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Unsolved mysteries

Summary:
There are unsolved mysteries associated with the date of November 7th. In 1872 the US merchant brigantine, Mary Celeste (usually misspelled as Marie Celeste), set sail from New York City headed for Genoa with a cargo of denatured alcohol. On December 5th, the Canadian brigantine, Dei Gratia, found her adrift and deserted off the Azores. The sails were partly set and in poor condition, but there was no sign of anyone one board. Her lifeboat was missing, but her cargo was intact, and the personal effects of the captain and crew were undisturbed. The last entry in her log had been made ten days earlier.The ship’s papers and navigation instruments were missing, but galley materials were tidily stowed. Despite popular later myth, there was no sign of food prepared or in preparation, but there

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There are unsolved mysteries associated with the date of November 7th. In 1872 the US merchant brigantine, Mary Celeste (usually misspelled as Marie Celeste), set sail from New York City headed for Genoa with a cargo of denatured alcohol. On December 5th, the Canadian brigantine, Dei Gratia, found her adrift and deserted off the Azores. The sails were partly set and in poor condition, but there was no sign of anyone one board. Her lifeboat was missing, but her cargo was intact, and the personal effects of the captain and crew were undisturbed. The last entry in her log had been made ten days earlier.

The ship’s papers and navigation instruments were missing, but galley materials were tidily stowed. Despite popular later myth, there was no sign of food prepared or in preparation, but there were ample supplies. There was no sign of fire or violence. The signs pointed to an orderly departure by the captain and crew in the missing lifeboat, but no-one on that fateful ship was ever seen again. The ship itself was towed as salvage, sold and renamed, and saw more service before it was finally deliberately sunk off the Irish coast in an insurance fraud. But the fate of her missing crew has remained a mystery ever since.

Another unsolved mystery began on November 7th, 1974, with the disappearance of Lord Lucan. After his marriage broke up, he moved from the house in Lower Belgrave Street to a house nearby. He lost a custody battle for his three children, and had incurred large gambling losses.

On the fateful evening, the children’s nanny was found battered to death in the basement, and Lady Lucan had been attacked, she reported, by her estranged husband. Lucan himself phoned his mother to ask her to pick up his children, then drove to a friend’s house in East Sussex. He then disappeared. The car was found abandoned at the ferry port of Newhaven. There were bloodstains inside it, and a piece of bandaged lead pipe like the one used in the attack.

A warrant was issued for his arrest, but Lucan has never been found. There were reports of sightings in several countries, one of which led to the arrest in Australia of the British MP, John Stonehouse, who had faked his own death to escape a fraud trial. Detectives thought they had found Lord Lucan rather than another fugitive.

But Lucan’s whereabouts remained a mystery. One theory was that he might have committed suicide by jumping overboard from a mid-channel ferry, but there was no evidence to support this other than his continued absence. He was legally presumed dead in 1992, and officially declared dead in 1999. A death certificate was issued in 2016, in the absence of any evidence that he was alive. But there was no evidence of his death, either.

There is another unsolved mystery, one that concerns the UK in the 1970s. It was a naff decade, characterized by constant strikes and union bullying. The government spent money it did not have, and inflation soared. There were periodic shortages of basic items such as toilet paper and sugar. Public services deteriorated to a low level of quality and reliability. The Prime Minister had to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund to prevent the country going bankrupt. Extremists took over several local councils. The top rate of income tax was 83 percent, with a punitive extra 15 percent to take it to 98 percent on anyone foolish enough to invest in Britain.

The unsolved mystery is why anyone in their right mind today would want to see a return to those days.

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