author of NEW LANDS and

Introduction by




Because it has been discovered that the earth does not revolve about the sun 
and does not rotate on an axis; because the "stars" have been found to be 
lights only a few miles away; because almost every pronouncement from this 
hall of learning issued since its corner-stone was so solemnly laid has been 
a mistake, a joke, an error or a hoax -- the older and more susceptible of 
the professors who once played whilst here in the shadow of the refracting 
telescope have gone away to die of chagrin while the younger of us take a 
short trip to what we have so often jokingly referred to as "the 
constellation Orion". Back in thirty days. 

(Signed) The Astronomers 

Can you imagine the consternation in class room and counting house if the 
astronomers should suddenly become honest enough and frank enough to post 
this notice on the door of Yerkes or Mount Wilson Observatory? But rest 
content. It will not appear until Charles Fort and you and I have mouldered 
many a year under the sod of this stationary or nearly stationary earth. 

Charles Fort has published three books. The first, The Book of the Damned, 
was issued in 1919 by Boni and Liveright. Do you remember how important new 
books were in 1919? It depended, of course, upon who wrote them. No one had 
ever heard of Charles Fort. Yet, by my calculations, the stream of data 
which began to flow from this man's hand in 1919 had been in the process of 
accumulation since 1904. 

Mr. Fort has this one satisfaction, if he cares to enjoy it, that probably 
no other book had such a select group of readers; and few books have ever 
stirred their limited audiences to such a degree. The readers were mostly 
writers. It was that kind of book. Four or five friends of mine took it to 
their bosoms as a source book, a mine of plots, a text for the study of 
startling and amazing utterance. Believe it or not, books now current, of 
very recent date, owe Charles Fort a tremendous but unacknowledged debt. 

Wild men, the stormy souls who admitted no masters and no rules, rushed to 
pay homage to Charles Fort when his first book appeared. The correspondents 
of Garrett P. Serviss continued to correspond with Garrett P. Serviss. The 
world went on as usual. 

But -- for the first time in written history -- the half conscious reading 
public had the opportunity, if it cared to take it, to read of ten thousand 
occurrences on this earth which the Great God Science had failed to explain, 
had refused to explain or had explained with gross imperfections, from a 
thoughtful standard. 

Ben Hecht reviewed The Book of the Damned in The Chicago Daily News. The 
review has become almost classic. It appeared before the publication of Erik 
Dorn, Hecht's first novel. 

It began: [2/3] 

I am the first disciple of Charles Fort. He has made a terrible onslaught 
upon the accumulated lunacy of fifty centuries. The onslaught will perish. 
The lunacy will survive, intrenching itself behind the derisive laughter of 
all good citizens.... Whatever the purpose of Charles Fort, he has delighted 
me beyond all men who have written books in this world. Mountebank or 
Messiah, it matters not. Henceforth I am a Fortean. If it has pleased 
Charles Fort to perpetuate a Gargantuan jest upon unsuspecting readers, all 
the better. If he has in all seriousness heralded forth the innermost truths 
of his soul, well and good. I offer him this testament. I believe. 

It is a little difficult to find in the book just what Ben Hecht believed. 
Mr. Fort was extremely careful to offer no theories or hypotheses of his own 
to supplant those his data assailed. None, that is, which he cared to 
develop dogmatically. But regardless of the absence of anything to believe, 
I was converted too. I "believed" -- anything Charles Fort wished me to. 

Mr. Hecht goes on: 

Has science by a process of maniacal exclusion of telltale data, of telltale 
phenomena, foisted an algebraic Mother Goose upon the world in the name of 

An when we answer "Yes!" -- we have expressed what we believe. 

Mr. Hecht again: 

...that the theory he has hurled into being is destined, like some phantom 
gargoyle, to perch itself astride every telescope and laboratory test tube 
in the land. [3/4] 

But this prediction has not come noticeably true. So far as I can observe 
nothing Mr. Fort has said has had the slightest effect upon dogmatic 
science. The "accumulated lunacy of fifty centuries," the "algebraic Mother 
Goose" remain ascendant. All of this was more than eleven years ago. 

I tried to learn once, what H. L. Mencken had said of The Book of the 
Damned. He was going around busting things. One would think there would be 
some affinity. I could not learn. Now, Mr. Fort tells me that he called it 
"poppycock" or something similar. Upon analysis that is understandable. Mr. 
Mencken, like Voltaire, had to "believe" in science and its pronouncements 
to carry on against religion. It is incomprehensible to him that they may 
both be products of the same imbecilic urge to worship what is not readily 

In 1923, Liveright published a second volume of "pallid data," New Lands, 
arranged by Charles Fort from his enormous collection of material and 
embellished in his individual, sulphurous and vitriolic style. Booth 
Tarkington wrote an introduction to this book. He, too, "believed" -- to 
this extent: 

(After dipping here and there in The Book of the Damned -- ) 

I turned back to the beginning and read this vigorous and astonishing book 
straight through, and then re-read it for the pleasure it gave me in the way 
of its writing and in the substance of what it told. Doré should have 
illustrated it, I thought, or Blake. Here indeed was a "brush dipped in 
earthquake and eclipse"; though the wildest mundane earthquakes are but 
earthquakes in teapots compared to what goes on in the visions [4/5] 
conjured up before us by Mr. Charles Fort. For he deals in nightmare, not on 
the planetary, but on the constellation scale, and the imagination of one 
who staggers along after him is frequently left gasping and flaccid. 

This book was a further digest of newspaper and magazine references to the 
inexplicable -- usually accompanied with scientists' "explanations". As the 
title suggested, lands -- not planets -- in the sky, were becoming 
thinkable. It is Charles Fort's way to confine his thinking to the 
thinkable, an altogether too obvious method for science to bother with. 

It is this nasty habit which separates Mr. Fort from quacks and cranks, 
doctors and professors and all other mystics. It is this reprehensible 
practice and his demonic skill at overturning all that is pompous, smug and 
satisfied with the most surprising of phrases that endear his books to other 
men cursed with logical or -- as he would prefer it stated -- quasi-logical 

In 1924 I wrote to Charles Fort, submitting some data I had come upon. We 
have corresponded sporadically ever since, until he returned to the United 
States recently. My first letter found him "searching the British Museum 
Library for more data." Data, more data, more data. For at least twenty-six 
years he has been accumulating, weighing, sifting, recording and arranging 
data. Who cares? Do you? Not a bit. That alarm clock will call you just as 
monotonously morning after morning no matter what shape the Earth may be. 
Roast beef will bring about the same price per plate -- no matter. Well, run 
along. Read something else. Charles Fort is heady stuff, too strong for most 
stomachs, too bitter for orthodox palates. 

But here is his third book which is getting itself recorded on this page of 
Time we call the twentieth [5/6] century -- just in case it may some day 
come out scandalously in the tabloids of the future that man did not know so 
damned much in 1931 as he was pleased to think he did. 

But these clippings and records of sources are the greatest single monument 
to revolt against smug complacency in existence. When the textbooks of 
another day refer to this, our age, as a time of great mental contentment, 
of mutual back-slapping and no troublesome doubts, it is just possible that 
the name Charles Fort will be mentioned as the lone dissenter, the one small 
voice raised in defense of suspended judgments. It will be best to see that 
Mr. Fort is thoroughly dead before that day arrives, because he could brook 
no such honors. If his findings are ever accepted as ultimate or absolute, 
he will attack himself in a fever of frustration, and attempt to establish 
that even at his rightest he was wrong. I can see him, still at his 
interminable game of a personal improvement upon checkers, moving phalanxes 
and platoons of "men" across a board of more than a thousand squares, 
planning his own destruction. 

This is Charles Fort's third book and it will find some readers. It may even 
be answered by dogmatic science because -- whereas the two previous volumes 
were profanations of astronomic deities -- this is the gage thrown down. It 
is the loudest scream of all. It flouts and taunts and jeers at astronomers 
who sleep well o'nights, leaving the discoveries to interested amateurs. It 
records the murder of 30,000 people -- by dogmatic science. What will his 
next book reveal? It is better not to guess. Nor does it greatly matter. As 
Charles Fort points out, the velocity of thought is not mensurable because 
it moves too slowly. 


Take your time, little earth people; swallow the [6/7] neat capsules of cut 
and dried, tailor-made explanations that have sufficed you since the 
fifteenth century. Send your babies to school to learn that we know the 
earth is round because the hull of a ship leaving port disappears before the 
topsail. Go on adding two and two and getting four: this makes you better 
citizens and jurymen. Don't listen to Charles Fort. He is a maniac. It 
doesn't matter how many new "stars" appear in the sky just before great 
volcanic eruptions or disastrous earthquakes here at home. It is all 
coincidence. But before you decide he belongs in an asylum, make a list of 
historic maniacs. Begin thus: 







Tycho Brahé 


The Brothers Wright 

Go haphazardly through the ages and note what became of them; note how wrong 
they were at their rightest; and note what today's historians say about the 
general placidity and self-satisfaction that prevailed as each of these men 
reached intellectual maturity. Note especially that. Note how it was pointed 
out to us in our advancement that the common people of those dark ages were 
content in their ignorance. Then shudder that you have been asleep so long. 
Look with horror in your mirror at the eyes without curiosity; at the lips 
which never question. Read two hundred words in this book and return to your 
unquestioning, incurious smug and complacent shell if you can. If you can, 
for [7/8] the sake of decency go die. You are no more than half alive at 
best. If you can; pray to your God for forgiveness for learning to read. It 
was a waste of time to teach you. If you can; go back to sleep, go back to 
your dreams from which your alarm will summon you to another day at your 
desk or lathe or -- God forgive you -- your books. Go about your business. 
So long as Charles Fort lives -- and he has lived in every age -- pure 
knowledge will advance, creepingly, unsupported, unpatronized, scorned. So 
long as one man among all the millions of the earth is willing to forswear 
all that life offers and to blind himself by gruelling, nerve-racking, 
boresome and cruel daily toil over piles of newspapers for twenty-six years 
and more, without reward or hope of reward either here or in Heaven, just so 
long will knowledge advance without any support, without any brass bands, 
without any medals or crowns of laurel. 

But -- if you can not go back to sleep, and you finish all that Charles Fort 
has written, come, rejoice with us that he was born so constituted that he 
could give us this thing. Come, make merry about the cosmic May-pole he has 
erected. It was necessary that it be put up so that future Charles Forts 
will have something to tear down. 



A NAKED man in a city street -- the track of a horse in volcanic mud -- the 
mystery of the reindeer's ears -- a huge, black form, like a whale, in the 
sky, and it drips red drops as if attacked by celestial swordfishes -- an 
appalling cherub appears in the sea -- 


Showers of frogs and blizzards of snails -- gushes of periwinkles down from 
the sky -- 

The preposterous, the grotesque, the incredible -- and why, if I am going to 
tell of hundreds of these, is the quite ordinary so regarded? 

An unclothed man shocks a crowd -- a moment later, if nobody is generous 
with an overcoat, somebody is collecting handkerchiefs to knot around him. 

A naked fact startles a meeting of a scientific so- [1/12] ciety -- and 
whatever it has for loins is soon diapered with conventional explanations. 

Chaos and muck and filth -- the indeterminable and the unrecordable and the 
unknowable -- and all men are liars -- and yet -- 

Wigwams on an island -- sparks in their columns of smoke. 

Centuries later -- the uncertain columns are towers. What once were 
fluttering sparks are the motionless lights of windows. According to critics 
of Tammany Hall, there has been monstrous corruption upon this island: 
nevertheless, in the midst of it, this regularization has occurred. A 
woodland sprawl has sprung to stony attention. 

The Princess Cariboo tells, of herself, a story, in an unknown language, and 
persons who were themselves liars, have said that she lied, though nobody 
has ever known what she told. The story of Dorothy Arnold has been told 
thousands of times, but the story of Dorothy Arnold and the swan has not 
been told before. A city turns to a crater, and casts out eruptions, as 
lurid as fire, of living things -- and where Cagliostro came from, and where 
he went, are so mysterious that only historians say they know -- venomous 
snakes crawl on the sidewalks of London -- and a star twinkles -- 

But the underlying oneness in all confusions. 

An onion and a lump of ice -- and what have they in common? 

Traceries of ice, millions of years ago, forming on the surface of a pond -- 
later, with different materials, these same forms will express botanically. 
If something had examined primordial frost, it could have predicted jungles. 
Times when there was not a living thing on the face of this earth -- and, 
upon pyrolusite, there were etchings of forms that, after the appear- 
[12/13] ance of cellulose, would be trees. Dendritic sketches, in silver and 
copper, prefigured ferns and vines. 

Mineral specimens now in museums -- calcites that are piles of petals -- or 
that long ago were the rough notes of a rose. Scales, horns, quills, thorns, 
teeth, arrows, spears, bayonets -- long before they were the implements and 
weapons of living things they were mineral forms. I know of an ancient 
sketch that is today a specimen in a museum -- a colorful, little massacre 
that was composed of calcites ages before religion was dramatized -- pink 
forms impaled upon mauve spears, sprinkled with drops of magenta. I know of 
a composition of barytes that appeared ages before the Israelites made what 
is said to be history -- blue waves heaped high on each side of a drab 
streak of forms like the horns of cattle, heads of asses, humps of camels, 
turbans, and upheld hands. 

Underlying oneness -- 

A new star appears -- and just how remote is it from drops of water, of 
unknown origin, falling on a cotton-wood tree, in Oklahoma? Just what have 
the tree and the star to do with the girl of Swanton Novers, upon whom 
gushed streams of oils? And why was a clergyman equally greasy? Earthquakes 
and droughts and the sky turns black with spiders, and, near Trenton, New 
Jersey, something pegged stones at farmers.(1) If lights that have been seen 
in the sky were upon vessels of explorers from other worlds -- then living 
in New York City, perhaps, or in Washington, D.C., perhaps, there are 
inhabitants of Mars, who are secretly sending reports upon the ways of this 
world, to their Governments? 

A theory feels its way through surrounding ignorance -- the tendrils of a 
vine feel their way along a trellis -- a wagon train feels its way across a 
prairie -- 

Underlying oneness -- [13/14] 

Projections of limonite, in a suffusion of smoky quartz -- it will be ages 
before this little mineral sketch can develop into the chimneys and the 
smoke of Pittsburgh. But it reproduces when a volcano blasts the vegetation 
on a mountain, and smoke-forms hang around the stumps of trees. Broken 
shafts of an ancient city in a desert -- they are projections in the 
tattered gusts of a sandstorm. It's Napoleon Bonaparte's retreat from Moscow 
-- ragged bands, in the grimy snow, stumbling amidst abandoned cannon. 

Maybe it is only coincidence -- or what may there be to Napoleon's own 
belief that something was supervising him? Suppose it is that, in November, 
1812, Napoleon's work, as a factor in European readjustments, was done. 
There was no military power upon this earth that could remove this one, 
whose work was done. There came coldness so intense that it destroyed the 
Grand Army. 

Human knowledge -- and its fakes and freaks. An astronomer, insulated by his 
vanity, seemingly remote from the flops and frailties of everybody else, may 
not be so far away as he thinks he is. He calculates where an undiscovered 
planet will be seen. "Lo!" -- as the astronomers like to say -- it is 
seen.(2) But, for some very distressing, if not delightful, particulars, 
see, later, an account of Lowell's planet. Stars are said to be trillions of 
miles away, but there are many alleged remotenesses that are not so far away 
as they are said to be. 

The Johnstown flood, and the smash of Peru, and the little nigger that was 
dragged to a police station -- 

* * *

Terrified horses, up on their hind legs, hoofing a storm of frogs. [14/15] 

Frenzied springboks, capering their exasperations against frogs that were 
tickling them. 

Storekeepers, in London, gaping at frogs that were tapping on their window 

We shall pick up an existence by its frogs. 

Wise men have tried other ways. They have tried to understand our state of 
being, by grasping at its stars, or its arts, or its economics. But, if 
there is an underlying oneness of all things, it does not matter where we 
begin, whether with stars, or laws of supply and demand, or frogs, or 
Napoleon Bonaparte. One measures a circle, beginning anywhere. 

I have collected 294 records of showers of living things. 

Have I? 

Well, there's no accounting for the freaks of industry. 

It is the profound conviction of most of us that there never has been a 
shower of living things. But some of us have, at least in an elementary way, 
been educated by surprises out of much that we were "absolutely sure" of, 
and are suspicious of a thought, simply because it is a profound conviction. 

I got the story of the terrified horses in the storm of frogs from Mr. 
George C. Stoker, of Lovelock, Nevada. Mr. John Reid, of Lovelock, who is 
known to me as a writer upon geological subjects, vouches for Mr. Stoker, 
and I vouch for Mr. Reid. Mr. Stoker vouches for me. I have never heard of 
anything -- any pronouncement, dogma, enunciation, or pontification -- that 
was better substantiated. 

What is a straight line? A straight line is the shortest distance between 
two points. Well, then, what is the shortest distance between two points? 
That is a straight line. According to the test of ages, the definition that 
a straight line is a straight line cannot be im- [15/16] proved upon. I 
start with a logic as exacting as Euclid's. 

Mr. Stoker was driving along the Newark Valley, one of the most extensive of 
the desert regions of Nevada. Thunderstorm. Down came frogs. Up on their 
hind legs went the horses. 

The exasperated springboks. They were told of, in the Northern News 
(Vryburg, Transvaal) March 21, 1925, by Mr. C.J. Grewar, of Uitenhage.(3) 
Also I have a letter from Mr. Grewar. 

The Flats -- about 50 miles from Uitenhage -- springboks leaping and shaking 
themselves unaccountably. At a distance, Mr. Grewar could conceive of no 
explanation of such eccentricities. He investigated, and saw that a rain of 
little frogs and fishes had pelted the springboks. Mr. Grewar heard that 
some time before, at the same place, there had been a similar shower. 

Coffins have come down from the sky: also, as everybody knows, silk hats and 
horse collars and pajamas. But these things have come down at the time of a 
whirlwind. The two statements that I start with are that no shower 
exclusively of coffins, nor of marriage certificates, nor of alarm clocks 
has been recorded: but that showers exclusively of living things are common. 
And yet the explanation by orthodox scientists who accept that showers of 
living things have occurred is that the creatures were the products of 
whirlwinds. The explanation is that little frogs, for instance, fall from 
the sky, unmixed with anything else, because, in a whirlwind, the creatures 
were segregated, by differences in specific gravity. But when a whirlwind 
strikes a town, away go detachables in a monstrous mixture, and there's no 
findable record of washtubs coming down in one place, all the town's cats in 
one falling battle that lumps its infelicities in one place, and all the 
kit- [16/17] tens coming down together somewhere else, in a distant bunch 
that miaows for its lump of mothers. 

See London newspapers, August 18th and 19th, 1921 -- innumerable little 
frogs appeared, during a thunderstorm, upon the 17th, in streets of the 
northern part of London. 

I have searched in almost all London newspapers, and in many provincial 
newspapers, and in scientific publications. There is, findable by me, no 
mention of a whirlwind upon the 17th of August, and no mention of a fall 
from the sky of anything else that might be considered another segregated 
discharge from a whirlwind, if there had been a whirlwind. 

A whirlwind runs amok, and is filled with confusions: and yet to the 
incoherences of such a thing have been attributed the neatest of 
classifications. I do not say that no wind ever scientifically classifies 
objects. I have seen orderly, or logical, segregations by wind-action. I ask 
for records of whirlwinds that do this. There is no perceptible science by a 
whirlwind, in the delivery of its images. It rants trees, doors, frogs, and 
parts of cows. But living things have fallen from the sky, or in some 
unknown way have appeared, and have arrived homogeneously. If they have not 
been segregated by winds, something has selected them. 

There have been repetitions of these arrivals. The phenomenon of repetition, 
too, is irreconcilable with the known ways of whirlwinds. There is an 
account, in the London Daily News, Sept. 5, 1922, of little toads, which for 
two days had been dropping from the sky, at Chalon-sur-Saône, France.(4) 

Lies, yarns, hoaxes, mistakes -- what's the specific gravity of a lie, and 
how am I to segregate? 

That could be done only relatively to a standard, and I have never heard of 
any standard, in any religion, philosophy, science, or complication of 
house- [17/18] hold affairs that could not be made to fit any requirement. 
We fit standards to judgments, or break any law that it pleases us to break, 
and fit to the fracture some other alleged law that we say is higher or 
nobler. We have conclusions, which are the products of senility or 
incompetence or credulity, and then argue from them to premises. We forget 
this process, and then argue from the premises, thinking we began there. 

There are accounts of showering things that came from so far away that they 
were unknown in places where they arrived. 

If only horses and springboks express emotions in these matters, we'll be 
calm thinking that even living things may have been transported to this 
earth from other worlds. 

Philadelphia Public Ledger, Aug. 8, 1891 -- a great shower of fishes, at 
Seymour, Indiana.(5) They were unknown fishes. Public Ledger, Feb. 6, 1890 -
- a shower of fishes, in Montgomery County, California.(6) "The fishes 
belong to a species altogether unknown here." New York Sun, May 29, 1892 -- 
a shower, at Coalburg, Alabama, of an enormous number of eels that were 
unknown in Alabama.(7) Somebody said that he knew of such eels, in the 
Pacific Ocean. Piles of them in the streets -- people alarmed -- farmers 
coming with carts, and taking them away for fertilizing material. 

