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.)

Subscribe to Fortean Timeshttp://subscribe.forteantimes.com/

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

Schema

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.

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

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

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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.

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There is no such thing as the North Yorkshire Moors.

LHC

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

So…

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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(Check to see if the offer is still running)

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I saw a Spectre, it will see me later

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I saw a spectre, no a person, not a ghost, it was a man in a hat. None of that covers it. Something was wrong. I sought advice.

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I nipped across the road to my pals Julie and Arthur (those of Carowagon fame).

“I think I may have seen your ghost,” I said.

Julie had earlier sent me some footage which was inexplicable. A view from the skylight shows the tall Dog and Duck steps next to our house. There are two mysterious figures on the steps; the lower figure looks like some sort of priest and the one higher up and above our house appears to be a boy. Both are in black and white and seem quite old fashioned. They look real enough but why on earth are they dressed like a century or so ago, especially so early on a morning.

My sighting had come a few weeks after seeing the footage. I had awoken very early and been unable to settle so eventually had decided to get up and take a walk.

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I had turned right on Quay Street which is parallel to the seafront and passed Arthur’s and then left through a cobbled lane towards North Wharfe.

I stood looking at the lights of the boats for a while and then wandered to opposite the way through towards the end of Quay Street, (yes this was a short walk, as I was getting hungry), my plan being to turn right and head home. Before I could turn I noticed a figure passing me heading towards the seafront. I would have noticed him anyway as there was no one else about but he seemed to be suddenly there.

I was halfway up the short street and there he was to my left, I hadn’t noticed him coming out of the carpark or down Long Greece Steps to the side of the car park. So I looked at him in surprise. He looked back in the same way. I looked away and looked back, he did so a couple of times. It was as if we were both thinking, ‘where did you come from and don’t you look strange.’

Later that day I went into more detail during my visit to Julie and Arthur. Why I had said I thought I had seen ‘Julie’s’ ghost was that he was dressed very similar to the boy in the footage. That was why I had looked at him, he was out of place. I hadn’t felt like I was seeing a ghost, it seemed like a man, yet I felt that something was wrong.

Partly that was the way he was dressed; tight black trousers, (although, unlike the boy figure, his were full length), boots, a long jacket with many buttons up to the neck, a white ruff or frilled shirt and to top it all off I could just say a black flat cap but it was very large; too large.

Now he could have been in a period drama – but at half past six in the morning.

It was at this point that Julie pointed out that the footage of the other out of place figures was filmed at around the same time of a morning.

Arthur asked me how old I thought he was and I said about fifty or perhaps a little less and that he had large round glasses and a moustache but that his face and all these features were quite grey.

I realised that seemed strange as he seemed like a real man. Arthur looked up at this and said perhaps it was a timeslip. It would make perfect sense that this was so, as if 2017 and (let us say) 1917 had interlinked for a while. This would certainly make sense of the mutual surprise and confusion.

It was a couple of days later that I awoke early again; this time with a start, a sudden thought: it was a timeslip but not to the past.

I leapt out of the bed, dressed, and hurried out the door – yes, at that point I was hunting my portal to the future. I was looking for a visitor from the future; one who thought he blended in.

There was something I hadn’t told Julie and Arthur the earlier evening; I had doubled back. On that first morning after the guy had passed I had rushed down Quay Street and taken a right up one of the cobbled alleys, back to the seafront. There he was.

He rushed up to the edge of the wharfe, held up a device, and moved on.

It looked like a phone, but didn’t have a screen and he didn’t seem to need to look through it. He moved a little way along and took a picture of Vincent Pier and its lighthouse, turned snapped the novelty shop and headed to East Pier and the Toll Gate, snapping systematically as he went. I left.

On that second early morning expedition I was intending to catch a record keeper from the future who was dressed inappropriately.

For this was my thinking now, our visitor had dressed in such a way as to blend in but had got it wrong by about 80 to a 100 years.

So it was that I dashed out of the house, but I bumped into another neighbour who was out walking her dogs. We chatted for a while, about my blog, and then I headed off up Quay Street. I got a glimpse of a group of people crossing the end from near the car park and they all seemed to be wearing something red.

They have adapted, they have seen a man from this time period and have emulated his look to blend in.

It is my intention to get up early tomorrow and head to the end of Quay Street and the access road from the car park. I fully expect to see several adults and teenagers wearing blue and white Converse, black jeans, a red and white shirt, a blue jerkin and a flat cap.

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You will also like…

Click here for – Folk History of Quay Street, Scarborough

Click here for – The Mutiny

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Back When I Was Abducted – The Adventures of OldMan 06

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Click here to view OldMan 01

Click here to view OldMan 02

Click here to view the Indoctrination poem

Click here to view Lives of Creatives

Click here to view OldMan 04 – Star Trek

Click here to view OldMan 05 – Missing time

Click here to view OldMan 07 – Pickles from the Polish Shop

Click here to view OldMan 08 – Socks and Slippers

Click here to view OldMan 09 – Fame Beckons At Last

Click here to view OldMan 10 – Battle of Hastings Revisited

Click to view OldMan 11 – This Time It’s Personal

Click to view OldMan 12 – Bob’s Life

Click to view OldMan 13 – Guadeloupe

Click to view OldMan 14 – Magazine Feature

Click to view Hobb and the Normans at Cliffords Tower

Click to buy The Guy Fawkes Audio Book

Click here for Viking Comics Inc.’s latest project – The Horned God

Click here for the completed Viking Comics Inc. graphic novel The Hammer Flies

Click here for Viking Comics Inc. graphic novel for older children Oski and the Amulet

Visit Fortean Times

Saying Thank You

Your donation of $3 will encourage me to continue in my creative efforts.

