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Strange, but true...; Why it's best not to ignore the serious side of astrology, says LYNNE EWART.

Byline: LYNNE EWART

THIS week's tales are of how true love always finds a way, sometimes with a little heaven-sent help ... and all about an astrologer who tried to avert a shipping disaster.

My friend Mary, who is a terribly clever financial journalist, refers to me in conversations as, "My friend Lynne. She's an astrologer, but honestly - she's not at all weird."

She means, of course, that I don't remotely conform to the rather mystical and floaty image of someone who looks into the future, but as she assesses the trends of the stock market, I guess we're not really that far apart, except she's very clever with money. But she was born under the millionaire's sign of Gemini, so there you go.

The truth is that some people who get into astrology are a bit "other worldly", but as the subject takes about four years to learn, you need a lot more than a pointy hat and a magic broomstick to get there.

I mean, look at Ken Barlow's alter ego, William Roache, and tell me if you think he's other worldly? He's an astrologer, too you know.

One of the most down to earth guys you ever met and someone with the most impeccable astrological pedigree, Dennis Elwell was the focus of a story I'd like to share with you.

Back at the start of 1987 Dennis checked the forthcoming aspects and saw something rather worrying.

Jupiter and Neptune (associated with shipping) were heading into a 90 degree angle, with a solar eclipse on March 29, right on that degree.

The whole picture added up to an astrological chart which was incredibly similar to the sinking of the Titanic in April 1912, and which would be in effect in 1987 for some months.

Concerned that the nature of this chart suggested a potential disaster might be avoided, as it seemed could the Titanic's, Dennis wrote letters on February 18, 1987 to both P&O and Cunard.

He warned them of possible problems beginning around this time and continuing for quite a while, and offering to give fuller, more detailed and specific information with their co-operation. This would have involved the companies supplying Dennis with launch details and sailing schedules of each ship.

Cunard wrote back on February 20, telling Dennis his letter had been passed to their fleet commodore.

The commodore was on board the QE2, at that time about to depart on a much publicised voyage to New York.

That was a voyage no one will forget, as cabins flooded, air conditioning failed and the captain made a 250-mile detour in fog to avoid icebergs, perhaps influenced a little by Dennis' letter, but we shall never know.

P&O had recently bought Townsend Thorensen, owners of the Herald of Free Enterprise. They wrote back to Dennis Elwell on February 26, assuring him they were well equipped to deal with the unexpected.

Back on March 6, 1987 their ferry The Herald of Free Enterprise pulled out of Zeebrugge harbour with her bow doors open, capsized and took the lives of over 200 passengers. What harm would it have done to let crews know there just might be an added element of risk about, and to reiterate the importance of strictly safety procedures?

None of us would dispute that astrology can be great fun but it is also an amazing tool with a far more serious and scientific base than some might realise.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 6, 2001
Words:574
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