Browse content similar to 25/02/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Hello from Cowshot, welcome to Inside Out, we are marking a
special anniversary. Here is what else is come up tonight:
With five suicides in the last year alone, we ask what can be done to
stop false prize promise letters from ripping off our loved ones.
She overdosed on anti-depressants, and tried to kill herself and left
me a note saying, she didn't know how I would bury her, because there
is no money. Is modern day technology makes us
ill, we meet the south's Wi-Fi refugees. I was getting pain so
severe in my head, it was like someone of putting cattle prods
into my brain and shocking my brain. I take to the skies to celebrate
Cowsho it's glorious centinary as an airbase. Everybody wanted to get
involved in aviation, and this little lady of the space shuttle of
its day. This is Inside Out for the south of England.
First tonight, prize-promise letters, we got a huge response and
you are still e-mailing stories. Tonight we asked if anything else
can be done to stop the misery being delivered to our doors.
"dear Mrs Elizabeth, I hasten to write to you because the time is
very important for you. You must read what follows very carefully,
because it concerns you, personally. You and you alone." I love letters,
I love receiving letters, which I do. Because it is an interest, if
you know what I mean. When 87-year- old Elizabeth was widowed, she
started replying to prize-promise letters. It wasn't long before she
thought she had hit the jackpot. Last December I won a prize of
�130,000, so they said. So I wrote in to claim it. But it wasn't as
simple as that. You had had to buy something, every time I sent a
letter I had to buy something. This is how they held my me in a vice,
kind of thing. This is parcel from Fiderma, creams
I bought in desperate hope I would get my cheque. They cost me a small
fortune. Elizabeth has spent most of her pension trying to claim her
�130,000 prize, she she still believes she's going to get. I have
great trust in people. I'm a Christian, I have faith, a lot of
faith in people. I never give up. These are the sorts of letters that
are sent to people like Elizabeth, falsely promising prizes and the
Government is starting to take notice. At the beginning of this
year, MPs met to debate the issue. It is absolutely my belief that
Government takes this matter seriously. What we are talking
about here is very cleverly customised scams. Once a scam has
entered into the mail system, Royal Mail have a duty to deliver it.
Once a scam comes to light, the victim and the family suffer a
large range of emotion, anger, shame, upset, and in some cases,
where the loss is so big, suicidal thoughts, and as we heard this
morning on television, five suicides last year alone.
warden found her, she had her head in the cat litter tray. She
overdosed on anti-depressants and tried to kill herself. She left me
a note saying she didn't know how I would bury her, because there was
no money. Ruth's 77-year-old mum is now recovering at home after her
attempted suicide. She didn't want to be identified in our
investigation. So we will call her June. June is bombarded with up to
30 pieces of scam mail a day. And numerous telephone calls. She sold
everything, I think it must be in the region of �500,000. She has all
this stuff she doesn't need, for the hope it will get put into a
drair somewhere to -- in a draw somewhere to get money. There is
nothing she needs no, food in the cupboards, all this rubbish. My dad
came in after the warden had found her, he came into the flat and
discovered the suicide note after the ambulance crew had shown it to
him. He discovered the pictures of me and my brother, throughout our
lives had been placed face down, or put into the corner or in a drawer.
The idea that we couldn't see what she was doing to herself, even
though they were only pictures. Obviously she was mentally there.
She knew what she was doing. She tried to protect us in a way.
we were filming June's postman delivered yet more scam mail.
have been a postman for 20 years, you sort of get used to it. There
seems to be more of it now knocking B I feel sorry for the elderly
people. The one who is the mail is being taken from. But really I'm
just delivering T There is not a lot I can do. Something should be
done about it. I don't know what the answer is.
We have spoken to several posties across the south, every one of them
has told us of their frustration when it comes to trying to stop
scam mail. When I speak to postal workers they always make the point
to me that they know who the victims are on their rounds, they
would love to be able to do something to stop it. Currently
there isn't legislation that enables Royal Mail to identify
which is scam mail and which is not, and actually it is really easy to
tell the difference. They can't act to stop this mail getting through.
I think there needs to be a change in legislation so that Royal Mail
can be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Here at Royal Mail's largest sorting office in the UK, billions
of letters are processed every year. Millions of which will be scam mail.
