Fortean Mysteries SIG      recent history        issue 57        Newsletter of the Fortean Mysteries SIG of American Mensa          
  only 200,000 millicents per 3 issues     Published irregularly since Undecember 1658 AC
"Everything in our experience is only part of something else that in turn is only a part of something else ..." -- Charles Fort

  If you've been reading the Mensa Bulletin letter section, you may have seen the ones on imaginary powers. In May [1992] Monty Walker noted the interesting fact that i^i = e^-p/2 [which equals 0.269794397...] and in September Neil Kelvie clarified that to i^i = e^-p/2 + 2pn.
  What we've found to be most interesting is using this number as the base for a number system.
  The unit's place as in base ten is (i^i)^0 = 1. The next is i^i, then (i^i)^2 = i^2i, (i^i)^3 = i^3i, etc.
  In this base, for example, 10 would mean i^i = e^-p/2 + 2pn = ... e^-9p/2, e^-5p/2, e^-p/2, e^3p/2, e^7p/2, e^11p/2, ..., an infinite number of numbers, and transcendental one at that (in base ten: ... 0.00000072..., 0.00186744..., 0.20787958..., 111.31778..., 59,609.742..., 31,920,519.....)
  Taking significance into account and rounding to the appropriate accuracies we have such equivalencies as: 1 ~= 10000 ~= 1 (base 10) = 110, 10003 ~= 4000 ~= 410, 1000 ~= 10004 = 510, 11000 ~= 10005 ~= 6, 91000 ~= 11008 ~= 1019 ~= 1410, etc.
  The numbers i^2ni are especially interesting because they are all new square roots to one since i^2i x i^2i = 0.0432139... x 23.140468... = 1, i^4i x i^4i = 0.0018674... x 535.49166... = 1, i^6i x i^6i = 0.0000807... x 12,391.527... = 1, ... -- hypernumbers.
  One is, we must remember, only one of the infinite number of products resulting.
  Taking the lowwest unused positive value for each power we get:
1 (base i^i) = 1 (base 10); 10 = 111.31779...; 100 = 23.140468...; 1,000 = 4.8103751...; 10,000 = 535.49166...; 100,000 = 59,609.748...; 1,000,000 = 12,391.527...; 10,000,000 = 2,575.965...; etc. which makes the most space-effecient use of the possibilities and yet is 94% redundant!
   1992.51948..., (decimal for 1992, July 7, 05:44:24 pm, the approximate date of this writing ) would, for example, be 3(535.49166...) + 3(111.31779...) + 2(23.140468...) + 1(4.8103751...) + 1(1.000000...) = 31231 (base ii).

  Robert Humphreys asks: "You wouldn't happen to be into gnosticism, would you?"
  [No, neither gnosticism, nor agnosticism. We would identify with epignosticism, a term we just "happened" to come across after receiving your letter, in Tabletalk.
  The author of the article derived it from the Greek word used by St. Paul in his letter to the Colossians, ch. 1, v. 9. It's perfect for fortean use too, meaning "knowledge beyond the pseudo-knowledge of the gnostics", "knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding."
  It implies the attitude of Fort that no human-originated thought is worthy of belief. Forteans are not mere collectors of meaningless data. We are seekers of understanding, believers in Meaning, Truth and the Fortean way.]

  Nearby Cold Spring, KY, was the scene of belief and disbelief in late July [1992]. Some claimed to have seen visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVMs) just as had been preannounced. Others didn't see exactly what they expected not to.
  A personal friend of ours who was there tells of a bright light that passed through the stained glass window, not an outside light, but a travelling light source. Not only did it happen at St. Joseph Church that night, but when he was telling his brother about it later in Cincinnati, a similar brilliant presence was seen passing through one window and out the other and so bright that even with his head turned away from it his brother noticed the brightness over and above the already well lit room.
  It seems too much of a coincidence even if the first might have been "just" ball lightning. Maybe ball lightning is a side effect of otherworldly visitors?

  On "Sightings" Oct. 16th [1992] was a feature on the Greys. David Jacobs in his book, Secret Life, and in an interview tells of claims of alien kidnappers who seem to be experimenting surgically on their victims.
  The Greys are described as grey-skinned, with dark almond-shaped eyes and large heads. Sometimes other aliens are also remembered among them: praying mantis-like ones and reptilians -- all of them frightening, remembered only vaguely in  nightmares or while under hypnosis.
  We couldn't help but note the similarity when the next week the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" eoisode had a very similar story like it about kidnappers from subspace. [Oct. 19th's "Schisms" by Jean Louise Matthias and Ron Wilkerson] Could that be where they come from?

  On the occasion of All Hallow's Eve here is a reprinting of the handy classification system of Christiana Larner from her book, Witchcraft and Religion (Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1984) from Mpossiblitis 38:1).
   Larner classifies by complexity, and degree of involvement by both Human and inhuman parties.
[See psionics.]

