Friday, 6 February 2015

A Haunted British Pub You Say! Most unusual!

Actually not so much if you believe the tabloids.

When people from other countries think of Great Britian I wonder what first pops into mind? Fish "n" chips? Bad Teeth? Football hooliganism? All silly out-dated sterotypes of course... but what about the good old fashioned British pub, which wouldn't be complete without a resident spook.

The Daily Fail reports today on Birmingham pub the Old Crown and some not-so spooky goings on. I actually have to add: This is something of a first for the Mail, they've actually debunked this story for me. I don't have to do the slightest bit of "leg work" the answers are all here.


The story focuses on a bottle of cordial "mysteriously" falling and rolling across the pub floor, not too remarkable at all. I suppose the mysterious part is why the bottle fell, we shouldn't be to surprised at it rolling, it was in motion already, it would have been more unusual if it had come to a dead stop!

The Mail describes the motion like this:

"The video shows a bottle of blackcurrant cordial mysteriously moving across a surface and falling on the ground."
Actually no. The video shows the bottle falling and ROLLING. Round things tend to roll when disturbed. If you think that's mysterious you are going to be positively blown away by bowling.

All that we really need to figure out is what caused the bottle to fall.

Here's barmaid describing the events surrounding the bottle tipping:
'I went down to the cellar to get some more spirits and suddenly I heard a big bang from upstairs... I immediately rushed back to the bar to see Andy and Rudie leaning over staring at the bottle on the floor... They told me what happened and I was spooked. It's so weird.'

So Amy quite legitimately blames the two witnesses Andy and Rudie for tipping the bottle. The video doesn't SEEM to show them interfering with the bottle. I initially suspected some mischief was involved. With Andy and Rudie as likely suspects. Firstly the screen is cropped. I rejected this simply because if it were the the pair pulling the the bottle one would expect it to fall towards them. It doesn't. I suspect that the video is cropped simply because the sharers wanted us to see the bottle more clearly, not realising this would also cause the loss other other information, such as what else was going on in the surrounding environment.*(another reason I don't think this is a hoax)

Looking at a few photos persuaded me that there is a much more mundane explanation:

Look at the photo of the cordial bottles, note that they are lined up on a raised drinks mat. I'd say the edge is perhaps half centimetre off the bar surface. Note that in this arrangement the blackcurrant is on the right of the orange. In the video its clearly on the other side, also the bottle in question is shown to be round based, rather than square like the orange and lime bottles:

The Mail handily supplies some stills from the video with the edge of the mat hardly circled!:

So here's what I think happened.

The last person to use the blackcurrent cordial places it back on the raised mat with part of the base of the bottle hanging over the edge of the raised drinks mat. On her way down to the cellar Amy opens and shuts an interconnecting door. Vibration, probably increased by the fact that the bar hatch is raised, disturbs the balanced bottle. It falls.

The direction of its fall supports the idea that it falls off the left edge of the mat.

Of course there could be another explanation. But in my opinion there only one type of spirits behind this bar.

* So, some folks are speculating that the bottle may be pulled by a fine line or fishing line. Here's why I don't think that is the case: If this was pulled by a wire attached to the narrow neck of the bottle, necessary to make the bottle fall in the manner it does, the force acting on the bottle wouldn't be acting directly through the bottle's centre of mass. This would mean there would be rotational motion along the bottles central axis, as well as translational motion. The bottle would turn on its axis. Even if the line was approximately attached to the centre of mass, we would expect to see a wobble effect as this would unlikely be perfect.

This is opposed to the effects of gravity on the bottle which would purely through the centre of mass resulting in purely translational motion.

There is a slight turn in the bottle, which I believe is a result of tipping as the bottle falls.

Anyway that's my reasoning better explained. 

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