Odds & Sods

During 1999, Romke Jan Bernhard Sloot, an ordinary and unassuming Dutch electronics technician and television repair man, claimed to have worked out (and developed) a revolutionary computer coding system that compressed data, and would render computer hard disks, CD-ROMs, DVDs and other media storage devices – Obsolete.

An example of what his system was capable of, was that in theory, every movie that had ever been made, would fit easily onto one 700mb CD-ROM.

Sloot had attempted to sell his invention to Philips, but he soon discovered that Philips’ engineers were not interested.

Roel Pieper, who was at that time a board member of Philips, however, believed the invention had great potential and undoubtedly valuable, and decided to join Sloots in his venture.

The pair then began to look for investors all around the world.

Pieper himself had invested millions of dollars of his own money into the project.

In the Dutch language Publication ‘De Broncode’, Sloots talked about another way of thinking about something that worked at hardware level, by using a unique code he called ‘seven’. He did not use binary 1’s and 0’s because he believed that they were limited as they worked in two dimensions only, and greater efficiency could be obtained using three dimensional code.

On May 10th 1999, he wrote: ‘Since I don’t believe there are compression methods possible which for example can store a video film to less than 100kb, I have searched for another method. After many years of experimentation, I have succeeded with a completely new technique, without using other compression methods, all types of data can be stored on any media with a maximum capacity of 128kb, and can be played back without loss of quality or speed.’

Jan Sloots, however, died suddenly on September 11, 1999, the day before the details of his unique project were going to be laid out in a working contract and production of his system began.

And all his notes, his prototype engine, and his carefully guarded source code were apparently ‘lost’ …

‘The Sloot Digital Coding System (SDCS) would shake the world: a new alphabet for digital storage that didn’t use binary code, but a much more efficient method. The principle behind SDCS seems simple. As a text consists of a limited number of characters, a movie consists of a limited amount of colours and sounds. All those basic data were stored in five algorithms in five memory stores. For movies, each algorithm would have a maximum length of 74 Mb. That’s 370 Mb in total: the invention’s engine. To start the engine, only a proper key was needed. For every page of a book, for every image in a movie, Sloot calculated a unique code. The concatenation of these codes would again result in a unique code. The final code, the key, would be one kilobyte in length, regardless of the length of the movie or the size of the book.’

Translated from:









Growing up among people who worked with their hands, all of them craftsmen in their chosen disciplines, I learned very early on the importance of precise measuring and accuracy.

Without a doubt, the most enduring adage I learned through those interactions, and have subsequently adhered to throughout all of my working and personal life – is to always:


As a working carpenter, I also learned through experience that in order to avoid making mistakes and ruining costly materials, that little saying, long since committed to memory has proved to be invaluable, inasmuch as it’s a constant reminder that very often you only have one shot at getting it right.

Measuring twice, or even three times before positioning your saw and starting that cut will not only save you time and money, but also ensures your reputation remains intact.

Making sure that you have thought of all the things that could go wrong beforehand, applies to many other aspects of life too, but unfortunately, even the most careful preparation is not always a guarantee that you will get it right every time.

A case in point is a recent post I published on this site recently, which examined the possibility of hundreds, perhaps thousands of babies being ‘swapped’ by a midwife at a Hospital in the North-West of England over a twenty-eight year period.

It appears that a great deal of interest has been generated by that article, which in turn has led to an unprecedented number of people not only contacting me personally, but also radio stations and news outlets in and around Wigan and St Helens, as well as the Wigan and Leigh Health Services NHS Trust that was responsible for the running of the hospital in Billinge that was the focus of the article.

A number of those people have been genuinely concerned about the possible implications for themselves and for people they know, healthcare workers, radio presenters, journalists and those who were just interested in the story have also been in touch, and I have spent the greater part of a week going through everything, and responding where required.

A number of those who contacted me shared personal experiences of the time they spent there, some voiced some very real suspicions and shared their own theories, and one in particular, contacted me and claimed he was in possession of ‘evidence’ that proved the whole thing is/was a hoax.

