Remains of Notorious Australian Outlaw Ned Kelly Identified

Here is something interesting. the remains of Ned Kelly who is Australia’s equivalent of America’s “Billy the Kid” has been identified:

The headless remains of the infamous Australian outlaw Ned Kelly have finally been identified, officials said Thursday, solving a mystery dating back more than 130 years.

Considered by some to be a cold-blooded killer, Kelly was also seen as a folk hero and symbol of Irish-Australian defiance against the British authorities.

After murdering three policemen, he was captured in Victoria state in 1880 and hanged at Old Melbourne Gaol in November of the same year. But his body went missing after it was thrown into a mass grave.

The bodies in the grave were transferred from the jail to Pentridge Prison in 1929 and then exhumed again in 2009. The investigation into Kelly began when a skull believed to be his — and stolen in 1978 — was rediscovered.

Doctors and scientists at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine identified his body, found in a wooden axe box, after a DNA sample was taken from Melbourne teacher Leigh Olver, Kelly’s sister Ellen’s great-grandson.

“The wear and tear of the skeleton is a little bit more than would be expected for a 25-year-old today,” said institute director Professor Stephen Cordner.

“But such was Ned’s life, this is hardly surprising.”

However, tests found that the skull believed to be Kelly’s was in fact not his.

Victoria’s Attorney-General Robert Clark said he was amazed by the work of the forensic scientists.

“This is an extraordinary achievement by our forensic team,” he said.

“To think a group of scientists could identify the body of a man who was executed more than 130 years ago, moved and buried in a haphazard fashion among 33 other prisoners, most of whom are not identified, is amazing.”  [AFP]

You can read more about Ned Kelly at the link but basically he is a cultural icon Down Under due to how he is perceived to have stood up to corrupt police that were protecting the wealthy in the rural areas of the state of Victoria.  However, once again like Billy the Kid there are very strong opinions about the guy because in areas that he victimized especially the town of Mansfield where he killed three policemen he is thought of as nothing more than a killer and outlaw.  I have seen interviews where descendants of the people he murdered are appalled that he is considered a cultural icon.  So the controversy surrounding Ned Kelly will assuredly live on, but at least the whereabouts of his body has been solved.

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Archive of Hikes In Australia

My time living in Australia gave me the opportunity to hike many trails in this unique continent.  Below is an archive of the various hike I completed during my time living Down Under:

Australia Capital Territory:

Northern Territory:



Western Australia:

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Australian Man Survives Attack By 4 Meter Crocodile

Having lived in Australia for so long, I still find it amazing how people continue to not take the proper precautions when in areas frequented by crocodiles:

An Australian fisherman underwent surgery Friday for horrific injuries he suffered while fighting off a huge crocodile that tried to snatch him from a riverbank, the hospital said.

“He is undergoing his second surgery now… and he will be in for many, many weeks,” said Tracie Sanim, spokeswoman for the Cairns Base Hospital where Todd Bairstow, 28, was rushed after escaping the animal’s jaws.

“Crocodile attacks have a high infection rate… so his recovery will be dependent on how high the infection is,” she told AFP.

Bairstow was fishing with his dog at a creek near the town of Weipa in northern Queensland on Wednesday when a four-metre (13-feet) saltwater crocodile lunged at him and tried to drag him under the water, police said.

During a terrifying ordeal, the plucky fisherman reportedly held onto mangrove tree roots as the giant reptile chomped on his legs and dragged him into a “death roll” that broke bones and tore his flesh.

The crocodile only retreated after Bairstow’s friend heard his screams from the nearby pub and helped beat off the predator.  [Associated Press]

When in areas that are home to crocodiles I would often see fishermen wading into the rivers to fish.  That is why most of the crocodile attacks you hear of from Australia involve fishermen.

You can view pictures I took of these massive crocodiles in Australia here and here.

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How Big Is Australia Compared to the United States?

Here is your answer:

How Big Is Australia to the US?

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Is Australia Really the World’s Best In Integrating Immigrants?

The Australian immigration minister seems a bit delusional if he thinks multiculturalism has worked any better in Australia than it has in Europe:

AFP/File – Fire engulfs the United Church hall next door to an Islamic centre in Sydney's multi-cultural suburb …

Australia has told European countries its model of multiculturalism is “the best in the world”, weighing in on a fiery debate in Britain, France and Germany where leaders have called the project a failure.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said Australia’s assimilation of different cultures was “genius” because it encourages immigrants to integrate as citizens rather than behave simply as “guest workers”.

“To me, multiculturalism is a bit like a marriage. It has its stresses and strains,” Bowen told the conservative Sydney Institute think-tank late on Wednesday.

“We have to remind each other occasionally that we are better off with each other. It takes nurturing; it takes care.

“It is in that spirit tonight that I quite proudly proclaim that Australian multiculturalism has worked.  [AFP]

From first hand experience I can say that for the most part the various immigrant communities to Australia did integrate very well.  For example the Chinese immigrant community from Australia’s Gold Rush days are a key part of Australian society.  Basically the immigrant communities that have integrated well in Australia are also ones that would integrate well in European countries too.  However, just like in Europe Australia has had problems integrating its Muslim immigrants, which has led to anti-Muslim backlash in some communities.  If you read the rest of the AFP article you will see that there has been 20 people arrested in Australia for terrorism related charges.  You don’t see other immigrant groups trying to launch terrorist attacks within the country.  Heck, even the Taliban has recognized the problems integrating Muslims into Australian society which they think is a good thing.

Than you have the boat people issue, where many of these asylum seekers are poor Muslims that are washing up on Australian shores.  This issue continues to cause controversy in Australia on how to address it.

