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Fortean Times

Fortean Times 387

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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

2 min.

Welcome to our last issue of 2019, which we hope offers a sufficiently generous selection of seasonal weirdness to see you through the dark December days and safely into the New Year. We continue to celebrate the centenary of Charles Fort’s The Book of the Damned, first published in December 1919. This time, rather than looking at the reception of Fort’s seminal text, we revisit one of the anomalies he enumerated in its pages – the case of the ‘Bishop’s Torpedo’: “That, July 2, 1907, in the town of Burlington,Vermont, a terrific explosion had been heard throughout the city. A ball of light, or a luminous object, had been seen to fall from the sky – or from a torpedo-shaped thing, or construction, in the sky.” Nowadays, we’d probably describe this as…

2 min.
‘napoleon’ dismembers lover

A prominent Russian academic has confessed to murdering his young lover and former student. Professor Oleg Sokolov, 63, a Napoleon expert who received France’s Legion of Honour from Jacques Chirac in 2003, was arrested on 9 November after he was hauled out of icy water with a backpack containing a stun gun and a woman’s arms. He was reportedly drunk and fell into the Moika river, a tributary of the Neva, in central St Petersburg as he tried to dispose of the backpack near the offices of investigators. He had planned to commit suicide at the Peter and Paul Fortress, one of the former imperial capital’s most famous landmarks, dressed as Napoleon. Sokolov taught history at St Petersburg State University, Vladimir Putin’s alma mater. He told investigators that he shot and…

3 min.
the conspirasphere

THE CALEXIT CONSPIRACY The brutal murders of nine Mormons, three women and six of their children, in the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico, on 4 November, made for grisly headlines around the world. From the moment the news broke, it was assumed by most observers that the tragic incident was just another in the string of massacres committed as part of the ongoing wars between Mexico’s powerful drug cartels. The Mexican government suggested it was a case of mistaken identity: the unfortunate families had strayed into territory disputed by two of the biggest cartels and been executed. Mormons have lived in Mexico since the late 19th century, mainly breakaway fundamentalist groups practising polygamy. The shooting victims belonged to churches largely run by the LeBarón family, who settled in Mexico in the 1920s…

1 min.
extra! extra!

EXPRESS DERAILED BY JESUS National Student, Dec 2006. Madonna romps with Jesus in Brazilian hotel Metro, c.12 Feb 2009. FEDS: JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH USED TO SMUGGLE COCAINE Washington (DC) Examiner, 20 Oct 2010. ‘Jesus’ was insane at time of arson Metro Herald (Dublin), 1 May 2013. NUDE JESUS RESTRAINED AFTER FLATS RAMPAGE Sunday Sport, 30 Aug 2015. Jesus ‘with his bum out’ sparks police response in Exeter city centre Devon Live, 18 Dec 2017. POLICE SEEKING JESUS AFTER ASSAULT ON JEDI D.Telegraph, 4 Nov 2017.…

5 min.
police blotter

PASSING THE BUCK Six men in China have been jailed for attempted murder after they all tried to pass on a contract to kill that they were reluctant to carry out in person. Real estate businessman Qin (or Tan) Youhui began the saga in 2013 when he hired contract killer Xi Guangan to eliminate a rival, Mr Wei, who was suing him at the time. Mr Xi pocketed half of the two million yuan (£218,000) that Mr Qin paid out and then passed the task to another assassin at a reduced fee. The killing was then contracted out an additional three times until a fifth man entered the picture, Ling Xinsi. By then, it was April 2014, and Mr Ling was offered a mere 100,000 yuan (£10,900). Deciding it wasn’t enough,…

6 min.

BET WAS A GIANT STEP The Moon landing changed history for bookmakers when William Hill took the first ever British bet that was not sports related. In 1964, David Threlfall (20) placed a £10 bet with odds of 1,000-1 that a man would walk on the Moon before 1 January 1970. Hill had to pay him £10,000 – and £50,000 to others who had made similar wagers. (Threlfall died after crashing the sports car he had bought.) D.Telegraph, 20 July 2019. SHOOT FOR THE MOON At a party in Moscow to make a successful trade deal in June 1969, Tim Spencer asked an elderly Russian functionary how the Americans had beaten the USSR to the Moon. “Very simple,” he replied; “American Germans are better than our Germans.” D.Telegraph, 20 July 2019. INVISIBLE PORKER Two lost…