He claimed that a document, a screengrab of which was attached to the article published on this site, was created on his kitchen table, and himself and another, un-named person made up the whole thing to post on the @blackchapter  Facebook page they run – a post which they somewhat strangely, deleted  a few hours later.

imageI have made a request that the alleged hoax author(s) send me a written statement (with evidence) to reinforce that claim, which I offered to publish on this site in the interests of balance, but have not received a response at the time of writing.

Hopefully that may change.

So is there any truth in this story, or is it simply a hoax?

From what I have been able to ascertain, ‘The Billinge Cuckoo’s’ , could appear on the surface to be a case of ‘where there is smoke, there is also fire’, but there is no visible evidence I have been able to find which supports that.

On the other hand, the only ‘evidence’ to allegedly support it as being a simple hoax, has been removed from the internet by the people who have also claimed to be the architects of said hoax.

All I know is that I have spent way too much time waltzing around this one, and although it is an interesting premise, I really cannot see ‘The Billinge Cuckoos’  as being anything other than one of ‘those stories’ that will never be brought to a satisfactory conclusion while people still have breath enough to argue over it.

And most people’s lives are way too short to worry unduly about it anyway.



POST UPDATE: I have a feeling that I will not be hearing from the alleged hoaxer again.

“A full confession has been posted by the perpetrator, declaring the content a joke. “It is most regrettable that the hoaxer decided to use Billinge Hospital as the focus. “There is no doubt that the publication of the prank video has caused a lot of upset and concern for many people. “We hope that now it has been confirmed as an act of complete fabrication that the matter will now rest.” – WIGAN TODAY

Founded in 1837 as the ‘Wigan Poor Law Union Hospital’, Billinge Hospital was a National Health Service facility in the Higher End district of the Borough of Wigan, Greater Manchester.


The Maternity Unit attached to the main hospital was opened in 1968, and served much of the surrounding area of Wigan, parts of St Helens and the District of West Lancashire, before it’s closure in 2004, it’s services being transferred to other hospitals in the surrounding districts.

Very little of the original hospital remains.

In September this year, a number of documents were allegedly released, one of which mentions a project named ‘The Cuckoo Children of Billinge’, which added weight to a rumour that began in 2003, which alleged that a Midwife, known only as ‘1B’ had confessed to ‘swapping babies’ during  the 28 years she had worked there.


During her alleged confession, the Midwife also claimed she was able to see ‘coloured auras’ which surrounded newly born babies and their mothers, and whenever she saw auras that in her opinion ‘did not match’, she would exchange the baby with a mother who’s aura was the same.

She further claimed that she had been swapping babies this way from 1971 to around 1999, and although she could not recall the exact numbers involved, she estimated that for the 28 years she worked at the hospital, she would swap no less than two babies a day.

Billinge Hospital in 2013

Billinge Hospital in 2013

Following this alleged confession, a number of stories have been circulating, one of which was an allegation that the security services ordered the immediate closure of the facility to ‘bury’ the scandal – which if true, would be a conspiracy theorist’s dream, especially as the (allegedly) recently discovered documents, part of which is reproduced above, reads;

‘Codename; Cuckoo Children of Billinge. The prolonged swapping of newly born children by midwife B1. From Years 1971 to 1999.  MI5 demands the immediate closure of the facility. TOP SECRET. This must not enter the public domain’

The investigation continues.


This is a short update to some earlier published articles on this site, which examined in some depth, the still-ongoing mystery of the large number of suicides which have occurred in and around the town of Bridgend in South Wales.

At this time, the number of deaths that have occurred in and around Bridgend by way of suicide has exceeded 110, there has been a significant news blackout around these incidents and no reasonable explanation has been offered, either by the authorities, or by any number of the investigations that have been undertaken by professional or citizen journalists.

Everything from a Teenage suicide ‘cult‘ to possible ‘alien abductions‘ have been put forward at one time or another by a number of online sources, some of which are obviously more plausible than others, but none, as far as I am aware have managed to submit a definitive, or even satisfactory solution.

I am also aware that this, or any other published article may not shine a light upon what has really been happening in Bridgend since 2007, but it would be remiss if me if I did not publish what has been made available to me since the last article that was published here, which may be of significance.

Among those who have contacted this site over the last few weeks, were three people who do not live in South Wales, but have had cause to visit the town and subsequently experienced something which has, so far, defied (medical) explanation.

