Bletchingley, Surrey, England, UK; December 29, 1997 — UFO Network (Reblog)

Date of Sighting: 29-Dec-97 02:40 Location of Sighting: Bletchingley, Surrey Brief Description of sighting: One object, no bigger than a star. White and very bright, and brighter than a star. The object was moving South-West.

Bletchingley, Surrey, England, UK; December 29, 1997 — UFO Network

On This Day 1936 — Edward VIII Talks to the Nation and the World

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On this day in 1936 the instrument of the abdication of King Edward VIII was endorsed by the Westminster parliament in London.

Later on the same day, Edward spoke to the nation and the world via radio, his faltering voice revealing the deep sadness he felt, that could not fulfill his kingly duties and at the same time marry the woman that he loved, the American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

Never formally crowned King, his younger brother, George VI would be coronated the following year. Edward, known as ‘David’ to intimates, would spend the rest of his life in exile with his wife, taking the title ‘Duke of Windsor’. He died in 1972 in Paris.

Copyright Francis 2020

December 11 1931 — The Statute of Westminster

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In one of its more significant and, in fact, truly historic moves, the Westminster parliament in London approved the Statute of Westminster on this day, December 11 1931.

Whilst largely forgotten today, this act effectively began the major phase of reducing the power and reach of the British Empire, marking the beginning of the Commonwealth. The dominions of Canada, Newfoundland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Ireland were granted equal status and full autonomy, whilst still adhering allegiance to the Crown of Great Britain.

A lot has changed since then; Newfoundland is now a province of Canada (Newfoundland and Labrador since March 31 1949), for example. The Republic of Ireland is truly independent, whilst within the bounds of the EU.

Even the integrity of Great Britain itself has come under threat with strong nationalist movements in Wales and particularly Scotland.

Time will tell if the United Kingdom breaks apart, or re-constitutes itself, once outside the of the EU.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

When a joke about the moon hoax is taken too seriously — Matthew Wright

Reblog from https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/31020

There’s an old joke about the Moon landing hoax conspiracy. You know: “Sure it was a hoax, but they got Stanley Kubrick to direct and he insisted that they had to be on location.” I thought everybody knew that one. It’s an oldie but a goodie that suitably lampoons the lunatic fringe who imagine the […]

via When a joke about the moon hoax is taken too seriously — Matthew Wright

On This Day 218 BC: Hannibal Routs the Romans at Trebia

temple of hercules at the amman citadel jabal al qal a
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The first serious encounter of the Second Punic War ended in a decisive victory for Hannibal and his Carthaginian army at Trebia in northern Italy in 218 BC. Whilst the Carthaginian losses were relatively few, the Romans sustained massive casualties, quite possibly losing up to three quarters of their 40,000 strong army.

Although Hannibal was to ultimately fail in defeating the Romans in the long term, he came very close to succeeding. The Punic Wars were all about who controlled the Mediterranean and beyond. In the early years the Carthaginians were masters of the region, with settlements in Sicily and Spain, as well as their burgeoning homeland in north Africa.

When Rome began to flex its muscles and seriously rival the Carthaginians during the third century BC, war was inevitable. Hannibal famously took the war to the Romans with an incredible invasion with a massive elephant led army through the Alps and into Italy, an audacious attempt to finish off the Romans once and for all. It nearly came off – but not quite.

Eventually, as the Romans later got the upper hand, they were to literally wipe Carthage off the map in one of the most heinous acts of revenge ever seen.

copyright Francis Barker 2019

On This Day 1903 – The Wright Brothers Lift Off in Kitty Hawk

silhouette photo of man throw paper plane
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It had to happen somewhere but a place near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina was the setting for mankind’s first powered aircraft flight.

The brothers Wright, namely Orville and Wilbur, were originally from Dayton, Ohio, naming their flying machine ‘Wright Flyer’. It was effectively the first powered flight of an aircraft, ushering in the aeronautic age which has completely transformed our culture.

The true genius of the Wright brothers was their practical invention of proper controls for a fixed wing aircraft, allowing it to take off, maneuver in the air and land safely for the first time, all of which came to full fruition with their ‘Wright Flyer III’ a couple of years later.

copyright Francis Barker 2019