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Necrolog (Deaths Of Folks Who Had Impact On The Fortean World)


Gone But Not Forgotten
Feb 26, 2002
[Emp edit: This thread is to mark the passing of people who had an impact on the Fortean world.]

For other obits and the like see the RIP thread:


I hope I'm not being maudlin, but I think that the great Thor Heyerdahl's passing ought to be marked somewhere on this site.

Mr Heyerdahl was never put off by academic scepticism, and I hope he himself will be remembered as an acedemic rather than an adventurer.

Attempting to solve a riddle or prove a theory is often to put ones self at the mercy of those with vested interest or dogmatical bias.

Mr Heyerdahl was never afraid to "put his money where his mouth was" and gave many of us great excitement as he strove to complete his quests.

A truly great man.
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Here's a poignant quote from Mr Heyerdahl tha Appeared in today's Independent newspaper...

I've never had the feeling that there's any positive consensus of opinion about me – I've been represented as a sort of tough sailor who's basically an ignorant madman. Perhaps if things had not gone the way they did, if I had not been able to prove my hypothesis, I would be bitter.

But it left me with a conviction that there's something wrong with science. So much information is available nowadays that to make any forward progress you are forced to specialise, and any attempt at an overview is deemed impossible, and scorned. Whereas I've always searched for correspondences. My real sadness is for the thousands of young people who are crushed by scientific orthodoxies before they even get a chance to advance their own ideas.
In the late 60s I briefly attended one of those new-fangled, indoor lavatoried, own-playing-fielded and not-caning-kids primary schools, where my teacher was obsessed with Thor.

He had us plotting Heyerdahl's route on huge world maps, learning about the Pacific and the Polynesian peoples and building a huge model of the Kon-Tiki out of cardboard and raffia. Magnificent.

My only problem at the time was that our Kon-Tiki obviously wouldn't float. I seriously believed that, given a little more time and better materials, we'd have sailed our raft triumphantly across the local boating lake.

That's REAL teaching- inspired by genius.

I've been a fan of Heyerdahl ever since, and so what if he was wrong about the exact routes taken by ancient seafarers? What he proved was that seagoing travel was possible, by people in rickety reed boats without modern navigational aids.

Heyerdahl was a true maverick. I wonder when we'll see his like again.
I only just found out when I read the headline here. I'm shocked. I didn't know much about the guy, but he seemed really great. It's a big loss for humanity.
Originally posted by escargot
He had us plotting Heyerdahl's route on huge world maps, learning about the Pacific and the Polynesian peoples and building a huge model of the Kon-Tiki out of cardboard and raffia. Magnificent.

Us too. I think it was compulsory in all primary schools back then. At ours we fashioned minatures of Thor's craft out of balsa. It led to vast piles of balsa wood in the stock cupboard. Which led to endless classes of model making with said balsa (this went on for years).

I gave up on the boat and made a witches ducking stool. I was seven. They told me I was a weirdo. They were correct.

Poor old Thor:(. We need more adventurers (or academics:)) in the world, not less.
That's sad - a true adventurer, and a childhood hero. I'll raise a glass to him tonight, and dig out my old copy of Kon-Tiki.
I think I must have read (and reread) most of Thor's books over the years. I remember my famous granddad :) was a big fan of his, so I guess I know where I picked up the bug from...

Cursed: Can you think of anywhere on Earth to which man has not yet gone, or hasn't been mapped from space, or any 'fringe' theory which a bit of adventure could prove then speak up! I'm game!

Niles "Game until it get's too difficult" Calder
I read a book called "Seven Little Sisters" by a bloke who crossed the Pacific alone on a balsa raft, inspired by Thor's 'Kon Tiki'. This book impressed me a lot, but it was several years before I read Thor's books myself.

TH was obviously a man who got things done, and although his books tend to sound 'Me, me, me', I guess you need that sort of personality to achieve things.

I have an old copy of his 'Aku-Aku', about an investigation of Easter Island in the 50s.
The man is my hero. I'm currently reading the Ra Expeditions. This is where he builds a papyrus reed boat and attempts to cross the Atlantic. You may also be interested to know that a book is coming out soon by IJ Thorpe and Nick Thorpe called 8 Men and a Duck: An Improbable Voyage to Easter Island by Reed Boat. I'm guessing that Heyerdahl may have planned a similar expedition. I know he did it on Kon-Tiki but the voyage by reed boat would be a logical extension of the Ra voyages.
I can't believe he's died and I've heard nothing about it! Thanks Arthur. This thread is really appreciated.
Niles, on the Mokele Membe thread it was mentioned that Congo should be 90% unexplored. You could try that one. There are also some other places but I'm afraid none in your neighborhood.
Peter Chapple Dies Suddenly



Breaking News August 26, 2002
Australian Cryptozoologist Peter Chapple Dies Suddenly
by Loren Coleman

Peter Chapple, 47, well-known Australian cryptozoologist, died suddenly, on August 26, 2002 (local Australian time) at Dendenong Hospital, after suffering a heart attack.