Our subject has been treated scientifically, or too scientifically. There 
have been experiments. I have no more of an ill opinion of experimental 
science that I have of everything else, but I have been an experimenter, 
myself, and have impressions of the servile politeness of experiments. They 
have such an obliging, or ingratiating, way that there's no trusting the 
flatterers. In the Redruth (Cornwall, England) Independent, August 13 and 
following issues, 1886, correspondents tell of a shower of snails near 
Redruth.(8) [18/19] There were experiments. One correspondent, who believed 
that the creatures were sea snails, put some in salt water. They lived. 
Another correspondent, who believed that they were not sea snails, put some 
in salt water. They died. 

I do not know how to find out anything new without being offensive. To the 
ignorant, all things are pure: all knowledge is, or implies, the degradation 
of something. One who learns of metabolism, looks at a Venus, and realises 
she's partly rotten. However, she smiles at him, and he renews his 
ignorance. All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. 
But spots on the sun, and lumps on the planets -- and, being a person of 
learning, or, rather, erudition, myself, I've got to besmirch something, or 
nobody will believe I am -- and I replace the pure, blue sky with the wormy 
heavens -- 

London Evening Standard, Jan. 3, 1924 -- red objects falling with snow, at 
Halmstead, Sweden.(9) 

They were red worms, from one to four inches in length. Thousands of them 
streaking down with the snowflakes -- red ribbons in a shower of confetti -- 
a carnival scene that boosts my discovery that meteorology is a more 
picturesque science than most persons, including meteorologists, have 
suspected -- and I fear me that my attempt to besmirch has not been 
successful, because the worms of heaven seem to be a jolly lot. However, I 
cheer up at thought of chances to come, because largely I shall treat of 
human nature. 

But how am I to know whether these things fell from the sky in Sweden, or 
were imagined in Sweden? 

I shall be scientific about it. Said Sir Isaac Newton -- or virtually said 
he -- "If there is no change in the direction of a moving body, the 
direction of a moving body is not changed." "But," continued he, "if 
something be changed, it is changed as much as it is [19/20] changed." So 
red worms fell from the sky, in Sweden, because from the sky, in Sweden, red 
worms fell. How do geologists determine the age of rocks? By the fossils in 
them. And how do they determine the age of fossils? By the rocks they're in. 
Having started with the logic of Euclid, I go on with the wisdom of a 

New Orleans Daily Picayune, Feb. 4, 1892 -- enormous numbers of unknown 
brown worms that had fallen from the sky, near Clifton, Indiana.(10) San 
Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 14, 1892 -- myriads of unknown scarlet worms -- 
somewhere in Massachusetts -- not seen to fall from the sky, but found, 
covering several acres, after a snow storm.(11) 

It is as if with intelligence, or with the equivalence of intelligence, 
something has specialized upon transporting, or redistributing, immature and 
larval forms of life. If the gods send worms, that would be kind, if we were 

In Insect Life, 1892, p. 335, the Editor, Prof. C.V. Riley, tells of four 
other mysterious appearances of worms, early in the year 1892.(12) Some of 
the specimens he could not definitely identify. It is said that at 
Lancaster, Pa., people in a snow storm caught falling worms on their 

The wise men of our tribes have tried to find God in a poem, or in whatever 
they think they mean by a moral sense in people, or in inscriptions in a 
book of stone, which by one of the strangest freaks of omission is not now 
upon exhibition in from fifteen to twenty synagogues in Asia Minor, and all 
up and down Italy -- 

Crabs and periwinkles -- 

Ordinary theologians have overlooked crabs and periwinkles -- 

Or mystery versus the fishmonger. [20/21] 

Upon May 28th, 1881, near the city of Worcester, England, a fishmonger, with 
a procession of carts, loaded with several kinds of crabs and periwinkles, 
and with a dozen energetic assistants, appeared at a time when nobody on a 
busy road was looking. The fishmonger and his assistants grabbed sacks of 
periwinkles, and ran in a frenzy, slinging the things into fields on both 
sides of the road. They raced to gardens, and some assistants, standing on 
the shoulders of other assistants, had sacks lifted to them, and dumped 
sacks over the high walls. Meanwhile other assistants, in a dozen carts, 
were furiously shovelling out periwinkles, about a mile along the road. 
Also, meanwhile, several boys were busily mixing in crabs. They were not 
advertising anything. Above all there was secrecy. The cost must have been 
hundreds of dollars. They appeared without having been seen on the way, and 
they melted away equally mysteriously. There were houses all around, but 
nobody saw them. 

Would I be so kind as to tell what, in the name of some slight approximation 
to sanity, I mean by telling such a story? 

But it is not my story. The details are mine, but I have put them in, 
strictly in accordance with the circumstances. There was, upon May 28th, 
1881, an occurrence near Worcester, and the conventional explanation was 
that a fishmonger did it. Inasmuch as he did it unobserved, if he did it, 
and inasmuch as he did it with tons upon acres, if he did it, he did it as I 
have described, if he did it. 

In Land and Water, June 4, 1881, a correspondent writes that, in a violent 
thunderstorm, near Worcester, tons of periwinkles had come down from the 
sky, covering fields and a road, for about a mile.(13) In the issue of June 
11th, the Editor of Land and Water writes that specimens had been sent to 
him.(14) He notes the mysteri- [21/22] ous circumstance, or the indication 
of a selection of living things, that appears in virtually all the accounts. 
He comments upon an enormous fall of sea creatures, unaccompanied by sand, 
pebbles, other shells, and sea weed. 

In the Worcester Daily Times, May 30, it is said that, upon the 28th, news 
had reached Worcester of a wonderful fall from the sky, of periwinkles on 
Cromer Gardens Road, and spread far around in fields and gardens.(15) 
Mostly, people of Worcester were incredulous, but some had gone to the 
place. Those who had faith returned with periwinkles. 

Two correspondents then wrote that they had seen the periwinkles upon the 
road before the storm, where probably a fishmonger had got rid of them.(16) 
So the occurrence conventionalised, and out of these surmises arose the 
story of the fishmonger, though it has never been told before, as I have 
told it. 

Mr. J. Lloyd Bozward, a writer whose notes on meteorological subjects are 
familiar to readers of scientific periodicals of this time, was 
investigating, and his findings were published in the Worcester Evening 
Post, June 9th.(17) As to the story of the fishmonger, note his statement 
that the value of periwinkles was 16 shillings a bushel. He says that a wide 
area on both sides of the road was strewn with periwinkles, hermit crabs, 
and small crabs of an unascertained species. Worcester is about 30 miles 
from the mouth of the River Severn, or say about 50 miles from the sea.(18) 
Probably no fishmonger in the world ever had, at one time, so many 
periwinkles, but as to anybody having got rid of a stock, because of a 
glutted market, for instance, Mr. Bozward says: "Neither upon Saturday, the 
28th, nor Friday, the 27th, was there such a thing procurable in Worcester 
as a live periwinkle." Gardens as well as fields were strewn. There were 
high walls around these [22/23] gardens. Mr. Bozward tells of about 10 sacks 
of periwinkles, of a value of about 20, in the markets of Worcester, that, 
to his knowledge, had been picked up. Crowds had filled pots and pans and 
bags and trunks before he got to the place. "In Mr. Maund's garden, two 
sacks were filled with them." It is his conclusion that the things fell from 
the sky during the thunderstorm. So his is the whirlwind-explanation. 

There are extraordinary occurrences and conventionalization cloaks them, and 
the more commonplace the cloakery, the more satisfactory. Periwinkles appear 
upon a tract of land, through which there is a road. A fishmonger did it. 

But the crabs and the fishmonger -- and if the fishmonger did the 
periwinkles, did he do the crabs, if he did it? 

Or the crabs and the whirlwind -- and, if the periwinkles were segregated 
from pebbles and seaweed, why not from the crabs, if segregation did it? 

The strongest point for the segregationists is in their own mental 
processes, which illustrate that segregations, whether by wind action, or 
not, do occur. If they have periwinkles and crabs to explain, and, say, that 
with a story of a fishmonger, or of a whirlwind, they can explain the 
periwinkles, though so they cannot explain the crabs, a separation of data 
occurs in their mentalities. They forget the crabs and tell of the 
periwinkles. [23] 


1. The pegging was at Trenton, New York, (not New Jersey). 

2. Robert Ball. The Story of the Heavens. New York: Cassell and Co.: 1905. 
Rev. ed., 230-1. 1901, Rev. ed., 330. 

3. "More frogs from the sky." Northern News (Vrysburg, Transval), March 21, 

4. London Daily News, (September 5, 1922), (Not found here.) 

5. Philadelphia Public Ledger, (August 8, 1891), (Not found here.) 

6. "Varities." Philadelphia Public Ledger, February 6, 1890, p.5 c.9. 

7. "It rained strange eels." New York Sun, May 29, 1892, p.5 c.5. "A shower 
of eels." Philadelphia Times, May 22, 1892, p.14 c.6. 

8. "A shower of shells." Redruth Independent, August 13, 1886, p.3 c.3. 
Observer. "Shower of shells. Redruth Independent, August 20, 1886, p.4 c.5. 
According to Observer, the snails died when put in salt water. Nat. "Shower 
of shells." Redruth Independent, August, 27, 1886, p.4 c.3. According to 
Nat., some were put in salt water, and it did not appear to harm them. 
Helix. "Shower of shells." Redruth Independent, September 10, 1886, p.4 c.2. 
Nat. "Shower of shells." Redruth Independent, September 17, 1886, p.4 c.1. 
Helix. "Shower of shells." Redruth Independent, September 24, 1886, p.4 c.2. 

9. "Red snowfall." London Evening Standard, January 3, 1924, p.12 c.4. 
Correct location is Halmstad, Sweden, not Halmstead. 

10. "It rained worms." New Orleans Daily Picayune, February 4, 1892, p.4 

11. "Colored snow." San Francisco Daily Chronicle, February 14, 1892, p.6 

12. "Insects on the surface of snow." Insect Life, 4 (June 1892): 335-6. 
Falls of worms, or larvae, were reported at: West Park, New York, on 
February 11 and 18; at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on March 2; and, 
Williamstown, Massachusetts, on February 27, 1892. 

13. "A shower of periwinkles." Land and Water, 31 (June 4, 1881): 422. 

14. "The shower of periwinkles near Worcester." Land and Water, 31 (June 11, 
1881): 449. 

15. "The storm in this district." Worcester Daily Times and Journal, May 30, 
1881, p.3 c.1. 

16. One correspondent, E.A. Hardman, claimed to see periwinkles confined 
upon the road before the rain commenced, "the same as if they had fallen or 
been thrown out at the back of a truck or cart as it went along." 
"Saturday's storm in Worcester." Worcester Daily Times and Journal, May 31, 
1881, p.2 c.6. The second correspondent, John Stanton, claimed to have seen 
and walked over them, as they lay "from gutter to gutter," half an hour 
before the storm. John Stanton. "The storm at St. John's." Worcester Daily 
Times and Journal, June 2, 1881, p.3 c.1. A third correspondent, Gibson, who 
twice passed through the roads, claimed not to have seen any periwinkles 
about 11:30 A.M. but found the road literally covered" sometime between 12 
and 12:30 P.M., before the thunderstorm. A.A. Gibson. "The fall of 
periwinkles." Worcester Daily Times and Journal, June 11, 1881, p.3 c.1. 

17. J. Lloyd Bozward. "The case of the periwinkles." Worcester Daily Times 
and Journal, June 9, 1881, p.3 c.3-4. Bozward's article was not in the 
Worcester Evening Post; however, additional articles relating this incident 
are found in both newspapers as follows: "The storm at St. John's." 
Worcester Daily Times and Journal, June 1, 1881, p.3 c.4. "The fall of 
periwinkles." Worcester Daily Times and Journal, June 7, 1881, p.3 c.1-2. 
G.P. Yeats. "The fall of periwinkles." Worcester Daily Times and Journal, 
June 10, 1881, p.2 c.6. "Severe thunderstorm." Worcester Evening Post, May 
30, 1881, p.3 c.1. W.E. Tucker. "The periwinkles again." Worcester Evening 
Post, June 13, 1881, p.2 c.5-6. Correct quotes: "Neither on Saturday, the 
28th...," and, "Mr. Maund, market gardener, states that the quantity which 
fell in his garden is estimated at two sacks." There is no mention of high 
walls around the gardens, though Bozward mentions their being found in 

18. Worcester is about 50 milesfrom the "mouth" of the Severn and the 
Bristol Channel. 


FROGS and fishes and worms -- and these are the materials of our expression 
upon all things. 

Hops and flops and squirms -- and these are the motions. 

But we have been considering more than matter and motion, to start with: we 
have been considering attempts by scientists to explain them. By 
explanation, I mean organization. There is more than matter and motion in 
our existence: there is organization of matter and motion. 

Nobody takes a little clot that is central in a disease germ, as Absolute 
Truth; and the latest scientific discovery is only something for ideas to 
systematize around. But there is this systemization, or organization, and we 
shall have to consider it. [24/25] 

There is no more meaning -- though that may be utmost meaning -- to 
arrangements of observations, than there is to arrangements of protoplasm in 
a microbe, but it must be noted that scientific explanations do often work 
out rather well -- but say in medical treatments, if ailments are mostly 
fancied; or in stock-market transactions, except in a crisis; or in expert 
testimony in the courts, except when set aside by other expert testimony -- 

But they are based upon definitions -- 

And in phenomenal existence there is nothing that is independent of 
everything else. Given that there is Continuity, everything is a degree or 
aspect of whatever everything else is. Consequently there is no way of 
defining anything, except in terms of itself. Try any alleged definition. 
What is an island? An island is a body of land completely surrounded by 
water. And what is a body of land that is completely surrounded by water? 

Among savage tribesmen, there is a special care for, or even respectfulness 
for, the mentally afflicted. They are regarded as in some obscure way 
representing God's chosen. We recognize the defining of a thing in terms of 
itself, as a sign of feeble-mindedness. All scientists begin their works 
with just such definitions, implied, if not stated. And among our tribes 
there is a special care for, or even respectfulness for, scientists. 

It will be an expression of mine that there is a goodness in this idiocy. 
But, no matter what sometimes my opinion may be, I am not now writing that 
God is an Idiot. Maybe he, or it, drools comets and gibbers earthquakes, but 
the scale would have to be considered at least super-idiocy. 

I conceive, or tell myself that I conceive, that if we could have a concept 
of our existence as a whole, we could have a kind of understanding of it, 
rather akin to [25/26] what, say, cells in an animal organism could have of 
what is a whole to them, if they should not be mere scientists, trying to 
find out what a bone is, or the flow of blood in a vein is, in itself; but 
if they could comprehend what the structures and functions of the Organism 
are, in terms of Itself. 

The attempted idea of Existence as Organism is one of the oldest of the 
pseudo-thoughts of philosophy. But the idea in this book is not 
metaphysical. Metaphysical speculation are attempts to think unthinkably, 
and it is quite hard enough to think thinkably. There can be nothing but 
bafflement for anybody who tries to think of Existence as Organism: our 
attempt will be to think of an existence as an organism. Having a childish 
liking for a little rhetoric, now and then, I shall call it God. 

Our expressions are in terms of Continuity. If all things merge away into 
one another, or transmute into one another, so that nothing can be defined, 
they are of a oneness, which may be the oneness of one existence. I state 
that, though I accept that there is continuity, I accept that also there is 
discontinuity. But there is no need, in this book, to go into the subject of 
continuity-discontinuity, because no statement that I shall make, as a 
monist, will be set aside by my pluralism. There is a Oneness that both 
submerges and individualizes. 

By the continuity of all things we have, with a hop and a flop and a squirm, 
jumped from frogs toward finality. We have rejected whirlwinds and the 
fishmonger, and have incipient notions upon a selectiveness and an 
intelligent, or purposeful, distribution of living things. 

What is selecting and what is distributing? 

The old-fashioned theologian thinks of a being, with the looks of himself, 
standing aside somewhere and directing operations. [26/27] 

What, in any organism, is selecting and distributing -- say, oxygen in 
lungs, and materials in stomachs? 

The organism itself. 

If we can think of our existence as a conceivable-sized formation -- perhaps 
one of countless things, beings, or formations in the cosmos -- we have 
graspableness, or we have the outlines and the limits within which to think. 

We look up at the stars. The look is of a revolving shell that is not far 
away. And against such a view there is no opposition except by an 
authoritative feeblemindedness, which most of us treat respectfully, because 
such is the custom in all more or less savage tribes. 

Mostly in this book I shall specialize upon indications that there exists a 
transportory force that I shall call Teleportation. I shall be accused of 
having assembled lies, yarns, hoaxes, and superstitions. To some degree I 
think so, myself. To some degree I do not. I offer the data. [27] 


THE subject of reported falls from the sky, of an edible substance, in Asia 
Minor, is confused, because reports have been upon two kinds of substances. 
It seems that the sugar-like kind cannot be accepted. In July, 1927, the 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem sent an expedition to the Sinai Peninsula to 
investigate reported showers of "manna." See the New York Times, Dec. 4, 
1927.(1) Members of the expedition found what they called "manna" upon 
leaves of tamarisk tress, and on the ground underneath, and explained that 
it was secreted by insects. But the observations of this expedition have 
nothing to do with data, or stories, of falls from the sky of fibrous, 
convoluted lumps of a substance that can be ground into an edible flour. A 
dozen times, since early in the 19th century -- and I have no definitely 
dated [28/29] data upon still earlier occurrence -- have been reported 
showers of "manna" in Asia Minor. 

An early stage within the shell of an egg -- and a protoplasmic line of 
growth feels out through the surrounding substance -- and of itself it has 
no means of subsistence, or of itself it is lost. Nourishment and protection 
and guidance come to it from the whole. 

Or, in wider existence -- several thousand years ago -- a line of fugitives 
feels out in a desert. It will be of use to coming social organizations. But 
in the desert, it is unprovided for and is withering. Food falls from the 

It is one of the most commonplace of miracles. Within any womb an embryonic 
thing in unable to provide for itself, but "manna" is sent to it. Given an 
organic view of an existence, we think of the supervision of a whole upon 
its parts. 

Or that once upon a time, a whole responded to the need of a part, and then 
kept on occasionally showering "manna" thousands of years after a special 
need for it had ceased. This looks like stupidity. It is in one of my 
moments of piety that I say this, because, though in our neo-theology there 
is no worship, I note that in this conception of what we may call godness, I 
supply grounds for devotions. Let a god change anything, and there will be 
reactions of evil as much as of good. Only stupidity can be divine. 

Or occasional falls of "manna," to this day, in Asia Minor, may be only one 
factor in a wider continuance. It may be that an Organism, having once 
showered a merely edible substance upon its chosen phenomena, has been 
keeping this up, as a symbol of favouritism, by which said chosen phenomena 
have been receiving abundances of "manna" in many forms, ever since. 

The substance that occasionally falls from the sky, in Asia Minor, comes 
from far away. The occurrences [29/30] are far apart, in time, and always 
the substance is unknown where it falls, and its edibleness is sometimes 
found out by the sight of sheep eating it. Then it is gathered and sold in 
the markets. We are told that it has been identified as a terrestrial 
product. We are told that these showers are aggregations of Lecanora 
esculenta, a lichen that grows plentifully in Algeria. We are told that 
whirlwinds catch up these lichens, lying loose, or easily detachable, on the 
ground. But note this: 

There have been no such reported showers in Algeria. 

There have been no such reported showers in places between Algeria and Asia 

The nearest similarity that I can think of is of tumble weeds, in the 
Western States, though tumble weeds are much larger. Well, then, new growths 
of them, when they're not much larger. But I have never heard of a shower of 
tumble weeds. Probably the things are often carried far by whirlwinds, but 
only scoot along the ground. A story that would be similar to stories of 
lichens, from Algeria, falling in Asia Minor, would be of tumble weeds, 
never falling in showers, in Western States, but repeatedly showering in 
Ontario, Canada, having been carried there by whirlwinds. 

Out of a dozen records, I mention that, in Nature, 43-255, and in La Nature, 
36-82, are accounts of one of the showers, in Asia Minor.(2) The Director of 
the Central Dispensary of Bagdad had sent to France specimens of an edible 
substance that had fallen from the sky, at Meridin, and at Diarbekis (Turkey 
in Asia) in a heavy rain, the last of May, 1890. They were convoluted lumps, 
yellow outside and white inside. They were ground into flour from which 
excellent bread was made. According to the ready-made convention, botanists 
said that the objects were speci- [30/31] mens of Lecanora esculenta, 
lichens that had been carried in a whirlwind. 

London Daily Mail, Aug. 13, 1913 -- that streets in the town of 
Kirkmanshaws, Persia, had been covered with seeds, which the people thought 
were the manna of biblical times.(3) The Royal Botanical Society had been 
communicated with, and had explained that the objects had been carried from 
some other part of this earth's surface, by a whirlwind. "They were white in 
substance, and of a consistency of Indian corn." 

I believe nothing. I have shut myself away from the rocks and wisdoms of 
ages, and from the so-called great teachers of all time, and perhaps because 
of that isolation I am given to bizarre hospitalities. I shut the front door 
upon Christ and Einstein, and at the back door hold out a welcoming hand to 
little frogs and periwinkles. I believe nothing of my own that I have ever 
written. I cannot accept that the products of minds are subject-matter for 
beliefs. But I accept, with reservations that give me freedom to ridicule 
the statement at any other time, that showers of an edible substance that 
has not been traced to an origin upon this earth, have fallen from the sky, 
in Asia Minor. 

