Category Archives: Debunking myths

1953: The Great (Not So) East Anglian Flood

If you asked people what the worst natural disaster to befall Britain in the 20th century was, most people will look at you and probably have no idea. It was actually in 1953 when a Spring tide combined with low atmospheric pressure led to an incredible storm and flood, and left 30,000 people homeless, and 307 dead on land, and over 224 at sea in the UK. Where I grew up it was known as the Great East Anglian Flood; however in the Netherlands they call it the Watersnoodramp, and Wikipedia calls it the North Sea Flood of 1953. Closer, but even that does not really cover the scale of the disaster – 28 died in Scotland, and the MV Princess Victoria a ferry doing railway duty on the Stranraer to Larne crossing sank with loss of 133 lives, with just 44 saved. Across the Low Countries and UK, over 2000 people died. 13,000 cattle drowned: a thousand miles of coastline flooded, and in modern terms did £941,000,000 in damages – that is £50 million pounds in 1953 money converted by purchasing power. This was nothing compared the Netherlands – there around 1,800 people perished. Continue reading

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Re-Investigating Un-Haunted Houses

Abstract Eight couples who had never experienced any ‘haunting’ activity in their houses and had no reason to expect they would experience ‘ghosts’ were asked by the author to keep a diary for one calendar month from 17th October – … Continue reading

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The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth

A fairly short piece today, on something I have mused over this week. I think it all started with a friend finally persuading me to watch the US comedy The Big Bang Theory: for the record I enjoyed it, and … Continue reading

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A Suffolk Tragedy –The Red Barn Murder; Polstead, Suffolk, 1828

I don’t have time to give a full account of the case, so I will quickly summarize it here. On Saturday 18th May 1827 William Corder, a son of a prosperous Suffolk family apparently set out to elope with Maria Marten, a village beauty of humble origin. The two walked separately through the night to a barn, the now infamous ‘Red Barn’ on Corder’s property, Maria dressed in men’s clothing to avoid local notice. In the barn Maria change in to her women’s attire, and while changing met her death, and was buried by Corder within the barn. Continue reading

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A 5 million dollar question: Is Life after Death real? The Immortality Project.

Today I should be working, but about the time I’m writing this my Becky is finally submitting her PhD thesis at Coventry University, entitled something like A Century of Apparitions: The Census of Hallucinations in the 21st Century. I have … Continue reading

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On Thursday I’m Talking Ghosts At Skeptics In the Pub, Cheltenham Science Festival Fringe. Controversy May Ensue :D

So I am trying to write my talk on The Science of Ghosts for Thursday night… Continue reading

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Remembering the Titanic

I’m not old enough to remember the sinking of RMS Titanic: a fact which may surprise some of the younger readers of my blog who probably regard me as prehistoric. I don’t actually think there are many people around who … Continue reading

Posted in Debunking myths, History, Reviews and Past Events, Social commentary desecrated, Uninteresting to others whitterings about my life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments