Fortean Phenomena

The term "Fortean Phenomena" (also known as "Forteana") has it's origins in the research and writings of one Charles Hoy Fort (August 6, 1874 – May 3, 1932), an American writer who spent much of his life in the libraries of New York and London reading scientific journals, newspapers, and magazines, collecting notes on various occurrences and phenomena that lay outside the accepted theories and beliefs of the time. He wrote several books on the subject, providing one example after another of curious happenings throughout the world that were often dismissed or ignored by mainstream science.
Charles Hoy Fort

Here are a few excerpts from "The Book of the Damned," his treatise on "rainfalls" of unusual substances:
One reads in the newspapers of hailstones the size of hens' eggs. One smiles. Nevertheless I will engage to list one hundred instances, from the Monthly Weather Review, of hailstones the size of hens' eggs. There is an account in Nature, Nov. 1, 1894, of hailstones that weighed almost two pounds each. See Chambers' Encyclopedia for three-pounders. Report of the Smithsonian Institution, 1870-479--two-pounders authenticated, and six-pounders reported. At Seringapatam, India, about the year 1800, fell a hailstone--


I fear me, I fear me: this is one of the profoundly damned. I blurt out something that should, perhaps, be withheld for several hundred pages--but that damned thing was the size of an elephant.


We laugh.


Or snowflakes. Size of saucers. Said to have fallen at Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 24, 1891. One smiles.


"In Montana, in the winter of 1887, fell snowflakes 15 inches across, and 8 inches thick." (Monthly Weather Review, 1915-73.)


In the topography of intellection, I should say that what we call knowledge is ignorance surrounded by laughter.


Black rains--red rains--the fall of a thousand tons of butter.


Jet-black snow--pink snow--blue hailstones--hailstones flavored like oranges.


It is in the records of the French Academy that, upon March 17, 1669, in the town of Ch√Ętillon-sur-Seine, fell a reddish substance that was "thick, viscous, and putrid."


American Journal of Science, 1-41-404:
Story of a highly unpleasant substance that had fallen from the sky, in Wilson County, Tennessee. We read that Dr. Troost visited the place and investigated. Later we're going to investigate some investigations--but never mind that now. Dr. Troost reported that the substance was clear blood and portions of flesh scattered upon tobacco fields. He argued that a whirlwind might have taken an animal up from one place, mauled it around, and have precipitated its remains somewhere else.


Annual Register, 1821-687:
That, upon the 13th of August, 1819, something had fallen from the sky at Amherst, Mass. It had been examined and described by Prof. Graves, formerly lecturer at Dartmouth College. It was an object that had upon it a nap, similar to that of milled cloth. Upon removing this nap, a buff-colored, pulpy substance was found. It had an offensive odor, and, upon exposure to the air, turned to a vivid red. This thing was said to have fallen with a brilliant light.


The full text of The Book of the Damned is available online for free at the Internet Archive, courtesy of Project Gutenberg, at the following link: The Book of the Damned eBook

The title of the book is alluding to the tendency of mainstream science to exclude, dismiss, or otherwise marginalize reports of events with which it is not entirely comfortable...in other words, certain facts are "damned" by science.
These "damned" events have become known as Fortean Phenomena; it is this type of phenomena that we here at NCSI endeavor to explore.