One possible reason for the men’s disappearance comes in the form of one man falling from the steep and slippery landing steps while trying to retrieve a crate during the storm, and the other two following suit in a botched rescue attempt. It was on this uninhabited, remote island steeped in magical folklore that in 1896 a lighthouse began construction atop a grassy perch on the highest point of Eilean Mor. This investigation would turn up a few new details, such as the presence of ropes sprawled over the rocks at the bottom of the island’s sheer cliffs, that the wooden box in which the ropes had been kept was missing, and that the iron railings around the landing area had been warped and twisted somehow, with a sizable chunk of rock having been dislodged from the cliff face to become a heap of rubble at the bottom.

The light was produced by burning acetylene gas at the focal point of a 4th order lens being rotated at 2rpm to give a character of flashing twice (white) every 30 seconds and producing a range of 17 nautical miles; 20 miles (32 km). The crew on the boat fired off several blasts of the horn, splitting the quiet air. If the logbook entries are real, it would suggest that times were tough on the island leading up to the last entry. The final log entry was made on the 15th December. For dinner, meat, and cheese and bread; Even now, the mystery of the lighthouse keepers disappearance remains just that, a mystery. As the ship closed in on the barren Isle, the sight of the lighthouse on the edge of a sheer cliff sprung out from a bleak landscape. That is, except for the lighthouse’s log…. were kept, and which was secured in a crevice in the rock about 110 ft (34 m) above sea level, and that an extra large sea had rushed up the face of the rock, had gone above them, and coming down with immense force, had swept them completely away. Change ). He found the door to the lighthouse unlocked. Poor fellows they must have been blown over the cliffs or drowned trying to secure a crane. Here Muirhead noticed ropes strewn all over the rocks, ropes which were usually held in a brown crate 70 feet above the platform on a supply crane. The island’s tiny dock, upon which at least someone should have been waiting, was empty, there was no relief flag flying in the wind as there should have been, and blowing the ship’s horn and sending up flares produced no response. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1378632/Missing-lighthouse-keepers-remembered-after-100-years.html, Jacobs, T.M. A wide number of theories were presented in newspapers and perodicals at the time after the story became well-known. The west landing, which is situated in such a geo, terminates in a cave. All three of the men who vanished were experienced at their work, and Ducat had even been chosen as the lead keeper during the construction of the lighthouse. Upon entering the unlocked lighthouse, he immediately knew that something was wrong. Aliens, government plots, sea monsters, giant squids, and sudden inter-dimensional portals opening up have all been seriously offered up as explanations, as well as the idea that the island’s legendary supernatural inhabitants may have had something to do with it. He also found a large block of stone weighing just over a ton had fallen down by the side of the pathway, along with a missing life buoy, usually secured to the railing by rope had disappeared. (2013). James Harvey, the captain of Hesperus, attempted to reach them by blowing the ship's whistle and firing a flare, but was unsuccessful. [8] The relief vessel, the lighthouse tender Hesperus, was unable to sail from Breasclete, Lewis, as planned on 20 December due to adverse weather; it did not reach the island until noon on 26 December. A subsequent search party by the Hesperus crew turned the lighthouse lamp back on and scoured the lighthouse and the rest of the island, but could find no trace of the missing lighthouse keepers. [18], Subsequent researchers have taken into account the geography of the islands. A reinforced concrete helipad was constructed at the same time to enable maintenance visits in heavy weather. [23] Another theory is that one of the men went insane, murdered the other two, threw their bodies into the sea, and then jumped in to his own death.[17]. On December 26, 1900, a Captain James Harvey, aboard the ship called the Hesperus, finally made his way to Eilean Mor along with supplies and a relief lighthouse keeper by the name of Joseph Moore, who was to replace one of the other keepers. He based his claim on the stopped clocks and a great storm that took place all over the western coast on that date. Others have suggested that the events and the condition of the lighthouse in which it was discovered have been exaggerated and sensationalized over the years, leaving us with a twisted, warped view of what really happened. [4] The logbook had been completed by the lighthouse keepers until December 15, around noon. Copyright © Historic UK Ltd. Company Registered in England No. What is strange about the final remark was that William McArthur was a seasoned mariner, and was known on the Scottish mainland as a tough brawler. [12], Over time, a story has developed of the existence of unusual log book entries. The men were drawn outside, perhaps in an attempt to reduce further damage and subsequently washed away after being struck by a wave. He had already spent 20 years in the lighthouse service. Poor fellows they must been blown over the cliffs or drowned trying to secure a crane or something like that. His investigation of the lighthouse found nothing over and above what Moore had already reported. The crew of the Lighthouse was 4 men strong, three of whom stayed at the lighthouse at any one time and a fourth member who would rotate out to Lewis for two weeks leave in order to rest and recuperate from the high levels of responsibility, unforgiving climate and oppressive isolation of the Island. As he approached the island he noted there was something off, as the “relief flag” was not flying and no one was anxiously awaiting their arrival at the landing of Eilean Mor. The story of Helen Duncan – spiritualist, medium and the last person in Britain to be tried and sentenced under the 1735 Witchcraft Act…. They also found that one of the cranes on the Western steps, used to carry stocks up to the steam tramway from the docking area was destroyed. This week go in deep with the 120 year old mystery of Eilean Mor, a small island off the coast of Scotland that is home to nothing but a lighthouse. For at the table head a chair Mike Dash’s Paper – A superb paper, though I don’t agree with everything he says, includes a lot of primary source material as well as newspaper reports from 1900-1901. It is a tantalizing view into an era when lighthouse keepers were not yet obsolete; a testament to the times when there were the few stalwart individuals who risked life and limb in the face of cold hardship to keep sea passages safe. Ducat irritable. Sea lashed to fury.