What they have claimed to have experienced, however, does corroborate something that a number of others have related to both my source and to myself directly, and is something which to my knowledge has not being reported upon by the mass media, nor has it been discussed online in any great detail.

The day after spending the day in the town, all of those who contacted me attended their local casualty units with what can only be described as: “The worst pain that they had ever experienced”. A pain which suddenly ‘exploded‘ through their heads, completely out of nowhere and had totally incapacitated them for around three minutes before disappearing completely.

These attacks continued at intervals throughout the day and by that evening all but one had no option but to present themselves at (separate) hospitals, unable to speak coherently until the pain had subsided to a point where they were able to be examined.

Following a number of hospital tests, and a follow-up examination at a neurological outpatients department, they were diagnosed as suffering from something known as ‘Trigeminal Neuralgia‘, or ‘Fothergill’s Disease‘.

TN, is a severe and chronic disorder which affects the cranial (Trigeminal) nerve which carries sensations from the face to the brain and controls facial motor functions like biting and chewing.

One distinguishing feature of Trigeminal Neuralga is that it has been described as being ‘one of the most painful conditions known to humankind’.

TN, is also known as The Suicide Disease …. because sufferers have been known to take their own lives during an attack in desperate attempts to relieve the pain.

It’s that bad apparently.

Of course, these events may be entirely coincidental and unconnected to the tragic events that have occurred in and around the town over the greater part of a decade, but should that automatically rule it out as a contributing factor?

The story will continue, I am in no doubt about that.

In a previous article on this site, I alluded to the possibility that a number of designs found in Agriglyph’s (Crop Circles) that have appeared in the south-west of England and elsewhere, were ‘Blueprints‘ for an entirely new type of propulsion system.

“So was 1997, also a year in which an entirely new propulsion system to accompany manned space flight or otherwise, be realised. The inordinate numbers of Agriglyph’s that appeared in that year, (over a hundred in total) may have even hinted at the possibility, inasmuch as some have been likened to the design of an entirely new propulsion system. Many of the designs were based around intricate ‘Fractal’ patterns, which in turn were centred around a ‘Koch’ curve, which is, I am given to understand – defined as ‘The Fractal curve of Hausdorff Dimension In4/In3, who’s generator is formed by erecting an equilateral triangle in the middle third of a straight line.'” – THE OUTLAW – A FIELD OF DREAMS

However, the designs that have appeared in a number of Crop Circles since 1997, did not come as a surprise to some people, as eight years earlier, a 1991 book ‘CROP CIRCLES: HARBINGERS OF WORLD CHANGE, had made a prediction, that “blueprints for an energy machine” would one day appear in crop fields. The information contained within these glyphs would be encrypted, but in time it would be deciphered by interested parties.


“Soon it will be possible to put into practice a new form of energy which is hidden in the crop formations, like for molecular structures or blueprints. Someone will one day, help to unravel this information, and scientists will put it into practice in your lifetimes. Certain scientists are already close to the answer: ‘An Energy Machine’. This energy is related partly to magnetism, but more to an illusion of time.”

It would be fair to say, that this information went mostly unnoticed at the time, at least to anyone who did not have more than a passing interest in the subject or was familiar with the available literature relating to such issues – there were of course some references to these events on the internet, but they passed without raising too much interest, and appeared to have dropped off the radar altogether.

In 2008, however, Umberto Baudo an Italian engineer, began to seriously study the photographs of the circles, and used them to help design a completely new type of magnetic motor, utilising what is now known as ‘Free Energy’ and has built a number of prototypes based entirely on what he has learned from his studies.

On July 22, 2012 he held a small, invitation-only meeting in which he said (Translated from the Italian):

“Crop Circles: the media and science treat this phenomenon subtly, but it is of great importance for all of humanity. Only those who study it seriously can understand that it is not a joke. After a long and exhaustive study, I can demonstrate that many of these crop patterns are not man-made. Since the beginning of my research, I noticed that they were technical drawings which show us new ways to produce free energy. I have been trying to reproduce these patterns for a long time, using permanent magnets with no result. Then I realised a new way to develop these mechanisms, and I will show you how they work with a simulator.

The problem of crop circles can be solved only if you use a 3-D visualisation. If researchers refuse to see them in this way, then all efforts to solve them will be in vain.”


