Entries in Scotland (12)


EgyptAir Plane Diverted to Scotland After Note Found On Board

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(PRESTWICK, Scotland) -- An Egypt Air flight bound for New York City had to make an emergency landing in Scotland after a passenger found a note in the bathroom saying that a passenger planned to set fire to the plane.

BBC News reports that a BBC producer was on the plane and found a note in the plane's toilet that read "I'll set this plane on fire." The note also contained a seat number – seat 46D. The producer immediately alerted the cabin crew, and the flight was escorted by a Royal Air Force interceptor to Glasgow Prestwick Airport in Scotland.

The plane’s 326 passengers were initially kept on board while authorities worked to determine the credibility of the threat. A SWAT team surrounded the aircraft with their guns drawn while bomb experts conducted a search before removing each passenger from the plane one-by-one.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport remained open during the incident.

Police officers tell ABC News that they are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the incident which they are treating as a criminal offense rather than a terrorist related one. All of the passengers who were on the flight were interviewed but police have not been able to determine who was responsible for this note yet or if it was a hoax.

The flight landed at its final destination, New York City’s JFK Airport, on Sunday morning, a full 14 hours late.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


World’s Oldest Message in a Bottle Found Off Scotland

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SHETLAND, Scotland) -- A Scottish fisherman has set a Guinness World Record by recovering the oldest-known message in a bottle, besting the previous record by more than five years.

Sailing the vessel “Copious,” skipper Andrew Leaper, 43, discovered the bottle floating east of the Shetland Islands off the northern coast of Scotland. It was set adrift more than 98 years ago in June 1914 by Capt. CH Brown of the Glasgow School of Navigation, the BBC reported.

Guinness World Records has confirmed that the bottle is, in fact, the oldest ever recovered.

Yet those hoping for a dramatic message from a desperate seafarer or marooned sailor will likely be disappointed with the near century-old message.

“Please state where and when this card was found, and then put it in the nearest Post Office,” the message reads. “You will be informed in reply where and when it was set adrift.  Our object is to find out the direction of the deep currents of the North Sea.”

According to the BBC, the bottle was one of 1,890 research bottles that were designed to sink in order to map the ocean currents surrounding Scotland.  Thus far, only 315 of them have been returned.

Coincidentally, the bottle that held the previous world record was found by a friend of Leaper’s who was sailing the exact same ship.

“It was an amazing coincidence that the same Shetland fishing boat that found the previous record-breaking bottle six years ago also found this one. It’s like winning the lottery twice,” said Leaper in a statement posted on the Scottish Government website.

Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead lauded the find in the same statement.

“It’s amazing that nearly 98 years on, bottles are still being returned to the Marine Laboratory -- and in such fantastic condition,” he said.

Aside from requesting the finder record the details of the discovery, the postcard inside the bottle also promises a reward of sixpence. Unfortunately for Leaper,  that particular coin no longer exists.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Scottish Sailor Claims to Have Best Picture Yet of Loch Ness Monster

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Legend has it that the Loch Ness monster was first sighted in the sixth century by an Irish monk while preaching by the lake.  Now, a Scottish sailor who has spent the last 26 years of his life searching for the elusive creature, says he has the best picture yet of “Nessie.”

George Edwards takes his boat, “Nessie Hunter,” out onto Loch Ness nearly every day, often with tourists who hope to see the creature for themselves.  Early one morning in November of last year, Edwards was turning his ship back to shore after spending the morning searching for an old steam engine on the lake floor, when he saw something else.

“I saw something out of the corner of my eye, and immediately grabbed my camera,” Edwards told ABC News.  “I happened to get a good picture of one of them.”

The typical “media Nessie,” as Edwards calls it, depicts the creature with three humps sticking out of the water and a long neck with a head like a horse, but Edwards says that’s probably not what Nessie looks like.

The picture Edwards took shows what he says is the back of one of the Loch Ness monsters.

“In my opinion, it probably looks kind of like a manatee, but not a mammal,” Edwards told ABC.  “When people see three humps, they’re probably just seeing three separate monsters.”

While many people think of the Loch Ness monster as a single creature, Edwards maintains that can’t be true.

“It was first seen in 565 AD,” Edwards said.  “Nothing can live that long.  It’s more likely that there are a number of monsters, offspring of the original.”

Edwards has a lot of theories about the Loch Ness monster, which he first became fascinated with when he was a 13-year-old boy and his father would take him fishing at the massive lake.  He says he was a skeptic at first, but decades on Loch Ness have turned him into an ardent believer.