There have been suggestions that unknown creatures and unknown substances 
have been transported to this earth from other fertile worlds, or from other 
parts of one system, or organism, a composition of distances that are small 
relatively to the unthinkable spans that astronomers think they can think 
of. There have been suggestions of a purposeful distribution in this 
existence. Purpose in Nature is thinkable, without conventional theological 
interpretations, if we can conceive of our existence, or the so-called solar 
system, and the stars around, as one organic state, formation, or being. I 
can make no demarcation between the organic, or the functional, and the 
purposeful. When, in an animal- [31/32] organism, osteoblasts appear and 
mend a broken bone, they represent purpose, whether they know what they're 
doing or not. Any adaptation may be considered an expression of purpose, if 
by purpose we mean nothing but intent upon adaptation. If we can think of 
our whole existence, perhaps one of countless organisms in the cosmos, as 
one organism, we can call its functions and distributions either organic or 
purposeful, or mechanically purposeful. [32] 


1. "Sinai yields secret of manna." New York Times, December 4, 1927, s. 11 
p. 4. 

2. "Notes." Nature, 43 (January 15, 1891): 254-6, at 255. Gaston Tissandier. 
"Pluie de manne en Turquie d'Asie." Nature (Paris), 1891, 1 (January 10): 
82. Nature states that this fall of manna occurred in August of 1890; and, 
the locations are now identified as Mardin and Diyarbakir, both in Turkey. 

3. "Modern fall of manna." London Daily Mail, August 13, 1913, p.3 c.6. The 
location was Kermanshan, Persia, (Iran), not Kirkmanshaws. Correct quote: 
"...substance and of the consistency of Indian corn." 


OVER the town of Noirfontaine, France, one day in April, 1842, there was a 
cloudless sky, but drops of water were falling. See back to data upon 
repetitions. The water was falling, as if from a fixed appearing-point, 
somewhere above the ground, to a definite area beneath. The next day water 
was still falling upon this one small area, as mysteriously as if a ghost 
aloft were holding the nozzle of an invisible hose. 

I take this account from the journal of the French Academy of Sciences 
(Comptes Rendus) vol. 14, p. 664.(1) 

What do I mean by that? 

I don't mean anything by that. At the same time, I do mean something by the 
meaninglessness of that. I mean that we are in the helpless state of a 
standard- [33/34] less existence, and that the appeal to authority is as 
much of a wobble as any other of our insecurities. 

Nevertheless, though I know of no standards by which to judge anything, I 
conceive -- or accept the idea -- of something that is The Standard, if I 
can think of our existence as an Organism. If human thought is a growth, 
like all other growths, its logic is without foundation of its own, and is 
only the adjusting constructiveness of all other growing things. A tree can 
not find out, as it were, how to blossom, until comes blossom-time. A social 
growth cannot find out the use of steam engines, until comes steam-engine-
time. For whatever is supposed to be meant by progress, there is no need in 
human minds for standards of their own: this is in the sense that no part of 
a growing plant needs guidance of its own devising, nor special knowledge of 
its own as to how to become a leaf or a root. It needs no base of its own, 
because the relative wholeness of the plant is relative baseness to its 
parts. At the same time, in the midst of this theory of submergence, I do 
not accept that human minds are absolute nonentities, just as I do not 
accept that a leaf, or a root, of a plant, though so dependent upon a main 
body, and so clearly only a part, is absolutely without something of an 
individualizing touch of its own. 

It is the problem of continuity-discontinuity, which perhaps I shall have to 
take up sometime. 

However -- 

London Times, April 26, 1821 -- that the inhabitants of Truro, Cornwall, 
were amused, astonished, or alarmed, "according to nerve and judgment," by 
arrivals of stones, from an unfindable source, upon a house in Carlow 
Street.(2) The mayor of the town visited the place, and was made so nervous 
by the rattling stones that he called out a military guard. He investigated, 
and the soldiers investigated, and the clatter [34/35] of theorists 
increased the noise. Times, May 1 -- stones still rattling, theorists still 
clattering, but nothing found out.(3) 

Flows of frogs -- flows of worms -- flows of water -- flows of stones -- 
just where do we expect to draw a line? Why not go on to thinking that there 
have been mysterious transportations of human beings? 

We'll go on. 

A great deal of the opposition to our data is connotative. Most likely when 
Dr. Gilbert rubbed a rod and made bits of paper jump on a table, the 
opposition to his magic was directed not so much against what he was doing 
as against what it might lead to. Witchcraft always has a hard time, until 
it becomes established and changes its name. 

We hear much of the conflict between science and religion, but our conflict 
is with both of these. Science and religion always have agreed in opposing 
and suppressing the various witchcrafts. Now that religion is inglorious, 
one of the most fantastic of transferences of worships is that of glorifying 
science, as a beneficent being. It is the attributing of all that is of 
development, or of possible betterment to science. But no scientist has ever 
upheld a new idea, without bringing upon himself abuse from other 
scientists. Science has done its utmost to prevent whatever science has 

There are cynics who deny the existence of human gratitude. But it seems 
that I am no cynic. So convinced am I of the existence of gratitude that I 
see in it one of our strongest oppositions. There are millions of persons 
who receive favors that they forget: but gratitude does exist, and they've 
got to express it somewhere. They take it out by being grateful to science 
for all that science has done for them, a gratitude, which, according to 
their dull perceptions won't cost them anything. So there is economic 
indignation against any- [35/36] body who is disagreeable to science. He is 
trying to rob the people of a cheap gratitude. 

I like a bargain as well as does anybody else, but I can't save expenses by 
being grateful to Science, if for every scientist who has perhaps been of 
benefit to me, there have been many other scientists who have tried to 
strangle that possible benefit. Also, if I'm dead broke, I don't get 
benefits to be grateful for. 

Resistance to notions in this book come from persons who identify industrial 
science, and the good of it, with the pure, or academic, or aristocratic 
sciences that are living on the repute of industrial science. In my own mind 
there is distinguishment between a good watchdog and the fleas on him. If 
the fleas, too, could be taught to bark, there'd be a little chorus that 
would be of some tiny value. But fleas are aristocrats. 

London Times, Jan. 13, 1843 -- that, according to the Courrier de l'Isére, 
two little girls, last of December, 1842, were picking leaves from the 
ground, near Clavaux (Livet), France, when they saw stones falling around 
them.(4) The stones fell with uncanny slowness. The children ran to their 
homes, and told of the phenomenon, and returned with their parents. Again 
stones fell, and with the same uncanny slowness. It is said that relatively 
to these falls the children were attractive agents. There was another 
phenomenon, an upward current, into which the children were dragged, as if 
into a vortex. We might have had data of mysterious disappearances of 
children, but the parents, who were unaffected by the current, pulled them 

In the Toronto Globe, Sept. 9, 1880, a correspondent writes that he had 
heard reports of most improbable occurrences upon a farm, near the township 
of Wellesley, Ontario.(5) He went to the place, to interview the farmer, Mr. 
Manser. As he approached the farmhouse, he saw that all the windows were 
boarded up. [36/37] He learned that, about the end of July, windows had 
begun to break, though no missiles had been seen. The explanation by the 
incredulous was that the old house was settling. It was a good explanation, 
except for what it overlooked. To have any opinion, one must overlook 
something. The disregard was that, quite as authentic as the stories of 
breaking windows, were stories of falls of water in the rooms, having passed 
through walls, showing no trace of such passage. It is said that water had 
fallen in such volumes, from appearing-points in rooms, that the furniture 
of the house had been moved to a shed. In all our records openness of 
phenomena is notable. The story is that showers fell in rooms, when the 
farmhouse was crowded with people. For more details see the Halifax Citizen, 
Sept. 13, 1880.(6) 

I omit about sixty instances of seeming teleportations of stones and water, 
of which I have records. Numerousness hasn't any meaning, as a standard to 
judge by. 

The simplest cases of seeming teleportations are flows of stones, into open 
fields, doing no damage, not especially annoying anybody, and in places 
where there were no means of concealment for mischievous or malicious 
persons. There is a story of this kind, in the New York Sun, June 22, 
1884.(7) June 16th -- a farm near Trenton, N.J. -- two young men, George and 
Albert Sanford, hoeing in a field -- stones falling. There was no building 
anywhere near, and there was not even a fence behind which anybody could 
hide. The next day stones fell again. The young men dropped their hoes and 
ran to Trenton, where they told of their experiences. They returned with 
forty or fifty amateur detectives, who spread out and tried to observe 
something, or more philosophically sat down and arrived at conclusions 
without observing anything. Crowds [37/38] came to the cornfield. In the 
presence of crowds, stones continued to fall from a point overhead. Nothing 
more was found out. 

A pig and his swill -- 

Or Science and data -- 

Or that the way of a brain is only the way of a belly -- 

We can call the process that occurs in them either assimilative or 
digestive. The mind-worshipper might as well take guts for his god. 

For many strange occurrences there are conventional explanations. In the 
mind of a conventionalist, reported phenomena assimilate with conventional 
explanations. There must be disregards. The mind must reject some data. This 
process, too, is both alimentary and mental. 

The conventional explanation of mysterious flows of stones is that they are 
peggings by neighbors. I have given data as I have found them. Maybe they 
are indigestible. The conventional explanation of mysterious flows of water 
is that they are exudations from insects. If so there must sometimes be 
torrential bugs. 

New York Sun, Oct. 30, 1892 -- that, day after day, in Oklahoma, where for 
weeks there had been a drought, water was falling upon a large cottonwood 
tree, near Stillwater.(8) A conventionalist visited this tree. He found 
insects. In Insect Life, 5-204, it is said that the Stillwater mystery had 
been solved.(9) Dr. Neel, Director of the Agricultural Experimental Station, 
at Stillwater had gone to the tree, and had captured some of the insects 
that were causing the precipitation. They were Proconia undata Fab. 

And how am I going to prove that this was a senseless, or brutal, or anyway 
mechanical, assimilation? 

We don't have proofs. We have expressions. 

Our expression is that this precipitation in Okla- [38/39] homa was only one 
of perhaps many. We find three other recorded instances, at this time, and 
if they be not attributable to exudations from insects -- but we'll not 
prove anything. There is a theorem that Euclid never attempted. That is to 
take Q.E.D. as a proposition. 

In Science, 21-94, Mr. H. Chaplin, of Ohio University, writes that, in the 
town of Akron, Ohio -- about while water was falling upon a tree in Oklahoma 
-- there had been a continuous fall of water, during a succession of clear 
days.(10) Members of the faculty of Ohio University investigated, but had 
been unable to solve the problem. There was a definite and persistent 
appearing-point from which to a small area near a brickyard, water was 
falling. Mr. Chaplin, who had probably never heard of similar occurrences 
far from damp places, thought that vapors from this brickyard were rising, 
and condensing, and falling back. If so there would often be such 
precipitations over ponds and other bodies of water. 

About the same time, water was mysteriously appearing at Martinsville, Ohio, 
according to the Philadelphia Public Ledger, Oct. 19, 1892.(11) Behind a 
house, a mist was falling upon an area not more than a dozen feet square. 
St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Nov. 19 -- that, in Water Street, Brownsville, 
Pa., there was a garden, in which was a peach tree, upon which water was 
falling.(12) As to the insect-explanation, we note that statement that the 
water "seemed to fall from some height above the tree, and covered an area 
about 14 feet square." 

For all I know, some trees may have occult powers. Perhaps some especially 
gifted trees have power to transport water, from far away, in times of need. 
I noted a drought in Oklahoma, and then I looked up conditions in Ohio and 
Pennsylvania. Rainfall was [39/40] below normal. In Ohio, according to the 
Monthly Weather Review, of November, there was a drought.(13) A watery manna 
came to chosen trees. 

There is no sense in trying to prove anything, if all things are continuous, 
so that there isn't anything, except the inclusive of all, which may be 
Something. But æsthetically, if not scientifically, there may be value in 
expressions, and we'll have variations of our theme. There were, in places 
far apart, simultaneous flows of water from stationary appearing-points, in 
and around Charleston, S.C., in the period of the long series of earthquake 
shocks there. Later I shall touch more upon an idea that will be an organic 
interpretation of falls of water in places that have been desolated by 
catastrophes. About the middle of September, 1886, falling water from "a 
cloudless sky," never falling outside a spot 25 feet wide, was reported from 
Dawson, Georgia. This shower was not intermittent. Of course the frequently 
mentioned circumstance of the "cloudless sky" has no significance. Water 
falling all the way from the sky, even at time of slight breezes, cannot be 
thought of as localizing strictly upon an area a few yards in diameter. We 
think of appearing-points a short distance above the ground. Then showers 
upon a space 10 feet square were reported from Aiken, S.C. There were 
similar falls of water at Cheraw, S.C. For particulars, see the Charleston 
News and Courier, Oct. 8, 21, 25, 26.(14) For an account of falls of water, 
"from a cloudless sky," strictly to one point, in Charlotte, N.C., according 
to investigations by a meteorologist, see Monthly Weather Review, Oct., 
1886.(15) In the New York Sun, Oct. 24, it is said that, for 14 days, water 
had been falling from "a cloudless sky," to a point in Chesterfield County, 
S.C., falling so heavily that streams of it had gushed from roof pipes.(16) 

Then came news that water was falling from a point in Charleston. 

Several days before, in the News and Courier, had been published the insect-
explanation of falls of water. In the News and Courier, Nov. 5, a reporter 
tells that he had visited the place in Charleston, where it is said that 
water was falling, and that he had seen a fall of water. He climbed a tree 
to investigate. He had seen insects.(17) 

But there are limits to what can be attributed, except by the most desperate 
explainers, to insects. 

In the Monthly Weather Review, Aug., 1886, it is said that, in Charleston, 
Sept. 4th, three showers of hot stones had been reported.(18) 

"An examination of these stones, shortly after they had fallen, forced the 
conviction that the public was being made the victim of a practical joke." 

How an examination of stones could demonstrate whether they had been slung 
humorously or not, is more than whatever brains I have can make out. Upon 
Sept. 4th, Charleston was desolated. The great earthquake had occurred upon 
Aug. 31st, and continuing shocks were terrorizing the people. Still, I'd go 
far from my impressions of what we call existence, if I'd think that terror, 
or anything else, was ever homogeneous at Charleston, or anywhere else. 
Battles and shipwrecks, and especially diseases, are materials for 
humorists, and the fun of funerals never will be exhausted. I don't argue 
that in the midst of desolation and woe, at Charleston, there were no 
jokers. I tell a story as I found it recorded in the Charleston News and 
Courier, Sept. 6, and mention my own conclusion, which is that wherever 
jocular survivors of the catastrophe may have been cutting up capers, they 
were not concerned in this series of occurrences.(19) 

At 2.30 o'clock, morning of Sept. 4th, stones, which [41/42] were found to 
be "warm," fell near the News and Courier building, some of them bounding 
into the press room. Five hours later, when there was no darkness to hide 
mischievous survivors, more stones fell. It was a strictly localized 
repetition, as if one persisting current of force. At 1.30 o'clock in the 
afternoon again stones fell, and these were seen, coming straight down from 
a point overhead. If any conviction was forced, it was forced in the same 
old way as that in which for ages convictions have been forced, and that is 
by forcing agreements with prior convictions. Other details were published 
in the Richmond Whig: it is told that the stones, which were flint pebbles, 
ranging from the size of a grape to the size of a hen's egg, had fallen upon 
an area of 75 square feet, and that about a gallon of them had been picked 
up.(20) In A Descriptive Narrative of the Earthquake of August 31, 1886, 
Carl McKinley, an editor of the News and Courier, tells of two of these 
showers of stones, which, according to him, "undoubtedly fell."(21) 

The localized repetitions of showers of stones are so much like the 
localized repetitions of showers of water, that one, inclusive explanation, 
or expression, is called for. Insects did them? Or the fishmonger of 
Worcester had moved to South Carolina? 

A complication has been developing. Little frogs fell upon Mr. Stoker and 
his horses, but we had no reason to think that either Mr. Stoker or his 
horses had anything to do with bringing about the precipitation. But the 
children of Clavaux did seem to have something to do with showers of stones, 
and trees did seem to have something to do with the precipitations of water. 

Rand Daily Mail, May 29, 1922 -- that Mr. D. Neaves, living near Roodeport, 
employed as a chemist in Johannesburg, having for several months endured 
[42/43] showers of stones, had finally reported to the police.(22) Five 
constables, having been sent to the place, after dark, had hardly taken 
positions around the house, when a stone crashed on the roof. Phenomena were 
thought to associate with the housemaid, a Hottentot girl. She was sent into 
the garden, and stones fell vertically around her. This is said to have been 
one of the most mysterious of the circumstances: stones fell vertically, so 
that there was no tracing them to an origin. Mr. Neaves' home was an 
isolated building, except for outhouses. These outhouses were searched, but 
nothing to suspect was found. The stones continued to fall from an unknown 

Police Inspector Cummings took charge. He ordered all members of the family, 
servants, and newspaper men to remain in the house for a while: so everybody 
was under inspection. Outside were constables, and all around were open 
fields, with no means of concealment. Stones fell on the roof. Watched by 
the police, the Hottentot girl went to the well. A large stone fell near 
her. She ran back to the house, and a stone fell on the roof. It is said 
that everything that could be done was done, and that the cordon of police 
was complete. More stones fell. Convinced that in some way the girl was 
implicated, the Inspector tied her hands. A stone fell on the roof.(23) 

Then everything was explained. A "civilian," concealed in one of the 
outhouses, had been caught throwing a stone. If so, whoever wrote this 
account did not mention the name of the culprit, and it is not said that the 
police made any trouble for him for having made them work.(24) 

Then everything is explained again. It was said that the girl, Sara, had 
been taken to the police station, where she had confessed. "It is understood 
that Sara admits being a party to all the stone-throwing, [43/44] and has 
implicated two other children and a grown native. So ends the Roodeport 
ghost story, shorn of all its alleged supernatural trappings."(25) 

Though usually we do not think piously of the police, their stations are 
confessionals. But they're confessionals more in the scientific than in the 
religious sense. When a confessor holds a club over a conscience, he can 
bully statements with the success of any scientist who slugs data with a 
theory. There is much brutality in police stations and in laboratories, but 
I can't say that we're trying to reform anything; and if there never has 
been a Newton, or a Darwin, or an Einstein -- or a Moses, or a Christ, or a 
St. Augustine -- who has practised other than the third degree upon 
circumstances, I fear me that sometimes we are not innocent of one or two 
degrees, ourselves. 

However, the story reads more as if the girl had been taken to a barber 
shop. Her story was shorn, we read. It was clipped bald of all details, such 
as the cordon of police, search of the outhouses, and the taking of 
precautions, such as will not fit in with this yarn of the tricky kids. In 
this book we shall note much shearing.(26) 

The writer, in the Monthly Weather Review, is not the only clipper who 
forces a conviction, when he can. There was a case, in another part of South 
Africa, not long before the bombardments at Roodeport began. In the 
Klerksdorp Record, Nov. 18, 1921, it is said that for several weeks there 
had been "mysterious stonethrowing by invisible agencies" at the houses of 
Mr. Gibbon Joseph and Mr. H.J. Minnair, in North Street.(27) A detective was 
put upon the case. He was a logician. It was a ghost story, or it was a case 
of malicious mischief. He could not pinch a ghost. So he accused two 
Negroes, and arrested them. The Negroes were tried upon testimony given by 
two boys [44/45] of their race. But the boys contradicted each other, and it 
was brought out that they were lying. They admitted that the logical 
detective had promised them five shillings to substantiate his syllogisms. 

In the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 12-260, is published a 
letter from Mr. W.G. Grottendieck, telling that, about one o'clock, one 
morning in September, 1903, at Dortrecht, Sumatra, he was awakened by 
hearing something fall on the floor of his room.(28) Sounds of falling 
objects went on. He found that little, black stones were falling, with 
uncanny slowness, from the ceiling, or the roof, which was made of large, 
overlapping, dried leaves. Mr. Grottendieck writes that these stones were 
appearing near the inside of the roof, not puncturing the material, if 
through this material they were passing. He tried to catch them at the 
appearing point, but, though they moved with extraordinary slowness, they 
evaded him. There was a coolie boy, asleep in the house, at the time. "The 
boy certainly did not do it, because at the time that I bent over him, while 
he was sleeping on the floor, there fell a couple of stones." There was no 
police station handy, and this story was not finished off with a neat and 
fashionable cut. 

I point out that these stories of flows of stones are not conventional 
stories, and are not well known. Their details are not standardized, like 
"clanking chains" in ghost stories, and "eyes the size of saucers," in sea 
serpent yarns. Somebody in France, in the year 1842, told of slow-moving 
stones, and somebody in Sumatra, in the year 1903, told of slow-moving 
stones. It would be strange, if two liars should invent this circumstance -- 

And that is where I get, when I reason. 

If strangeness be a standard for unfavorable judgment, I damn at a swipe 
most of this book. [45/46] 

But damnation is nothing to me. I offer the data. Suit yourself. 

