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parallaxicality
2005-Dec-23, 08:10 PM
I'm being a bit technical here, by legend I mean a story is circulated by word of mouth and is tied to a specific time, place or person. That place can be the internet, or Area 51 or the backwoods behind your house.

My favourite modern legend is the story of the Philadelphia experiment. I've always wondered how it evolved and where it came from, seeing as nothing like it appears to have occurred in actual history.

EDIT: looks like it was concocted by a schizophrenic; must have been fairly creative.

My favourite ancient legend is one I learned about a particular family in Cornwall. There are a number of small islands off the southeastern coast of England called the Scilly Isles, and, legend has it, they are the high mountain peaks of a sunken kingdom known as Lyonesse (one of the inspirations for Tolkien's Numeanor). The family's progenitor is said to have escaped the collapse of the island on the back of a white horse, and until about 1920, the family kept a white horse in a stable ready to bolt in case it happened again.

Moose
2005-Dec-23, 09:44 PM
I'm rather fond of the Oak Island (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oak_Island) mystery.

jrkeller
2005-Dec-23, 09:46 PM
In this part of Houston, near the Manned Spaceflight Center, I have been shown at least a dozen homes that Neil Armstrong is said to have lived in. Of course none of them have been right.

Gillianren
2005-Dec-23, 10:17 PM
I have a deep fondness for many, many legends. The only one I can really call a "favorite," however, is mythology and not legend--the myth of Orion. In modern legend, I find some of the JFK conspiracy woo rather entertaining. In ancient legend, I've had some very interesting discussions about Archimedes and his alleged "death ray." I love the story a friend told me once of how Hummingbird made the Moon. I love the compexities of Celtic legends, even if I can't reliably pronounce the names in them.

Lianachan
2005-Dec-23, 10:42 PM
I love the compexities of Celtic legends, even if I can't reliably pronounce the names in them.
You soon get used to it. :) Persevere!

Oh yes, and while I'm at it - nollaig chridheil agus bliadhna mhath ùr!

Eroica
2005-Dec-24, 08:42 AM
I've always been quite partial to the mystery of the Mary Celeste (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Celeste).

And while I'm at it - Nollaig shona is Athbhliain faoi mhaise dhaoibh go léir!

Philip A
2005-Dec-24, 09:33 AM
My favourite ancient legend is one I learned about a particular family in Cornwall. There are a number of small islands off the southeastern coast of England called the Scilly Isles, and, legend has it, they are the high mountain peaks of a sunken kingdom known as Lyonesse (one of the inspirations for Tolkien's Numeanor). The family's progenitor is said to have escaped the collapse of the island on the back of a white horse, and until about 1920, the family kept a white horse in a stable ready to bolt in case it happened again.

There's actually a bit of truth in this - those islands are measurably sinking!

I love myths and legends - especially Celtic. As an Ulsterman I'm quite fond of Cúchulain and the Táin Bó Cuailnge.

parallaxicality
2005-Dec-24, 11:39 AM
It's amazing the lengths some women will go to for a cow.

teri tait
2005-Dec-24, 03:54 PM
I like all of 'em, I especially like the stories related to illuminated writing and the saint that invented copyright law (Columba, got busted copying a book he loved). He was also the first recorded sighter of the legendary Loch Ness Monster, he shooed it away and healed the unfortunate victum that was being mauled.
Hmmm, may not actually qualify as legend, I like the Kolbrin Bible stuff, the Culdees, the Thule stuff, Ron Wyatts pictures of the ark of the covenant, the old Magdelene chapel riddles are fun too. The legends associated with Pilate, the puzzling stained glass windows in the Cathedral of St John the Divine (the communication one has what appears to be a tv or computer and was completed prior to either device existing).
I like discovering neat little things, like Teslas' nyc offices were located on the exact spot of the large black bldg (1 Liberty Plaza?) that did not sustain damage on 9.11.
Also fun to trace word root meanings, at least in my strange wild world.

teri tait
2005-Dec-24, 04:07 PM
I'm rather fond of the Oak Island (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oak_Island) mystery.


I love that one too!