“I grew up with the legend, like the boogeyman, or Big Foot in your part of the world, and most people start out thinking it’s a myth,” Edwards said.  “But Loch Ness is so deep and dark and mysterious, when you start hearing more and more stories, you start believing more.”

The main argument Edwards says he hears from skeptics is that the lake has been searched, and nothing has ever been found proving the existence of a Loch Ness monster.

“That’s a silly reason to not believe though, because those expeditions can’t prove anything one way or the other,” Edwards told ABC.  “It’s a massive body of water, deep and dark, and we simply don’t have the technology to really do that kind of search.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Scottish Schoolgirl Wins Heated Food Fight

Comstock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Martha Payne, 9, is one happy girl after a turbulent 24 hours. Her local council in Scotland has lifted a controversial ban imposed Thursday that prevented her from including photographs of food in her blog “NeverSeconds,” documenting her school lunches.

Media coverage of the blog had led catering staff to fear for their jobs, a representative of the Argyll and Bute Council said earlier today. But Council leader Roddy McCuish recently issued a new statement, saying, “There is no place for censorship in this Council and never will be whilst I am leader.”

McCuish added that he wanted to speak with the Payne family, in the hope that “Martha Payne and her friends will have had a strong and lasting influence not just on school meals, but on the whole of Argyll & Bute.”

Martha has been snapping pictures of almost every school meal, and rating her plate, since April 30. Ratings ranged from “3/10″ to “10/10, noting “mouthfuls,” “price” and “health rating.” She was posting anonymously as “Veg” but local newspapers began naming her and identifying her school. The council’s ban came after a piece in Scottish newspaper The Daily Record, who penned a headline, “Time to fire the dinner ladies.”

Martha had published a “Goodbye” post Thursday night, bidding farewell to sharing her dinners with others: “I’ll miss seeing the dinners you send me too.”

She also wrote that she probably wouldn’t meet a fundraising target she had been working on for a charity called Mary’s Meals, responsible for providing food to more than 650,000 underprivileged children worldwide.

Martha’s “JustGiving” fundraising page for Mary’s Meals is linked to her blog, which has more than 2 million hits, with a new page view virtually every second.

With all the publicity Martha’s blog has received, donations to Mary’s Meals have escalated enormously. One of the charity’s chief administrators, Abeer MacIntyre, told ABC News, “We just watched with amazement today. Martha set herself the ambitious goal of raising £7,000 [about $11,000]. She’s managed to not only build a kitchen on the side of a school in Malawi, but to feed all 2,000 children at that school for a whole year.”

JustGiving tweeted today, “Congrats to Martha Payne (aka VEG) for completely smashing her fundraising target today. Here’s her page #NeverSeconds.”

Martha has attracted the support of local politicians, such as MP Louise Mensch, who tweeted this morning, “Dear @ArgyllandBute, what have you to fear from a 9 year old exposing lunch provision? reverse your awful decision.”

Even celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, a spokesman for healthier meals for schoolchildren, offered a few kind words on Twitter: “Stay strong Martha, RT this to show your support #neverseconds.”

Martha’s blog previously inspired the Scottish chef to organize a think-tank on school meals.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Is This Iceland’s Loch Ness Monster?

Alexander Schnurer/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Does the fabled Loch Ness monster of Iceland really exist? Scientists are skeptical, but a new video alleging to have captured images of the monster has gone viral online, raising the debate over its existence anew.

The video was shot Feb. 2 by local resident Hjortur Kjerulf and then posted on the website of Icelandic broadcaster RUV.  The footage shows what looks like a creature slithering through the icy waters of the Jökulsá í Fljótsdal river in east Iceland.

The alleged monster, known as Lagarfljótsormurinn, Iceland’s version of Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster, has been a part of Icelandic folklore since 1345.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

The story goes that the mythical creature has lived in the 25-mile long and 376-feet deep Lagarfljót lake ever since a young girl who wanted her ring to grow placed the ring around a tiny worm. When she returned, the worm had grown and, frightened by it, she hurled the worm into the river where it grew into the now legendary Iceland Loch Ness monster.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


23rd Memorial Service Held for Lockerbie Bombing Victims

KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Va.) -- Wednesday's commemoration for the victims of the December 1988 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people -- most of them Americans -- was slightly different this year.

