First Interest In Fortean Topics

Patrick30

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I was a voracious reader as a child and a lot of it was sci-fi, so the concept of ufos etc was easy to develop an interest in.
I remember a small used paperback I read When I was 10 or 11 that was probably my first introduction to Fort. A compilation of the strange and unexplained, ranging from cryptids of various sorts, weird weather phenomenon like raining frogs, to alien encounter stories.
But my actual Fortean experiences over 63 years of life are miniscule. I guess even tho I’ve always considered them fun to read about, I’ve never really been inclined to personally seek them out. For example I’ve been camping by myself in the woods hundreds of times, but never in a graveyard just to see what might happen, lol. Luckily or unluckily, the Fortean has never really seemed Inclined to seek me out either.
 

Beresford

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My first real interest was UFOs, but programmes like Armchair Thriller had an effect (Quiet As A Nun, which was mentioned earlier in this thread was very scary for a young lad still in the early stages of primary school). Then Arthur C Clarke's Mysterious World came along, and I was hooked. Hammer House of Horror was another series which influenced my interests. I seem to remember we would talk about about ghosts, poltergeist, UFOs etc in the playground at primary school so it clearly wasn't just me who had an interest in those days.

When I got to secondary school I discovered the school library had a couple of books on UFOs. Why bother with the classics when you can read something much more interesting?
 

marhawkman

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My first was the Bermuda triangle. It was fascinating to study, until the veneer of mystery peeled off and it started making sense.
 

Cloudbusting

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I've always loved really weird, odd stories, the kind that have happened to a 'friend of a friend'... my favourites are probably time slip stories, mysterious disappearances and UFOs. I loved watching strange but true and beyond belief. Basically I want to be Jonathan Creek. :ghunt:
 

marhawkman

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Another was when I realized Indiana Jones was in some ways closer to real life than I first thought. Sure the over-the top action is movie magic, as are the massive hidden temples, but the fact that we have more questions than answers about most ancient civilizations rings true.
 

Mouldy13

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"Tales of Mystery and Imagination" which my cousin who was baby sitting made me watch on Saturday evenings. I also remember being spooked by an adaptation of (I think?) MLR James' "whistle and I'll come to you" starring Michael Hordern,

Later Peter Costellos's book "In search of lake monsters" convinced me the Loch Ness tales were true, although I've modified my opinion since then.
 

MrRING

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The In Search Of show with Leonard Nimoy
Reader's Digest Strange Stories, Amazing Facts
Project UFO, which led to some sleepless nights
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Bigfoot books
 

BlackPeter

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Read M.R. James's 'O Whistle and I'll Come to You' in a collection of 'Modern Short Stories'(!) belonging to my grandfather when I was about 10 -scared the living daylights out of me but also left me with an interest in Fortean matters!
 

ramonmercado

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Read M.R. James's 'O Whistle and I'll Come to You' in a collection of 'Modern Short Stories'(!) belonging to my grandfather when I was about 10 -scared the living daylights out of me but also left me with an interest in Fortean matters!

I remember a TV version of O Whistle and I'll Come, must have been the BBC 1968 version, scared me! I saw it in 68 or 69, so 8 - 9, probably my first Fortean interest.
 

escargot

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I've always loved really weird, odd stories, the kind that have happened to a 'friend of a friend'... my favourites are probably time slip stories, mysterious disappearances and UFOs. I loved watching strange but true and beyond belief. Basically I want to be Jonathan Creek. :ghunt:

We will need to hear ALL your stories, please, FOAF or not.
 

Comfortably Numb

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Cross reference to:

https://forums.forteana.org/index.p...ferings-about-charles-fort.68135/post-2077270

...and assistance thereafter.

What was the catalyst for your attraction....?

Personally, it was probably growing up in the 1970s era, when as a teenager we all became fascinated with occult related publications and associated newly available material, such as Raymond Moody's groundbreaking, 'Life After Death'.

Did Astral Projection also really work?

Somewhere along that journey we came across Charles Fort, who, 100 years earlier, had asked questions which were tantamount to rebellious at that time.

Looking back now... that was assuredly what resonated - we were all rebels together. :)
 

EnolaGaia

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There are two key elements in my own experience of becoming drawn to Fortean subjects - general orientation to the world and exposure to documented Forteana. Here's how I've previously described each of these elements on the forum ...

The background to my longstanding interest in Forteana was described in this thread:

Motivations For Our Fortean Interests
https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/motivations-for-our-fortean-interests.65434/

The most concise response I can offer comes from J. B. S. Haldane:
[M]y own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.
(Possible Worlds and Other Papers (1927), p. 286)
By the time I entered elementary school, I was already convinced things were stranger than the adults had led me to believe. It wouldn't be until I finished my first pass through university that I finally concluded the strangeness exceeded any human ability to encompass or encapsulate it (at least for the time being ... ).

