Wednesday, October 31, 2007

WWII Ghosts Still Making Noise

It’s not your imagination — maybe that sound in the night really was a moan.

Stories of spirits and unexplained phenomena have persisted on U.S. military bases in the Pacific for years. Doors slam, shadows creep and voices shout in the night. Could it be spirits of the dead reaching out? As costumed ghosts and ghouls hit the streets for Halloween, Stars and Stripes has compiled some accounts of allegedly real ghosts and ghouls to keep the holiday creepy.

Creepy crematorium tale:

Many of the buildings on Yongsan Garrison in South Korea have been there longer than the U.S. military. Some date back to Japan’s occupation of Korea before and during World War II. One of those buildings, near the gas station on the garrison’s South Post, has been surrounded by rumors for years.

“I hate being here at night. The hairs on the back of my neck stand up just talking about it,” said Sgt. 1st Class Riviere Cools, 52nd Medical Battalion as he eyed the squat, red-brick building in the center of his unit’s complex of offices. “I don’t believe in that kind of stuff, but in the back of my mind, there are souls here.”

The entire compound, surrounded by a thick, crumbling, brick wall, was a prison during the occupation. For years, said U.S. Army Garrison spokesman David McNally, soldiers working there have passed along stories claiming that the area, especially the small building in the center, was haunted.

McNally said the building was most likely the prison’s administrative office, but those working around it have a more sinister theory. “Everybody that’s worked in that building right there has either seen something or heard something,” said Staff Sgt. Sae Kim, 52nd Medical Battalion. “Because that’s where they burned people.” McNally was quick to point out there was no evidence to suggest that the building was a crematorium, but that doesn’t stop the stories from spreading. “I haven’t seen any ghosts,” said Sgt. 1st Class Freeman Witherspoon. “But I definitely have heard the rumors. People say they see shadows when they have duty at night.”

The unexplained voice

Stories of strange happenings abound at the base chapel at Camp Zama in Japan. Strange presences in rooms and doors that mysteriously open and close are part of chapel lore, employees say. Some tell stories of strange figures passing by and then disappearing.
“My predecessor said that she used to hear footsteps through the halls late at night,” said Staff Sgt. Desmond West, the Unit Ministry Team noncommissioned officer in charge. Last year, Spc. Jennifer Villagomez, a funds clerk, said she was working late when a voice emanated from her unplugged computer speakers. It sounded like a Japanese man, “like a drill sergeant yelling at a private,” she said. At first, Villagomez said she thought the sounds were a practical joke and called for a sergeant who was the only other person in the building at the time. “And as I heard him come closer to my office, the voice on the speaker went lower and lower until it went away, just before he walked in the room,” Villagomez said. She said that since that incident, she tries not to be the last person to in the office at night. Sgt. Joshua Lee, who works at the chapel with Villagomez, said he didn’t hear the voice that night but has witnessed other strange occurrences. Chapel lights switch on and doors open seemingly on their own, Lee said. West, who has worked in the chapel for four years, said he has never seen or heard anything peculiar. “But the day I start hearing things, I’m running out of here,” he said.

Ghosts crowd Okinawa

Reportedly haunted sites can be found around almost any corner on and off Okinawa bases. So many ghost stories abound that Marine Corps Community Services and 18th Services Squadron on Kadena Air Base both run special Halloween spooky sites tours that sell out weeks in advance. Web sites and a book on the subject — Jayne A. Hitchcock’s “The Ghosts of Okinawa” — celebrate the local haunts.

A World War II soldier is said to roam Gate 3 on Camp Hansen in blood-splattered fatigues asking sentries to light his cigarette. Marines refused to stand guard due to the haunting, and the gate was eventually closed, according to Hitchcock.

Camp Foster is said to be the home of a ghostly samurai warrior who eternally travels from Stillwell Drive uphill toward Futenma Housing.

Kadena Air Base also has its ghost stories.

A small house behind the Kadena United Services Organization, numbered 2283, is now used for storage because, it is said, no one willingly lives in it for long. Some say the house remains haunted after a man murdered his family there. Others say the house rests on an ancient burial site, and the souls of the dead beneath are restless.