I used to have a poem about it, I haven't been able to find it lately online but I do remember a snippet:

"..They always bought and never sold..
What happened to the Templars gold?..."

soylentgreen
2005-Dec-24, 08:42 PM
I've always been quite partial to the mystery of the Mary Celeste (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Celeste).
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I'm crazy for sea-faring legends and the Mary Celeste is one of my favorites, as well.

I must also say I love relating(to people who don't know of it)the story of the lost colony at Roanoke.

As knew information comes to light on both subjects, I can't help but feel a little sad that some of the mystique of those tales vanishes in meantime.

soylentgreen
2005-Dec-24, 08:47 PM
Also fun to trace word root meanings, at least in my strange wild world.

Absolutely...When I've been friendly with someone long enough, I consumate the bond by giving 'em an etymological dictionary. What greater joy is there than the celebration of language and comunication? Without those we are just useless eaters!

ps Eroica, check out Bill Bryson's book "Made in America" on the evolution of American english...it's a blast.;)

Lianachan
2005-Dec-24, 10:42 PM
I like all of 'em, I especially like the stories related to illuminated writing and the saint that invented copyright law (Columba, got busted copying a book he loved). He was also the first recorded sighter of the legendary Loch Ness Monster, he shooed it away and healed the unfortunate victum that was being mauled.
Check out Adamnan's Life Of St. Columba (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/columba-e.html). Chapter 28 is the one that describes this incident.
(Early christianity in Scotland and the Picts are things I study vigorously - and I used to work on Loch Ness, and have spent a lot of my life on it's shores, so I share this interest with you! I recommend this book (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0748601007/026-6296278-8478862).)

Also fun to trace word root meanings, at least in my strange wild world.
I love that too - although it's place-names that do it for me.

LurchGS
2005-Dec-25, 01:37 AM
Lessee... Gilgamesh, Beowulf, Van Der Vekken

And, of course, Sasquatch (thought that may fall into geneology...)

teri tait
2005-Dec-25, 09:56 AM
Check out Adamnan's Life Of St. Columba (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/columba-e.html). Chapter 28 is the one that describes this incident.
(Early christianity in Scotland and the Picts are things I study vigorously - and I used to work on Loch Ness, and have spent a lot of my life on it's shores, so I share this interest with you! I recommend this book (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0748601007/026-6296278-8478862).)

I love that too - although it's place-names that do it for me.

Very Cool! Thanks!
I guess you would have said if you saw Nessie, but just thought I should ask..Did you see Nessie?

Halcyon Dayz
2005-Dec-25, 06:38 PM
Till Eulenspiegel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Till_Eulenspiegel), who represents an anti-authoritarian streak in Northern European character.

teri tait
2005-Dec-25, 07:28 PM
Till Eulenspiegel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Till_Eulenspiegel), who represents an anti-authoritarian streak in Northern European character.

OMG! I love it!! Thanks for sharing, I had never heard of this gent.
I especially like the picture of him, an owl in one hand and (to my humorous eyes appears to be) a hubcap, diamond star halo in the other!

Adding Till to my list of heroes....

Halcyon Dayz
2005-Dec-26, 03:17 AM
If Eulenspiegel actually had done all the things he is said to have done,
they would have hung him a dozen times over, and worst.

(It is an owl and a mirror. A literal representation of his name.)

teri tait
2005-Dec-26, 03:59 AM
If Eulenspiegel actually had done all the things he is said to have done,
they would have hung him a dozen times over, and worst.

(It is an owl and a mirror. A literal representation of his name.)

Hmmm, they didn't roast him or worse as was so common then, let him off easy in my estimation. Perhaps to follow suit of the tarot cards ;).

A hubcap diamond star halo is a mirror too! Looks like I pegged that one on the proverbial nose. :)

You should read what they did to real people, like say Joan of Arc, who mustered an army that freed France and throned the diposed King, whom she championed. Its a pretty funny read, the Pope and all His Holiness' Cardinals cross-examined her for months, during which she (the ignorant peasant girl) talked circles around them.
Transcribed court records were carefully preserved by the Vatican, they do love their parchmnts, don't they? Little egg-faced when they did a 180 and sainted her 400 years later but hay, she damn sure earned it...least no one can call her a legend...

Chief Engineer Scott
2005-Dec-27, 03:54 PM
Try the Icelandic Sagas - "The Legend of Burnt Njal" as an example...

