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Fortean TimesFortean Times

Fortean Times 375

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.

United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
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12 Issues


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RIP STAN LEE Along with the rest of the world, we at Fortean Towers were saddened to hear of the death of Stan Lee in November 2018 (obit. p30). At 95, The Man had enjoyed a good innings, but the loss of such a formative figure in modern popular culture – and, indeed, of someone we had blithely assumed would somehow always be there, because he always had been – was as keenly felt by us as it was by the millions of others around the world whose imaginations had, at some point in their lives, been fired by the work of the indefatigable force behind Marvel Comics. Your current editor could probably date his first realisation that such a job existed to an early engagement with the bombastic blasts and alliterative…

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double or quits

In an email entitled “It’s Real Me, President Buhari Responds to Cloning Allegation”, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari (above) denied claims that he had died and been replaced by a Sudanese impostor, scotching a rumour that had circulated on social media for months. Buhari, running for re-election in February, spent five months in Britain in 2017 being treated for an undisclosed illness, prompting the rumour that he had been replaced by a lookalike from Sudan called Jubril, an idea spread by videos on YouTube and Facebook. “It’s the real me, I assure you,” insisted Buhari, addressing Nigerians in a town hall session on 2 December in Poland, where he was attending a conference. “A lot of people hoped that I died during my ill health. Some even reached out to the…

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the conspirasphere

SURVEYING THE CONSPIRASPHERE On 24 November, a major research project into belief in conspiracy theory, undertaken by Cambridge University and YouGov, published the results of an international survey testing the traction of a number of conspiracy theories in nine countries – eight in Europe, plus the United States. The survey also asked about trust: in government, the media, academia, and the people around us, presumably to establish a context of sorts for the specific questions – 10 of them – which constitute ‘conspiracies’ for the purposes of the study. The survey uncovered a consistently low level of trust in government, traditional media, religious leaders and corporate bigwigs. More surprising is the relatively high level of optimism for the future; and, perhaps, the responses that suggest most people are more or less satisfied…

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heavenly views

MID-AIR POLE A passenger on a flight from Malaga in Spain to Bristol 6 December 2016 spotted this mystery object poking through the clouds. The photograph was taken above the Bristol Channel around 11am as the Ryanair Boeing 737 was passing over Brean Sands in Somerset. The unnamed man used flight map information to gauge he was at an altitude of 4,600ft (1,400m) at the time and posted a picture on an image-sharing site, commenting: “If it’s not something on the ground, which I find inconceivable as I was over the sea, then what is it?” Some suggested it was an alien craft, while others saw it as a scratch on the plane window. Many years ago, an FT correspondent had a similar sighting of a long pole sticking up through…

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PISCINE ÆSTHETICS At fish beauty contests in Singapore, armed guards escort rare breeds. Plastic surgeons for fish have sprung up. Procedures include eyelid lifts and fin enlargements. Some owners, known as arofanatics, put a fish through a tanning regime to perfect their hue. Economist, 15 Sept 2018. SIMIAN SERVICE Bus driver M Prakash was suspended after video showed him holding onto the wheel of the bus with one hand while a langur monkey perched on the wheel and steered the vehicle for almost 10 minutes near Davangere, Karnataka state. The monkey was a pet belonging to one of the 30 passengers (none of whom complained). [UPI] vice.com, 8 Oct 2018. MONKEY NUT A drunk was beaten up by a pack of 10in (25cm)-tall squirrel monkeys after breaking into Wellington Zoo, New Zealand, to try and…

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medical bag

• On 8 September, 10-year-old Xavier Cunningham was attacked by a swarm of yellowjacket wasps and fell from a tree house in Harrisonville, Missouri, face-first onto a foot-long (30cm) metal meat skewer fixed into the ground. The thin spike penetrated around 6in (15cm) beside his nose to the back of his head. It “miraculously” missed his eyes, brain, spinal cord and major blood vessels. Over several hours, a team of doctors at Kansas University Hospital successfully removed the square rod – which made for a trickier surgery than a rounded skewer due to the sharp edges. Koji Ebersole, director of endovascular neurosurgery at the hospital, said: “I have not seen anything passed to that depth in a situation that was survivable, let alone one where we think the recovery will…