Kadena’s golf course might be the site where in 1945 a group of high-school girls pressed into service in the Japanese Imperial Army committed suicide, according to another yarn. The spirits of the dead girls are said to still haunt the land.

Off-base, half-finished buildings are abandoned due to reports of ghostly visitors.

Construction of the Royal Hotel off Route 329, near the Nakagusuku Castle ruins, was begun some three decades ago — possibly on a sacred site. Mysterious accidents and deaths drove workers to abandon construction.

Meanwhile, at Maeda Point, there is rumored to be a prophet-of-death ghost.

The elderly Okinawan apparition is said to appear at a tomb that can be seen only from the water, and within days of a sighting, a body is found on a nearby beach.



Christopher B. Stoltz / S&S
A Japanese bunker long rumored to be haunted lies inground at Camp Zama. Military personel claim to have heard a ghost at Camp Zama where haunted base stories are told around Halloween. (Source Stars and Stripes Pacific edition, Wednesday, October 31, 2007 )

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

John Astin Reads "The Raven" By Edgar Allen Poe --- As Poe

What's Halloween Without a little Edgar Allen Poe


"This place gives me the creeps!" Vincent Price, 1977

Poe and Baltimore

"He pointed to my garments;-they were muddy and clotted with gore. I spoke not, and he took me gently by the hand:-it was indented with the impress of human nails." Berenice, 1835.
Edgar Allan Poe has been dead since October 7, 1849 and yet his ghost continues to haunt us. Poe was one of Baltimore's greatest writers. He was a poet, short story writer, literary critic, editor, publisher and lecturer. His life was filled with tragedy, poverty, and illness. Writers in his time could hardly make a living from writing and had to turn to other employment that could afford them some leisure time to write. If they were lucky enough to have a patron or an inheritance, their prolificacy was assured. Poe was not that fortunate.

Poe was born in Boston on January 19, 1809, he was the grandson of Baltimore Revolutionary War patriot, David Poe Sr., he was orphaned at age 3 and, though never legally adopted, made his home with Mr. and Mrs. John Allan in Richmond. Poe, was never really accepted by Allan as his son. Tension grew as he got older, and, after many unfortunate incidents, he left Allan's household and enlisted in the Army.

In 1829, after his discharge, Poe arrived in Baltimore and lived with his widowed aunt, Maria Poe Clemm. At that time, Maria Clemm's home was located in what is now called Little Italy, just east of the Inner Harbor. After a brief stint at West Point, he returned to Baltimore in 1832 to live with Maria Clemm again. By this time, Maria Clemm was living at No. 3 Amity Street in west Baltimore. The tiny household consisted of Maria, her daughter Virginia Eliza, her son Henry Clemm, and Elizabeth Poe, Edgar's grandmother. It was during this time period that Poe decided to write short stories instead of poetry. Poe won a $50 prize offered by a Baltimore newspaper for best short story. The winning story was called, "MS Found in a Bottle."
It was probable that the following stories were composed at this time: "Berenice," "Morella," "King Pest," "Shadow," "Mystification," and "Hans Pfall." Other tales that date from this time period are: "Metzengerstein," "Duc de L'Omelette," "A Tale of Jerusalem," "Loss of Breath," "BonBon," "Siope," "Lionizing," "The Visionary," and "A Decent into the Maelstrom."
One tale in particular, "Berenice", created a sensation for Poe. Many editors received complaints the story was too gruesome. Poe censored his own story by deleting several offending paragraphs. He defended writing this story by claiming he was giving the public what they wanted. He promised not to err again by writing such sensational stories.

In 1835, Elizabeth Poe died. Poe moved to Richmond where in 1836 he sent for Maria and Virginia Clemm, Henry Clemm vanished and was never heard from again. Poe never returned to Baltimore to live for any extended period of time.

In 1836, Poe married his 13 year old cousin, Virginia, in Richmond. Poe was devoted to his wife. When she finally died a tragic death from consumption in 1847, Poe outlived her by only two years. The cause of his death remains a mystery. Despite many theories surrounding his death, no exact cause has ever been proven. He rests with his wife and aunt under the monument erected to him in Westminster Graveyard in downtown Baltimore.

