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Fortean Times

Fortean Times 393

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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
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12 Issues

in this issue

4 min.
lockdown noticeboard

CRESWELL CRAGS APPEAL If you enjoyed last issue’s cover feature on the witch marks of Creswell Crags in Derbyshire, then do think about helping them through a crisis. Creswell Crags is an independent charity that relies on visitor income, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic they are closed to the public, and their future survival is in doubt. If you can donate any amount, then please visit their Just Giving page at: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/supportcreswellcrags. JOIN BOB'S ARMY OF INDEXERS! Bob Rickard, the founder of FT, is still at work on his long-term project of producing a comprehensive index of the magazine. Here, he provides an update and and asks for your help. “I call this project a wikidex because unlike the formal hierarchical structure of a conventional index, I am exploiting the hyper-linking facilities of…

13 min.
covid19: conspiracies go viral

NORFOLK PLAGUE DOCTOR Police are trying to trace a person seen walking around the Norfolk village of Hellesdon dressed as a 17th century plague doctor, complete with black cloak, hat, and beak-like mask.Villagers are reported to be variously “terrified” and amused by the individual, who many have spotted on their daily walk during the past two weeks. Hellesdon’s modern-day ‘plague doctor’ has sparked lively discussion on local social media. “Scared the life out of my missus. Terrifying for kids,” wrote one local. Another agreed: “Just casually strolling around the village in a plague costume? That’s just not normal is it? Do it indoors.” But others offered a different take: “I admit he is weird but what harm is he doing? Made me giggle,” said one, while another pointed out that wearing…

4 min.
the conspirasphere

KNIVES OUT FOR JOE If a conspiracy theory’s success can be measured by the amount of moral panic it inspires – say to the point where commentators credit it with things it hasn’t done, for instance – then QAnon is very successful indeed. The number of times an actual QAnon supporter has come out into the real world and done something both criminal and verifiably inspired by the actual Q, whoever that may be, can be counted on the fingers of one hand (touch and go for a penitent Yakuza, but doable). Nonetheless, many in the media are prepared to point to an instance of lunacy, reference Q and mutter ‘we’re all doomed’ in a hollow voice. Jessica Prim, a 37-year-old woman from Illinois, was arrested in New York recently at a…

5 min.
doggy doctors

New research confirms that some dogs are able to predict when someone is likely to suffer an epileptic seizure. The trained animals detect a particular odour emitted by humans during a seizure, and can distinguish this smell from others. One potential application of this canine advance warning system would be that epilepsy sufferers ensure they are in a safe environment prior to the seizure’s onset. Amélie Catala, lead author of the study at France’s University of Rennes, notes that the origin of the odour is as yet unknown, but speculates it may be associated with electrical activity releasing neurohormones. Dogs are already known to be able to sniff out breast and lung cancer and diabetes. It has been estimated that the percentage of a dog’s brain devoted to analysing odours is…

6 min.

PORCINE FIRESTARTER North Yorkshire firefighters tackled a blaze at a piggery after a pig swallowed a pedometer. When excreted, it began to combust, setting light to dry hay. The fire at Bramham near Leeds covered 75m2 (800ft2) and four pigpens. The pedometer was being used to prove the animal was free range and had been taken from a fellow pig. guardian.co.uk, 8 Mar 2020. EMOTIONAL SUPPORT TRUMP A Florida man undergoing kidney dialysis treatment three times a week was refused permission to bring a life-sized cardboard cut-out of President Trump with him to hospital. “They told me it was too much, and it wasn’t a rally”, said disappointed patient Nelson Gibson. <i>, 15 Feb 2020. DENTAL DRAMA An Iranian asylum-seeker was in so much dental pain he asked police to shoot him, claiming he had…

5 min.
lost and found dept

Stella Wedell lost a homemade mixtape of her favourite pop hits when she was 12, somewhere in the Costa Brava or Majorca in 1993. 26 years later, she was astonished to find the same tape in a Stockholm art exhibition. The cassette had been washed up over 1,200 miles (1930km) away in the Canary Islands in 2017 and found on a beach by artist Mandy Barker, who then incorporated it into her touring exhibition ‘Sea of Artefacts’. After it was sent to a professional audio restorer, the tape still played, including songs like Shaggy’s Oh Carolina, The Key – The Secret by Urban Cookie Collective and Bob Marley’s Iron Lion Zion. D.Mail, 14 Feb 2020. • A metal detectorist found a wedding ring that had been lost 20 years ago by…