Skeptical as to apports

According to the London Times, July 5, 1842, on a bright, clear day in Cupar, Scotland, June 30, women were hanging clothes on a line. A “sharp detonation” occurred, and “clothes on the line shot upward. Some fell to the ground, but others went on and vanished.” The same thing had happened on May 11 of that same year in Liverpool, according to Annals of Electricity, 6-499. The London Daily Express, June 12, 1919, reported the same type of event that month in Islip, Northampton, England, a loud detonation and “clothes shooting into the air,” and coming down again.

–Charles Fort, Lo!, p. 568-570 (The Complete Books of Charles Fort, Dover, c1974).

Scottish Showers

The first of the “black rains of Slains” fell on Jan. 14, 1862, as recounted by Rev. James Rust in his book Scottish Showers. In all, eight black rains fell between 1862 and 1866 in Slains.

–Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned, p29-30 (The Complete Books of Charles Fort, Dover, c1974).

As large as the light at Girdleness

On Dec. 10, 1881, three men left from Bath in the balloon Saladin. The balloon descended at Bridport on the coast of the English channel and two of the men got out. The balloon shot up into the air with one man, Walter Powell, still on board, and was apparently lost. However, reports came in about a luminous object seen on the evening of the 13th, according to the London Times, near Cherbourg, and on the 16th at Laredo and Bilbao, Spain. It was said in the Morning Post to have shot out sparks. A steamship off the coast of Scotland, 25 miles from Montrose, reported something seen in the sky in the morning of Dec. 15 (Standard, Dec. 16, 1881). Through glasses it seemed to be “a light attached to something thought to be the car of a balloon, increasing and decreasing in size–a large light–‘as large as the light at Girdleness.’” It moved opposite to the wind.

–Charles Fort, New Lands, p461-462 (The Complete Books of Charles Fort, Dover, c1974).

May not be fire-balloons

In December 1882, a discussion commenced in the Dundee Advertiser and later in Knowledge, 2-489, about an unknown luminous body near and a little above the sun. It was initially reported on Dec. 22, 1882. The sighting occurred between 10 and 11 a.m. by a correspondent at Broughty Ferry, Scotland. Another letter was published on Dec. 25 from someone who had also seen it, and said it was Venus. One writer in Knowledge also says it was Venus. But in a later issue, 3-13, an astronomer wrote that it could not be Venus, saying that Venus was at that time to the west of the sun.

–Charles Fort, New Lands, 435-436 (The Complete Books of Charles Fort, Dover, c1974).

A better, or more unscrupulous, orthodoxy

Black rains fell at Slains, Scotland between 1863 and 1866, a total of eight in all. After two of these, writes Fort, “vast quantities of a substance described sometimes as ‘pumice stone,’ but sometimes as ‘slag,’ were washed upon the sea coast near Slains…Whatever it may have been the quantity of this substance was so enormous that, in Mr. Rust’s opinion [Rev. James Rust, Scottish Showers],  to have produced so much of it would have required the united output of all the smelting works in the world.”

–Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned, p29-30 (The Complete Books of Charles Fort, Dover, c1974).