Prison Escape – Moondyne Joe

Introduction

Moondyne Joe, also known as Joseph Bolitho Johns, was born in 1826. He was a famous criminal in Western Australia during his time. He was originally sent to jail because he was a thief.  It was 1848 when Moondyne Joe and his friend, William Cross were caught for stealing food. They were both sentenced to two years in prison. The pair of thieves were transferred from prison to prison. In April of 1853, they were released from the prison. It didn’t take long for Moondyne Joe to get himself arrested again. He was arrested for stealing a horse.

The Horse Thief

Moondyne Joe was on the run to avoid the penalty for stealing the horse. The authorities had been tracking him down and they caught him after a mere 2 days. His personal possessions were sold for under 20 cents (Canadian dollars), and he was sent to jail for another 3 years. Yet again, he waited out his sentence. He later received work as a charcoal burner. However, it didn’t take much time for him to lose his freedom yet again.

Ox Murder

In 1865, Moondyne Joe was blamed for shooting and killing an ox. Despite the little evidence, and his claims of innocence, he was arrested. He was given another 10 year long sentence. Unlike his other crimes, from whence he claimed he was guilty, he vowed to escape the prison as he believed the punishment was unjust. He followed through with his claims, and he escaped.

Moondyne Joe’s Burglary Spree

Moondyne Joe and one of his fellow inmates had escaped from the prison and they went around the town preforming burglaries. He got away with this for two months! When the authorities finally caught him, he was placed in solitary confinement. He was placed in a specially made cell that was extremely reinforced. He was allowed to go outside to exercise, and he used this opportunity to escape. He spent two entire years trying to hide himself.

The Wine Cellar

Moondyne Joe was caught once again, whilst stealing from a wine cellar. In 1871, he was pardoned for this crime. He then ended his criminal career.

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Blackdown CTC (Part 1-4)

Year 1

Original Part 1 Post: Read Me!

Original Part 2 Post: Read Me!

Original Part 3 Post: Read Me!

Year 2

Original Part 4 Post: Read Me!

YEAR ONE

Blackdown CTC (Part One – Blackdown Christmas)

Blackdown.jpg

A birds eye view of Blackdown Cadet Training Centre.

It was February, 2015 when I learned that I would be attending a 2 week ‘general training’ army cadet camp in the Summer. It had taken me a while to fill in my application form, and I was excited.

Then, when the date of the trip came, I became nervous. I delayed the packing of my bags to the last few days.

It was July 21st 2015, the first night of camp, I had a rather horrible experience. I had to wait about an hour for attendance to be called, and to board our buses. Then, I ended up on a 3 hour bus ride. After the bus ride, we had to spend many hours getting lice checks, bag checks, and other ‘boring things’.

The morning of the second day was probably one of the most tedious days of my life. We changed into our army cadet uniforms. Then we were told to make our beds. At first, I was just hoping we would be putting sheets on and taking out the wrinkles. I was very wrong. We spent about 3 hours, being taught how to make our beds.

It took around 45-60 minutes to make our beds. I cannot explain how tedious it was. Dustless blankets, ‘hospital corners’, and more bed making tasks would be repeated daily. On top of that, the rooms had to be dustless, and tidy, with towels hung over the side of the bed vertically, and shoes straightened at the corner of beds.

We ate at the mess hall (‘mess hall’ is the name of a dining area that is intended for soldiers, or in this case, cadets) and we received some very good food.

Lights out was at 10:00 PM, and we had to wake up the next day at 6 AM (So that we had enough time to make our beds and get into our uniform before Breakfast.) If our beds weren’t made, and if our tents weren’t clean, we wouldn’t be able to have our end-of-the-day break.

Lights out came along. I was finally able to get some sleep. Or not. Everyone in my tent was talking. Apparently, I was the only person who sleeps more than 6 hours every night. We had a ten person tent, and every moment of every night, someone was wide awake, holding a conversation. I tried to sleep, and when I finally passed out, I would awake early in the morning to someone talking. On top of all the conversations, our cabin was filled with everyone’s least favourite insect – the mosquito. No matter what I tried, I still awoke the next morning with many bites.

On the third day, things finally began to light up. We finally began with the ‘fun’ part of camp. Our first activity of the day was orienteering. The activity was comprised of a map of the camp, and list of places we needed to go. We went to each area, and raced against other groups to reach all of the areas. We returned to the mess hall for lunch, and I was able to try veal (baby cow meat) for the first time.

Later on in the day, we hiked to the range to use the air rifle. Although I have a rather horrible shot, I enjoyed using it.

