Posts Tagged ‘1969’

Tea Break Reading!

It is also known as Truk Lagoon, it is part of a protected reed and in 1944 the Americans launched an early morning attack on 17th February. The Japanese intelligence had picked upon it and removed their largest war ships but Operation Hailstorm lasted for three days. It resulted in them sinking 12 warships, 32 merchant ships and destroyed 275 aircraft.

In 1969 the lagoon was explored and it is now a popular diving spot, it’s referred to as a Ghost Fleet and the ocean floor and sunken vehicles are gas masks, depth charges, human remains and many artefacts of interest. Alongside this is a wonderful variety of marine biology such as manta rays, turtles, sharks and corals. All of these sights, sand and life are part of what is classified as a Japanese Graveyard. Its eventual clean up for any fuel or environment threats will require the involvement of the Japanese Government.

Paranormal divers are a group that investigated it, they checked it out as other divers reported hearing the sounds of engines turning and starting up. Other mentions were of voices and the sounds like idling machines. There has even been an account of investigators picking up a human-like heat signature.

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Birkdale, Southport is in my home county of Lancashire and once had a luxury hotel that opened in 1866, was then demolished in 1969. During the Second World War it was used for US airmen as a rehabilitation centre, for that stage of it’s existence it was used as a film location.

It entered the interest for paranormal enthusiasts when a report came up 6th May, 1969 in the Southport Visitor. A group of demolition workers claimed that the lift at the Old Palace Hotel was haunted. Jos Smith was heading up the demolition team and said that they had been woken up there by eerie voices and strange noises at night, and even more frightening the lift began to work by itself.

The lift’s power had been cut, the brakes were on and yet the four ton metal box continued to go up and down as it did when the building was operational. It was enough to unnerve hard workmen, worried by the lifts working they disabled it and cut the ties, they were then more concerned because it did not drop as it should have. In the end they hammered it on until it finally tell from the third floor.

The workmen had heard voices, the sounds of arguments and footsteps, they didn’t rule out that it could be down to people breaking in, but it would no doubt have been strange to hear. Southport Police also arrived one night as they’d received a call from a woman saying she was trapped inside. The police arrived to find that the phone-lines had been cut a significant time before then.

An urban legend about a ghost also came from the hotel, Ursula Wall was the architect and it is said she was on holiday when the foundations were laid back to front and therefore the hotel. Having seen the error she was so distraught she committed suicide, leaping down the lift shaft. It is however one of a few legends around her death and so not really confirmed.

There are other stories linked to the building, in 1961 Amanda Jane Graham was abducted by a hotel porter. The 6-year-old was murdered and found under his bed at the hotel. There is a rumour too about two sisters who carried out a suicide pact, and 14 deceased lifeboat men were temporarily laid out in its coach house. All these stories helped add to the haunted rumours.

The only surviving part id the coach house were the lifeboat men had been laid out to rest. The pub (as it now is) is called Fisherman’s Rest in their memory. It is also reportedly haunted and people have said that they feel as though they are being watched.

9th December, 1886, a sailing ship, Mexico was driven ashore and the bodies of their fellow crewmen were viewed at the pub by the jury. Now the lost men are touchingly recalled by 14 small brass mermaids that hold the bar handrail in place.

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By JonmaddoxukOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

 

A ‘paradise above the clouds’ is a description once given to the makeshift town for the workers of the Matsuo Sulfur Mines. The town was well furbished, modern and housed up to 15,000 workers. Quite often a fog comes over the area, over the now abandoned town, and it is barely visible even to those knowing where they should look.

It ceased action in 1969 and the once busy area now lays in relative silence. It was not likely to remain inhabited due to it being a hard place to travel, without a reason of commerce and work it seems inevitable but a little sad.

4,000 workers were supported in a 15,000 strong community, the mist surrounded these people regularly and today makes it hard to find the place.n There are not many artefacts of a personal nature left but the schools, apartments and other buildings are said to be easy to access.

One local story does say that someone killed himself in the school gym, using a basketball rack. There are no reports of hauntings or ghostly goings but plenty of talk about it’s eerie beauty.

New York, just off the shore of the Hudson River hosts a medieval style castle that can be seen on the island more often locally referred to as Bannerman’s. It was once emblazoned on the walls of the castle as ‘Bannerman’s Arsenal’ but now has decayed too much to be seen fully. It was built around 1901 to 1908, to be a warehouse for the weapons traded by Francis Bannerman VI, who was an arms dealer and curious man.

In 1967 the Island was sold for a small sum to the New York State, and the family abandoned the island. In 1969 a fire left the island in it’s present and ruined state.

It is accessible by boat, and far too dangerous to swim with tides, there is a security presence but all is not lost, there’s possibilities of tours in the future.

Meanwhile for a chance to safely see it, if you are in the area, go to Route 9D, go to Breakneck Point and park. Cross the bridge but watch out for trains!

 

The Michigan Murders were committed by serial killer John Norman Collins, they were a highly publicized series of killings between 1967  to 1969. The murders began with Eastern Michigan University student Mary Fleszar on July 10th, 1967 and her body was found in August on an abandoned farm a few miles north of where she had disappeared.

Two days after her remains had been identified, minus her hands and feet, a young man arrived asking to take photo’s of the woman and was rightfully denied. They did not give a clear description of the man either.

A year later student Joan Schell was found dead with multiple stab wounds, she had last been seen with Collins, who was a failing student and when questioned he claimed he was with his mother just north of the Detroit border, police took him at his word.

March 1969, Denton Cemetery gave up another victim of Jane Mixer, a law student (University of Michigan) she was shot and strangled, alongside her were her shoes and a copy of Joseph Heller’s novel ‘Catch 22’. Originally it was thought she might be part of the murders but later on a 62 year old called Gary Leiterman was convicted in regards to her death.

26th March, 1969 gave up another victim, Maralynn Skelton who had been badly beaten, and there was speculation it might be drug related, she had spent some time near Collin’s place and then three weeks later a 13 year old, Dawn Basom was found strangled. She had last been seen along a dirt road where Collins rode his motorcycles on a daily basis. Public outcry was increasing, Alice Kalom was found in a field with a cut throat, stab wounds and a gunshot to the head.

The police then had another body to contend with, Karen Sue Beineman, she was beaten and strangled to death. It was this murder that led to his discovery, whilst waiting on Beineman the day she disappeared a woman in a wig shop had gotten a good look at the man on the motorcycle.  From then on the details unraveled  clues and testimonies led to him being placed on trial for the murders.

Collins was tried August 19th, 1970 and found guilty, he was sentenced to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole due to Beineman’s brutal slaying.  In the early 1980’s he changed his name to Chapman, which was his mother’s maiden name, and is currently serving his life sentence in the Marquette Branch Prison, Michigan.

News Article on CBS