The Book Of The Damned – Charles Fort
„The Book of the Damned“ reminds one of Harnack’s characterization of the Gnostic work „Pistis Sophia“ as „dedicated to the propaganda of systematic idiocy.“ Mr. Charles Fort, with a zeal worthy of a scientist, has spent a life-time collecting newspaper stories of bodies that have fallen from the sky, such as hailstones as big as elephants, red, black, and green rains, butter, calves, putrid substances, and the like. He admits that observers have sometimes tried to explain these phenomena on known laws, as when Dr. Hitchcock examined a putrid substance alleged to have fallen from the sky at Amherst, and declared it to be a fungus, but Mr. Fort knows that the things dropped from the sky are messages from another world. He presents evidence that has hitherto been ignored or distorted by scientists pointing to the proof of life in other planets and of communication between them and this earth.
The Book Of The Damned.
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Fort and the Unexplained (from wikipedia)
For more than thirty years, Charles Fort visited libraries in New York City and London, assiduously reading scientific journals, newspapers, and magazines, collecting notes on phenomena that were not explained well by the accepted theories and beliefs of the time.
Fort took thousands of notes during his lifetime. In his short story „The Giant, the Insect and The Philanthropic-looking Old Gentleman“ (first published by the International Fortean Organization in issue #70 of the INFO Journal: Science and the Unknown), Fort spoke of sitting on a park bench at The Cloisters in New York City and tossing some 48,000 notes, not all of his collection by any means, into the wind. This short story is significant because Fort uses his own data collection technique to solve a mystery. He marveled that seemingly unrelated bits of information were, in fact, related. Fort wryly concludes that he went back to collecting data and taking even more notes. The notes were kept on cards and scraps of paper in shoeboxes, in a cramped shorthand of Fort’s own invention, and some of them survive in the collections of the University of Pennsylvania. More than once, depressed and discouraged, Fort destroyed his work, but began anew. Some notes were published by the Fortean Society magazine Doubt and, upon the death of its editor Tiffany Thayer in 1959 most were donated to the New York Public Library, where they are still available to researchers of the unknown.
From this research, Fort wrote four books. These are: The Book of the Damned (1919), New Lands (1923), Lo! (1931) and Wild Talents (1932); one book was written between New Lands and Lo! but it was abandoned and absorbed into Lo!.
(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)
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