Posts Tagged ‘1945’

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?

Flt19map.png
By User:Moriori (original author was User:Anynobody) – Existing file, CC BY 2.5, Link

 

Duncan is best known for being the last person to be imprisoned under the British Witchcraft Act, 1735. She was born November 25th, 1897 and died December 6th, 1956. At school she was known to have alarmed fellow pupils with prophecies of doom and displaying hysterical behaviour.

She married Henry Duncan in 1916 who supported her talents and in 1926 she went from clairvoyant to medium, offering séances to summon recently deceased spirits via emitting ectoplasm. She worked part time in a bleach factory and was a mother of six, a pretty busy lady.

In 1928 photography showed her tricks via dolls and old sheets as drapes. In 1931 the ectoplasm was supposedly cheesecloth, paper mixed with egg-white and toilet paper. In 1933 a trick to summon ‘Peggy’ a spirit was investigated and she was fined £10 for fraud, Harry Price concluded it was all fake and so why am I reporting on her? Well… here goes.

November 1941, WWII, she held a seance in Portsmouth and laid down the claim that a sailor spirit told her the HMS Barham had been sunk. An official announcement for the sinking came months later in February 1942. Due to this the Navy took interest in her claims. There was scepticism about her claims of the spirit telling her this because close family members of the victims had been informed about it. It was summarised that she might has known as around 861 families at the time could have been discussing it with the links they had, and she may well have over heard the news.

Duncan’s claims were taken seriously enough that they arrested her on a minor other issue, but then found the clause of witchcraft. She had a mock-up of an old HMS Barham hat band but after 1939 they hadn’t been worn. There seemed to be concerns that she would leak more confidential information, whatever her source, and that she was exploiting the recently bereaved. Seances did not come cheap, incidentally they don’t these days either…

She was found guilty on one count, and she was imprisoned for nine months. Winston Churchill seemed unimpressed by what seemed to be a waste of time and resources on “obsolete tomfoolery”. In 1945 she was released and promised to stop, which clearly wasn’t the case as she was arrested again in 1956. There was no sign of anything odd about her death after though, she had been suffering ill-health from around 1944 and was an obese woman who would move slowly due to heart trouble.

All too often when the media talks about these events it is with a very sceptical approach. Replications of their so-called trickery has been given as the reason not to trust mediums etc. Helen Duncan was unfortunate in the media enough times I’d question why folks even continued to see her, but the grief of a lost one is hard and people may well have given her more benefit over doubt due to this.

In the case of HMS Barnham, she was in Portsmouth, a naval town in a time where it was already considered a badly kept secret. Sailors of the living variety may have been talking and she overheard it. Perhaps she truly was told by a spirit but I hate to admit full poo-poo on the situation however I would say the only S involved here was media speculation and sensation.

Helen-duncan-cheesecloth

Nocton Hall is an RAF deserted hospital it was built in 1940 but wasn’t used as it was too small for an RAF hospital. In 1945 it was chosen as the local RAF Hospital for Lincolnshire (England) and gained several new buildings before opening in in 1947. By 1983 the hospital was closed and then leased to the army for the Gulf War in 1984, 35 patients were treated there during that time. In 1994 it was officially shut down and has stood empty since 1995.


A grey lady has been said to roam the halls of the building and the RAF hospital grounds are said to be haunted by the patients. It seems less likely as it was not used for a particularly long time and there were few deaths on the site.


The main ghost legend attached to Nocton Hall seems to hold a fairly stereotypical type of history. That doesn’t mean I’ve put my ban-hammer on the idea, just that it seems frequent these types come up at large old homes and hospitals.


Nocton Hall had a sobbing ghost before it burnt down, the listed ruins then housed the RAF Hospital. The ghost of a young woman guests were sometimes awoken at 4.30am to see her stood at the end of the bed. She sobbed and mumbled incoherently about a ‘develish man’ and legend has it she was a servant girl who got pregnant by the owner’s son. This did not sit well with the young man so he disposed of her.

2007 May 26 - Nocton Hall Remains

The phrase for the area was coined by Joseph A Citro, an author, in 1992 when a radio broadcast discussed the area in Southwestern Virginia in which people had gone missing. A number of people went missing between 1920-1950 and has similar characteristics to the ‘Bridgewater Triangle’ in nearby state Massachusetts.

12th November 1945 – 74 year old Middie Rivers disappeared. He was with four hunters and got ahead of them but he never showed up again or met with the other four. It was a local area that he was familiar with so it felt as though there was little to suggest he had got lost.

1st December 1946 – 18 year old Paula Weldon disappeared, she went out for a hike. She was seen by a couple and they say she was 100 yards ahead, she went around the corner and they too walked that way but when they got around the corner they found no sign of Paula. She never showed up, nor any trace, despite a $5000 reward and the FBI’s involvement.

1st December 1949 – James Tedford a veteran went missing three years to the day later. He had been visiting relatives and was returning home on the bus to Bennington Soldier’s Home when he went missing. He was according to witnesses, on the last stop before his destination. His belongings were still in the luggage rack, the open bus timetable was on the seat and he was nowhere to be found.

12th October 1950 – 8 year old Paul Jepson was with his mother in a truck. She left her son in the truck to go feed the pigs, she was gone for about an hour. When she got back he was gone, search parties were formed and with Paul in a bright red jacket he should have been easy to spot.

28th October 1950 – 53 year old Frieda Langer and her cousin Herbert Elsner left the family campsite to hike. She slipped and fell into a stream and said she would go back to change her clothes if he could wait there. When she did not return he went back to the camp and was told that she had not been back there, and for the next two weeks search parties extensively combed the area. 12th May 1951 her body showed up in a spot that had been searched very well at the time, there was no chance for it to have been there at the time. Unfortunately due to the time lapse a cause of death could not be determined.

A quick analysis of these and I would conclude that given today’s forensics there might well have been clues, also there have probably been other missing people cases locally over the years but they had been singled out as a phenomena suddenly making them extra-ordinary as a collective.

Paul Jepson may not have vanished, he may well have been kidnapped, for instance if he had been taken away and the abductor was gone by the time the alert was raised that would mean he was another victim of child abduction and not so much a paranormal/mystery event.

Frieda Langer’s mystery might also have a more mundane and grizzly explanation. Abducted and killed away from the scene with the speculation high and searches constantly going on, there is a chance that the killer waited and kept the body concealed until the hype died down enough to dump it back there.

However given the the disappearances seem to have stopped after a spate that went up until the 1950’s, one may have to wonder why.