Fortean Times

Which book?


When I was aged about eight or nine (1964/1965), I was given an illustrate­d Christmas book which purported to cover all the unexplaine­d mysteries of the world. I can only recall two stories from it.

The first was the disappeara­nce of David Lang, now a well-known hoax (but not back then), that allegedly occurred on 23 September 1880, when he supposedly vanished into thin air while walking through a field near his home. His wife, children, and two men who were passing by in a buggy all allegedly witnessed his disappeara­nce and his children could hear him calling for some days afterwards. That story first appeared in Stranger Than Science (1959), but that was not the book.

However, the story that I am interested in was as follows: When they were laying a telephone cable between Eire and England some time I presume to be in the 1920s or 1930s (I can’t recall the exact dates; it may have been much later such as the 1950s), there was a diving bell sent down to survey the Irish sea bed for a safe passage. The occupants were shocked to see brand new giant footprints on the sea bed, slowly filling with sediment. The implicatio­n was that some great sea beast or dinosaur survivor had just passed by, minutes before their arrival. The image that accompanie­d the tale was of a diver’s bell with two men staring at a sea bed lit up by their lights, with brontosaur­us-size (it was a different time), footprints visible in the waters.

The book was lost long ago, and I can’t recall its name, which is a shame as it was full of other wonders that fired an eight-year-old boy’s imaginaof

tion, and sparked a lifetime interest in fortean subjects. Has any reader ever come across this story, or seen the book in question?

Andy Kelly

Fylde Coast, Lancashire

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