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Fortean Times

Fortean Times 386

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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.

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United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.

IT WAS 100 YEARS AGO TODAY... This issue, we celebrate a very special centenary for forteans: ultimately, it’s the inspiration for the magazine you hold in your hands and the reason we’re all here some 45 years and nearly 400 issues after Bob Rickard published the first issue of The News (as FT was known back then) in 1973. Charles Fort’s The Book of the Damned landed on Earth 100 years ago, courtesy of New York publishers Boni and Liveright, on 1 December 1919, bound in red cloth, with gold lettering on the cover and retailing for $1.90. Strangely, it appears that copies only reached bookshops in January of 1920 – the copy Fort inscribed to his wife, Anna, is dated 7January. We’re using this odd hiatus as an excuse to spread our…

4 min.
waiting for the end

A family who spent nine years in a basement “waiting for the end of time” have been discovered in the Netherlands. Gerrit-Jan van Dorsten, 67, and six of his children aged 18 to 25 were living in afarmhouse in the northern province of Drenthe. The alarm was sounded by Chris Westerbeek, a barman in the nearby village of Ruinerwold, when an unkempt 25-year-old man came by in a “confused” state on 13 October. Jan Zon van Dorsten “had long hair, a dirty beard, and wore old clothes,” said Mr Westerbeek. “The first time I saw him I sent him away, but a few days later he came back. Last week, he came in and ordered a few beers but we were going to shut. Last Sunday, he ordered five beers…

3 min.
the conspirasphere

FUNNY OLD WEATHER There have been some pretty creative explanations for the phenomenon of climate change in recent years, not least Donald Trump’s claim that it was invented by the Chinese government to sabotage the US automobile industry; but an article on Lifesite, picked up and run with by Conspiracy News, manages a synaptic spacewalk that drives the climate change story slap bang into the middle of the muddled minestrone of alt-right themes that nestle in the confused undergrowth of the Conspirasphere, waiting to be inadvertently slurped up and believed by innocent grazers. Lifesite takes the appearance of Greta Thunberg, poster child for young climate change activists, at a Stockholm Gay Pride march, as evidence that proponents of climate change are intrinsically linked, via promotion of gay lifestyles, with the nefarious nexus…

2 min.
circle of life

Thousands of pilgrims gathered in Bulgaria’s Rila mountains on 19 August to welcome their “spiritual” New Year with a cosmic dance performed in concentric circles. The white-clad dancers hiked up to Bulgaria’s Seven Rila Lakes at an altitude of 2,100m (6,900ft) and performed a special meditative dance known as “paneurhythmy” for more than an hour to singing and the playing of violins. They are followers of the Universal White Brotherhood – an esoteric society that combines Christianity and Indian mysticism, founded by Bulgarian theologian Peter Deunov back in 1897 but banned during the Communist era and still considered a sect by the Orthodox Church. It emphasises brotherly love, healthy habits, positive thinking and living in harmony with nature. “Paneurhythmy, the Sacred Bulgarian Dance of Life, starts the day in joyous celebration…

1 min.

ABDUCTION MEMORIAL An historical marker has been placed beside the river in Pascagoula, southern Mississippi, where Charles Hickson (42) and Calvin Parker (19) had their famous ‘alien abduction’ on 11 October 1973. [AP] 25 June 2019. WORMS TURN Nematode worms found buried in the Siberian permafrost have been reawakened after more than 40,000 years, raising the possibility of long-extinct species being brought back to life. “These buggers survive just about anything,” said researcher Gaetan Borgonie, from Gentbrugge, Belgium. Sun, 9 July 2019. BOOK RIPPER Someone has struck up to 15 times a week between April and July, tearing the last pages of more than 200 books in half and removing the bottom half, rendering the tomes unsellable. The phantom shredder of Herne Bay, who has targeted the library and a charity shop in the Kent…

4 min.
gaslight revisited

Patrick Hamilton’s 1938 stage play Gas Light, adapted for cinema as the British thriller Gaslight in 1940 (directed by Thorold Dickinson), followed in 1944 by an American version, also titled Gaslight and directed by George Cukor, features a scheming husband who attempts, by various cunning deceptions, to convince his wife that she is going mad. Thus, the term ‘gaslighting’ has become part of the English lexicon. One diary entry discussed a plan to kill 50 people in a single night A bizarre, real-life equivalent made the news in August 2019 when Benjamin Field, outwardly a quiet, bespectacled, churchwarden aged 28, was found guilty of murdering his elderly lover, 69-year-old university lecturer Peter Farquhar, who lived alone in the village of Maids Moreton, Buckinghamshire. The devout Christian experienced terrifying hallucinations of “hideous black…