Nobody can investigate the reported phenomena that we're taking up, without 
noticing the number of cases in which boys and girls, but a great 
preponderance of girls, appear. An explanation by those who disregard a 
great deal -- or disregard normally -- is that youngsters are concerned so 
much, because it is their own mischief. Poltergeist-phenomena, or 
teleportation of objects, in the home of Mr. Frost, 8 Ferrostone Road, 
London, for several months, early in the year 1921, can not be so explained. 
There were three children. Phenomena so frightened one of them that, in a 
nervous breakdown, she died (London Daily Express, April 2, 1921).(29) 
Another, in a similar condition, was taken to the Lewisham (London) Hospital 
(London Daily News, April 30, 1921).(30) 

In attempting to rationalize various details that we have come upon, or to 
assimilate them, or to digest them, the toughest meal is swallowing 
statements upon mysterious appearances in closed rooms, or passages of 
objects and substances through walls of houses, without disturbing the 
material of the walls. Oh, yes, I have heard of the "fourth dimension," but 
I am going to do myself some credit by not lugging in that particular way of 
showing that I don't know what I'm writing about. There's a story in the St. 
Louis Globe-Democrat, Jan. 27, 1888 -- large stones that were appearing and 
"falling slowly" in closed rooms in the home of Mr. P.C. Martin, Caldwell 
County, North Carolina.(31) Madras (India) Mail, March 5, 1888 -- pieces of 
brick that, in the presence of many investigators, were falling in a 
schoolroom, in Pondicherry.(32) 

I can understand this phenomenon, or alleged phenomenon, of appearances in 
closed rooms, no more than I can understand the passage of a magnetic field 
[46/47] of force through the wall of a house, without disturbing the 
material. But lines of this force do not transport objects through a dense 
material. Then I think of X-rays, which do something like this, if it be 
accepted that X-rays are aggregations of very small objects, or particles. 
X-rays do, or sometimes do, disturb materials penetrated by them, but this 
disturbance is not evident until after long continuance. 

If there is Teleportation, it is in two orders, or fields: electric and non-
electric -- or phenomena that occur during thunderstorms, and phenomena that 
occur under a "cloudless sky," and in houses. In the hosts of stories that I 
have gathered -- but with which I have not swamped this book -- of showers 
of living things, the rarest of all statements is of injury to the falling 
creatures. Then, from impressions that have arisen from other data, we think 
that the creatures may not have fallen all the way from the sky, but may 
have fallen from appearing points not high above the ground -- or may have 
fallen a considerable distance under a counter-gravitational influence. 

I think that there may be a counter-gravitational influence upon transported 
objects, because of the many agreeing accounts -- more than I have told of -
- of slow-falling stones, by persons who had probably never heard of other 
stories of slow-falling stones, and because I have come upon records of 
similar magic, or witchcraft, in what will be accepted as sane and sober 
meteorological observations. 

See the Annual Register, 1859-70 -- an account by Mr. E.J. Lowe, a 
meteorologist and an astronomer, of a fall of hailstones, at Nottingham, 
England, May 29, 1859.(33) Though the objects were more than an inch across, 
they fell slowly. In September, 1873, near Clermont-Ferrand, France, 
according to La Nature, 7-289, hailstones, measuring from an inch to an inch 
[47/48] and a half across fell.(34) They were under an unknown influence. 
Notwithstanding their size, they fell so slowly that they did no damage. 
Some fell upon roofs, and rebounded, and it was as if these shook off the 
influence. Those that rebounded then fell faster than fell those that came 
down in an unbroken fall. For other records of this phenomenon, see Nature, 
36-445; Illustrated London News, 34-546; and, Bull. Soc. Astro. de France, 
June 19, 1900.(35) 

If in the general conditions of a thunderstorm there be sometimes a counter-
gravitational effect upon objects, somebody might find out how counter-
gravitationally to electrify aircraft and aviators. If all work is 
opposition to gravitation, somebody may make a big discovery of benefit to 
general laziness. Elevators in skyscrapers might be run with half the power 
now needed. Here is an idea that may revolutionize industry, but just now I 
am too busy revolutionizing everything else, and I give this idea to the 
world, with the generosity of somebody who bestows something that isn't any 
good to him. 

But mysterious disappearances? 

Our data have been upon mysterious appearances. 

If I could appeal to what used to be supposed to be known as common sense, 
I'd ask whether something that mysteriously appears somewhere had not 
mysteriously disappeared somewhere else. 

Annals of Electricity, 6-499 -- Liverpool, May 11th, 1842 -- "not a breath 
of air."(36) Suddenly clothes on lines on a common shot upward. They moved 
away slowly. Smoke from chimneys indicated that above ground there was a 
southward wind, but the clothes moved away northward. 

There was another instance, a few weeks later. London Times, July 5th, 1842 
-- a bright, clear day, at Cupar, Scotland, June 30th -- women hanging out 
clothes on [48/49] a common.(37) There was a sharp detonation, and the 
clothes on lines shot upward. Some fell to the ground, but others went on 
and vanished. There was a seeming of selection, which, because of possible 
bearing upon various observations of ours interests me. Though this was a 
powerful force, nothing but the clothes it seized was affected. I wonder 
about the detonation, largely because it is in agreement with a detail of 
still another story. 

The closeness in time of these two occurrences attracts my attention. They 
were a few weeks apart, and I have no other such record, until seventy-seven 
years later. A sensible suggestion is that somebody, in Cupar, having read 
the Liverpool story, had faked a similar story from his town. A suggestion 
that is not so sensible is that, in this year 1842, somebody had learned the 
secrets of teleportation, and to avoid attracting much attention in any one 
place was experimenting in places far apart. It seems likely enough to me 
that, if there be teleportation, human beings may have come upon knowledge 
of it, and may have used it. 

"Likely enough?" a spiritualist would say. "Has he never heard of apports?" 

But whether it's narrowness and bigotry, upon my part, or not, I do not go 
to séances for data. I have collected notes upon "mysterious robberies," 
wondering whether a teleportative power has ever been used criminally. As to 
apports, if a medium could transport sea shells from the sea to his cabinet, 
he could abstract funds from a bank to his pocket. If he could, but would 
not, how account for his being a medium? Looking through newspapers, I have 
had a searching eye for something like an account of a medium, who had 
become mysteriously rich, in a town where there had been shortages of funds: 
clerks accused of embezzlement, and convicted, but upon evidence that was 
not al- [49/50] together satisfactory. Although usually I can find data to 
"prove" anything that I want to "prove," I have come upon no such account, 
and I am sceptical as to apports, and think that mediums are like most of 
the rest of us, who are not criminals, having no exceptional abilities. 
However, there may be criminal adepts who are not known mediums. 

There was, in June, 1919, at Islip, Northampton, England, an occurrence like 
the occurrences at Liverpool and Cupar. London Daily Express, June 12, 1919 
-- a loud detonation -- basketful of clothes shooting into the air.(38) Then 
the clothes came down. There may be ineffective teleportative seizures. 

London Daily Mail, May 6, 1910 -- phenomenon near Cantillana, Spain.(39) 
From ten o'clock in the morning until noon, May 4th, stones shot up from a 
spot in the ground. Loud detonations were heard. "Traces of an extinct 
volcano are visible at the spot, and it is believed that a new crater is 
being formed." But there is no findable record of volcanic activity in 
Spain, at this time -- nor at any other time. I am reminded of the loud 
noises that often accompany poltergeist disturbances. 

In Niles' Weekly Register, Nov. 4, 1815, there is an account of stones that 
had been watched rising in a field, near Marbleton, Ulster County, New York 
-- that these stones had been seen to rise three or four feet from the 
ground, then moving horizontally, from thirty to sixty feet.(40) 

Out in open fields, there have been showers of water, strictly localized, 
and of unknown origin. A Dr. Neel will be heard from.(41) He has captured, 
not indefinitely alluded to insects, but Proconia undata Fab. Every mystery 
has its fishmonger. Considered figuratively, he need not be a seller of 
fish. His name may be Smith, or O'Brien, or it may be Proconia Undata Fab. 

But presumably in the winter-time, in England, members of the Proconia 
family are not busy and available for explanations. In the Chorley 
(Lancashire) Standard, Feb. 15, 1873, is a story of excitement in the town 
of Eccleston.(42) At Bank House, occupied by two elderly women and their 
niece, streams of water started falling, about the first of February, 
seemingly from ceilings. Furniture was soaked, and the occupants of the 
house were alarmed. The falls seemed to come from the ceiling, but "probably 
the most singular feature of the affair is that ceilings were apparently 
quite dry." See back to Mr. Grottendieck's story of objects that were 
appearing near a ceiling, or roof, with no signs of penetrating the 
material. Workmen had been called to the house, and had investigated, but 
were unable to explain. Openness again. House packed with neighbors, 
watching the showers. These data would make trouble for spiritualistic 
mediums and their requirements for special, or closed, conditions, and at 
least semi-darkness, if mediums were bothered by more than unquestioning or, 
occasionally politely questioning, faith. If some of them have been knocked 
about a bit, they were relatively few. Nobody in this house sat in a 
cabinet. Nobody was a logician. Nobody reasonably argued that chemists, for 
instance, must have special conditions, or their reactions will not work 
out. "For instance," said nobody, "how could you develop a photograph, 
except in the special conditions of darkness, or semi-darkness?" 

The look to me is that, throughout what is loosely called Nature, 
teleportation exists, as a means of distribution of things and materials, 
and that sometimes human beings have command, mostly unconsciously, though 
perhaps sometimes as a development from research and experiment, of this 
force. It is said that in savage tribes there are "rain makers," and it may 
be [51/52] that among savages there are teleportationists. Some years ago, 
I'd have looked superior, if anybody had said this to me but a good many of 
us are not so given to the "tut-tut!" as we used to be. It may be that in 
civilized communities, because of their storages, a power to attract flows 
of water, being no longer needed, has virtually died out, still appearing 
occasionally, however. 

It could be that, in reading what most persons think are foolish little 
yarns of falling stones, we are, visionarily, in the presence of cosmic 
constructiveness -- or that once upon a time this whole earth was built up 
by streams of rocks, teleported from other parts of an existence. The crash 
of falling islands -- the humps of piling continents -- and then the cosmic 
humour of it all -- or utmost spectacularlity functioning, then declining, 
and surviving only as a vestige -- or that the force that once heaped the 
peaks of the Rocky Mountains now slings pebbles at a couple of farmers, near 
Trenton, N.J.(43) 

So I'd conceive of the existence of a force, and the use of it, 
unconsciously mostly, by human beings. It may be that, if somebody, gifted 
with what we think we mean by "agency," fiercely hates somebody else, he 
can, out of intense visualizations, direct, by teleportation, bombardments 
of stones upon his enemy. 

Water falls on a tree, in Oklahoma. It is told of in an entomological 
magazine. Water falls in a house in Eccleston. I read that in a 
spiritualists' periodical, though I went to a newspaper for the data. These 
are the isolations, or the specializations, of conventional treatments. I 
tell of water falling upon a tree, in Oklahoma, and of water falling in a 
house in Eccleston, and think that both phenomena are manifestations of one 
force.(44) It is my attempt to smash false demarcations: to take data away 
from narrow and exclusive [52/53] treatments by spiritualists, astronomers, 
meteorologists, entomologists: also denying the validity of usurpations of 
words and ideas by metaphysicians and theologians. But my interest is not 
only that of a unifier: it is in bringing together seeming incongruities, 
and finding that they have affinity. I am very much aware of the 
invigoration of products of ideas that are foreign to each other, if they 
mate. This is exogamy, practiced with thoughts -- to fertilize a volcanic 
eruption with a storm of frogs -- or to mingle the fall of an edible 
substance from the sky with the unexplained appearance of Cagliostro. But I 
am a pioneer and no purist, and some of these stud-stunts of introducing 
vagabond ideas to each other may have about the eugenic value of some of the 
romances in houses of ill fame. I can not expect to be both promiscuous and 
respectable. Later, most likely, some of these unions will be properly 

Sometimes, in what I call "teleportations," there seems to be "agency" and 
sometimes not. That the "agency" is not exclusively human, and has nothing 
to do with "spirits of the departed" is indicated, I suppose, if we accept 
that sometimes there are "occult powers" of trees. Some other time I may be 
able more clearly to think out an expression upon flows of pigeons to their 
homes, and flows of migratory birds, as teleportative, or quasi-
teleportative. My suggestion as to the frequently reported "agency" of 
children, is that "occult forces" were, in earlier times of human affairs, 
far more prevalent, and far more necessary to the help and maintenance of 
human communities than they are now, with political and economic mechanisms 
somewhat well-established, or working, after a fashion; and that, wherein 
children are atavistic, they may be in rapport with forces that mostly human 
beings have outgrown. 

Though just at present I am no darling of the popes, [53/54] I expect to end 
up holy, some other time, with a general expression that all stories of 
miracles are not lies, or are not altogether lies; and that in the primitive 
conditions of the middle ages there were hosts of occurrences that now, 
considerably, though not altogether, have been outgrown. Anybody who broadly 
accepts the doctrine of relativity should accept that there are phenomena 
that exist relatively to one age, that do not, or do not so pronouncedly, 
exist in another age. I more or less accept a great deal that religionists 
piously believe. As I see myself, I represent a modernization of the old-
fashioned atheist, who so sweepingly denied everything that seemed to 
interfere with his disbeliefs. 

There are of course other explanations of the "occult powers" of children. 
One is that children, instead of being atavistic, may occasionally be far in 
advance of adults, foreshadowing coming human powers, because their minds 
are not stifled by conventions. After that, they go to school and lose their 
superiority. Few boy-prodigies have survived an education. 

The outstanding suggestion, which, however, like many other suggestions, I 
cannot now develop, is that, if Teleportation exists, it may be used. It may 
be criminally used, or it may be used commercially. Cargoes, without ships, 
and freights, without trains, may be of traffics of the future. There may be 
teleportative voyages from planet to planet. 

Altogether, so many of our data are bound up with jokes, hoaxes, and 
flippant treatments that I think of the toy and play genesis of many 
practical inventions. Billions of dollars are to-day seriously drawing 
dividends from toys and games that were put to work. Billions of laughs and 
jeers have preceded solemn expressions of satisfaction with fat bank 
accounts. But this is only reasoning, and is nothing but logic and argu- 
[54/55] ment, and there have been billions of laughs that never turned into 
anything more satisfactory -- though where do I get the idea that there is 
anything more satisfactory than a laugh? 

If, in other worlds, or in other parts of one relatively little existence, 
there be people who are far ahead of terrestrians, perhaps, teleportatively, 
beings from other places have come to this earth. And have seen nothing to 
detain them. Or perhaps some of the more degraded ones have felt at home 
here, and have hung around, or have stayed here. I'd think of these fellows 
as throw-backs: concealing their origin, of course; having perhaps only a 
slightly foreign appearance; having affinity with our barbarisms, which 
their own races had cast off. I'd think of a feeling for this earth, in 
other worlds, as corresponding to the desire of most of us, now and then, to 
go to a South Sea Island and be degraded. Throw-backs, translated to this 
earth, would not, unless intensely atavistic, take to what we regard as 
vices, but to what their own far-advanced people regard as perhaps 
unmentionable, or anyway, unprintable, degradations. They would join our 
churches, and wallow in pews. They'd lose all sense of decency and become 
college professors. Let a fall start, and the decline is swift. They'd end 
up as members of Congress. 

There is another view, for which I am now gathering material -- 

New York Times, Dec. 6, 1930 -- "Scores die; 300 stricken by poison fog in 
Belgium; panic grips countryside. Origin complete mystery. War scenes 
recalled."(45) It may be that it was war. 

Mostly, explanations by the scientists were just about what one would 
expect, but, in the New York Telegram, Dec. 6, Prof. H.H. Sheldon was quoted 
-- "If there is a widespread, lethal fog in the Meuse [55/56] Valley, the 
conclusion of science would be that it is being deliberately caused by men 
or women."(46) 

It may be that inhabitants of other worlds, or other parts of one, organic 
existence, have declared war upon this earth, and have discharged down here, 
sometimes under cover of fogs, volumes of poisonous gases. I have other 
records that may indicate something of this kind, but, reluctantly, I give 
up this interesting notion, as applied to the occurrence of Dec. 5, 1930, 
because it associates with another phenomenon, of which I shall tell later. 

Only two weeks after the tragedy in Belgium, appeared the fishmonger. The 
writer of an editorial, in the New York Herald Tribune, Dec. 19, 1930, 
started the conventionalizing and the minimizing and the obscurizing that 
always cloak events that are inconsistent with a main norm of supposed 
knowledge.(47) "One may suspect that a sensational newspaper man, counting 
up the deaths, some dark day, in the smoky steel towns on the Allegheny 
River, could produce a story not far behind that from Belgium." 

Seventy-seven men and women were struck dead in Belgium. Oh, there's always 
some commonplace explanation for these occurrences, if we only use our 
common sense. [56] 


1. Bodson De Noirfontaine. "Note sur de la pluie observée par un ciel 
complétement serein." Comptes Rendus, 14 (1842): 663-4. The first rain was 
on April 21, 1842, for two-and-a-half hours; and, on the next day, at the 
same time, it fell again. It was a repetition and not a continuous fall for 
two days. 

2. "Ghost." London Times, April 26, 1821, p. 3 c. 1. The location of the 
house was near Carclew-street, (not Carlow Street). Correct quote: 
"...according to the different degrees of nerve and judgment...." 

3. "The ghost whose vagaries we noticed...." London Times, May 1, 1821, p. 3 
c. 3. Fort's account errs considerably, as it was the military which 
suffered the depredations and which called upon the civil authorities for 
assistance. The local newspaper source, (cited by the London Times), did 
report upon the confession of one of the soldiers' children, in the last of 
the following articles: "Ghost." West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser, 
(Truro), April 20, 1821, p. 2 c. 6, and, p. 3 c. 1. "The ghost whose 
vagaries...." West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser, April 27, 1821, p. 3 c. 
1. "A reward has been offered...." West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser, May 
4, 1821, p. 3 c. 1. L.H. Potts. "Discovery of the Truro ghost." West Briton 
and Cornwall Advertiser, May 11, 1821, p. 2 c. 5-6. 

4. "Aerolites." London Times, January 13, 1843, p. 3 c. 3. Livet is the 
commune where the phenomenon was reported, and it was said to be "near 
Clavaux." There is no report of an "upward current" in the article, as Fort 
suggests; rather people who held the hand of a child "found themselves, to 
their great surprise, drawn within the sphere of attraction, and perceived 
the stones just above their heads, which, the moment after, fell on them, 
and rolled to the ground." 

5. "Remarkable phenomena." Toronto Globe, September 9, 1880, p.7 c.2. 

6. "The Crosshill mystery." Halifax Citizen and Evening Chronicle, (Nova 
Scotia), September 13, 1880, p.2 c.4-5. For additional articles: "The 
Crosshill mystery." Toronto Globe, September 10, 1880, p.12 c.1-2. The 
farmer's name was George Manser. 

7. "Mysterious stone throwing." New York Sun, June 22, 1884, p. 1 c. 6. The 
location of the farm was about half a mile north of Trenton, New York, (not 
New Jersey). 

8. "Rain tree." New York Sun, October 30, 1892, p. 4 c. 6. 

9. "Another weeping tree." Insect Life, 5 (January 1893): 204. J.C. Neal, 
(not Neel), examined two "weeping trees," one being a Cottonwood and the 
other being a Box-elder. For earlier articles on this subject: "The weeping 
tree mystery." Insect Life, 2 (November 1889): 160-1. "The weeping tree 
phenomenon." Insect Life, 3 (June 1891): 415. 

10. H.E. Chapin. "Continuous rain." Science, o.s., 21 (February 17, 1893): 
94. The phenomenon was observed at Athens, Ohio, (not Akron). 

11. "Varities." Philadelphia Public Ledger, October 19, 1892, p.5 c.9. The 
location was Martinsburg, Ohio, not Martinsville. 

12. Fort's citation appears to be erroneous. However, there is such an 
article in the previous issue, though not for the incident related by Fort: 
"Rained continuously on one spot." St. Louis Globe-Democrat, November 18, 
1892, p. 4 c. 6. A dispatch from Magnolia, Arkansas, dated November 17, told 
of rains that had fallen in the front yard of a preacher's house, located in 
Hempstead County, "every day for more than three months" during a drought. 

13. "State weather services." Monthly Weather Review, 20 (November 1892): 
307-9, at 308, (c.v. "Ohio"). 

14. "A very strange phenomenon." Charleston News and Courier, October 8, 
1886, p. 2 c. 1. "A phenomenal rainfall." Charleston News and Courier, 
October 24, 1886, p. 1 c. 1. "The telegrams of Saturday." Charleston News 
and Courier, October 25, 1886, p. 2 c. 1. "More rain from a cloudless sky." 
Charleston News and Courier, October 26, 1886, p. 6 c. 2. 

15. "Rain from cloudless sky." Monthly Weather Review, 14 (October 1886): 
287. The original report in Charlotte Chronicle, of October 21, 1886, is no 
longer extant. 

16. "Earthquake phenomena." New York Sun, October 24, 1886, p. 1 c. 5. The 
rain was reported to have been falling for "ten or twelve days," (not 

17. Charleston News and Courier, Nov. 5, 1886. 

18. T.C. Mendenhall. "Report on the Charleston earthquake." Monthly Weather 
Review, 14 (August 1886): 233-5, at 234. Correct quote: "An examination of 
some of these shortly after they had fallen forced...." 

19. "Shower of pebbles." Charleston News and Courier, September 6, 1886, p. 
5 c. 2. "Some of them bounding into the press room" refers to the second 
shower of stones at 7:30 A.M.; but, press men seeking mischievious 
pranksters found no one. The initial fall at 2:30 A.M. occurred across the 
street in a vacant lot; and, the third fall at 1:30 P.M. covered a large 
area encompassing the two earlier falls and the space between them. Stones 
from all three falls were said to be "warm." 

20. "A strange phenomena." Richmond Whig, September 5, 1886, p. 2 c. 2. 
Also: "The earthquake's work." Richmond Whig, September 5, 1886, p. 1 c. 5-
6. These "water-stones" were said to be "from a half to an inch thick," 
(with no mention of grapes or eggs). 

