Phenomena File

Phenomena File in honour of Charles Fort and the magazine dedicated to his philosophy; Fortean Times. Yes I am a big fan of this mag and urge you to subscribe (You get a mag by post and a digital version too.)

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Here are a collection of some of my fave bits from recent editions.

The Berenstein Bears never existed, there is no such thing.

This and other quandaries are solved at the foot of the page


I am guilty of a schema or two…

A schema is a collection of memories all viewed as one for easier management.

Your shovel everything into one event to make it easier to tell and recall.

I do this with anecdotes, for instance my dad’s tales about steam train days; I jumble them all into one and have them happen to the same engine driver over and over instead of remembering different names etc.

Memory Study

Studies show that when people confess falsely under pressure that aggressive thoughts are more easily placed, especially in aggressive people.


There has never been such a thing as Looney Toons, it does not exist.


‘To draw a circle one may start anywhere,’ Charles Fort


X Factor reality blip

Project blue book which collected reports of UFOs by the US Air Force from 1952 to 1969 site investigations by an FBI Agent called Scully. Yes unexplained phenomenon were actually investigated by an Agent Scully.


There is no such thing as the North Yorkshire Moors.


The Large Hadron Collider has caused much concern. Deep underground in Switzerland and operated by CERN it is even been blamed for the end of the world. Luckily it has also been blamed for starting the world over again, so that’s lucky.

Stephen Hawking said that if CERN found the ‘God-particle’ (which they did) it could indeed destroy the universe.

CERN’s own website states that one way of detecting alternative universes would be to create mini-blackholes. They do reassure us that if such events were to happen they would disappear quite rapidly.

CERN Computer Banks

Now I would refer you to Fortean Times for all of this, except this last bit I am not sure where I read it, or of I have got it quite right). When the thing broke down the scores of scientists working on it were asked to report and two separate employees, who did not work together, said that it didn’t break down, it worked for about 21 years, then it broke down. It the reset itself, but couldn’t quite get back to the beginning. We are therefore reliving the current 21 year period all over again (and that is why it is all going so weird?).

“People with a psychological need to believe in marvels are no more prejudiced and gullible than people with a psychological need not to believe in marvels.”

― Charles Fort

The Monopoly on Never Happened

The character on the Monopoly box, Lord Pennybags, never has ever had a monocle.

Zebra spotting

A recent article on the folklore of allotment gardening talked of Mother-stones. Deep down below the earth is the Mother-stone. If you have stoney ground she is definitely under there. And the more you dig the more you will dig up stones, unless, you dig deep enough to find the Mother-stone. As a gardener I am convinced that this is right.

‘None-existence of evidence is not evidence of none-existence.’ Charles Fort

C3PO was not all gold

Murmurations of a Sea-monster

The Fortean Times newsman Paul Seiveking recently retired and here are a few of his snippets of news from across the decades.

In 1993 a suspicious looking package was discovered outside the Territorial Army headquarters in Bristol and was reported to the police who called in the bomb squad. After they exploded the package they discovered it contained leaflets advising on how to deal with suspicious packages.

While on holiday in Tunisia Albert and Betty Cheetham were sat in their hotel next to Albert and Betty Rivers.  It turned out both couples had been married at 2pm on the 15th August 1942. Each had two sons born in 1943 and 1945 and five grandchildren. Mr Cheetham, 77, had worked in the railway coach building industry in Derby – Mr Rivers, 76, had worked in the same industry in Swindon, Wiltshire. Their wives had both worked for the post office and had lost their engagement rings and were wearing identical watch bracelet which had been broken and repaired at exactly the same point. They had booked their holidays at the same time and had flow on the same day.

Frank an off-duty policeman went shopping with his wife Carol in July 1996 in Liverpool city centre. Carol went to Dillon’s bookstore in Bold street and Frank went to to buy a CD in Ranalagh street. About twenty later he strolled up the incline from Central station to go and meet his wife and he noticed an unnatural quietness. The road was cobbled and people were wearing fifties clothing. He was startled by a large horn and box van sped passed narrowly missing him, it had the name Caplan’s painted on the side. Crossing the road he saw that in place of Dillon’s was a large store with the name Cripps painted over the double entrance, it was stocked with women’s shoes and handbags. He noticed a young women dressed in the style of the mid nineties – hipsters and sleeveless top, with a bag from Miss Selfridge. she entered Cripps and looked baffled, suddenly the whole street scene reverted back to 1990’s. He asked her if she has seen the same things as he had and she said that she had and appeared frightened. The story was later told on local radio and it turns out there did used to be a store called Cripps and several people came forward to say they had had similar experiences in that area.

A regular feature


They are called the Berenstain Bears!

It was Looney Tunes

The North York Moors are so called because they are North of York. Many official names of businesses and organisations have become Yorkshire instead of York. The moors are definitely called the North York Moors.

C3PO has a, no wait I am not going to tell you, find out for yourself.

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2 thoughts on “Phenomena File

  1. Julie Speedie

    This very moment has inspired me to reply – what has suddenly come onto the radio but The Ride of the Valkyries!

    Many thanks for your latest fascinating communication. Really must get round to subscribing to the Fortean Times – I already get Private Eye and Viz, and have just taken out a sub to the Idler, following the discovery of their “Drinks” nights on Zoom, a marvellous opportunity to Idle in the company of like-minded people. (Not meeting in August, alas, but will be starting up again sometime during the autumn.)






    Haha are they looking for me already. I will duck as they fly over – Valhalla can wait.
    Yes Fortean Times is stimulating and addictive.
    I hadn’t heard of the Idler, I will look it up Julie.
    PS real glad you liked the blog


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