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Pete the Poltergeist

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Many of you are familiar with the Air Museum in Cosford.
The "star of the show" is an Avro Lincoln bomber (RF398) which is supposed to be haunted by a mysterious entity nicknamed "Pete the Poltergeist".
RF398 has a well known history: it served in various RAF Squadrons in Britain before being briefly transferred to the Bombing School at RAF Lindholme in 1957 and finally serving as a testbed for various radar studies. It was the last Lincoln to be retired in 1963 and the only survivor of the type.
As such it's of great historical value and one of the main exhibits of Cosford but nobody (neither former crew members nor museum staff) ever noticed it was "haunted".
In 1979, as part of a re-shuffling of various Midlands museum it was decided to move RF398 to a museum in Manchester, mostly because visits at Cosford were at an all-time low.
Museum staff members were obviously quite worried. Some of them believed this indicated Cosford would be shut down in the near future, others were worried about losing their main exhibit.
History mercifully forgot who came up with the idea of turning a prized aircraft of high historical value into a haunted attraction, but it worked.
As soon as rumors RF398 was haunted started to spread, attendance at Cosford literally skyrocketed. To be honest the museum staff never concocted particularly fanciful tales, they just set the ball in motion and watched it roll.
Record visitor numbers meant that by 1981 the future of RF398 and Cosford was assured.
Case closed?
This is where the tale gets funny.
Various researchers (including a BBC team in 1994) put audio recording equipment inside RF398 during the night. "Weird" sounds were recorded: part of them can be attributed to natural cases but sometimes sounds coherent with those created by aircrew going through pre-flight checks have been recorded.
Some of the RF398 crew members were interviewed and they maintained the aircraft never had a reputation for being haunted or "snakebitten". In fact it lingered into service so long because it proved to be a very trouble-free and reliable craft to operate.
Can we say, just like the Gray Lady of Glamis, the "ghost" was created by those visiting the place and expecting to see a ghost?


"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-



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