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Dubious Archaeology September 4, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Ancient, Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
Dubious Archaeology

Reading Kenneth Feder’s Encylopedia of Dubious Archaeology Beach was reminded of an adage by Benjamin Franklin. Franklin once said that before you start arguing with someone you need to make a fundamental decision: do you want to change that person’s opinion or do you want to draw blood? It is a frightening question because 90% […]

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 […]

Flying/Levitating/Jumping in Modern Tibet July 7, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Flying/Levitating/Jumping in Modern Tibet

Beachcombing knows virtually nothing about Tibet and has rarely visited the country in this blog – though he does have some happy memories of reincarnation and Queen Victoria. However, he recently stumbled on a fascinating account of levitation or flying  in the Himalayas that he could hardly pass by. Our source is a western author, […]

Lincoln’s Prophetic Dream June 23, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Lincoln's Prophetic Dream

Beachcombing has been having some troubling dreams of trails of gold sovereigns in the snow and a Babylonian Mother Goddess called Lindsey. This got him thinking of famous historical dreams and he settled, for today’s post, on a classic – Lincoln’s dream of his own death. Now, as all good Americans know, 14 April 1865 […]

Floating Yogis in the Fourteenth Century March 9, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
Floating Yogis in the Fourteenth Century

Here is a text that has long got on Beachcombing’s nerves. A fourteenth-century Arab traveller finds himself invited to the court of an Indian sultan and there has an encounter with some local yogis. *The Sultan sent for me once when I was with him at Delhi, and on entering I found him in a […]

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 […]

Aulus Gellius and Antique Forteana December 24, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
Aulus Gellius and Antique Forteana

Mrs B is incapacitated in the hospital, tiny little Miss B is learning to drink milk and the trusty family au pair is down and out with flu. Beachcombing, thus, has a terrifying day ahead of him alone with Little Miss B who has already made it clear that she objects to her little sister’s […]

J. Norman Emerson and Intuitive Archeology November 25, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
J. Norman Emerson and Intuitive Archeology

You, the archaeologist, are presented with a green hill far away and told to dig. ‘Back in the day’ – Beachcombing is thinking of happy times in the happy nineteenth century – you would have simply hired out a little brawn from a nearby town and blitzed said hillside with spades and picks. No pension contributions, […]

Dowsing for Submarines September 17, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Dowsing for Submarines

Beachcombing, in his hoarding way, has been storing up references to the military use of dowsing over the past months: indeed, he has already posted on the question of British dowsing for machine guns in the Second World War and hopes to come soon to the fraught question of dowsing for land mines this fall. […]

History and Akasha – A Walk on the Wild Side… September 4, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary, Medieval
History and Akasha - A Walk on the Wild Side...

Bit of an unusual post today as Beachcombing plunges, with misgivings and fear, into Akasha. Akasha is – for those of you, like Beachcoming a week ago, who have not the foggiest –  ‘an unseen substance which is all around us all and present in every atom of this world and of the universe. This […]

Dowsing for Machine Guns August 6, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Dowsing for Machine Guns

          The desperate straits to which Britain was reduced in the first year of the Second World War and Churchill’s maverick character thereafter, meant that many ideas were considered in the British military establishment, c. 1940-43, that would not normally have been whispered at an old women’s séance. Beachcombing recalls the […]

Victorian Poacher Sparks Will o’ the Wisp Scare August 3, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Victorian Poacher Sparks Will o' the Wisp Scare

        About six weeks ago Beachcombing gave space to a Victorian gamekeeper’s description of a Will o’ the Wisp (or something similar) seen in a wood one night. Tonight Beachcombing gives, instead, an account from the other side of the tracks. A poacher whose tricks might explain several nineteenth-century accounts of floating lights […]

Mongol elephants in America? July 22, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
Mongol elephants in America?

For the second article of Elephant Week Beachcombing thought that he would introduce one of his favourite early nineteenth-century books. Just let the title wash over you… John Ranking’s Historical researches on the conquest of Peru, Mexico, Bogota, Natchez, and Talomeco in the thirteenth century by the Mongols, accompanied with elephants: and the local agreement of […]

ET Phones Home in the Fifteenth Century? July 18, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
ET Phones Home in the Fifteenth Century?

                Beachcombing has been thrilled by correspondence over his posts and hopes to put up the useful (as opposed to the merely nice or amusing) ones towards the end of this month. However, he has been disappointed by the almost complete silence over some of his early pieces from the […]

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, […]

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