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Charles Fort's Entire Note Collection Becoming Available Soon

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posted on Oct, 18 2014 @ 07:14 AM
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The notes of Charles Fort will be made available to the world by the generosity of Dr John H Reed and the World Institute of Scientific Exploration.




Over 60,000 individually transcribed 3X5 index cards, all with Charles Fort’s original small notes on strange and unusual events that he made in the 1920s and 1930s, were recently rescued from a house in Bridgeport, CT. They were rescued on July 29, 2014, by John H. Reed, M.D., on behalf of the World Institute for Scientific Exploration (WISE) only days before the new owners of that house had planned to dispose of them, not realizing their importance or significance.
WISE Journal; Vol 3 No2 (free PDF)




Charles Fort used to plough through all the newspaper archives in the New York Public Library before his later years took him to the British Museum Library. Like a gold panner, he shook away all the tiny printed words in search of the elusive grains of magic and wonder we now call Forteana. Reports of whimsy and weirdness were all that he was looking for and who can say from where that enchantment arose? Whatever greased his wheels, he made tiny notes of all the words that caught his imagination – over 60000 hand-written notes on square scraps of paper.

Fort was arguably one of the first conspiracy theorists as he condemned ‘dogmatic science’ and half-jokingly described humanity as the ‘property’ of Folk from Elsewhere.

'The earth is a farm. We are someone else's property.'

His notes are publicly accessible in the NY Library and yet are marginalised by the conditions that apply to viewers. You must arrive within certain hours and are only allowed to make notes in pencil. No pens and no photography! How better to keep at bay the ‘procession of the damned?’

A gentleman called Carl Pabst, like Fort, became fascinated with these small glow-worms of strangeness that seem to hang around the head of humanity like so many half-forgotten dreams. He spent 15 years and 100s of visits copying out Fort’s notes, with paper and pencils, and returning home to type them out onto small cards. These cards slowly began to fill up a wooden card catalogue until his mission was completed in 1987.

The card catalogue was subsequently lost in the twilight when Pabst died and his relatives left it to languish unappreciated.



Thankfully Dr John H Reed kept his eye on the prize and made offers to buy the collection; the relatives repeatedly refused to sell. It was only days before it was due to be disposed of that he was able to finally purchase it. On July 28th 2014, he took possession and so begins the next metamorphosis of what Fort called the ‘damned’ and the ‘excluded.’


Battalions of the accursed, captained by pallid data that I have exhumed, will march. You'll read them—or they'll march. Some of them livid and some of them fiery and some of them rotten.


The next stage for these ‘damned’ reports is a plan by W.I.S.E. to make them all available online. Fort’s books might have contained the best examples of peculiar human experiences, but they didn’t contain everything. As it happens, many thousands of the notes haven’t been seen by more than a dozen or so people since Fort was alive. We might just find that the unseen notes represent a fascinating array of otherwise lost-in-time moments. Placing them in an accessible collection will allow the Forteans, Anomalists and similarly-minded aficionados of surreality to look for patterns. What peculiar delights might lie behind those small drawers?

The inherently elusive nature of ‘paranormal’ phenomena means such experiences are frequently unique and short-lived. They exist in a moment and are gone. The percipients and witnesses enjoy a slightly longer existence, but they too are lost to death and take their memories to the grave. The fingerprints of the ‘Trickster,’ or whatever triggered the experiences, are given some sense of immortality as long as the written records continue to exist and be available. Whilst the stimulus and percipients are long dead, their experiences continue to have a pulse.

Thanks to the efforts of W.I.S.E. those fleeting moments will remain a part of the public record. Cool huh? Please read the entire article as it's an interesting read and contains good links. JH Reed is a friend of Prof Mike Swords and a frequent visitor to the Big Study blog.

Fort's books can read at this Sacred-Texts Fort Pageor by searching 'Charles Fort books pdf.'





posted on Oct, 18 2014 @ 08:00 AM
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truly excellent news, did they say how long it was going to take ? quite a task to get them all on the web.

and to think that they were said to be destroyed by Fort himself. hmm

great thread

funbox



posted on Oct, 18 2014 @ 08:05 AM
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This man's notes are the stuff of legend. Can't wait.



posted on Oct, 18 2014 @ 10:12 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

If I'm not mistaken, Fort's original note cards were donated to the New York Public Library where they are housed in the rare books department.



posted on Oct, 18 2014 @ 10:19 AM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

You're not mistaken, see the 2nd paragraph.



posted on Oct, 18 2014 @ 10:22 AM
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And this is why every so often, I am reminded of why ATS calls to me so damned frequently and demands attention...


Thank you. Looking forward to the release.

