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Fortean TimesFortean Times

Fortean Times 373

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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(CAPUCINE DESLOUIS) THE FATE OF THE FTMB Some of you will be aware that the Fortean Times Message Board, our online forum, which has acted as a meeting place for forteans for nearly 20 years, is no more. By the time you read this, the FTMB will have closed down (as if by some cruel irony, on midnight on Hallowe’en). Dennis Publishing took the decision to shut the forum in reponse to the legal problems it posed in relation to the new General Data Protection Regulations and the EU Copyright Directive. Obviously, we were saddened by the decision, even while we could see the rationale behind it; after all, the FTMB has remained a true community, an island of friendly discussion in a sea of online shoutyness, and a…

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gay penguin kidnappers!

The gay penguin couple (right) huddle round their adopted chick when confronted by the youngster’s birth parents at Odense Zoo in Denmark. (ODENSE ZOO / FACEBOOK) Two male king penguins at Odense Zoo in Denmark “kidnapped” the chick of a rival pair they thought was being neglected. Penguins are known to form homosexual relationships just like humans. The incident led to a raucous battle between the grownup birds. Zookeeper Sandie Hedegard Munck blamed the chick’s biological father. “I went to the enclosure and could see something was wrong,” she said. “The parents were gone and their offspring had been kidnapped. The female is very caring for the kid. I think she had been out to get her bath, and it had been the male’s turn to care for the…

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the conspirasphere

THE BIG SORT In previous columns, I’ve commented on the increasing presence of conspiracy theory material in the mainstream media. At the time, I suggested this migration of a hitherto marginal phenomenon into the centre of the public domain was a consequence of the need for media outlets to attract quick clicks for advertising revenue; and I still think this is a core factor in the Conspirasphere’s odd lurch into the spotlight. However, there may also be deeper cultural reasons behind this attachment of fringe ideas and beliefs to our information gatekeepers.These cultural shifts are most obvious in the USA, although they are clearly happening in Europe and other parts of the world. The surface symptoms are the rise of populist political parties and leaderships, and the increasing…

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extra! extra!

GIANT ICICLE HITS ENERGY MINISTER 6 Dec 2014. Dancing cows star in new dark comedy (Wolverhampton) Express & Star, 26 Feb 2018. LABOR WINS BATTLE FOR BATMAN Sunday Canberra Times, 18 Mar 2018. Tribunal rules decapitated baby doctor can return to work BBC News, 5 June 2018. BLOOD CLOTS MORE LIKELY IN HOSPITAL THAN FLYING Irish Times, 20 July 2018. Dogs ‘try to help upset owners’ 24 July 2018. BUCKET SAVES MAN FROM FALLING METAL Toronto Star, 27 July 2018. ■…

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king of the carrots

Ian Neale poses with his 4.29 kg carrot which won the the heaviest carrot competition on the first day of the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show held at the Great Yorkshire Showground, in Harrogate, on 14 September 2018. He also took the heaviest cabbage prize with his wheelbarrow-borne 30.2kg whopper, while Graham Barrat tasted victory with his 319.8kg pumpkin ■…

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definitely dead

Berlin, 1945: Soviet troops show Allied war correspondents the grave in which Adolf Hitler’s charred body is alleged to have been buried. (FRED RAMAGE / KEYSTONE / GETTY IMAGES) Almost from the moment Hitler died, a cottage industry of conspiracy theories sprang up to say he was still alive. In Berlin: The Downfall, Antony Beevor described how Stalin had been keen to reassure himself that Hitler was dead, but equally keen to hide this news from his supposed allies Britain and America. Instead, Pravda said rumours that Hitler’s body had been found were a fascist provocation. The Soviet authorities spread the “alternative fact” that Hitler was alive and well and being looked after by the treacherous Americans in their zone of occupation. Stalin even misled his commander-in-chief Marshal Zhukov…