$3.00

“This is all somehow Lovecraftian and bizarrely hilarious at the same time. What a fabulous life you are living!” Henry Partridge

Missing Time: Watch out for it, you won’t know until it has gone!

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Missing Time: Watch out for it, you won’t know until it has gone!

The story that terrified me and for a little while got me worrying about abduction by aliens was a letter in a magazine. By I had read it my mind was filled with the idea for a while. Yes it was a letter, and yes it was in Fortean Times – I love that magazine but I do find many of the articles over analytical and rather too sceptical; almost as if they are desperate to disprove everything (I wonder if the lizards have taken over in a subversive plot!?). The letters pages though, that is where I start getting drawn in, in particular the It Happened To Me section.

There is something about an individual going out of their regular life to ‘admit’ to an unexplained experience many years after the fact which has me believing it totally. Of course, anyone can write anything; just look at how this storyteller works up the truth into a tale to intrigue! There is something about the decision to share which makes me think most of these tales are genuine.

This one really got to me, this guy, let’s call him Albert, recalled his experiences from back in the nineties and the on-going effects on him over the years ahead.

As I recall the story it was much like this…

He and his partner were organising security for a large upcoming event and they needed to test the walkie-talkies. So he set off in the car and kept a dialogue going with his wife and she recorded the range and power. So there was constant contact.

fog

As he described his journey to maintain the dialogue level he turned into a long country lane which they both knew well. Ahead he commented that he could see a strange bank of fog stretching across the road.

As he drove through it he heard a high pitched piercing sound, his left ear started bleeding and the side of his face was burning. He started to scream and tried to describe the experience at the same time.

He drove out of the fog after only around a minute and turned for home. His wife was screaming into the walkie-talkie asking where he went, why he had gone silent for so long and what had happened? He said he had been talking to her throughout but when he got home he discovered she had been calling to him for a long time and that half an hour was missing.

She was shocked at the dishevelled way he was dressed and there was blood all down his burnt face. He expelled large amounts of clear fluid and then lay shaking in his bed. He awoke in the night and ran screaming from the room tearing at the door.

He has been terrified of being trapped ever since and his anxiety levels went through the roof yet he had always been a calm confident person before.

A psychologist was called in and eventually arranged a hypnosis session. When Albert was awoken the therapist said that he regretted he could have no more to do with this situation and would have to discharge him from his care. He was left alone in the room and offered the recording.

He was shocked to hear his own voice and the things he was saying. He had been stripped and placed on a large metal bed, there were many such beds, a girl was calling across to him asking if it was a dream. Grey figures experimented on them. Then a human-like being filled his mind with atrocities and then spoke directly into his mind saying that humankind must change their ways.

He was led to what was described as a Dimensional Shift Device and told he would be returned but not to the same time.

He has never fully recovered and sometimes even now wakes up with bruises, marks where long spindly fingers had gripped him and sometimes with his pyjamas on inside out.

That story was brought to us by ‘Albert’ in the letters page of ForteanTimes in an edition with the cover tagline, ‘The Truth is in Here’.

After all, who would miss half an hour.

Five hours! That is going to be noticed, and it was. Sue and Robert both worked office hours and were looking forward to getting off work and home in time to watch a television program of a special event.

Robert texted here and said he would pick her up. She texted back to say would he meet her in the supermarket car park across from her work and they would run in for some food.

As they dashed in she mentioned a desire to have some ice-cream and he suggested that they picked it up last so it didn’t start to go soft. Even though they were going to be home within twenty minutes she agreed. They grabbed pizzas, salad and garlic bread and then went to the ice-cream aisle.

ice-cream

When they got to the counter and lifted up the purchases to the conveyor belt she noticed a sloshing sound.

The ice-cream was completely liquid. The till operative went and fetched them a fresh one and they went home. They popped the oven on and prepared the food and then turned on the television.

Their program had finished! When Sue looked at the clock it was half past ten. Five hours had gone.

They were terribly worried and after a sleepless night Robert suggested they contact his friend who was a police officer. The friend pointed out that no crime seemed to have been committed but as it was him he trusted his word and would look into it.

The officer friend went to the supermarket and asked to check the CCTV footage. The cameras showed then entering, and making all their purchases, until the ice-cream aisle. There was footage of them entering the aisle, but there were no cameras down there.

He sat and watched for them emerging, he sat a very long time. There at last was footage of them coming out of the other end of the aisle. Yes. Five hours later.

Footnote: If any of the people in these accounts wish to come forward I will gladly correct any details and use real names and the actual places if they prefer. (The ‘girl’ will be grown up now and may also want to make contact.)

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Click here to view OldMan 01

Click here to view OldMan 02

Click here to view the Indoctrination poem

Click here to view Lives of Creatives

Click here to view OldMan 04 – Star Trek

Click here to view OldMan 06 – Back When I Was Abducted

Click here to view OldMan 07 – Pickles from the Polish store

Click here to view OldMan 08 – Socks and Slippers

Click here to view OldMan 09 –  Fame At Last It Beckons

Click here to view OldMan 10 – Battle of Hastings Revisited

Click to view OldMan 11 – This Time It’s Personal

Click to view OldMan 12 – Bob’s Life

Click to view OldMan 13 – Guadeloupe

Click to view OldMan 14 – Magazine Feature

Click to view Hobb and the Normans at Cliffords Tower

Click to buy The Guy Fawkes Audio Book

Click here for Viking Comics Inc.’s latest project – The Horned God

Click here for the completed Viking Comics Inc. graphic novel The Hammer Flies

Click here for Viking Comics Inc. graphic novel for older children Oski and the Amulet

Visit Fortean Times

Saying Thank You

Your donation of $3 will encourage me to continue in my creative efforts.

$3.00