Peace



posted on Oct, 18 2014 @ 10:47 AM
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originally posted by: Kandinsky
a reply to: theantediluvian

You're not mistaken, see the 2nd paragraph.




Well that's embarrassing! Sorry about that, I missed it when I scrolled (and I'm a habitual skimmer).

I was fortunate to have a autodidact grandmother who took the time to compile for me a large book of newspaper and magazine clippings and book excerpts of all sorts of mysterious subject matter and who had quite a respectable library of her own. So as a child of about 9 or 10, I was already an avid reader of books of paranormal phenomena, UFOs/ancient astronauts, cryptozoology, lost civilizations etc.

Having spent many years afterward at my local library hunting for new and interesting material, I've always felt a kinship with Charles Fort.

"Sometimes I am a collector of data, and only a collector, and am likely to be gross and miserly, piling up notes, pleased with merely numerically adding to my stores. Other times I have joys, when unexpectedly coming upon an outrageous story that may not be altogether a lie, or upon a macabre little thing that may make some reviewer of my more or less good works mad. But always there is present a feeling of unexplained relations of events that I note, and it is this far-away, haunting, or often taunting, awareness, or suspicion, that keeps me piling on."

-- Charles Fort, Wild Talents p.41



posted on Oct, 18 2014 @ 10:47 AM
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let's keep in mind that embellished storytelling, has been with us throughout human history. in other words, just because it's old, doesn't make something more true...outright lying and fantasy storytelling has been around for a long time...that said, I'm looking forward to his writings.



posted on Oct, 18 2014 @ 10:57 AM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Aye, no problem. The curse of the internet is to render us all skimmers.


I can empathise with you as a fellow hoarder of Forteana. It's easy to relate to Fort's and Pabst's compulsion to collect although their dedication far exceeds my own. For that I'm grateful!

Here's another speculative thought from Mr Fort >>


" . . .we and all other appearances or phantasms in a superdream are expressions of one cosmic flow or graduation between them ; one called disorder, un-reality, inequilibrium, ugliness, discord, inconsistency; the other called order, realness, equilibrium, beauty, harmony, justice, truth. ..."
First papers of Surrealism by Breton and Duchamps



posted on Oct, 18 2014 @ 11:38 AM
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Awesome! Can't wait to dig in.



posted on Oct, 18 2014 @ 11:47 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky
Just started reading a biography on him, very interesting man to actually see his notes would be great



posted on Oct, 18 2014 @ 11:52 AM
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You must arrive within certain hours and are only allowed to make notes in pencil. No pens and no photography! 
a reply to: Kandinsky

my university library also has a rare books collection. there are constraints on viewing the collection similar to what you have described about the NY library. point being that such a thing is common and not necessarily a conspiracy "to keep at bay the ‘procession of the damned?’"

I have never heard of Fort's work and am looking forward to the release of this material.



posted on Oct, 18 2014 @ 11:52 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

I've finally managed to merge my profession and my passion for collecting Forteana and these days I'm able to sift through hundreds of sources in an automated fashion, collecting what's interesting and adding it to the modern day analog of the card catalog (a database).

It's a whole lot easier than pouring through the stacks and writing things down on index cards


I can scarcely imagine the dedication it takes to compile 60,000 index cards — or to hand copy somebody else's collection of 60,000 cards. Coincidentally, when I saw the picture of "The Insulator" that I'm using as my avatar, one of my first thoughts was of Charles Fort and his cards.
edit on 2014-10-18 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 18 2014 @ 12:40 PM
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a reply to: tgidkp


my university library also has a rare books collection. there are constraints on viewing the collection similar to what you have described about the NY library. point being that such a thing is common and not necessarily a conspiracy "to keep at bay the ‘procession of the damned?’"


Yeah, I know it’s standard procedure. I was just riffing on Fort’s colourful metaphors of the ‘damned’ reports being banished by conventional wisdom and ‘dogmatic scientists.’ What better way to play with the idea than imagining the ‘damned data’ being held hostage by the NY Library?


I have never heard of Fort's work and am looking forward to the release of this material.


It’s worth downloading his ‘Book of the Damned.’ It’s available on archive.org, sacred-texts.com and as a pdf on sites like scribd and 4shared. He wasn’t the first to collect weird accounts, but he’s become synonymous with such collections – Forteana.

a reply to: theantediluvian

My own interests tend to cycle through phases. A collection slowly amasses as curiosity and the collector's itch leads us from topic to sub-topic. If you haven't already, I recommend reading Mike Swords' blog. Now there's a man with the novel problem of having more Forteana and ufological history than he can manage!



posted on Oct, 18 2014 @ 12:55 PM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

Thank you for this invaluable update, last thing I have been expecting is an unexpected dearth of Fort.

Hey, I was wondering? Do you find that Fort is initially difficult to read? I do.