Peter Chapple was the President of the Australian Rare Fauna Research Association (ARFRA), in Emerald, Victoria, Australia, which recorded more than 2000 sightings of the Thylacine in Victoria alone. ARFRA was founded by Chapple in June, 1984, under the name "Rare Faune and Phenomena Research," after he had an encounter that year with a "Big Cat" (cryptid panther) in the forest in the Dandenongs. The group became an incorporated association in 1993.

Under Chapple's leadership, ARFRA conducted extensive field-studies and compiled a large data-base on the subject of unidentified animals. One of ARFRA's main achievements involved a 1980s study of panther reports in the Dandenong Ranges. Through a detailed analysis of information gathered over many years, Chapple and other researchers were able to predict the appearance of particular panthers in places where they had been seen in the past. This led to several close encounters with them and proved that the "Big Cat" phenomenon could be measured scientifically.

Peter Chapple devoted the last 18 years of his life to researching Victoria's Big Cat and mainland Thylacine incidents, and he had become a major figure in Australian cryptozoology. He traveled to Fortean Times' London conferences to give lectures on "Australian Thylacines, Big Cats and Devils," in 2000, and on further Australian cryptozoology at "Myths and
Monsters 2001."
Clear lent sympathetic ear to people reporting alien abductions
Constance Clear spent her life as a seeker of truth, a psychotherapist, a radio talk show host and novelist who tried to make people aware of different ideas.
Clear made a name for herself in the realm of alien abductions and UFO phenomena when she took the narratives of seven people who claimed to be abductees and published her first book, "Reaching for Reality: Seven Incredible True Stories of Alien Abduction."

Clear, 53, died Tuesday in Phoenix from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident.

"She loved to get on her trike and just go," said her sister, Susan Ross. "I wrote that she rode her beloved motorcycle with the wind in her hair and a mission on her mind, because that sums up my sister."

In materials published for the release of her book in 1999, Clear said that within a year's time she found herself with seven clients from within a 200-mile radius of San Antonio who claimed to have been abducted by otherworldly beings.

Author Whitley Strieber and Clear met when they sat next to each other on an airplane and just began talking.

"She told me for the first time in her life these people started coming to her with their experiences of close encounters," Strieber said, adding they immediately became friends after that flight.

Her book had a tremendous effect on people who claimed to have had close encounters or survived abductions, he said.

"She was extremely kind to take people like me seriously," he said. "She was willing to listen rather than laugh at us."

Brent Fisher, Clear's ex-husband and a fellow psychotherapist, agrees that Clear's compassion set her apart from other psychotherapists.

For 15 years prior to her work with people who claimed to be alien abductees, Clear led a monthly support group, Share, for parents who lost babies through miscarriages, stillborn births or newborn deaths.

"I filled in for her on one session, and it was three hours of utter sorrow," Fisher said. "She was willing to entertain or allow some of the extreme emotions people had that most psychotherapists wouldn't accept."

Clear also had a show on KENS Radio called "Clear Talk" until the station went off the air earlier this year.

From 1991 to 1999, Clear helped run Independent Horizons, a group of homes for mentally disabled adults, with Ann Jordan and Lucinda Frost.

"She was a great business person," Jordan said. "When she had an idea, she didn't just talk about it, she did it."

Clear moved to Show Low, Ariz., after deciding to write a book about Hopi Indians, who for centuries have described meeting gods from the sky.

Clear also is survived by her son, Trustin Avery Clear of Houston, and two nieces.

A casual celebration of Clear's life is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 2 at Los Patios at 2015 N.E. Loop 410. The family invites friends to come with love and cherished memories of Clear.

Clear will be cremated, and her ashes will be spread near a tree in Arkansas where her parents' and brother's ashes already have been spread.

Linguist, Author Charles Berlitz Dies

December 29, 2003, 5:25 PM EST

TAMARAC, Fla. -- Charles Berlitz, a noted New York linguist and author whose books, including "The Bermuda Triangle," explored the paranormal, has died at age 90.

Berlitz, whose grandfather founded the language schools that bear the family name, died Dec. 18 at University Hospital in Tamarac, relatives said.

