FT390

maximus otter

Recovering policeman
Joined
Aug 9, 2001
Messages
8,970
Reaction score
20,178
Points
334
The Mythos Meme: Why the 21st century belongs to HP Lovecraft!

Dr. Dee and the burial mounds of Sutton Hoo!

Political ghosts!

maximus otter
 

Tigerhawk

Dazed and confused...
Joined
Jan 20, 2016
Messages
3,541
Reaction score
5,911
Points
214
Location
Skaro
Sounds good. And in ten issues time - issue 400! (I like to look forward to the really good stuff!)
 

chicorea

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
May 22, 2010
Messages
262
Reaction score
351
Points
84
Location
Paris
I still haven't read the new issue, but an article about John Dee in FT is something that I haven't seen for a long time.

Concerning HPL, I hope the article have a good approach to his universe (or, as some prefer, the Mythos). Lovecraft is a very complex character, himself, and some of his less savoury attributes (his take on ethnicities other than the ones derived from the Pilgrims being the most problematic) having been used to make a case against him and his literature.

Political ghosts... I think that recently the real problem is more like undead ideologies.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
32,951
Reaction score
21,229
Points
334
Loved Paul Sieveking's collection of his favourite weird tales, I could read these all day.
 

Kryptonite

Vague Apparition
Joined
Sep 22, 2018
Messages
1,068
Reaction score
2,831
Points
159
Location
Glasgow
I am absolutely fascinated by Stephen Collier's letter about the elderly lady with the exceptional eyesight. I hope more info about this turns up, either from Mr Collier or someone else who knew her.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
32,951
Reaction score
21,229
Points
334
I am absolutely fascinated by Stephen Collier's letter about the elderly lady with the exceptional eyesight. I hope more info about this turns up, either from Mr Collier or someone else who knew her.

Yes! And the letter mentions there may be other people with the same ability - anyone know of any? It's like cases of X-ray vision (also mentioned this ish).
 

Spookdaddy

Cuckoo
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
7,040
Reaction score
9,300
Points
314
Location
Midwich
Much to my surprise I really enjoyed the Richard Stanley article, which I thought was well-written and engaging enough to occupy even a Lovecraft cynic such as myself.

This month's synchronicity was mention of Frank Baker's, Miss Hargreaves in the letters page - a work I'd never heard of until the very morning of the same day I read the letter, when I bookmarked a radio version while looking for old plays to listen to on YT.

Does anyone else think that the mystery island photo -also in the letters page - might be a distant, low lying fog bank?
 

AgProv

Master of Uncertainty and Doubt
Joined
Apr 6, 2014
Messages
941
Reaction score
1,634
Points
144
Interesting controversy, if you can call it that, in the letters pages where Jenny Randles is being acused of not having properly done the research or the background fact-checking to corroborate the trustworthiness of a witness (who was of a very advanced age and who might be remembering long-ago events incorrectly). The contested point relates to the English Electric Canberra and whether or not crewmen other than the pilot/copilot were able to directly observe what was happening behind the aircraft. The witness specifically referred to a rear-gunner position which never existed in any production model of the aircraft (however, the jury is out as to what field modification might have been made to a one-off aircraft designed for a unique purpose). It is possible a man in his nineties might have let his memories blur somewhat: as his role in the crew was bomb-aimer, he was in a location where for obvious reasons he could only see forwards. But several other possibilities come to mind.

In WW2, the bomb-aimer only went into the assigned bomb-aiming position for the bombing run itself. Except for those ten minutes or so, a dedicated bomb-aimer would otherwise be redundant and dead weight on a bombing trip that could take up to ten hours flying. Weight and space was at a premium. On a macro scale, so was manpower; Britain was running out of it by 1944. Minimising the number of men in the crew was vital if you were running a fleet of thousands of heavy bombers. So the bomb aimer would do other necessary jobs during the trip: perhaps man the forward gun turret - which was immediately above the bomb-aimer station, so not too far to go when moving station. He might man an auxiliary gun station; later models of Lancaster had downward-pointing guns covering the blind spot underneath the aircraft. He might assist the flight engineer, or, crucially for this argument, as some of the skills overlapped, he might assist the navigator or enen for the rest of the trip, BE the navigator.

Which leads us back to the point raised in the current FT. The Canberra was an immediately post-war design for a jet bomber and would have incorporated lots of experience and practice from WW2. And a lot of things in an aircraft industry that had turned out Britain's wartime bombers would have carried over as "standard practice", things used in wartime that might have been considered indispensible, unthinkable to discard even in a revolutionary jet bomber.

