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Article: Compulsive Liar.

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    Compulsive Liar.

    36 Comments by Peter Copley Published on 20th January 2021 08:58 PM
    My wife and I have just watched a film on Netflix called, ‘uwantme2KILLhim?’ I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone but basically it's about a boy who fantasies (tells porkies) to impress the teenage boys and girls at his school. Well, that set me off telling my wife about compulsive liars I had either sailed with or known socially or have worked with.

    Sometimes called pathological liars, they are also known as mythomania, they tell porky pies for no apparent reasons. I’m the most gullible person and tend to believe what people tell me.
    Anyway, here are three mythomaniacs I have known over the years.

    One was a fireman (No names no pack drills) who boasted that he had climbed up to the top of Mount Everest, had shot dead dozens of Mau Mau terrorists whilst serving with the British Army in Kenya. He was about 12 years old at the time of the rebellion in 1960! If anyone said they had done something extraordinary, he would trump them by saying he’d also done that, but faster, higher, and more often.
    His wife apologised saying, “He tends to exaggerate.”

    But the two most compulsive liars that I met, were a third-mate on a ship I sailed on, the other was an officer in the sea cadets. Both these men were what you might call, nice friendly men and both were very intelligent.

    The 3rd mate, I’ll call him Cyril. Back in the mid-1960s, he must have been nearly 60 years old, he was by far the oldest 3rd mate I’ve ever sailed with. Standing out on the bridge-wing one day, he pointed to a vapour trail high in the clear blue sky, it must have been a jet plane flying at about 35000 feet.
    He said, “That’s a VC10.”
    I could only just make out a shiny image in front of the vapor. I said, “How do you know that you can hardly see it?”
    He said, “My mother is a pilot, She fly’s jet planes. She has a pilot’s ‘B’ licence, meaning she can pilot passenger jets.” I thought at the time his mother must be getting on towards her 80th birthday.
    Anyway, a few weeks later, he showed me a photograph. “This is a photo of my mum.”
    I took the photo, studied it for a moment or two, turned it over, and said, “She’s in a coffin!”
    He said, “Yes she’s dead, that’s why.”
    I looked at the stout old woman, who’s sickle-shaped mouth, obviously devoid of dentures, had caved in, her nose resting on her chin. She looked like she had been shoehorned into a coffin two sizes too small for her.
    I said, “This is the airline pilot!?”
    “Em, yes. She was before she died.”
    I thought if she’s a jet pilot I’m an astronaut.
    Cyril was a hypochondriac as well as a mythomaniac, constantly dosing himself up with antidepressants (barbiturates I think) while on these drugs he told one porky after another, each one getting more outlandish.
    During the war, he said he was manning an Oerlikon anti-aircraft gun firing at a Heinkel bomber attacking his ship. He said the plane was so low, he could not depress the gun sufficient to shoot at the aircraft because of the handrail, so he got a hacksaw and cut away the handrail.
    One day he said, he’d ‘served his time’ as a cadet sailing on tea clippers on the New Zealand coast. A week later he said, he’d served his time with Elder Dempster Lines on the Narvik and Murmansk Convoys.
    But the best tale was when we were sailing through the Bay of Biscay in a gale on our way to Petit Couronne in France. The sea spray was actually breaking over the bridge. He staggered into the radio room and said to me, “Bloody hell, sparky, I nearly got washed overboard.”
    However, writing home to his wife from Rouen, he told her that he’d been washed overboard by one wave and then deposited back on the deck by another wave. We left the River Seine for Liverpool. When the ship docked at Liverpool there was a bevy of reporters and press photographers waiting to interview Cyril on his astonishing saga of being washed overboard and then being washed back aboard again. Cyril’s wife had told the press about his adventure.

    The next man, I’ll call him Ted, was a Lieutenant (SCC) RNR with the Sea Cadet Corps. Ted was a manager with British Aerospace, a family man with a lovely wife and two kids. For a long while, I believed all the exciting things he had done. Shortly after joining the cadets, he said to me, “I passed over your house yesterday.”
    I said, “you should have called in for a brew.”
    He said, “I would have, but there was no place to land the plane. I was flying over your house.”
    I had no reason to disbelieve him, he said he was on a jolly flying solo from Preston to the Isle of Mann and back. Others in the cadets warned me to take what Ted said with a good pinch of salt. He did not have a pilot’s licence and could not fly a kite, never mind a Cessna. Although I did take what he said with a pinch of salt, because he was such a nice bloke, I never challenged him on his adventures.
    He said he was doing a sea cadet officer’s navigation course on HMS Brighton (F106) that had just undergone a multi-million-pound upgrade to a Leander Class Type Frigate. Sailing from Glasgow down the Clyde (At night) the skipper said to Ted, “Right, Lieutenant ***** I’m going below. You take over conning the ship out to sea, while I get my head down!!!”
    Ted said, “I was really nervous being in charge of this newly refitted warship taking her down the Clyde at night.”
    I had to laugh at that, seeing a skipper, in his right mind, handing over command of a major warship in the River Clyde to a sea cadet officer.
    Next, he told me he was a fighter pilot in the Korean War and that he was the only pilot of a turboprop aircraft to shoot down a MIG jet. (He got that idea from the CO of Holyhead Sea Cadets who, while serving with the Fleet Air Arm, did actually shoot down a MIG jet with a propeller-driven aircraft.)
    Ted said he was related to one of the VC winners at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift in the Anglo-Zulu Wars. That may have been true of course, although I suspected he just been watching the movie Zulu.
    And so on, each story more unbelievable than the last one.