21. Carl McKinley. A Descriptive Narrative of the Earthquake of August 31, 
1886. Charleston, S.C.: Walker, Evans & Cogswell Co., 1887, 16. 

22. "Strange story of spirit rapping." Rand Daily Mail, May 29, 1922, p. 7 
c. 7-8. The location of the Neaves' home was at Roodepoort, South Africa, 
(not Roodeport); and, it was not said that the outhouses were searched, in 
these articles. 

23. "Mystery incidents at Roodepoort." Rand Daily Mail, May 30, 1922, p.7 

24. "Police look for the ghost." Rand Daily Mail, May 31, 1922, p.8 c.5. 

25. For additional articles on this incident: "Stones thrown from the air." 
Rand Daily Mail, June 1, 1922, p.8 c.5. "The ghost makes a confession." 
Johannesburg Star, June 2, 1922, p. c.3. 

26. D. Neaves. "Haunted house again." Rand Daily Mail, June 6, 1922, p.3 
c.8. Neaves did believe that "Sara" was partly responsible for the 
disturbances but protested the claims that the mystery had been solved, as 
claimed by the Johannesburg Star. He wrote: "That the Hottentot girl in my 
employ has been at the bottom of the whole trouble both the police and 
myself have known for some time; but who does the stone-throwing when her 
wrists are tied together and she is under observation? This is the one who 
has never been seen or heard, despite the utmost vigilance." 

27. "Mysterious missiles." The Record of Klerksdrop and the Western 
Transvaal, November 18, 1921, p. 2 c. 6. Correct quote: "...stories of stone 
throwing by invisible agencies...." 

28. "A poltergeist case." Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 12 
(May 1906): 260-6. Correct quote: "...at the same time...on the floor, to 
awake him, there fell...." 

29. "Ghosts cause a child's death." London Daily Express, April 2, 1921, p.5 
c.2. The child was Muriel Parker, the five-year-old niece of Mr. Frost. 

30. "Agitated milk can at Hornsey." London Daily News, April 30, 1921, p.5 
c.3. For additional reports from local newspapers: "Hornsey house of flying 
tables." Bowes Park Weekly News, (Enfield, London), February 19, 1921, p.5 
c.4. "Hornsey's house of mystery." Bowes Park Weekly News, (Enfield, 
London), March 5, 1921, p.3 c.1-4. "A haunted house at Hornsey." Hornsey 
Journal, February 18, 1921, p.8 c.5. "The haunted house at Hornsey." Hornsey 
Journal, March 11, 1921, p.8 c.4. J. Lockart. "The haunted house at 
Hornsey." Hornsey Journal, March 25, 1921, p.3 c.2. "The haunted house at 
Hornsey." Hornsey Journal, April 8, 1921, p.8 c.3. "The haunted house at 
Hornsey." Hornsey Journal, April 15, 1921, p.8 c.3. "The haunted house at 
Hornsey." Hornsey Journal, May 13, 1921, p.7 c.1-2): "The haunted house at 
Hornsey." Hornsey Journal, May 20, 1921, p.8 c.5. "Haunted coal." North 
Middlesex Chronicle, February 12, 1921, p.3 c.2. "Hornsey house of flying 
tables." North Middlesex Chronicle, February 19, 1921, p.4 c.5. "Hornsey's 
house of mystery." North Middlesex Chronicle, February 26, 1921, p.3 c.5. 
"Hornsey's house of mystery." North Middlesex Chronicle, March 12, 1921, p.4 
c.5. "Hornsey's house of mystery." North Middlesex Chronicle, March 19, 
1921, p.4 c.4. "The haunted house at Hornsey." North Middlesex Chronicle, 
March 26, 1921, p.4 c.5. "Death at haunted house." North Middlesex 
Chronicle, April 2, 1921, p.4 c.4. "Hornsey's haunted house." North 
Middlesex Chronicle, April 16, 1921, p.3 c.6. "Hornsey's haunted house." 
North Middlesex Chronicle, May 14, 1921, p.3 c.5. 

31. St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 27, 1888, (Not found here). 

32. "A mystery at Pondicherry." Madras Mail, March 5, 1888, p.4 c.5. 

33. "Extraordinary hailstorm." Annual Register, 1859, pt.2, 70-1. The 
hailstones were said to have fallen "gently," (not "slowly"). 

34. "Grelons extraordinaire." Nature (Paris), 1876, 2 (October 7): 296-8. 
The fall of hail occurred at Gazeries, Puy-de-Dôme, France. No reference is 
made to the size of the hail in this article. 

35. "Remarkable hailstorm." Illustrated London News, 34 (June 4, 1859): 546. 
"Remarkable hailstones." Nature, 36 (May 12, 1887): 44-5. "Une curieuse 
grêle." Bulletin de la Société Astronomique de France, 14 (June 1900): 285. 

36. "Whirlwind in Liverpool." Annals of Electricity, 8, 499. 

37. "Singular phenomenon." London Times, July 5, 1842, p.5 c.6. The 
occurrence was said, by the Fife Herald, to take place on Wednesday, and was 
later copied by the Times; thus, the date was not June 30, 1842, but more 
probably June 15, 22, or 29, 1842. No mention is made of clothes-lines, but 
clothes along "a belt, as it were, running across the green"; and, "at the 
moment of the report," cattle in a nearby field were frightened and 
"continued cowering together in evident terror" afterwards. 

38. "Laundry in the air." London Daily Express, June 12, 1919, p.1 c.3. 
Islip is near Northampton, but not part of it. 

39. "Dead volcano's freak." London Daily Mail, May 6, 1910, p.7 c.6. 

40. "Unprecedented phenomenon." Niles' Weekly Register, (Baltimore), 9 
(n.10; November 4, 1815): 171-2. 

41. Dr. Neal, (not Neel). 

42. "A singular affair at Eccleston." Chorley Standard and District 
Advertiser, (Chorley), February 15, 1873, p.3 c.5. 

43. Trenton, New York, (not New Jersey). 

44. Fort marked "X" in the margin next to this line. 

45. "Scores die, 300 stricken by poison fog in Belgium, panic grips 
countryside." New York Times, December 6, 1930, p. 1 c.1-2, and, p. 11 c. 1-
2. Correct quote: "War scenes are recalled." 

46. "Scientist thinks some one has losed poison gas." New York Telegram, 
December 6, 1930, p.2 c.2-3. 

47. "Poison fogs and foggy minds." New York Herald Tribune, December 19, 
1930, p.22 c.2. 


UPON the 9th of January, 1907, Mr. McLaughlin, of the town of Magilligan, 
County Derry, Ireland, hadn't a red light, Neither had his sister, nor his 
niece, nor his maidservant. They hadn't a cabinet. But a show was staged at 
their house, as if they knew altogether too much about phosphorescent paint, 
and as if Mr. McLaughlin bought false whiskers. There were phenomena in 
sunlight, and there was an atmosphere as unmystical as pigs and neighbors. 
If any spiritualistic medium can do stunts, there is no more need for 
special conditions than there is for a chemist to turn down lights, start 
operations with a hymn, and ask whether there's any chemical present that 
has affinity with something named Hydrogen. 

Mr. McLaughlin had cleaned soot from the chimney. I wonder what relation 
there may be. It is said that [57/58] immediately afterward, phenomena 
began. There were flows of soot from undetectable sources, in rooms, and 
from room to room, independent of draughts, sometimes moving against 
draughts. Also there were flows of stones, or bombardments. About thirty 
panes of glass were broken by stones, in the daytime, some of them in the 
presence of neighbors. This is the story, as it was told by reporters of the 
Derry Journal and the Coleraine Constitution, who had been sent to 
investigate.(1) Probably there was a girl, aged 14 or 15, in this house, but 
as to the ages of Mr. McLaughlin's niece and maid servant, I could not learn 

The conventionally scientific, or fishmongerish, thing to do would be to 
think of some commonplace explanation of the soot, and forget the stones. 
There would not be so much science, if people had good memories. The flows 
of stones can be explained as peggings by neighbors, if the soot be 

Our data have been bullied by two tyrannies. On one side, the spiritualists 
have arbitrarily taken over strange occurrences, as manifestations of "the 
departed." On the other side, conventional science has pronounced against 
everything that does not harmonize with its systemizations. The scientists 
goes investigating, about as, to match ribbons, a woman goes shopping. The 
spiritualist stuffs the maws of his emotions. One is too dainty, and the 
other is too gross. Perhaps, between these two, we shall some day be 
considered models of well-bred behavior. 

Showers of frogs and worms and periwinkles -- and now it's showers of nails. 
St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Oct. 16, 1888 -- dispatch from Brownsville, Texas 
-- that, on the night of the 12th, the lighthouse, at Point Isabel, occupied 
by Mrs. Schreiber, widow of the keeper, who had departed not long before, 
had been struck by a rain of nails.(2) The next night, about dark, [58/59] 
came another shower of nails. More variety -- also down pelted clods of 
earth and oyster shells. Bombardments continued. People gathered and saw 
showers, mostly of nails, but could not find out where they were coming 

In Human Nature, March 1871, is a story of flows of corn that were passing 
from a locked crib, in Buchanan, Virginia.(3) But, in this case, it was said 
that apparitions were seen, and mostly, at least so far as apparitions are 
concerned, our accounts are not ghost stories. 

There have been mysterious showers of money, in public places. I have 
gravely copied accounts from newspapers, but there must have been something 
the matter with my gravity, because I put the notes away, without indexing 
them, and just now can't find them, among about 60,000. One of the stories 
was of coins that, for several days, a few years ago, fell intermittently 
into Trafalgar Square, London. Traffic was so interfered with by scramblers 
that the police investigated, but could trace nothing to the buildings 
around the Square. Every now and then there was a jingle of coins, and a 
scramble, and the annoyance of the police was increased. They investigated. 

Maybe there are experimenters who have learned to do such things, 
teleportatively. I'd see some sport in it, myself, if it wouldn't cost too 

There was a piker with pennies, in London, several years ago. New York 
Evening World, Jan. 18, 1928 -- flows of copper coins and chunks of coal, in 
a house in Battersea, London, occupied by a family named Robinson.(4) "The 
Robinsons are educated people, and scout the idea of a supernatural agency. 
However they are completely baffled, and declare the phenomena take place in 
closed rooms, thus precluding the possibility of objects being thrown from 
outside." [59/60] 

There's small chance of such phenomena being understood, just at present, 
because everybody's a logician. Almost everybody reasons: "There are not 
supernatural occurrences: therefore these alleged phenomena did not occur." 
However through some closed skulls, mostly independently of eyes and ears 
and noses, which tell mostly only what they should tell, is penetrating the 
idea that flows of coins and chunks of coal may be as natural as the flows 
of rivers. Those of us who have taken this degree of our initiation may now 
go on to a more advanced stage of whatever may be the matter with us. 

August 30th, 1919 -- Swanton Novers Rectory, near Melton Constable, Norfolk, 
England -- oil "spurting" from walls and ceilings. It was thought that the 
house was over an oil well, the liquid percolating and precipitating, but it 
was not crude oil that was falling: the liquids were paraffin and petrol. 
Then came showers of water. Oil was falling from one of the appearing 
points, at a rate of a quart in ten minutes. Methylated spirits and 
sandalwood oil were falling. In an account, dated Sept. 2nd, it is said that 
receptacles had been placed under appearing-points, and that about 50 
gallons of oil had been caught. Of thirteen showers, upon Sept. 1st, two 
were of water. 

The circumstance that is of most importance in this story is that such 
quantities of oils and water appeared here that the Rector, the Rev. Hugh 
Guy, had been driven out, and had moved his furniture to another house. 

London Times, Sept. 9 -- "Norfolk Mystery Solved."(5) We are told that Mr. 
Oswald Williams, the "illusionist," or the stage magician, and his wife, who 
were investigating, had seen the housemaid, aged 15, enter the house, which 
for several days had been unoccupied, and throw a glass of water, which they 
had [60/61] salted, to a ceiling, then crying that another shower had 
occurred. They had shut off the water supply, in the house, and had placed 
around glasses and pails of water, salted so that it could be identified. 

As Mr. and Mrs. Williams told it, they, in hiding, saw the girl throw the 
salted water, and rushed out of their hiding place and accused her. 
Conceivably all for the sake of science, and conceivably with not a thought 
of publicity-values, Mr. Williams told newspaper reporters of his successful 
stratagem, and put completeness into his triumph, by telling that the girl 
had confessed. "She admitted that she had done it, and finally she broke 
down and made a clean breast of it." 

Times, Sept. 12 -- girl interviewed by a representative of a Norwich 
newspaper -- denied that she had confessed -- denied that she had played 
tricks of any kind -- denied that the Williamses had been in hiding -- told 
that she had gone to the house, with Mr. and Mrs. Williams, and that a wet 
spot had appeared on a ceiling, and that she had been wrongfully accused of 
having thrown water.(6) 

"According to the little girl's statement, she was at no time alone in the 
kitchen" (London Daily News, Sept. 10).(7) "She insists that she was the 
victim of a trick, and that great pressure was put upon her to admit that 
she had thrown salted water to the ceiling. `I was told,' she said, `that I 
would be given one minute to say I had done it, or go to prison. I said that 
I didn't do it.'" 

Having an interest in ways in which data are suppressed, I have picked up 
some information upon how little girls are "pressed." No details of the 
"pressure" were published in the London newspapers. Norfolk News, Nov. 8 -- 
that, in the Holt Petty Sessions had come up the case of the girl, Mabel 
Louisa Phillipo -- spelled Phillips, in the other accounts -- complainant 
[61/62] against Mrs. Oswald Williams, who was charged with having assaulted 
her.(8) The girl said that Mrs. Williams had time after time struck her in 
the face, and had called attention to her face, reddened by blows, as 
evidence of her guilt. Mrs. Phillipo testified that, when she arrived at the 
Rectory, her daughter's first words were that she had been beaten. The Rev. 
Hugh Guy testified, but he did not testify that he was in the house, at the 
time. According to details picked up from other accounts, he was not in the 
house, at the time. 

It is said that legal procedure in Great Britain is superior to whatever 
goes under that name in the United States. I can't accept that legal 
procedure anywhere is superior to anything. Mr. Guy, who had not been 
present, testified that he had not seen the girl struck, and I found no 
record of any objection by the girl's attorney to such testimony. The case 
was dismissed. 

And then a document closed investigation. It was a letter from Mr. Guy, 
published in the Times, Sept. 13.(9) Mr. Guy wrote that he had tasted the 
water, upon the ceiling, and had tasted salt in it: so he gave his opinion 
that the girl had thrown the water. Most likely there is considerable salt, 
reminders of long successions of hams and bacons, on every kitchen ceiling. 

According to Mr. and Mrs. Williams, the girl had confessed. But see Mr. 
Guy's letter to the Times -- that the girl had not confessed. 

So, because of Mr. Guy's letter, the Williamses can not be depended upon. 
But we're going to find that Mr. Guy can not be depended upon. To be sure, I 
am going to end up with something about photographs, but photographs can not 
be depended upon. I can't see that out of our own reasoning, we can get 
anywhere, if there isn't anything phenomenal that can be depended upon. It 
is my expression that, if we are entering upon [62/63] an era of a revised 
view of many formerly despised and ridiculed data, there will be a 
simultaneous variation of many minds, more favourably to them, and that what 
is called reasoning in those minds will be only supplementary to a general 
mental tropism. 

The investigation was stopped by Mr. Guy. The inquiry-shearer, or the 
mystery-bobber, was this statement, in his letter -- "It would have taken 
only a small quantity to create the mess." 

The meaning of this statement is that, whereas gallons, or barrels, of oils, 
at a cost of hundreds of dollars, could not be attributed to a mischievous 
girl, "only a small quantity" could be. 

Flows of frogs -- flows of worms -- flows of lies -- read this: 

London Daily Express, Aug. 30 -- "The Rector, in response to a request from 
the Daily Express, for the latest news, reported as follows:(10) 

"`To the Editor of the Daily Express: 

"`Expert engineer arriving Monday. Drippings ascribed to exudations, on 
August 8, of petrol, methylated spirits, and paraffin. House evacuated; 
vapor dangerous; every room affected; downpour rather than dripping -- 

In the Daily Express, Sept. 2, is published Mr. Guy's statement that he had 
been compelled to move his furniture from the house.(11) 

According to other accounts, the quantities were great. In the London Daily 
News were published reports by an architect, a geologist, and a chemist, 
telling of observations upon profuse flows.(12) In the Norwich newspapers, 
the accounts are similar. For instance, the foreman of an oil company, 
having been asked to give an opinion, had visited the house, and had caught 
in a tub, two gallons of oil, which had dripped, in four hours, from one of 
the appearing-points. Just how, as [63/64] a matter of tricks, a girl could 
have been concerned in these occurrences is not picturable to me. The house 
was crowded, while the oil-expert, for instance, was investigating. But it 
does seem that unconsciously she was concerned. The first of the showers 
occurred in her room. Ceilings were bored and ripped off, but nothing by 
which to explain was found. Then another stage magician, Mr. N. Maskelyne, 
went to Swanton Novers, with the idea of exposing trickery. Possibly this 
competition made the Williamses hasty. But Mr. Maskelyne could find nothing 
by which to explain the mystery. According to him (Daily Mail, Sept. 10) 
"barrels of it" had appeared, during the time of his observations.(13) 

Just how effective, as an inquiry-stopper, was the story of the girl and the 
"small quantity," is shown by the way the Society for Psychical Research was 
influenced by it. See the Journal S.P.R., Oct., 1919.(14) Mr. Guy's letter 
to the Times is taken as final. No knowledge of conflicting statements by 
him is shown. The Society did not investigate. "A small quantity" can be 
explained, as it should be explained, but "barrels of it" must be forgotten. 
Case dismissed. 

If the Rev. Hugh Guy described at one time a "downpour," which had driven 
out him and his tables, chairs, beds, rugs, all those things that I think of 
seriously, because I have recently done some moving, myself, and then told 
of "a small quantity," why have I not an explanation of this contradiction? 

I wrote to Mr. Guy, asking him to explain, having the letter registered for 
the sake of a record. I have received no answer. 

In the London Daily Mail, Sept. 3, 1919, are reproduced two photographs of 
oil dripping from different ceilings.(15) Large drops of oil are clearly 
visible. [64] 


1. "Mysterious occurrences at Magilligan." Coleraine Constitution, January 
26, 1907, p. 5 c. 2-3. "Extraordinary occurrence near Limavady." Derry 
Journal (Londonderry), January 23, 1907, p. 4 c. 6. "County Derry mystery." 
Derry Journal, January 25, 1907, p. 5 c. 1-2. "Mysterious occurrences at 
Magilligan." Derry Journal, January 30, 1907, p. 6 c. 1-2. 

2. St. Louis Globe-Democrat, (October 16, 1888). 

3. "Another `ghost story'." Human Nature, 5 (March 1871): 141-2. The Rev. 
G.C. Thrasher, whose residence was the center of the depredations, only once 
watched "something like a thin shadow, bearing resemblance to a human form" 
pass by him swiftly and disappear; otherwise, "not a track nor trace" was 
found, and nothing else was observed. 

4. "Coin-tossing ghost batters residents of Battersea house." New York 
Evening World, January 18, 1928, p. 3 c. 1. Correct quote: "The Robinsons, 
who are educated people, scout the idea of a supernatural agency. They are 
completely baffled, however, and declare the phenomena takes place in closed 
rooms, thus precluding the possibility of the objects being thrown from 
outside." More details are available in a local newspaper: "Driven from home 
by ghostly pranks." London Daily Sketch, January 17, 1922, p. 9 c. 1. 
"Shower of coal and soda." London Daily Sketch, January 18, 1922, p. 2 c. 1. 
"Very shy spook." London Daily Sketch, January 19, 1922, p. 3 c. 3. "Spook 
tricks of a spook," and, "Gas-lighter riddle." London Daily Sketch, January 
20, 1922, p. 3 c. 4. "Spook riddle new turn." London Daily Sketch, January 
21, 1922, p. 1 (photograph). "Spook mystery development." London Daily 
Sketch, January 21, 1922, p. 2 c. 3. "Haunted house hopes." London Daily 
Sketch, January 22, 1922, p. 2 c. 1. 

5. "Norfolk mystery solved." London Times, September 9, 1919, p. 7 c. 2. 
This article indicates that Mrs. Williams, (not Mabel Phillipo, the 
housemaid), "at once raised the alarm," after seeing a glass of water thrown 
up to the kitchen ceiling. Only Mrs. Williams had been spying through the 
floorboards, from the room above the kitchen. Correct quote: "...finally the 
girl, after first denying her hoax, made a clean breast of the matter in the 
presence of the whole party, and burst into tears." "Rectory oil mystery 
solved." London Daily News, September 9, 1919, p. 1 c. 4. 

6. "Oil in Norfolk rectory." London Times, September 12, 1919, p.7 c.4. 

7. "The rectory oil mystery." London Daily News and Leader, September 10, 
1919, p.1 c.3. Correct quotes: "...statement, she was not once out of the 
presence of Mr. and Mrs. Oswald Williams, and was at no time alone in the 
kitchen...she is the victim...to admit she had been throwing salted water up 
to the ceiling...`I said I didn't do it.'" 

