Tag Archives | Forteana

Fortean 2011: The Weird Year in Review

Via WhoForted? – one of a handful of a new generation of bloggers (Mysterious Universe, Ghost Theory, The Secret Sun and Hidden Experience spring to mind) that do justice to the impish spirit of Charles Fort.

Some strange-lights:

  • Paranormal polarisation
  • The Mass Exodus of the Cynical Believers
  • Bigfoot Overload
  • The Biggest, Weirdest, and Best of 2011 – books, podcasts, paranormal reality series’

Make the jump and start making your preparations for this year’s Mayan-tinged weirdness …… Read the rest

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Who Haunted Betsy Bell?

Betsy Bell

Betsy Bell

An alternate reading of M.V. Ingram’s history of the infamous Bell Witch haunting suggests a sinister secret at the heart of the mystery. This from Victorian Gothic:

The visitations began with sightings of strange animals about the Bell homestead, and of a unknown girl in green swinging to the limb of a tall oak. Soon there came an unaccountable knocking about the door and exterior walls of the house, followed by scratching and gnawing sounds that searched from room to room. It assaulted the boys in the night, ripping the sheets from their beds and pulling their hair as they tried to sleep. Whenever candles were lit to investigate, they would soon hear screams coming from their sister’s room.

Betsy Bell was 12 years old in 1818 when she became the thrall of an unseen tormentor who, for some three years, relentlessly beat her, mangled her hair, pinched and pricked her skin, and once caused her to vomit pins and needles. Her family, early, well-respected settlers of Robertson County, TN, at first tried removing her from the home, but to no avail—the disturbances followed her wherever she went.

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Before War of the Worlds, the Great Moon Hoax of 1835

Great Moon HoaxLunar man-bats, unicorns, bipedal beavers and a triad of mysterious solar temples featured in a sensational hoax perpetuated by the New York Sun in 1835. This from Victorian Gothic:

Imagine that you wake up one morning, sit at your computer, and you are bombarded with links to a developing story from a major news outlet: Stephen Hawking, by making novel use of Cambridge University’s new quantum supercomputer to analyze data from SETI’s telescope array, has discerned that the universe is awash with signals from intelligent life. It reads like a regular science story, at first, but soon it is revealed that Hawking and his colleagues have tapped into an extra-terrestrial television transmission, and are even now watching, breathless, as the first, dream-like images of alien civilizations display themselves on the Q-computer’s tiny monitor.

You and your friends refresh your browsers compulsively, talking over each new description that emerges of strange alien races and the exotic landscapes they inhabit, as gleaned from upon the wacky sitcoms and low-budget reality shows that they are indiscriminately beaming into space.

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“Shadow Land”: Memoir of a Medium

Elizabeth d'Esperance as YolandeElizabeth d’Espérance, one of the star mediums of the Victorian era, penned a fascinating memoir filled with rich descriptions of altered states and otherworldly visitations. An often-overlooked, first-person account of the 19th century seance from the perspective of the medium herself, Shadow Land is the subject of a recent review at VictorianGothic.org:

Elizabeth d’Espérance grew up in a tired old house on the East End of London, filled with dark, oak-paneled halls and desolate, forbidden rooms that compelled her to explore. “I was very fond of wandering about from one empty room to another,” she wrote,

“and of sitting with my dolls on the broad low window seats, whence I would be fetched with an exclamation of horror and wonder by our servant, who considered my liking for the haunted rooms as “uncanny” and unnatural, threatening me with the ghosts and their vengeance if I persisted in invading their domains by myself.

“I could never quite understand nurse’s remarks about the lonelines of the rooms, though her threats about the ghosts frightened me.

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2010 Ig Nobel Prizes: Whale Snot, Socks Over Shoes, And Scientists’ Beards

4367365253_b7f9705610The 2010 Ig Nobel Prize winners (like the Nobels but better) have been announced in various categories of science. These amazing discoveries are the reason we are living in the most exciting of times. ABC News reports the results:

ENGINEERING: Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse, Agnes Rocha-Gosselin and Diane Gendron for developing a method to collect whale snot using a remote control helicopter.

