View Full Version : Gremlins

Windy Militant
14th Oct 2002, 14:10
I found out where the little beggers are hiding;) Shh quietly now we don't want to scare them do we:rolleyes: Gremlins (http://www.roalddahlfans.com/books/grem.php#text)

Kermit 180
15th Oct 2002, 09:41
Interesting that Dahl coined the name. In the book "The Life and Times of Pilot Officer Prune" by Tim Hamilton (printed by permission of HMSO, ISBN no. 0-11-772629-X), mention is made of the unreliability of wireless equipment in RAF bombers during the war. One of the many P/O Prune creations were 'Marcolins', which were Gremlins that originated in the Marconi Wireless Telegraphy equipment but had now migrated to the Radio Transmitter. The book has an exerpt of the article:

"Marcolins: A type of imp or gnome, related to the Gremlin family (q.v.) but confining their activities to W/T equipment. Marcolins are small and tubby and appear to be constructed mainly of resistance wire. This enables them amongst other things to insert themselves into the H/T lead and produce a falling feed, otherwise unaccountable. They invariably carry adequate equipment for their purposes, such as soldering irons for shorting positives to negatives, or a monkey-wrench for the double purpose of shifting frequencies or bashing in the tops of valves. Marcolins should be constantly suspected everywhere in W/T equipment and suitable steps taken to discourage and outwit them."

So there you have it, there are relatives to the Gremlins.


25th Oct 2002, 14:08
In the British aviation magazine "Pilot" (November 1998) there was a story originally called "Do you believe in Gremlins?" The title was later changed to "Gremlins"in the magazine.

It was about an incident recounted by an RAAF Lincoln pilot who experienced the feathering of all four propellers by the press of a single feathering button. Fortunately this occurred on the ground and was initially discovered by an airman engaged in engine runs after an inspection.

It turned out that the RAF had lost several Lancasters during the war when all engines feathered following the shutting down of one engine.

Back copies of the article were available by ringing Pilot magazine at 0171-498-2506. Email: [email protected]

I can vouch for the accuracy of the story. I was the pilot!