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Fortean TimesFortean Times

Fortean Times 374

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) SEASON'S GREETINGS Welcome to the last issue of 2018, in which we see out what for many people has been a somewhat difficult and divisive year with a seasonal selection of gentle fortean diversions: gingerbread houses, mistletoe myths, odd collections, fake royal trees, revived winter traditions, a Welsh water spirit and a slightly nastier folkloric entity lurking in Devon’s River Ashburn... A Happy Christmas to all! THE FTMB REBORN Last issue we promised you an update – and hopefully some good news – about the fate of the Fortean Times Message Board (FTMB), the venerable online forum that grew out of the FT website and was for the best part of two decades an invaluable meeting place for readers, forteans and weird-watchers in general.We’re glad to…

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weirdness from wales

The mysterious woman photographed by Dave Newnham on the River Ystwyth – is it a water spirit of local legend? (DAVE NEWNHAM) WELSH WATER SPIRIT This photograph of a dark-haired woman dressed in white was taken in the River Ystwyth at Hafod Estate near Aberystwyth in mid-Wales at 6.15pm on 30 October. The photographer was Dave Newnham, the estate manager of Hafod Estate for the last 10 years, who was checking footpaths before heading home for the evening. “I saw a blurred shadow in the corner of my eye and spotted a woman standing in the river near Dologau Bridge,” he said. “I shouted out to her as it was a cold night and I thought she might be in trouble, but it wasn’t long before I realised…

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the conspirasphere

ENERGETIC MATERIAL The suspicious parcels allegedly sent by Cesar Sayoc to leading Democrats in the run-up to the mid-term elections have had a parallax effect on the warring tribes that, in these interesting times, constitute the political audience in the USA. This is not in itself a surprise, given the rise of ‘tribal epistemology’ (see FT373:5) and the now clearly partisan nature of the US media landscape. I searched in vain for any commentaries on the Sayoc saga that might offer a dispassionate, sceptical account of the affair; after all, it’s an odd story in many respects, and the stridently partial reporting on both sides leaves plenty of holes and anomalies for the interested observer.There is considerable fudge and confusion about the nature and efficacy of the “energetic…

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extra! extra!

ONE MILLION VIAGRA PILLS STOCKPILED IN UK OVER FEARS OF HARD BREXIT D.Mirror, 18 Sept 2018. Talking turkeys in New England 25 Nov 2016. KITTEN SAVED FROM DUELLING SNAKES IN MID-AIR DOGFIGHT (Queensland) Courier-Mail, 10 Sept 2018. Barrister: my client is a trout Sun on Sunday, 13 Dec 2015. US FACES INVASION BY GIANT LIZARDS AFTER PETS ESCAPE FROM FLORIDA D.Telegraph, 4 Aug 2018. Swiss bank clones its chief economist so he need never miss a meeting Irish Times, 20 July 2018. ■…

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the table top museum

Visitors to the 2018 Table Top Museum at the Art Workers’ Guild in Bloomsbury. (PHOTOS: ETIENNE GILFILLAN) 2018’s Table Top Museum – the third such event – took place on Sunday 23 September at the Art Workers’ Guild, Queen’s Square, in London’s Bloomsbury, bringing together a number of curious collections. ETIENNE GILFILLAN spoke to its curator, artist and collector Stephen Fowler. What is the Table Top Museum? It’s an event curated by myself, illustrator George Hardie, and the Art Workers’ Guild, an organisation established in 1884 by a group of British architects associated with the ideas of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement. It promoted the ‘unity of all the arts’, denying the distinction between fine and applied art. We see the event as a…

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tales of survival

Aldi Novel Adilang photographed by his rescuers while adrift on his floating fishing trap. (CONSULATE GENERAL OF INDONESIA) • An Indonesian teenager survived 49 days on the ocean after his wooden hut was pushed out to sea by strong winds. Aldi Novel Adilang, 18, was plucked from the ocean by the cargo ship Arpeggio near the US territory of Guam in the western Pacific Ocean on 31 August. He had been working as a lamp keeper on a floating fish trap called a rompong, anchored to the seabed around 75 miles (120km) off the Indonesian coast, when unusually strong winds broke his mooring ropes on 19 July, sending the flimsy wooden hut adrift.Aldi had been contracted to light lamps around the rompong to attract and trap fish, and had…