Berlitz spoke numerous languages and worked as head of publications for the Berlitz Co. in New York, where he wrote language curriculum for schools around the world. His grandfather, Maximilian Berlitz, founded the school in 1878 in France.

Berlitz was internationally known for his 1974 best seller on the Bermuda Triangle, but he also wrote other books on paranormal phenomena, including "Without a Trace," "The Philadelphia Experiment-Project Invisibility," "The Roswell Incident" and "The Dragon's Triangle."

He was born in New York City in 1913, and spent three decades working for the Berlitz Co. as a writer, lecturer and travel expert. He developed the company's record and tape courses and worked to simplify his grandfather's teaching methods.

He also spent 26 years in the Army, serving as an intelligence officer.

Berlitz began visiting Florida during the 1970s when he was researching his books on the Bermuda Triangle and Atlantis. In the early 1980s, he and his wife moved to Fort Lauderdale.
Montague Keen

A man dedicated to truth, and the spirit of humanity.

Condolences to Montague's surving family.

See you later, Monty. Peace.

"I regret to inform you of the tragic death of my beloved husband, Montague Keen, on the 15th January. He died whilst attending a debate at the Royal Society of Arts, London. In accordance with his wishes, he will be cremated at 4pm on Thursday 22nd January at Hendon Crematorium, Holders Hill road, NW7. He will be in our home from 10am Wednesday until the time of the cremation. All friends welcome.

72 Southway, Totteridge, London N20 8DB.

Only family flowers, please; donations may be sent to the British Heart Foundation.

Veronica Keen

Some details from Dr. Bruce Greyson:

He was in the front row of the audience at the Royal Society of Arts for a debate between Rupert Sheldrake and Lewis Wolpert, the British skeptic. During the question-and-answer period, Monty rose to speak in support of Rupert, and in mid-sentence his voice faded and he lost consciousness from a heart attack. Two doctors in the audience immediately tried to resuscitate him, but he died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. He was 79 and had had a triple bypass. He died as he would have wished, championing the cause of survival.


Bruce Greyson, M.D.
Carlson Professor of Psychiatry
Division of Personality Studies
Department of Psychiatric Medicine
University of Virginia Health System"
Eddie Clontz.. died aged 56 on the 26th January....

Late editor in chief for the last twenty years of the Weekly World News, which began as a dumping ground for stories that failed to make the National Enquirer....

He was the man who in 1988 informed the world that "ELVIS IS ALIVE" before informing us all in 1993 that: "Elvis is Dead at 58" before later revealing that this death was also a hoax!!!!:confused:

Dennis Conrad Bardens, journalist and occultist

Dennis Bardens
Occult writer who founded Panorama

CAR Hills
Saturday February 21, 2004
The Guardian

Dennis Bardens, who has died aged 92, played a brief, but crucial, role in broadcasting history as the founding editor, in 1953, of BBC Television's Panorama programme, then a news magazine. He was also a friend and encourager of the occult artist Austin Osman Spare. Many of the books that Bardens was later to write concerned magical subjects, on which he was an acknowledged expert. The disparate character of these achievements gives some clue to his protean nature.

Bardens was born in Midhurst, Sussex, the son of an army major and an actor. His mother deserted him and went to Australia when he was three, and his father was often away on military duty. Bardens did not get on with his siblings, so he had to fend for himself at Portsmouth grammar school, which he left early.

After serving a newspaper apprenticeship in Cardiff, he made his way to London in the late 1920s, with the intention of becoming a poet. He soon joined the bohemian and occult circles gathered around Victor Neuberg, the great disciple of Aleister Crowley - whom Bardens once met - and discoverer of Dylan Thomas.

It was through Neuberg that Bardens met Spare, whose works are now highly regarded, but who was then living in squalor on the Walworth Road, in south London. They became great friends, and, shortly after the second world war, Bardens organised an important exhibition of Spare's work. Spare subsequently painted several portraits of Bardens.

Meanwhile, Bardens was proving himself as a journalist, working, during the 1930s, for the Sunday Chronicle, Sunday Express and Daily Mirror. In 1940, he became a distinguished reporter of the Blitz. After discharge from the Royal Artillery on medical grounds, he spent two years with the Ministry of Information, and was in charge of coordinating plans for newspaper services in Britain in the event of a German invasion. In 1943, he was transferred to liaison work with the Czechoslovak government in exile, which included, at the end of the war, secret service work in Czechoslovakia.