8. "Swanton Novers oil mystery." Norfolk News and Weekly Press, (Norwich), 
November 8, 1919, p.7 c.4-5. Guy testified that he was present "the whole 
time," on September 8, and that he had not seen Miss Phillipo slapped nor 
dragged down the stairs by Mrs. Williams. "In his further evidence Mr. Guy 
repeatedly emphatically to the Clerk his denial that the girl's face was 
slapped. If it had happened he must have seen it, for he was standing close 
by all the time." According to the local newspaper account of the events of 
September 8, Hugh Guy, his wife Emily, Oswald Williams and his wife Rae, and 
Arthur Browning were in the house, when the trap was laid for the servant 
girl. "The Swanton Novers mystery." Norfolk News and Weekly Press, September 
13, 1919, p.6 c.1-2. For an earlier report of the phenomena: "A Norfolk oil 
mystery." Norfolk News and Weekly Press, September 6, 1919, p.5 c.3-4. 

9. "Swanton Novers Rectory." London Times, September 13, 1919, p.6 c.4. Guy 
writes: "After the girl was caught I fetched both her parents, who were very 
upset at first, and refused to believe that the girl was guilty; but in face 
of the evidence, and in spite of the girl's denials, they agreed with our 
views -- expressing great regret, and offering to do all in their power to 
make good the damage." Correct quote: "It would only take a small quantity 
to create the mess that was caused." 

10. "Oil well in a rectory." London Daily Express, August 30, 1919, p.1 c.6. 
Correct quotes: "...replied as follows...," and "...exudation...." 

11. "Oil haunted rectory." London Daily Express, September 2, 1919, p.5 c.2. 
For additional reports: "Pure paraffin now." London Daily Express, September 
1, 1919, p.5 c.7. "Rectory well of many odours." London Daily Express, 
September 3, 1919, p.5 c.5. "Oily rectory to be pulled down." London Daily 
Express, September 5, 1919, p.1 c.4. 

12. "Oil puzzle." London Daily News and Leader, September 2, 1919, p.5 c.5. 
"Rectory oil riddle." London Daily News and Leader, September 3, 1919, p.5 
c.3. "Rectory oil mystery solved." London Daily News and Leader, September 
9, 1919, p.1 c.4. 

13. "Oily rectory." London Daily Mail, September 10, 1919, p.3 c.3. 

14. "A supposed poltergeist case and its explanation." Journal of the 
Society for Psychical Research, 19 (October 1919): 95-9. 

15. "The oil rectory." London Daily Mail, September 3, 1919, p.3 c.3-4. 


FLOWS of blood from "holy images" -- 

I take for a proposition that, though nothing can be proved -- because, if 
all phenomenal things are continuous, there is, in a final sense, nothing 
phenomenal -- anything can be said to be proved -- because, if all 
phenomenal things are continuous, the most preposterous nonsense must 
somewhere be linked with well-established beliefs. If I had the time for an 
extra job, I'd ask readers to think up loony theories, and send them to me, 
I'd pick out the looniest of all, and engage to find abundant data to make 
it reasonable to anybody who wanted to think it reasonable. 

Once upon a time I thought that stories of flows of blood from "holy images" 
were as ridiculous as anything that I had ever read in any astronomical, or 
[65/66] geological textbook, or in any treatise upon economics or mechanics. 

Well, then, what happened? 

It occurred to me that stories of flows of blood from "holy images" are 
assimilable with our general expressions upon teleportations. Whereupon, 
automatically, the formerly despised became the somewhat reasonable. Though 
now and then I am ill-natured with scientific methods, it is no pose of mine 
that I am other than scientific, myself, in our expressions. I am tied down 
like any college professor or Zulu wise man. 

As a start-off, I suggest that if we accept that flows of water ever have 
appeared at points in objects, called "houses," a jolt is softened, and we 
pass easily into thinking that other fluids may have appeared at points in 
other objects, called "holy images." The jolt is softened still more, if we 
argue that other fluids did appear at points in the object, called a 
"house," at Swanton-Novers. 

There may be Teleportation, and maybe for ages the secret of it has been 
known by esoteric ones. It may be that priests, especially in the past, 
when, sociologically, they were of some possible use, have known how to 
teleport a red fluid, or blood, to points upon images. They may have been 
"agents," able to do this, without knowing how they got their effects. If I 
can accept that our whole existence is an organism, I can accept that, if by 
so-called miracles, its masses of social growths can best be organized and 
kept co-ordinated, then appear so-called miracles. The only flaw that I note 
in this argument is that it overlooks that there is no need for miracles. If 
there is a need for belief in miracles, miracles can be said to have 

We shall have an expression in terms of some of the other of our 
expressions. If we arrange the ideas of [66/67] it neatly, if not nattily, 
no more will be required to impress anybody who would like to be impressed. 

Out in open fields there have been mysterious, or miraculous, showers of 
water. Then has appeared the seeming "agency" of human beings, and similar 
showers have occurred in houses -- 

Out in open places, there are electrical manifestations, and they are known 
as "lightning." The general specializes, and human beings use electricity, 
in their houses, or in images that are called "machines." Or we'd say that 
electricians are trained "agents" in the uses of lightning. 

Out in open places there have been flows of a red liquid. 

In La Nature, Sept. 25, 1880, Prof. J. Brun, of the University of Geneva, 
writes that, near Djebel-Sekra, Morocco, he had heard rumors of a fall of 
blood from the sky.(1) He visited the place of the reported phenomenon. He 
says that, to his stupefication, he found rocks and vegetation covered with 
scales of a red, shining material. Examining specimens under a microscope, 
he found them composed of minute organisms, which he tells us were 
Protococcus fluvialis. 

The identification may be doubted. I don't like it. The ease with which any 
writer can pick to pieces any statement made by anybody who is not present 
to bandy delusions with him is becoming tiresome, but if I will write a 
book, I will write it triumphantly. 

So this identification may be doubted. First we note that Prof. Brun says 
that, instead of having the features of the Algae that he had named, these 
organisms were simple, or undifferentiated. To explain this appearance, the 
Professor, who had perhaps recovered from his stupefication, says that the 
things were young ones. But an aggregation exclusively of young Protococci 
is as extraordinary as would be a vast assemblage, [67/68] say filling 
Central Park, New York, of human infants, without a sign of a parent. 

The explanation sublimates segregationism. It attributes to a grab, an 
exquisite discrimination. Somewhere in a swamp, said Prof. Brun, there were 
hosts of Protococci -- venerable ones, middle-aged ones, and their brats -- 
or "all sizes," as he worded it. Along came a whirlwind. Carrying away all 
the minute organisms, this big rough disturbance removed with microscopic 
fastidiousness, old Protococci from young Protococci, according to 
differences in specific gravity. It cast down at one place all the bereft 
parents, and precipitated, at Djebel-Sekra, a rain of little, red orphans. 

When we recover from the sadness into which this tragedy cast us, we reflect 
that of all organisms, red blood-cells are of the simplest, or least 
differentiated. Anyway, here is an orthodox scientist who accepted that a 
red fluid did fall from the sky. I have about a dozen other records of 
showers of red fluids that were not rains coloured by dusts. Upon several of 
these occasions the substance was identified as blood. 

Or that once upon a time, or once upon an archaic time, there came to this 
earth, along arterial paths in space, red flows of a primitive plasm that 
deluged continents, and out of which, by the plan, purpose, guidance, or 
design that governs developments in all organisms, higher forms of life 
developed -- 

And that maybe this mechanism has not altogether ceased, so that to this 
day, but in a vestigial sense, or in a very much dwindled representation, 
such flows are continuing -- 

And that, if human beings ever have had "agency" in directing such flows, 
that is only a specialization of the general. 

Once upon a time, it was the fashion with those of us who say that they are 
of the enlightened, to reject [68/69] all stories of the "Miracles at 
Lourdes." The doctors had much to do with this rejection. Somewhere behind 
everything that everybody believes, or disbelieves, is somebody's pocket. 
But now, as to those "miracles," the explanation of auto-suggestion is 
popular. Some of us who were not interested are beginning to think. The 
tendency that I point out is that of so often rejecting both data and an 
explanation, simply because one rejects an explanation. Many of our data are 
in this position of phenomena at Lourdes. Explanations have been taken over 
by theologians, or by spiritualists, and scientists, instead of opposing 
this usurpation, have denied the data. Whether it is only because I now want 
so to accept, or not, I now accept that the phenomenon of the stigmata, or 
flows of blood from points upon living images, has occurred. 

Most likely those who deny the phenomenon of the stigmata are those who have 
not read, or have not recently read, the story of Louise Lateau, for 
instance. One would have to be of a very old-fashioned resistfulness not to 
accept this story, half an hour after reading it. For the latest instance, 
that of Theresa Neumann, of the village of Konnersreuth, near Munich, 
Germany, see the New York Times, April 18, 1928.(2) In recent years, several 
cases have been reported, in the United States. Flows of blood from points 
in living images lead us to flows of blood from points in graven images. If 
one accepts the phenomenon of the stigmata, I don't know that acceptance is 
monstrously stretched by transferring the idea from bodies to statues. 

"On Saturday (Aug. 21st, 1920) all statues and holy pictures, in the home of 
Thomas Dwan, of Templemore, Tipperary, Ireland, began to bleed." See 
newspapers of Aug. 24th. 

A boy, James Walsh, a devout youngster, aged six- [69/70] teen, was the 
center of the reported phenomena, at Templemore. Perhaps the bleeding 
statues and pictures were trickeries of his. 

All boys and girls are little rascals. This is a generalization that one can 
feel somewhat nearly sure of, until it is examined. Then, because of 
continuity, we find that we can not define boys and girls, because no 
definite line can be drawn between youngsters and adults. Also rascality and 
virtue merge. Well, without arguing, I say that if all the boys and girls 
who appear in our records were rascals, they were most expert little 

"Towns in terror -- terrible bloodshed -- bombs and burnings -- shocking 
series of murders -- hellish vandalism -- brutality and terrorism -- 
hangings, ambushes, raids." 

Whatever the association may be, I note conditions in Ireland, at this time. 

Here is one newspaper heading, telling of occurrences of one day -- "Reign 
of terror in Ireland -- terrible massacre -- appalling loss of life -- 
holocaust -- bloodshed and horror." 

Five days before the phenomena at Templemore were first reported, this town 
was raided. The Town Hall was burned down, and other buildings were 
destroyed. Templemore was terrorized. All shops were closed. Few persons 
dared to be seen in the streets. On the road to Templemore there was not a 
cart. The town was partly in ruins. It was god-forsaken and shilling-and-

I take from the Tipperary Star:(3) 

"In Dwan's house, and in the house of his sister-in-law, Mrs. Maher, where 
lived and worked the young man, James Walsh, statues started to bleed 

This news sneaked up and down the roads. Its car- [70/71] riers were 
stealths amidst desolation and ruin. Then they scurried from farm to farm, 
and people were coming out from their homes. They went to Templemore to see. 
Then they went in droves. The roads began to hum. Sounds of tramping and the 
creaking of wheels -- men and horses and primitive old carts and slickest of 
new cars from cities -- it was mediaevalism honked with horns -- or one of 
the crusades, with chariots slinging out beer bottles -- and anachronism is 
just one more of the preposterous errors of Life, Nature, or an Organism, or 
whomever, or whatever may be the artist that does these things. The roads 
began to roar. Strings of people became ropes of marching thousands. Hope 
and curiosity, piety, and hilarity, and the incentive to make it a holiday: 
out for the fun of it, out to write letters to the newspapers, exposing the 
fakery of it, out to confirm religious teachings -- but maybe all this can 
not be explained in terms only of known human feelings: it was as enormous 
as some of the other movements of living things that I shall tell of. Then 
the news that was exciting Ireland was going out to the world. 

The terror that chanting processions were threading may have had relation 
with these rhythms of marchers. They were singing their song of the long, 
long way, and then arriving shiploads took up the song. Messrs. Cook, the 
tourist agents, sent inquiries as to whether the inns of Templemore could 
provide for 2,000 pilgrims from England. Scotchmen and Englishmen and 
Frenchmen -- tourist agencies in the United States, European countries, and 
Japan sent inquiries. Waves that billowed from this excitement beat upon 
Table Mountain, South Africa, and in the surf that fell upon Cape Town, 
people bobbed into a Committee that was sent to investigate. Drops of blood 
from a statue in Ireland -- and a trickle of turbans down a [71/72] gangway 
at Bombay -- a band of pilgrims set out from Bombay. I am far from making a 
religion of it, but whatever was directing all this would make hats come off 
at Hollywood. Also, whether somebody was monkeying with red ink, or not, is 
getting lost in the story. Because of a town that the world had never heard 
of, Paris and London were losing Americans. 

Other phenomena, which may have been teleportations, were reported. In the 
earthen floor of the Walsh boy's room, a hollow, about the size of a teacup, 
filled with water. No matter how it was drained -- and thousands of persons 
took away quantities -- water, from an unknown source, always returned to 
this appearing point. The subject of "holy wells" occurs to me, as a field 
of neglected data. Everything that I can think of occurs to me as a field of 
disregard and neglect. Statues in Walsh's room bled -- that's the story -- 
and, as in poltergeist doings -- or as in other poltergeist doings -- 
objects moved about in an invisible force. 

I take notice of these stories of objects that moved in the presence of a 
boy, because scarcely can it be said that they were of value to priestcraft, 
and it can be said that they are common in accounts of occult phenomena of 
adolescence. I now offer as satisfactory an expression upon phenomena at 
Templemore, as has ever been conceived of by human mind. A Darwin writes a 
book about species. By what constitutes a species? He does not know. A 
Newton explains all things in terms of gravitation. But what is gravitation? 
But he has stopped. I explain the occurrences at Templemore in terms of 
poltergeist phenomena. Any questions? But I claim scientific license for 
myself, too. 

Marvellous cures were reported at Templemore. What teleportations have to do 
with cures, I don't [72/73] see: but I do see that if people believe that 
any marvel, such as a new arrival at a Zoo, has curative powers, there will 
be a pile of crutches outside the cage of that thing. 

Walkers, bicyclists, motor cars, donkey carts, lorries, charabancs, 
wheelbarrows with cripples in them: jaunting cars, special trains rushing 
from Dublin. Some of the quietest old towns were in uproars. Towns all 
around and towns far away were reporting streets resounding with tramping 
thousands. There were not rooms enough in the towns. From storms of people, 
drifts slept on door steps. Templemore, partly in ruins, stood black in the 
center of a wide growth of tents. This new city, mostly of tents, was named 

I have not taken up definite accounts of the bleeding statutes. See 
statements published in various issues of the Tipperary Star. They are 
positively convincing, or they are fairy stories for grown up brats. I could 
fill pages, if I wanted to, but that would imply that I think there is any 
meaning in solemn assertions, or in sworn testimony, with hands on Bibles. 
For instance, I have notes upon an account by Daniel Egan, a harness-maker 
of Templemore, of blood that he had seen oozing from a statue -- but this 
statement may be attributed to a sense of civic responsibility. He would be 
a bad citizen who would testify otherwise, considering the profit that was 
flowing into Templemore. The town's druggist, a man of what is said to be 
education, stated that he had seen the phenomena. He was piling up a fortune 
from people who had caught bad colds, sleeping in the fields. I suppose that 
some of them had come devoutly from far away, but had begun to sneeze, and 
had back-slid from piety to pills. However, something that I can not find a 
hint of is that either Dwan or the Mahers charged admission. At first, 
people were [73/74] admitted in batches of fifty, somebody, holding a watch, 
saying, every five minutes: "Time, please!" Soon Dwan and the Mahers placed 
the statues in windows, for all to see. There were crowds all day, and 
torchlight processions moved past these windows all night. 

The blood that was shed in Ireland continued to pour from human beings: but 
the bleeding statues stopped, or statements that statues were bleeding 
stopped. However, wherever the water was coming from, it continued to flow 
from the appearing-point in the Walsh boy's room. In the Tipperary Star, 
Sept. 25, the estimate is that, in about one month, one million persons had 
visited Pilgrimsville. To some degree the excitement kept up, the rest of 
the year.(4) 

They were threading terror with their peaceful processions. They marched 
through "a terrible toll of bloodshed -- wild scenes at Nenagh -- the 
Banshaw Horror." Past burned and blackened fields in which corpses were 
lying, streamed these hundreds of thousands: chanting their song of the 
long, long way; damning the farmers, who were charging them two shillings 
apiece for hard-boiled eggs; praying, raiding chicken houses, telling their 
beads, stealing bicycles. "Mr. John McDonnell gave a pilgrim a lift, and was 
robbed of 250." 

But one of these detachments enters a town. In another street, a man runs 
from a house -- "My God! I'm shot!" Not far away -- the steady tramping 
pilgrims. These flows of beings are as mysterious as the teleportations of 
substances. They may mean an organic control, or maintenance of balance, 
even in a part that is diseased with bombs and ambuscades and arson. 

But it is impossible, except to the hopelessly pious, to consider, with 
anything like veneration, any such [74/75] maintenance of a balance, 
because, if a god of order be conceived of, also is he, or it, a god of 

But, regarded aesthetically, sometimes there are effects that are 

"Bloody Sunday in the County Cork!" But, upon this day, somewhere upon every 
road in Ireland, is maintained a rhythm. 

Somewhere, a lorry of soldiers is moving down a road. Out of bushes come 
bullets, and the sides of the car are draped with a droop of dead men. Not 
far away, men and women and children are marching. Along the roads of 
distracted Ireland -- steady pulsations of people and people and people. 


1. J. Brun. "Sur une pluie de sang au Maroc." Nature (Paris), 1880, 2 
(September 25): 262-3. 

2. "Girl stigmatic again draws crowds." New York Times, April 8, 1928, s.1 
p.5 c.5-6. 

3. "Astounding sensations." Tipperary Star and Midland Advertiser, 
(Thurles), August 28, 1920, p.3 c.3-7. "Templemore - A miracle," and, 
"Templemore thrills." Tipperary Star and Midland Advertiser, August 28, 
1920, p.4 c.4-5. "15,000. Templemore pilgrims." Tipperary Star and Midland 
Advertiser, September 4, 1920, p.4 c.1. "Sensational robbery." Tipperary 
Star and Midland Advertiser, September 4, 1920, p.5 c.6. "Templemore 
thrills." Tipperary Star and Midland Advertiser, September 4, 1920, p.6 c.1. 

"Templemore thrills." Tipperary Star and Midland Advertiser, September 11, 
1920, p.3 c.4-5. "The bleeding statues." Tipperary Star and Midland 
Advertiser, September 18, 1920, p.4 c.2. "Templemore miracles," and, 
"Templemore thrills." Tipperary Star and Midland Advertiser, September 18, 
1920, p.3 c.5-6. "The great pilgrimage." Tipperary Star and Midland 
Advertiser, September 25, 1920, p.4 c.1. 

4. "The great pilgrimage." Tipperary Star and Midland Advertiser (Thurles), 
September 25, 1920, p.4 c.1. 


NOSE in the mud, and the bend of a thing to the ground. There are postures 
from which life is acting to escape: one of them, the embryonic crouch; 
another, whether in the degradation of worship, or as a convenience in 
eating grass, the bend of the neck to the ground. The all-day gnaw of the 
fields. But the eater of meat is released from the munch. One way to broaden 
horizons is to climb a tree, but another way is stand on one's own hind 
legs, away from the grass. A Bernard Shaw dines on hay, and still looks 
behind for a world that's far ahead. 

These are the disgusts for vegetarians, felt by the planters of Ceylon, in 
July, 1910. Very likely, I am prejudiced, myself. Perhaps I think that it is 
gross and brutal to eat anything at all. Why stop at vegetarianism? 
Vegetarianism is only a semi-ideal. The only [76/77] heavenly thing to do is 
to do nothing. It is gross and brutal and animal-like to breathe. 

We contribute to the records of strange alarms. There was one in Ceylon. 
Gigantic vegetarians were eating trees. 

Millions of foreigners, big African snails (Achatena fulica) had suddenly 
appeared, massed in the one small district of Kalutara, near Colombo. Shells 
of the largest were six inches long. One of them that weighed three quarters 
of a pound was exhibited at the Colombo Museum. They were crowded, or 
massed, in one area of four square miles. One of the most important of the 
data is that this was in one of the most thickly populated parts of Ceylon. 
But nothing had been seen of these "gigantic snails," until suddenly trees 
turned knobby with the monsters. It was as surprising as it would be, in New 
York, going out one morning, finding everything covered with huge warts. In 
Colombo was shown a photograph of a tree trunk, upon the visible part of 
which 227 snails were counted. The ground was as thick with them as were the 

They were explained. 

So were the periwinkles of Worcester: but we had reasons for omitting from 
our credulities, the story of the mad fishmonger of Worcester and his 
frenzied assistants. 

In the Zoologist, Feb., 1911, Mr. E. Ernest Green, the Government 
Entomologist, of Ceylon, explained.(1) Ten years before, Mr. Oliver Collet, 
in a place about fifty miles from Kalutara, had received "some of these 
snails" from Africa, and had turned them loose in his garden. Then, because 
of the damage by the monsters, he had destroyed all, he thought: but he was 
mistaken, some of them having survived. In Kalutara lived a native, who was 
related to other natives, in this other place (Watawella). In a parcel of 
vege- [77/78] tables that he had brought from Watawella two of these snails 
had been found, and had been turned loose in Kalutara, and the millions had 
descended from them. No names: no date. 

All the accounts, in the Ceylon Observer, in issues from July 27 to 
September 23, are of a sudden and monstrous appearance of huge snails, 
packed thick, and not an observation upon them until all at once appeared 
millions.(2) It takes one of these snails two years to reach full size. All 
sizes were in this invasion. "Never known in Ceylon before." "How they came 
here continues to be a mystery." According to Mr. Green's report, published 
in a supplement of the Ceylon Observer, Sept. 2, stories of the multitudes 
were not exaggerations: he described "giant snails in enormous numbers," "a 
horde in a comparatively small space," "a foreign pest." This was in a 
region of many plantations, and even if the hordes could have been hidden 
from sight in a jungle, the sounds of their gnawing and of the snapping of 
branches of trees under the weight of them would have been heard far. 