(Source)

EWWWWWWWW! Truckload of Embalmed Heads Found in Traffic Stop Near Fort Worth

But it's no Halloween joke. Investigators say the human heads had been used for medical training in the Fort Worth area and were being returned to Little Rock, Arkansas. Hunt County Justice of the Peace Aaron Williams was summoned during a traffic stop Sunday in Royse City after a trucker was suspected of speeding.

The wrapped-in-plastic heads were found in the trailer. The driver couldn't immediately locate the documentation.

The trucker and his cargo were later allowed to proceed after the paperwork was faxed to him. The name of the company wasn't immediately released. (Source http://www.dallasnews.com/)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Zombie Wedding Cake Topper : )


In the spirit of Halloween I have to post this!
Someone on Craftster.com made this adorable custom zombie wedding cake topper: "A zombie portrait wedding cake topper I did for my friend Rebecca's wedding cake. She wanted a topper of her and her groom with her eating his brains,so I did just that."


Way to go girl!!!! : )

Friday, October 26, 2007

See You Later Alligator ... This bride is not a croc!


Well, isn't that just precious. A dried-out, long-dead alligator, all dressed up like a bridesmaid or bride. She's all set to offer her hand in marriage to a dashing suitor. That is, if she had hands, and not just stumps.

I hope there's an afterlife, so that this alligator can have a long discussion with whoever did this to her mortal remains. (Found on Disturbing Auctions Daily)

Catacumbas Capuchinas . . . Beautiful

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Lucille Ball . . . Don't Embalm Me!


"I Love Lucy" -- Don't Embalm Me!

Things I never knew. I thought this was interesting. Evidently TMZ has a small blurb about an EBay auction where an eBay seller listed copies of the wills and death certificates of the four "I Love Lucy" stars. Lucille Ball's will reveals an explicit instruction: No embalming! These creepy documents detail the dead cast members' last wishes and other details of their demise. (I believe the bid is over); however, someone in a post states:


"When Lucille Ball died in April, 1989, she was immediately taken from the hospital and cremated, is what I understand. There were memorial services only after her death. I have read many times that she didn't want her death/funeral/burial to be a public spectacle like Marilyn Monroe's was. Lucy's ashes were interred next to her Mother Dee-Dee's in one of the Forest Lawn cemetaries in Los Angeles/Hollywood area. I had been there and seen the simple plaque: Morton---Lucille Ball (1911-1989).......The ashes were later moved, both Dee-Dee's and Lucy's, to the family plot in Jamestown, NY in 2002, where they will forever remain. I have also heard that Lucy was scared to death of needles/being cut, ect., and that is why she never had plastic surgery. This might also explain her fear of being embalmed, also. "

(Source) Posted May 13th 2007 3:01AM by TMZ Staff Filed under: Celebrity Auctions

Monday, October 22, 2007

The History of Coffins... Interesting.

This clip is about the history of caskets from the first coffins to today's modern caskets.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Australian Cemetery ... Training Grave Diggers to be Life Savers!

CANBERRA (Reuters) - An Australian cemetery is training gravediggers as lifesavers and has installed a defibrillator to jumpstart the hearts of grief-stricken mourners who regularly collapse at funerals.

"A lot of people who die are old, so the people who come to the services are frail and they are vulnerable anyway, and the additional stress of a funeral tips them over the edge," Vicki Pridmore, chief executive of Melbourne's Cheltenham cemeteries, told local newspapers on Friday.

Pridmore said a family or friend collapsed at a funeral every two months on average, so now gravediggers were being trained to use the new defibrillator. "We have had a couple recently with strokes and we call the ambulance four or five times a year. Everybody is doing their training," she said. An ambulance spokesman said defibrillators, which deliver an electric pulse to an affected heart to restore regular rhythm, not only treated heart attacks, but could also help assess illness for arriving paramedics.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUKSYD2061720071019

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Pink Ribbon Dorothy Apron


Have to post our new addition to the site: The Pink Ribbon Dorothy Apron. It's nice. What more can I say? And, 15% of the price will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Organization. Makes a great gift for someone else or even yourself! the dishwashing gloves are cute too : )




Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Hello Kitty Exhaust Pipe..... A cat with more than 9 lives!