Our break was coming soon, I had to prepare for our first inspection. We spent around an hour preparing our tent to make sure it was perfect. In the distance, I heard Star Wars music. It was strange, I had no idea were it was coming from. Then, the Warrant Officer (WO) walked in. (Just to clarify, Warrant officers, are the equivalent of our group leaders. There is a system of ranks in Blackdown that goes in the order of Cadet [me] – OJT – Sergeant – WO.) The WO was playing the Star Wars theme song through speakers whilst he inspected tents.

We were being inspected and we failed almost immediately. We didn’t fail because of how our beds were made, nor did we fail because our tent was dusty. We failed because we laughed at his selection of music. The inspection failing cycle continued when he inspected our tent while playing the song “Tiptoe Through the Tulips”. We did pass the inspection afterwards, and I was able to call home for the first time that week.

 

I awoke to the sounds of Jingle Bells, as it was Christmas Eve. Of course, it was July 24th, so it was actually Blackdown Christmas Eve. The cadets in band camp were playing Christmas carols as we made our beds. We lined up for yet another meal at the mess hall to begin the day.

Suddenly, one of the sergeant arose from his tent with a replica sword from the Legend of Zelda video games. He was the least intimidating ranked person in camp. I watched him as he continued to take a trash can lid, pretend it was a shield, and chase off birds, claiming that they were spies from the Air Cadets.

The rest of the day was somewhat eventful. We visited the band camp and ended up learning about drums and bagpipes. We returned to the mess hall for lunch. During Lunch, some of my friends and me were sitting at a table together. One of the sergeants told us about Blackdown Santa.

“If you hang your wool socks on your bedpost, Blackdown Santa will visit you and deliver candy.”

“But if your socks are dirty, or if your beds aren’t always made, Blackdown Santa won’t visit.”

BlackdownChristmas.jpg

Afterwards, we had to practice marching. When that was over, we received our first ‘training bonus’ of $60. We actually got in trouble if we called our training bonus ‘getting paid’.

Blackdown Christmas continued. We were all hanging our so-called ‘sockings’ atop our bed posts. That night was probably the worst sleep of my life. I only slept for about 2 hours. On top of that, instead of being visited by Santa, we were visited by a thief! He was dubbed ‘The Blackdown Burglar.’ Nearly everyone was missing money. More than $1000 was stolen from different cabins. Yet nobody knew who did it.

Blackdown CTC (Part Two – The Blackdown Burglar!)

Canteen.jpg

The Blackdown Burglar was the main conversation topic of the day, next to Blackdown Christmas. Our day’s schedule consisted of a confidence course, also known as the obstacle course, and it would continue with biathlon later in the day (Running and shooting.)

After dragging myself out of bed in the morning, I saw that many of my bunk-mates had money stolen from them. I was one of the lucky people because I wasn’t missing anything. However, I was extremely tired, and I was hardly able to get through the day.

Of course, the horrible sleep during the night effected my attempts to complete the obstacle course. I nearly fell asleep whilst crawling through an obstacle, however I was still able to complete the course. I got to the bench to see the sergeants punishing people who didn’t drink water to rehydrate. When we had the option to go around the course a second time, I took a 15 minute nap.

Later on in the day, we had to do a biathlon course. Biathlon is basically a running and shooting course. We would run a lap, shoot five targets, then run another lap, and shoot another five targets. As I mentioned in part 1 of this post, I have a horrible shot. I missed all ten targets, but I ended up with an average time.

Yet again, it was dinner time. However, we didn’t have a normal dinner, it was ‘German Night’ at the mess hall. I had to eat Bratwurst (Pork and ground spices) and schnitzel (fried meat).

I spoke to one of the sergeants in charge of our group of cabins. We had two sergeants stand in front of our cabin for a large majority of the night, so I was finally able to get some sleep.

It was finally Sunday, our day off, and I was homesick. My parents picked me up to leave for the day. We went out for Lunch, and I returned to camp later in the day. My parents brought me earplugs so I would be able to sleep through the tent’s noise during the rest of the week. When I got back, I did a few chores (laundry, etc), and I watched a movie that was being played at camp later in the night. We watched ‘Let’s be Cops’ which wasn’t that great of a movie. I would rate it 6/10.

I slept well, not having to hear anyone else talking when I had my earplugs in.

