Tag Archives: Alchemy & Accident

Sightings of another out of place creature in Wallsend

Hot on the heels of recent reports of an Eagle Owl on the loose in Wallsend, Tyne & Wear, North East England – https://alchemyandaccident.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/eagle-owl-spotted-in-wallsend/  – comes this…

 

Is it a dog, a badger or an old fox?

Well, experts think this may be the first sighting of a Raccoon roaming free on Tyneside.

The furry mammal, usually found in North America, was spotted by a surprised jogger in Wallsend on Friday morning.

Wildlife experts believe it is the first recorded sighting of the wild beast in the area.

Tom Hughes, 22, was running through the grounds of Wallsend Hall at around 7am when something caught his eye.

He said: “I was running along and came across this curious creature.

“At first I thought it was a badger but its unusual facial markings made me think it was a raccoon.

“It was big and stocky, but very placid and didn’t seem to be in a hurry to get anywhere.”

Tom, who lives in Howdon, near Wallsend, is training to be in the Navy.

He said he hasn’t seen anything like this before but hoped to raise some awareness of the creature being out there.

I wasn’t going to go for my run on Friday morning but I’m glad I did now,” he said.

The early bird catches the worm, as they say.”

The last recorded sighting of a raccoon was in Sunderland in 2012.

They are considered dangerous with changeable temperaments, but some people are known to keep them as pets.

Following a change to the law in 2007 which removed the need for a licence, they are becoming more prominent in Britain.

Several sightings have also been recorded in County Durham.

Steve Lowe, head of conservation at the Northumberland Wildlife Trust based in Gosforth, Newcastle, said: “That is either a raccoon or a raccoon dog.

“Because we can’t see the feet we can’t be certain which.

“These are non-native animals which appear to be kept as pets. They can be aggressive so inevitably in such circumstances the owner finds them too hard to handle and abandons them.

“They are also extremely good escapologists. Two were recorded in County Durham recently but this is the first for us and not especially welcome. “

The last record of one was in Sunderland in 2012.

“It may be the same animal although it’s a stretch to say that it definitely is.

For a recent Racoon sighting in Chopwell, Gateshead, see :

https://alchemyandaccident.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/raccoon-spotted-in-north-east-england-garden/

Source – Newcastle Journal, 26 Sept 2014

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Raccoon spotted in North East England garden

On the fence: The raccoon photographed by Ralph Lowes.

On the fence: The raccoon photographed by Ralph Lowes.

 They are more usually spotted in North America, so you can imagine the surprise of one North-East householder when he came across this unusual sight in his back garden.

Involved in a dispute with a neighbourhood cat, this Raccoon was discovered on a fence in Chopwell, Gateshead.

Witness Ralph Lowes said:

“I was alerted this evening by a neighbour and wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, so went to have a look, and sure enough it looks like a raccoon,” .

“Although how on earth it came to be in our area I have no idea.

“It was in a stand-off with the neighbour’s cat, but eventually moved along fence, so I took some photos in case nobody believed me!”

It eventually dropped down into Mr Lowes’ garden, so he decided to contact the police for advice.

But they don’t deal with missing pets anymore, so I contacted the RSPCA, who advised Petsearch, but Petsearch don’t have a category for missing raccoons – unsurprisingly!” he said.

Mr Lowes is hoping a little publicity might lead to the raccoon being reunited with its rightful owners.

Because the raccoon appeared frightened, we’ve left out a pet carrier for shelter, and some cat food and water. Hopefully we can find its owner, or we’ll have to find some other solution,” he said.

“Still slightly bemused by the whole thing-not something you expect to find in your garden!”

Source –  Northern Echo, 10 Sept 2014

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First recorded trainspotter was a 14-year old girl

It may come as a shock to most people’s preconceptions – but it seems the very first trainspotter belonged to an age when the anorak hadn’t even been heard of.

In fact the modern stereotype of a true ‘spotter couldn’t be further from the origins of the oft-maligned hobby, according to research by experts at the National Railway Museum.

As the York museum prepares for a special Trainspotting season, its team has come across a reference to a trainspotter that dates back as far as 1861.

 And the person who was recording locomotive numbers as they passed a station in London, was not a man clad in an anorak, but a teenage girl named Fanny Johnson.

The 14-year-old’s notebook about Great Western locos passing Westbourne Park station in 1861, is referenced in a 1935 article in the GWR magazine, and is the earliest evidence found to date of trainspotting, the collecting of locomotive numbers.

