|Picture 1: Labuan Chimney|
The recent appearance of a series of monoliths in remote areas captured the public's imagination. Theories about who made the monolith and how it got there naturally came pouring in. The same air of speculation could have been experienced by seafarers upon their arrival in Labuan more than a century ago. In 1915, 'Asiatic Pilot' published by the United States Hydrographic Office, reported the sighting of a "conspicuous chimney" that existed between the beacon at Bethune Head (Tanjong Kubong / Coal Point) and Raffles Anchorage (Picture 1). This rectangular-shape 32 meter structure is constructed entirely out of red bricks. In terms of design, this out-of-place artifact is typical of a chimney, but came with two arch-shaped inlet instead of the usual single inlet.
|Picture 2: Nautical ensign on top of Labuan Chimney indicating existence of a port.|
|Picture 3: Semaphore tower in the UK|
|Picture 4: Semaphore signalling system.|
|Picture 6: Red-brick semaphore tower in Kamarkundu, India.|
|Picture 7: Photograph by Émile Gsell (1836-1879) titled "Habitation du Gouvernaur de Poulo Pinang" i.e. House of the Governor of Pulau Pinang c. 1866 prior to its 1870 renovation. |
Source: Leiden University Library, Amsterdam.
|Picture 8: Maritime Flagstaff and sideview of the Murray Shutter at Fort Cornwallis, c. 1860s.|
|Picture 9: 'Siege of Malacca 1568' |
Source: National Library of Brazil.
"The other day Lempriere, Everett (of Sarawak), and I went up to Coal Point - a famous place in Labuan - to shoot. There is a deserted coal-mine there, upon which thousands of pounds have been spent; and jungle is now growing all over most valuable machines, railways, and other gear; it is a very melancholy thing to see. I will send you some photographs of it in my next letter. I am writing a sketch which I will post by next mail, entitled "Bungalow Life in Labuan. This life is very pleasant as regards sea-bathing, shooting, riding, and eating."
|Picture 10: "Tanjong Kubong, or Coal Point, Labuan" based on a photograph taken by Frank Hatton c. October 1881.|
- Asiatic Pilot, 1915, Vol. V, 1st Edition, United States Hydrographic Office.
- Bidston Lighthouse. Retrieved from: http://www.bidstonlighthouse.org.uk/tag/semaphore/
- China Sea Directory Vol 2, 2nd ed, (1879),
- Gupta, M. (2019, March 24). Mysterious Towers: Relics of the Visual Telegraph. Live History of India. Retrieved form: https://www.livehistoryindia.com/cover-story/2019/03/24/mysterious-towers-relics-of-the-visual-telegraph
- Hatton, F., (1886). North Borneo. Exploration and Adventures on the Equator. London: Samson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington.
- Maritime Flag Signalling, Wikipedia, Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maritime_flag_signalling
- McNair, J.F.A. & Bayliss, W. D. (2008). Prisoners Their Own Warders. E-book retrieved from: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/26974/26974-h/26974-h.htm
- Optical Telegraph, Wikipedia, Retrieved from: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Optical_telegraph
- Pengepungan Melaka 1568, https://yusrinfaidz.blogspot.com/2020/04/pengepungan-melaka-1568.html
- Silver, L. (2015, November 02), Unlocking the Labuan Chimney mystery. Daily Express. Retrieved from: http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/read.cfm?NewsID=1766