Last updated: August 4, 2017. - Fortean Notes

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Last updated: August 4, 2017.

Charles Hoy Fort's Notes

Preliminary Notes to the Chronological Series

[Beginning of Series I and Series A.]

1800 / Directions / If I pass along these notes / Anything with the third item a letter is from the London Times, such as Aug 21-10-e. [A; 1. Fort copied this method from the indexes for the Times by indicating the date-page-column of the article.]

1800 / Notes / Order // Blue / Mauve / Pink / Light Yellow / Yellow / Green / Salmon / Lavender / Gray / from May 16, 1923 / Lighter green / Dark blue / White / Jan. 15, 1931 = light salmon. [I; 2. Fort indicates a color scheme for some of his notes.]

N / From May 16, 1923 / Blue / Mauve / Pink / Light Yellow / Yellow / Green / Salmon / Lavender / Gray / Lighter (this) green / Blue. From Nov, 1928 = white / Jan 15, 1931 = pale salmon / July 1, 1931 = white ruled. [A; 2. Fort indicates a color scheme for some of his notes.]

1800 // Jan., 1931. [A; 3.]

1800 // July, 1931. [A; 4.]  

Notes / A date and a place on green paper = q — Rept B.A., 1911 / I = small / II = greater / III = greatest. [I; 1. Fort indicates how earthquakes from Milne's list and their intensity will appear on green paper.]

Notes / q's from B.A. list = III = greatest intensity. [I; 3.]


1800 / Col. the wildmen of the "mixed" languages. [A; 5.]

Note / Watch for 2 or more polts or other "spirits". [A; 6.]

N / Fulton letter / myst flames / See Oct 15, 1907. [A; 7.]

Watch for note / boa Long Island, Sept 7, 1893 / Cobra there (L.I.) long before. [A; 8. Pabst wrote: "See May 31, 1881." See: (1881 May 31).]

18— / Case at Leeds / For bog bursts in Ireland. / See Irish Naturalist, June, 1897. [I; 4. Pabst wrote: "See Sept 2, 1824." Praeger, R. Lloyd. "Bog-Bursts, with Special Reference to the Recent Disaster in Co. Kerry." Irish Naturalist, 6 (June 1897): 141-162. See: 1824 Sept. 2, (I; 1137).]  

184 / Cupar / Sound like thunder and whirl / See Sept 9, 1923. [I; 5. Pabst wrote: "See June 30, 1842." Cupar, Scotland. See: 1842 June 30, (II; 467), and, (1923 Sept 9).]

18— / The Leeds case / Bursting bogs and streams of muddy water / Science, Ap. 1, 1892, p. 187. [I; 6. Pabst wrote: "See Sept 2, 1824." "Notes and News." Science, n.s., 19 (April 1, 1892): 187. See: 1824 Sept. 2, (I; 1137).]

[Before] 1800 / At Seringapatam ab. 1800, ab size of an elephant—"No reason whatever for our doubting fact." Dr. Buist / Bt. As. 1855/34. / See May 28, 1802. / B Assoc 1855/34. [I; 7. Buist, George. "Remarkable Hailstorms in India, from March 1851 to May 1855." Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1855, Notices and Abstracts, 31-38, at 34. "One near Seringapatam, in the end of last century, said to have been the size of an elephant. It took three days to melt. We have no further particulars, but there is no reason whatever for our doubting the fact." Heyne, Benjamin. Tracts, Historical and Statistical, on India. London: R. Baldwin and Black, Parry and Co., 1814; a footnote at 29. "Masses of immense size are said to have fallen from the clouds at different periods: in the latter part of Tippoo Sultan's reign it is on record, and well authenticated, that a piece fell near Seringapatam of the size of an elephant, which by the Sultan's officers was reported to produce 'the effect of fire on the skin of those who touched it:'—a comparison naturally made by persons ignorant of the sensation of extreme frigidity. It is stated the two days elapsed before it was entirely dissolved, during which time it exhaled such a stench as to prevent people from approaching it: fear probably occasioned the latter report. That this account is in the public records of  Tippoo's reign, I have from a gentleman of the greatest respectability of character, and high in the civil service of the Honourable Company." Tipu Sultan's reign in Mysore ended on May 4, 1799, with his death at the Siege of Seringapatam.]

1800 / N / W. an early one of plants, etc., at sea / with March, 1905. [I; 8.]

