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  • Fireball in Perthshire? September 29, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Fireball in Perthshire?

    ***dedicated to Roberto*** This story is Perthshire in northern Scotland. It was recorded in 1906 after the even more striking account of the Sutherland fire ball. Late on Saturday night in autumn some seventy years ago, friends of the present writer were engaged in bringing in and stacking their corn. The day had been fine […]

    Sutherland Fire Ball September 7, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Sutherland Fire Ball

    ***dedicated to Roberto*** This appeared in Blackwood’s Magazine under the title ‘A Southron in Sutherland’, Sutherland being a Scottish county. The year of publication was 1906: the year of the experience was 1882. An unusually vivid account of a fire ball of some kind. Note the way that it rises out of the road. In […]

    Dragons in Sixteenth-Century Devon? June 2, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
    Dragons in Sixteenth-Century Devon?

    Challacombe is a small village to the west of Exmoor in Devon in the south-west of the UK. On the edge of the moor there are many ‘hillocks of earth and stones, cast up anciently in large quantity’, i.e. prehistoric burial mounds. So far so normal, this is a classic landscape in a marginal agricultural area, that […]

    In Search of the Science Behind Misleading Wisps May 16, 2013

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    In Search of the Science Behind Misleading Wisps

    Beach has covered, on previous occasions, stories of will o’th’ wisps (never know how to spell that damn word/words) and lights that apparently have a mind of their own. First, it is worth making a division between memorates (experiences) and folk-lore. Memorates often include descriptions of being out on this or that moor and running […]

    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 […]

    Victorian Will o’ the Wisp June 3, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Victorian Will o’ the Wisp

              Beachcombing is in a Victorian country mood this week – the kind that comes and goes. It should be no surprise then that he’s decided to give a short extract from one of his favourite Victorian country books, the autobiography of John Wilkes, a gamekeeper based (for much of his professional […]