Fortean Society
Founded by author Tiffany Thayer to honor Charles Fort,
chronicler of the unexplained, promote the study of his books,
preserve his notes and papers, and continue the work of collecting
‘‘Fortean data.’’ Founded January 26, 1931, the society was
the forerunner of organizations studing unidentified flying objects
and other bizarre phenomena. The first issue of the
Fortean Society Magazine appeared in September 1937. With the
eleventh issue (Winter 1944–45) the title was changed to Doubt,
emphasizing Fort’s characteristic preoccupation with healthy
skepticism toward dogma. Thayer died in 1959 and the society
languished. Doubt owed much to Thayer’s indefatigable enthusiasm,
and issue no. 61 was the last.
Although the society was never officially dissolved, its work
was superseded by INFO, the International Fortean Organization,
headed by Paul and Ron Willis, which publishes INFO
Journal (P.O. Box 367, Arlington, VA 22210-0367). A related
journal of Fortean curiosities is the Fortean Times (originally
The News), published by Robert J. M. Rickard and Paul Sievking.
A one-act play, The Great Caper, dealing with Fortean mysteries,
was written by Ken Campbell and produced at the Royal
Court Theatre, London, in October 1974.
Fort, Charles. The Complete Books of Charles Fort. New York
Henry Holt, 1941. Reprint, New York Dover, 1974