Fortean Mysteries SIG recent history issue 53 Newsletter of the Fortean Mysteries SIG of American Mensa
only 200,000 millicents per 3 issues Published irregularly since Undecember 1658 AC
"The outrageous is the reasonable, if introduced politely."
-- Charles Fort
"Things Science cannot yet explain" have always intrigued me. Even though I've never heard of Charles Fort, and I am a skeptic at heart, I have an open mind about all things. I also like to stay informed of the cutting edge of modern science, and I find it pleasurably odd how many "unexplainable"things and "hoaxes" suddenly become "scientific fact."
-- Steve Martovy
[Fort pioneered such intriguing oddity studies in his books written 1919-31.]
I ran across the below mentioned organizations recently (while doing some related research). Didn't know if you knew they existed. They are:
International Fortean Organization, P.O. Box 367, Arlington, VA 22210 and Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained,
Box 265, Little Silver, NJ 07739.
Hope you're having loads of success with your SIG.
-- Fred Beeman
[Thanks. We once, in wealthier days, belonged to both organizations, but have not been in contact for years.]
Friday I went to a meeting of Forteans in Bethesda. A member gave a talk on the Anubis Cave in Oklahoma. Celts, Egyptians and a Mithraic shrine (circa A.D. 330). Good stuff!
-- Eric McKeever
Cults That Kill tells about an actual occult police force like that described by Fort in his Wild Talents (1932) which fights demonic forces with, as he puts it, pseudo-human incongruity, quasi-attributes not naturally accountable -- imaginative, yet as if an after-thought.
Ex-captain Dale Griffins is mentioned as an expert in such an unofficial undercover group of investigators, rather like the LEIU (Law Enforcers and Investigators Union), specializing in occult crime.
They face harassment and misunderstanding from the official police agencies. They track cults, child slavers, drug and gunrunners, abductors, murderers. They would, in their zeal, tend to use unofficial policies -- like passing on confidential and classified information, ignoring procedure, channels of command, even the court.
Fort says: "and takes teleportation means to remove suspicion -- often solving one problem, only by making another, but relying upon conventionalizations of Human thought to supply cloakery." Sounds like the work of the Boss' agent Jonathan ("Highway to Heaven").
The author of Cults warns: "I think there is a high risk of flakiness out there. You have to keep your feet solidly on the ground and keep listening to what is there and keep comparing. Drawing a lot of conclusions isn't what's important. What's important is to hear and collect the information and make sence out of it."
We see that the Time-Life series, Mysteries of the Unknown, now contains even more forteana:
The UFO Phenomenon
Visions and Prophesies
Mind Over Matter
Ancient Wisdom and Secret Sects
Powers of Healing
Search for the Soul
Dreams and Dreaming
The National Geographic Picture Atlas of our Universe by Michael Collins includes some interesting creatures illustrated by Michael Whelan:
the brinker-roo of Europa with skate-feet for travelling across its smooth surface, photo-synthesizing green skin, backcoils to tap Jupiter's magnetism and a long tail for balance
the jellyblimp of Jupiter with a blimp-like gasbag and a jellyfish like body hung from it
the oucher-poucher of Venus with inflating pouch-like bellies upon which it bounces between meals of metals
the waterseeker of Mars with large blanket-like ears, ice-probing snout, furry ultraviolet-shading tail and long legs
Are they real or are they -- not?
The Power by James Mills also would likely be classified as fiction, a spy thriller dealing with paranormal weaponry, specifically Soviet psychotronics. Mills claims that such use of ultrasound and electromagnetic radiation may exlain the "unaccountable weeping" and depression reported during Reagan's trip to the USSR and Carter's trip to Vienna.
Long-distance mind-control would be one of the future crimes suggested by Fort -- now no longer future?
The "Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers" of all places August 21 had an interesting new theory for the cause for dinosaur extinction -- microcephalic gigantism.
The theory, as formulated by Steggy, an alien visitor to Earth is that his ancestor visited our planet long ago -- small-sized but proportionately large-brained lizard-creatures. Upon eating Earth food however their bodies grew, while their brains didn't. They grew bigger and bigger and stupider and stupider, until ... they became too stupid to survive.
