Phileas French

Travel Writer

Phileas French

Phileas French

Travel Writer | Exploring every country in the world, one adventure at a time

Guest Post: Mystery Map An Insider's Perspective

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Ricky Power Sayeed is a TV documentary researcher based in London. He's made programmes about parachuting Nazi nuns, poverty in Lincolnshire and iPad addicted toddlers. I caught up with him to get the downlow on his highlights of the show and wish list for future episodes...

What was it like doing all the research on Mystery Map?

It's tough to sum up: every day has been so different!

In the morning I'd be trying to persuade former military officials to tell me where they hid their nukes in the eighties. And in the afternoon I'd be plotting the route supposedly taken by an escaped kangaroo. In 1855.

 

What was your favourite story, and why?

Oooh, that's not fair! I can't make a decision like that. But if you're going to make me, then it's the Beast of Bodmin Moor.

Previously, I'd have told you the whole thing was a farce, and we pretend to believe it because we want to inject a bit of danger and the unknown into our lives. But I have spoken to so many people who have seen big cats - clearly, and in the same places, and sometimes even together - so that now I'm almost convinced, and I'm also way too scared to go walking on Bodmin Moor.

Do you believe that everything has a rational explanation?

Researching MM made me realise that everyone has their own idea of what counts as rational. Victorian spiritualists created a scientific theory of ghosts, and apparently that seemed plausible. Who knows which of our beliefs today will be treated as bonkers in the future?

If you could pick any other story for a future episode of Mystery Map, what would it be?

I'd love to have got to the bottom of the mystery of the Margate Grotto. It's the most gorgeous and spectacular series of caves underneath Kent, with walls lined with literally millions of shells. No-one knows who built it, and n0-one knows when they did it. It might have been an eccentric artist two hundred years ago, or it might have been ancient pagans from Lebanon two thousand years ago. No-one knows!

Phileas French
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When to Go: San Marino
Mystery Map: Beasts of Britain
 

Comments 4

Guest - RICHARD REWARD KILONZO on Sunday, 04 May 2014 12:07

To be honest you are very hard working lady. I advice you Visit Tanzania so that people can understand what we are doing to promote tourist business industry.Many people don't know much about Tanzania. Only Kenta and South Africa.

To be honest you are very hard working lady. I advice you Visit Tanzania so that people can understand what we are doing to promote tourist business industry.Many people don't know much about Tanzania. Only Kenta and South Africa.
Guest - Emma French on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 10:59

I'd love to visit Tanzania. Would you like to write a piece about its highlights for my website? Thanks, Emma

I'd love to visit Tanzania. Would you like to write a piece about its highlights for my website? Thanks, Emma
Guest - Ali on Wednesday, 27 November 2013 21:28

Oo, I am watching at the moment and really enjoyed reading this alongside! Really interesting insight.

Oo, I am watching at the moment and really enjoyed reading this alongside! Really interesting insight.
Guest - Jonathan on Wednesday, 27 November 2013 10:59

Great piece!

Great piece!
Guest
Thursday, 24 May 2018