The next day began normally. I woke up again, I made my bed, changed into my uniform, ate breakfast and waited in my tent for about an hour. I joined the group as we hiked into the forest. We would be doing a ropes course. The course was made up of three sections, of which we could only choose one. We had to choose if we wanted to cross between hills on a 3, 2 or 1 rope bridge. On the 3 rope course, you would walk on a single rope while holding on to two different ropes. On the two rope course, you would be walking on one rope and holding on to the other. On the single rope course, you would have to hold onto the rope with nothing to stand on.

I have very little upper body strength, so the single rope course didn’t seem like a viable option. Instead, I decided to do the two rope course. I successfully crossed, despite the wind pushing me to the side.

After that we went to the mess hall for lunch. According to some of the people sitting at my table (which at this point, I realised weren’t a trusted source of information [but that’s another story]), there were police in Blackdown, looking for the ‘Blackdown Burglar’. I also learned that the next day, we would be on an overnight camping trip in the woods. This trip was actually going to be very nice. We would be able to choose our tent-mates and I would be able to sleep soundly for once. We spent the rest of the day preparing our camping equipment and packing our things. I went to sleep, ready for the camping trip to come. I was unaware about what was going to happen the next night.

Blackdown CTC (Part Three -Going Home)

BlackdownCTC

It was a Tuesday and it was almost time for the camping trip. I had packed my bags, however they were somewhat heavy. We would be hiking into a forest near the outer edges of Blackdown.

After breakfast in the mess hall, everyone came together to hike through the forest. We ended up hiking for an hour, with our bags. My bag was over 50 pounds in weight, hurting my shoulders horribly.

We spent a while setting up tents, and everything seemed to be going fine. That was, until a fight broke out. One of the most annoying people in my tent decided to provoke a fight with one of my friends.

Only a few moments later, the fight escalated even further, with one of them being thrown into the side of a tent. The fight ended when the sergeants of our group came forward, telling everyone to stop.

After the fight, I was left rather cheerful. The annoying cadet in my tent had a chance of being kicked out of the camp.

–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–

We were back at camp, and after another long hike with a heavy bag, I was very tired. Luckily for me, we had the entire night to relax, and the next morning, we left camp, to go to a public pool.

After going to the pool, we had lunch. We returned to the forest to go zip lining. Prior to the trip, I had never zip lined. We went on an hour long hike, before finally finding the zip line.

When we reached the zip line, we had to take many safety precautions. I had to be attached to two cords. One of them would hold my weight, and let me move forward, and one would simply stop me. I went on the zip line many times, and I found the experience to be truly stupendous.

Blackdown Zipline

*That isn’t a picture of me. Since we weren’t allowed to bring cameras or cell phones with us, I had to use a picture from Google Images.

However, just like almost everything else that happened to me in Blackdown, something had to go wrong. I was going to be the last person to ride the zip line before we left. The two cords were attached to the zip line, and I jumped down.

I heard a loud screeching noise. I was slowing down for some reason. All of my weight was being put on the emergency break cord! I slowly slid down the rope, with a metal piece of the zip line getting extremely warm. I actually got burned from it.

I was stuck in the middle of the zip line for a while. The man who operated the zip line came along with a large wooden pole. I grabbed onto the wooden pole, and I was pulled down the zip line. I returned to camp afterwards.

The next day, we ended up doing practically nothing. At Blackdown, the temperature is measured by “Heat Stress” levels. After Heat Stress level 5, we aren’t allowed to participate in any activities.

Heat Stress Blackdown

We are also forced to drink absurd amounts of water. As you can see on the sign in the picture above, at heat stress level 5, we have to drink “2+ Litres of water per hour”.

–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–

It was the final day before we left to go home. We spent a few hours marching. After that, we got on the bus to go home.

Despite everything that happened, I truly enjoyed my time at Blackdown. However, I was still very happy to be headed home.

The End

YEAR TWO

Blackdown CTC Part 4 – Basic Drill and Ceremonial

This Summer, I was accepted to a camp in Blackdown, Borden, with the army cadets. As an army cadet, I was able to choose three different cadet camps that I wanted to attend. (Of course, I could only be accepted to one of them, and there was a large possibility that I wouldn’t be accepted to any of them.) The third option on my list was ‘Basic Drill and Ceremonial’. This was the camp I was accepted into.

(To those who don’t know, drill is marching.)

This camp was set to last three weeks, from July 10th to 29th.


On the first day of camp, I had to endure the normal procedure to get into camp, which involved a lot of waiting in lines. After this process, I entered my tent/bunk for the first time. Within a few hours, I realised I was in the worst possible tent, as the group had already managed to get into trouble multiple times.