So would a change in legislation help protect people like Elizabeth
and June. We really don't need more law. There is enough law, there are
enough powers across the agencies that can police the mail and can
police fraud. It is not an issue of power, it is an issue of the fact
that we need to know exactly what's coming in, and we need the right
people to make a value judgment and advise us where there is something
illegal taking place. If we are aware that have fact we will
respond to it, we are not lacking in the power to do so. We are
merely lacking in intelligence from time to time. We have plenty of
evidence that some mail companies are sending out false prize-promise
letters. In fact, a Belgian court ordered that Vital Beauty would be
fined 100 euros for every letter they continued to send out. They
changed their name to Vital Nature and carried on. As for Royal Mail,
they continue to deliver these fraudulent letters.
Why do you think we still have this problem, it is not a new problem.
The company and the prize-promise scheme we have been investigating,
we have been following it for years. Here we are saying we need evidence.
It almost sounds like you are catching up? I don't know about
catching up. The difficulty that we have is that this is a fraud which
is perpetrated because of the quality of our service, ironically,
relatively quickly. I will also say that, of course, these sorts of
frauds are not in any way unique to the postal service. So they are the
same sorts of frauds as a boiler room scam, involving telephone
calls, they are the same sorts of frauds as internet e-mail fishing
frauds. It doesn't justify them. I know there is lots of different
frauds, but let's sort out the ones you can effect? The point I'm
trying to make is there has always been fraud. And we have always
attempted to counter it. You may you will take action, but you need
information to take action on. I find it incredible that no-one has
come forward? I am honestly saying to you, if I am given information
on any of the frauds that you have knowledge of, we will look into
every single one, because I suspect that many of them are similar. We
will look into every single one and work with agencies, and we will
make sure that we take every possible step to counter these.
postmen and women say they have no difficulty in spotting these scams.
The envelope alone is a big enough clue. To be honest, it is all
plastered over the front cover, normally. All sorts of names,
advertisments, quick, follow the deal now, �400,000, take it, phone
up. All that sort of stuff. It is easy to identify, absolutely.
the bosses seem to have a lot more trouble identifying what is scam
mail and what isn't. They have asked to see it, so here it is.
Meanwhile Elizabeth is still clinging on to the hope that her
�130,000 prize is on its way. That's mine. That's my letter.
mew month ago Elizabeth wrote to the company who had promised Heren
cheque. "Dear Sir, my profuse thanks for my prize, at last I am
getting my prize..." But Elizabeth is about to have her dreams of a
windfall crushed. Her unread letter was rescued from a bin by a
whistleblower at a Hampshire firm. The business acted as a middle man
for foreign companies falsely promising prizes. They have stopped
working for one such company, but it has come too late. For Elizabeth
the reality is just sinking. could cry. I could cry. Every year
�2.5 billion is conned out of scam mail victims, like Elizabeth, who
trusted the post delivered by Royal Mail. For years various authorities
have known about the deceit, and postmen like Rob, would dearly like
to see action taken. To be frank we don't feel we should be obligated
to deliver the stuff. We see the customer every day, we don't want
to see fall-out from anything we deliver. To a certain extent we
feel personally responsible. Don't forget, if you think you have
been a victim of a scam, the same or a different one, e-mail me.
Talking of e-mails, these days we surround ourselves with technology.
There is mobile phones, there is wireless Reuters, all manner of
gizmos and gadgets. But some people in the south think the technology
itself is making them ill. They are taking drastic measures to avoid it,
as we report. You can't avoid it, mobile
technology is everywhere. Though you can't see it, a lot of people
believe that electromagnetic radiation, from the devices we have
come to love, could be causing some serious health problems.
People who say they are affected by this increasing amount of 21st
century technology are finding it increasingly difficult to get away
from it. Especially in a densely- populated area, such as southern
England. Called Wi-Fi refugees come to spots like this. An isolated
area in Hampshire to try to get away from it all. I have come to
meet one of them. I have been passionate about
technology since childhood, even before teen, 10, 11 I got an
electronics kit and started designing my own circuit, I
designed a rain detector for my mother, so she knew when to get the
washing in, et cetera. Phil has become a recluse from so. He
travels around southern -- from society. He travels around southern
England in his caravan, trying to avoid technology, as he says he's
an electrosensitive. All was fine until things started going wireless.
The first time I got symptoms was when my father got a Bluetooth
hands-free kit for his vehicle. He asked me to pair it with his phone.
In doing so, when they went into pairing mode, I started getting
aching, really uncomfortable aching pain in my haertd, and pressure on
the temples, -- in my heart, and pressure on the temples and pain in
the brain. Phil now lives on the poverty line, making ends meet as a
gardener. His symptoms increased when he moved near an army base in
Berkshire. Within a couple of weeks I was the illest I was ever been in
my life. Within days I was suffering a persistent headache
like none I have had before, it was crippling. I was getting tinnitus,
a hum and high-pitched tinnitus that would vary, this aching pain
in my heart, and my heart would race and skip, change rhythm. It
was like someone was putting cattle prods into my brain and shocking my
brain. Phil's not alone. Headmaster and science teacher Paul thought he
knew all about technology. But when severe headaches prompted a trip to
his GP, he was surprised today hear what his doctor suggested might be
the cause. The doctor pulled out of his cupboard a computer hub.
