Archives for September 2010

As reasonable as trees

Fort writes, on the subject of stone-throwing: “I don’t care to deny poltergeists, because I suspect that later, when we’re more enlightened, or when we widen the range of our credulities, or take on more of that increase of ignorance that is called knowledge, poltergeists may become assimilable. Then they’ll be as reasonable as trees. By reasonableness I mean that which assimilates with a dominant force, or system, or a major body of thought–which is, itself, of course, hypnosis and delusion–developing, however, in our acceptance, to higher and higher approximations to realness. The poltergeists are now evil or absurd to me, proportionately to their present unassimilableness, compounded, however, with the factor of their possible future assimilableness.”

–Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned, p175 (The Complete Books of Charles Fort, Dover, c1974).

Quartz is upon the index prohibitory of science

Quartz is upon the ‘index prohibitory’ of Science. A monk who would read Darwin would sin no more than would a scientist who would admit that, except by the ‘up and down’ process, quartz has ever fallen from the sky. …It’s as epicurean a distinction as any ever made by theologians.

Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned, p118 (The Complete Books of Charles Fort, Dover, 1974).

Only a supposed thing

In Hampshire, England, either an iron cannon ball or a ‘large nodule of iron pyrites or bisulphuret or iron’ appeared after a thunderstorm upon a garden path. It was ‘supposed’ to have fallen in September 1852. It was reported in Proc. Roy. Soc. Edin., 3-147. The object was also written up in a letter to the London Times, from a chemist of Andover, Hants., Sept. 16, 1852. It was said to be the size of a cricket ball, weighing 4 pounds.

–Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned, p117 (The Complete Books of Charles Fort, Dover, c1974).

An object like a man

September 1880: Reports of an unknown object traveling in the sky, seen in various places, especially St. Louis and Louisville. Reports appeared through July and August of that year in the Louisville Courier-Journal. The object was seen in Louisville on July 28 in the evening between 6 and 7, described as ‘an object like a man, surrounded by machinery, which he seemed to be working with his hands and feet.’ It moved in various directions and seemed to be under control, disappearing when darkness came. Something had also been seen in Madisonville, Kentucky, described as ‘something with a ball at each end’ and as having ‘appeared in a circular form, and then changed to an oval.’

–Charles Fort, Lo!, pp640-641 (The Complete Books of Charles Fort, Dover, c1974).

Peasants and meteorites

September falls of meteorites/stones in storms:
St. Leonards-on-sea, England, Sept. 17, 1885 (Annual Register, 1885)
Sweden, Sept. 24, 1883 (Nature, 29-15)
Cardiff, Sept. 26, 1916, accompanied by lightning flash (London Times, Sept. 28, 1916)

Writes Fort: “It is said [in Science Gossip, n.s., 6-65] that, though meteorites have fall in storms, no connection is supposed to exist between the two phenomena, except by the ignorant peasantry.”

He further says:
“Peasants believed in meteorites.
"Scientists excluded meteorites.
"Peasants believe in ‘thunderstones.’
"Scientists exclude ‘thunderstones.’
"It is useless to argue that peasants are out in the fields, and that scientists are shut up in laboratories and lecture rooms. We cannot take for a real base that, as to phenomena with which they are more familiar, peasants are more likely to be right than are scientists: a host of biologic and meteorologic fallacies of peasants rises against us.”

–Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned, pp101, 107 (The Complete Books of Charles Fort, Dover, c1974).