Fortean Mysteries SIG      recent history        issue 49        Newsletter of the Fortean Mysteries SIG of American Mensa          
March 1989            only 200,000 millicents per 3 issues     Published irregularly since Undecember 1658 AC
"The outrageous is the reasonable, if introduced politely."  -- Charles Fort
   Here's the twelfth anniversary issue, done on a borrowed typewriter, but now done under the name of Hierogamous House. This new organization (or is it disorganization?) will consolidate the three SIG newsletters and the other publicationns we do as part of Hierogamous Enterprises. (The other newsletters are the Cauldron of     Mythopoeic SIG and the Norbury Chronicle of Holmesian Studies SIG.)
   In re-reading Charles Fort's Book of the Damned we re-affirm our own antagonism to "the attitudes of the sciences ... which, as we have seen over and over, amounts to paltriness and puerility of scientific dogmas and standards." (BD 156)
   In reading The International Encyclopedia of Astronomy we see scientists are still at it. Martin Rees writes in his Big Bang article: "Cosmologists ... start by using the physics that is validated locally, and making simplifying assumptions about symmetry, homogeneity, etc. There seems to be no reason why the universe should be so ordered that thois permits any real progress -- why the physics studied in the laboratory should apply in quasars thousands of millions of light-years away, and in the early stages of the Big Bang." "There could b other effects insignificant even on the scale of the Solar system, which were nonetheless crucial in galactic nuclei or cosmology."
  Bravo for the "could be"! THat's more than many Big Bangers would admit.
  In his article Rees does note corrections for the assumed scattering of galactic light, the assumed crowding of earlier galaxies, the youngest of stars in earlier galaxies and the assmed uncolided state of earlier galaxies. "Observations" of all these variables he says "must be pursued on a broad front, in hope that all issues will gradually clarify concurrently."
   Assuming grandual and concurrent clarification is quite an assuming. We would think it more productive to work on the Imperfect Cosmological Principle:
(1) The Universe is inhomogeneous,
(2) anisotropic and
(3) variable.
   How long do we have reliable observations that galaxies even exist? All we really have is theories  supported by many assumptions and some starlight. How that starlight came to be as it seems to be is as certainly as we will likely ever find complex rather than simple.
   The anonymous entry on "gluons" concludes with "It is not at all certain how many different types of quarks or gluons exist or even if they do exist!" The same could be said of galaxies.
 If fairness the IEA does include a few astronomers' skeletons: coronium, the hypothetical element which had been thought to exist in the solar corona, now identified as thirteen times ionized oxygen and nitrogen. It leaves out -- damns by omission -- many others like the gelatinous meteorites or the OOPOs (out-of-place objects) found in some, the stories behind rejected constilations: Nubes Major and Minor, Lilium, Cerberus,Tarandus or a favorite of ours, Felis.
   On meteorites it does admit only 180,000 have been collected of the estimated 19,000 per year greater than 100 grams that fall, 2 tonnes out of 1000,000 --- a samples gonot very good for drawing ant reliable conclusions, don't you think?"
  The supernova discovered in 1987, that exploded so astronomers say, in 170,000 BC, is now said to be pulsing at 1968.628 times per second. That's still not too fast a rate of rotaion for some, too much for others. Those at Columbia University are beginning to consider rather than rotation oscillation as a pulsar theory now.
   Maybe they really are as first thought LGMs, Little Green Men attempting to communicate with us.
   The new post-R&D phase of SETI, NASA's search for extraterrestrial intelligence, will computer analyse the frequencies of hundreds of nearby stars for signs of such communication, but assume that such communication will be recognizable as such.
   Are the signals we are sending out to star systems 40 or 50 light-years away signs of intelligence: "I Love Lucy", World War II, "Howdy Doody"?
Dear Mike:
  Find the items in the newsletter refreshing. For any 4-T-N-M's intrigued with coincidences, a rather com-PLEX situation befell me a couple of years ago. I had attended the showing of the movie "Arthur" with Dudley Moore. The celluloid features a Rolls Royce with a license plate, ARTHUR. After the movie as I make my way into traffic from the mall's parking lot onto the main thoroughfare, a car passes my
vehicle with the exact same license plate as the Rolls in the movie, ARTHUR (not quite sure if it was the same state). I figured big deal, "Shyt Hap-N's" right? Not quite.
  The very next time I go to the movies, this time "Greystoke"; the same theater and the same access point to the same thoroughfare, a car passes by with a license plate, GREYSTN, probably for Greystone. Reading a bit of magic into the pyramid, I suppose it had some bearing on my destination, which was my favorite billiard parlor (to get my ROCKS off?)
Sincerely, Mike Styga

[Yes, indeed, strange things do happen -- like the typewriter ribbon running out and then the pen. Doesn't it seem more than mere coincidence? Some conventional theories would be that the films and the inklessness just makes one more aware of similar events, or that its all just autosuggestion -- the plates did not actually say ARTHUR or GREYSTN but something like 437403 or 6351577, that we subconsciously chose a pen about to run out of ink after running out of ribbon in the typewriter.
  But then why GREYSTN rather than GRYSTOK or GREYSTO? Why did the ribbon run out at all?
  If we had more data -- reports of other sightings of the film-license matchings -- we could come up with a more plausibly -- and likely no less unlikely -- theory that this:
"that visitors to this Earth from some other mode of existence, trespassers or secret agents, or emissaries come to do what their own far-advanced people regard as perhaps unmentionable, or anyway, unprintable degradation" -- film watching, car driving -- going primative.
   Dimensions by Jacques Vallee doesn't seem to have much to add to what he's written already in his other books, Anatomy of a Phenomenon, Challenge to Science, Passport to Magonia, Invisible College, The Edge of Reality, Messengers of Deception. His thesis that UFOs are of extradimensional origin has develeoped somewhat with its correlation with computer mesage systems, and with the metalogical. Are these mysterious, often absurd, reports an attempt to change the minds of mankind? By defying the known laws of science is the stage being set for a post-scientific age, a new age in which there are no laws? Neopaganism?
   His theory seems more and more reasonable -- or is that what THEY want us to think?
   Perhaps, we think, it's time now to switch back to the pre-scientific, theological explanations since folklore studies, communication theory and psychology are making it sound all so explained.
   Vallee calls the mind-manipulators EDIs (extradimensional intelligences), the "Shining Ones" or "The White Brotherhood". We prefer "Portae Inferi", "the Gates of Hell" or "Tenebrae" (Darkness) -- what Fort called "a super-evil thing that is exploiting us", "Melanicus".

MENSAN -- superiorly intelligent humanoids originally from alpha Mensae III, a planet orbiting the brightest star of the constellation Mensa, 28.33 light-years from Earth, adaptive enough to pass for and mate with marginal success, responsible for, either directly or indirectly, for advancement of Terran civilization since about 3000 BC.
   From Dr. Michael Baran we have a letter on his new books, Aura Paradigm and his Twilight of the Gods. He theorizes that "all energies are ultimately auric in origin" and that a now obscured catastrophe involving this auric energy deep-down in the Earth's core occured in prehistoric times.
   It certainly sounds like an attempt to positivize, to unite many fortean mysteries under one comprejensive paradigm.
   He invites "open-minded Mensans" to give it some thought. We will and let you know what those thoughts might be.
   On a recent "Bible Answers" the "answer" to "What's a leviathan?" was given: an Egyptian crocodile.
   That fits some of the characteristics of the creature: too great to catch on a fishhook (Job 41:1-2), having a doorlike face surrounded by terrible teeth (Job 41:14), but that much could also apply to many other animals as well.
   Since it's also called "that crooked serpent" Isaiah 27:1) and said to "play in the great wide sea" (Psalm 104:26), it's obviously not a river reptile but a seaserpent.
  It's more than just a "common" seaserpent too, as can be seen from other references. It is roused up by sorcerers and astrologers expecially during eclipses (Psals 3:8), breaths flame -- methan? -- (Psalm 41:18-21, 31) is nothing on this Earth (Psalm 23:33) --extraterrestrial, extradimensional?
   Let's call the origin of this monster Leviatha. If Leviatha was a gas giant or something like the large, cold planets we know, its inhabitants would likely need impenetrable scales (Job 41:15-17) and light-producing sneezes (Job 41:18).
   The croc theory is a crock theory, especially explaining or attempting to explain away the firebreath as steamy breath as seen at night by torchlight.
   In the Bulletin of British Ecological Science 7, pp. 2-5 (1976) P. J. Hogarth theorizes that dragons, often suspected as close relatives to the seaserpent, lived between 1000 and 10,000 years, became an endangered species about 1345 (see edict of king of Rhodes). Robert May in Nature 264:16 favors their origin from hexapods and so relatedto griffins and centaurs, the winged four-footed creatures, rather than the two-legged wyvern or the wingless, legless seaserpent.
   The Monstrator hypothesis does not seem adequate for all monsters, though, as Fort wrote, some so-called dinosaur reconstructions might be something else. Sea serpent remains or fossils would be especially hard to find since they're likely at the bottom of the sea, the bottom of the deep, blue sea.
   In the chapter entitled "Footsteps into the Unknown" in Facts and Fallacies are many short pieces on fortean subjects. If anyone has any particular interest please write. It's a rather good expedition beyond the known ...
Aura (see above), the Talarico possession, the Blackman jink, firewalking, occult physics, re-incarnation, Hessdalen's UFO, automatic writing, the Jourdain-Moberly postcognition experience, the Khan vision, the Beaulieu ghosts, Raymond Lodge, human magnets, the Guiness premonition, the Thoulass reward, D. D. Home, Jung's vision, Spontaneous Human Combustion, Dunn's vision, the Glastonbury ghosts, Winchester House, St. John Bosco, doppelgangers, kangaroo appearances
   In the chapter called "Intriguing and Unsolved Mysteries" is another list, most of the phenomenon have some solutions but not such that the mystery and intrigue is absolutely excluded -- but then when is it ever? Which intrigues you?
   Napoleon's death, cholera, Piri Re'is map, Devereux UFO theory, Robin Hood's identity, the Cross Experiment, mystery hills, leys, the Milton turtle, the Voynich manuscript, comet flu, the headless horseman, beached whales, blueskins, double dawn, Mozart's death, the dinosaurs' extermination, Sai Baba, Jesus, Hameln the grail, Sundar Singh, Martin Guerre, Glenn Miller, mazes.
  Anyone who has read Fort's Book of the Damned should be familiar with Azuria, his hypothetical origin for the blue-skinned ancient Britons amalgamated into the Soots by the 9th century, whose descendants used woad to make themselves bluer. He mentions an atavistic blue child reported in Annals of Philosophy 14-51. There is also the legendary blue men of the Shiant Islands marooned there by Norwegian pirates in the 9th century.
   In our own records we have more on the case mentioned Fact and Fallacies: 11 elderly,  alcoholic men turned bright blue after eating oatmeal at "the Eclipse" in which the salt shaker had accidentally been filled with sodium nitrate, a food preservative, rather than sodium chloride. They also suffered from shock, diarrhea and lack of oxygen. Sodium nitrate overdose does not explain a healthy blue-skinned person.
   The famed arsenic-eaters of Switzerland however have built up a tolerance to arsenic and are able to take what would be an overdose for a so-called normal person. Perhaps the Blueskins have such a tolerance for sodium nitrate rather than for arsenic trioxide.
   We can't help but be reminded of the blue rose, the mystic symbol of nameless longings of the perfect, the beautiful of German romanticism and the quest object of the theif of Bagdad.
   Perhaps Blueskins however wouldn't help this world of whites, blacks, reds and yellows any more than did the boy with green hair or the blue-skinned smurfs. Yet perhaps 'twould.