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Monday, May 31, 2010

The horned man and the Luna Park ghost train fire

After reading Pastor Baz's real life story about the ghosts at Luna Park, Sydney I thought I'd look up the invisible children of the magic kingdom ride.  Instead of finding out about that I discovered a sinister twist in the already very tragic incident of the ghost train fire for which no cause was ever found.
In my internet search I came across a unexplained mysteries forum where the fire is mentioned along with a personal tale of a spooky happening at Luna Park (worth a read).  What is said about the fire tradegy gave me goosebumps...
"In March of 1988, Sydneys "The Sun' Newspaper printed it's last ever Edition & the Front page featured an article: "Occult Link to Luna Park/Ghost Train fire". A Mother of one of the boys, killed in the fire, had submitted a photograph, taken at Circular Quay, where the Ferries take Passengers to Luna Park, on Lavender Bay. Her Son was standing next to a bizarre character, dressed in weird get up, with a Mask over his face & a Horned Headdress, his arm around the boy. This was just before they boarded the Ferry to journey over to Luna Park, on that fateful night. Mention was made of There having been a Full Moon, on the night of the fire & of "Bikies", for some obscure reason? But, the Mother firmly believed that a Sinister aspect had contributed to the cause of the fire."
I tried to find the newspaper article but couldn't in my brief search on the internet. The newspaper stopped printing in 1979 and I'm not sure if any are kept in archives? If anyone knows of a copy please get in touch.


I did however, come across an article on news.com.au that shows the photo of Damian with the horned figure.  The article is promoting a book called Australian Tragic by Jack Marx. 
Journalist and author Jack Marx has spent years researching Australia’s underbelly, shining a light on the quirks, misfortunes and tragic turns of fate they wouldn’t dare tell you about in school.
Here's the quote from the article about the train fire:
Moloch
While waiting at Circular Quay for a ferry to take them to Sydney's Luna Park on June 9, 1979, the Godson family are approached by a Satanic-looking figure dressed in a loincloth and wearing a mask with horns. The creature voicelessly places his hand on young Damian Godson's shoulder. Somebody snaps a photograph. It is the last photograph of the boy ever taken - hours later, Damian, his brother, Craig, and his father, John, will burn in the fire that sweeps through The Ghost Train. Nobody will ever see the horned man again.


The above photo is apparently the last photo taken of Damian Godson (one of the victims of the tradegy)


The title of that section is Moloch which means: (Wikipedia Moloch)
Moloch is either the name of a god or the name of a particular kind of sacrifice associated with fire.
There are various references to Moloch, one is - 
"Though the Moloch sacrifices have traditionally been understood to mean burning children alive to the god Moloch, some have suggested a rite of purification by fire instead, though perhaps a dangerous one"
It is referenced in the bible -
"The word here translated literally as 'seed' very often means offspring. The forms containing mlk have been left untranslated. The reader may substitute either "to Moloch" or "as a molk".
The laws given to Moses by God expressly forbade the Israelites to do what was done in Egypt or in Canaan. “You shall not give any of your children to devote them by fire to Moloch, and so profane the name of your God” (Lev. 18:21).
Here is an 18th century depiction of the Moloch:


Was the fire a very tragic accident? From Wikipedia:
The exact cause of the fire could not be determined by a coronial inquiry. The coroner also ruled that, while the actions of Luna Park's management and staff before and during the fire, in particular choosing to not follow advice on the installation of a sprinkler system in the ride, breached duty of care, charges of criminal negligence should not be laid. The case was reopened in 1987: no new findings were made, although the police investigation and coronial inquiry were criticised. The fire forced the closure of Luna Park until 1982, when it reopened under a new name and new owners.
Was it arson by underworld figures? From Wikipedia:
In May 2007, Anne Buckingham, a niece of Sydney underworld figure Abe Saffron, claimed in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald that her uncle was responsible for the fire. Saffron had previously been associated with seven other arson attacks in the two years following the Ghost Train fire, although he had repeatedly denied involvement with the Ghost Train fire.[2][8] Buckingham claimed the attack was part of a plan for Saffron to gain control of Luna Park's lease, although she stated the belief that the seven deaths were not intended.[8]
Or was it something more sinister? I'm not sure we'll ever know what happened that day but I pray that the victims families do find some kind closure.

3 comments:

  1. I have a copy of the Article in the Sun, I found a copy of the newspaper today at the swapmeet in town. If you would like a scan of the image or the actual paper contact me at chris.senz@gmail.com

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  2. I was there that fateful June night back in 1979. That morning I played my sport then my mum and some of her friends went to Luna Park that afternoon. Freakishly, we had been on the Ghost Train not that long before the tragedy occurred. We weren't that far off leaving, as we were down towards the Ferris Wheel end near the entrance, when there was a massive commotion and I can vaguely remember there was smoke and people were screaming and being evacuated from the park. I was 6 years old and I've had a psychological fear of enclosed rides ever since that day!

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