TRANSPORTATION PLANNING: Toshiyuki Nakagaki, Atsushi Tero, Seiji Takagi, Tetsu Saigusa, Kentaro Ito, Kenji Yumiki, Ryo Kobayashi, Dan Bebber, Mark Fricker for using slime mold to determine the optimal routes for railroad tracks.

PHYSICS: Lianne Parkin, Sheila Williams and Patricia Priest for demonstrating that wearing socks on the outside of your shoes helps prevent slipping on ice.

PEACE: Richard Stephens, John Atkins and Andrew Kingston for confirming that swearing helps relieve pain.

PUBLIC HEALTH: Manuel Barbeito, Charles Mathews and Larry Taylor for determining that microbes cling to bearded scientists.

MANAGEMENT: Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda and Cesare Garofalo for demonstrating mathematically that organizations would become more efficient if promotions were made at random.

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Uncover ‘Hidden Wisdom’ With Tim Wallace-Murphy

NewtonWilliamBlakeBelow is the first five chapters of Tim Wallace-Murphy’s new book Hidden Wisdom: The Secrets of the Western Esoteric Tradition available on Scribd. Here’s a quick bit about the book:

From Egyptian mythology to Jewish mysticism, Rome and Greece to the Druids and the Gnostics, Tim Wallace-Murphy exposes a fascinating lineage of hidden mysteries and secret societies, continuing through the Templars, Rosicrucians and Freemasons to our modern visionaries. This hidden stream of spirituality and that of sacred knowledge are inseparably entwined to form the single most important continuous strand in the entire Western esoteric tradition.

This tradition exerted a seminal influence on the thinking of the builders of the great cathedrals, leading teachers in ecclesiastical schools, on philosophers, playwrights and poets such as Shakespeare, Goethe, Blake and W. B. Yeats, on artists and renaissance giants such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. It is also the root from which sprang alchemy and modern science.… Read the rest

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Uncover ‘Hidden Wisdom’ This Week with Author and Freemason Tim Wallace-Murphy

NewtonWilliamBlakeIf you will be in the New York-metro area this week, please come and join us for a talk and book signing for Tim Wallace-Murphy’s new book Hidden Wisdom: The Secrets of the Western Esoteric Tradition. Please RSVP on Facebook (see links below) or if not there, then by comment on this article:

Thursday, May 6, 2010: East West Living Bookstore and Cafe

Saturday, May 8, 2010: New York Theosophical Society

Monday, May 10, 2010: Livingston Masonic Library

Whether you can make it or not, here’s the first five chapters of Hidden Wisdom available on Scribd:

From Egyptian mythology to Jewish mysticism, Rome and Greece to the Druids and the Gnostics, Tim Wallace-Murphy exposes in Hidden Wisdom a fascinating lineage of hidden mysteries and secret societies, continuing through the Templars, Rosicrucians, and Freemasons to our modern visionaries. This hidden stream of spirituality and that of sacred knowledge are inseparably entwined to form the single most important continuous strand in the entire Western esoteric tradition.

More info at www.hidden-wisdom.com.

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The Black Fridays Meet Mysterious Universe’s Ben and Aaron

The Black Fridays Episode 17 — Ben Grundy and Aaron Wright

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mu_logoThat’s right, the guys from Austrailia’s Mysterious Universe drop in to talk shop, UFO’s, the Paranormal, and all things Mysterious.

We had a wonderful time talking to those guys, and look forward to chatting again in the future! We hope you all enjoy the show.

You can learn more about Mysterious Universe at: www. mysteriousuniverse.org.… Read the rest

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Man ‘Survives Without Food’ For 70 Years?!?

Please make up your own mind about this one. Sky News reports via Yahoo:

Indian doctors are studying a remarkable 83-year-old holy man who claims to have spent the last seven decades without food and water. Military medics hope the experiments on Prahlad Jani can help soldiers develop their survival strategies.

The long-haired and bearded yogi is under 24-hour observation by a team of 30 doctors during three weeks of tests

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