90 Miles From Tyranny : 10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (1/5/19)

Saturday, January 5, 2019

10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (1/5/19)

It might be a new year, but the world is just as strange and silly as ever. That’s why this list is here to present you some of the oddest stories that made the headlines this week.

What better way to start off 2019 on Listverse than to talk about mysteries and aliens? There’s been a new development regarding a classic incident referred to as the “British Roswell.” We also learn about two scientists who claim that the oldest person ever was a fraud. There are also two stories involving creepy-crawlies, and yes, they’re both from Australia.

10They Came To Rendlesham

A new source claims that the Rendlesham Forest UFO incident back in 1980 was a revenge prank by the SAS played on the US Air Force.

Between December 26 and 28, 1980, there were multiple reports of weird lights spotted near Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk, England. These reports came from members of the United States Air Force who, at the time, were stationed at nearby RAF Woodbridge. They even included a memo from the deputy base commander, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt.

Obviously, people claimed it was a UFO sighting. The incident became famous and is informally referred to as the “British Roswell.” However, journalist and ufologist Dr. David Clarke now claims an unidentified source within the SAS says the whole thing was a prank orchestrated by British special forces.

Back then, the SAS regularly tested the security of the air force base in Woodbridge. One night in August, they were caught after parachuting into the complex, unaware that the Americans had upgraded the radar system. They were then subjected to a rough interrogation in which they were beaten and referred to as “unidentified aliens.”

After they were released, the SAS soldiers started planning their revenge. They waited until December and then rigged the woods with flares and lights attached to black helium balloons and remote-controlled kites.[1] They probably weren’t expecting the whole thing to grow as big as it got. It was helped by the fact that the memo and audiotape of the investigation recorded by Lt. Col. Halt were later made public under the Freedom of Information Act.

9Remnants Of A Medieval Siege

Photo credit: The Herald
A dig for a new luxury hotel uncovered a 13th-century catapult ball used during the Wars of Scottish Independence.[2]

The site is in Edinburgh and is earmarked for a new Virgin Hotel. Before construction begins, an archaeological dig has been set up. The excavation has been ongoing since May and had previously found traces of prehistoric bones and the earliest homes built in the city center. Now, however, archaeologists have found a ball believed to have been fired from a trebuchet during a siege on Edinburgh Castle.

Back in 1296, King Edward I invaded Scotland and started the First War of Scottish Independence. The siege on Edinburgh Castle only lasted for three days before the English seized the stronghold and held it for 18 years. Researchers are very excited over the ball, which they believe came from that event. It is not often that archaeologists can date 700-year-old artifacts with that kind of precision.

8A Doughnut Drought In Kentucky

The Lexington Police Department in Kentucky has taken to social media to mourn the loss of a doughnut truck which was destroyed in a fire, along with all of its contents.

No persons were injured in the blaze, but that does not mean there were no victims. The truck’s entire supply of Krispy Kreme doughnuts perished in the fire. The cause of the flames has not yet been established, but the driver noticed smoke billowing from the back of the vehicle as he was driving through Lexington.[3]

Obviously relieved that nobody was hurt, police officers posted photos on Twitter to express their pain at the loss of their favorite nourishment. Other police departments heard of the “tragedy” and have reached out to extend their condolences.

After the story went viral, Krispy Kreme also contacted the Lexington Police Department and vowed to send officers a few dozen doughnuts to help ease their suffering.

7Are There Vampires In Poland?

With a new year upon us, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) thought it would be amusing to release some of the weirdest and most amusing requests and questions their consular staff received from Britons abroad.

In 2018, the Foreign Office got over 330,000 calls for help. As you might expect, a lot of them were boring and bureaucratic, but there were also a few quirky gems. For example, a man in Poland called to check if there were vampires in the country. He became concerned when he was due to go on a date with a woman who asked him his blood type.[4]

One person in the United States missed Strictly Come Dancing the previous night and phoned up to inquire who got voted off. Similarly, a caller in the Netherlands had just seen Braveheart and ringed the Foreign Office because they had questions about the plot.

Someone in New Delhi wanted to visit the British Embassy to buy vegetarian sausages. A caller in Italy wanted tickets to see the Pope. A man asked for a list of Argentinean women available for marriage. A Brit on holiday in the Canary Islands had a real crisis when a stray cat snuck into their hotel room and peed on their bed.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office regretfully confirmed that the department has no advice or help to offer regarding “vampires, stray cats or Strictly contestants” but still encouraged Brits abroad to contact them should they need assistance.

6Home Invasion

Australian police responded to screams coming from a house in Perth, only to burst in and find a man trying to kill a spider.

A person was walking down the street in the Wanneroo suburb of Perth when they heard noises coming from a house. These included a toddler screaming and a man’s voice repeatedly shouting, “Why don’t you die?”[5]Distressed, the passerby called the authorities.

Not wanting to take any chances, multiple officers responded to the call. Inside the house, they found a man who was trying to kill a spider. Embarrassed, the resident apologized for the inconvenience and stressed that he had a “serious fear” of arachnids. Police on the scene reported that there were no injuries, except for the spider.

5World’s Oldest Fraud?

Photo credit: Georges Gobet/AFP

Researchers have brought into question the record-setting claim of Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment of being the longest-lived person ever.

Jeanne Calment was born in 1875. She died in 1997, aged 122 years and 164 days. That still remains the...

Read More HERE

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