Associate curator Bob Gwynne said: “This is exciting because trainspotting is perceived largely to be a 20th century hobby for men, although railway enthusiasm has existed as long as the railways itself.

“This mention of a notebook titled ‘Names of Engines on the Great Western that I have Seen’ turns this stereotype on its head.”

 He added: “The hobby of taking numbers is often thought to originate with the ‘ABC books’ first printed in 1942. However it is clear that ‘spotting certainly started much earlier than that. We would just love it if someone had Fanny Johnson’s journal and was prepared to show it to us.”

The researchers came across the reference in advance of the museum’s Trainspotting season, which will run from September 26 to the beginning of March.

It will explore what was once a very common hobby. Among those involved is Yorkshire-based poet and broadcaster Ian McMillan.

Trains are my second home and my office space, my thinking room and my window on the world, so I’m really happy to be associated with this wonderful project,” he said.

With trainspotting being firmly lodged in the nation’s psyche as an activity for men clutching notebooks on station platforms, the museum plans to challenge people’s perceptions through a full programme of events and activities.

A new art commission by acclaimed artist Andrew Cross will use a blend of personal and archival material, revealing trainspotting histories which “connect time, place and memory” while a major new filmwork will feature footage from the UK, America and mainland Europe.

Source – Northern Echo,  27 Aug 2014

 

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Vial of John Paul II’s Blood ‘Stolen by Satanists’

A vial containing the late Pope John Paul II’s blood has been stolen from a small church in central Italy along with a cross, according to reports.

The tube contained bloodied clothing from the botched assassination attempt on the Pope , and is  one of only three known vials containing the blood of the Polish Pope, who is expected to be declared a saint in a ceremony at the Vatican on 27 April.
They are considered to be of great religious significance. but this  is not the first time one of them has been stolen. In 2012 a priest travelling north from Rome had his backpack stolen by three thieves. It contained an intricate relic of blood, which had been taken from Pope John Paul II in 1981. T the relic was eventually retrieved having been thrown into reeds next to a nearby railway station.

Meanwhile, more than 50 Carabinieri, the national military police of Italy, are involved in a manhunt along with sniffer dogs around the church of St Peter of the Ienca, near Aquila, in the mountainous Abruzzo region, while according to the Osservatorio Antiplagio“a watchdog on media scams” – the vial theft could be related to Satanism.

The  blood was stolen (they claim) on the day “that corresponds to the dominium of the demon Volac”,  and  “Another factor is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which prompts satanic rituals in preparation for the Satan’s birthday on 1 February,”

Volac – also Ualac, Valak, Valax, Valu, Valic, Valac – for those who have been neglecting their demonology, is the mighty Great President of Hell, having thirty ( some say thirty-eight) legions of demons under his command.

 He is said to give true answers about hidden treasures; he reveals where serpents can be seen, and delivers them harmless to the magician. He can lead one toward a good job, a sympathetic friend. He also provides lucky numbers.

He is said to appear as a small poor boy with angel wings riding on a two-headed dragon. He moves fast,  flies very fast and usually departs through the ceiling.

More Volac trivia –

    Volac is a Night Demon
    Zodiac Position: 5-9 degrees of Aquarius
    January 25th-29th
    Tarot Card: 5 of Swords
    Planet: Saturn/Uranus
    Candle Color: White
    Plant: Sesame
    Metal: Lead/Uranium
    Element: Air
    Rank: President

Never heard of Satan ever having a birthday… as an angel, wasn’t he created basically from kit form, not born ?  February 1st – well, February 2nd is Candlemas (or Imbolc to the celts) but has no Satanic connections I can ever recall hearing of.

Candlemas / Imbolc is accociated with the goddess Brighid (aka Bride), and it’s interesting to note that an old Scots gaelic rhyme for February 2nd has it that –

Moch maduinn Bhride,
Thig an nimhir as an toll;
Cha bhoin mise ris an nimhir,
Cha bhoin an nimhir rium.

or, in English –

Early on Bride’s morn,
the serpent will come from the hollow
I will not molest the serpent,
nor will the serpent molest me

Which kind of brings us back to Volac, who “reveals where serpents can be seen, and delivers them harmless to the magician”. No doubt pure coincidence, but an interesting one.

What any of this has to do with someone pinching a dead pope’s blood is anybodies guess….

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