Titanic: Birth of a Legend – and the rats are boarding the ship…

Damian O’Hare as the unfortunate Thomas Andrews in “Titanic: Birth of a Legend” (2005).

And if the “Titanic” is not a very clever peg to hang a rat on, we don’t know what is.


Yes. The Unofficial Damian O’Hare Website is one year old, and as we’re all on a diet, we’ve skipped the cake and got ourselves a rat instead. Or rather, the website adopted a rat. But not just any old rat – no, we adopted Allan. He’s working for the charity “Hero Rats” and is trained to sniff out landmines. With his help, and the help of many other heroic rats (and those who train them), landmines can be found and destroyed. And no worries, Allan and his mates are featherweights, the mines can’t harm them.

Here are a few words from Allan:

“My name is Allan and I’m an African giant pouched rat. I am no standard rat however, because I save lives! I’m a herorat, trained to sniff out unexploded landmines in Africa.

Every 20 minutes someone is killed or injured by a landmine. Often they are children. My job is to find the mines before the kids do. Luckily, I have two great advantages over the children. The first is my nose: I can smell explosives even when they are underground. The second is my size: I’m too light to set off the mines.

As a mine detector, I have other advantages too. I’m cheap – I work for peanuts. I’m easy to train and I don’t mind repetitive tasks. When trained, I can clear 100 square metres in 30 minutes.

I’m working in our remote explosives scent tracing (REST) department. This means I work in research with a new technology that will help identify the areas we should focus on (those with mines) and let the team know which areas are free of mines and can be released. We will use this method most often in clearing roads- roads that let aid in, or roads that allow people to return to their homes. At present, we are testing this technology and evaluating how different soil, weather, and mines impact the results.

I live in Tanzania where I was bred especially to become a herorat. My trainer, John, will send you regular reports of my progress and how our research evolves. I promise to do my best to make you proud of
me. With your support, I’m sure I’ll soon be out there clearing roads, finding mines and, most important of all, saving kids and innocent adults from injury or worse.

Together we will save lives and limbs.
Thank you.
Love & Whiskers,


Looks like we’ve just been paw(n)ed! Allan and his mates are doing a very important job. And you can help them! For only EUR 5.00 a month (that would be about £ 4.00) you can adopt a Hero Rat as well. Mind you, if you can afford more than EUR 5.00, nobody would complain.

For more information about the project and to adopt a hero rat, please click on the picture below:

Help if you can! Spread the word!

We’ll keep you posted on Allan’s work from time to time. This might not be as exciting as the Heimlich Maneuver, but it’s still a good thing.

Disclaimer: “Hero Rats” is the charity of choice of the webgnomes running the website, not of Damian O’Hare. We don’t know how he feels about rats.

PS: We’ve been lying about the cake. It’s all gone.

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