Fortean Mysteries SIG      recent history        issue 59.5        Newsletter of the Fortean Mysteries SIG of American Mensa          
  only 200,000 millicents per 3 issues     Published irregularly since Undecember 1658 AC
 "All things are possible ..." (Mt 19:26)

    We finally got to reading Goedel, Escher, Bach: The Eternal Braid and found it fascinating, an example of Fort's philosophy that everything's connected to everything else.
 We haven't yet proved if there is an even number which is not a Goldbach number, i.e., the sum of two odd primes. We did however device a chaotic number system based on the Wondrous numbers.
 All the integers we've tried so far pass the Wondrous Number Test. If odd multiply by three and add one. If even divide by two. Continue until you reach one.
 For example, 1 = 20(22-1)/3, 2=21, 3 = 20(21(24-1)/3-1)/3, 4 = 22, 5 = 20(24-1)/3, 6 = 21(21(24-1)/3-1)/3, etc.
  Designating the operations in this way can be abbreviated to just the exponents to give: 1 = 20, 2 = 1, 3 = 410, 4 = 2, 5 = 40, 6 = 411, 7 = 432110, 8 = 3, 9 = 4321120, 10 = 41, 11 = 43210, 12 = 412, 13 = 430, 14 = 432111, ...
  There's a pattern but it is complex. It's a chaotic generator.

   Then there's the Vinogradov numbers, odd numbers above V, which are the sum of three primes. (We haven't found V yet either.)
  The recursive acronym was another interesting idea. GOD, for example, was expanded to GOD Over Djinn, which in turn could be further expanded to GOD Over Djinn Over Djinn. GOD = GOGOD = GOGOGOD = ...
  The heterarchy was another new idea for us. It can branch like an ordinary hierarchy but it can also loop back on itself to make  recursive transition network (RTN).

  Elsewhere we came across the handy word "blik" and "clang". A blik is one of those unalterable beliefs that transcend the mere facts made possible by them, like the paranoid's "They all hate me!" or the uniformitarian's "The future will be like the past." A clang is that apparently unrelated word association resulting from turning the word backward or fragmenting it, as flog-and-golf or flog-and-log.

  In "Four Brands of Impossible" by Norman Kagan he catalogs:
(1) the technically impossible (the undoable),
(2) the scientifically impossible (the unthinkable),
(3) the logically impossible (illogical by human perceptions) and
(4) the meaningless (beyond even new ways of doing, thinking or perceiving).

  In Not the Webster's Dictionary by Byron Preiss and Michael Sorkin we found: abracadaver, answerve, bozone, braintryst, calulust, ibidinous, ishish, overbyte, randumb, socratease, zagzig, all whose definitions are obvious.

  From William Banks we have some other interesting reading material: a egistration form for the International Symposium on New Energy. That includes not only cold fusion and plasma physics, but vortex mechanics, the Keely motor, Coler generator and the Hutchinson and Casmire effects.
  Also: an order form for the Orgone Biophysical Research Lab literature. "Reich lives!" Or at least his strange ideas live on. It includes cloudbusting, orgone accumulators, cosmic energy sources of the future and "Dr. DeMeo's long-awaited book, Saharasia: The 4000 B. C. E. Old-World Desert Origins of Child-abuse, Sex-repression and Social Violence.
  If the timetravel groups knew about that maybe they could go back six millenia and ...
  In the Society for Scientific Exploration newsletter we find an almost fortean variety: UFOs, NDEs [near-death experiences], BHMs [big hairy monsters], Nostradamus, ball lightning, cold fusion, telepathy, energy medicine and SSE founder Charles R. Tolbert.

gwho: [A. B. Johnson in A Treatice on Languages] term used to conceal the absurdity of the unobserved, such as, the Oort cloud, the Big Bang, quarks, the subconscious, gravity, etc., etc..

  We also came upon a good explanation of "explanation" by C. J. Ducasse in Philosophy as a Science. An explanation, he wrote, isn't quite an implication, but involves more an implied implication, the explicans, the explaining assumption.
  Q is taken as true because P is observed to be true and P-implies-Q is taken as true implicitly. In Polish notation: CKPCPQQ.
  Which might be: If it is both midnight now and if it's midnight it's always dark, then it must be dark now. Usually the logic is not so explicit, the CPQ part being understood by both speaker and listener [like the assumption that both are not within the arctic or antarctic circles].

  The new television series, "Encounters", looks interesting. One recent show explained quake predicting as magma flow magnetic field sensitivity (Christopher Dodge's Project Migraine).
  On the same show Dannion Brinkley explained his OOBE (out-of-body experience) center has ionized air with a higher oxygen content, relaxing electromagnetic fields and vortex a bed that uses pulsed sound waves. "I would choose to be on the other side," he says.
  The crop circle in Grasdorf, Germ., was more unusual than usual. Or maybe just more studied.
  Dr. W. C. Levengood says the grains are bent in two different directions, not only one as might be easily hoaxed. They are bent at nodes and show cell alterations.
  172% higher radiation was found. Dick Russell reported a 50- to 60-foot UFO. Neil Daniels' compasses and autopilot went out.
  Using a metal detector however, Michael Hesemann found bronze,silver and gold discs buried under the three arced circled which had the design as a whole on them! The design is said to resemble Celtic ones.

  On "Unsolved Mysteries" a while back was news on the hunt for Bigfoot. Peter Byrne of the Bigfoot Research Project is till at it. It told of a series of seemingly related sightings in '93 by Sgt. Todd Neiss, an anonymous woman and Elmer Frombach, Jr.. As has ever been the case however they have nothing to prove their stories.