Before 1800:

[1696 April 9 /] 1879 Oct 19 / Notes and Queries of / Man at Tiverton been sleeping about 6 weeks. [B; 251. Gissing, Algernon F. “Long Sleeping.” Notes and Queries, s. 6 v. 1 (January 24, 1880): 76-77. Gissing asked for reference to a report of a man sleeping for “at least a Month or six weeks longer than the time mentioned” in a letter dated “Octob. 19.” The account comes from a book published in 1713, (not from the previous year, 1879). The account was probably referred to Samuel Chilton, of Tinsbury, who went to sleep on April 9, 1696, and awoke next on August 7, (only to discover that he had not slept a single night, when he found a harvest underway in fields which were being seeded when he went to bed). Again, on August 17, 1697, he fell into his “sleeping fit”; he awoke briefly on November 19, only to lapse into his profound sleep; and, finally awoke again, at the end of January or the beginning of February, in 1698. Oliver, William. “A Relation of an Extraordinary Sleepy Person, at Tinsbury, near Bath.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. 23 (1702-1703): 2177-2182. British Curiosities in Nature and Art. London: Chr. Coningsby, 1713, 7-8. Second edition. London: Sam. Illidge, 1728, 10-11.]

[1737 Dec 26 /] 1837 Dec 26 / great part of Europe / At Kilkenny, Ireland, looked like a great globe [of] fire throwing flames on all sides. / Les Mondes (L) 26/80 / Bull de l'Assoc Scientifique. [I; 2278. Guillemin, Amédée. "Sur deux observations qui paraissent offrir quelque analogie avec celle du météore signalé recémment par M. Coggia." Les Mondes, 26 (1871): 79-80. Guillemin, Amédée. "Sur deux observations qui paraissent offrir quelque analogie avec celle du météore signalé récemment par M. Coggia. Comptes Rendus, 73 (1871): 755-756. "M. W. de Fonvielle, à l'occasion de l'étrange météore observé à Marseille par M. Coggia...." Bulletin Hebdomadaire de l'Association Scientifique de France, 8 (no. 194; August 27, 1871): 261-262. Fonvielle, Wilfred de. "Sur quelques apparitions analogues à celles du bolide de Marseille." Comptes Rendus, 73 (1871): 513-514. Tho the Kilkenny phenomenon is not included in this article, several meteoric phenomena of long duration are noted, including: September 4, 1848; February 5, 1850; and July 9, 1686; as well as Kepler's Supernova of 1604. See: 1848 Sept 4, (II: 1228 to 1230), and, 1850 Feb 5, (II; 1362). Halley, Edmund. "An Account of Several Extraordinary Meteors or Lights in the Sky." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 29 (1714-1716): 159-164, at 162-164. Halley calculated that the meteor observed by Gottfried Kirch, at Leipzig, in 1686, was "at least 30 English Miles high in the Air"; and, Kirch claimed to have watched it for about 7.5 minutes, ("semi-quadrantem horae"), before "it darted downwards obliquely." Kirch, Gottfried. Ephermeridum Motuum Coelestium ad Annum Æræ Christianæ 1688. Leipzig: n.p., 1688, "Appendix," (p. 51), and "Fig. D," (p. 48). Gehler, Johann Samuel Traugott. Physikalisches Wörterbuch. Leipzig: E.B. Schwickert, 1825-1845, v. 4, 214-223.]


[1737 Dec 26 /] 1837 Dec 26 / Lights in sky. / Ireland / C.R., Séance, Sep. 18, 1871 /// in same planet by Prof B Lick Ob Ast. Nach, no. 4106 // Obj (3)rd / See. [I; 2279. This note involves two subjects, (on each of its two sides), on different dates. Front side. Guillemin, Amédée. "Sur deux observations qui paraissent offrir quelque analogie avec celle du météore signalé recémment par M. Coggia." Comptes Rendus, 73 (1871): 755-756. The fiery meteoric light seen over Kilkenny, for more than an hour, was undoubtedly an extraordinary, red-coloured auroral display on December 5, 1737, (not in 1837), observed from Italy to Scotland. Thomas Stack. "An account of a book intitled, Observationes de Aere & Morbis Epidemicis...." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 40 (December 1738): 429-40, 437-8. "This same Phænomenon was of great Extent in the Northern Parts of Europe; and at Kilkenny in Ireland, was seen somewhat like a Globe of Fire suspended in the Air for near space of an Hour; which then bursting, spread Flames around on every Side." "A collection of the observations of the remarkable red light seen in the air on Dec. 5, 1737, sent from different places to the Royal Society." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 41 (January-March 1741): 583-606. On the reverse side: Barnard, E.E. "An unexplained observation." Astronomische Nachrichten, 172 (no. 4106; 1906): 25-26, (with illustration). The star-like object observed by Prof. E.E. Barnard, at the Lick Observatory, on August 13, 1892, may have been an intra-Mercurial planet, if not a very bright asteroid, (seen in the morning daylight, before sunrise). Delaunay. "Decouverte d'une nouvelle planete." Comptes Rendus, 73 (1871): 716.]

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