RUFOS Home About RUFOS RUFOS History Contact Us Discussion Board FACEBOOK RUFOS Twitter  Info Page Updates Sightings RUFOS News Special Events Questions & Answers RUFOS Links RUFOS Membership
Roundtown UFO Society PO Box 52  ~ Circleville, Ohio  43113 ~ (740)474-6773

Come visit us at one of our Roundtown UFO Society meetings on the 2nd Thursday of each month presently at the Pickaway County Public Library in Circleville starting at 6:00 pm and ending at 8:30 pm.  There is usually a sign indicating where the meeting is.

Home of America's First Classic Close Encounter
& Circleville - Roswell Connection

The Complete Books of Charles Fort
By Charles Fort
Dover Books N.Y. 1974

Charles Hoy Fort, born in Albany, New York, in 1874, and who died in Bronx, N.Y., in 1932, has been called by admirers "one of the truly original minds of this century".

Fort was an obscure journalist who lived in near-poverty for much of his life.  He devoted his life to collecting data on unexplained phenomena, also known as anomalies An anomaly is anything that does not fit into the known realms of science.  For this reason, Fort called his data "damned" because the established scientific community had a tendency to ignore or explain away anything that didn't fit into their narrow-minded view.  Fort collected his information from scientific periodicals and newspapers from the year 1800 and afterwards. He virtually lived in libraries in the US and in London, England.  His collection of strange phenomena appeared in four books, The Book of the Damned Lo, New Lands, and Wild Talents.  

Fort's books are written in a humorous, tongue-in-cheek vein that some readers may not be sophisticated enough to appreciate. Imagine if Mark Twain had turned his writing talents to such phenomena as unusual lights in the sky, unknown creatures, and bizarre falls from the sky. Fort was like Twain in his outlook which was sarcastic, witty, and critical of the establishment. However, what separated Fort from his contemporaries who criticized politicians or religion was that Fort criticized modern science. In his view, science was a false religion trying to replace Christianity with its own views.  Fort felt that individuals like Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud, or Albert Einstein was capable of being mistaken and should not be worshipped by the scientific community as all knowing experts.  Fort pointed out hundreds of mistakes that modern scientists had made. For this Fort was ignored or dismissed as being a "crank" or anti-science but now Fort is better appreciated as being someone who correctly saw that modern science is not infallible and that one should not ignore something just because it doesn't fit in any pre-conceived notion.

Since this is a UFO newsletter, I will point out Fort's contribution to ufology.  He lived in an era before "UFO's" or "flying saucers" was known by those names.  In his day unknown lights were called "phantom airships".  In 1896 and 1897, there were several such sightings in the American Midwest especially Ohio.  Fort was one of the first to speculate that our planet was being visited by travelers from somewhere else.  For this reason, Fort is considered a pioneer Ufologist though he died before the 1947 modern era of UFO's began with the Kenneth Arnold sightings.

Today, there are several magazines devoted to studying strange phenomena.  These magazines are called "fortean" in honor of Fort.  He has had an enormous influence also in science fiction.  Many writers read his books and decided to turn his speculation into science fiction stories.  One of Fort's theories was that Earth may belong to some superior intelligence.  He said, "We are property." The idea that Earth is a kind of zoo owned by aliens has been the subject of much science fiction stories and films.  Ironically, Fort is a hero to both the Biblical Creationists who are conservative and the New Agers who are liberal.  Fort was skeptical of the atheistic concept of human evolution.  The idea that man is an accident of evolution seemed absurd to him.  Fort speculated that man was created by a superior intelligence and did not evolve.  Fort himself was an agnostic but in his criticism of science, he echoes the thoughts of millions of Christians who were fed up with the established dogma of science which states man is an accident of evolution living in a meaningless universe. Fort felt there was a purpose to the universe but that science was too narrow minded to see it.

Today, with science studying the "new physics" that allows for the possibility of other dimensions and parallel universes, Fort's theories no longer seem so extraordinary.  He was also one of the first science writers to speculate that the Earth be viewed as one living organism.  Now there is the "Gaia" hypothesis first proposed by a British scientist that echoes Fort's views. So we can see that slowly but surely some scientists are turning away from the materialistic view and opening their minds to new concepts.  The Complete Books of Charles Fort is an essential guide to scientific anomalies and a challenge to the prevailing views of scientists in the modern era.

Back to Book Reviews