Identical to the one that was in the bedroom at home. And asked me
if I had got one of these devices, which of course we had. We were
actually living on top of it. Especially during the night. It was
switched on 24 hours a day. I should have perhaps realised as an
e-computer teacher the significance of it. Because -- an ex-computer
teacher the significance of it. Because I turned the switch on the
hub and turned the signals during the night, there was an immediate
affect within a short space of time. Within a span of four days the
headaches had completely gone. This man is a professor at the
local university, he said the tests showed that people who felt they
were wrongly exposed to magnetic field led to many health problems.
He said it led him to think that these effects were imagined rather
than real. When we talk about electrosensitivity, there is
evidence, at least in the large majority of people who suffer from
the illness, that this seems to be occurring through psychological
mechanisms. But that does not preclude people having fiscal
symptoms. And objectively measurable fiscal changes. The body
of evidence has got larger and larger over the years. And we can't
say that none of these people has the illness caused by
electromagnetic fields, because we haven't tested everybody. We can
say we tested large numbers of people, a in those large numbers of
people it doesn't seem to be caused by the exposure to electromagnetic
feels. Dennis was a professor in physics at Bristol University,
spesisinging in radiation effects on humans. He's convinced people do
suffer. Because of this assumption that this is all in the find,
rather than a physiological response, I think the research has
gone in the wrong direction. We know about the acute symptoms from
geomagnetic storms, which are the same sort of signals you have from
Wi-Fi and mobile phones. So why should it come as any surprise that
there are also reports of electrosensitivity from these man-
made sources. This GP on the Dorset-Somerset
border says's treating several patients for electrosensitivity,
and claims that citiblgs are approaching the problem from --
critics are approaching the problem from the wrong angle. There is a
presumption of no harm from all of this technology. Even though it is
new. For a long time tobacco was safe, lead in petrol was safe, hide
drojated vegtable oils and fats were safe. In five years time we
will look back and say, oh my God, there is a major problem that we
haven't been observing. In Hampshire Wi-Fi refugee Phil
wants to know if he has managed to find a spot away from the
electromagnetic fog that he claims is blighting his life. There is an
unusual physicist on hand who makes a living advising on such matters.
Guy Hudson. First off is pulse microwave. And reassuringly very,
very low signals. You are actually pretty clear on this. It is one of
the best places I have found since I have been a refugee. When levels
are at this kind of stage I won't be symptom-free, I'm likely to
still have sleeping problems and the tin tis and head pains at peak
-- tinnitus and head paips at peak times. Generally I can cope. Phil
has managed to find a sanctuary in the countryside, despite of the
scientific evidence, that suggests no link to health problems, Phil
claims the number of Wi-Fi refugees is growing, and that those who
suffer from the effects need to have the condition recognised.
people happy to go with the official story, think we have a
right one here and walk away or change the subject. That is really
isolating. For many people that is too much. In the last few months we
have lost two more electrosensitives who have
committed suicide. And you know, I sorry, it breaks my heart, excuse
me. Some people will avoid the exposures as long as they can to
reduce the symptoms. The more you can try to get on with life and not
worry about it the better. It is easy to say that for me, much
harder for someone who suffers from the illness.
Finally tonight, we are here at Cowshot to mark 100 years of a
quite remarkable slice of the south's aviation history.
Cowshot today, a water sports playground and outdoor activity
centre, which this year celebrates its 50th an versery
But 100 years ago, the wind and waves were being put to a use, to
develop a brand new type of aircraft, that used the sea as its
runway. 100 years ago, a decade after the
first powered flight by the Wrigh Brothers, this entrance to
Southampton would become a cutting edge testing ground. On March 29th
Cowshot opened his doors as an airbase to test on water. This back
boat could take off from sea and land. The hull, mate on the Isle of
Wight, was laminated plywood sewn together with copper wire, basic
but it worked. There was possibility to have aircraft that
could operate from the water where were explored, dark clouds were
gathering over Europe. With the outbreak of World War I, this
technology would soon be put to the test. In 1917 a plane from Cowshot
sank a German U-boat, by dropping a 100-pound bomb, held in place by a
sling, and released when a pilot pulled the string. After the war,
Cowshot, now RAF Cowshot, would take centre stage in glamorous
speed contest. The trophy was a highly prestigious competition to
build and race the fastest sea planes. An elite group of pilots
was formed to fly them. Cowshot was their base. In 1931 the contest was
held here N both years the British entry was designed by RJ Mitchell,
the man who went on to develop the Spitfire.