I was eagerly reading Fortean and Fortean-related materials as soon as I could read (the late 1950's). I absorbed reports of the weird with a combination of wistful incredulity and an attentiveness to assessing how credible such tales could reasonably be taken to be. ...


As to the readings mentioned, here's what I posted in 2016 within this thread:

How Old Are You?
https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/how-old-are-you.61395/

... in which a number of us explained how our interest in Forteana originated.

My entry point into Forteana was early enough to be overwhelmingly in print form ...

From the age of 9 (1960) onward I was a voracious reader. Some of the Forteana-related publications I gobbled up included:

- Strange phenomenon and cryptozoology articles in True, Argosy, and other (typically mens) magazines, whose undeliverable / un-returnable issues my postman father was allowed to bring home.

- All the Frank Edwards books (Stranger than Science, etc.) and similar collections, obtained originally from the public and school libraries and later purchased new through Scholastic Book Service at school.

- Any other 'strange stuff' books I would run across in libraries, yard sales, etc.

- There was a period during which my father (a wizard at poker) would use our 'father / son' time to participate in serious games in the back room of a storefront whose front / cover section was a faux used bookstore, where I'd sit reading for hours. The collection of odd tomes used for the storefront props included a lot of UFO books, all of which I read over multiple visits (and some of which they let me take home). Dad was happy; I was happy; Mom was none the wiser.

 
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marhawkman

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As a child/teen I read several books on unexplained mysteries. I later realized the authors were mostly just repeating stories they heard and some were just urban legends, but... only some of them. And that... that really got my attention. The scientific establishment likes to try to explain everything, but... there's a lot of times where "the need for further research is indicated". we don't know everything. we probably never will, but looking for answers is the only way to know if we can find answers.
 

Coastaljames

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My Mum was fascinated with ghosties and ghoulies...I grew up with her showing me books and tv shows about all that manner of stuff. We both loved it. Every holiday or trip we went on would gravitate towards places with dark mysteries and legends.

When I was very young...4 or 5 I had a weird experience, I saw something, with my brother that neither of us could explain...I did actually submit it years ago to IHTM..."Pixes on Parade" I belive it was titled. Oh, just checked, the post does show up...but only the first small paragraph of something much longer sadly.

Then I would, as a wee lad, scour every library I could find for anything remotely spooky- school libraries, public libraries...I would spend hours searching the shelves and reading.

Then - Arthur C Clarke's "World of Strange Powers" tv series (That swinging poltergeist lamp I will NEVER forget) -

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Then the fantastic Usborne "World of the Unknown" series -

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Then "The Unexplained" magazine collection -

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Then the Usborne "Supernatural Guides" series -

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Then, when a teenager, I discovered this -

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And that right there, is pretty much my childhood!


Oh, and my adulthood too!
 
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Ringo

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My mother always had various books lying around about mysteries of the pyramids, UFO's and von Däniken type stuff. I was too young to read those but I borrowed a library book aimed at kids about unsolved mysteries et al. And the first bit that caught my eye was SHC. There was a line drawing of a woman bursting into flames in a (IIRC) church? I devoured the rest of the book, moved onto UFO's, ghosts and then general forteana.

I still remember the heady feeling of reading about the Mary Celeste for the first time. Or disappearing inside the Bermuda triangle along with Flight 19. Or imagining standing beside Officer Lonnie Zamora. The world seemed filled with mystery.
 

Draheste

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In the 70's, in France, I was interested by UFOs, via the Invaders series, which were quite terrifying for
children under 10. At age 5, I watched War of the Worlds and absolutely wanted to see 'Martians'. There was also a vague of UFOs in the South West, where I lived around that time. In the 80's, there were rare 'reality shows' about ghosts and hauntings on TV.
Also, one of my cousins' husband is a Gendarme and has had an interest in UFOs. It didn't impede his career, as he retired as a General.
I came to live in England in 1994 and discovered Fortean Times in 1996 and has received the magazine ever since.
 

gordonrutter

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For me when I was growing up there were books like the Von Daniken stuff in the house, holidays to Scotland taking in Loch Ness and so on. I can never put a lightbulb moment for when I became interested in Forteana, I just always was. I went to the local library and read all of the relevant books and then they let me get books from the adult section (always sounds dodgy that) of a Fortean nature as they could see I was interested in Forteana and in reading. All of this was before I had ever heard of Charles Fort. Then one day I found a magazine called Fortean Times in a local independent Forbidden Planet type shop. I tried to buy it every time I saw it (long before there were distribution deals and it was available in normal newsagents). I had already started building a library on Fortean material.

My library continued expanding and I joined the Fortean email list when it first started up (after various usenet groups). I started going to UnCon, writing for FT, holidaying with Forteana in mind and eventually when the FTMB was set up joined that.

