top of page

Spring-heeled Jack. From Fortean Studies 3 (1996) pp.7-125.

"He walked around the horses..." Investigating the unsolved disappearance of Benjamin Bathurst in 1809.

British Submarine Policy 1853-1918

British Submarine Policy 1853-1918. Download Mike's little-read PhD thesis.

The vanishing lighthousemen. A study of the Eilean Mor mystery of 1900. From Fortean Studies 4 (1997).

A Fortean in the Archives: Strange stories – but with sources. Archived blog 2006-16.

In Search of Dr MacRae

In Search of Dr MacRae. Video lecture on the hunt for a mystery man and his astounding films.

Spring heeled Jack

'Hop Springs Eternal.' Mike discusses Spring-heeled Jack on Blake Smith's Monster Talk podcast.

The Devil's hoofmarks. Investigating the Great Devon Mystery of 1855. From Fortean Studies 1 (1994) pp.71-150

The emperor's electric chair. Winner of the Cliopatria Award for best history blog post, 2010.

Original research

My aim is to make every project that I work on the most complete, most balanced, most compelling account of its topic ever undertaken. That’s what gives me a reason to write. Hopefully, it’s also what gives you a reason to read me.


For the most part, my job is to explore subjects that you probably won’t have come across anywhere else. To do that, I read widely and learn from the work of some great historians and researchers. 

Every so often, though, I come across something that nobody has looked at properly before. Then I do what I love best of all, and engage in some heavyweight original research of my own.


This page links you to a selection of major research projects that I've completed in the period 1990 to date. These are investigations that I’m especially proud of, about things that you simply won't find written about anywhere else – even in the dusty journals that are my usual haunts.


So, as the tagline of one of my old blogs put it: this page links you to strange stories – but with sources.

'Most mind-boggling read of the week.'

The New Yorker

bottom of page