The supermarine sea plane is lovingly preserved at the Solent
Sky Museum here in Southampton. When Mitchell designed this he
designed this primarily to win the Sneider Trophy race, but also how
are we going to design modern aircraft. That is the way he looked
at designing this lady. Almost a million people in 1929, 1931,
watched the Sneider Trophy, it wasn't just a race it was pan-
national thing. You could equate it to the 1960s space race, where
someone gets so far technology, then another and another. In 1931
the race for supremacy reached its climax. Having won the contest
twice before, Britain was flying for the right to retain the trophy
forever. Everything depended on the speed of the aircraft and the skill
and nerve of their pilots. Nobody had ever been faster than in these
types of aircraft at this time. They were a third faster than the
standard RAF fighter of the day. This little lady was the space
shuttle of its day. At a speed averaging 340 miles per hour, the
S6B supermarine piloted by Flight Lieutenant Boothman won the trophy
for Britain. It would be the last trophy contest, and the whole event
was commemorated in this film made by the manufacturers of the super-
fast aircraft. As for the pilots, Aviation was the new thing, and
everybody wanted to get involved. Particularly young people with
aviation. You had all the photographs of these supermen,
these pilots, who became the rock stars, the football stars of their
day. Everybody wanted to get involved in aviation. They were the
hero of the time. It must have been an amazing sight. Hundreds of
thousands of people lining this very beach. None of them could have
known that another world war was on the horizon. And once again,
Cowshot would play a key role. This time servicing and maintaining the
nation's flying boats. In particular the Short surrenderland,
the backbone of coastal command. Nicknamed the Monster of the Air,
the surrenderland was developed as a long range control aircraft.
Capable of 16-hours in the air. Weighing in at 20 tonnes it was a
formidable weapon. Invaluable in seeking out and destroying U-boats.
Here at Solent Sky is one of the few Sunderlands remaining. This one
has been modified into passenger plane. But you can imagine the fear
it engendered when it was bristling with guns. It is only when you sit
here in the cockpit that you realise how epic this bit of
machinery is, it would have been a welcome sight to allies out in the
Atlantic and the channel. Because it had this fiercesome reputation.
It was defended to the hilt and it absolutely terrified the Germans.
This is an interesting one. It is the Guinness Book of Records, and
it shows I have flown more different types of aircraft than
any other. That as command pilot. Cowshot flew pilots out to seize
war machinery, captain Eric Brown was one of the plunderers. His task
was to confiscate German sea planes and fly them back to could you. The
biggest was the Viking. To get it into the air, he coerced a German
pilot to show him how it worked. The pilot was a Luftwaffe captain.
We set off up in the fuel. He had the thing at full throttle, we were
pounding along, I began to worry. Because the noise was colossal as
the thing bashed through the water. But the German pilot wasn't ready
to surrender his aircraft. He had rigged it so it couldn't take off.
I could feel the rudder it was moving under me, but I hadn't felt
the stick move at all. I thought why wasn't he easing back. So I
give it a jerk and found it was locked. So I said to my engineer,
cut the throttles, and fell him, I used the word "fell" him. Which he
did. He put the throttles and he gave this chap a colossal punch in
the jaw. Knocked him unconscious in the
left-hand seat. 26-year-old Captain Brown had foiled the sabotage
attempt and the Viking was flown to Cowshot where technicians examined
its secrets. A few years later the airbase took part in one more
daring task. In 1948 surrenderland aircraft from Cowshot were once
again called into action. Not as fighting machines, but on a mission
of mercy to Germany. It was the Cold War and west Berlin was
blockaded by the Soviets. Surrenderlands flew more than 1,000
sort at thiss to the Berlin lake, bring -- sorties, to the Berlin
lakes bringing in supplies. These British aircraft saved lives.
Despite heroic roles like this, Cowshot's days as a flying base
were coming to an end. It closed as a Royal Air Force station in 1961,
and the site gradually became derelict. Its buildings and hangers
standing unused. But then just two years later a brand-new chapter of
a quite remarkable piece of the south would begin. Half a century
on, the activity centre and some of those original buildings are still
going wrong. -- on.
That's it for now. And indeed for this series. We are always looking
for your stories. If there is an issue you think we should be
covering, we are only ever an e- mail about.