Friday, 22 June 2007


I thought I would add an entry about LAPIS, as this was one of the reasons for us ‘going oop t’north’ in the first place.

After leaving the others at Low Peel Near, Jon and I stopped off at a motorway services on the M6 to have dinner. Well, I say ‘dinner’. This actually consisted of a couple of pre-packed ‘wraps’, a cup of cappuccino for me, and a cold drink for Jon. If nothing else, you can assuredly claim that those on the road for the CFZ certainly spare nothing on their meals! I did not really care what I ate by that time though – I was tired, hungry and thirsty, and I reckoned that junk food was about as good as no food at all.

We got to the B & B in Lytham St. Annes at about 9 o’clock to be met by a very congenial landlady called Barbara, who seems to be able to remember all the first names of her clients with amazing ease and clarity – my brain is too soft and squashy to remember my own sometimes let alone another ten or so more virtual strangers! We met up with the other speakers – Larry Warren, Joe McGonagle, Alan Murdie, as well as organisers Janet Walkey and John Nuttall.

For those who do not know, here is a brief introduction to LAPIS, pinched from their website, which I hope they do not mind!

“LAPIS (Lancashire Anomalous Phenomena Investigation Society) is based in Blackpool and has been investigating strange events on the Fylde coast for over 20 years.

The group has been involved with many exciting cases over the years, some of which have attracted the attention of the national media. Since 1989, we have also held a series of highly acclaimed conferences putting on many respected speakers including a former astronaut!

The club meets on the last Thursday of every month at The Guards Club, 37E Whitegate Drive, Blackpool, FY3 9DG.

The Club has a cheap bar with a wide rangeof beverages and is open late on most nights. Everyone is welcome to attend our monthly meetings, whatever their views on the subject. Come along and relax in like-minded company!”

For more information try out:

Alan Murdie’s talk about ‘the man who was killed by a UFO in 1969’ was first on the bill. This was an interesting piece about an encounter in Columbia, South America. Alan has been tentatively booked to speak at next year’s Weird Weekend and is also, hopefully, going to write us a book about South American phenomena. ( )

Over the years there have been reports given by pilots of cigar shaped or "missile-like" objects that have been buzzing planes inside British airspace. Joe McGonagle ( explained how a lot of this material has never previously been publicly presented and demonstrated the incapability of the powers that be to deal with unidentified flying objects, whatever their origin may be.

After lunch, it was Jon’s turn for his presentation. He had been billed to speak on anything ‘crypto’ and on this occasion he decided to speak about eels and the on-going investigations into the possibility of larger-than-normal creatures in the lakes of the world, including the current expedition to the Lake District. Many large lakes across the world boast stories of monsters and it is the CFZ’s quest to try and prove that these monsters are extraordinarily large eels.

Last on was our very own Larry Warren, who showed a recent TV film, about the Rendlesham incident to the audience – a very intriguing case indeed and much enjoyed by those watching. Larry is attending this year’s Weird Weekend, together with the co-author of the book ‘Left at East Gate’ which documents this event, Peter Robins.

After the talks were over, we all had a pre-booked dinner at the bed and breakfast and spent a congenial evening talking about our various experiences of UFOs, ghosts, paranormal activity etc. Jon and I were exhausted by then, so we left the others to it, and retired, to fall asleep pretty much as soon as our heads hit the pillows.

After a hearty breakfast, we learnt that the festivities had continued until nigh on 2.00 am and various apologies were made to us for any noise that may have occurred. However, both Jon and I assured them that we had been blissfully away in the land of nod and had not heard a thing.

Eels awaited, and Jon and I headed on back up the M6 to reconvene our investigations at Coniston Water as I have told you about in my previous entry.

Strange isn’t it, that a couple of weekends ago I spent the time travelling up and down the eastern side of the country; this last one was spent travelling up and down the western side! Which reminds me, for those of you who, like Shosh, detected the deliberate grammatical error in my last entry, Olivia does, in fact, share the same father as her! Well spotted Shosh!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

On the subject of eels, I recently decided to put in a little time researching the topic (taking advantage of working for a university, and having access to online journals not normally accessible), and discovered the following:

Firstly, eels live an unusual life, hatching in the sea as a near-transparent form, metamorphosing in the sea to a yellow form to swim into fresh water, maturing in freshwater, then returning to the sea at the call of some unknown cue.

Secondly, whilst the first metamorphic cue is thyroxin, the second isn't and failure to return to the sea is unlikely to be due to lack of thyroid activity (my first thought as to what would cause it).

Thirdly, eels quite often seem to make a few "try-out" abortive migrations back to the sea, always in autumn, before they actually decide to do it. That tells you that they are being triggered by the seasons, and secondly have some sort of metabolic check to perform before they can fully commit.

Which leads you back to giant non-migrating eels. We know that eels will grow slowly almost indefinitely, and can survive even in raw sewage, so an anoxic lakebed shouldn't present many problems. Eels are also territorial, tending to stake out a territory and stay in it much of the time.

So, I reckon that giant eels may just be very old individuals which have chosen a very deep lake which has a stable temperature as home, and so live below the thermocline in the permanently cold water, and never get a proper migration cue to set them on their final journey.

So, how to get one out?

Easy: food will be scarce in a deep lake. Drop in a bag of fishy bits, weighted to get it to the bottom, on a long line, and wait for the eel to smell dinner. Adding a lowlight camera fitted with deep red lights is also quite a good idea here...