Gillianren
2005-Dec-27, 08:36 PM
You should read what they did to real people, like say Joan of Arc, who mustered an army that freed France and throned the diposed King, whom she championed. Its a pretty funny read, the Pope and all His Holiness' Cardinals cross-examined her for months, during which she (the ignorant peasant girl) talked circles around them.
Transcribed court records were carefully preserved by the Vatican, they do love their parchmnts, don't they? Little egg-faced when they did a 180 and sainted her 400 years later but hay, she damn sure earned it...least no one can call her a legend...

The first trial was run by the English. Since she was fighting them at the time, the conclusion was foregone. She was pardoned in a trial much closer to the second than 400 years, though still after her death.

Halcyon Dayz
2005-Dec-27, 09:16 PM
And her name was Jeanne Darc, a common French name.
The English just didn't want to believe that they where being
clobbered by a peasant girl, so they added the apostrophe
to make her name sound aristocratic.

Lianachan
2005-Dec-28, 12:05 AM
Try the Icelandic Sagas - "The Legend of Burnt Njal" as an example...
I love the Icelandic Sagas - I have a nice Folio Society hardback book which contains most of them. Good stuff.

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Dec-28, 12:44 AM
More Like Family Legends, But, Here Goes:

Leon Trotsky, Was My Third Cousin, Once Removed ...

My Great-Great-Grandfather Abram, Was One Of The Uncles, Mentioned In his Book, My Life (http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/works/1930-lif/ch01.htm)!!!!

Also, I Am a Direct, Male-Line Descendant, of Aaron, Brother of Moses, As Mentioned In, This Article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-chromosomal_Aaron)!!!!

teri tait
2005-Dec-28, 01:02 AM
More Like Family Legends, But, Here Goes:

Leon Trotsky, Was My Third Cousin, Once Removed ...

My Great-Great-Grandfather Abram, Was One Of The Uncles, Mentioned In his Book, My Life (http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/works/1930-lif/ch01.htm)!!!!

Also, I Am a Direct, Male-Line Descendant, of Aaron, Brother of Moses, As Mentioned In, This Article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-chromosomal_Aaron)!!!!

:)

I have a GGGGrandfather named Socrates Moore, he had 12 kids, I can't remember all their names off the top of me head, I do remember two: Anemonte (daughter) and Charles Calvin (gov of ID)

CC Moore had 4 kids, one named Grigsby, (he must notta liked that 'un ;) )

According to my father there's a Nimrod somewhere in the lineage but I haven't looked further back the tree yet.

teri tait
2005-Dec-28, 01:07 AM
I'm being a bit technical here, by legend I mean a story is circulated by word of mouth and is tied to a specific time, place or person. That place can be the internet, or Area 51 or the backwoods behind your house.

My favourite modern legend is the story of the Philadelphia experiment. I've always wondered how it evolved and where it came from, seeing as nothing like it appears to have occurred in actual history.

EDIT: looks like it was concocted by a schizophrenic; must have been fairly creative.

My favourite ancient legend is one I learned about a particular family in Cornwall. There are a number of small islands off the southeastern coast of England called the Scilly Isles, and, legend has it, they are the high mountain peaks of a sunken kingdom known as Lyonesse (one of the inspirations for Tolkien's Numeanor). The family's progenitor is said to have escaped the collapse of the island on the back of a white horse, and until about 1920, the family kept a white horse in a stable ready to bolt in case it happened again.

I like the isle of Cos, those priests loved their snakes!
I like the isle of Raz too, just for its beauty and lighthouses!
(It has pretty tasty legends but that's froasting on the cake)

ToSeek
2005-Dec-28, 03:00 PM
This bit from Bulfinch's Mythology used to give me goosebumps (and is perhaps appropriate to an astronomy forum) :


Here some god - it is not known which - gave his good offices in arranging and disposing the earth. He appointed rivers and bays their places, raised mountains, scooped out valleys, distributed woods, fountains, fertile fields. and stony plains. The air being cleared, the stars began to appear, fishes took possession of the sea, birds of the air, and four-footed beasts of the land.

