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The Flannan Isles Disappearance

2013-08-07 | 🔗

The Flannan Islands have been rumored for centuries to be haunted or have some supernatural darkness. In 1900, three men vanished from the lighthouse on Eilean Mor, leaving behind an unfinished meal and a mystery that's never been conclusively solved.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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but in an incendiary sort of way. the centre around the ship at all. But in fact a lighthouse yes said just for a little bit of back on the flame, an island of so called flannels are named after a sixth century irish bishop through a story to have brought good fortune to everything and everyone he touched in a flash, miles which are off the coast of Scotland, have been it for centuries to be haunted by either see spirits or other supernatural powers. But the they were talking about. Today is an incident that happened in nineteen hundred Gregson of the Flanton Lighthouse ram from eighteen. Ninety six to eighteen, ninety nine and it cost seven thousand pounds to build If Stevenson was a relative of Robert Louis Stevenson, and he was the person who designed it and the contractor I'm a job was named George Lawson, The lighthouse officially started its duties in the summer of eighteen. Ninety nine
and the lighthouse was owned by the Northern Lighthouse Board in Edinburgh, which is a company that at the time owned and operated more than six doesn't lighthouses and employed six hundred men accompanied us. exist today, but that was those are its stance at the time The White House was built on island more, which is the largest of the seven islands that make up the Flanton and these are also called the seven hunters. I mean more sets about eighteen miles from Gowan Head on the West coast of Louis in the outer Hebrides. This area, prior to there being a lighthouse there had been extremely dangerous for merchant ships That's really why there is cause for lighthouse to be built and for staff from the White House Well, it was seventy five feet tall. It still is in fact it the top of a hundred and fifty foot cliff, and it's a pretty sheer drop off to you.
And of raging waters between the islands and when it was built it produce one hundred thousand candle power and flash twice every thirty seconds and those ashes were visible theoretically for a radius of twenty miles, it felt to be incredibly stormy, and it really had to be because it was sitting there on a rocky cliff in the North Atlantic sign from the life housekeepers. There were no other inhabitants on the flanagins. If you look at pictures of them, there is pretty much empty desolate rock there's. The very all in there's not really much. You could do it that way and some definite desolate in a beautiful. I was well very remote, though, life in that area is some of its really unique. It's a very pretty area but you're, not so hospitable for people to make their lives there. No There is always a list of men willing to work the lighthouse and it used a rotating schedule of two weeks shifts
The duties of the men who were employed there by the Northern Lighthouse Board included polishing lenses everyday keeping the mechanic. working in clean maintained, buildings and generally keeping the place tidy and because lack of radio contact at the time the Northern Lighthouse Board had actually made a deal with a gamekeeper on the island of Louis Name, Roderick Mackenzie, in which, pay him eight pounds per year to keep an eye on the White House and he was instructed to report to the board's headquarters. If the light ever went out, in mid December of nineteen hundred, the lighthouse, with manned by three people. There was to cap the principle. He was forty three when he had two decades of lighthouse experience. He was also married and had for children I get assistant was with Thomas Marshal and he was twenty eight and not married, then dot
macarthur with an occasional keeper, and he was servant alternate he was serving for William Ross. He was the first assistant and was out I'm sick leave New Donald was forty and married December fifteenth of nineteen hundred and american vessel, the ss arch tour, which was on route from Philadelphia to lease, by Eileen more just before midnight and the captain their vessel captain home in no that there was no light emanating from the White House and when arched were made port. Three days later, he reported missing link to the port authorities, but for some reason, that information was never relayed to the Northern Lighthouse Board at that time that this kind of die. The vine yeah and also in the force. I'm category game here, Mackenzie. Also hadn't reported the outage to the board will actually come back to why that may have been the case in a bit better.
Oh that had been again I'm December fifteenth and then they reported it three days later, but it wasn't it he'll December. Twenty six that some someone arrives check out the situation and, on that day, Captain James Harvey who was aboard the Northern Lighthouse Board vote, the SS hesper US I want more add on with him was a man who had been intended to replace. One of the three men stationed at the floor might have so he was gonna, be a shift change and they were going to rotate one man out the Hesper had actually been originally scheduled to make the relief personnel switch on December twentieth, but because of ever whether they weren't able to stick to their schedule, and they were delayed by several days at this point, Lighthouse had been dark for eleven days and people are really worried about what was going on no one welcomed Harvey's, both at the landing stage, so the captain at first he blew. Epps, whistle and siren, and then he fired at a distress signal repeat
We said that he could aware the keepers of his arrival, but no response ever came. No one came down from the lighthouse really keeper Joseph more rowed ashore. He went up the cat. Steps to the lighthouse, and it's worth noting that, because no one was at the landing stage to help them, he had to kind of back into the landing and jumper ashore citizens came maneuver and possibly dangerous, more his way to the white, any proceeded initially to the kitchen, and they are found a few things that were a little off. He found an overturned cheer, the remains of an unfinished meal and a clock which had stopped and the clock of a lot that this being one of those his mysteries. Some people want to give it some sort of supernatural element like the clock stopped, but remember: Coxe had to be wound at this time, so that this really not a hint at anything supernatural going on. It had wound down beneath the bed
we're all made the fire it was called. I stress that some people want to give it some sort of supernatural elm canary in a cage which appeared not to have been fed for awhile. The lighthouse in his though appeared to be fully functional. So there was no mechanical problem that would cause it to go out. If more wrote a letter in his own description of the incidents too. he's after this, which was on December twenty eighth in it he says on entering kitchen. I looked at the fireplace and saw that the fire was not waited for some days. I then entered the rooms in succession found the bed go out and Joseph more wrote, and his own description of the incidents two days after the researchers on December, twenty eighth in it he says, there. I informed Mr Mccormick as an aside Mr Mccormick was the second meeting of the high spirits inform Mr Mccormick that the place was deserted. He
some of the men came up a second time so as to make sure, but unfortunately the first impression was only too true. After more reported back to the hesper s that he couldn't find any sign of life at the lighthouse, Mormon bout, joined him and started a thorough search of the small island, and there was no trace of the three missing men. So this is more along with. Volunteers, which included an Mcdonald, who is a boy master and to seamen. Mr Lamont, Mr Campbell, remain on the island to keep the lighthouse in operation. While the investigation continued, these walls history. Slash tragedy had occurred. They still had to warn shift away from the rocks. Harvey sent a telegram to the Northern Lighthouse Board, telling them about the tragedy and letting them know that arrangements had been made for the lighthouse on December twenty nine, so three days after the initial discovery of borders,
tended Robert we're head on the Eileen more to prove the matter, and he made arrangements for a new crew for the interim management of the lighthouse station. And then he said to the business of investigation. You went through the lighthouse again looking for for clues, but he couldn't find anything suspicious aside from the overturned chair and the abandoned meal. in the last slate and three, which was written on the morning of December fifteenth had not yet transferred to the log. So we turned about this before, where often theirs, book log about what we often happen is on a czech border, a slate thou down long entries before they transfer them down. It's kind of like an interim step. So that. Lastly, entry, not in the log, We included no extraordinary information. It was you know, standard barometer, thermometer, readings and then notes about the wind conditions nothing jumped out his odd the work would have been done in the morning of the fifteenth, had all been done.
From we're heads report, the lamp was trimmed Oil, fountains and canteens were filled up and the limbs and machinery clean, which proved that the work of the fifteenth had been completed so that afternoon of the fifteenth was pinpointed as the probable time of the disappearance and It was also noticed. The only one set of wet weather gear was remaining in the building, and that was Mc Arthur's which do cotton marshal had been wearing there's an it so Minos. Did it. Macarthur went out in his shirt sleeves, which further suggested a possible emergency situation, because remember it's too, yes, why no sort of imaginary Atlanta, he has the logical conclusion is two men were outside in their wet weather gear with Arthur was inside getting ready to eat. knocked over the chair in his haste to exit the sort of seems like a lot.
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We were in tenants report. You stated quote the rope were strewn in the crevices of the rocks near the crane platform and entangled among the crane legs. But they were all coiled up. No single, coil being found and fastened So I didn't really look like this had been uncoiled in some sort of rescue effort, yeah, a lot of times when you read accounts of this incident when they The ropes were strewn about it in mind. For some I read about it. I was like oh have unfolded the ropes to try to reach someone. But then, when you read Whitehead's report, it clearly says you know they were still all tied tight. They had just fallen out of their box, initiative scattered, haphazard, lore scattered here, and had also been a lifebuoy that had been fastened to the railings and it was gone, but it appeared have been swept away rather than used for an emergency evacuation, because the fastening ropes there held, it were still in place and tied with bits of tea.
They still attached to them. So look much more like a breakage than anyone had cut or unfurled them we're heads assessment, but they arrive The three men probably tried to secure the wooden box it during some rough weather and then were swept away by a large wave while they were trying to work he wired his findings to is the peers and then called the widows of delicate and macarthur report where had notes that Joseph more was severely shaken by the events that have happened in Eileen, more and stated quote if this Business does not leave more, he will be repealed will require to be transferred, but I am really. And to recommend this, as I would desire to have one man at least, who knows the work of the station. So at that point, because the other three men were gone, he wanted someone on shift who was familiar with that particular lighthouse in its Workings
he also investigated the seeming negligence of the gate, keeper Mackenzie. So as we talk, earlier in the pond cast, the life had been out for a while, and he hadn't said anything about it after four talking to Mackenzie sons and then with Mackenzie himself and covering that the light had not been seen between December seventh and twenty ninth. He reported quote Mackenzie stated, and I have since verified this, the whites times cannot be seen for four or five consecutive nights. beginning to be anxious not seeing for such a long period and had for two nights prior to its reappearance, been getting the assistance of the natives to see if it he discerned look out been kept by an ordinary light keeper. I believe it would have struck the man ashore at an earlier period that something is amiss and why would not have prevented the lamentable occurrence taking place.
Enabled steps to have been taken to have the light relay at an earlier date. Theories, we're talking all of this up to the fact that Mackenzie was not an experienced light. Housekeeper it was. It was a problem of inexperience, rather than just falling down on the job rates and Mackenzie Internet had kept records and had noted these. You know times when the lights were good them, but they all came back so so that was where his report and as treats mentioned earlier, based on the weather, proof gear being gone Two men went out to do something something took place in a third men left which is basically kind of what we're had suggests, but despite bankrupt There are some sticking points that bother people that really love a good mystery into theorize about other things, and so What those sticking points include number one. None of the bodies ever washed back on shore and
as the second, when the men were generally fairly experience, seamen and light housekeepers, it would be odd for them to be taken unawares by a wave. However, freak waves do happen in the North Atlantic as they do in other bodies of water. So it conceivable that they could have just been surprised by a water wall whipping up It's also really not address why one of them would have been out in the December wet weather without his wet weather gear on Although we know there are lots of theories that pretty quickly explain that away it seems pretty ethical, unbelievable that if they were, dire emergencies, somebody could run out with other code idea. And while the Tipps chair and the abandoned meal found in the kitchen suggested in emergency, the guy and the door to the lighthouse were actually closed. When Joseph more first arrived there, which contradictory initially, but many,
kind of written that off as it being entirely possible that the wind just blew them shut. It is a very windy area. The problem was that the whether, on the day of the last entry in the Lighthouse Log and the first the light was noted to be missing, which was December, fifteenth clear day there were swarms the day after, but not on the fifteen. So again If it were a weather thing, it would have to have been a freak wave a freak wave. So because there are just Many other theories and stories grew out of the mystery to have to explain what had happened to the keepers and will do a shortlist of them, and some of them are very funny, but again, remember three men did they lose their lives? That's really are outlandish. I find all of them to be very silly yeah. Why is it? A foreign power had landed and captured the men, because lighthouse. or who you wanna take prisoner. Totally spaceships
they said they really. There were people theorizing the aliens and landed also ghosts and alcoholic murder, suicide, my favorite the sea monster theory that some sort of sea monster had I'm out of the North Atlantic and dragged them off. Ok, this one's not actually funny about that there may be they were lost, trying to help a vessel that was in distress yeah, although to the best of my knowledge there, no records of a distressed vessel happening at the same time now, and the last one on our list, but there are more, is that they were carried off by giant birds The there are only two things on this list that seem remotely feasible to me. The you're suicide or the last, while yeah turn it help another vessel yeah, most people agree I think that one or two of the man likely went out to the landing stage to secure something, probably this box with the ropes in it and
was swept away one or both of them and that the remit, whoever was remaining, went up. Opened out swept away? Also, at the end of his report, Which was dated January ninth nineteen o one Superman Let me your head said I was with the key for more than a month during summer of eighteen. Ninety nine, when every worked hard to secure the early lighting of the station before winter and king along with them. I appreciated the manner in which they performed their work. Flat and islands when the relief was made. So lately is seventh December and have the in colleague recollection that I was the last person to shake hands with them and bid them into you yeah. That's sort of an interesting point that adds color to this whole story? Is it we're head knew all of these personally. He wasn't just like a big from the company that came to look things burn write his report. He was investigating the deaths of men that he knew and of here
You have really liked. If you read his report, he really says very good things about. And beyond that that brief bit thought Tracy just read so it it's a little bit extra melancholy. To think of him mean having to investigate the death of people who were basically his friends. Born of this tragic incident. There have been the goal of interesting pieces of art the poem in title flame and I'll, which was written in nineteen twelve by Wilfred, Wilson, Gibson, and it tells the tale the mist. force that turned the man and the sea birds there is their story that goes along with the landing of the hesper. Isn't Joseph Moors exploration that that Joseph more allegedly saw these three odd birds on the island when he first landed on December, twenty sixth, and stories which provides the inspiration for that poem, the opera, the lighthouse composed by Mr Peter Maxwell Davis, was also inspired by the vanishing Flanton aisles
they viewed at the Edinburgh Festival in nineteen. Eighty Version becomes more about attention among the three men trapped together at the lighthouse almost goes along with the college murder shoes there. I have not actually seen that opera, but it seems to be much more about in your personal. Peace in the drama that and the flame and lighthouse still stands. It remained manned peacefully and without incident. So for all of this of the islands. Being hunted didn't seem to have any effect. on the functioning of the White House it continued to be man breakthrough until September. Twenty eighth of nineteen, seventy one at that The lighthouse it I more became what's call a major automatic light, so its fully automated its unmanned receives maintenance visits and annual inspections, but it doesn't have a crew that stays there. Two thousand and three last light housekeepers were commemorated and a ceremony attended by residents relative.
shells from the Northern Lighthouse Board, story levers, of course, still bandy about theories is too. I really happened on December fifteenth nineteen hundred, although I think most historians, except, some very should and where heads reports that it was really just sort of her an unfortunate accident that happened while trying to secure something at the crane and the landing stage. I think I would have liked to have been housekeeper. You think about allegedly this one of the reasons they always have. People wanting the job is that compared to other jobs at the time it was a pretty sweet deal. Then you had to be away from your family by you. You know this they got free, really bored during that time. It wasn't particularly horrible, are arduous work. Do you have any experience at the sea ports They seemed pretty easy by comparison, so it was a really.