With Col. Moammar Gadhafi now dead -- the victim of Libyan rebel forces who overthrew his regime earlier this year -- White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan said the families of the bombing victims can take some solace knowing that the infamous dictator is no longer around.

A Libyan agent was eventually convicted for planting the explosives on Pan Am Flight 103 but the U.S. blamed Gadhafi for ordering the attack.

During a memorial service at Arlington National Cemetery, Brennan said Gadhafi's death added poignancy to the occasion.  While his regime took some responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing, Gadhafi would never say that he personally gave the orders.

Brennan also told mourners that the U.S. will keep after the Libyan government to bring Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the man convicted of planting the bomb, to justice.  He was released by Scottish authorities on compassionate grounds two years after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.  But al-Megrahi returned home to a hero's welcome, and is still alive, residing somewhere in Libya.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Giant Pandas Arrive in Scotland

(EDINBURGH, Scotland) -- Two giant pandas from China landed in their new home in Scotland Sunday.

The pandas, named Tian Tian and Yang Guang (also known as Sweetie and Sunshine) are on loan for the next 10 years to the Edinburgh Zoo in hopes they will breed.

They arrived Sunday morning after a chartered flight.

Pipers, drummers and kids in panda suits lined the route as the pandas were taken to their new habitat.

Each panda eats 60 lbs of bamboo a day. They will be kept in separate enclosures for the first several months, according to officials.

The arrival of the bears also marked the start of a U.K.-China research program.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Queen Elizabeth Seeks Royal Gardener

DEA/G. SIOEN/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Tillers and planters, get your resumes ready. Queen Elizabeth II is looking to fill a position for a chief gardener to look after the grounds of Balmoral Castle, her private getaway in Scotland.

The queen is reportedly seeking someone who is self-motivated, has good management skills and requires minimal supervision. The royal gardener will be given the chance to live on the castle's extensive grounds.

While the salary has not been posted, the last gardening job that was advertised, a more junior position, paid about $23,000. But the royal family is known to be plodding about the flower plots: Queen Elizabeth always attends the Chelsea Flower Show, and it is rumored that Prince Charles speaks to his plants.

Balmoral Castle is a 50,000-acre estate 520 miles north of Buckingham Palace in London. It was purchased in 1848 by Queen Victoria and has served as the royal family's Scottish home since then. Queen Victoria called the castle her "paradise in the Highlands."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Lockerbie Bomber Found in Libya; Won't Be Extradited to US

MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- There seems to be little chance now that the only person tried and convicted for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland will be turned over to the U.S. for prosecution.

While the rebel-run Transitional National Council in Libya says it knows the whereabouts of so-called "Lockerbie bomber" Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, a representative for the group made it clear Sunday that "We will not give any Libyan citizen to the West."

Al-Megrhai was tried in Scotland for the terrorist bombing that killed 270 people, most of them Americans returning home for the Christmas holidays.  Two years ago, al-Megrahi was freed on compassionate grounds because his physician said he was dying of terminal cancer and only had a short time to live.

His release alone outraged the U.S. State Department and victims' families, but the most upsetting aspect of al-Megrahi's return to Libya was the hero's welcome he received from thousands upon arriving in Tripoli.

Two years later, al-Megrahi, who has always maintained his innocence, is still alive but said to be gravely ill.  CNN reports that he is in a coma and residing at his villa in Tripoli under the care of his family members, who say he is near death.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Foreign National Arrested in Scotland in Connection to Stockholm Suicide Bombing

File: Police examine the remains of a suspected suicide bomber in Stockholm in December 2010. FREDRIK PERSSON/AFP/Getty Images(GLASGOW, Scotland) -- A man has been arrested in connection with the Stockholm suicide bombing, police said Tuesday.
The 30-year-old was detained in Glasgow Tuesday morning in connection with the bombing in Sweden in December of last year.
The foreign national was arrested under the Terrorism Act shortly after 6 a.m. in the Whiteinch area of the city.
It is alleged the man was involved in aiding terrorists in Sweden.
The suicide bomber, Iraqi Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, 28, who studied at the University of Bedfordshire, blew himself up and injured two people in a botched attack in Stockholm.
Detectives in Britain and Sweden have been investigating whether Abdulwahab was supported by others or acted as a lone attacker.
Officials said at the time the bombing appeared "well-planned" and worked on the assumption that he was helped by others.
Police said there was no evidence to suggest that there was a direct threat to Scotland.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio