Monday, November 9, 2009

Charles Fort --Who was he?

If you take an interest in anomalous phenomena of any kind, then by now you surely have heard the name Charles Fort.

He is credited as the man who coined the term "teleportation" and whom the subject of Forteana itself is named after.

Fort was born in New York and although, even as a youngster, was considered bright and intelligent, did not do well in school.
He was known to be witty and humorous, and his natural intense curiosity may have been the spark which started his lifelong journey of sitting in libraries for hours, taking notes, and collecting reports of anomalous phenomena. Today, strange anomolies are often refered to as Fortean, thanks to a playwright named Ben Hecht,who was the first to use the word in a review of "The Book of the Damned" in 1919.
Fort was somewhat of a rebel, and was very critical of authoritarianism, especially in science and religious dogma.
He was adamant that he not be refered to as a scientist, and always remained philosophical in nature when discussing the subjects he researched.
He took great delight in critiquing the scientific community's opinion of anomolies, and gave lengthy comment on circumstances labeled by them as "myth", such as frogs and stones falling from the sky, and even occurrences of ball lightning, which have now been categorized as real events.

Fort characterized his research and data as "damned" because of the opposition it faced from orthodox science. He believed that all information must be considered "tentative" forever as it is subject to change at any time. He once stated "There never was an explanation that didn't itself have to be explained"
His views and reviews often infuriated his contemporaries, but it never stopped Fort from continuing his search in the fashion he was best known for.
He passed away at the age of 58, apparently from leukemia, though that diagnosis has never been accurately confirmed.
He continued his research and obsessive note taking right up until the end, and has inspired many to continue on the path of a "contrary to popular opinion" type philosophy.
The term Fortean has many interpretations, but one fact remains.... is as far from orthodoxy and conventional thinking as one can possibly get.

It is a beautiful Autumn morning in Michigan today. I hope everyone is enjoying their day to the fullest.
Bright blessings to all.

Your Mistress of the Mysterious,
Raven M.


  1. Very interesting, Raven! And I often wondered how that term came about. I need to stop by your Haven more often. Just need a lil reminder now and again.


  2. I'd be delighted to see you stop by more often here at the Haven,Clayton!
    Speaking of stopping by,I should be in your neck of the woods at some point in the near future,and Im looking forward to dragging you out on an adventure with me!
    Talk to you soon! And thanks again for the comment. : )

  3. Cool little summary of Fort's life, Raven.

    One aspect of Fort's life that is often left out is the fact that he himself did not consider himself a "Fortean." He even refused the attend the first meeting of the Fortean society. He was a semi-recluse most of his life wwhose only close companion beside his wife was Theodore Dreiser. Even his wife did not read his work. (Apparently she could not understand them).

    A lot of his outlook on life may also have been shaped by his abusive childhood at the hands of his father. He did even keep in contact with his two other brothers.
    Endlessly fascinating man. Thanks for the write-up.

  4. Wow! I did not know that. Thanks for the extra tidbits on Fort,Cryptids!
    I have heard about the abuse during his upbringing,but I never even knew he had two brothers.
    Though he has been gone a long time,it seems more and more little fun facts still keep coming out about him all the time. A fascinating gent indeed!
    Thanks for your comment,cryptids.
    Have a great evening my friend!

  5. There was arecent biography of him called "Charles Fort:The Man Who Invented The Supernatural" that came out last year. Not quite definitive but close. You should check it out, Raven. :)

  6. Very interesting Raven. Did they also name all those Army posts after him???


  7. lol Curtis. I'll be sure to look into that right away for ya!
    Good to hear from you, buddy. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

  8. Awesome write up on Charles Fort Raven, I really enjoyed reading it. You DO have a great flair for writing..keep it up darling.

  9. Thank you for the lovely compliment, Esther!
    I am absolutely fascinated by Fort and his work. He was definitely one of the rebel researchers of his generation. He was witty and quirky and absolutely in love with the subjects he researched so diligently. A man after my own heart! lol
    Have a beautiful and blessed day, my friend!

  10. Hi Raven,

    I'm a producer in New York working on a show about unexplained phenomena (including cryptids) and I'd like to speak with you about your possible involvement as an on-camera guest. I found you through online research, but Ken Gerhard also recommended you. We'd be especially excited to feature a woman in the field. Please contact me at your earliest convenience at I look forward to hearing from you!

  11. I would love to hear more about your show,Rachel! Thank you so much for contacting me. Ken is an amazing individual and Im honored that he recommended me.
    I'll be in touch!
    Best regards,

  12. Thanks for the info on Chales Fort...fascinating and important man...we owe him a huge debt for all his work in the field.
    Markus Oxlick Manstroma
    manstromaarts-on youtube



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