You know, sometimes when you are reading a new author and it takes a page or two to start to groove with their style? If I step away from Fort and then come back to him, there is always this sort of "warm-up" phase before his stuff starts to really speak to me, but once i'm in the groove I really enjoy his writing. It's very trippy at times; almost psychedelic.

Thanks again.






Melbourne Age, Jan. 21, 1869—there was a carter. He was driving a five-horse truck along the bed of a dry creek. Down the gulley shot a watery fist that was knuckled with boulders. A dead man, a truck, and five horses were punched into trees.

New Orleans Daily Picayune, Aug. 6, 1893—a woman in a carriage, crossing a dried-up stream, in Rawlings County, Kansas. It was a quiet, summery scene. There was a rush of water. The carriage crumbled. There was a spill of crumbs that were a woman's hat and the heads of horses.

Philadelphia Public Ledger, Sept. 16, 1893—people asleep, in the town of Villacanas, Toledo, Spain. The town was raided by trees. Trees smashed through the walls of houses. People in bed were grabbed by roots. A deluge had fallen into a forest.

These sudden, astonishing leaks from the heavens are not understood. Meteorologists study them meteorologically. This seems logical, and is therefore under suspicion. This is the fallacy of all the sciences: scientists are scientific. They are inorganically scientific. Some day there may be organic science, or the interpretation of all phenomenal things in terms of an organism that comprises all.

-Charles Fort Lo! Part II Chapter 23

sacred-texts.com...



edit on 18-10-2014 by Bybyots because: . : .



posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 04:01 AM
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a reply to: Bybyots

Yes, I'm with you on that. Fort's style and layout isn't my favourite thing about his writings. His esoteric musings and the wealth of 'accursed' trivia are what makes me a fan. There's also the familiar sight of idealogical intransigence with Fort occupying the role of Jester. He's pointing out that the Aristocrats have food on their faces and the beautiful palaces have secret, unexplored rooms.

For instance, he challenges those who say there's nothing in the skies as astronomers 'never see anything.' The rigid ideology that knows before even looking is still strong.


I think that earlier in this book, before we liberalized into embracing everything that comes along, your indignation, or indigestion would have expressed in the notion that, if this were so, astronomers would have seen these other worlds and regions and vast geometric constructions. You'd have had that notion: you'd have stopped there.
Book of the Damned p135

Fort lists a number of sightings of peculiar transits across the sun and other aerial objects reported by professional and amateur astronomers. No doubt, some of them could be resolved with our current knowledge. Years later, Sturrock surveyed the Astronomical Society and found that many astronomers do indeed see unidentified objects; they just don't go on about it.

It's clichéd to refer to the Occam's Razor approach to meteorites, but it does show how the most probable answer doesn't always work. It was once taken for granted that 'hot rocks falling from the skies' were just rocks struck by lightning. Can you imagine telling a scientist, back then, that you saw a rock fall from the heavens? Oh, the rolling eyes and the twirling finger near the temple.

Fort's phrasing of the number of comets in our Solar System is just awesome >>


Luminous fleas on a vast black dog—in popular impressions, there is no realization of the extent to which this solar system is flea-bitten.



posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 04:34 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

interesting.....i am not familiar with this story...but i am intrigued and will learn more.....at a glance this reminds of the stephen king story "the dark half" following 'Chad" from memory who learned a whole lot about life and magic spending time in the "dead letter room" at the post office he worked in



posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 05:05 AM
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a reply to: hopenotfeariswhatweneed

Yes. There's a romantic sense of narrative at work in the story of Fort's life....also Pabst's.

Both of them spent thousands of hours in the library reading room due to a fascination with reported mysteries of human experience. In a similar sense, I share Fort's perspective in how he used personification to describe these experiences and encounters that people have been reporting forever. They are indeed a procession of ghouls and mischief-makers that walk, lock-step, with humanity. It's easy to imagine Fort, as he sat in the silence of the reading rooms, being surrounded by the concepts and myths as unseen phantasms.

I haven't read King's story although I remember a friend saying how great a story it was.



posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 01:14 PM
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It's a pity Charles destroyed tens of thousands of his notes himself during his lifetime. But it will be interesting to see what is still there. And it may be a nice idea to set up a verification effort, to check if the contents of the copied cards actually match what is still in the library of the University of Pennsylvania.



posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 01:27 PM
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Oooooooooooo.... awesome! Great news and I've always wanted to peruse them, though I bet the most "juicy" were already chosen for his books, undoubtedly good morsels haven't seen publication... since their first incarnation as news blurbs, that is.

Good news all 'round... Fort was primarily responsible for my own weirdness and alienation from the mainstream... so I mostly love him... well, except on the few days I want back into the matrix, that is.




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