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.
Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Move episode of stuff. You missed them. History classes brought to you by W W, formerly wait watchers they have launched the new. My Debbie Debbie Programme is their most groundbreaking and customize programme. Ever when you joined them, I Debbie Debbie program. You will take a personal assessment, that's about you're eating habits and you're behaviors, and that is scientifically matches you up with a proven weight loss plan, I'm a blue plant and it really makes a huge difference for me in terms of encouraging means, eat healthy foods so head on overdue, W debbie dot com, that's w w dot com to joint Debbie Debbie today, with a limited time offer
it seems like it should be easy, but it's not just getting out of bed and getting your day started, trying to accomplish everything you need to do in your day that to do list as a lot easier when you're getting news stories and music to lift your mood and preparing for the day ahead connected to the things that make you laugh and make you think or make you want to reach out and share with a friend every morning with us, it's Elvis Joanne in the morning show listen to us on cue, one or two or anywhere in the world. On the I hurt radio app.
work into stuff. You missed in history class from how supports how can one mark another time? I need hardly an arm Tracy Wilson and today we are going to talk about another maritime mystery. You know a lot of our listeners written retractable shipwrecks and they really enjoy them, but this one does not involve a ship it involves
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
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
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.
go progression of events. But we don't really know this. This episode of stuff, you miss than history classes, brought to you by Norton three sixty with life.
What are your shopping online with the smartphone? Its super feels like ear. Personal information is just right there in your hand, but that's not always the case, because, as soon as you hit submit, your personal information could start going other play.
This is in fact, whenever you shop Bank or browse online, your personal invoking get out of your control, and that can we be vulnerable to cyber criminals. More threats demand more protection. That's why Norton and Lifelong are now part of one company Norton
Sixty with lifelike is an all in one membership for your cyber safety that gives you device security, identity theft, protection and a VP n. For online privacy, no one can prevent all cybercrime and identity theft, but nor in three sixty with lifelike as your ally in today's connected world, because your information is out there sign up for Norton three sixty with lifelike today and save twenty five percent or more off your first year, go to Norton dot com, slash history, that's Norton, DOT, com, slash history for twenty five percent off this episode of stuff. You mustn't history classes Murat to you by Katy, keen I love Riverdale. So I M excited the creator of Riverdale. Has a new show a sparkling adventure in the big apple full of fashion drama in dreams colliding with real life, Thursday February six at eight seven central? It is the new suitable series, Katy Keen we have thing or songwriter Josie, Jorge with his eye on Broadway. It girl, pepper and fashion Easter Legend to be Katy. They are in New York City of eight million and they are for of a kind, their friends who would give everything for their dreams and do anything for each other. So the big apple, better watch out, because no matter who or what gets in the way they are about to take a big ol by these four determine dreamers. Take on the runway, the recording studio, Broadway and the New York City social scene
I find it more than just careers and the big city they find forever friendships. High style has a new name, Katy, keen the fashionable new series, premiers February sixth on the sea, w or stream spree the next day. Only on the seat of you act according to lighthouse regulations, all three keepers we're not supposed to be outside. At the same time, somebody always had to stay put inside the lighthouse, so something had caused them to break with their procedure. There
was coiled. Rope discovered strewn about the rocks below the crane platform.
But the crane was secured so that rope was not in use when the men disappeared and the railings there were bent out of shape
was also a block of stone. It was estimated to at least half a ton.
Had been dislodge from the cliff wall and had fallen on the landing stage.
Normally all of this rope would have been stored in a box near the crane, but the box itself was missing
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
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.
a comedian, P Coralie, and I don't believe this.
I to the a penis abashing show on Iheart radio at Apple podcast. Wherever you eat your pad
I just realized that the first letter of every line of this revenue spells help me. It seems, like everyone's acrylic, these days blessing the world with our slightest opinions on our own many plants. I am scotch benefits. I break on this February: tenth guns, citizen critic, a new podcast, where we predict the critics and review the reviews of your favorite movies, music television, toasters, toiletries in paint, colors, listen, do citizen critic on the eye, heart, radio, an apple pie guests or wherever you get your bike assets,