Thursday, 10 July 2014

6 August 2014: Charles Fort's 140th Birthday


The naïve and the pedantic and the bizarre and the grotesque and the sincere and the insincere, the profound and the puerile.
The Book of the Damned

An (even more) informal gathering (than usual) to celebrate the birthday of Charles Fort, the american writer who inspired the idea of being fortean. (Although others coined the term and started all the societies.)

Beginning at 7.30pm on Wednesday 6 August outside 39A Marchmont Street, Fort’s home in London, with a reading and toast (ale and cheese optional).

Followed by a drink in his honour at the Marquis Cornwallis on Marchmont Street, a "Bloomsbury pub of grandiose proportions".

All forteans and friends welcome.

I am a collector of notes upon subjects that have diversity—such as deviations from concentricity in the lunar crater Copernicus, and a sudden appearance of purple Englishmen—stationary meteor-radiants, and a reported growth of hair on the bald head of a mummy—and "Did the girl swallow the octopus?
Wild Talents

Friday, 27 June 2014

Dr Jacqueline Simpson: The Folklore of Discworld

8pm (doors 7.30pm) 
Thursday 31 July 2014
£3 / £2 concessions.
Tickets are available.
The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR

Take a trip to Discworld with award-winning author Dr Jacqueline Simpson. Jacqueline has written many books on folklore, including The Folklore of Sussex, British Dragons, Scandinavian Folktales, and The Lore of the Land (in collaboration with Jennifer Westwood).

She is also a great admirer of Terry Pratchett’s fantasies, which often involve folklore, so when she met him at a book signing in 1997 they inevitably talked about folklore – magpies, to be precise.

From this came a friendship and, in due course, their joint book on The Folklore of

Discworld (2008, with an updated edition in 2014).

We begin each evening with our monthly round-up of fortean news stories from the month.

8pm (doors 7.30pm)
Thursday 31 July 2014
£3 / £2 concessions
The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR
Nearest station is Liverpool Street.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Dr Who in An Exciting Adventure With Charles Fort

8pm (Doors 7.30pm)  Wednesday 16 July 2014
£3 / £2 concessions

The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train & Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East


Please note the new (old) venue!
 
Is this your image? It's brilliant. Please email us on forteansociety@live.co.uk so we can buy you a pint or something.
London Dalek
Dr Who has graced our television screens for over fifty years now and the show has seen a myriad of adventures. Everyone knows the Daleks but there are a host of lesser known adversaries and story lines, some of which Charles Fort would surely have approved.
There are a wealth of Fortean themes and mysteries in the history of the worlds longest running science fiction TV show, come along to hear and explore the pick of them.
 



The Gordon Rutter
We all wear collarless shirts now.
Gordon Rutter is a life-long Dr Who fan, author, regular contributor to the Fortean Times, regular speaker at the Fortean Times UnConvention, head of the Charles Fort Institute, runs the Edinburgh Fortean Society and probably still holds the world record for the greatest number of straws shoved into one human being's mouth.

8pm (Doors 7.30pm)  Wednesday 16 July 2014
£3 / £2 concessions

The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.

Train & Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East
Please note the new (old) venue!

Friday, 30 May 2014

Gary Lachman on Colin Wilson


Colin Wilson bookshelf. With thanks to Schrodingers Bekku


 8pm (doors 7.30pm) Thursday 26 June 2014
£3 / £2 concessions

The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR


Gary Lachman
From his first book The Outsider in 1956 Colin Wilson was one of the most controversial and enduring philosophers of consciousness of modern times. On what would have been Wilson’s 83rd birthday Gary Lachman traces his career, exploring his "new existentialism," his insights into occult phenomena and his outlook for our future evolution; he will also touch on his personal encounters with Wilson and how Wilson’s ideas have informed his own work.

A founding member of the rock group Blondie, Gary Lachman is the author of books on Madame Blavatsky, Hermes Trismegistus and most recently Aleister Crowley: Magick, Rock and Roll, and The Wickedest Man in the World.

We begin each evening with our monthly round-up of fortean news stories from the month.