Okay gotta say it. A normal cat has nine lives ... if this is (which I am sure it is) made out of stainless....this cat's got forever! The Hello Ktty exhaust pipe . . . someone's making money on this really cool idea : ) And boy does she purr.... (especially if you have a mustang (sorry -- one of my fav cars)) and roar she does at times.



(Source BoingBoing) (photos from fickr)


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Bud Ekins Has Made "The Great Escape" . . . Dead at 77!

One of my favorite movies. I searched high and low for The Great Escape last year.
Bud Ekins, a renowned off-road racer and stuntman who performed the famous motorcycle jump over barbed wire in the film "The Great Escape" and bounced a Mustang up and down the hills of San Francisco in "Bullitt," has died. He was 77. Ekins died of natural causes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, family spokesman Paul Bloch said. Ekins, a friend and mentor of fellow biker
Steve McQueen, had a stunt career that lasted for 30 years, and appeared in dozens of movies, including "Diamonds Are Forever," "Earthquake" and "The Blues Brothers."

Born in 1930 to a working class family in Hollywood, Ekins fell in love with motorcycles at an early age and in the 1950s he was one of the first U.S. competitors in world-class motocross events in Europe. His friendship with McQueen grew out of their love of motorcycles. Ekins owned a Triumph dealership in the 1960s. McQueen hung out there and Ekins taught him about off-road racing. Ekins, his brother, David, and McQueen raced as a team in the 1964 International Six Day Trials in Germany, although McQueen crashed and Ekins broke his leg, Bloch said. Overall, Ekins won four gold medals and a silver medal at the international trials in the 1960s. Ekins got into stunt work when McQueen asked him to work on "The Great Escape" in 1962 in Germany. While McQueen did some of the motorcycle stunts, it was Ekins, uncredited, who doubled in the scene in which McQueen's prisoner-of-war character jumps a motorcycle over a barbed-wire fence. It is considered one of the most famous motorcycle movie stunts ever performed. Ekins later worked with McQueen in "The Cincinnati Kid" and "Bullitt,"
(The Essential Steve McQueen Collection (Bullitt Two-Disc Special Edition / The Getaway Deluxe Edition / The Cincinnati Kid / Papillon / Tom Horn / Never So Few)) where he performed much of the driving of McQueen's Mustang in that film's landmark chase in and around San Francisco, where he hit speeds of more than 110 mph. (AP/Courtesy of Susan Ekins)

Ekins' other credits (some anonymous) include the films "Bullitt," "Electra Glide in Blue," Diamonds Are Forever (James Bond Novels)," "Earthquake," "Race With the Devil," "National Lampoon's Animal House (Widescreen Double Secret Probation Edition)" and "The Blues Brothers (Collector's Edition)," and the TV series "Then Came Bronson." Ekins also appeared as bit player in several films, including "The Love Bug (Special Edition)" and "Pacific Heights." Ekins continued his stunt work into his 60s. He was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999. Ekins also owned one of the best vintage motorcycle collections in the world, with 150 rare bikes, although in recent years he had trimmed it down. (Source)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Umbrellas With A Deadly Flair : )


Umbrellas with a ghoulish flair! These make a great gift! It falls under the category of something everybody needs but hates to buy themselves. These are unique! They make a great accessory and conversation piece! They have the Coffin pattern, skulls , safety pins, flames; you name it! Available at Get Go Retro! And for your information, here is Umbretiquette!


UMBRETIQUETTE

1. Never unfurl your umbrella indoors. (It's bad luck)
2. The taller person should raise their umbrella when passing in tight quarters. (DUH)
3. Never open your umbrella at sporting events.
4. If your umbrella has blown inside out more than 6 times, replace it.
5. Be very cautious when changing direction with an open umbrella - accidents happen!
6. Keep the point down.
7. Leave it someplace? It's gone!!!!!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A House Made of Embalming Fluid Bottles : )


You won't find this house in the story of "The Three Little Pigs!" I don't think the big bad wolf could huff and puff enough to blow this house down!