But a nobler animal was wanted, and Man was made. It is not known whether the creator made him of divine materials, or whether in the earth, so lately separated from heaven, there lurked still some heavenly seeds. Prometheus took some of this earth, and kneading it up with water, made man in the image of the gods. He gave him an upright stature, so that while all other animals turn their faces downward, and look to the earth, he raises his to heaven, and gazes on the stars.

[emphasis mine]

Kristophe
2005-Dec-28, 05:20 PM
I would have to settle on the legend of Zelda ;)

In all seriousness, though, I don't know many legends. My favourite as a child was always that of King Arthur. I guess I'll have to go with that.

farmerjumperdon
2005-Dec-28, 07:01 PM
I would have to settle on the legend of Zelda ;)

In all seriousness, though, I don't know many legends. My favourite as a child was always that of King Arthur. I guess I'll have to go with that.

Same here; I've always been attracted to the Arthurian legends; Merlin, Excalibur, Knights of the Round Table, Camelot, etc. Simple and common.

Halcyon Dayz
2005-Dec-28, 09:26 PM
There is more to most legends than the obvious.
Many have a deeper psychological and/or social meaning.
They are rarely simple.
The Arthur myth for instance relates to the time that the old religions
where being replaced with Christianity.

Lianachan
2006-Jan-10, 11:10 AM
Very Cool! Thanks!
I guess you would have said if you saw Nessie, but just thought I should ask..Did you see Nessie?

(Sorry if this is thought to be resurrecting a dead thread - I've only just noticed this question)

No, you're quite right, I've never seen Nessie. The thing which nobody seems to think strange is that the first recorded sighting (which was in the river Ness, remember) occured round about AD565. Then there is absolutely nothing for over 1300 years, when people started reporting sightings in the loch - largely on the back of a known faked photograph from 1933.

There are a few unsubstantiated reports of sightings in the late 19th century, and early 20th century, but - even if we accept that these sightings were ever made and aren't just recent attempts at providing some sort of validating history - why this long gap? There's no such thing as an old, continuous, legend or story.

Another thing that's not generally known is that Columba was described as overpowering monsters all over the Highlands, largely as a demonstration of how much more powerful his religion was than the religion of the native Picts he was trying to convert to Christianity. There's no continuous legend or story about those either....

Maksutov
2006-Jan-10, 12:52 PM
Being from Connecticut, I have many legends to choose from.

One of my favorites concerns The Black Dog. (http://www.americanfolklore.net/folktales/ct2.html)

Then there's one that has a direct family tie-in: The Phantom Ship of New Haven. (http://www.curbstone.org/index.cfm?webpage=87)

Longfellow wrote a poem about it. (http://www.horrormasters.com/Text/a_257.pdf)

The family tie-in is that my great (times some factor, need to check the family genealogy) grandfather John Taylor boarded that ship in order to return to England to make some money before returning to his family in Norwalk, and was never heard from again.


[edit/add poem link]

teri tait
2006-Jan-10, 01:46 PM
I love the urbane legend about Sir Elton John not being man enough to duet with a country gal.

gethen
2006-Jan-10, 03:19 PM
Here in the northland, the legend of the Dogman (http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/viewarticle.php?id=99) is one that recurrs now and then. The idea of a werewolf (weredog?) near here tickles me, for some reason.

Maksutov
2006-Jan-10, 03:30 PM
I love the urbane legend about Sir Elton John not being man enough to duet with a country gal.It seems you misspelled "do it". http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/566/iconwink6tn.gif

Nevertheless, very urbane...

Lianachan
2006-Jan-10, 03:36 PM
Here in the northland, the legend of the Dogman (http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/viewarticle.php?id=99) is one that recurrs now and then. The idea of a werewolf (weredog?) near here tickles me, for some reason.

The two Scottish werewolf stories that immediately spring to mind, are Shetland's Wulver (which was friendly, and would leave presents of fish on poor people's window ledges), and the family of werewolves that supposedly lived by Loch Langabhat on the Isle Of Lewis in medieval times.

Oh, and the Dog Soldiers film, naturally.

SG-1 Fan
2006-Jan-10, 07:10 PM
A local favorite concerns Lake Herrington (just outside of Danville, KY). Supposedly divers that were mapping the bed of the lake were “attacked” by fish that could swallow a grown man whole. Of course, no evidence was ever found…