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Old 2009-04-11, 08:49 PM   #1
Mikefule
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Forteana

Anyone else read The Fortean Times? http://www.forteantimes.com/

For those who don't - "Fortean" comes from Charles Fort - an American writer and enthusiast for "anomalous phenomena". He's been dead ages now, but his name has become attached to all sorts of anomalies like UFOs, bigfoot/yeti/saquatch, lake monsters, ball lightning, ghosts, telekinesis, showers of frogs, etc.

Some of the stuff is obviously true (ball lightning does happen); some is almost certainly false (undead vampires etc.); and some is possible if perhaps unlikely (cryptids such as yetis, big cats on Dartmoor and so on). Fortean Times presents them all in a factual but slightly tongue in cheek way. It is not a magazine for "believers", but for those who find such things interesting or amusing.

Anyone here had any experience of "anomalous phenomena"?

I can only think of one in my life. In 1991, someone I knew phoned me and left a message for me to ring him back. He had never previously rung me. We had a relationship of mutual respect, both being Morris Fools from neighbouring teams, but it would have been overstating the case to call it close friendship.

I rang him back and his widow answered - he had died only a few hours after leaving the message. I became the first in a long chain of communication to mutual friends and acquaintances from the Fools' Union who all made it to his funeral. I still have no idea why he rang me, and his widow didn't know that he had. I wondered at the time if he had some sort of premonition.
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Old 2009-04-15, 09:26 PM   #2
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So that'll be a no then?
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Old 2009-04-16, 12:49 AM   #3
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does he cover nuclear particles that can be in two places at once, except when they are being observed? HA! Most certainly false.
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Old 2009-04-17, 09:59 PM   #4
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Some of the stuff is obviously true; some is almost certainly false; and some is possible if perhaps unlikely.
I'm at a loss here. Do I bookmark this site in my "comedy" folder with The Onion and the Landover Baptists, my "news" folder with Al Jazeera and the BBC, or my "science" folder with Discover Magazine and Wired?

I can't tell if I'm being trolled or not. These guys are good!
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Old 2009-04-18, 07:51 AM   #5
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I can't tell if I'm being trolled or not. These guys are good!
I've subscribed to the printed magazine version for a year or so now. There is nothing in the magazine or on the website that is a hoax by the publishers.

FT is for people who are interested in the weird and anomalous, including things like weird hoaxes, gullible people, mass hysteria and so on.

The coverage of things like "big cats on Dartmoor" is usually pretty serious because there is a substantial body of evidence that there are large cats in the wild in parts of the UK.

The coverage of things like UFO abduction is usually pretty tongue in cheek. It is well documented that plenty of people report being abducted by UFOs, but Fortean Times reports this sort of stuff with a "nod and a wink" and any serious coverage of it tends to concentrate on the "psychology" rather than physical explanations.

The coverage of things like the Loch Ness Monster varies between historical articles, and analaysis of new photos. The coverage is always "healthily sceptical".

The weird news stories are collected from the world's media and FT does not have the resources to validate each one. These stories are presented for amusement only.

It's a good read.
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Old 2009-04-18, 09:35 AM   #6
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My brother and I witnessed a big cat in our garden when we were kids. There'd been numerous reports of odd livestock destruction for weeks before and after. I guess it's not really unexplained, but certainly an anomalous phenomena.
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Old 2009-04-18, 12:30 PM   #7
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My brother and I witnessed a big cat in our garden when we were kids. There'd been numerous reports of odd livestock destruction for weeks before and after. I guess it's not really unexplained, but certainly an anomalous phenomena.
Wooo! The first person to respond with their own Fortean experience!

Enthusiasts refer to "Alien Big Cats" (ABCs - see what they did there?) with "alien" in the propeor sense of "from elsewhere" rather than in the science fiction sense of "from outer space".

In Nottingham in the early 1970s, a milkman allegedly saw a lion in a suburban street early one morning. There were a few other sightings, and I remember being on a bicycle ride in the coutry around that time when it suddenly crossed my mind that there was a lion on the loose. I have never pedalled so quickly in my life. (I was an impressionable 13 year old at the time.)

It seems perfectly reasonable to assume that there are some individual "big cats" loose in the UK. For many years there was a breeding population of wallabies in Derbyshire after some escaped from a zoo. There are breeding populations of wild boar in the UK after escapes from "rare breeds" farms. It is perfectly plausible that a small number of big cat pets have been released or have escaped into the wild.

However, the anomaly is that most of the reported sightings are of black animals. In known populations of big cats in the wild and in zoos, black speciments are rare, and in some species unknown. The behaviour (growls, snarls etc.) sometimes fails to correspond with the expected behaviour of the likely species. Also, why aren't they seen more often, and why isn't there more evidence in the form of dead sheep etc.?
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Old 2009-04-18, 05:00 PM   #8
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My husband says he reads it sometimes - that some of it is too 'silly' for him.
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Old 2009-08-27, 03:16 PM   #9
Mikefule
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From today's AOL news:
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Old 2009-08-28, 06:04 PM   #10
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Cheating a bit. The story later explains that it was certainly a pet released in to the wild.
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Old 2009-11-14, 05:20 PM   #11
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Cheating a bit. The story later explains that it was certainly a pet released in to the wild.


Another piranha was caught by a young lad near where I live:

http://www.reddishvale.moonfruit.com/#/jaws/4518960044

With teeth like those seen in the photograph I would have been reluctant to unhook it.

They seem fairly common in tropical fish tanks these days, but I guess getting rid of them when too big for the tank, or when they have fewer fingers, means a trip to the local pond to some aquarists.
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Old 2010-04-10, 11:16 PM   #12
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They seem fairly common in tropical fish tanks these days, but I guess getting rid of them when too big for the tank, or when they have fewer fingers, means a trip to the local pond to some aquarists.
As the song says, this is the age of aquariums.
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Old 2009-12-06, 05:00 PM   #13
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8394802.stm

Archaeologists have found evidence of mass cannibalism at a 7,000-year-old human burial site in south-west Germany, the journal Antiquity reports.

The authors say their findings provide rare evidence of cannibalism in Europe's early Neolithic period.

Up to 500 human remains unearthed near the village of Herxheim may have been cannibalised.

The "intentionally mutilated" remains included children and even unborn babies, the researchers say.

The German site was first excavated in 1996 and then explored again between 2005 and 2008.

(more on web page)
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Old 2009-09-04, 05:13 PM   #14
Mikefule
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8237558.stm

One of the great conspiracy theories: that the moon landings were faked.

A fake news site then posts a story that Neil Armstong read one of the conspiracy theory websites, and immediately realised he had been living a lie for all these years!

The quotation attributed to Neil Armstrong is so dry.

And then a real news agency found this hoax story about a real person believing the conspiracy theory and the news agency published it, without checking!

The news story from the link above is worth reading. Assuming it's true, of course.
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Old 2009-09-05, 10:15 PM   #15
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hahahahahahahahahaha
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