Discovery Island is an 11.5 acre island at the Walt Disney World attraction, Bay Lake, Florida and was once open for guests from 1974 until April 8th 1999 when it was closed to the public.

From the early 1900’s it was known as Raz Island and Disney brought it in 1965, it opened up as Treasure Island in 1974 as a place to observe wildlife. It was later renamed Discovery Island and was recognized as a zoological park. 8th April, 1999 it closed but was operational until 9th July whilst they relocated the animals into other Disney areas like their Animal Kingdom.

Once closed Disney considered teaming up with Myst game creators to make it into a living game island. It never got past the concept stage, a shame as having played Myst that could have been something pretty awesome.

In 1990 the dusty seaside sparrow was declared extinct as the birds were last recorded on the island in 1987 and they seemingly died off entirely.

Online information states that the power was cut in 2009, but before that the illusion was that it was fully operational. Someone in 2009 on a blog mentioned the eerie sounds of the Disney theme music still playing. From most sources that I could find it seems that it more likely the place is operating with power as security would need it; the island is still patrolled with security so this would make sense.

As of this year it is also reported that the buildings and the attractions are still on the island. It is pretty much a given that they will have suffered through the ages, that hurricanes and weather patterns have meant that the usual toll has been taken and it is possible to see it from the Disney Wilderness lodge, the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and there are boat trips that mean you are likely to spot them as you head around on that trip. If you have been or seen it would you let me know?

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My Nan’s Story

Posted: October 31, 2018 in Off the Record
Tags: ,

You might wonder what set me off on this journey, and quite simply put it was my Nan. My grandmother was a very practical woman, she was an incredibly astute lady, when she felt her driving wasn’t up to scratch she handed over her license. She was always very practical about the home but she was also a staunch believer, and I am going to impart some of why.

My Nan was a nurse who served in the Second World War, I can only give my respect to the serving members who put themselves on the line for their fellow men and their country. Regardless of your opinion I believe this, and I would rather not open a debate about the war etc. I just wanted to give you context as she explained to me that she was in France at the time.

One of the things the nurses did was leave the soldiers to have their own private time in the bathroom, a soak in the bath or whatever else you men do in the bathroom (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) would be given as their own time. They would shut/lock the bathroom door and then they would leave them whilst they carried on changing beds or making busy whilst the men were alone.

She said that on this occasion there were four men in the tubs, she was on duty with another nurse and they saw the handle to the door go. They prepared themselves to help the men and get them out of the bath, although they were expecting it to be one of them in need of assistance because it was very rare they wouldn’t want their own time alone. When they opened the door there was no soldier there, the men were still in the tubs  and they joked about the women trying to catch them misbehaving etc. It was very light-hearted so they carried on with their duties and went back to it all.

The following night the same thing happened, only this time the other nurse on duty swore blind she had seen a man in the corridor. This time they didn’t touch the door handle and listened, the men were still in the bathroom talking and they were, quite rightly, confused! As they stood there debating on whether or not to bother the men again the door handle rattled, they both sprung the door open, surely now they would catch their practical joker! But no! Again the soldiers in their bathtubs were quite surprised by them springing open the door and their equally surprised faces at no man being there trying to give them a little scare.

I found this story fascinating and my Nan was the one that brought me ghost stories, let me sit with her when the ghostly shows were on. I remember the GhostWatch show and how me and my mother sat watching it, I was very young and I had to go to bed, it was probably a good thing but I am one of those people that grew up with the thought it was real, I never got to see the end credits! So there you go, a short but beautfil memory of a nurses ghost story, from her own mouth and now that my Nan is on the other side I hope she’s telling that naught spirit off for interrupting the poor men’s personal time!

Happy Halloween, please be safe and please enjoy whatever you do, celebrating or not.

 This wonderful little picture can be brought online 

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Before I get started – there is a lot written about this and it’s a rabbit hole waiting for anyone wanting to indulge. I am going to try to be fairly scant and summarise with this so you can go forth and armchair detective.

5th December, 1945 and five Grumman TBM Avenger bombers with 14 men took off, their trainer Lt. Charles Taylor was the only experienced pilot among them. They left at 2.10pm on a sunny winter day to go on a triangular routine training flight. Part of the course would have them practise a bombing run. Around 3.40pm the weather was deteriorating and Taylor said he was sure they had taken a wrong turn, saying his compass was not working and was trying to get the men to fly north.

Radio operators could barely hear it all but it was clear he did not feel he was in the right place. Taylor did not want to swap to another uncluttered emergency frequency as he feared  loosing contact with his scattered young air crew team.

At 17.15 he was heard saying they would fly west and at 18.04 they were flying east. The planes were running out of fuel, the sea was choppy and it was getting dark. The call from Taylor was for all planes to ditch together, at 19.05 no more was heard and the planes vanished.

Ditching together was an accepted plan, the debris flares and people would stay closer to enable flares and people would stay closer to enable a more successful recovery of men. Recovery searches were sent out and two Martin PBM Mariner flying boats were diverted to the search. The aircraft also disappeared and a nearby tanker, SS Gaines Mills, reported flames at the time, it left to no avail though as the aircraft and 13 men with it were never recovered either. That particular type of plane was known to be susceptible to fuel leaks, pilots named them ‘flying gas tanks’.

The navy board conducted an investigation, the 500-page document returned a verdict of genuine accident, he had led his flight to the wrong destination when his compass failed. Taylor’s mother appealed it, it suggested he was at fault and in October, 1947, the US Navy changed the verdict to ‘cause unknown.’