Plantations -- and the ceaseless sound of the munch. The vegetarian bend -- 
the sagging of trees, with their tops to the ground, heavy with snails. 
Natives, too, and the vegetarian bend -- they bowed before the invasion. 
They would destroy no snails: it would be a sin. A bubonic crawl -- lumps 
fall off and leave skeletons. There would be a sight like this, if a plague 
could hypnotize a nation, and eat, to their bones, rigid crowds. Tumors that 
crawl and devour -- clothing and flesh disappearing -- congregations of 

There was a hope for infidels. When a lost soul was found, there was 
rejoicing in Kalutara, and double pay was handed out, satanically. The 
planters raked up infidels, who sinfully gathered snails into mounds and 
burned them. [78/79] 

One of our reasons for being persuaded into accepting what we wanted to 
accept, in the matter of the phenomenon at Worcester, was that not only 
periwinkles appeared: also appeared crabs, which could not fit in with the 
conventional explanation. Simultaneously with the invasion of snails, there 
was another mysterious appearance. It was of unusually large scale-insects, 
which, according to Mr. Green (Ceylon Observer, Aug. 9) had never before 
been recorded in Ceylon. 

Maybe, in September, 1929, somebody lost an alligator. According to some of 
our data upon the insecurities of human mentality, there isn't anything that 
can't be lost by somebody. A look at Losts and Founds -- but especially 
Losts -- confirms this notion. New York American, Sept. 19, 1929 -- an 
alligator, 31 inches long, killed in the Hackensack Meadows, N.J., by Carl 
Weise, 14 Peerless Place, North Bergen, N.J.(3) But my attention is 
attracted by another "mysterious appearance" of an alligator, about the same 
time. New York Sun, Sept. 23, 1929 -- an alligator, 28 inches long, found by 
Ralph Miles, in a small creek, near Wolcott, N.Y.(4) 

In the Gentleman's Magazine, Aug., 1866, somebody tells of a young 
crocodile, which, about ten years before, had been killed on a farm, at 
Over-Norton, Oxfordshire, England.(5) 

In the November issue of this magazine, C. Parr, a well-known writer upon 
antiquarian subjects, says that, thirty years before, near Chipping Norton, 
another young crocodile had been killed.(6) According to Mr. Parr, still 
another young crocodile had been seen, at Over-Norton. In the Field, Aug. 
23, 1862, is an account of a fourth young crocodile that had been seen, near 

It looks as if, for about thirty years, there had been a translatory 
current, especially selective of young [79/80] crocodiles, between 
somewhere, say in Egypt, and an appearing-point near Over-Norton. If, by 
design and functioning, in the distribution of life in an organism, or in 
one organic existence, we mean anything so misdirected as a teleportation of 
young crocodiles to a point in a land where they would be out of adaptation, 
we evidently mean not so very intelligent design and functioning. Possibly, 
or most likely. It seems to me that an existence that is capable of sending 
young butchers to medical schools, and young boilermakers to studios, would 
be capable of sending young crocodiles to Over-Norton, Oxfordshire, England. 
When I go on to think of what gets into the Houses of Congress, I expect to 
come upon data of mysterious distributions of cocoanuts in Greenland. 

There have often been sudden, astonishing appearances of mice, in great 
numbers. In the autumn of 1927, millions of mice appeared in the fields of 
Kern County, California. Kern County, California, is continuous with all the 
rest of a continent: so a sudden appearance of mice there is not very 

In May, 1832, mice appeared in the fields of Inverness-shire, Scotland. They 
were in numbers so great that foxes turned from their ordinary ways of 
making a living and caught mice. It is my expression that these mice may 
have arrived in Scotland, by way of neither land nor sea. If they were 
little known in Great Britain, the occurrence of such multitudes is 
mysterious. If they were unknown in Great Britain, this datum becomes more 
interesting. They were brown; white rings around necks; tails tipped with 
white. In the Magazine of Natural History, 7-182, a correspondent writes 
that he had examined specimens, and had not been able to find them mentioned 
in any book.(9) 

I have four records of snakes that were said to have fallen from the sky, in 
thunderstorms. Miss Margaret [80/81] McDonald, of Hawthorne, Mass., has sent 
me an account of many speckled snakes that appeared in the streets of 
Hawthorne, one time, after a thunderstorm. 

Because of our expressions upon teleportative currents, I am most interested 
in repetitions in one place. Upon May 26, 1920, began a series of tremendous 
thunderstorms, in England, culminating upon the 29th, in a flood that 
destroyed 50 houses, in Louth, Lincolnshire. Upon the 26th, in a central 
part of London -- Gower Street -- near the British Museum, a crowd gathered 
outside Dr. Michie's house. Gower Street is in Bloomsbury. To the Bloomsbury 
boarding houses go the American schoolmarms who visit London, and beyond the 
standards of Bloomsbury -- primly pronounced Bloomsbry -- respectability 
does not exist. Dr. Michie went out and asked the crowd what it, or anything 
else, could mean by being conspicuous in Bloomsbry. He was told that in an 
enclosure behind his house had been seen a snake. 

In a positive sense, he did not investigate. He simply went to a part of the 
enclosure that was pointed out to him. Though, in his general practice, Dr. 
Michie was probably as scientific as anybody else, I must insist that this 
was no scientific investigation. He caught the snake. 

The creature was explained. It was said to be a naja haja, a venomous snake 
from Egypt. Many oriental students live in Gower Street, to be near the 
British Museum and University College: in all probability the oriental snake 
had escaped from an oriental student. 

You know, I don't see that oriental students having oriental snakes is any 
more likely than that American students should have American snakes: but 
there is an association here that will impress some persons. According to my 
experience, and according to data to [81/82] come, I think that somebody 
"identified" an English adder, as an oriental snake, to fit in with the 
oriental students, and then fitted in the oriental students with the 
oriental snake, arguing reasonably that if an oriental snake was found where 
there were oriental students, the oriental snake had probably escaped from 
the oriental students. As I have pointed out, often enough, I know of no 
reasoning process that is not parthenogenetic, and if this is the way the 
identification and the explanation came about, the author of them has 
companionship with Plato and Darwin and Einstein, and earthworms. 

The next day, there was another crowd: this one in a part of London far from 
Gower Street (Sydenham). A snake had been seen in a garden. Then a postman 
killed it. Oriental students do not live in Sydenham. This snake was an 
adder (London Daily Express, May 28).(10) 

Upon the 29th, in Store Street, near Gower Street, a butcher, Mr. G.H. Hill, 
looked out from his shop, and saw a snake wriggling along the sidewalk. He 
caught the snake which was probably an adder -- picture of it in the Weekly 
Dispatch, of the 30th.(11) 

So there were some excitements, but they were mild, compared with what 
occurred in a crowded part of London, June 2nd. See the Daily Express, June 
3.(12) Outside the Roman Catholic Cathedral (Westminster) an adder appeared. 
This one stopped traffic, and had a wide audience that approached and 
retreated, and reacted with a surge to every wriggle, in such disproportion 
that there's no seeing how action and reaction can always be equal. Three 
men jumped on it. This one is told of, in the Westminster and Pimlico News, 
June 4 and 11, and here it is said that another adder had appeared in 
Westminster, having been caught under a mat at 

Morpeth-mansions.(13) About this [82/83] time, far away in North London 
(Willesden) an adder was killed in a field (London Times, June 21).(14) 

Common sense tells me that probably some especially vicious joker had been 
scattering venomous snakes around. But some more common sense tells me that 
I can not depend upon common sense. 

I have received letters upon strange appearances of living things in tanks 
of rain water that seemed inaccessible except to falls from the sky. Mr. 
Edward Foster, of Montego Bay, Jamaica, B.W.I., has told me of crayfishes 
that were found in a cistern of rain water at Port Antonio, Jamaica. Still, 
such occurrences may be explained, conventionally. But, in the London Daily 
Mail, Oct. 6, 1921, Major Harding Cox, of Newick, Sussex, tells of an 
appearance of fishes that is more mysterious.(15) A pond near his house had 
been drained, and the mud had been scraped out. It was dry from July to 
November, when it was refilled. In the following May, this pond teemed with 
tench. One day, 37 of them were caught. Almost anybody, interested, will try 
to explain in terms of spawn carried by winds, or in mud on the feet of 
water birds, but I am going right ahead with ideas different from Darwinian 
principles of biologic distributions. Major Cox, who is a well-known writer, 
probably reviewed all conventional explanations, but still he was mystified. 
There would not be so much of the interesting in this story, were it not for 
his statement that never before had a tench been caught in this pond. 

Eels are mysterious beings. It may be that what are called their "breeding 
habits" are teleportations. According to what is supposed to be known of 
eels, appearances of eels anywhere can not be attributed to transportations 
of spawn. In the New York Times, Nov. 30, 1930, a correspondent tells of 
mysterious appearances of eels in old moats and in mountain [83/84] tarns, 
which had no connection with rivers.(16) Eels can travel over land, but just 
how they rate as mountain climbers, I don't know. 

In the Amer. Jour. Sci., 16-41, a correspondent tells of a ditch that had 
been dug on his farm, near Cambridge, Maryland.(17) It was in ground that 
was a mile from any body of water. The work was interrupted by rain, which 
fell for more than a week. Then, in the rain water that filled the ditch, 
were found hundreds of perch, of two species. The fishes could not have 
developed from spawn, in so short a time: they were from four to seven 
inches long. But there was, here, a marksmanship that strikes my attention. 
Nothing is said of dead fishes lying upon the ground, at sides of the ditch: 
hundreds of perch arrived from somewhere, exactly in this narrow streak of 
water. There could have been nothing so scattering as a "shower." Accept 
this story, and it looks as if to a new body of water, vibrating perhaps 
with the needs of vacancy, there was response somewhere else, and that, with 
accuracy, hundreds of fishes were teleported. If somebody should have faith 
in us, and dig a ditch and wait for fish, and get no fish, and then say that 
we're just like all other theorists, we explain that, with life now well-
established upon this earth, we regard many teleportations as mere atavisms, 
of no functional value. This idea of need and response, or of the actively 
functional, is taking us into a more advanced stage of conception of an 
organic existence. For a while, we shall make no progress with this 
expression, having much work to do, to make acceptable that there is 
Teleportation, whether organic, or not. 

Perhaps some sudden and widespread appearances of exotic plants were 
teleportations. Such appearances in Australia and New Zealand seem to be 
satisfactorily explained, as ordinary importations: but, in the [84/85] 
London Daily News, April 1, 1924, Dr. F.E. Weiss, Professor of Botany, 
University of Manchester, tells of the Canadian pond weed that suddenly 
infested the canals and slow-moving rivers of England, about the year 1850, 
and says that the phenomenon never had been satisfactorily explained.(18) 

Cardiff (Wales) Evening Express, July 1, 1919 -- "The countryside is set by 
the ears!"(19) That's a queer way for a countryside or anything else to be 
set. There may have been a queer occurrence. It is said that, upon land, 
belonging to Mr. William Calvert, between the villages of Sturton and Stowe, 
ten miles from Lincoln, wheat had appeared. It was ten years since wheat had 
grown here. There had been barley, but this year the field had been left 
fallow. "It was a fine crop of wheat, apparently of more robust growth than 
some in the cultivated fields around. Farmers from far and near were going 
to see this phenomenon, but nobody could explain it." 

Perhaps, at the same time, another "mystery crop" appeared somewhere else. 
Sunday Express (London), Aug. 24, 1919 -- that, in a field, near Ormskirk, 
West Lancashire, where, the year before, because of a drought, wheat had 
died off so that there was nothing worth harvesting, a crop of wheat had 
appeared.(20) That some of the seeds that had been considered worthless 
should sprout would not have been considered extraordinary, but this was 
"one of the best crops of vigorous, young wheat in West Lancashire, for the 

Though I am not a very pious theologian, I take respectful notice here. A 
Providence that gives one snails, or covers one's property with worms, has 
to be called "inscrutable": but we can understand a good crop of wheat 
better, and that is enough to make anybody grateful, until come following 
seasons, with no more benefactions. [85/86] 

We take up again the phenomenon of localized repetitions, which suggest the 
existence of persisting translatory currents. If again we come to the 
seemingly preposterous, we reflect that we have only preposterous pseudo-
standards to judge by. In this instance, the sending of salt water fishes to 
a fresh water lake is no more out of place than, for instance, is the 
sending of chaplains to battleships; and, of course, in our view, it is what 
is loosely called Nature that is doing all things. Perhaps what is called 
Nature amuses itself by occasionally sending somewhat intelligent fellows to 
theological seminaries, and salt water fishes to fresh water. Whether we 
theologians believe in God, or accept that there is an Organism, wherein we 
agree is in having often to apologize for him or it. 

In Science, Dec. 12, 1902, Dr. John M. Clarke writes that a strange-looking 
fish had been caught in Lake Onondaga, Western New York, and had been taken 
to Syracuse.(21) Here it was identified as a squid. Then a second specimen 
was caught. 

Whatever thoughts we're trying to develop did not belong away back in the 
Dark Age, or the other Dark Age, of the year 1902. Just where they do belong 
has not been decided yet. Said Dr. Clarke, with whatever reasoning abilities 
people had in the year 1902: "There are salt springs near Lake Onondaga: so 
perhaps there is, in the lake, a sub-stratum of salt water." The idea is 
that, for millions of years, there had been, in Lake Onondaga, ocean life 
down below, and fresh water things swimming around, overhead, and never 
mixing. Perhaps, by way of experiment, Dr. Clarke put salt water and a 
herring in an aquarium, and then fresh water and a goldfish on top, and saw 
each fish keeping strictly to his own floor, which is the only way to get 
along as neighbors. 

Another scientist turned on his reasoning abilities. [86/87] Prof. Ortman, 
of Princeton University, examined one of the specimens, which according to 
him, was "a short-finned squid, of the North Atlantic, about 13 inches 
long." Prof. Ortman reasoned that Atlantic fishermen use squid for bait. 
Very well: then other fishermen may use squid for bait. So somebody may have 
sent for squid, to go fishing in Lake Onondaga, and may have lost a couple 
of live ones. 

This is the science that is opposing our own notions. But for all I know, it 
may be pretty good science. An existence that would produce such explainers, 
might very well produce such fishermen. So perhaps fishermen of Lake 
Onondaga, with millions of worms around, sent several hundred miles for 
squid, for bait, and perhaps Atlantic fishermen, with millions of squid 
available, send all the way to Lake Onondaga for worms. I've done foolisher, 

It seems to me that there is something suggestive in the presence of large 
deposits of salt near this lake, but I have heard nothing of salt water in 
it. There's no telling about a story that was published in the New York 
Times, May 2, 1882, but if it could be accepted, here would be something 
worth thinking about -- that a seal had been shot, in Lake Onondaga.(22) 
Some years before the appearance of the squid, another sea creature, a 
sargassum fish, had been caught in Lake Onondaga. It had been exhibited in 
Syracuse, according to Prof. Hargitt, of Syracuse University (Science, n.s., 
17-114).(23) It has to be thought that these things were strays. If they 
were indigenous and propagated, they'd be common. 

For various reasons, I do not think much of an idea of an underground 
passage, all the way from the ocean to Lake Onondaga: but, in the London 
Daily Mail, July 1, 1920, a correspondent expresses an idea, like this, as 
to mysterious appearances and disappearances [87/88] of the Barbary apes of 
Gibraltar, conceiving of a submarine tunnel from Gibraltar to Africa.(24) 
"All these creatures were well-known to the staff of the signal station on 
the Rock, many of the apes being named. The numbers sometimes change in the 
most unaccountable way. Well-known monkeys are absent for months, and then 
re-appear with new, strange, adult monkeys of a similar breed. Those who 
know Gibraltar will agree that there is not a square yard on the Rock where 
they could have hidden." 

Chicago Citizen, Feb. 27, 1892 -- an alligator, 5 feet long, found frozen to 
death, on a bank of the Rock River, near Janesville, Wisconsin.(25) In the 
Field, Sept. 21, 1895, it is said that a parrakeet had appeared in a farm 
yard, where it was caught at Gledhill, Ardgay, Scotland, and that, about two 
years later, another parrakeet appeared in this farm yard, and was 
caught.(26) Both birds were males. "No one living anywhere near had missed a 
bird, upon either occasion." 

Later, we shall have expressions upon psychological, and also physiological, 
effects of teleportative seizures. It may be that a living thing, in 
California, was, upon the first of August, 1869, shot from point to point, 
and was torn to pieces, in the passage. 

Flesh and blood that fell "from the sky," upon Mr. J. Hudson's farm, in Los 
Nietos Township, California -- a shower that lasted three minutes and 
covered an area of two acres. The conventional explanation is that these 
substances had been disgorged by flying buzzards. "The day was perfectly 
clear, and the sun was shining, and there was no perceptible breeze," and if 
anybody saw buzzards, buzzards were not mentioned. 

The story is told in the San Francisco Evening Bulletin, Aug. 9, 1869.(27) 
The flesh was in fine particles, [88/89] and also in strips, from one to six 
inches long. There were short, fine hairs. One of the witnesses took 
specimens to Los Angeles, and showed them to the Editor of the Los Angeles 
News, as told in the News, August 3rd. The Editor wrote that he had seen, 
but had not kept the disagreeable objects, to the regret of many persons who 
had besieged him for more information. "That the meat fell, we can not 
doubt. Even the parsons of the neighborhood are willing to vouch for that. 
Where it came from, we can not even conjecture." In the Bulletin, it is said 
that, about two months before, flesh and blood had fallen from the sky, in 
Santa Clara County, California. 

London Daily Express, March 24, 1927 -- a butterfly, a Red Admiral, that had 
appeared in a corner of the Girls' National School, at Whittlesey.(28) It is 
said that every year, for sixteen years, a butterfly had so appeared in this 
corner of this room, about the end of February, or the first of March. I 
wrote to Miss Clarke, one of the teachers, and she replied, verifying the 
story, in general, though not vouching for an appearance every one of the 
sixteen years. I kept track, and wrote again, early in 1928. I copy the 
letter that I received from Miss E. Clarke, 95 Station Road, Whittlesey. As 
to the idea of jokes by little girls, I do not think that little girls could 
get Red Admiral butterflies, in the wintertime, in England. 

"On the 9th of Feb., a few days before I received your letter, a lovely Red 
Admiral again appeared at the same window. The girls were all quietly at 
work, when suddenly a voice exclaimed: `Oh! Miss Clarke -- the butterfly!' 
This child was with me, last year, and remembered the sudden appearance 
then, which I may add, was later, March 2nd, in fact. 

"As I am writing, the visitor is fluttering about the window, and seems 
quite lively. Last year's visitor [89/90] lived about a month after its 
appearance, and then we found it dead. 

"There is nothing else that I can tell you about our annual visitor, but 
really it does seem remarkable." 

Early in the year 1929, I again wrote to Miss Clarke, but this time she did 
not answer me. Maybe a third letter was considered too much of a 
correspondence with somebody who had not been properly introduced. Anyway, 
people do not like to go upon record, in such matters. 

There are circumstances in the story of the children of Clavaux that linger 
in my mind. It was a story of a double, or reciprocating, current. I have 
searched for accounts of a mysterious disappearance and an equally 
mysterious appearance, or something in the nature of an exchange, in the 
same place. 

Upon Dec. 12th, 1910, a handsome, healthy girl disappeared somewhere in New 
York City. The only known man in her affairs lived in Italy. It looks as if 
she had no intention of disappearing: she was arranging for a party, a tea, 
whatever those things are, for about sixty of her former schoolmates, to be 
held upon the 17th of the month. When last seen, in Fifth Avenue, she said 
that she intended to walk through Central Park, on her way to her home, near 
the 79th Street entrance of the park. It may be that somewhere in the 
eastern part of the park, between 59th Street and the 79th Street entrances, 
she disappeared. No more is known of Dorothy Arnold. 

This day something appeared in Central Park. There was no record of any such 
occurrence before. As told, in the New York 

Sun, Dec. 13th, scientists were puzzled.(29) Upon the lake, near the 79th 
Street entrance, appeared a swan. 

Mountainous districts of Inverness-shire, Scotland [90/91] -- mysterious 
footprints in bogs -- sheep and goats slaughtered. "A large, fierce, yellow 
animal of unknown species" was seen by a farmer, who killed it. More 
mysterious tracks in the bogs, and continued slaughter -- another large, 
fierce, yellow animal was shot. Soon a third specimen was caught in a trap. 
"The body was sent to the London Zoo, where it was identified as that of a 
lynx." See the London Daily Express, Jan. 14, 1927.(30) There is no record 
of the lynx, as indigenous to Great Britain. "It is found, in Europe, in the 
Alps, and the Carpathians, and more often in the Caucasus. The last 
specimen, in France, was killed 100 years ago." 

I have a feeling of impiety, in recording this datum. So many of our data 
are upon a godness that so much resembles idiocy that to attribute 
intelligence to it may be even blasphemous. Early in this theological 
treatise we noted a widespread feeling that there is something of the divine 
in imbecility. But, if these three lynxes were teleported, say from 
somewhere in the Carpathians, there was good sense to this teleportation, 
and there was a good shot this time, because they landed in a lynx's 
paradise. There is no part of Great Britain that is richer in game than is 
Inverness-shire, and the country abounds with deer and sheep. However, if 
into this Eden were shot an Adam and two Eves, and these two Eves cats, we 
may think of this occurrence with a restored piety. 