This unusual roadside attraction was built from over half a million discarded embalming fluid bottles. In 1952, David H. Brown retired from 35 years in the funeral business. It occurred to Mr. Brown that there should be some practical use to put the bottles to. And, it was all started, to quote Mr. Brown, "to indulge a whim of a peculiar nature".Mr. Brown travelled western Canada collecting bottles from many of his friends in the funeral profession, until he had acquired 500,000 of the square shaped bottles, weighing 250 tons in all.The house itself sits upon solid rock. Built in a cloverleaf pattern with three main rooms, circular shape, 48 feet in length, 24 feet wide and with the upstairs room, it contains 1,200 sq ft of floor space.

Entering the grounds, the visitors are welcomed by a mountain stream trickling over a moss-covered water wheel which brings to life the dwarf inhabitants nestled around the wishing well.
Over 320 dozen flowers border pathways and entice visitors from the terrace over a bridge also built of glass bottles. A winding path beneath the bridge leads to the rocky lakeshore and a lookout called the lighthouse which offers a spectacular view of beautiful Kootenay Lake.
Tours of the estate are available seven days a week, May to October. Gift shop also located on property just 25 miles north of Creston on the shores of Kootenay Lake.

The Glass HouseBox 64Boswell, BCVOB 1AOPhone: 250-223-8372Fax: 250-223-8332Email: glasshouse@kootenay.com

Being Left Handed is Not the Kiss of Death .... (Thank goodness : ) )

One of the myths of modern times - that left-handed people die young - has been challenged by a study of films from Victorian England.

In 1992, a survey of more than a million people between the ages of 10 and 86 established that the proportion of left-handedness was lower in the elderly than in the young. The study painted a grim long-term picture for left-handers, but only if rates of left-handedness have remained constant down the decades. So has it changed?

Chris McManus and Alex Hartigan of University College London tackled the question using documentary films made in northern England between 1897 and 1913. When people waved an arm in the films, the pair took that as a sign of their dominant hand. After judging the ages of the people in the films, they discovered that those born within a decade of 1900 actually showed a lower proportion of left-handedness than that found in a modern control group (Current Biology, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2007.07.008).

McManus suggests that industrialisation - with factories designed for the right-handed majority - and the advent of universal schooling, may have emphasised the stigmatisation of left-handers, piling pressure on them to switch dominant hands.

From issue 2623 of New Scientist magazine, 02 October 2007, page 17

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Cadillac Graveyard ....


From what I have read, a rich oil tycoon in Bushland Texas , years back, bought a brand new cadillac. Within a short time after his purchase, it died. The tycoon tried to return it, but wasn't allowed to. He decided to make a statement by buying a new cadillac every year and burying it halfway into the ground on his property, close to the highway. Guess there was no lemon law back then : )

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Hannah Wickham .... Funeral to be treated as a Wedding


This is sad; courageous, brave and beautiful. And, I can't even imagine what the parents and husband are going through . . . and, it's beautiful that everyone knows that love lives on and death is not the end.

Australian swimming legend Tracey Wickham will farewell her teenage daughter Hannah who died of cancer, just hours after she married her "soul mate".

The funeral service for Hannah, 19, will be held at 2pm (AEST) Sunday in the chapel of All Hallows School in Brisbane where she was a student until two years ago.

Hannah, who died on Tuesday, was to marry 20-year-old Tom O'Driscoll, whom she met in hospital while he too was being treated for cancer, on the Sunshine Coast later this month.
Both went into remission, but the cancer returned for Hannah, who was diagnosed with sarcoma, a rare form of cancer which attacks the body's tissue.

When it became clear Hannah would not make it through Monday night, a priest was called to Brisbane's Wesley Hospital and the two married in front of 20 close friends and family.
Tracey Wickham, dual swimming world champion and former holder of the 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle world records, said she took comfort her daughter had her dying wish.
The funeral would be treated as the wedding her daughter wanted so much.

"And other than walking back down the aisle as Mr and Mrs O'Driscoll, we'll be carrying her in her wedding dress to her resting place and I think she'll be wanting to know that the wedding will still go ahead, it's just that she'll be there in spirit," Wickham said.

Hannah will be farewelled as a wedding celebration that will include bridesmaids, groomsmen and a dog carrying wedding rings. "She's going to be buried in her wedding dress and there will be six bridesmaids and groomsmen, including my son."Their little dog is going to be carrying the rings up in the chapel." She also wanted to be married barefoot and will be buried barefoot.

