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John Michell Mysteries


Archive for Thursday 12th June 2003 - When an English king saw the Flying Dutchman

The world is always full of mysteries, but they come and go with the times. In the old days, everyone going abroad went by ship. Popular interest then was in sea mysteries. Now we mostly fly, and the mysteries we hear about are UFOs and ETs.

The old stories change, but in some ways they remain the same. The Bermuda Triangle, for example. Many books have been written about that area of the Atlantic, where boats and aircraft have often disappeared. But I think it is just another version of the Sargasso Sea - also in the Atlantic - which sailors used to tell about. It was an area of dense seaweed. Ships sailed into it and, ages later, drifted out, with literally skeleton crews.

Long before unknown objects were seen in the sky, we had phantom ships. Most famous was The Flying Dutchman - a schooner in full sail. Her captain was the soul of an evil man, condemned to roam the ocean for all eternity. One of the last to sight her was the future King George V. On July 11, 1881, as a young naval officer, serving in the South Atlantic, he was among those who witnessed the passing Dutchman and recorded it in his ship's log.

My short time in the navy made me suspicious of sailors' yarns, even royal ones. But I am quite certain that below or upon the ocean are as many mysteries - from unknown creatures to lost civilisations - as there are on or above earth.

John Michell

If you have a favourite mystery subject - from spontaneous human combustion to ancient Celtic ritual sites, write to John, suggesting a theme. And if you have any answers or theories about the mysteries John will be highlighting, he would particularly like to hear from you.

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John Michell is a prolific author. Below are just two of John's books which might interest you. We have arranged with our friends at The Daily Mirror for website visitors to order books mentioned on this site.

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Unexplained Phenomena, A Rough Guide Special
(co-author Bob Rickard, rrp 12.99) at the special Mirror Direct price of 9.99 + p&p.
Who Wrote Shakespeare?
(Thames & Hudson, rrp 8.95) for the Mirror Direct special price of 6.95 + p&p.
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