If there is one subject that is guaranteed to bring out the very worst in people, especially on the Internet, it is whenever the small matter of the ‘Flat Earth’ is discussed.

It has, in some cases, caused such angry online debate, that a number of websites have had to resort to removing the facility to comment on the FE articles they subsequently publish.

It’s not as if belief in a Flat Earth is an entirely ‘new’ idea either, as has been alleged in some corners of the www …. as the belief that the earth was flat has been around since humankind began to walk upright.

A belief that the earth is at the centre of all celestial bodies in the universe, and a model that has served as the predominant system since the heavens were first mapped by Aristotle and Ptolemy in Ancient Greece.

The Sumerians, Babylonians, ancient Egyptians, early Hebrews and most Greeks believed in a flat earth.


Towards the Flat Earth

Some ancient Greek scientists, and a number of church fathers, however, like the Venerable Bede, Albertus Magnus and St Thomas-Aquinas did support the round earth model, and in late medieval times, Bacon, Corpernicus, Galileo, Columbus and Magellan also held that view.

Of the above, it was Nicolaus Corpernicus (1473-1543) who is widely believed to have ‘discovered’ that the earth was in fact, spherical, and according to Wikipedia: “was the first astronomer to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology, which displaced the earth from the centre of the universe.”

However, Corpernicus was not an astronomer.

Astronomy was only a hobby of his, his real expertise lay in languages, law and medicine, and it could be argued that it may have been that as a Catholic Jesuit, and a Freemason to boot, that his heliocentric hypothothes was promoted and sustained by those networks.

After all, it was Francis Bacon, in an unfinished article from that period entitled ‘The New Atlantis’, who wrote about the infiltration of the Freemasons into all things scientific and religious, and acknowledged that “subversive members of the order controlled all of medicine, science and astronomy/astrology.”

It was Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), with his invention of the telescope, that was historically, the person who’s own heliocentric theory helped to ‘prove’ Corpernicus’ sun-centred theory, thus gaining universal recognition for the round earth model, a belief which still dominates the greater majority of scientific teaching today.

The majority of modern scientific textbooks still state that Galileo proved the Corpernican theory, despite the very real and often overlooked fact, that neither Galileo or Copernicus , proved anything of the sort.

Bernard Cohen in ‘Birth of a New Physics’ (1960) certainly didn’t agree with either of them when he wrote: “There is no planetary observation by which we on earth can prove the earth is moving on an orbit around the sun.”

And Friedrich Wilhelmina Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), who attempted to gather the known facts into a uniform conception of nature in his multi-volume work, ‘Kosmos‘, a century earlier, spoke with honesty when he stated: “I have already known for a long time that we have no proof for the system of Corpernicus … But I dare not be the first one to attack it.”

Humboldt, who his contemporaries considered to be the most famous man in the world after Napoleon, has the unique honour of being the person that has had more plants, animals, minerals and places named after him than any other human being – alive or dead.

In California alone, there is a County, a bay, a college and a state park that bear his name, and he is one of the founding fathers of environmentalism, yet he has been almost forgotten in the English-speaking world.

His most famous work was the aforementioned ‘Kosmos’, which was translated into more than a dozen languages, and within its pages could be found subjects as diverse as the journeys undertaken between outer space and earth, distant nebulae, landscape painting, terrestrial magnetism, poetry, ecology, botany and even erupting volcanoes.

There was scarcely a single subject, that concerned the natural world, which was left out.

‘Kosmos’ was unlike any other work before it, and very few books that have been produced since can surpass it. It has graced the libraries of many of history’s greatest thinkers, philosophers, artists and poets, and it’s influence, even today, is difficult to overestimate and is understandably, unique.

So would it be fair to describe a man such as Alexander von Humboldt as a ‘Flat Earther’?

After all, he has been credited with saying ‘that no proof existed, [in his lifetime at least] for Corpernicus’ Heliocentric hypothesis’, which was, if you recall, backed up by Galileo Galilei’s own scientific findings, and is what the ‘Spherical Earth‘ belief has been based on ever since.

But a lot has changed since Humboldt’s death in 1859, and although it is true that the modern proponents of the natural sciences have moved on from the romantic perspective Humboldt presented in his seminal work, ‘Kosmos’ is still widely considered to be a remarkable scientific and literary achievement which advanced scientific understanding and progress beyond measure.