    The Journal of Scientific Explanation (JSSE) has some interesting items in its Winter '93 issue:
an amateur alchemist was denied workman's compensation for mercury poisoning in Larose, LA;
at a Sunrise, FL, psychic fair the psychic, astrologer and spiritualist all agreed that a certain client's father was "on the other side" and still in love when he was actually alive and divorced. The father thought it was quite funny.   
In a letter to the editors reference was made to the question of biotransmutation popularized by L. C. Kervran. It points out the previous research by P. Baranger suppressed until after his death, rejected by the French Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Agriculture, privately published in 1977, and that of A. von Herzeele who first noticed the anomalous calcium and potassium measurements as far back as 1875.
   An old mystery, if it is a good one, seems to revive periodically.

  We have now a collection of quite a few Impacts and Back to Genesis issues from the Institute for Creation Research, P. O. Box 2667, El Cajon, CA 92021.
  The announcement of the discovery of land whale fossils earlier this year was examined in one. The Ambulocetus (walking whale) appears remarkably like the wolf-like carnivore, the Mesonyx and was found in layers 400 feet higher than the supposedly ancestral Pakicetus identified from a piece of cranium, two jaw pieces and two teeth in 1983.
  Why put the missing link between a hooved wolf-creature and a whale? A fish-whale like would be more believable.
   On tree rings, they tell of Methuselah the record-holding 4,600-year-old Bristlecone pine discovered in 1957 by Dr. Edward Schulman.
They tell how Charles W. Ferguson, using deadwood rings, made a 8,680-year continuous record of rings, useful in correcting other dating methods, especially beyond 3,000 years ago.   
Not trusting the radio-isotopic dating assumptions, they put the Creation betweem 3,760 B. C. and 15,000 B. C. rather than billions and billions of years ago.
  They look at the fossil record differently than most too. (Could it be objectively?)
  They note that 95% of all fossils are shallow marine invertebrates, mostly shellfish; most of the rest algae and plants or other invertebrates or insects. Only one fossil in 800,000 is vertebrate.

  In Cosmic Mysteries by Time-Life, we did indeed find many mysteries, most in our galaxy and local cluster, but still in our rather chaotic cosmos.
  Putting the still unexplained phenomena discovered by astronomer over the last half-century or so makes it pretty impressive: the triple rings of Puppis (three different colors and spectra for presumably three novae, but all only 800 years old), the high rotation rate of the Milky Way core (implying a central body of
five million solar masses), the unprecedented gamma ray burst of 1979 from (apparently) M49 in the Large Magellanic Cloud, Jupiter's red spot (recently discovered to show chaotic properties), Pluto's unstable orbit, R Aquarii's odd lapses of variability (8 days out of 3870, Sirius B's contradictory low mass and high age, Arietis' silicon spot and 1 kps rotation, epsilon Aurigae's ring apparently
1 A. U. [Astronomical Unit, 149,597,870 km] thick, eta Carinae's old nebula, the IRC +10011 maser [microwave laser] in Pisces, R Corona Borealis' soot ring, Arp's many peculiarly shaped galaxies (Bear Claw, Antennae, The Eyes, Helix, Mice, Pancake, Whirlpool), starburst galaxies, Markarian's blue-ultraviolet galaxies, the
PC1158+4635 quasar with a 4.73 redshift, Bothun's LSB [low surface brightness] galaxies, the four jet NGC1097, HH (Herbig-Haro) hotspots in jets, multiple quasars,and on and on.
  The most amazing thing, as Fort noted earlier in this century, is the amazement of the astronomers when they discover the didn't discover everything already.
   That's not to say that there aren't some experimentalists who just love discovering new things in the heavens. Halton Arp's experience of being denied use of the Cal Tech telescope after he came up with his difficult-to-explain galaxies catalog shows with whom the power lies.

   Switching to archeology we found an ad for Forbidden Archeology by Michael A. Cremo and Richard L. Thompson. It it, so it blurbs, is the evidence for 203 dinosaur prints in the same Cretaceous rock as 57 human prints and a human finger and an iron hammer, a vase from Precambrian rock, a shoeprint from Cambrian and human fossils from Carboniferous, Eocene and Oligocene rock -- all OOPs (out-of-place).

   In Time-Life's The Mysterious World we found many old friends, but also some new ones: the Tzuchinoko of Japan prompts flaps like Bigfoot sightings do in our West, but it's much different -- a pudgy snake that travels by leaping up to six feet or even rolling like a hoop snake. It's also said to have a hypnotic stare. Like
Bigfoot, one has never been captured, but many believe.
  Then there's the cheropterans, bat-like creatures, possibly surviving pterosaurs reported in remote places in this mysterious would.
   The Athol of the jungles of Java is said to have a haunting howl, a flat monkey-like face, a small body with large 12-foot wingspan, like a fruit bat but eating fish.
  Ivan Sanderson, founder of the Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained (SITU), reported a confrontation in the Assumbo mountains of Cameroon in 1932 with the large bat-like Olitiau.
  In Zambia come other reports of the dreaded Kongamato of the Jiundu swamp, with a 4- to 7-foot wingspan and a toothed beak.
  The Owlman of Mawnan, Cornwall, is more humanoid, but still with bat-like wings and (as the name suggests) an owl-like head.
  Finally here's a definition of intelligence we came across recently. How do you rate?
-- responds flexibly to new situations
-- take advantage of fortuitous situations
-- makes sense of ambiguity and paradox
-- synthesizes new by re-examining old