June 1974: A terrible blast occurred at a chemical processing plant in Flixborough, Lincolnshire. In fact, the explosion at the Nypro facility was the largest post WWII accidental explosions. Huge tanks of cyclohexane, used in the production of nylon, ignited, killing 28 and injuring 36. There was a well known local ballad, sung to the tune of the 'Lincolnshire Poacher' that joked about a massive explosion at the facility. It was written in 1966-eight years before the tragedy.FT5:5
This same month and year a 52 year-old woman from the Phillipines was kept afloat by a turtle until she could be rescued after her boat caught fire and sank. 600 miles (965km) south of Manila. The woman had a lifejacket and had been floating for 12 hours when a huge life-saving turtle with a head "as big as a dogs." suddenly appeared beneath the woman. There is more to this strange story. The woman also said there was another much smaller turtle that climbed onto her back and bit her each time she got sleepy, and felt like sliding off the other huge turtle. The navy ship that rescued her 36 hours later thought she was holding onto an oil drum.FT:8:4
November 1985: The African continent is rich in folklore and imagination. One of the ways this is shown is that many African societies believe in supernatural attack. The men and women who hold these beliefs don't think they could be in danger only during special times of the year or on special occasions, but at any time and in any place. A rumor had begun to spread in Enugu, about 300 miles (480km) east of Lagos, Nigeria, that an evil female spirit was going to come to the city's schools to avenge the killing of her daughter. The spirit, which was said to dwell in the rivers was described as a mermaid in English language reports. However, it is believed this was a translation mix-up and that the spirit was not at all like the traditional Western ideas of a mermaid. A girl from the Idaw River primary school screamed that she could see the spirit/mermaid. Chaos ensued. Sadly, the spirit may have got exactly what it wanted. According to one student, a teacher tried to challenge the spirit, who insisted that she had come for the children. When a stampede erupted after this nine of the children were trampled to death.FT46:4
May 1993: A hoaxer that fooled many people made news this month. Police in Bennington, Vermont, found a lost "boy" who claimed to be 12 years-old. The "boy" said he had come from Alabama and been abandoned in Maine. Many kind-hearted people wanted to adopt him-or send money to help with his case. However, a visit to the hospital showed the "young boy" to be a woman of 23 years of age named Birdie Joe Hoaks (fascinating last name for a hoaxer I say:-) She had already profited from this scheme in 6 other states and was sent to jail-the article doesn't mention how long the sentence was.FT70:18
November 1996: Erhard Vonner, a German taxidermist learned that it isn't always wise to take your work home with you. Vonner's wife and 2 children were missing. Police investigating the matter found the perfectly stuffed, preserved (and of course quite dead)bodies of his wife and children in Vonner's basement.FT96:9
October 2003: Seven-year-old Jean Luc Archer was run over by a BMW in Manchester, England. He was trapped by his pelvis, after he ran into the road on Halloween. 30 year-old Lisa Hodgkinson witnessed the accident and tried to lift the car's back wheel off him but failed. Then she tried pushing the car forward and extra adrenaline flooded her system that gave her almost super-human strength. Lisa only weighs about 133lb (60kg) at 5 ft 7 ins (1.7m) tall, but somehow managed to get the 1.5 ton vehicle shifted off the boy. All this while the driver was still in his seat and so traumatized, he still had his foot on the brake! Lisa then gave the boy mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until the ambulance arrived. Jean Luc had a damaged pelvis, lungs, two broken arms, a torn ear and was initially only given a 30 percent chance of survival. The young boy was unconscious for 4 days. However, in one of those wonderful "miracle" stories, Jean Luc was able to go home after 3 weeks. Apparently Lisa Hodgkinson is great to have around during emergencies. She received an award for reviving a truck driver on the M62 in July 2002. The boy's mother Maggie said: "He wouldn't be here if it weren't for Lisa. He calls her Wonder Woman and that's what she is."FT181:13
The second image is of the Flixborough facility after the 1974 explosion and the third image is of Lisa Hodgkinson and Jean Luc Archer in 2003.