With that in mind, would it still be seen as foolhardy to base ones own belief in the existence of a Geocentric earth model on such a work?

A surprising number of people do, although it must be said that the majority of them are probably not even aware of Humboldt’s existence, but elements of his work have certainly found their way into the beliefs of the various Flat Earth groups and societies that have existed in one form or another, ever since.

I read somewhere online fairly recently, that the idea of a Flat Earth was introduced only a few months ago, as ‘a Psyop designed to split the truth movement and to discredit all the conspiracy theorists who promote the idea’, which apart from being grossly innacurate, has lead some to believe that the basis of the recent in-fighting and online arguments that accompany any FE discussion, could stem from the introduction of something which could indeed be viewed as a type of ‘Psychological Operation’, and of the type favoured by the various ‘Change Agencies’ that manipulate and steer public opinion, in many ways.

Personally, I do not believe the earth is flat – nor do I believe that it resembles the ubiquitous ‘Round Blue Marble’ which NASA freely admits is a ‘composite image’, therefore not an actual photograph …. I lean more towards the earth being something in between the two, and has been depicted since the 17th century as being a perfect sphere, simply because it’s actual shape was viewed as being too much of a ‘leap of faith’ and something that people would simply not understand.



One of the most enduring mysteries in British criminal history is without a doubt, the real identity of the scourge of Victorian London, the Whitechapel serial murderer known as ‘Jack The Ripper‘.

Countless theories have been offered up which claim to have ‘solved’ the case, and an equal number of people have been named as being prime suspects, if not the actual perpetrator him/herself.

Almost every year we hear of a new theory and a possible culprit, and these have ranged from the simply ridiculous to the rather more plausible examples, one of which appeared in today’s DAILY EXPRESS.

Francis Thompson is a name that may not be familiar to many people, but his name has been associated with the Whitechapel crimes by Ripperologists for a number of years, and has been widely discussed on various forums dedicated to the events of that Autumn in 1888.

Francis Thompson and Whitechapel Map

Richard Patterson, who is the author of a forthcoming book ‘Francis Thompson – A Ripper Suspect‘ has spent the best part of twenty years researching his theory, and what he has found, has certainly elevated Thompson to the top of many people’s lists as being the Whitechapel murderer.

He certainly had the ability, as he trained as a surgeon for six years at Owens Medical College, Manchester, where he dissected hundreds of cadavers, and more significantly, it is where he was taught the very new and rare (at that time) technique of removing a human heart, that was known as the Virchow method.

This procedure entailed excising a heart via the pericardium.

How was this significant?

Well according to Doctor Thomas Bond, who carried out the autopsy on the Rippers canonical last victim, and the most horrific by a long way, that of Mary Jane Kelly, stated in his report – that this was the very method that was used to remove her heart.

Having the ability alone, does not make Thompson a killer by any means, but as Patterson has illustrated in great detail, he not only had the ability, but also the opportunity, the motive and even possessed a weapon which could quite easily have been used to carry out some, if not all of the murders.

Thompson, an Opium addict and being mostly homeless for a number of years in the East End, meant he could easily blend in, becoming a part of the landscape and would not have attracted much, if any attention, nor aroused any suspicions.

He also had a confirmed resentment of prostitutes, which may have started during the June of 1888, when a year-long relationship with an unnamed prostitute from Chelsea ended suddenly and angrily.

It is believed that the prostitute was his first and only sexual encounter, and when she threatened to leave him, he took it rather badly.

The prostitute disappeared without trace from official records following that event, but that could be entirely unconnected as there is no evidence that points to anything untoward happening to her.

Thompson was also known to carry a knife with him at all times, and not the ordinary type of knife that was often carried in Whitechapel around that time, but a dissecting scalpel, which would have been the perfect weapon for the crimes attributed to the Ripper, and as the actual murder weapon has never been definitively identified, it’s as good a choice as any.

So those four traits alone are enough to place Francis Thompson, as a strong, if not a perfect candidate, and could well be the most infamous as yet unknown, serial killer in British history

He should be viewed as being very close to, if not at the very top of any Ripperologists’ list of suspects in my opinion.


Further reading about Francis Thompson.