‘The Little Corporal’
** A-10 Warthog vs. F-35 Fly-Off – redacted information, but at least information. There is no information about downtime between sorties or about cost per sortie. We’re $33 trillion in debt, we don’t care about cost, do we?
** Let’s go Brandon!
From the Darker Days of Fighting Sail
A voice from the sea
At the turn of the 19th century a Cornish lass called Sarah Polgrain had an affair with a sailor known as Yorkshire Jack. When Sarah’s husband died he was initially thought to be a victim of cholera, but it was later found that she had poisoned him with arsenic. Sarah was condemned to death by hanging. She was granted her last wish that Yorkshire Jack be allowed to accompany her to the scaffold. Just as the rope was about to be placed around her neck,Jack kissed her and the two embraced for the last time. Spectators nearby heard Sarah say You will? and Jack agree.
After Sarahs execution Jack went back to sea, but the once jovial seaman became ill tempered and agitated. His shipmates often saw him nervously looking over his shoulder.
One morning as Jack’s ship neared home, he confided to one of them, When I was on the scaffold that morning talking to Sarah Polgrain, she made me promise on my oath that on this very day, at midnight, I would marry her. Thinking to humor her and supposing trouble to have unhinged her mind, I agreed. But I know now that she was quite sane and much in earnest. Not being able to wed me in the flesh she means to bind me to her for ever in the spirit.
The Sailor and the Ghost A whimsical Ballad… caricature, by James Whittle & Richard Holmes Laurie 1805
That night eerie footsteps were heard in the vicinity of Jack’s hammock. Jack arose as if in a trance and went on deck. He calmly walked to the bulwark, the leapt into the sea. The shocked watch on deck saw two white faces in the dark waters for a brief moment, and then they were gone.
A second Flying Dutchman
Everyone knows the story of the Flying Dutchman and some also know that this legend is based on Captain Cornelius Vanderdecken, who was condemned by a curse to wander around the sea with his ghost ship until doomsday, without being able to enter a harbor or find salvation in death. But there is a legend that in the 17th century there was a second flying Dutchman, very like the first one, in the area of the Cape of Good Hope, his name was Captain Bernard Fokke.
The Flying Dutchman, by Charles Temple Dix, c. 1860
Bernard Fokke was known for covering the trade route from the Netherlands to the spice island of Java in – by the standards of the time – very little time. In 1678, he managed the journey in three months and four days – about half the usual travel time. It is known that the Dutchman almost always sailed with full sails, no matter how strong the wind was blowing. Fokke’s secret: he allowed himself to do this by making a decisive change in the mast. He used iron yards, which were heavier but hardly broke. This allowed Fokke to keep his sails up even in strong winds, when other ships had already significantly reduced their sail area.
This seemed so incredible to the people that they assumed supernatural causes and believed Fokke was a sorcerer or even in league with the devil and must have flown his ship. The last time he left the harbor with his ship and was never seen again, people were convinced that he had become the devil’s prey, but he had merely died at sea. But because his soul is so restless and he is always trying to beat his own record or even challenge other ships to be faster than him, he is still seen from time to time in the area around the Cape of Good Hope and his ship seems to fly when he is seen.
So Fokke, unlike our first Flying Dutchman, seems to be more of a peaceful fellow who just wants to be faster than everyone else and not lead poor souls to their doom like the other one.
Identify the Aircraft
Take your time with this one…It resembles other, possibly more well-known aircraft. A number were given to Russia under lend lease.