I’ve continued to write for the mag and lectured all around the country, visited many locations and seen some of the classic Fortean items (Mitchell Hedges Skull of Doom, Shroud of Turin, Rennes-le-Chateau etc). Built up a large collection of Fortean items, written several books, continued expanding my library and met many fine Forteans, some famous and some not, some in real life and some only online. Founded the Edinburgh Fortean Society and so on.

I’ve been interviewed on TV, radio, newspapers etc and just done so many Fortean things that it’s amazing! I’m also lucky in that my other hobbies and interests can be meshed with Forteana - photography, mycology and Dr Who.

I’ve done some Fortean blogging and even produced my own podcast, I’m just waiting for some feedback to see if other people think they are any good and then I will start letting them loose on the world. Courtesy of the lockdown as well put various videos on line from the Edinburgh Fortean Society and my cabinet of curiosities.

I’m just hoping to put it all together and get the dream job presenting Fortean TV shows so I can give up the normal 9 to 5.
 

Iris

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I thought that I might have replied to this topic before but can't see it now.
Anyway I began to be curious at 15 months when someone spoke to me and told me my father was coming home from the war that day and where to find a picture of him.
 

maximus otter

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It started for me with the telly. l was an avid watcher of SF series: Space Patrol, Fireball XL5, Stingray and so on.

l read Lord of the Rings aged 11 or 12, then moved on to SF, favourite authors including Heinlein, Larry Niven and Keith Roberts. Just to shape my adolescent mind, Lovecraft and Edgar Rice Burroughs went into the mixture, together with the legendary Pan collections of horror stories.

51jAN6jUi3L._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg


UFOs were my first truly Fortean interest, though l’ve cooled on them to a large extent. l remember borrowing Leonard G. Cramp’s book UFOs and Anti-Gravity: Piece for a Jigsaw several times from Countytown library. Then, on the same shelves, l discovered Heuvelmans! Off l went in another direction...

Then, in the Eighties, l discovered FT, back in the days when it was only available from - ahem! - “specialist” outlets. l was hooked, and became a subscriber ASAP.

Now, my life is in ruins. I inhabit abandoned outhouses, devour roadkill, then sit - unwashed and unshaven - in hedgerows, masturbating compulsively. My vocabulary consists entirely of words like “pareidolia”, “tulpa” and “liminal”.

Spare the price of a cup of tea, guv’nor?

maximus otter
 
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catseye

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I read, all the time as a child and, apart from pony books, our children's library seemed mostly filled with the weird, the fantastic and the wonderful. And then television was Doctor Who, Marianne Dreams, Children of the Stones, The Tomorrow People, Ace of Wands - my staple fare growing up. I was always more drawn to the fey than the sticky-backed-plastic end of the spectrum.
 

Lord Lucan

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It's a side of life, or other wordly life that I've always been drawn to. For want of a better explanation, I've always felt that there is something 'else' out there, whatever that may be, ghosts, UFOs, strange creatures or more.

Like most of us here of a certain age I grew up with:
The Reader's Digest Strange Stories, Amazing Facts - and amazing book and I still have my mother's copy in my library.
Watching Arthur C Clarke's Mysterious World
Waiting eargerly for the weekly dose of 'In Search Of...'
Being scared witless by the Saturday night 'Creature Feature' movies
Devouring the Usbourne books on Ghosts & UFOs ( I've just recently bought the reprints)

Good times!
 

Bad Bungle

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It started for me with the telly. l was an avid watcher of SF series: Space Patrol, Fireball XL5, Stingray and so on.

l read Lord of the Rings aged 11 or 12, then moved on to SF, favourite authors including Heinlein, Larry Niven and Keith Roberts. Just to shape my adolescent mind, Lovecraft and Edgar Rice Burroughs went into the mixture, together with the legendary Pan collections of horror stories.

51jAN6jUi3L._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg


maximus otter
At the end of a bumpy first year at my local Grammar School (aged 12), I was awarded a School Prize for Most Improvement which consisted of a 75p book token. This was spent on three Pan book of Horror Stories (25p each) and it all went downhill after that.
 

Coastaljames

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Now, my life is in ruins. I inhabit abandoned outhouses, devour roadkill, then sit - unwashed and unshaven - in hedgerows, masturbating compulsively.

I thought that was you mate.

Would you mind finding a bush a little further away from mine? Put me off my stroke...
 

escargot

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At the end of a bumpy first year at my local Grammar School (aged 12), I was awarded a School Prize for Most Improvement which consisted of a 75p book token. This was spent on three Pan book of Horror Stories (25p each) and it all went downhill after that.
Oh, a sound investment! :cool:

Do we have a thread on them? We should. There is a Wiki page on them.

All hail Herbert van Thal! :salute:
He must've got more teenagers into reading than Sof' Mick. :wink2:
 
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