Fortean Mysteries SIG      recent history        issue 70         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."  (Matthew 19:26)

  We wanted to hurry and get another issue out this month because it's our 22th anniversary! Who would have imagined it -- so many of you sending in your quarters and stamps for the unknown, for "mpossibilities" for so many years. Besides we've got some interesting (we think stuff to share.)

  We recently got through interlibrary loan a rare copy of Outcast Manufacturers (1904) by Charles Fort, of his ten novels the only one published. It was interesting, another look into the mind of the author of the fantastic but non-fictional Book of the Damned (1919), New Lands (1923), Lo! (1929), and Wild Talents (1932).
  The title characters are a motley group of entrepenteurs led by gradeschool dropout Isaac Birtwhistle, founder of the Universal Manufacturing Co., which seems to manufacture anything with whom young Sim Rakes becomes involved. Actually they are just middlemen rerouting orders they receive to the actual manufacturers of the items they advertise.
  Mr. Birtwhistle's described as a "bulky man ... his suspenders hanging in two loops behind him; a man with a large face, curiously flat and white of nose tip, chin tip and cheek-bones; such a face as bakers see pressed white and flat against their
window", or rather like that in the current cheese commercial.
  Mrs. Delia Birtwhistle "piled her hair into a high toppling peak; her face was sallow; under a short upper lip were two exposed white teeth, standing out like only two kernels upon a scraped, sallow ear of corn."
  Miss Guffy was "a woman, with one shoulder somewhat lower than the other; with shoulders roundered so that she was almost humpbacked; her hair was black and shiny and compact with komade; parted in the middle, this heavy hair, smooth and shiny, looked like the slightly parted wing-cases of a monstrous beetle. The
woman wore a glaring red waist, ribbons of a lighter, and even more glaring red, at her elbows."
  Asbury Parker was a "man; hair cut in the shape of a chopping bowl, worn down over his ears -- or, ear, for one ear was gone." They all get back into their apartments after being evicted because their landlord, Mr. McKicker, doesn't want the scandal now that he's running for councilman.
  Sim was a "very young man with half-closed eyelids and wide irregular, heavy lips; lids and lips like a fleeting impression of the stubby nails and fingers idly dropping a skein of worsted."
  Their servantgirl neices, Emma and Katie Dunphies, are just as unique. One was "a potted-palm young woman, short and broad -- dressed in a suit of flowerpot color", the other a "straight-up-and-down young person, dressed in white. Had she stood very still, with her big colorless, round face, she might possibly have been mistaken for an aquarium globe on a marble pedestal." They ended up with Rev. Dr. Pie Tamish Ramskatta Hamish Manthra Maja Ottman Math-el-Kharman who worships the 340,000-year-old Mazdazmast and teaching only 6 ounces of wheat per day for "telepathic realization".

  When we searched for "Charles Fort" on the library computer we got:
The Cosmic Joker by Brian Innes (1999),
Fortean Studies I ed. by Steve Moore reviewed by Folklore in 1997, by Sceptical Inquirer in 1995,
The Damned Universe of Charles Fort by Louis Kaplan (1993),
The Wonderful World of the Wild and the Weird: Best of the Fortean Times ed. by Alan Sisman (1992),
Apocalypse Culture [latter-day lycanthropy] (1990),  
Charles Fort Never Mentioned Wombats by Gene DeWeese [fiction] (1977), Charles Fort, the Flying Saucers and UFOs: A Survey of the UFO Mystery from Aug. 1895 to Aug. 1947 by Loren E. Gross (1976),
Charles Fort: Prophet of the Unexplained [biography] (1971),
Doubt (the Fortean Society magazine) 1937-45,
"Charles Fort: A Radical Corpuscle" by Sam Moskowitz (reprinted
from 1906).

  When we searched "fortean" we found excerpts from the April Fortean Times ( with its sensationalistic "Alien Sex" feature story.
  Therein Nigel Watson recounts the classic tale of Antonio Villas Boas, which he calls "probably the most famous case of interstellar intercourse". A beautiful, fair-haired, naked woman had sex with him while he was on board the alien ship. "Before leaving she turned to [Antonio], pointed to her belly, and smiling pointed to the sky." This was back on Oct. 16, 1957. Since then there have been many similar stories, but not often from men.
  Howard Menger divorced his wife and married his beautiful, blonde 500-year-old alien Marla (aka Connie Weber). Truman Bethurum's wife cited alien Aura Rhanes in her divorce petition. More recently Whitley (Communion) Steiber described a "living" probe being put inside him.
  More common have been stories like Elizabeth Klarer's falling in love with Akon of the planet Meton. In 1956 he claimed "only a few are chosen for breeding purposes". Now interplanetary breeding is accepted ufology, though more often unvoluntary, very much like the medieval witch's tales of succubi and incubi.
  Watson refers to a recent study by James Pontolillo which traces both to fear of female sexuality and Rogerson who traces much of the typical alien sex tale (including the Oz factor) to novel (?) The Terror Above Us by Malcolm Kent (1967). Peter Brookesmith compares aliens unfavorably with human fertility experts -- but then we're the alien ones to them.
   His conclusion leaves something to be desired though: "Either the alien have been conducting their beastly experiments for millennia, or such stories meet some deep-seated socio-psychological need. Until any solid medical evidence is provided, the latter hypothesis seems the more likely." It could also be that both are true aliens have been experimenting and abductees needs are also met. It could be that there are demon and/or fairies impersonating extraterrestrial aliens -- . It could be that the X-Files explanation's true -- the government (whoever that is) and aliens are mixing hoax and horror. Something mysterious has been happening and the explanation's not likely to be the likeliest one.
  Fortean Times 121 also has an article on "Alternative 3", (A3) the television show, the book, the phenomenon. If it's true, as Nick Austin writes, "No one in their right mind could have seen it as anything else, whether at the time of the original  television transmission on 20 June 1977 or when the paperback book was published nine months later, in March 1978.", then there are a lot of people not in their right minds -- or a lot, like moi, who have never either seen or read A3, but only heard the rumors.
  Reminds me of the excitement caused by that documentary-like made-for-tv-movie about nuclear terrorism that quite a few believed was real -- shades of "War of the Worlds", eh? (See Fortean Times 120.) And A3 involves Mars too.
  Austin's articles noteworthy in that he in passing mentions wanting to emulate "The Magic Christian", Guy Grand from the short novel of the same name "with a natural built-in appeal to most Fortean Times Readers".
  His attempt however -- justifying his book's classification as "World Affairs/Speculation" got him in trouble with a government official "concerned for those of his constituents who might .. become upset at the horrific 'facts' exposed." Give me a break!
Are the madmen running the asylum? Yes, I guess they are. If so, perhaps Y2K'll be a problem after all. Still I think that means there'll be an even greater need for
magic Christians and cosmic jokers.

  Mathemathically we've been further investigating the properties of HOTPO (Mpossibilities 59.5), TOSCOD (67) and DENEAT (69) and find they categorize integers in quite different ways.
  For the operation HOTPO (half-or-triple-plus-one) we get ever larger sets:
0: 1; 1: 0, 2; 2: 4; 3: 8; 4: 16; 5: 5, 32; 6: 10, 64; 7: 3, 20, 21, 128; 8: 6, 40, 42, 256;

9: 12, 13, 80, 84, 85, 512;  10: 24, 26, 28, 160, 168, 170, 1024; 11: 9, 48, 52, 53, 56, 320, 336, 340, 341, 2048; 12: 17, 18, 96, 104, 106, 112, 113, 640, 672, 680, 682, 4096; 13: 34, 35, 36, 37, 192, 208, 212, 213, 224, 226, 227, 1280,
1344, 1360, 1364, 1365, 8192;

14: 11, 12, 68, 69, 70, 72, 74, 75, 384, 416, 424, 426, 448, 452, 453, 454, 456, 2560, 2688, 2720, 2730, 2768, 16384, ...

  For TOSCOD (triple-or-sum-of-cubes-of-digits) we get infinite sets after the target set:
0: 153;
1: 51, 135, 315, 351, 513, 531, 1035, 1053, 1305, ...;
2: 17, 18, 27, 45, 72, 81, 105, 150, 117, 171, 177, 345, 351, 435,
3: 6, 9, 15, 24, 27, 35, 39, 42, 50, 57, 59, 115, 145, 237,
239, 257, 1458, ...;
4: 8, 13, 19, 42,  99, ...;
5: 33, 234, 243,
324, 342, 423, 432 ...;
6: 66; 7: 114, 141, 411 ...;
8: 225, 252,
522 ...;
9 126, 162, 216, 612, 621 ...;
10: 6 ...
   For DENEAT (digits, even, not even and total) we get just five categories [designating even digits with "e" and not even with "n" recursively], the first finite, the others infinite:
0: 123;
 1: en
2, nen, n2e;
2: e, en, ne, en, een, ene, nee, enn, enee, enn, nenn, nen;
3: ee, eene, (en)e, (ne)e;
4: ne;
5: nn

  Then there's some new ways to get high we've discovered (invented?). The first we call the tacforial. That's a spoonerism of "factorial". The factorial, as you may already know, is n! = n(n-1)(n-2)...2. So 2! = 2, 3! = 6, 4! = 24, etc. The tacforial
would be a higher function analogous to the factorial; rather than ever decreasing factors multiplied together it would be ever decreasing stacked exponentials: !n = (...(n^(n-1))^(n-2)...)^2.
  Going yet higher we can use the tacforial with tetration (i. e., m^^n = m stacked exponentially n times) to represent a certain kind of pentation: !nm = 2^^(3**(...(m-1)^^m...) Combining these we can get the even more powerful tactorial [tacforial + factorial], (n^!)^^!.
   Applying the factorial, tacforial and tactorial recursively to the already recursive generalized exponentials gives even higher, more mind boggling, numbers. (n^!)^^! = 1! =1, 2!! = 2, 3!!! > (6(10^6,779,510))!, etc.
(!^n)n =  !1 = 1, !!2 = 2, !!!3 = !!27 > !(8(10^^2)^42+), etc.
  The Ackerman Generalized Exponential, fyi, is indicated by g(a, b, c) where a is the operator number (1 addition, 2 multiplication, 3 exponentiation, 4 tetration, 5 pentation, etc.), b the number of applications of the operation, c the number
operated on, so that
g(1, a, b) = ab,
g(2, a, b) = ba = b(b)...(b),
g(3, a, b) = ab = (...((bb)b)...)b, etc.
  The Recursive Generalized Exponential we have defined as:
g^n(a, b, c) = g(a, g(a, ..., b, ..., c), c) where the recursion index, n, can in turn be an RGE, as in g^g(a, b, c)(d, e, f) or even, again analogously with exponentiation and tetration, g(a, b, c)g(d, e, f) -- and now also including: g^^n!(a, b, c), g^!(a, b, c), and g^(n^!)^^!(a, b, c).
   For example the RGE tactorial, !n!g(!nn!n, !nn!n, !nn!n) generates the series:
1, g^g(2, 2, 2)(2, 2, 2) = g^4(2, 2, 2) = g(2, g(2, g(2, g(2, 2, 2), 2), 2), 2) = g(2, g(2, g(2, 4, 2), 2), 2) = g(2, g(2, 16, 2), 2) = g(2, 65536, 2) = 265,536 = 2.0844333... x
10197,283, !!!((6+ x 106,779,510)!)g(!!!((6+ x 106,779,510)!),!!!((6+ x 106,779,510)!), !!!((6+ x 106,779,510)!))=
[The rest is left as an exercise for the reader.]