This controversial photo, taken in 1936 by a "D. Palmer" is said to be of the mysterious "Ghost Who Walks" - a local legend in the tiny, coastal nation of Bengali. This is the only known photograph of the legendary apparition. Eye witness accounts of sightings and local legends about his mysterious figure can be traced back to the 1500's. Local folklore has it that this same man has appeared in the jungles and coasts of Bengali for over 400 years.
Skeptics are quick to point out that this "ghost" seems to be armed with a brace of contemporary pistols, colt M-1911 automatics. Locals insist that the "Ghost Who Walks" inhabits an inaccessible part of the forest know locally as "The deep woods". Expeditions into this region are typically forced to turn back, as the "deep woods" are the home of a particularly hostile tribe of pygmies, the Bandar or Bandari. These pygmies are feared for their powerful poisoned blow-darts and have a local reputation as cannibals.
"If it is a hoax, " says Dr. Dodd of New York, NY "it's a very old one. I, myself saw the Phantom in 1866".
Dodd, who passed away in 1953, is one of numerous people, respectable and otherwise, who claim to have seen this alleged phantom. Still, sightings or not, the photgraph itself has been the subject of debate for decades.
While the photographer, well known 1930's socialite and explorer Diana Palmer was certainly a famous adventuress, it is thought by some that she may have staged this photo to amuse her society friends, or, more likely to break throught the gender barrier of that old-boys' club, The Explorers' Club. Palmer, a woman ahead of her time, disappeared mysteriously in the Orient while serving as a nurse for the United Nations.
Forensic analysis of the photo shows that it was, in fact taken with a fixed-focus Kodak Brownie box camera of the type available in 1936. The paper and chemicals used are consistant with the photo's alleged age and the ink on the back is a type of fountain pen ink easily dated by its iron content. Most telling, there are minute particles of pollen, spores and fungus consistant with flora found on the Western coasts of the Bay of Bengal.
The mysterious "Phantom photo" currently resides in the archives of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.
Before there was Superman or Batman or Spider-Man, there was The Phantom. Playwright and cartoonist Lee Falk introduced The Phantom to the world in 1936.
Since then, The Phantom has run continuously in newspapers around the world, gaining a following in Europe, Asia, South America, Australia and New Zealand. He has spawned films adaptations, paperback novels, an animated television show and several comic book series.
I have been drawn to the Phantom by his unique backstory-one of the best in sequential media. This blog will let me share with others the exciting world of "The Ghost Who Walks, Who Cannot Die...The Phantom!!"
The Phantom and all related characters, indicia, etc. are copyright 2010 King Features Syndicate.
All scans and art are taken from my own comics except where otherwise noted and are utilized under the legal understanding of fair use.
Now YOU Can dress Like The Phantom and Impress The Ladies!!
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" 'The Phantom' is a marvelous role model because he wins against evil. Evil does not triumph against the Phantom... He hates dictatorship, and is in favor of democracy. He is also opposed to any violation of human rights." -Lee Falk