After 1945, Bardens worked on periodicals published by Odhams Press for three years, and, in 1949, was appointed editor of the BBC radio documentary series Focus. However, Panorama, the product of his subsequent move into television, was not, at first, a great success, and, after six months, he moved on to work, initially, for the Foreign Office and then for commerical television, at the inception of ITV in 1955.

In later life, he was mainly a freelance television editor, writer and journalist, distinguishing himself as a royalty watcher and occultist, and with 15 books to his name, ranging from Churchill In Parliament (1962) to Ghosts And Hauntings (1965) and The Lady Killer (1972), about the French multiple murderer Dr Landru. Another of his books, Elizabeth Fry (1961), is to be republished this year.

Bardens had a lifelong interest in psychical research, and was a life member of the Ghost Club Society. He was also a member of International Pen, the Society of Authors and the National Union of Journalists. A man as sharp as he was kindly, as mischievous as he was portentous, he was an indefatigable coureur de femmes, and was the centre of a vast, vivid and sometimes quarrelsome circle which, despite a whiff of the aristocracy, was essentially democratic.

Bardens was always vigorous in defending his right to be acknowledged as the true founder of Panorama and, at the programme's 50th anniversary celebrations last year, he spoke movingly about those long-past events, with which the official Panorama history, by Richard Lindley, fully credits him.

Essentially a self-made man, he had all the passionate enthusiasm and volubility of the autodidact. Hard-nosed newspaperman, occultist, mason, clubman, spy, writer, gamey man about town, Bardens's roles were infinite and, although he talked about every aspect of his existence at disarming length, he retained a core of mystery.

He was married to the former Marie Marks, who predeceased him, as did their son Peter (obituary, April 8 2002), a rock keyboard musician.

· Dennis Conrad Bardens, journalist and occultist, born July 19 1911; died February 7 2004
It's Bigfoot, Baarsma and Bat Boy, oh my!
The News Tribune

The world mourns the recent death of Eddie Clontz, or at least the Weekly World News mourns him. The king of the supermarket tabloids - and a sort of patron saint to The Nose for yanking the chain of the stuffed-shirt newspaper establishment - died from diabetes complications at age 56. More likely, he staged it and went off to start a paper in the Lost City of Atlantis.

As a tribute to Clontz, we started noodling what kind of headlines he might've written if the Weekly World News had a bureau in Tacoma.

To wit:

•Sniper trained with Bigfoot

•Face of Satan seen in Tacoma Tideflats

•Bat Boy signs contract to be Cheney Stadium batboy

•Baarsma blood test reveals alien DNA

•World's fattest cat moves into Ivan's cage at B&I

•Michael Jackson Point Defiance land deal flops; Never-Neverland characters rejoice

•UFO lands at Museum of Glass; nobody there to see it

•Nostradamus predicted it: World will end when Brame investigation done

You look stunning in that: Glad to see three young pillars of the community charged with beating a homeless man to death were on better behavior in a Pierce County courtroom last week.

Their last time in court, they cursed, spat and heaved chairs. There hadn't been language like that around here since the Busta Rhymes concert last summer at the Puyallup Fair.

The stun belts they were wearing must have done the trick. Wonder if we can get the jailhouse tailor to fit Will Baker with one of those.

He's a jolly, happy soul: Sincere congratulations to new PLU head football coach Scott Westering, the team's long-time offensive guru and, oh yeah, the son of some guy named Frosty.

Now that Scott's coming down from the booth and into the spotlight, PLU marketing whiz kids figure he needs a nickname of his own. Sources say the following ideas already have been considered and rejected:

Slushy, Snowball, Flaky, Chilly, Nippy, Icy, Itchy, Scratchy, Sweaty, Sneezy, Stinky, Soggy, Sticky, Balmy, Sunny, Sonny, Frosty the Sequel, Frosty the Younger, Frostier and Rudolph.

LUI (legislating under the influence): You always hear about lawmakers being under the control of the pharmaceutical industry, but here's a new twist.

State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle) felt compelled to write a "My dear colleagues" letter this week to explain her "unusual conduct" during a caucus meeting. Seems she accidentally swallowed a prescription sleeping pill instead of a muscle relaxant and took a siesta in front of her peers.

"I actually hadn't known that I had done so until a couple of people mentioned it to me this morning," she wrote. "I also was unaware that I had spoken on a higher ed bill of mine."

At least give her credit for honesty. Most legislators down there have trained themselves to sleep with their eyes open.

Extreme forbearance: The News Tribune SoundLife section had a story last Friday about the insane number of carved wooden bears in Fircrest. Strangers who take a wrong turn might think they've somehow landed in Jellystone Park. C'mon people, you're actually making us wish for lawn gnomes.