Job to have. Yet, although solitary dives that no really exist anywhere like light housekeeper or the people who man fire watch towers in forest, like all of those you want em, they they're pretty appealing. I may the appeal of them, but I would go a little crazy after a bit yeah. I think this episode of stuff you miss than history classes, Brass EU by W W, formerly wait. Watchers they have launched a new, might be to be programmed at their most groundbreaking and customize programme. Ever I joined Debbie W because I was really looking for something that was going to help encourage me to make healthier eating choices. They have really done that when you join them W W program, you will take a personal assessment. It ask a question about your eating habits and your behaviour is not scientifically matches you up with which plan is going to be the best for you, I'm blue plan and it has made such a big difference or me in terms of encouraging means, eat healthy foods, join W, W, formerly wait, watchers unlocked
customize weight loss plan that can make losing weight easier for you had gone over to W debbie dot com. That's w w dot com to joint Debbie Debbie today, with a limited time, offer this episode of If you missed in history glasses brought, you buy Norton three sixty with lifelong, let's just say, shopping online with your smartphone, I do it all the time. They sure feels that your personal info is right there in your hand, but that's not always the case as soon as you hit submit your personal information could start going other places. In fact, when you should bank or browse online, your personal info can get out of your control, which can leave you vulnerable to cybercriminals. More threats demand more protection. That's why Norton and Lifelong are now part of one company, Norton. Three sixty with lifelong is an all in one membership for your cyber safety that gives you device security, identity theft, protection and of GPS for online privacy. No one can
prevent all cyber crime and identity theft, but Norton? Three sixty with lifelong is your ally in today's connected world, because your info is out there sign up for north We sixty with lifelong today and save twenty five percent or more of your first year go to Norton dot com, slash history, that's Norton, DOT, com, slash history for twenty five percent off Do you also have some of your mail? I knew indeed this about our episode on plainer and its former listener Helene. She says hello Ladys. As a professional astronomer, I was very happy that was dear leaders. Talk has done, PLUTO did a great job of explaining its discovery in the controversy regarding its classification as a planet or dwarf planet. I didn't I to return the International Astronomical Union conference where PLUTO was denoted, but I, braided the event would many astronomers from my department, as we pretty much all agreed, PLUTO wasn't oddball that did not really deserve to be called the planet there,
after all, several objects within its vicinity with a large romance. I have one minor error to point out: before him. He five have recently been named as cumbersome sticks respectively, that isn't it don't swear. Recorded episode in the gap between when we recorded and when it publishes things happen literally happened two days yesterday's after we record, they was really right in that. I think that I think it actually happened. Basically wise. We were in the studio, but it wasn't announced without really later so they are. We did not have believed, we didn't know they were there yet, and then she mentions another good Pike, s idea, which you know what I'm not gonna leading cause. I'm gonna do it bouquets prize people with more astronomy. I've had some wessner may, like that. Two things that are like that needs to become a whole absurd, not just the thing that theory
I love it she's great stuff, so thank you. Helene! It's ours could hear from people in the fields that we talk about the astronomy, since it is near dear to my heart, if you would like I trust you can do so, and history podcast at discovery dot com. You can also visit assent at least in history and facebook, dot com, flash history class stuff. And I'm cumberers missed in history, not tumblr dot com and were also contribute. So if you like to learn more about what we talked about today. You can do that as well as at our website. You go there and you taken the word lighthouse in the search bar. You will get an article called how lighthouses work, which explains a little bit more about how they function. website, you go there and you taken the word lighthouse in the search bar. You will get an article called how light his work, which explains a little bit more about how they function and how they are no longer. The solitary dream job treaty once yearn for lovely
Our attitude not just idea working interesting general year, there just a cool, they have a long history. They started. We back in Egypt, severe fascinating you'd like to learn about almost anything else. You think you can do that at our website to, and that is how it works for more on this and thousands of other topics, as it has have work. Sakharov. Audible, not com is the leading provider of downloadable, digital audio books and spoken word. Entertainment, audible, more than one hundred thousand titles to choose from to be downloaded to your ipod or mp3 player, gotta, audible. cast dot com, slash history, to get a free audio book download of your choice. When you sign up today, My name is Sebastian man, Escargot cordiality, and this is the Peat and Sebastian POD catches is a show. Two guys
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