    I won’t bore readers further. I was just wondering if this article sets off a thread of similar experiences.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Compulsive Liar.

    Some Story there and yes there are those who fantasies in telling Porky's, dont know why must boost their self esteem, as most would be feeling sort of inferior i guess??

    I had also met one or two such people in my time, and although i am not gullible at all, i listen to the stories and inside of me just have a little private Giggle, to myself Oh well if it makes him happy !

    But at times i must say that some of those sorts can really make up some good Yarns and it does get interesting ,as much as its untrue!

    Poor Souls! LOL
    Senior Member and Friend of this Website

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    Default Re: Compulsive Liar.

    Hi Peter.
    I met a few like that while at sea, unfortunately couldn't tell whether the tales were true or not, but it all added to the adventure of the sea.
    Des
    Lest We Forget

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    Default Re: Compulsive Liar.

    My first permanent job as mate was in 1963 . I was barely 27. The 2 and 3 mates were 64 and 65. It was one helluva a mix. The 2 mate reckoned he had been taken over by the admiralty in that program they had for MN officers during the war , he had a mates cert. he reckoned he had taken the fleet down to Australia as the head navigator. I learned later he was stationed in Sydney NSW in the quartermaster stores during the greater parts of the war years. The 3 mate was an old gossip and uncertificated and in his spare time wrote for a Shields paper under the pen name of the Happy Wanderer , he had previously got one master the sack by writing to the BOT about his performances, he was intensely disliked over this. Any how to cut a long story short the 2 of them went around dressed to the nines full uniform medals the lot. Never put on a boiler suit and would not dirty their hands .
    I would find it hard to believe that these two were anywhere near an example of wartime seafarers . It took me the best part of 6 months to get rid of them , and I have no regrets in doing so , whatever bull crap they put out about their wartime experiences . I. Checked their stories and that’s just what they were fairy tales. JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 21st January 2021 at 01:33 AM.
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    Default Re: Compulsive Liar.

    We had a first class winger on the Windsor who claimed he had worked at Buck house as a butler for Duke of Edinburgh and a few other Royals.
    We all laughed and said yes and we were all children of Royalty.

    Boot was on the other foot when he produced a number of genuine references from the Royal household.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Default Re: Compulsive Liar.

    I think a lot of the staff at Buck House John would fit in very well with the reputation that Union Castle has always had during my sea career John. In a lot of cases it is very blatant. JS
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    Default Re: Compulsive Liar.

    We also had one in the Fire Control, said he had been a *dope on a rope*, ie a naval winch man/diver, also a navigator on RN helicopters etc, in fact he was no more than a flight deck fairy, as ex RN called him. The amazing thing was this guy had all the women avidly listening to him, and could not get into bed with him fast enough, but married 4 times, so could not have been that good in the bed flight deck, kt
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    Default Re: Compulsive Liar.

    #5 Hi John, Like many men and women who use this site who have been around the block a few times, meeting many interesting people around the world and seeing wonderful things that others have never had the chance to see. I in my life being a seaman, fireman, working for a large hotel group, full-time fire officer for BUPA, and being self-employed, have done, seen, and met so many genuinely interesting people. Over the years talking to what I term, 'small-town boys', I get the feeling some of them just don't believe the things I've done and seen. I think it's because their lives have been so mundane. However, being a writer, I believe the maxim; 'Don't let the truth spoil a good story!' PC R710198.

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    Default Re: Compulsive Liar.

    By BUPA do you mean British United Provident Association , Thought they were only a medical Insurance Company. Were they into fire insurance and was the reason you were employed as a fire officer for investigations ???? Just nosey is amazing what one learns on here. One time a few years ago was an ex Scotland Yard detective who was part of a team at the Yard on call to investigate any Homicides and acts of violence on British Flag Ships. So even on this site one can learn all the time. Your stories kindle a lot of memories of years long gone , keep it up . Am sure others appreciate them also. John in Oz who your post is addressed to am sure he will answer himself. Cheers JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 21st January 2021 at 11:23 AM.
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    Default Re: Compulsive Liar.

    Peter I really only tell my stories on this site to like minded people who have had near to experiences, either better or worse because I found that those who haven't been in our position cannot comprehend our way of life both shipboard and shoreside. I once had a Bank Manager tell me he had had an exciting life in Banking, you can imagine me looking at him in awe!

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