When the second day began, we were told to clean our tents – for the entirety of the day. About four hours into the day, when our tent was decently cleaned – floor swept multiple times, dusted, beds made to a specific standard – I was moved into a different tent. Albeit this tent was not as clean, I was glad we weren’t getting lectured every hour. The rest of the day was spent moving my things and cleaning the new tent.

The third day arose, along with activities that didn’t involve cleaning. We spent a few hours being taught lessons on how to be a successful leader, followed by lessons on how to march/do drill with rifles.

On the fourth day, I was able to see the weeks schedule. However, I learned that we wouldn’t be doing much until the second week, except for lessons, cleaning, and drill. After this, we were taught a few lessons about team building games, how to lead a team while playing aforementioned games, and why it’s important to play team building games. This was followed by learning more drill.

Days five and six were basically repeats of day four with slightly different lessons.

Finally, it was the seventh day, the first Sunday of the trip, also the first ‘free-day’.

In Blackdown, every Sunday was a day off for cadets partaking in courses, in which we could stay in Blackdown and be with our friends all day or go home for the day with our parents. I stayed in Blackdown for the day, but I was sleeping for a large portion of my free time, due to the fact that I had only slept 5-6 hours a night for the past week.

Luckily the rest of the trip was much better, as our first activity on Monday was going to a pool outside of Blackdown. A bus drove all of the Basic Drill and Ceremonial cadets to a pool about ten minutes away.

Later in the day, all of the cadets (including me) were assessed on our ability to lead a team. We were assigned a specific ‘team building game’ that we had to teach to a group of other cadets.

When I was assessed, I had to get a group to play the human knot. It was simple enough and I completed the task ‘without difficulty.’ (When you  are assessed, your ‘mark’ is one of the following labels; incomplete, completed with difficulty, completed without difficulty, or exceeded standards.)

On the eighth day, Tuesday, I was brought to to the confidence course (an obstacle course in Blackdown.) After this, we were taught a few more lessons.

Day nine involved a large amount of lessons, while day ten was mostly spent practising drill/marching.

35 Bizarre Laws

  1. It is illegal to make ugly faces at dogs in Oklahoma.
  2. In Thailand it is illegal to step on money.
  3. In Iowa it’s illegal for a man with a moustache to kiss a woman in public.
  4. In France it is illegal to marry a person that is dead.
  5. In New York, committing suicide by jumping off of a building is punishable by death.
  6. In France it is against the law to sell dolls that aren’t made with human-like faces.
  7. In Britain it is illegal to milk a cow when you are intoxicated.
  8. In Victoria, Australia, it is illegal to change a lightbulb, unless you are a licensed electrician.
  9. In France it is illegal to name a pig Napoleon.
  10. In Portugal it’s against the law to urinate in the ocean.
  11. In New York City, you can be fined $350 for honking your car horn.
  12. In Kentucky it is illegal to paint your lawn red.
  13. In Florida, after 6PM on Thursdays, it’s illegal to fart in public.
  14. If you are obese in Italy, it is illegal to wear polyester.
  15. In Samoa it’s illegal to forget your wife/husbands birthday.
  16. In Britain it’s illegal to be drunk in a pub.
  17. In Bangladesh, anyone over the age of 15 will be sent to jail for cheating on final exams.
  18. It is illegal for any women who are widows, or divorced, to skydive during a Sunday afternoon.
  19. In Switzerland it’s illegal to flush a toilet between 10 PM and midnight.
  20. In Montana it’s illegal to rip a phone book in half.
  21. In Iowa, it is illegal to kiss for more than 5 minutes.
  22. In Miami, Florida, it is against the law to imitate an animal.
  23. In South Dakota it is illegal to be asleep whilst lying down in a cheese factory.
  24. In Singapore it is illegal to chew gum.
  25. In Ohio it’s illegal to get a fish drunk.
  26. In Alabama, bear wrestling matches are illegal.
  27. In North Carolina, it is illegal to swear if there is a dead person nearby.
  28. You can be sent to prison for using the internet in Burma.
  29. In Iowa, it is illegal for a horse to eat a fire hydrant.
  30. In Washington, USA, it is illegal to pretend that your parents are rich.
  31. In Kentucky, USA, it is illegal to carry an ice cream cone inside of your pocket.
  32. In San Diego, USA, hypnotism in public schools is illegal.
  33. In Switzerland it’s illegal to not have a bomb shelter.
  34. In London, England you are breaking the law if you are in a taxi cab that does not contain a bale of hay.
  35. In British Columbia, if you find big-foot, it is illegal to kill him/it.