Than finally the immigration minister has conveniently ignored the plight of the Aborigines within Australia.  I guess they don’t count as part of multiculturalism.

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How Big Is Australia Compared to Asia?


Here is your answer:

How Big Is Australia to Asia?

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Picture of the Day: Cyclone Yasi Heads for Australia

A photo provided on February 1 by Eumestat shows Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi heading toward the northeast coast of Australia. A huge cyclone barrelling towards Australia was Wednesday upgraded to the highest threat level as meteorologists warned it was shaping up to be the most life-threatening storm in generations.

Via AFP.

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Picture of the Day: A Snowy Summer Down Under

Here is a picture of summer time in Australia:

Australians usually can only dream of a white Christmas, but not this year. A freak weather pattern has brought significant snowfall to the eastern states of New South Wales and Victoria (pictured, Mount Hotham), RedOrbit reports.

Various locations reported up to 4 inches of snow, though The Telegraph of London reported as much as 11 inches in parts of New South Wales.

“It’s white, everything is white,” Michelle Lovius, general manager of the Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel at Charlotte Pass, told the Telegraph.

“First thing this morning everything was just very still, very peaceful and every single thing was just blanketed in a thick cover of white.”  [CNN]

This really isn’t all that unusual because when I lived in Australia there was a couple of summers when it snowed in the mountains.  By the way I recommend checking out my prior pictures of Mt. Hotham, the Mt. Hotham Ski Resort, and the winter weather in the snowfields of northern Victoria.

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Eco-Alarmists Hype Damage Done to Great Barrier Reef By Ship Grounding

It is good to see that the environmental damage to the Great Barrier Reef has been minimal after the grounding of a Chinese ship on the reef:

A Chinese coal carrier that ran aground and leaked oil on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef cut a scar the length of 10 city blocks into the shoal and may have smeared paint that will prevent marine life from growing back, the reef’s chief scientist said Tuesday.Even if severe toxic contamination is not found at the site, initial assessments by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority indicate it could take 20 years for the world’s largest coral reef to recover, said scientist David Wachenfeld.

“There is more damage to this reef than I have ever seen in any previous Great Barrier Reef groundings,” Wachenfeld told reporters on Tuesday. The Shen Neng 1 ground into large parts of the shoal, leaving a scar 1.9 miles (3 kilometers) long and up to 820 feet (250 meters) wide.

The 755-foot (230-meter) vessel veered into protected waters and slammed into a shoal on April 3. Coral shredded part of its hull, causing a leak of about 3 tons of fuel oil, which was later dispersed by chemical sprays and is believed to have caused little or no damage to the reef. Small amounts of oil, however, have begun washing up on beaches near where the ship ran aground, according to Maritime Safety Queensland.  [Associated Press]

You can read the rest of the article at the link, but it is just more eco-alarmism by the usual suspects.  This ship damaged 10 city blocks on a reef that is 1,600 miles long.  To put that into comparison it would be like 10 city blocks in Washington, DC damaged between there and Miami, Florida. 

Here is what Walter Starck had to say about this latest eco-alarmist scare:

Oil floats, coral doesn’t. The damage to reefs from oil spills is minimal and recovery is rapid. Follow-up studies of oil spills have repeatedly found that environmental recovery has invariably been much faster and more complete than predicted with the worst affects being inflicted by clean-up efforts. The use of dispersants, as was done in the current event, is only a PR stunt by government wanting to be seen to be doing something. For the reef, it is the worst thing to do.

- In the First Persian Gulf War in 1991, the largest oil spill ever occurred when 6-8 million tonnes was dumped into an area of shallow water and reefs. With a thousand oil well fires to contend with, no effort was made to do anything about the marine spill. Follow-up studies found that within 4 months most of the oil had been degraded naturally and within 4 years even the most heavily affected areas had largely or completely recovered. This spill was about 10,000 times larger than the total carried by the ship now on the reef.  [Quadrant Online]

Read the rest of the article because it is highly entertaining. 

I also highly recommend reading Andrew Bolt’s article which further puts into perspective this latest eco-alarmist scare. 

While the alarmists hype ship groundings and global warmng as reasons for the near term destruction to the reef, what is causing real environmental damage to the reef goes on largely unnoticed.

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Christine Nixon is Australia’s Equivalent of Mayor Ray Nagin

Last year’s “Black Saturday” bushfires in Australia were the near equivalent to the Aussies as Hurricane Katrina was to the US.  And just like with New Orleans’ Ray Nagin, the Black Saturday fires were made worse by governmental incompetence:

CHRISTINE Nixon was hired as our police chief not because she was a great leader.  She was hired first of all because of her politics – and with the added advantage of her gender – and on Black Saturday it showed. Showed disastrously.

As she was hired, so she failed, in an emblematic indictment of these Days of Seeming, not Doing.

To be brutally honest, she seems to have panicked. When this burning state needed saving through action, not group hugs, she realised she was useless. Unneeded.

And so she fled, first to her office, where she hid for 90 minutes doing unrelated paperwork, and then, minutes after being warned many people would die, to a restaurant.

“I had to eat!” she’s protested.

So as Kinglake burned, she went to dinner. And by the time she pushed away her plate, Marysville was in ashes, too, and most of Black Saturday’s 173 victims were dead.. [Andrew Bolt]

You can read more about this police chief’s incompetence at the link, but the bushfires destroyed a number of communities I am very familiar with since I lived near these small towns.  It just amazes me that while the citizens of these small towns were being burned alive the state’s police chief decided to go out to eat with friends and call it a day afterwards.  As incompetent as Mayor Nagin was when Hurricane Katrina hit at least he didn’t just call it a day and go home, which makes Nixon’s incompetence that much worse.

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