The theory not only explains where dinosaurs came from, but why they developed as they did and why they died out.
Might the same thing have caused the extinction of the Neanderthalers? Or Gigantopithecus? Were they originally smaller, more intelligent speciaes?
The Aug. 6 "Adventure" was the search for the Yeren. "The Wildman of China". An anthropologist and a cryptozoologist (who else -- Richard Mackal) travelled from the Wanxian Wildman Institute to the wilderness. The hair they brought back tested as an unknown primate with both Human and ape characteristics.
The Los Alamos, NM, Nat. Lab found that Jupiter discharges 216 terawatts (189,000 times that needed for Dr. Elliot Brown's timetravelling Delorian, 1080 times the average lightning bolt) across 270 million km every 27 days to the Earth's S. Pole ionosphere -- which happens to have a hole in it!
Jacques Lasker of the French Bureau of Longitudes has used a parallel processor to caculate the stability of the solar system. It's less than expected -- Pluto diverged by 272% over 20 million years.
An interesting detail is however that the least error occured when the calculations were made based on cycles of 32.7 days. What might that mean?
As a feature shown with "Amazon Women on the Moon" the intersting show, "Baloney or Not" dramatized the theory that Jack the Ripper and Nessie are the same creature -- is it baloney, or not?
The hunt for the Fifth Force continues. Peter Thieberger sets its strength at 1% of that of gravitation; Paul Boynton makes it isospin-dependant. Theoretically it would be mediated by a "graviphoton" intermediate between the graviton and the photon with a mass 10^-17 that of the proton.
Accrding to superstring theory other possible elementary particles with a mass of say a hundredth the mass would mediate a force with a range of about ten kilometers -- the height of the Neutral Zone Fort wrote of.
In an effort to better acquaint Mpossibilities readers unfamiliar with Fort to his style we wil be reintroducing our Fortean Word List, beginning with:
quasi-terms are terms used to describe subjects not finally or absolutely but continuously, by adjustments to the disequilibrum between that which was and that yet to be.
Quasi Fort used as an adjective for anythingwith quasiness, a distortion from the truly Real, the real-unreal striving for realness.
quasi-delusion is the seeming agreement with false and arbitrary standards made by man which change with time, such as, the currently popular theory of theology
Quasidifferent describes the not truly different, say the True and untrue but things inter-continuous, saygreen-blue and blue-green.
Quasi-existence is that state commonly called "existence" between Positiveness and Negativeness attempting to become Real while containing nothing more than preposterousness and phantomosities.
Quasi-intellection is the inconsistency and discordant striving for consistency and harmony, found in many forms.
Quasi-logic is that seemingly logical process which however can lead to no positive proof since it is based on the axiom that all phenomena merge into each other.
Quasiness is that positive/negative state intermediate between the allness of Oneness and the nothingness of duality, the essential quality of quasi-existence.
Quasi-organization is pseudo-construction, such as Science, is more than mere inquiry, actually an attempt to break away and locally establish Harmony, Stability, Equilibrium,
Quasi-person is what we are now, not yet final unity, not able to judge other indeterminate parts of quasi-existence.
Quasi-soul, usually used by Fort to a datum excluded by Science.
The illustrations scattered throughout this issue [but not available on the website] are fractals,geometric forms generated by repeated application of simple rules invented by Benoit Mandelbrot in 1975.
On page two a right triangle and its first transformation are shown; one large triangle is replaced by three similar ones one forth the size. On page 3 this substitution is continued for these smaller triangles, then for the smaller triangles thus produced and so on for steps 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 (enlarged to show detail.)
The final (assymptotically) figure would be a figure somewhere between one and two dimensions, between a triangles perimeter and its are, a Hausdorff-Bescovitch dimension.
Page four shows how fractals are being used to simulate natural designs. A mere 2-kilobyte algorithm can generate a megapixel picture -- a picture worth only 400 words worth of information.
Page five shows the unexpected patterns generated by simpleprograms. Notice how the pattern reproduses at ever smaller scales.