Blackdown CTC (Part Three -Going Home)

Please Read the Previous Parts of This Blog First:

Part 1: Click Here

Part 2: Click Here

BlackdownCTC

It was a Tuesday and it was almost time for the camping trip. I had packed my bags, however they were somewhat heavy. We would be hiking into a forest near the outer edges of Blackdown.

After breakfast in the mess hall, everyone came together to hike through the forest. We ended up hiking for an hour, with our bags. My bag was over 50 pounds in weight, hurting my shoulders horribly.

We spent a while setting up tents, and everything seemed to be going fine. That was, until a fight broke out. One of the most annoying people in my tent decided to provoke a fight with one of my friends.

Only a few moments later, the fight escalated even further, with one of them being thrown into the side of a tent. The fight ended when the sergeants of our group came forward, telling everyone to stop.

After the fight, I was left rather cheerful. The annoying cadet in my tent had a chance of being kicked out of the camp.

–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–

We were back at camp, and after another long hike with a heavy bag, I was very tired. Luckily for me, we had the entire night to relax, and the next morning, we left camp, to go to a public pool.

After going to the pool, we had lunch. We returned to the forest to go zip lining. Prior to the trip, I had never zip lined. We went on an hour long hike, before finally finding the zip line.

When we reached the zip line, we had to take many safety precautions. I had to be attached to two cords. One of them would hold my weight, and let me move forward, and one would simply stop me. I went on the zip line many times, and I found the experience to be truly stupendous.

Blackdown Zipline

*That isn’t a picture of me. Since we weren’t allowed to bring cameras or cell phones with us, I had to use a picture from Google Images.

However, just like almost everything else that happened to me in Blackdown, something had to go wrong. I was going to be the last person to ride the zip line before we left. The two cords were attached to the zip line, and I jumped down.

I heard a loud screeching noise. I was slowing down for some reason. All of my weight was being put on the emergency break cord! I slowly slid down the rope, with a metal piece of the zip line getting extremely warm. I actually got burned from it.

I was stuck in the middle of the zip line for a while. The man who operated the zip line came along with a large wooden pole. I grabbed onto the wooden pole, and I was pulled down the zip line. I returned to camp afterwards.

The next day, we ended up doing practically nothing. At Blackdown, the temperature is measured by “Heat Stress” levels. After Heat Stress level 5, we aren’t allowed to participate in any activities.

Heat Stress Blackdown

We are also forced to drink absurd amounts of water. As you can see on the sign in the picture above, at heat stress level 5, we have to drink “2+ Litres of water per hour”.

–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–_–

It was the final day before we left to go home. We spent a few hours marching. After that, we got on the bus to go home.

Despite everything that happened, I truly enjoyed my time at Blackdown. However, I was still very happy to be headed home.

The End

Next Summer, I will be returning to Blackdown for the basic Drill and Ceremonial course. I will be writing about my experiences in a post. (Late July or Early August)

The Craziest World Records!

Introduction

World Records have always been an extremely interesting topic. Today, I will be showing 3 of the craziest world records, including the world record for the longest phone conversation, the largest family, and the man with the most world records.

The World’s Longest Phone Call Conversations

In 2012, two people named Eric Brewster and Avery Leonard had a phone call that lasted for 46 hours, 12 minutes,  and 52 seconds. If they wished to achieve the record, they weren’t allowed to stop talking for any more than 10 seconds, excluding a five minute break every hour.

However, the longest phone call from a single person, was 56 hours and 4 minutes long. A man named Sunil Prabhaker, and he spoke to many different people. His call was passed from person to person across the time span. Later on in 2012, two companies, Tele2 Communications and SponsorKing, had two teams hold a group conversation that lasted over 56 hours.

The Largest FamilyWR Largest Family.jpg

Ziona Chana lives in a 100 room mansion, with his 39 wives, 94 children, and 33 grand children. Ten of his wives were married to him in a single year. Ziona has recently said that he wasn’t done marrying women, and that he would soon be travelling to USA, to meet new people and expand his family.

The Most Guinness World Records held at one Time

A man named Ashrita Furman holds the world record for the most world records owned by a person. He has received over 500 World Records since the year 1979. He owns world records such as, the longest distance ever somersaulted, the most balloons inflated via nose, and the longest distance ever travelled by unicycle while underwater.

His record for somersaulting, consisted of him somersaulting across a distance of 12 miles. He was only allowed to stop once every hour, for five minutes, or whenever he threw up. He claims that it was the hardest record he had ever set.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading! What’s the weirdest world record you’ve ever heard of? Leave your answer in the comments.