It’s just worth remembering that in 1945 there was no GPS and other planes had gone down in the seas, not just in Bermuda.

What happened to Flight 19? There have been TBM’s recovered from the area but so far none of them have been confirmed as Flight 19, is the general conclusion. I found an article www.hidingthetruth.com and it states that in 1990 a private investigation was undertaken, he believed the photographs matched up to serial numbers but I found no sources back to it for confirmation.

I did some more digging and found a more solid article: https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2014/april/24/fresh-search-for-lost-patrol

What do you think?

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By User:Moriori (original author was User:Anynobody) – Existing file, CC BY 2.5, Link

 

Much like Jack The Ripper he remains a focal point for armchair detectives and those who want to try to be the one that guesses right. The ONS is the name given to a serial killer and rapist who was active between 1979 and 1986.

He may have started out as a burglar and then the crimes escalated, the areas he stalked ere middle-class and he started out with single-women. Most of his victims had seen or heard a prowler on their property, so police believe he would do reconnaissance on the matter.

After initially targeting women he moved on to couples, this seems that it could be in response to the press goading him with the fact it was always single-women and seemingly a need to prove otherwise. Perhaps he felt they were issuing some sort of challenge.

Initially the Southern Californian murders were not thought to be connected, but later DNA testing linked the cases together. If you want to investigate the victims in detail it could be quite difficult to do due to the sheer number, but there are characteristics and there was a psychological profile put together. For the purposes of my writings I have not gone into the victims details.

A summary of the profile is that the suspect is, or was, white and would likely have lived near the area in 1980. Given his lack of identification he was not likely to stand out as an individual, he was in good physical shape because he evaded witnesses and law officials either by using a bicycle or by running. It was determined he would likely have engaged in sex with prostitutes and would be able to function sexually with either consenting or non-consenting individuals.

The last known contact was seemingly in 1991 when the Original Night Stalker made a call to the police to taunt one of his victims. There is a chance that he committed suicide or has been incarcerated for some other crime, putting an end to it.

Arts and Entertainments Channel’s ‘Cold Case Files’ aired and episode on the ONS and there is a good site if you want to read up: https://sites.google.com/site/jjmcgr/home

EDIT: When I originally wrote this in 2017 as a draft I wrote it with the view of being unsolved, now it seems that things really can move on and new developments in the case came forwards.

The Golden State Killer is the other name that you may know this case as, or even East Area Rapist. but effectively it would appear all could be tied up into this case.  What might once of been a series of cases has slowly tied itself into one operation and someone has been arrested and charged in connection with eight counts of first-degree murder alongside attempts to press charges related to cases that have not been lost due the statute of limitations.

On the 24th April, 2016 following decades of police work, FBI, a crime writer’s book (Michelle McNamara, Golden State Killer was termed by her) and a continued public involvement, a man named Joseph James DeAngelo was arrested. the 72-year-old Navy Veteran was arrested and charged with 8 counts of first-degree murder and it was linked to DNA evidence. California’s statute of limitations means that whilst they could press charges on the rape charges they could continue to press charges for crimes that were still possible to work with. The work undertaken would simply take far more in depth writing than my simple blog could cover but it is a testament to the dedication of people seeking justice that movement on these victim’s cases are still paying off now.

As a small side note – it has been 8 years since my morgue doors open and I thank everyone that keeps commenting, sharing and correcting anything I get wrong. I genuinely love writing and researching these things and hope you enjoy reading them.

 

The village is the only official ghost town in Poland, it is in the voivodeship of West Pomeranian and abandoned, as of 1993. It was originally a German training ground for a branch of Nazi’s and then after World War II, a base for the Red Army, only existing on Russian Military maps thanks to that. Once they withdrew in 1993 it became vacant.

Originally the area was a small settlement, Westfalenhoft, and in the 1930’s the Wehrmacht planners built a large military base. A polish newspaper from the 1939 reported the numbers of personnel at 600,000. In the Autumn of 1939 the German’s then opened a POW camp at the site, by November 1939 there were 6,000 Polish soldiers and 2,300 Polish civlians. It was renamed to Oflag II D Gross-Born in June, 1940 and was used for French Officers and Polish POW’s from the other camps. Westfalenhoft was eventually taken over by the Red Army in January 1945. It was officially Polish territory but it was occupied and held by the Soviet Union. The Polish were not allowed entry, it was renamed Grodek and the village was not named on Polish maps.

The parts of the base not needed were razed by Red Army servicemen, the base had around 6,000 Russian soldiers. The debris from the village was sent back to Warsaw, used to help rebuild the city. When it was vacated as part of the collapse of the Soviet Union the area was handed back to the Polish. It was guarded by the Polish army for a year, after which it was handed over to civilian authorities.

There was an attempt to sell the area for redevelopment but it did not happen, there were other suggestions like turning it into a drug rehabilitation centre, or perhaps a prison but it’s also worth noting anything of monetary value has already been looted. In 2011 I found reference to five residents but there is no bus route there and the nearest shop is 4km away, so it’s not likely to be a cosy place to stay.

I first came across notes about the area on a show called Stupid Man, Smart Phone. Whilst it is a ghost town it is not abandoned and is regularly visited, and seems to be a tourist spot for some. Have you been?

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By RzuwigOwn work, Public Domain, Link