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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser


The Book of the Damned

Charles Fort



So, I read The Book of the Damned by Charles Fort. Published in 1919, it was basically the first work in anomalistics. Fort says that some data has been damned by established science; it has been regarded as a hoax, explained badly, or most often simply ignored. He points to numerous stories of objects falling from the sky: fish, rocks, frogs, etc., and believes that a "Super-Sargasso Sea" somehow suspended far above the Earth from which things escape might be a better hypothesis than, say, whirlwinds. It's a somewhat playful work, somewhat mocking scientists.

From a modern perspective, as there are more observers, more cameras and telescopes, more people capable of publishing their findings, if there were some Alien super-constructions in space from which we sometimes receive material or glimpses, we would expect an increase in suspicious reports. Given the lack, probably the boring explanations are more plausible. But as literature, this was the fore-runner of cable television shows tempting explanations for the paranormal..