There are more phony grizzlies in that city than Level 2 sex offenders in Tacoma. Speaking of which, maybe it's time for Fircrest to take a cue from Tacoma City Councilman Tom Stenger: Limit the number to 20 per census tract.

Got nose for The News? Call 253-597-8742, Ext. NOSE (6673).

(Published 12:01AM, February 6th, 2004)

Typically I only half remember reading this in 'Empire' but didn't the director of the exorcist make her do some terrible things to get that voice, like gargle raw eggs???
Friedkin is a git. A complete and utter wazzock. :mad: Can't stand the little shit.
John Money's career trellis...

No idea how he managed to die at 38 and nothing on the web about it, maybe in a day or two:

May 07 2004 04:11 PM CDT

Man raised as girl dies

WINNIPEG - A Winnipeg man who was the subject of a ground-breaking sex-change experiment died this week.

David Reimer's parents were advised to raise their baby boy as a girl after a failed circumcision in 1966. Reimer was clinically castrated and was subject to mental, social and hormonal conditioning to help him live his early life as a girl named Brenda.

Medical experts from around the world quietly monitored the experiment, which was thought to be of particular interest because Reimer had a twin brother.

Reimer was a social outcast as a child and suffered extreme depression. He discovered the truth about himself when he was a teenager and decided to life as a male. He underwent testosterone injections, a painful double mastectomy and a phalloplasty and started a new life as a man.

Reimer eventually married and raised three stepchildren in Winnipeg.

The flawed experiment later received worldwide publicity, and Reimer stepped out of anonymity in 2000 to reveal his story in the book As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised As A Girl.

Reimer was 38 years old.
Originally posted by Red_Dalek
No, that was Fred/Freda.

Also, like to post RIP for Anthony Ainley - The Master.
I can't think I've ever heard of him but what a life!!

Robert Fulton, Inventor of Flying Car Dies at 95

May 10, 2004 11:44 am US/Eastern

(1010 WINS) (Newtown, CT) Robert E. Fulton Jr., who was there when King Tut's tomb was first opened, drove a motorcycle around the world and invented a flying automobile, has died at the age of 95.

Fulton, who was born in New York City, died at his home on Friday.

After getting a degree in architecture from the University of Vienna in 1932, Fulton kicked off the motorcycle trip around the world, leaving from London on a 40,000-mile trek that took him to 32 countries over the next 17 months.

Fulton had planned to study and photograph the world's architectural wonders, but that changed once he hit the road.

"I soon discovered that instead of taking pictures of architecture, it was the people that were more important. So that became what I did on the whole trip," Fulton told CNN in a 2000 interview.

Fulton traveled extensively with his family as a child. He was on the first commercial air flight from Miami to Havana in 1921 and was present at the opening of King Tut's tomb in Egypt in 1923.

In the early 1940s, Fulton developed a simulator that was used to train Navy pilots in aerial combat.

His flying car, which he called the Airphibian, was developed in 1946. Despite logging over 100,000 miles in the air and garnering favorable press in national magazines, the Airphibian never got off the ground commercially. One complete model still exists as part of the collection of the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian.

Fulton is survived by 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


Ah, more on Reimer as expected, and not nice either:

"Gender Study" Victim Boy Raised as a Girl Commits Suicide

WINNIPEG, May 10, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - David Reimer committed suicide last week at the age of 38. Reimer's parents, after a botched circumcision, were convinced by a Johns Hopkins gender studies specialist to raise the boy as a girl. Dr. John Money believed that gender was a learned trait, and wanted to prove his theory with an ideal test subject: David was one of a set of identical twins. He was started on female hormone injections and raised as Brenda.

David's mother, Janet Reimer, said that he would still be alive had it not been for the gender experiment. She blames the doctor for talking them into the sex-change. She described his life: "They wouldn't let him use the boys' washroom or the girls. He had to go in the back alley," she said.

At the age of 14, he was told of his true gender identity, at which time he rebelled, and lived as a boy. He eventually married and became a stepfather to three children.

David's story became widely known after the publication of a book about his life by author John Colapinto, who wrote As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl. Reimer went on the Oprah Winfrey show to talk about the issue, in order to prevent the same thing from happening to anyone else.

David's mother said he was depressed after losing his job and separating from his wife. He was also still grieving the loss of his brother, Brian, who died two years earlier from a drug overdose related to his schizophrenia treatment.
Geeezzz, poor bastard, what a life. I hope he's finally found some peace....:( :nooo: