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DavoTB t1_j21e3x0 wrote

Sgt. Norman Pilcher, (1935-2021) had a celebrated career of targeting and busting pop stars, including John Lennon and Yoko Ono, George and Pattie Harrison, and members of the Rolling Stones. Pilcher was, however, later accused of planting evidence in later years. Several stars complained that drugs had been “found” in places where the drugs had not been kept. George Harrison’s “stash” was allegedly found in a shoe, yet George noted that he was “a tidy person,” and the drugs found “weren’t his.” The arrests of several of these musicians sometimes plagued their careers for many years.

He was convicted to four years’ imprisonment following mid-70’s conspiracy charges. In his 2020 book, “Bent Coppers,” he alleged there was corruption throughout the police agency, and that his planting evidence was at the urging of his superiors.

In addition to Lennon’s mention in the song, “I Am The Walrus,” Sgt. Norman was also the inspiration for the character “Spiny Norman,” in the Monty Python “Piranha Brothers” sketch.


estofaulty t1_j22irg9 wrote

“Was later accused of…”

He said “his planting of evidence was at the urging of his superiors.”

Sounds like him planting evidence is just a fact.


jgoble15 t1_j23o11z wrote

To try to be completely accurate, this seems like a legal issue, and nothing is ever cemented until proven in court when it’s legal. It’s like how tectonic plates are a “theory” in science despite the evidence being highly compelling for them. We can’t, as of yet, scientifically test them so they remain a theory rather than law (iirc). It’s a system thing, even though it seems like it’s so obvious.


LordMagnus227 t1_j23t0jf wrote

The scientific definition of a theory is different from a literary one. When you have a hypothesis and through repeated testing it's proven to be highly probable that it is the case then with the proper mathematical or chemical backing (depending in which field the discovery is) it is elevated to the status of a theory which is the highest it can go and the laws are postulates that help the theory work. For example, Newton's theory of gravitation states that two objects a distance apart are attracted to eachother and have a force acting on eachother that is proportional to the product of their masses and inverse to the square of the distance between them and the law of gravity is Gm1m2/r² with G being the universal gravitational constant. Laws are not of a higher status than a theory but parts of a theory.


jgoble15 t1_j23tbqq wrote

Gotcha, I understood “law” as a theory that is repeatable and testable. Maybe I was taught wrong, but something is a theory, no matter the amount of theoretical evidence, until it can be proven law (and this proof is more along the lines of the scientific method. Mathematical evidence, for example, cannot establish something as law).


LordMagnus227 t1_j24ocqr wrote

Ah don't worry, yeah you were probably taught wrong but in a scientific context a repeatable and testable educated guess is called a hypothesis which on recieving further evidence becomes a theory which will be our new understanding of it but the caveat is that you can never be 100% sure and scientists have the humility to say that they too can be wrong and call it a theory. However that doesn't discredit their work as some phenomenon stated as fact today are still theories. For example gravity, plate tectonics, thermodynamics, evolution, genetics, etc. The laws are like the important points of a theory as to what happens.


jgoble15 t1_j24tbb8 wrote

Gotcha. I knew theories were solid, but definitely misunderstood the role of law. Thank you!


Philboyd_Studge t1_j219k0y wrote

I told my girlfriend it meant "spaghetti thief" but she's smart I can't get anything pasta


ladyeclectic79 t1_j21gqxi wrote

Anyone else wonder if this is where Terry Pratchett got his idea for a Night Watchman named Nobby Knobs? Because that’s straight where MY brain went lol.


dentistshatehim t1_j21ohnp wrote

Nobby was a common nickname for law enforcement types, it came from British Soldiers who served in India in offices/admin. Nobi is Hindu for clerk.

Those officers would come back and get jobs in law enforcement and so the nickname transferred over. I’m not saying Pratchett didn’t name the character after Piltcher, but there was precedent already for police, particularly those more interested in bureaucracy and formality being called Nobby.


CoffeeFox t1_j22fzth wrote

Pratchett's Nobby was definitely not the desk job type... nor the job type... nor was he certainly 100% human.


ksdkjlf t1_j22lb8w wrote

Do you have a source for any of that? I can't find anything resembling the supposed Hindu word, nor any use of "nobby" for cops.

Perhaps you are thinking of the association of the nickname Nobby with the name Clark (which is derived from clerk)?


benefit_of_mrkite t1_j21iuxe wrote

Yes - I see the name nobby and police officer together and immediately think of the knights watch novels


wholalaa t1_j22rv5e wrote

I don't think that's actually true, though. "I Am the Walrus" was written in 1967, a year before Pilcher arrested Lennon. And the same article mentions a more likely connection:

> John Lennon and Paul McCartney began writing a play about a Liverpudlian man who thought he was God titled "Pilchard," but they abandoned the project.

A pilchard is also a type of herring, essentially a sardine. What does "semolina pilchard" mean and what does it have to do with the Eiffel Tower? I don't know, but I don't think we're actually supposed to understand it. I feel like a core part of the song is Lennon taunting the people who loved analyzing Beatles' lyrics by writing a song that was deliberately incomprehensible and layered with in-jokes.


Generiqueso t1_j23m624 wrote

Thanks, I was scrolling to see if anyone would catch that discrepancy in the timeframe! Hard to have the inspiration for a song take place after the song's release.


LimehouseJack t1_j23mf48 wrote

Thank you for doing the research. Too often people are desperate to attribute meanings to some of the Beatles songs. Not everything has to have a hidden agenda. Like an Edward Lear poem - sometimes nonsense is fun and evocative on its own.

Anyway - like you say, the dates simply don’t add up. Shame your post isn’t getting more upvotes. I guess the conspiracy and mystery is more important than the truth!


The_Starmaker t1_j21vi1g wrote

Okay but explain the Semolina.


MagicNipple t1_j227qdu wrote

I don't practice semolina

I ain't got no matzo balls

I had a million baguettes but I

I ate them all


twobit211 t1_j22c3y1 wrote

if i could find that bagel and that pretzel that she found

i’d put mustard on that pretzel and i’d munch it alll down


theanedditor t1_j22aj9v wrote

Say “Seargant Norman Pilcher” out loud a few times

Seargant Norman Pilcher Semolina Pilchard

Same number of syllables. Sounds similar.


boricimo t1_j22h8dk wrote

Pilchard made some really good pudding?


Canucklehead_Esq t1_j217g9h wrote

He probably didn't like all that long hair. My dad would've got along with him just fine


buckzer0 t1_j21af3j wrote

Wish I could go back in time and hear that song for the first time again


GhettoChemist t1_j21c7eg wrote

Really? That's what you'd do with the gift of time travel? You'd go back and listen to "I am the Walrus"?


[deleted] t1_j21dmw4 wrote



buckzer0 t1_j21edew wrote

If you have a lead pipe and willingness to do me dirty I'll give ya me address, you'll be responsible for your own travel, I can't know when it's coming.


ZealousWolverine t1_j21cso8 wrote

Why? What else would time travel be good for? I mean, other than listening to cool music again for the first time, right?


Dreadmonkey t1_j21xzv0 wrote

Sgt. Pilcher, Sgt. Pilcher, ingenious Sgt. Pilcher

He's found a way to make them pay

For the deviant things they do and say