He with some men came up so as to make sure, but unfortunately the first impression was only too true. In 1920, an American magazine published the following as the final entries: Dec. 12: Gale, north by north-west. Now very aware that something was quite off, Moore nevertheless continued with his search to find that the beds were untouched, and that the lamps had been cleaned and refilled with oil, but not used. None of the missing men have ever been found, and the mystery of the vanished lighthouse keepers of Eilean Mor has over the years accrued a wide range of theories ranging from the somewhat plausible to the ludicrous. The island of Eilean Mor, with the lighthouse in the background. A further search revealed that the lamps had been cleaned and refilled. The final approaches to the landing stages were extremely steep. While the island is now deserted after the last lighthouse keepers left in 1971, before then keepers had reported hearing strange voices on the wind during stormy weather, with some suggesting they had heard either the men’s names or distant calls for help.

The two men would have tried to help their colleague, however, a second wave could have then struck both men, taking all three out to sea. Climbing down the sharp stone steps to the docking area, they found that all landing ropes and equipment were properly and safely stored away and in their correct place. The observation regarding the oilskins tallies well with the most popular explanation, that Marshall and Ducat had got into difficulties when attempting to either secure the landing stage against the storm, or possibly retrieve the supply crate that had been found smashed at the western landing, subsequently ending up in the water. The lamp was clean, the foundation full, blinds on the windows etc.”.

The Flannan Isles are located 32 km (20 miles) from their closest neighbor, the Isle of Lewis .Steeped in fantastical tales of hauntings, E… The three Keepers, Ducat, Marshall and the occasional have disappeared from the island. ( CC BY SA 2.0 ). Until they had done this ritual every morning, no foraging could begin. In 1895, the Northern Lighthouse Board saw fit to place a lighthouse on Eilean Mor and shortly after first constructing steep zig-zagging, stone stairways leading up to the island’s summit on both the East and West sides of the island, the construction of the lighthouse started. Many of these lighthouse keepers bravely faced these hardships to dutifully keep the lights burning even as powerful winds and potent storms lashed out at them, always courageously pushing forth in the face of the angry sea to provide safe passage to those who needed it. For centuries, over the nighttime and gray, gloaming seas, the twinkle of a light across these churning waters have guided mariners through rough conditions and perilous passages. Is the Assyrian Nimrud lens the oldest telescope in the world? To add to this peculiar scene, the kitchen clock had also stopped. Captain Harvie sent a telegram to the Northern Lighthouse Board dated 26 December 1900, stating: A dreadful accident has happened at the Flannans. They had then gone out to repair the damage when a massive, freak wave had washed them all out to sea.



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