One of those, immediately post-war, might have been something called the "astrodome". This was either a clear small turret, or sometimes just a window mounted in the spine of the aircraft over the navigator station, allowing the flight navigator to make his own in-flight observations for dead reckoning or to navigate by the stars if necessary. Old habits die hard - what if early models of the Canberra, prototypes dating from 1948 and 1949, had the astrodome built in, as, well, a hangover from WW2 experience? (I haven't checked for this) The astrodome was designed pretty much for all-round vision, after all, and if Jenny's contact had been having a memory thing, or else what he said had been misheard, it could well have been conflated with "turret" - which to a layman might have been assumed to be a gun-turret... and of course it was soon realised that a lot of things from WW2 bombers were simply redundant in the 1950's for a whole new anticipated war. Like gun turrets and astrodomes... production variants in an aircraft in service until the 1970's or 1980's would have omitted these .
 

chicorea

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
May 22, 2010
Messages
262
Reaction score
351
Points
84
Location
Paris
Interesting controversy, if you can call it that, in the letters pages where Jenny Randles is being acused of not having properly done the research or the background fact-checking to corroborate the trustworthiness of a witness (who was of a very advanced age and who might be remembering long-ago events incorrectly). The contested point relates to the English Electric Canberra and whether or not crewmen other than the pilot/copilot were able to directly observe what was happening behind the aircraft. The witness specifically referred to a rear-gunner position which never existed in any production model of the aircraft (however, the jury is out as to what field modification might have been made to a one-off aircraft designed for a unique purpose). It is possible a man in his nineties might have let his memories blur somewhat: as his role in the crew was bomb-aimer, he was in a location where for obvious reasons he could only see forwards. But several other possibilities come to mind.

In WW2, the bomb-aimer only went into the assigned bomb-aiming position for the bombing run itself. Except for those ten minutes or so, a dedicated bomb-aimer would otherwise be redundant and dead weight on a bombing trip that could take up to ten hours flying. Weight and space was at a premium. On a macro scale, so was manpower; Britain was running out of it by 1944. Minimising the number of men in the crew was vital if you were running a fleet of thousands of heavy bombers. So the bomb aimer would do other necessary jobs during the trip: perhaps man the forward gun turret - which was immediately above the bomb-aimer station, so not too far to go when moving station. He might man an auxiliary gun station; later models of Lancaster had downward-pointing guns covering the blind spot underneath the aircraft. He might assist the flight engineer, or, crucially for this argument, as some of the skills overlapped, he might assist the navigator or enen for the rest of the trip, BE the navigator.

Which leads us back to the point raised in the current FT. The Canberra was an immediately post-war design for a jet bomber and would have incorporated lots of experience and practice from WW2. And a lot of things in an aircraft industry that had turned out Britain's wartime bombers would have carried over as "standard practice", things used in wartime that might have been considered indispensible, unthinkable to discard even in a revolutionary jet bomber.

One of those, immediately post-war, might have been something called the "astrodome". This was either a clear small turret, or sometimes just a window mounted in the spine of the aircraft over the navigator station, allowing the flight navigator to make his own in-flight observations for dead reckoning or to navigate by the stars if necessary. Old habits die hard - what if early models of the Canberra, prototypes dating from 1948 and 1949, had the astrodome built in, as, well, a hangover from WW2 experience? (I haven't checked for this) The astrodome was designed pretty much for all-round vision, after all, and if Jenny's contact had been having a memory thing, or else what he said had been misheard, it could well have been conflated with "turret" - which to a layman might have been assumed to be a gun-turret... and of course it was soon realised that a lot of things from WW2 bombers were simply redundant in the 1950's for a whole new anticipated war. Like gun turrets and astrodomes... production variants in an aircraft in service until the 1970's or 1980's would have omitted these .


Just to clarify, British Electric Canberras had no defensive rear turrets or rear fire ports. It's important to pinpoint that, even during the last months of WWII, many bombers had gun turrets that weren't supposed to be manned, so there was no "rear window" on them. If one looks to a Canberra picture or diagram, it's easy to see that they had slim rears, that would require to be redesign to open space for a gun, even if it was not fired by an human being.

Late WWII light bombers (the DH Mosquito is a good exemple) didn't relayed on the concept of a rear turret. Instead, they were designed to have high speed. Later cold-war bombers like the B-58 or teh B-70 didn't had rear defences either.

I couldn't find a picture of a Canberra with an astrodome, either.
 

Comfortably Numb

Antediluvian
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
8,312
Reaction score
13,325
Points
284
Location
Phone
A recent upload from Andrew May - background details here:

@https://youtu.be/17APNALEkl0

Pianoforteana Sonata

 
Top