Fortean Times 409

Fortean Times chronicles the stranger side of life, delivering a heady mix of weird world news, up-to-date reports and features on every aspect of the unexplained: myths, monsters, ghosts and UFOs rub shoulders with ancient wonders and future science, while expert columnists bring you the latest on everything from cryptozoology to conspiracy theory. Open-minded, well informed and maintaining a healthy sense of humour, Fortean Times is the only place to go for a sensible look at our mad planet – it will change the way you see the world.

United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
4,85 €(IVA inc.)
52,12 €(IVA inc.)
12 Números

en aquest número

2 min.

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JEAN? In this issue’s cover feature (p34), Brian J Robb tells one of the strangest stories to come out of America in the first half of the 20th century. The tale of how a group of wealthy New Yorkers were suckered by a smooth-talking conman into bankrolling an experiment to raise an “immortal baby” may be largely forgotten, and is extremely strange, but arguably it fits into a long American tradition where supposedly progressive experiments in alternative living shade into hucksterism, snake oil and confidence tricks. The saga of James Schafer, the Master Metaphysicians and “Baby Jean” – the little girl taken from “indigent parents” to be reared in a luxurious mansion on a strictly vegetarian “eternity diet” – reads like something Sinclair Lewis or even Scott…

3 min.
elephant odyssey

On 15 March 2020 a group of 16 Asian elephants set out from their nature reserve in the mountainous Xishiangbanna region in China’s southwest, near the border with Burma and Laos, heading northwards in the direction of Pu’er City, a major urban area. While it is not unusual for elephants to range far and wide in search of food and water, this group’s trek has taken them further than most. By December, they were still heading north, reaching Mojiang County, where they discovered some fermented grain that resulted in two elephants getting so drunk they dropped out of the trek; but by then their numbers had been swelled by a baby born on the way. The remaining 15 headed on into the heart of Yuxi City in Yunnan, where they roamed…

3 min.
nessie not a dick

A Twitter thread by comedian James Felton suggesting that the Loch Ness Monster was actually a whale penis caused a significant flurry of media interest during May, with many of the UK’s tabloid papers running the story. The comment was prompted by a paper published in 2005 in the Archives of Natural History by cetacean researcher (and sometime FT contributor) Charles Paxton and colleagues that concluded that many classic sea monster sightings were most likely of erect whale penises (see FT200:16). When mating, male whales often break the surface with their phalluses which are long and sinuous and do indeed look a lot like drawings and descriptions of sea monsters from the past. Paxton’s paper, however, makes no mention of Loch Ness. Felton’s tweet explicitly makes the connection though, pairing an…

1 min.
the supernatural in american art

Supernatural America: The Paranormal in American Art is the first major exhibition to examine the relationship between American artists and the supernatural in all its forms. From the Salem Witch Trials to the 1848 spirit rappings reported by the Fox sisters, and from William Mumler’s spirit photographs to personal and official government reports of UFOs, American culture is filled with accounts of anomalous experiences and strange visitations. Featuring artists from James McNeill Whistler and Kerry James Marshall to artist/mediums who made images with spirits during séances, the exhibition (and accompanying catalogue) covers more than 200 years of American art’s encounters with the weird. Supernatural America: The Paranormal in American Art, edited by Robert Cozzolino, is published by the University of Chicago Press, price $50/£40, ISBN 9780226786827. The exhibition is at the Toledo…

6 min.
covid corner

STATUE MASKS UP In Aizuwakamatsu in central Japan, a 57m (187ft) statue of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy, has been given a giant face covering. Temple managers intend to keep the statue masked until the pandemic is brought under control. BBC News, 17 Jun 2021. STOP THE PIGEON! Officially, North Korea claims to have had no cases of Covid at all, but that has not stopped Kim Jong-un from announcing extreme measures to keep the disease from spreading. Fearing that pigeons flying in from neighbouring China could be bringing in the virus (despite no evidence that birds spread Covid), he has decreed that people in the border districts of Hyesan and Sinuiju should shoot every pigeon they see, prompting international media to compare his efforts to the 1970s Dastardly and Muttley cartoons,…

3 min.

DRUG-CRAZED FISH… Ecologists from the Czech University of Life Sciences tested brown trout with water containing the same levels of methamphetamine found in many rivers; drugs excreted by users are not removed from sewage by water treatment plants. They found that, given the choice between drug contaminated water and clean water, the fish would always go for the water containing meth, suggesting they were becoming addicted. There is a concern that this will disrupt river ecology, with trout congregating round sewer outfalls to get their hit., 7 July 2021. …AND CRAYFISH It seems water treatment plants don’t remove antidepressants from the water either. Scientists at the University of Florida have found that when exposed to levels of selective serotonin uptake inhibitor antidepressants found in rivers, crayfish came out of hiding more quickly…