Sunday, September 20, 2009

In The News...



Here are some more entries of strange, paranormal, silly and sometimes just plain frightening news from the past in the superb Fortean Times magazine's "Tales From The Vault", "Sidelines" and "Strange Deaths" sections.

January 1976: Peter Watts, a 15 year-old boy from Colwyn Bay, Wales left his home on the morning of the 18th. Little did his friends and family know that he would not be seen alive again. He had left a note saying he was going to a friends house to study for an exam. Soon after 1:30 that afternoon, he was found dying in the underpass near Euston Square tube station in London. A taxi-driver found him lying on the road with a severely fractured skull and rushed him to a nearby University College Hospital, where he died. Peter's father said he knew no one in London. His skull injury, cracked ribs and fractured shoulder were all consistent, in the coroner's view, with a fall from a great height rather than from an assault or self-injury. The police could find no positive witness who might have seen the boy travel by train to Chester and then London, arriving at Euston station, at that time a notorious cruising area for 'rent boys.' More curious was the fact that forensic examination revealed that the boy and his clothes were "impeccably clean" as though he had just been bathed. Even his wound had no sign of the grit expected if he had fallen on his head from the overpass above. The mystery death of 'the Super-Clean boy' was one of the first strange deaths I (Bob Rickard) investigated and I'm not sure it was ever resolved. In 1978, FT reader, Paul Pinn tried and failed to find out anything further. FT21:13, FT40:40

November 1984: 'Operation Congo' left the United Kingdom around the middle of the month for Africa to search for the 'living dinosaur' called Mokele Mbembe. Comprising Bill Gibbon (team leader), Mark Rothermel, Jonathan Peacock and Jonathan Walls, the expedition failed to get any significant sponsorship (apart from the moral support of FT); survived the nightmare of gaining visas, equipment being held hostage to bribes, and a recalcitrant guide; and barely got back in one piece. Alas, no pix of Mokele Mbembe either. Bill went on to make several more attempts to film the mystery beast at Lake Tele, had a religious conversion and became a Christian broadcaster in Canada. Mark Rothermel, a bodybuilder and 'survival expert', was later jailed for six years for helping a gang dispose of the body of a crook who had been strangled and decapitated. The last we heard of him was when he and 40 other mercenaries escaped from a Brazzaville police station during a gun battle. FT45:4 Also this month two bird-hunters at Iceland's Lake Kleifarvvatn saw a pair of unidentified animals "bigger than horses" emerge from the lake to play on its shore. "They moved like dogs and swam like seals," they said, and the creatures left hoof prints with two large lobes. As far as we know, this mystery was never resolved, despite the prospect of large unidentified animals living just 20 miles (32km) south of Reykjavik. FT43:25

May 1996: "Porn star crucified" is one of those strange headlines that delight us when we stumble upon them. This event happened in the Phillipine village of San Fernando where, each year, local Catholics volunteer to be nailed to a cross, usually fulfilling a promise in return for divine favors. They are closely watched by support teams and usually brought down after a few hours. This year, a Japanese man, Shinichiro Kaneko, asked to take part, in the hope his suffering would persuade God to cure his critically ill brother. Mr. Kaneko turned out not to be a Christian and had no sick brother. He was a porn actor whose specialty was sadomasochistic porn films. When this was found out there was widespread anger among devout Filipinos. His video production company said they could not see what the fuss was about as, in Japan, foreigners often join in public Shinto ceremonies. FT90:20

Finally, Gerald Naud, 35, was ordered by a judge in Edmonton, Canada, to stop asking women to kick him in the testicles. He was jailed for 13 months, ironically for "sexual assault." Metro, 17 August 2004. FT193:10


7 comments:

Autumnforest said...

Kick him in the nutsack, huh? Sounds like a delight for a woman in stilettos who's had one too many men bother her on the street...

I love these, Dev! Keep the blurbs from the news coming.

Devin said...

I like these also Autumnforest! It is amazing what goes on in the world-I will keep trying to get the strangest bits for this blog-I do agree that would be quite a change for the ladies -haha I bet some were all too happy to do it! best to you as always!!

foam said...

i can't imagine wanting to get nailed to anything ....
shiver ...

Devin said...

agree foam:-) he must have been deeply into the bdsm scene-not for me either-best to you as always!!

X. Dell said...

Jailed for 13 months? Ain't that a kick in the....

FYI, the Penitentes, mostly comprised of Latin American Roman Catholics, also go through with voluntary crucifixion, and have done so for years. In 1937, someone got the idea of shooting a B-movie (starring Marie DeForest, wife of inventor Lee DeForest). Our heroine is saved from rape when her kid brother kills the attacker. In order to purify herself, and save her brother's soul, the DeForest goes through the crucifixion ritual.

When I say she went through the ritual, she went all the way, allowing herself to be stripped naked (the nudity made it past censors because of the religious content), and actually nailed to a cross where she hung.

Devin said...

Hee hee:-) I always appreciate your sense of humor Xdell!! thanks so much for the information on the Penitentes! I had never heard of them-or of them until i read about this -and was completely in the dark about Marie Deforest-did her husband have something to do with solid state radio or Tv?? thanks much for the link also -I will check it out -best to you as always and thanks for stopping by!!

X. Dell said...

Early radio pioneer.

I have a clip of the movie on VHS, but I never transferred any of my video collection onto digital media.