10 of Jersey's weirdest stories

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A MYSTERIOUS ‘curse tablet’ being found in St Brelade, a peacock attacking a car in St Lawrence and odd noises keeping Islanders awake in the night... there have been a fair few quirky stories recently.

And here are 10 of the weirdest stories to have made the headlines in recent years.

 

1. (Near) fatal attraction

swan

In 2013 a love-struck swan was grounded for his own safety – after falling in love with a helicopter at Jersey Airport.

Problems began for Whooper – a resident at Les Mielles Golf and Country Club – when his partner died. But instead of finding love with a fellow swan, he turned his attention to an EC155 Eurocopter. The besotted bird was often seen flying around the aircraft – apparently without fear of a close encounter with its rotor blades. The swan eventually had his wings clipped, and the relationship just fizzled out.

 

2. Rheas on the run

rhea

Not so long ago, hardly anyone in Jersey knew what a rhea was. But in the last few years we have learnt three things: They look a bit like an ostrich, they lay big eggs and they like to go walkabouts.

There have been two high-profile rhea-escapes – the first of which ended when the bird plunged 50 ft off a cliff and bolted into the sea before being wrestled back home by his owner. As is often the case, the sequel was less dramatic.

 

3. They’re gonna need a bigger vote

quint

As if 21 candidates wasn’t enough, two new hopefuls appeared to throw their hats into the ring during the Senatorial election of 2008. One night, posters for Chief Brody – the over-worked, under-paid cop from Jaws – and Quint, the film’s hard-talking, bad-tempered shark hunter, appeared on lampposts around town. In true election campaign style, Quint promised voters the world, specifically: ‘The head, the tail, the whole damn thing’. The only apparent weakness in the otherwise flawless campaign was that he had been eaten by a shark at the end of Jaws.

 

4. Mysterious Mr Fox

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Back in September 2006, quite a few people were convinced they had seen a fox scurrying around the countryside. It began with a few reluctant calls to the honoraries, and before long more than 20 sightings had been reported. Then an Islander came forward to say her dog, which looked a bit like a fox, may be the culprit. The dog – a collie cross - never gave up the truth, but the sightings dried up.

 

5. Raining cats and dogs and toads

toad

Dozens of toads found themselves in a bit of a hole after getting washed up at Dicq slip in February 2007. Baffled Islanders watched as the amphibian army crawled up the slip to escape the rising sea water. No one knows how they got there, but one theory is that they were mating in a pond after days of heavy rain when a surge of water washed them into a stream which deposited them on the slip.

 

6. The Millais Triangle

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Residents in an area of St Ouen were left baffled in 2009 when their car key fobs suddenly stopped working. The problem persisted for several days until they suddenly began working again. The area has also been plagued by a weird humming noise which keeps some Islanders awake. It began in 2005 and can still be heard today.

 

7. Celebrity goldfish

roger the goldfish mont nicolle school

In 2014, Mont Nicolle School’s pet goldfish Roger (named after tennis star Roger Federer) developed a tumour on his head shortly after his tank-mate Rafa (named after Rafael Nadal) died. Vet Jeremy Miller stepped up and, in what was a first for Jersey, performed a life-saving operation. If Roger thought that making the pages of the JEP was to be the highlight of his otherwise rather repetitive existence, he was wrong. Within days, Rafael Nadal himself had tweeted about the story, which went on to make the pages of several national newspapers.

 

8. The darkest day?

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Shortly after 9 am on 15 April 2009, Jersey briefly resembled a scene from the hit end-of-the-world movie The Day After Tomorrow. The day began on a miserable note, with the Island covered in low cloud and fog. And then something odd happened. It got dark. Very dark. So dark, in fact, that the street lights thought it was night-time and turned themselves on. The eerie darkness was caused by a thunderstorm rolling in above the low cloud and fog.

 

9. Fugitive sausage dog

sausage

Passengers were forced off a bus in Gorey in July 2013 when Rosie the sausage dog caused mayhem in the village. She was chased around the area for 20 minutes before being captured after making an ill-fated bid to get the No. 1 bus to town. In the confusion, passengers were taken off the bus and had to wait for a replacement.

 

10. Canon des Iles

weather white rock with les Ecrehous in the distancePicture; TONY GRAY

This odd sound, which resembles quarry blasting or the low grumbling of an earthquake, has been heard for centuries, mainly by sailors in the area of the Echréhous. The first written evidence of it was made in July 1652. But it can still be heard today…

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