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DOGS ON DRUGS

SOLAR APOCALYPSE • MANCHESTER GHOST • POPE’S BLOOD STOLEN
WWW.FORTEANTIMES.COM
THE WORLD OF
STRANGE PHENOMENA
FT312 MARCH 2014 £4.25
Pilgrims
from Hell
ON THE ROAD WITH
SPAIN’S HOODED
HARBINGERS OF
DEATH...
GOING
CARACAS
HAS HUGO CHÁVEZ
RETURNED FROM
THE DEAD?
HIPPOCRATIC
OAFS
DEADLY DOCTORS AND
KILLER QUACKS
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Fortean Times 312
strange days
dolphins and dogs on drugs; Swiss cheese pervert; Pope’s
blood stolen; Paciic drifter’s miraculous journey; transplant
surprises; Colin Wilson’s ghosts; lavender crab; cheating
the hangman; the Warminster Thing – and much more.
contents
12 SCIENCE
14 GHOSTWATCH
16 ARCHæOLOGY
17 CLASSICAL CORNER
19 mYTHCONCEPTIONS
21 ALIEN ZOO
23 STRANGE dEATHS
24 THE UFO FILES
the world of strange phenomena
features
COvER STORy
26 PILGRImS FROm HELL
mARIA J PéREz CuERvO crosses herself and goes in search
of Galicia’s hooded harbingers of death – the lost souls of
the
Santa Compaña
or Holy Company.
32 HIPPOCRATIC OAFS
Today, doctors enjoy high status and the respect of
Society. But it was not always so, says BARRy BALdwIN,
as he reviews the ambiguous image of the physician from
classical civilisation to modernity – a history involving
miracle-working, quackery and killing...
38 THE mySTERIOuS ORIGINS
OF OuR mOON
ALAN muRdIE reports on a Royal Society meeting at
which lunar experts from all over the world pondered the
question of just how Earth’s moon came into being.
32 HIPPOCRATIC OAFS
medical mishaps, extraordinary quacks and surgeons doctoring the evidence
42 GOING CARACAS
Sd TuCKER examines widespread claims of supernatural
interference in Venezuela’s recent elections, and wonders
if the unquiet ghost of Latin-American marxism will ever
truly be slain.
reports
48
THE FIRST FORTEANS
No. 5. Eric Frank Russell: Part Two
72
FORTEAN TRAvELLER
No. 92. Wieliczka Salt mine, Poland
76
STORIES FROm THE ILLuSTRATEd POLICE NEwS
No. 28. The manchester Ghost of 1869
12 LOOKING FOR LOOPHOLES
The science of the impossible
42 GOING CARACAS
The second coming of Hugo Chávez
forum
53
Cameron vs forteana?
by Ian Simmons
54
Space apocalypse ahoy!
by Matt Salusbury
regulars
02 EdITORIAL
57 REVIEWS
67 LETTERS
71 IT HAPPENEd TO mE
78 REAdER INFO
80 PHENOmENOmIx
72 FORTEAN TRAvELLER
The sculptures carved out of salt
20 HELL IN THE PACIFIC
Castway’s miraculous tale of survival
COVER ILLUSTRATION: ALExANdER TOmLINSON
1
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FT312
Fortean times
editorial
editor
dAVid SUttoN
(drsutton@forteantimes.com)
foUNdiNg editorS
bob rickArd (bobrickard@mail.com)
pAUl SieVekiNg (sieveking@forteantimes.com)
Art director
etieNNe gilfillAN
(etienne@forteantimes.com)
book reViewS editor
VAl SteVeNSoN
(val@forteantimes.com)
reSideNt cArtooNiSt
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Lost souls and missing monsters
It’s always fascinating to gain some new insight
into the landscape of supernatural belief in
another culture.We’ve devoted many an article
over the years to the fairy- and folklore of the
British Isles,not to mention an equally rich
history of ghost and hauntings,but the Spanish
– and more speciically Galician – legend of the
Santa Compaña
, or Holy Company, was one we
were largely unfamiliar with.This nocturnal
procession of hooded,skeletal igures did put
us in mind of the classic Spanish horror movie
The Tombs of the Blind Dead
and its sequels,
but those cinematic revenants were Knights
Templar, whereas the ghostly pilgrims who
make up the
Compaña
are restless souls doomed
to a liminal existence between this world and
the next.Although,in some
accounts,their function
seems to be that of guides
from deathbed to afterlife,
you wouldn’t want to meet
them on a lonely crossroads
at night; generally speaking,
they are harbingers of death
for those who meet them (for
a irst hand account of such
an encounter inAsturias,
apparently presaging a car
crash,see our
It Happened to
Me,
vol III
,
p148).
