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  • Dumb Duels #5: Golf Duel January 13, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Dumb Duels #5: Golf Duel

    A golf duel from the US picked up by a British newspaper in 1927 and so dating to that year? From America comes an account of a strange duel – a combat with golf clubs and balls as ‘the weapons’ wherewith two disputants went out to seek satisfaction. A St. Louis man and a visitor […]

    The Crowd Swindle January 3, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Crowd Swindle

    The originality of Victorian criminals is often breath-taking. Here is a particularly fine dodge and something that would have made a quite excellent Sherlock Holmes short story. A remarkable case of attempting to extort money is reported from New York. Some years ago, it may be remembered, a Mr Rosenbaum, in London, was annoyed in […]

    A Missing Folklore Book: Marie Campbell December 10, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    A Missing Folklore Book: Marie Campbell

    Recently Chris, from Haunted Ohio Books, wrote a fascinating post on a missing folklore manuscript. Chris reached out to see whether anyone could find this precious document, a series of fairy legends from the Appalachian Mountains collected by Marie Campbell (1907-1980).* The legends were referred to in 1976 by Katharine Briggs in her Dictionary of […]

    Killer Snake Wheels November 19, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    Killer Snake Wheels

    Beach has just had a glorious meal but before going back to table he wanted to share this great snake urban legend: as regular readers will know snakes are a favourite subject. This comes from Pol and Fisher’s Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow: My Life as a Country Vet. How can anyone […]

    Tojo’s Teeth: Remember Pearl Harbor November 16, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Tojo's Teeth: Remember Pearl Harbor

    There is a post to be written and perhaps, when his file is big enough, Beach will attempt it of puerile acts of revenge carried out against defeated nations. Limiting ourselves here to the Second World War there is, for example, Hitler’s insistence that France’s surrender be signed in the same railway car, where German […]

    Marshal Ney Survives Death November 6, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Marshal Ney Survives Death

    Marshal Ney was Napoleon’s greatest general and even those who, like Beachcombing, loathe old Boney, feel some regret when they read of how Ney was executed 7 Dec 1815. The great man stood in front of the firing squad and himself gave the order to fire after telling his soldiers: ‘I have fought a hundred battles […]

    Immortals: Memories of the Revolutionary War in the Late Nineteenth Century October 30, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Immortals: Memories of the Revolutionary War in the Late Nineteenth Century

    Another immortal, this time from the Grantham Journal 20 Sep 1873. Note that vagueness about Afro-Americans’ ages was often pronounced in the late nineteenth century. Several of the ‘oldest American’ stories are about ex-slaves in the south. According to the Louisville Journal, a wonderful old negro is at present living at the farm of Dr. […]

    Fat Boy Blusters October 23, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Fat Boy Blusters

    The US bombing of Hiroshima went off, in operational terms, flawlessly. The bombing of Nagasaki was a different matter. For one thing, Nagasaki was not even the target: Fat Man was supposed to have been dropped on nearby Kokura but smoke from a conventional raid obscured the bombing run. Everything that could go wrong on […]

    Victorian Urban Legends: Surviving Death by Molten Iron October 10, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Victorian Urban Legends: Surviving Death by Molten Iron

    A busy day today as Beach is going to go and do five or six useless tasks. Here, then, is a fillip post, put tentatively in the urban legends file: surviving death by molten iron (or ‘molten metal’). This can’t be true can it? Can it? Drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com But few men have […]

    Time, Blood and Money in World War Two September 17, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Time, Blood and Money in World War Two

    It is perhaps the best quotation about the Second World War. ‘The British gave time, the Americans gave money, the Soviets gave blood’. In other terms the defeat of the Axis was made possible by the UK hanging on in the summer of 1940; by the Americans ability to outproduce the enemy; and by twenty […]

    Bottomless Pit in the Californian Desert September 5, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Bottomless Pit in the Californian Desert

    There are two interesting references in Helter Skelter (Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry), the description of the Charles Manson murders, to a bottomless pit in the Californian desert. First, a little background for anyone coming to this new. Charles Manson was a charismatic and unpleasant individual (a promising combination) who gathered a group of impressionable […]

    Intuition and Espionage September 4, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Intuition and Espionage

    A nice story about intuition and intelligence work. Aldrich Ames was a CIA operative and a schmuck. Starting in 1985 through 1993, when he was finally arrested, Ames gave Russian intelligence information in exchange for bags of cash. In short, a number of assets were executed and imprisoned in the Soviet Union so Ames could […]

    Stephen King and the Source of Bye Bye Man? August 22, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Stephen King and the Source of Bye Bye Man?

    This is thought fall out from reading Robert Damon Schneck’s Bye Bye Man a few months ago. The most fascinating chapter in the book is the eponymous ‘Bye Bye Man’: Beach described the case in great detail when he reviewed BBM but a quick recap. In 1990 three young adults (two men and a woman) […]

    Bending Towards Justice August 14, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    Bending Towards Justice

    ‘The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.’ This quotation is one that has followed Beach around for the last few years. It is the favourite sentence of a dear friend and often appears in the media. It was first said by a man of immense moral stature: Theodore Parker […]

    You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down July 5, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    You Can't Keep A Good Man Down

    Beach is proud to present this family story from West Virginia from Alan Moses. It took place in 1933. Old Man Bill Mason was my grandfather’s childhood mentor and post-adolescent friend and bootlegger. Bill spent a lifetime doing heavy farm work, his spine arthritic and bent in his old age as a result. When Bill […]

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