Mystery and Strange Phenomenon from the Fortean Times Part 1

A collection of mysteries and strange phenomena from the English magazine the Fortean Times.


The Fortean Times is a small magazine published in London. One subtitle promises, "Strange Phenomena-Curiosities-Prodigies-Portents-Mysteries." Another subtitle states, "A Contemporary Record of Strange Phenomena." It is, according to publisher Robert J. M. Rickard, "a nonprofitmaking bimonthly miscellany of news, notes, and references on current strange phenomena and related subjects." It is dedicated to continuing the work of Charles Fort. For a one-year subscription to six issues, send $6 to The Fortean Times, P.O. Box 152, London N10 1EP, England. Herewith are some excerpts from a half-dozen issues.


Friends of Lady Armstrong, wife of the third baron and insurance magnate, Lord Armstrong, have nothing but praise for a relic of the Italian-born Lady's ancestor, that has cured many of them. It is a red glove that once belonged to her great-great-uncle, Cardinal Giuseppe Dusmet Desmours, who died in Sicily 90 years ago, and whenever she hears of a friend's illness, Lady Armstrong snips off a piece of material to send to them. "I was terribly ill with cancer some years ago," she says, "and I recovered. A friend of mine--I won't give his name, but he was well known 25 years ago--had a terrible accident and was completely paralyzed. I gave him a piece of the glove and two months later he began to walk. The stories I could tell are endless ... I know of so many instances where the person has recovered." She admits she believes in miracles, and that her husband doesn't--he claims they all would have recovered anyway. She adds: "The cardinal was a very good man and had extraordinary powers. He has already been beatified, and I hope that soon he will be sanctified by the Vatican." (Sunday Express, 31 March 74.)


There is always the sneaky suspicion that some animals are having a great joke at our expense. Consider the blackbird that has become the bane of the Stationmaster at Berne-Stoeckacker, Switzerland. They have converted to hand signals to send off trains because the crafty devil was able to perfectly imitate the guard's whistle to a tee. And we rather like the story of the black Labrador that set up a dismal howling beside a pond on Bournemouth's Turbary Common, in England. It was led away several times but kept returning--and so local police, fearing the worst, called in the fire brigade, and the faithful, devoted, four-footed friend watched with great interest as they set about draining 20,000 gallons in a search for a body. When they got to the bottom, they found instead the usual and traditional still life of old bedsprings, buggy parts, boots, and car doors draped in ooze. They looked around for the dog, but found nothing there either. In a face-saving statement, police and firemen declared that at least the pond was now less of a hazard to children. (Bournemouth Evening Echo, 17 April 74.) And one more pond to swell the thousands that vanish from the English landscape every year.

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