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Fortean Times

Fortean Times

398

Fortean Times, named after maverick American writer Charles Fort, is one of the world’s most individual and best loved magazines. For over 35 years FT has been chronicling 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, FT is the only place to go for a sensible look at our mad planet – it will change the way you see the world.

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Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Dennis Publishing UK
Frequency:
Monthly
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
smashing time

As we slip into autumn with the world still in the grip of the pandemic (turn to p.8 for our round-up of Covid-19 news), we can look back at a summer marked by protests and demonstrations (often mobilising the current concerns of the conspirasphere, from 5G to global elite pædophile rings; see p.4) and even a wave of iconoclasm of a kind not witnessed in the West for centuries (the illustration shows the Belgian Beeldenstorm of 1566). In this month’s cover story (p.32) Alan Murdie asks whether the frenzy of statue-toppling we’ve witnessed in recent months might be more than just a form of explosive historical revisionism fuelled by energies pent up by months of lockdown: do statues and monuments embody deeper human fears about death and the uncanny? From…

4 min.
lockdown's discontents

By the time you read this, the UK and several other European countries will likely be hit by Covid-19’s second wave. At the time of writing, the UK’s rapidly rising infection rate looked set to match April and May’s peak figures of 6,000+ per day. It seems doubtful that the UK Government will seek to reimpose the same national lockdown as in Spring, for fear of causing further harm to the economy. Instead, the current strategy appears to be focused on local curfews and lesser restrictions. Five months on, though, some are querying the wisdom of lockdown strategies. Sweden was the only European nation not to go into lockdown. Some UK health experts predicted a Swedish death rate of 85,000; in fact, the figure has been under 6,000, certainly much…

2 min.
transgender vikings

Not with standing their reputation for bravery on the battlefield and macho behaviour off it, some Vikings, historians are now arguing, may have been transgender men. Three years ago, a burial site assumed to belong to a high-status male warrior from the mid-900s was found to contain a female skeleton instead (FT361:18). Neil Price, professor of archæology at the University of Uppsala, Sweden, writes in his new book that the female-bodiedViking may “have been transgender… or non-binary, or gender fluid.”The grave, in which swords, spears and two slaughtered horses were found alongside an expensively dressed skeleton, was first excavated in Birka, Sweden, in 1878. An osteological study in 2011 suggested the skeleton was female, but it was confirmed to carry XX chromosomes only six years later after DNA analysis. The…

1 min.
witch of the waves

This stunning image shows the face of a what looks like a witch formed in a giant wave. Back in February, photographer Simon Emmett (below) was out taking pictures ahead of the arrival of Storm Dennis on the Dorset Coast when he inadvertently captured the sinister-looking sorceress erupting out of the ocean. He didn’t see the huge face at the time he took the shot; it was only later, when he was reviewing his images that he was stunned to come across the witch, complete with crooked nose and pointy chin. Simon took the photograph at the storm-lashed Cobb harbour in his hometown of Lyme Regis, Dorset. He said: “I just went down to the Cobb to get some stormy scenes. It was just about timing the waves as they came up.…

6 min.
covid corner

ANDAMAN EXTINCTION Fears for the survival of indigenous communities living in the remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been heightened by the news that 10 of the 50 remaining Great Andamanese tribe have been infected with coronavirus. Six are recovering at home under quarantine, but four remain in hospital. The tribe lives on tiny Strait Island, one of 572 islands between the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea, of which 38 are inhabited. While the government provides food and shelter, some Andamanese people work in the capital, Port Blair, where it is thought they were infected. To date, the island chain has reported 2,268 infections and 37 deaths. The archipelago is home to five indigenous peoples, the Great Andamanese, the Jarawa, North Sentinelese, Onge and Shompen, of whom only 400-450 remain. DNA…

6 min.
sidelines…

UNFORTUNATE NAME School caretaker Stewart Milne, 44, was cycling back home to wrap Christmas presents in December 2017 when he was killed after being struck by a car in Cambridge. The driver, Miles Polite, had been speeding ahead of another car that had annoyed him. BBC News, 24+25 Aug 2020. SURFING SAFARI A British man rescued from the ocean by Spanish coastguards claimed to have spent three days adrift at sea on a surfboard after falling off a cruise ship. The 55-year-old was picked up 10 miles (16km) south-west of Marbella after being spotted at sea by a yachtsman. dailymail.co.uk, 25 Aug 2020. VOMIT FRAUD Unscrupulous Uber drivers are scamming passengers by billing them for non-existent clean-up costs. Uber policy charges $80 (£60) if a passenger vomits or spills a drink on the seats, rising…