Wickham has vowed to dedicate the rest of her life to finding a cure for the rare cancer Hannah died from, which is suffered mostly by teenagers, through her daughter's The Hannah's Chance Foundation.

"I know I was given a gift to swim fast and I know it wasn't now to win gold medals or for pats on the back," she said.

The Wesley Research Institute has established the foundation in Hannah's memory to fund future research projects into her rare cancer.

ONE of Hannah Ciobo's closest friends has revealed the full story of her engagement to Tom O'Driscoll, whom she married on her deathbed on Monday night.

Megan O'Dowd, who was due to visit the 19-year-old in hospital on the day she died, told NEWS.com.au that Hannah, the most beautiful girl also had the most romantic of engagements.
The daughter of record-breaking swimmer Tracey Wickham, Hannah died early on Tuesday morning, having married Mr O'Driscoll to fulfil her dying wish.

Ms O'Dowd said that when Mr O'Driscoll proposed to Hannah on a quiet beach, they had no idea that someone was watching them.

''Her little brother was hiding in the bushes videotaping it,'' Ms O'Dowd said. She said that only a few friends knew about the engagement before a small get-together at Hannah's house one night.
''We were all at her house, and they put on the video. ''Hannah wasn't wearing her ring before that she was so happy. ''I think she wanted to surprise everyone.'' Ms O'Dowd said that Hannah was an inspiration to everyone who would put others ahead of herself. ''She was just the bravest person she would put everyone else first,'' she said. ''Everyone just loved her shell be missed forever.'' Ms O'Dowd said that Mr O'Driscoll was the perfect match for Hannah, but the two didnt start going out straight away.

''There was a bit of mucking around. ''I saw Tom last night he's being very brave.
''He was asking how are you, how are you.'' She also said that Hannahs funeral, scheduled for Sunday, would be more like a wedding.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Penny For Your Thoughts

Lois Maxwell AKA/ Miss Moneypenny the flirtatious and dignified British Secret Service secretary to James Bond died on October 1, 2007 of Cancer. What an endearing legacy she left behind.

Ms. Maxwell played Bond's secretary in 14 movies spanning 23 years, starting in 1962 with "Dr. No," until 1985 "A View To A Kill." The character Moneypenny was always remembered because of the flirtatious nature she had with a smile, a glance or brief word; and she was an efficient secretary.

Bond's (That's James Bond) secretary also traded suggestive banter with Agent 007 who would occasionally perch himself on the edge of her desk. Believe it or not she uttered no more than 200 words in all of her Bond films and her total on time screen time amounted to no more than an hour or two.

According to the Washington Post (10/2/07), her lines were limited ... but the impact of delivery was huge: "James you're late." or "When are we going to have that dinner?" And once when he left for a mission, Bond asked Moneypenny: "What can I bring your from Amsterdam?" "A diamond ... in a ring," she responded. They agreed to settle on a tulip. Always suggestive with an undercurrent, and always coy : )

The real Ms. Maxwell was born 2/14/1927 in Kitchner Ontario and perfomed during WWII when she joined a Canaidan Military unit sent to Britain to entertain the troops. In England she received a scholarship into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts where she actually went to school with Roger Moore (who would later become one of the James Bonds).

Maxwell made a few movies, married Peter Marriott and had 2 children. Her husband became ill, and with 2 small children and no money, she called producers she had worked with and asked for help. Terence Young who directed her in a 1948 drama "Corridor of Mirrors," gave her a choice of two roles in the first Bond Film. She chose Moneypenny.

In 1986 she returned to Canada where she operated a business and wrote a three-times-a-week column for the Toronto Sun.

Her orignal names was Lois Hooker. Considered a ihindrance to an acting career her last name was changed.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Vampire -- Out of the Closet - Out of the Coffin! Enjoy!

Whoever did this, did a great job. Thumbs up! Enjoy!

GOOGLE MAPS CATCHES WWII GHOST --- WHEW!

I love this story. I have a great uncle MIA since 12/22/43; who was a pilot in WWII. So this story really intrigues me:
Eagle-eyed Internet sleuths have discovered hundreds of weird aircraft on Google Maps' satellite views, from stealth bombers to bizarre globular UFOs hovering over Florida.

But a map-watcher in England may have topped them all by finding a ghost from World War II captured by satellite cameras flying over his own house.

