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Flannan Isles

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violetriga
304551.  Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:56 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
In December of 1900, the lighthouse keepers on the Flannan Isles off the coast of Scotland vanished. It was first noted when a steamer passed the lighthouse on December 15 and noticed the light wasn’t working. This was reported, but apparently nothing was done until the relief keeper and a crew with provisions went to the lighthouse on December 26. When no one came out to greet them, they entered the lighthouse and found the entrance gate and main door both closed, the beds unmade, the clock stopped and an overturned chair in the kitchen. The island was thoroughly searched for the men and any clues as to their whereabouts, but the only thing that was found was some damage done by a storm. Although this might seem like a clue, the log left by the keepers showed that it happened before they disappeared.

The Northern Lighthouse Board concluded that the men had drowned and been swept out to sea. Rumors, though, had one keeper murdering the other two, then drowning himself out of guilt. A sea serpent was also a possibility, along with the prospect that they had been abducted by spies or attacked by a boat full of ghosts.

Neatorama

Quote:
The event remains a popular issue of contention among those who are interested in paranormal activity. Inevitably perhaps, modern imaginations speculate about abduction by aliens. A fictional use of this idea is the basis for the Doctor Who episode Horror of Fang Rock. The mystery was also the inspiration for the composer Peter Maxwell Davies's modern chamber opera The Lighthouse (1979). The British rock group Genesis wrote and recorded "The Mystery of Flannan Isle Lighthouse" in 1968 while working on their first album, but it was not released until 1998 in Genesis Archive 1967-75. Angela J. Elliott wrote a novel about the disappearance of the lighthouse keepers. Published in 2005 it is called Some Strange Scent of Death, after a line from Wilfrid Wilson Gibson's 1912 ballad Flannan Isle.

Wikipedia

 
Sadurian Mike
304596.  Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:38 pm Reply with quote

The great thing about such mysteries is that all suggestions are possible, and therefore they make fertile ground for adherents of the supernatural and/or religious phenomena.

I vote that they rode away to a witches' coven on their familiars, but were prevented from returning because the storm had spread too much salt about the doors.

 
suze
304612.  Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:54 pm Reply with quote

(Checks whether Wilfrid Wilson Gibson is still in copyright.)

(He didn't die until 1962, so yes.)

Therefore, I won't show the full poem here. But there's a poem that I rather like which begins like this:

Though three men dwell on Flannan Isle
To keep the lamp alight,
As we steer'd under the lee, we caught
No glimmer through the night!


The full poem can be found at http://www.poetry-archive.com/g/flannan_isle.html.

(That site seems to rely on American copyright law being different from British; on these forums we are probably bound by both.)

 
violetriga
305066.  Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:57 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
(Checks whether Wilfrid Wilson Gibson is still in copyright.)

(He didn't die until 1962, so yes.)

Therefore, I won't show the full poem here. But there's a poem that I rather like which begins like this:

Though three men dwell on Flannan Isle
To keep the lamp alight,
As we steer'd under the lee, we caught
No glimmer through the night!


The full poem can be found at http://www.poetry-archive.com/g/flannan_isle.html.

(That site seems to rely on American copyright law being different from British; on these forums we are probably bound by both.)


According to the (cited) Wikipedia article: However, Nicholson (1995) makes it clear that [parts of the poem do] not square with Moore's recorded observations of the scene which states that: "The kitchen utensils were all very clean, which is a sign that it must be after dinner some time they left."

Of course there's poetic license which allows Gibson to say whatever he wants.

 
Efros
305154.  Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:43 am Reply with quote

I remember studying that poem and its inaccuracy at school some 30 years ago.

 
suze
305242.  Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:04 am Reply with quote

That's shattered a few illusions!

Not being British, I'd only encountered it as a poem until yesterday - I couldn't have told you where the Flannan Isles were, and while I was vaguely aware that the poem was based on real events I knew nothing of them.

I suppose the nearest that my upbringing had to a comparable situation was the loss of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, a freighter which sank in Lake Superior in 1975. Gordon Lighfoot wrote a song about it - a major hit in North America - and he too used a bit of license. Notably, the boat was actually heading for Detroit when it sank, but Lighfoot said Cleveland because it scanned better.

 
maiden
305504.  Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:40 pm Reply with quote

These are quite useful links from the Northern Lighthouse Board about the Flannan Isles mystery

http://www.nlb.org.uk/historical/flannans.htm

http://www.nlb.org.uk/ourlights/history/flannan.htm

:)

 

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