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Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Dorset's Weird and Wonderful Year of 2008

From flying jelly fish to a ghost caught on CCTV, a dead dolphin in a garden to being attack by a giant bee. 2008 has been a busy year for weird and wonderful news in Dorset. Dark Dorset looks back with a selection of twelve stories taken from our blog.

JANUARY - Friday, 4 January 2008

Mysterious Orange 'Jelly Fish' is reported in skies above Weymouth Harbour

An interesting story reported by Laura Kitching in todays Dorset Echo of a unidentified flying object witnessed by Victor Brabrook, Linda Brabrook and Jean and Philip Palmer. They describe a orange ball of light with a straggling tail resembling a jellyfish rising over Weymouth Bay.

This report reminds me of an incident that was reported in the Bournemouth Evening Echo 22nd October 1969. It was witnessed by Alastair Mackenzie, a manager of the Suncliff Hotel.

Whilst he was drinking coffee with his with wife and daughter, he observed something fluttering outside of the hotel window. They went out onto the veranda and saw something a resembling a glowing jellyfish-like shape. After about fifteen seconds, the luminous object moved out to see gathering speed as it went, at a height of 25 - 30ft.

It has been often suggested that it could have been ball lightning? However no storm was reported that day. Others have suggested it may be a type of animal rather than a alien spacecraft?

There is much speculation that there are organisms which could hypothetically inhabit the extreme atmosphere of our earth. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle anticipated these ideas in his classic short story Horror in the Heights published in Strand Magazine 1913. Where an airman discovers a previously unknown ecosystem of life forms in Earth's atmosphere, one of which includes a giant ethereal jellyfish.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Beaminster Beast spotted in pensioner garden?

Pensioner Gwen Wragg from Beaminster swears she was stone cold sober when she saw a black panther-like creature cavorting about her garden.

See article: Dorset Echo 5th February 2008

MARCH - Friday, 28 March 2008

Beating the Bounds revival at Cerne Abbas

Even though its origins are still unknown, the custom of beating the bounds has been in existence for over 2,000 years. Cerne Abbas will revive this tradition for the first time this year. Traditionally performed on Rogation Sunday, it falls on April 27 this year. Cerne Abbas and Nether Cerne boundaries will be walked as they appear on the Ordnance Survey Map. The walk will start at 9.30am at St. Mary's Church and everyone is welcome. It will total 14 miles but smaller chunks can be walked for everyone who wishes not to go the full distance. Lunch will be organised half way in Nether Cerne and everyone is invited to meet at the New Inn afterwards for a barbecue. This walk not only intends to awaken an old tradition but also strives to unite land and community.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Monday 25th February 2008

APRIL - Saturday, 26 April 2008

Giant bee horror for mum and son

A monster bee left a mother and son stung and shocked after repeatedly attacking them in a Dorchester street.

The ferocious insect also attacked a woman who went to their help.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo 26th April 2008

Or read about the Asian Hornet invading Britain (pictured left) in The Sun article - 'The Shape of Stings to Come' 22nd February 2007

MAY - Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Space oddity - MOD release previously unseen UFO files

The truth is out there - or is it? Previously unseen files detailing reports of unidentified flying objects have been released by the Ministry of Defence and prove that there is actually no such thing as a UFO.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Wednesday 14th May 2008

JUNE - Friday, 20th June 2008

Cerne Abbas chalk giant turns into the invisible man

Cerne Abbas The 180ft chalk giant is disappearing into the hillside because the National Trust has been unable to borrow the sheep that usually keep it in shape during the spring and summer.

In previous years the chalk figure, thought to be a fertility symbol, has been an imposing presence on the Dorset hillside. But this year a wet start to the summer has brought a vigorous growth in vegetation and the trust has been hampered by the decline in sheep farming. The land is too steep for it to be mown safely.

Rodney Legg, chairman of the Open Spaces Society, said: “Visitors turning up have been disappointed because they can't really see it. This year the giant has gone from being a white icon, through a green man stage, into the invisible man.”

Helen Mann, of the trust, said: “We are aware that the giant is not at his best right now. We are, however, expecting to have him rechalked this September, which we hope will help him stand out once more.”

READ MORE - Source: The Times June 20, 2008

JULY - Friday, 18 July 2008

Dead dolphin found dumped in garden

Two Royal Navy engineers discovered a dead dolphin in their garden.

Gary Harvey and Mike Elliott woke up to find the dead marine mammal lying in the front garden at their home in Courtlands Road, Weston.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Friday 18th July 2008

AUGUST - Thursday, 28 August 2008

Tower saved from sea set to reopen

A historic tower was due to reopen on August 29 after it was rebuilt brick

by brick to stop it falling in to the sea.

Clavell Tower was perched perilously close to the cliff edge at Kimmeridge Bay and was at risk of a watery grave thanks to coastal erosion.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Thursday 28th August 2008

SEPTEMBER - Tuesday, 16 September 2008

The waiting is over - St. Wite's Cross is the Flag for Dorset

Today - 16th September - votes were counted for the four contenders shortlisted for Flag of Dorset.

The results were as follows:

Total Valid Votes : 3868
Flag B : 2086 (54%) - The Dorset Cross aka St. Wite's Cross
Flag C : 856 (22%)
Flag D : 818 (21%)
Flag A : 108 (3%)

Total Valid Votes : 3868
Spoiled Votes : 222

We’re very pleased about the result – we’re glad that when it went to a vote, what we believed has been proven. We’re thankful for the process that’s got us here.

Thus and as confirmed by John Peake - Chairman of Dorset County Council - The Dorset Cross now IS the flag of Dorset!

He said: “It’s wonderful that so many people have voted and that we now have a symbol for the county we all love. I hope I shall soon see flags flying all over the county and beyond.”

Chair of the original selection panel, Graham Bartram (Chief Vexillologist of the Flag Institute), said: “Many counties are adopting their own flag to show pride in their area. Dorset has taken a very democratic approach in inviting people across the county to vote.

“It’s clear that Dorset people love their county and are keen to have a flag which represents it. I’m delighted to see that so many people voted.”
Source: http://dorsetflag.blogspot.com/

Congratulations to Dave White and his Dorset Flag Team

OCTOBER - Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Ghouls on film - Ghost caught on CCTV at Scaplen's Court, Poole.

Ghostly goings-on are sending shivers down the spines of museum staff at Poole.

They have captured images of a ghost in the machine of the CCTV at medieval Scaplen's Court, which has long been believed to be haunted.

However, this is no Civil War casualty or murdered maid, but a gent in a bowler hat, standing in the first-floor Solar Room of the old town museum.

He appeared on the CCTV screen, with his back to the camera, when the equipment was switched on at 9.45am and remained there until about noon.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Tuesday 9th September 2008

NOVEMBER - Thursday, 27 November 2008

Did you see lights in sky over Christchurch?

Several people reported seeing a UFO over the sea south of Mudeford on Saturday night.

A Mudeford man was visiting a friend in the St Catherine's Hill area of Christchurch and saw unexplained lights in the sky over Hengistbury Head.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Thursday 27th November 2008

DECEMBER - Monday, 8 December 2008

Mystery letter turns up after 89 years

A guesthouse owner could not believe her eyes when a letter was delivered to her address... some 89 years after it was first sent.

Jane Barrett was left baffled when the item, dated November 1919, dropped through the letterbox at Basil Towers in Weymouth.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Monday 8th December 2008

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