  "... much celebration,
because of the solemn agreements of nations
to scrap their battleships and armed aeroplanes --  
 outlawry of poison gases, and the melting of cannon --    
 once it is recognized that these things aren't worth a dam
 in the Era of Witchcraft."
-- Charles Fort (Wild Talents)

  The Fort-Night '92 aka The 17th Annual Conference on Anomalous Phenomena, featured talks on the Roswell UFO case, crop circles, geomancy and Patience Worth.
  Why would forteans continue to talk about such things: military cover-ups, hoaxes, superstition? If we do live in a continuum, they all merge into each other and into "The Truth", so why not?
   What happened in Roswell, NM, in 1947? Was it a secret aircraft? A UFO crash? Was it taken to Carswell AFB, TX? Or somewhere else?
   Was Pearl Lenore Curran an early channeller? A cryptomnesiac? A fraud? What happened in St. Louis in 1913?
   Could crop circles be caused by plasma balls as Yoshi-Hiko Ohtsaki theorizes? Could they be as Fort wrote of cup marks "an attempt from Somewhere, to communicate" "given that a force, say like electric force, could from a distance, mark such a substance as rocks, as, from a distance of hundreds of miles ..." Could they?

  We've come across references to both Fort and forteans recently. In the Time-Life book, Vanishings in their Library of Curious and Unusual Facts series , Charles Fort is mentioned by name as "the eccentric author" and unnamed as "a supernaturalist".
   In the World Almanac's Book of the Strange, in the chapter on Strange Groups are the forteans. The editors describe us as doubters of most scientific theories, collectors of reports, sorters of facts from report, logic from bias, "so varied in style, intellect and interests that no single description will fit all ... while most modern forteans are considerably less zany and entertaining than Charles Fort, they retain his inexhaustible capacity for gathering reports of unusual phenomena and are worth hours of fascinating conversation."
   These vanishings [mentioned in Vanishings] of people,animals, things, even places remind us of the zoogs -- small, brown secretive creatures, said to know many obscure secrets best left untold and responsible for certain unexplained rumors, events and disappearances in Europe and America.
  "Zoog" prompts me to think of other z-words, other creatures that seem to have disappeared: like
the zable (small, yellow-furry humanoid with white feet and middle),
the zagh (human-faced, speaking crow),
the zamp (arboreal, pink-topped, green-eyed, orange-furred humanoid),
the stubborn zax,
the large and lazy zelf,
the intelligent and crystalline zistle,
the giant bird the ziz,
the yellow and pink striped zlock,
the beaked and bald zook and
the large orange zower.
(Some handy words [mostly from Dr. Seuss] for playing scrabble, eh? )
 In this Book of the Strange are many entertaining and a few even zany articles.
  The PMIR theory of Dr. Rex G. Stanford of the Center for Paraphychological Research, Austin, TX, is a contender. It seems a classic case of bamboozlement, as Fort uses the it, an attempt to conventionalize human thought, to supply cloakery for the naked truth, to stop inquiry.
  The initials stand for Psi-Mediated Instrumental Response, what would have in former times or by nonparapsychologists have been called answered prayer.
  When a person is aware of a need PMIR is most likely to assist
(1) if the person is not focusing on the need (as when praying for
other or praising God),
(2) when the person feels incapable of doing anything about the need (as when he or she would pray for help),
(3) when the person believes he or she has made the proper appeal to an outside force, usually supernatural. for help and
(4) that it is now up to that outside force to help and feels that things are already working out helpfully.
  It looks like supernatural intervention and acts like supernatural intervention, couldn't it be supernatural intervention? Why bother theorizing about some indefinable psi ability when there's a perfectly understandable supernatural
  Fort's observation was that an era's Dominant attracts pseudothought like a magnet does filings and misdirects away from previous and future truths. Prayer power seems to be Stanford's taboo topic.

  A recent "Miracles and Other Wonders" program illustrated these supernatural happenings with four interesting examples.
  Cassie Anders of Beels, WY, was saved from freezing in a blizzard by a woman who came to here with a coat, the coat of the woman's daughter who had died in a blizzard, a Mrs. Lila Morgan. She called Cassie's father who came and got her.
  What's so mysterious about that? For one Will Anders had a premonition that something was wrong and left his work early, thought he'd forgotten some important papers and returned just in time to get Mrs. Morgan's call. (There's more.) Cassie claimed the woman was with her the whole time, until Will got there.
  When they managed to find Mrs. Morgan they learned that she was confined to a wheelchair and had been paralyzed for the past six years. Yet Cassie had a button from the coat that had saved her from freezing, a button from the coat Mrs. Morgan's daughter had when she had died. (We feel like adding "believe it or not", but we won't.)