This issue’s feature
by Maria J Pérez Cuervo
makes clear that while
the Holy Company shares
characteristics – and possibly
mythic roots – with other
European beliefs such as
the Celto-GermanicWild Hunt or the fairy
abductions ofWales and Ireland,it has a distinct
and fascinating lavour of its own,one that
derives,at least in part,from the introduction of
the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory in the 13th
century.
all this,of course,was quite a long time after St
Columba’s supposed encounter with a mystery
beast in the River Ness inAD 565 – had Nessie
perhaps been enjoying the world’s longest
recorded hibernation?
We’ll leave the last word to our old friend
Kevin Carlyon,Britain’s self-styled‘High Priest
of theWhiteWitches,a man prone to waving his
arms about at stone circles,clad in his dressing
gown:“I personally believe Nessie is a ghost of
a dinosaur, who has been regularly seen on the
loch.But the spirit of the creature has been so
exploited in recent years I decided to carry out
an exorcism: hence no sightings of the monster.
I will return this summer to lift my spell,and
hopefully sightings of Nessie’s spirit will return.”
D. Mail, 7 Feb; Scotsman, 8
Feb 2014
.
ErrAtA
FT309:34-39
: Ray
Stephenson of Gateshead,
Tyne &Wear, pointed out an
anachronism in the article
on St Nicholas by Angeline
Adams and Remco van
Straten,in which they state
that the bishop (c.280-343)
“devoted his life to the
Orthodox church”.As Ray
points out,this didn’t come
into being until the Great
Schism of 1054.He adds that:
“Saying that the nature of
Christ’s divinity was‘hashed
out’ inAD 325 is a rather
offhand way of describing
one of the pivotal events ofWestern Europe in
the last 2,000 years! Nitpicking I know”.
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"THE HARBINgERS? OF DOOM? HOW LOvELY.
FORgIvE ME, DID WE MEET ON HOLIDAY?"
FT311:12
:A Sideline headed“Very Lost”
reported that a dead aardvark had been found
beside a road in Berkshire“5,000 miles from its
Brazilian rainforest habitat”.But,asTrevorA
Millar ofTilbury, Essex,pointed out:“As any fule
kno, aardvarks are native to SouthAfrica,not
Brazil.”
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WhErE’S NESSiE?
“Is Nessie Dead?”asked the
Daily Mail
earlier
this year, worrying that an unprecedented
dearth of sightings of Loch Ness’s most
famous putative inhabitant signalled some
cryptozoological disaster. Gary Campbell of the
Oficial Loch Ness Monster Club said there had
been no“conirmed sightings”for 18 months
(sinceAug 2012),while bookmakersWilliam
Hill said that the three 2013 entries to its annual
Nessie photo competition had been dismissed as
nothing more than a wave, a duck and a picture
not even taken on the Loch.
A concerned Mr Campbell claims that 2013
was the irst year in which there have been no
sightings of Nessie since 1925,although early
monster investigator RupertT Gould,in his
1934 book
The Loch Ness Monster
, lists only four
sightings between 1925 and 1932.Nessie’s entry
onto the world stage only happened in 1933,
of course,with a number of widely reported
sightings (see‘Nessie at 80’,
FT308:42-46
).And
Fortean times
(USPS 023-226) is published every four weeks by Dennis
Publishing Ltd, 30 Cleveland Street, London, W1P 4JD, United Kingdom.
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© Fortean Times: FEBRUARY 2014
SEE PAGE 78
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FT312
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