Phenomena : strange naturally occurring phenomena that
science cannot yet define or explain. The Fortean Times
is a magazine that is dedicated to this type of phenomena
and presents some strange and unusual happenings in a
lively easy to read manner. An extract that appears in
each issue helps to define the term Fortean: "The Fortean
Times is a monthly magazine, of news, reviews and research
on strange phenomena and curiosities, prodigies and portents.
It was founded in 1973 to continue the work of Charles
Throughout his life, Fort was sceptical about scientific
explanations, observing how scientists argued according
to their own beliefs rather than the rules of evidence
and that inconvenient data was ignored, suppressed, discredited
or explained away (which is quite different from explaining
a thing). Fort born of Dutch stock in Albany, New York,
spent many years researching scientific literature, in
the New York Public Library and the British museum Library.
He marshalled his evidence and set forth his philosophy
in the: Book of the Dammed (1919), New Lands (1923), Lo!
(1931) and Wild Talents (1932). His dictum "One measures
a circle beginning anywhere" expresses his philosophy
of Continuity in which everything is in an intermediate
state between extremes. He has ideas of the universe-as-organism
and the transient nature of all apparent phenomena. He
coined the term 'teleportation' and was perhaps the first
to speculate that mysterious lights seen in the sky might
be craft from outer space.
However he cut at the roots of credulity: "I conceive
of nothing, in religion, science or philosophy that is
more than the proper thing to wear, for a while"