8pm Thursday 26 June 2014
£3 / £2 concessions
The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR
Nearest station is Liverpool Street.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Mark Pilkington: Magic, Deception and the Abuses of Enchantment


8pm (doors 7.30pm) Thursday 29 May 2014
£3 / £2 concessions

The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR


Cyber-Mage
Mark Pilkington looks at two formerly secret documents, published six decades apart, that reveal the methodologies of psychological manipulation and deception practised by American and British intelligence services. “The Art of Deception, Training for a New Generation of Online Covert Operations”, an internal presentation for the UK’s GCHQ, was leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden earlier this year, while “The Exploitation of Superstitions for Purposes of Psychological Warfare” was published by USAF’s RAND Corporation in 1950. 

The similarities between the two papers demonstrate that while the world we live in has changed dramatically in the intervening years, the human mind, and the techniques for manipulating it, have remained very much the same; both papers discuss the exploitation of belief systems and fortean phenomena.

Mark Pilkington is the author of Mirage Men (2010, now a feature documentary) and runs Strange Attractor Press
Sightings


We begin each evening with our monthly round-up of fortean news stories from the month. 
8pm Thursday 29 May 2014
£3 / £2 concessions



The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR

Nearest station is Liverpool Street.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Poltergeist Prince of London



8pm (doors 7.30pm) Thursday 24 April 2014
£3 / £2 concessions




New bigger venue: The Vaults Basement Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR

Battersea, 1956: A poltergeist outbreak is fantastical enough, but a poltergeist that learns
to communicate details of an apparent previous life? And a life that begins to sound like that of the Lost Dauphin of Revolutionary France? Studying the poltergeist’s claims researcher Harold Chibbett was forced to wonder: could ‘Donald’ really be the spirit of the Louis-Charles, tragic son of Marie Antoinette?

Shirley Hitchings, the centre of these events and co-author of ‘The Poltergeist Prince of London’ with James Clark, discusses her experiences with Alan Murdie, Chairman of the Ghost Club and regular Fortean Times contributor on ghosts.


8pm Thursday 24 April 2014
£3 / £2 concessions




The Vaults Basement Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR
Nearest station is Liverpool Street. 


Thursday, 27 February 2014

Electronic Ghost Voices

8pm Thursday 27 March 2014
£3 / £2 concessions

The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train & Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East

Can we hear the voices of the dead via electronic devices? Psychologist Cal Cooper, author of Telephone Calls from the Dead, and Prof Chris French of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, Goldsmiths College, London offer very different views of Electronic Voice Phenomena
All are welcome.




Each LFS evening begins with the Fortmanteau: our monthly summary of strange news stories.

More details:

Many people, when asked, will say that at some point in their lives that they have experienced what they believe to be a ghost, or have had a psychic experience. However, will many people openly admit that they have experienced what they believe to be a 'phone call from the dead'? This question has been asked before, and was investigated back in 1979, in a book entitled ''Phone Calls from the Dead'', written by D. Scott Rogo and Raymond Bayless. For many years, this subject has remained dormant, until now, thirty years on.  New cases of anomalous telephone communication have been researched, new history has been considered, new findings are presented and alternative theories for how such events take place are discussed.''

Cal Cooper is a psychologist and a doctoral candidate based at the University of Northampton (UK), within the psychology division’s Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes. He is a member of the Society for Psychical Research, the Parapsychological Association, and a Hope Studies Graduate Researcher (Hope Studies Central, University of Alberta). He is the author of Telephone Calls from the Dead and co-author of Conversations with Ghosts (with Dr Alex Tanous).


There are good reasons to believe that EVP is best explained in psychological rather than parapsychological terms. Whatever the truth of the matter, it is most certainly the case that the human tendency to see and hear meaningful stimuli in randomness accounts for the vast majority of cases of EVP. This point will be illustrated with visual and auditory examples of various kinds. And, yes, I will be playing Led Zep backwards again...

Professor Chris French is the Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, as well as being a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association and a member of the Scientific and Professional Advisory Board of the British False Memory Society. He has published over 100 articles and chapters covering a wide range of topics. He frequently appears on radio and television casting a sceptical eye over paranormal claims, as well as writing for the Guardian and The Skeptic magazine. His most recent books are Why Statues Weep: The Best of The Skeptic and Anomalistic Psychology. Follow him on Twitter: @chriscfrench


8pm Thursday 27 March 2014
£3/£2 concessions
London Fortean Society meets upstairs at the fantastic
Bell pub, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train & Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East.