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Fortean Times

Fortean Times 396

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

3 min.

Back in February, in these pages, Richard Stanley, in a provocative and wide-ranging article on one of the 20th century’s cult literary figures (FT390:28-36), predicted that “2020 will be remembered as the year HP Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos entered the mainstream.” In the timeline we now inhabit, it seems likely that 2020 will be remembered not so much for the spread of the ‘Mythos Meme’ through popular culture as the spread of Covid-19 through a large part of the world’s population; now, metaphorical memes feel like a luxury, supplanted by the harsher reality of an actual virus. We suspect that this is an irony that Lovecraft, with his limitless reserves of misanthropy and cosmic nihilism, would have noted, and possibly even relished. But, then, in another unforeseen turn of events, the killing…

3 min.
the moth shall rise again

Amid the worldwide movement seeking to remove statues of historical figures now deemed problematic, in West Virginia there is a growing campaign to replace them with images of an alternative local hero – Mothman. The initiative took off on 8 June when 24-year-old Twitter user Brenna (@ HumanBrennapede) proposed a petition in support of replacing Confederate statues with those of the legendary cryptid. “As a West Virginia native, I’d like to think we’re all spiritually connected to him,” she explained. Jay Sisson, 30, a teacher and another proud West Virginian, decorates his ninth-grade classroom with what he believes to be uplifting figures from the state’s past: Sasquatch, the Flatwoods Monster, and, of course, Mothman. He believes these “brave but often misunderstood heroes represent a certain rugged individualism and perseverance” that he…

1 min.
the last leprechaun whisperer

Ireland’s last leprechaun whisperer assured viewers of ITV’s This Morning that the Irish fairies are coping well with coronavirus lockdown. Kevin Woods, from Carlingford in County Louth, is a prominent leprechaun advocate who successfully lobbied the EU to have a nearby mountain recognised as a ‘Designated Area of Protection for Flora, Fauna, Wild Animals and Little People’, under the EU Habitats Directive. He also runs a tour firm called ‘Last Leprechauns of Ireland’, describing himself as a ‘custodian’ of the iconic Irish sprites. Although Ireland has been gravely affected by the pandemic, Mr Woods told viewers that Ireland’s leprechauns “don’t have a problem with it”. He also sought to reassure the public that he had not broken any lockdown measures during his encounters: since leprechauns are actually spirits who manifest themselves…

7 min.
coronavirus corner

GUARDIAN ANGELS In his pastoral letter addressing church closures during the coronavirus pandemic, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and spokesman for the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales, has suggested people ask for the intercession of a guardian angel; while human beings cannot currently enter churches for Holy Communion, they may ask an angel to act on their behalf, since locked doors present no barrier to them. He quoted a prayer beginning: “Dear Guardian Angel, go for me to the church, there kneel down at Mass for me… During Holy Communion, bring to me the Body and Blood of Jesus uniting Him with me in spirit, so that my heart may become His dwelling place… When the Mass ends, bring home to me and to every home, the Lord’s…

3 min.
the valley of the dawn

Every year on 1 May, before sunrise, several thousand people silently congregate at a temple outside the Brazilian capital of Brasília. They are Members of the Vale do Amanhecer (‘Valley of the Dawn’) religious group, and this ‘Day of the Indoctrinator’ ceremony, attracts devotees from around the world to ‘synchronise their spiritual energies’. As the Sun’s rays appear over the horizon, a collective droning sound fills the air as the devotees, wearing elaborate and brightly-coloured costumes, begin chanting their personal ‘emissions’, intended to invoke cosmic forces which they then believe may be ‘manipulated’ for healing purposes. This year’s ceremony, of course, was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Devotees of the group say they belong to a ‘spiritual tribe’ called the Jaguars, supposedly the reincarnated descendants of highly advanced extraterrestrials sent…

6 min.
auction oddities

MYSTERIOUS ‘VAMPIRE SLAYING KIT’ A ‘vampire slaying kit’ (see FT288:32-39; 291:5; 377:23) complete with shark’s teeth, crucifixes and a 19th century Bible was put up for sale at a Derbyshire-based auctioneers on 21 July. The equipment’s age is unclear, its owner having bought it from a large antiques fair in Newark-on-Trent. The owner, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I know very little of its history. I have had it in my own collection for three years now,” adding “I loved the look of the Gothic box and, when I opened it, I just had to have it.” The would-be vampirehunter’s equipment is housed within a lockable, velvetcovered box, lined with crimson silk. Its lid bears an oval enamel painting depicting the resurrection of Christ, and the box itself contains a carved…