in the tomb and another problem for the Golden Ghost tradition: the tenant was almost certainly an itty-bitty Welsh woman rather than a mighty warrior. How do we […]

The Golden Ghost of Mold #2: Walter Johnson Debases Gold August 14, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern, Prehistoric
The Golden Ghost of Mold #2: Walter Johnson Debases Gold

Beach has frequently enjoyed before the power of oral transmission: information skipping across the centuries like a flat stone spun over a pond. Here is a supposed memory of oral transmission concerning the Golden Ghost tomb from Mold in northern Wales. This time the account comes from Walter Johnson’s Folk Memory and Archaeology (1907) A […]

Eaten by Rats? August 11, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Eaten by Rats?

***Dedicated to Chris C*** A short post to ask a very simple question: can rats kill homo sapiens? Of course, given the bubonic plague the answer is yes. But what about in a more simple and straightforward fashion. Can a big enough group of rats attack and overpower a weak enough human being or are […]

The Allies and NOT Faking the Holocaust August 4, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
The Allies and NOT Faking the Holocaust

Several emails about the horrific photograph of the murdered woman and child at Ivangorod. Many of these emails went around the idea that this photograph was a misunderstanding (an idea that we have now argued against under the post itself) or that it was a fake. Certainly, if you stroll around the internet there are […]

The Wessel Coins #3: Kilwa and its Sultanate July 27, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
The Wessel Coins #3: Kilwa and its Sultanate

  Kilwa (or Quiloa as it was often called in European sources) was a small almost-tidal island off the coast of Tanzania. ‘Almost tidal’ because in its early history there was allegedly a causeway and even in later centuries it was possible to wade to Kilwa at low tide. The city of Kilwa was a […]

Colonialism and Burying the Irish Under Buildings July 18, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
Colonialism and Burying the Irish Under Buildings

Luise White published, in 2000, her Speaking with Vampires: Rumor and History in Colonial Africa. Very crudely – the book is difficult to reduce to a simple core because it recognizes complexity on the ground –White shows how colonial anxiety was played out through what she chose to call ‘vampire’ legends. Europeans and their agents […]

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