The mystery plane is a historic and flightworthy Avro Lancaster bomber, one of only two left on Earth.


Now living at the United Kingdom's Coningsby air force base, the Lancaster is one of only two such planes still airworthy. 7,377 of the massive bombers were built for World War II.
Although this Lancaster didn't fly in combat -- the war with Japan ended before it was ready for battle -- it was one of the only Lancasters that wasn't scrapped in the post-war years.
Carefully restored and now painted to look like its famous sister plane, QR-M, this bomber now serves in the Battle of Britain memorial flights.

Known as Mickey the Moocher for its nose painting of the Disney mouse pulling a load of German-frying bombs, the QR-M was one of just 35 Lancasters to survive more than a hundred combat missions.

The Battle of Britain squadron includes 11 historic planes from the Second World War, including a variety of Spitfires and Hawker Hurricanes. The beloved old planes fly for special occasions such as VE Day.

"The original purpose of the Memorial Flight was to help celebrate the Allied victory and the anniversary of the end of the Second World War," the RAF says. "It has since become a flying memorial to all members of the Royal Air Force, who lost their lives during the War. The Lancaster bomber, Dakota transport, five Spitfire fighters and two Hurricane fighters represent the types of aircraft which played such important parts in the final victory."

Rather than store the old war planes at a mothballed air base, the Royal Air Force operates a museum that flies:

"The Flight is unique as a living tribute and more evocative than any static memorial. It flies in memory of those who flew. In these days of fast jets, it is a reminder of the remarkable achievements of the men who flew and maintained these historic aircraft in the heat of the great battles of the War."

Of the more than 7,000 built, 3,932 Lancaster bombers were lost in action. In the minds of many British, the Lancaster won the war against Nazi Germany.

The other surviving flightworthy specimen is at the National Lancaster Museum in Canada.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Death by "Car, Yachts and Accident"

I don't know why, but everyone is interested in how someone passed. Ask anyone. And we are all interested in the famous ... (at least I am). You never know when death is going to knock, so when I came across this interesting website that lists famous people killed by cars called Who2 -- well, I had to take some time and read. Lots of interesting facts and history ...for instance; Author MARGARET MITCHELL lived nearly all her life in Atlanta, the setting of a famous scene from her novel Gone With the Wind. On August 11 of 1949 she was crossing an Atlanta street on her way to the theater when she was hit by a speeding cab. She died of her injuries five days later.

Silent film star TOM MIX was killed in a freak auto accident on 12 October 1940. Famous for his high-living ways -- including his love of fast cars -- Mix was speeding across Arizona in his roadster when he unexpectedly encountered a bridge under construction. Braking and swerving sharply, Mix dislodged a heavy suitcase from the luggage rack behind him. The suitcase crashed forward into Mix's head, killing him. '

Then there is Death by Yacht; which I guess one of the more recent and most known is Actress NATALIE WOOD who died near Catalina Island on Thanksgiving weekend of 1981. She was spending the holiday on the yacht Splendour with her husband Robert Wagner and actor Christopher Walken, her co-star in the movie Brainstorm. She disappeared sometime after dinner on the night of 28 November; the next morning her body was found floating nearly a mile from the Splendour, dressed in a nightgown and down jacket. No one had seen or heard her leave the yacht; the ship's dinghy was also found drifting at sea. "Coroner to the Stars" Thomas Noguchi ruled accidental death, suggesting that Wood had slipped and fallen overboard. Hollywood gossips hinted at a romantic triangle (and a 2000 Vanity Fair article claimed that Wood had climbed into the dinghy after a drunken argument with Wagner), but nothing of the sort was ever proved.

and another strange link: Death by Accident

In the early 1930s, future director JOHN HUSTON was considered a rising young talent in the movie business. A natural raconteur and ardent carouser, Huston was hired on as a studio screenwriter. On 25 September 1933 Huston was driving on Sunset Boulevard and hit a woman pedestrian, killing her. A grand jury was convened, but returned no charges against him. He left the United States for Europe and didn't return to Hollywood until 1937. He went on to direct some of the most famous films of the 20th century, including The Maltese Falcon (1941), The African Queen (1951) and The Man Who Would Be King (1975).