In the London evening newspapers, Aug. 26, 1926, it was told that a mystery 
had been solved. People in Hampstead (London) had reported that, in the 
pond, in Hampstead Heath, there was a mysterious creature. Sometimes it was 
said that the unknown inhabitant was a phantom, and there were stories of 
dogs that had been taken to the pond, and had sniffed, and had sneaked away, 
"with their tails between their legs." [91/92] All this in a London park. 
There was a story of "a huge, black creature, with the head of a gorilla, 
and a bark like that of a dog with a sore throat." Mostly these were 
fishermen's tales. Anglers sit around this pond, and sometimes they catch 

Upon the night of August 25th, the line of one of these anglers, named 
Trevor, was grabbed. He landed something. 

This is Mr. Trevor's story. For all I know, he may have been out on an 
iceberg somewhere, hunting for materials for his wife's winter coat, 
catching something that was insufficient, if he had a large wife. All that 
can be said is that Trevor appeared at a hotel, near the pond, carrying a 
small animal that he said he had caught in the pond. 

Mr. F.G. Gray, proprietor of the hotel, had an iron tank, and in this the 
creature was lodged: and the next day the newspapers told that a young seal 
had been caught. Reporters went to the place, and one of them, the Evening 
News representative, took along Mr. Shelley, of the London Zoo. Mr. Shelley 
identified the animal, as a young seal and no tame specimen, but a wild one 
that snapped at fingers that were poked anywhere near him. 

So it was said that a mystery had been solved. 

But there were stories of other seals that had been seen or had been heard 
barking, before the time of the birth of this seal, in this London pond. One 
would think that the place was somewhere in Greenland. It was Mr. Gray's 
statement that for several years, there had been, intermittently, these 
sounds and appearances. The pond is connected with the River Fleet, which 
runs into the Thames, and conceivably a seal could make its way, without 
being reported, from the ocean to this park, far inland from London: but the 
idea of seals coming and going, without being seen on the [92/93] way, in a 
period of several years, whereas in centuries before nothing of the kind had 
been heard of, was enough to put this story where most of our other stories, 
or data, have been put. Mostly the opinion is that they should stay there. 

London Daily Mail, Nov. 2, 1926 -- "Tale that taxes credulity!"(31) "A story 
of two seals, within three months, in a local pond, is taxing the credulity 
of residents of Hampstead." But there is a story of another seal that had 
been caught, after a struggle, dying soon after capture. In the Daily 
Chronicle, it is said that the "first mystery-catch" was still in the tank, 
in a thriving condition.(32) 

I have come upon more, though to no degree enlighteningly more, about the 
apes of Gibraltar. In the New York Sun, Feb. 6, 1929, Dr. Raymond L. Ditmars 
tells of an "old legend" of a tunnel, by which apes travel back and forth, 
between Africa and Spain.(33) No special instances, or alleged instances, 
are told of. In Gilbard's History of Gibraltar, published in 1881, is 
mention of the "wild and impossible theory of communication, under sea, 
between Gibraltar and the Barbary coast."(34) Here it is said that the apes 
were kept track of, so that additions to families were announced in the 
Signal Station newspaper. The notion of apes in any way passing across the 
Mediterranean is ridiculous to Gilbard, but he notes that there are so many 
apes upon the mountain on the African side of the Strait of Gibraltar, that 
it is known as the Hill of Apes. 

In November, 1852, a much talked about subject, in England, was reindeer's 
ears. There were letters to the newspapers. Reindeer's ears came up for 
discussion in Parliament. Persons who had never seen a reindeer were 
dogmatizing upon reindeer's ears. It had been reported that among reindeer's 
skins that had arrived [93/94] at Tromso, Norway, from Spitzbergen were some 
with the ears clipped. 

Many Englishmen believed that Sir John Franklin had sailed through the North 
West Passage, and that survivors of his expedition were trying to 
communicate with occasional hunters in Spitzbergen, by marking reindeer. 
Spitzbergen was uninhabited, and no other explanation could be thought of. 
Spitzbergen is about 450 miles north of North Cape, Norway, and possibly an 
exceptional reindeer could swim this distance, but this is a story of many 
reindeer. All data upon drifting ice are upon southward drifts. 

Branded reindeer, presumably from Norway or Finland. continued to be 
reported in Spitzbergen, but by what means they made the journey never has 
been found out. Lamont, in Yachting in the Arctic Seas, p. 110, says that he 
had heard of these marked animals, and that, in August, 1869, he had shot 
two stags, each having the left ear "back half-cropped."(35) "I showed them 
to Hans, a half-bred Lapp, accustomed to deal with reindeer since infancy, 
and he had no doubt whatever of these animals having been marked by the 
hands of men." Upon page 357, Lamont tells of having shot two more reindeer, 
similarly marked. Nordenskiold (Voyage of the Vega, vol. 1, p. 135) tells of 
these marked reindeer, some of them marked also upon antlers, and traces 
reports back to the year 1785.(36) Upon one of these antlers was tied a 
bird's leg. 

Wherever they are coming from, and however they are doing it, or however it 
is being done to them, the marked reindeer are still appearing in 
Spitzbergen. Some of them that were shot, in the summer of 1921, are told of 
in the Field, Dec. 24, 1921.(37) It must be that hundreds, or thousands, of 
these animals have appeared in Spitzbergen. There is no findable record of 
one reindeer having ever been seen drifting on ice [94/95] in that 
direction. As to the possibility of swimming, I note that Nova Zembla is 
much nearer the mainland than is Spitzbergen, but that Nordenskiold says 
that the marked reindeer do not appear in Nova Zembla. [95] 


1. E. Ernest Green. "The wanderings of a gigantic African snail." Zoologist, 
s.4, 15 (February 1911): 41-5. Correct quote: "...some living examples of 
the species...." The collector was Oliver Collett, (not Collet). 

2. "The plague of snails in Kalutara District." Ceylon Observer (Colombo), 
July 27, 1910, p.5 c.3. "A new scale insect on Castilloa." Ceylon Observer, 
August 9, 1910, p.2 c.3. "The snail pest in Kalutara District." Ceylon 
Observer, September 2, 1910, p.6 c.2. "The Anchylosiomiasis Committee 
recommendations." Ceylon Observer, September 23, 1910, p.4 c.6. 

3. "Believe it or not, alligator shot in Jersey marsh." New York American, 
September 19, 1929, p.5 c.5. 

4. "Alligator found in New York creek." New York Sun, September 23, 1929, 
p.17 c.7. 

5. George R. Wright. "Notes on a young crocodile found in a farm-yard at 
Over-Norton, Oxfordshire." Gentleman's magazine, 221 (August 1866): 149-154. 

6. C. Parr. "Crocodiles in England." Gentleman's magazine, 221 (November 
1866): 640. 

7. George R. Wright. "Curious discovery of a crocodile." Field, 20 (August 
23, 1862): 186. The "fourth" crocodile is actually a contemporaneous account 
of the "first" crocodile. 

8. The invasion of mice occurred in January of 1927, (not in the autumn). 
"Mice swarm fields in California county." New York Times, January 19, 1927, 
p. 14 c. 3. 

9. W.L. "Notice of a species of mouse, possibly an undescribed one, which 
has abounded in Inverness-shire and Ross-shire." Magazine of natural 
history, 7 (1834): 181-182. 

10. "Snakes." London Daily Express, May 28, 1920, p.1 c.3. No "crowd" is 
mentioned herein. 

11. "Snake roams West End." London Weekly Dispatch, May 30, 1920, p.1 c.7. 

12. "Another London snake." London Daily Express, June 3, 1920, p.5 c.3. 
This was the fourth specimen "within a week," not including that found at 
Morpeth-mansions. For another article on snakes: "Child killed by a viper." 
London Daily Express, May 26, 1920, p.1 c.4. 

13. "Snakes are fashionable just now." Westminster and Pimlico News, 
(London), June 4, 1920, p.3 c.2. "The brother or sister of the snake." 
Westminster and Pimlico News, June 11, 1920, p.3 c.2. 

14. "News in brief." London Times, June 21, 1920, p.11 c.6. 

15. "Fish from the clouds." London Daily Mail, October 6, 1921, p.6 c.6. For 
related articles: "Fish from the clouds." London Daily Mail, October 5, 
1921, p.6 c.6. "Fish from the clouds." London Daily Mail, October 19, 1921, 
p.8 c.6. 

16. John Sutton. "Breeding habits of eels puzzle." New York Times, November 
30, 1930, s. 3 p. 2 c. 7. For previous articles: "New light shines on the 
eel, nomad of rivers and oceans." New York Times, August 17, 1930, s. 9 p. 4 
c. 4-5. W.W. Hallock. "What of the eel?" New York Times, November 16, 1930, 
s. 3 p. 2 c. 5-6. "Eels do breeding in deep waters." New York Times, 
November 23, 1930, s. 3 p. 2 c. 4. 

17. Joseph E. Muse. "Notice of the appearance of fish and lizards in 
extraordinary circumstances." American Journal of Science, s.1, 16 (1829): 

18. "Plant invaders." London Daily News and Leader, April 1, 1924, p.6 c.5. 

19. "Mystery wheat." Cardiff Evening Express and Evening Mail, July 1, 1919, 
p. 4 c. 3. The owner's name was Edward Calvert, (not William); and, the 
town's name was Stow, (not Stowe). Correct quotes: "...there is a fine crop 
of wheat of apparently more robust growth and better quality than...," and, 
"Many agriculturists and others in Lincolnshire are making a pilgrimage to 
see the mystery crop. So far no explanation of it is forthcoming." 

20. "Reaping without sowing." London Sunday Express, August 24, 1919, p.7 
c.3. Correct quote: "...the farmer noticed in the field a vigorous crop of 
young wheat...one of the best crops of wheat in West Lancashire this 

21. John M. Clarke. "The squids from Onondaga Lake, N.Y." Science, n.s., 16 
(December 12, 1902): 947-8. Correct quote: "Onondaga Lake is a shallow body 
resting on the Salinas shales and unquestionably receiving at all times a 
considerable amount of saline seepage from the rocks below; for all we know 
to the contrary its bottom layers may be decidedly saline." 

22. "Hair seal shot in Onondaga Lake." New York Times, May 2, 1882, p.8 c.7. 

23. H.M. Smith. "Marine animals in interior waters." Science, n.s., 17, 114. 

24. London Daily Mail, (July 1, 1920), (Not found here). 

25. Chicago Citizen, (February 27, 1892, p.3). 

26. A.A. "Stray parrots in Scotland." Field, 86 (September 21, 1895): 518, 
c.1. The location was Gledfield, Scotland, (not Gledhill). Correct quote: 
"...anywhere in the neighbourhood missed a bird on either occasion." 

27. "The Los Angeles meat shower." San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, 
August 9, 1869, p.2 c.4. 

28. Marie Templeman. "A butterfly mystery." London Daily Express, March 24, 
1927, p.8 c.7. 

29. "Lone swan from the sky." New York Sun, December 13, 1910, p.1 c.6. 
Director Smith, of the Central Park menagerie, "was puzzled by the coming of 
the bird," but there is no mention of other scientists in this article. 

30. "Mystery tiger of the North." London Daily Express, January 14, 1927, 
p.3 c.7. Only the third specimen was trapped ans hot, in this article, which 
states: "Two other specimens have been killed in Scotland recently. How they 
reached there is unknown, but it is believed that they must have escaped 
from some travelling menagerie." 

31. "A fishing story." London Daily Mail, November 2, 1926, p.7 c.6. Correct 
quote: "The discovery of the seals within three months in a local pond is 
taxing the credulity of residents of Hampstead, N.W." 

32. "Another seal caught at Hampstead." London Daily Chronicle, November 2, 
1926, p.5 c.2. 

33. "He knows the tricky monkeys well." New York Sun, February 6, 1929, p.30 

34. George James Gilbard. A Popular History of Gibraltor. Gibraltor: 
Garrison Library Printing Establishment, 1887, 32-3. The location is 
identified as "Ape's Hill," (not Hill of Apes); and, the publication date of 
Gilbard's book was in 1887, (not 1881). Correct quote: "...theory of a 
communication under the sea between Gibraltor...." 

35. James Lamont. Yachting in the Arctic Seas. London: Chatto & Windus, 
1876; 110-11, 357. Correct quote: "...with tame reindeer from his 

36. Nordenskiold. Voyage of the Vega Round Asia and Europe. London, 1881, 
v.1, 135. Reports go back to 1705, (not 1785), according to Nordenskiold. 

37. "Reindeer in Spitzbergen." Field, 138 (December 24, 1921): 883, c.2-3. 
The "bird's leg was firmly fastened with cotton thread." 


THERE is no way of judging these stories. Every canon, or device, of 
inductive logic, conceived of by Francis Bacon and John Stuart Mill has been 
employed in investigating some of them, but logic is ruled by the 
fishmonger. Some of us will think as we're told to think, and be smug and 
superior, in rejecting the yarns: others will like to flout the highest 
authority, and think that there may be something in them, feeling that 
they're the ones who know better, and be just as smug and superior. Smug, 
we're going to be, anyway, just so long as we're engaged in any profession, 
art, or business, and have to make balance somewhere against a consciousness 
of daily stupidities. I should think that somebody in a dungeon, where it is 
difficult to make bad mistakes, would be of the least smug. Still, I don't 
know: I have noted [96/97] serene and self-satisfied looks of mummies. The 
look of an egg is of complacency. 

There is no way of judging our data. There are no ways, except arbitrary 
ways, of judging anything. Courts of Appeals are of the busiest of human 
institutions. The pragmatist realizes all this, and says that there is no 
way of judging anything except upon the basis of the work-out. I am a 
pragmatist, myself, in practice, but I see no meaning in pragmatism, as a 
philosophy. Nobody wants a philosophy of description, but does want a 
philosophy of guidance. But pragmatists are about the same as guides on the 
top of a mountain, telling climbers, who have reached the top, that they are 
on the summit. "Take me to my destination," says a traveller. "Well, I can't 
do that," says a guide, "but I can tell you when you get there." 

My own acceptance is that ours is an organic existence, and that our 
thoughts are the phenomena of its eras, quite as its rocks and trees and 
forms of life are; and that I think as I think, mostly, though not 
absolutely, because of the era I am living in. This is very much the 
philosophy of the Zeitgeist, but that philosophy, as ordinarily outlined, is 
Absolutism, and I am trying to conceive of a schedule of predetermined -- 
though not absolutely predetermined -- developments in one comprehensibly-
sized existence, which may be only one of hosts of other existences, in 
which the scheduled eras correspond to the series of stages in the growth, 
say, of an embryo. There is, in our expressions, considerable of the 
philosophy of Spinoza, but Spinoza conceived of no outlines within which to 

In anything like a satisfactory sense there is no way of judging our data, 
nor of judging anything else: but of course we have ways of forming opinions 
that are often somewhat serviceable. By means of litmus, [97/98] a chemist 
can decide whether a substance is an acid, or an alkali. So nearly is this a 
standard to judge by that he can do business upon this basis. Nevertheless 
there are some substances that illustrate continuity, or represent merging-
point between acids and alkalis; and there are some substances that under 
some conditions are acids, and under other conditions are alkalis. If there 
is any mind of any scientist that can absolutely pronounce either for or 
against our data, it must be more intelligent than litmus paper. 

A barrier to rational thinking, in anything like a final sense, is 
continuity, because of which only fictitiously can anything be picked out of 
a nexus of all things phenomenal, to think about. So it is not mysterious 
that philosophy, with its false, or fictitious, differences, and therefore 
false, or fictitious, problems, is as much baffled as it was several 
thousand years ago. 

But if, for instance, no two leaves of any tree are exactly alike, so that 
all appearances are set apart from all other appearances, though at the same 
time all interrelated, there is discontinuity, as well as continuity. So 
then the frustrations of thought are double. Discontinuity is a barrier to 
anything like a finally sane understanding, because the process of 
understanding is a process of alleged assimilation of something with 
something else: but the discontinuous, or the individualized, or the unique, 
is the unassimiliable. 

One explanation of our survival is that there is underlying guidance, or 
control, or organic government, which to high degree regularizes the 
movements of the planets, but is less efficient in its newer phenomena. 
Another explanation is that we survive, because everybody with whom we are 
in competition, is equally badly off, mentally. 

Also, in other ways, how there can be survivals of [98/99] persons and 
prestiges, or highest and noblest of reputations, was illustrated recently. 
About April Fool's Day, 1930, the astronomers announced that, years before, 
the astronomer Lowell, by mathematical calculations of the utmost 
complexity, or bewilderingly beyond the comprehension of anybody except an 
astronomer, had calculated the position of a ninth major planet in this 
solar system: and that it had been discovered almost exactly in the assigned 
position.(1) Then columns, and pages of special articles, upon this triumph 
of astronomical science. But then a doubt appeared -- there were a few stray 
paragraphs telling that, after all, the body might not be the planet of 
Lowell's calculations -- the subject was dropped for a while. But, in the 
public mind, the impressions worked up by spreadheads enormously outweighed 
whatever impressions came from obscure paragraphs, and the general idea was 
that, whatever it was, there had been another big, astronomical triumph. It 
is probable that the prestige of the astronomers, instead of suffering, was 
boomed by this overwhelming of obscure paragraphs by spreadheads. 

I do not think that it is vanity, in itself, that is so necessary to human 
beings: it is compensatory vanity that one must have. Ordinarily, one pays 
little if any attention to astronomers, but now and then come consoling 
reflections upon their supposed powers. Somewhere in everything that one 
does there is error. Somebody is not an astronomer, but he classes himself 
with astronomers, as differentiated from other and "lower" forms of life, 
and mind. Consciousness of the irrationality, or stupidity, pervading his 
own daily affairs, is relieved by a pride in himself and astronomers, as 
contrasted with dogs and cats. 

According to the Lowell calculations, the new planet was at a mean distance 
of about 45 astronomi- [99/100] cal units from the sun. But, several weeks 
after April Fool's Day, the object was calculated to be at a mean, or very 
mean, distance of 217 units. I do not say that an educated cat or dog could 
do as well, if not better: I do say that there is a great deal of delusion 
in the gratification that one feels when thinking of himself and 
astronomers, and then looking at a cat or a dog. 

The next time anybody thinks of astronomers, and looks at a cat, and feels 
superior, and would like to keep on feeling superior, let him not think of a 
cat and a mouse. The cat lies down and watches a mouse. The mouse moves 
away. The cat knows it. The mouse wobbles nearer. The cat knows whether it's 
coming or going. 

In April, 1930, the astronomers told that Lowell's planet was receding so 
fast from the sun that soon it would become dimmer and dimmer. 

New York Times, June 1, 1930 -- Lowell's planet approaching the sun -- for 
fifty years it would become brighter and brighter.(2) 

A planet is rapidly approaching the sun. The astronomers publish highly 
technical "determinations" upon its rate of recession. Nobody that I know of 
wrote one letter to any newspaper. One reason is that one fears to bring 
upon oneself the bullies of science. In July, 1930, the artist, Walter 
Russell, sent some views that were hostile to conventional science to the 
New York Times.(3) Times, Aug. 3rd -- a letter from Dr. Thomas Jackson -- a 
quotation from it, by which we have something of an idea of the self-
apotheosis of these pundits, who do not know, of a thing in the sky, whether 
it is coming or going:(4) 

"For nearly three hundred years no one, not even a scientist, has had the 
temerity to question Newton's laws of gravitation. Such an act on the part 
of a scientist would be akin to blasphemy, and for an [100/101] artist to 
commit such an absurdity is, to treat it kindly, an evidence of either 
misguidance or crass ignorance of the enormity of his act." 

If we're going to be kind about this, I simply wonder, without commenting, 
what such statement as that for nearly three hundred years nobody had ever 
questioned Newton's laws of gravitation, is evidence of. 

But in the matter of Lowell's planet, I neglected to point out how the 
astronomers corrected their errors, and that is a consideration of 
importance to us. Everything that was determined by their mathematics turned 
out wrong -- planet coming instead of going -- period of revolution 265 
years, instead of 3,000 years -- eccentricity of orbit three-tenths instead 
of nine-tenths.(5) They corrected, according to photographs. 

It is mathematical astronomy that is opposing our own notions. 

Photographic astronomy can be construed any way one pleases -- say that the 
stars are in a revolving shell, about a week's journey away from this earth. 

Everything mathematical cited by me, in this Lowell-planet controversy, was 
authoritatively said by somebody one time, and equally authoritatively 
denied by somebody else, some other time. Anybody who dreams of a 
mathematician's heaven had better reconsider, if its angels there be more 
than one mathematician. [101] 


1. "Computations made at the Harvard Observatory today showed that `Planet 
X,' as the new sphere is called here, was found actually 6 degrees away from 
the spot where Professor Lowell predicted. Six degrees is equivalent to 
twelve times the diameter of the moon. The distance between the pointers in 
the Big Dipper is 5 degrees." "Predicted within 6 degrees." New York Times, 
March 15, 1930, p.11 c.1. 

2. "Traveling toward the sun." New York Times, June 1, 1930, p. 19 c. 2. 

3. "Artist challenges Newtonian theory." New York Times, July 21, 1930, p. 
21 c. 8. 

4. "Scientist and artist dispute Newton and Kepler findings." New York 
Times, August 3, 1930, s. 3, p. 2E c. 3-4. The quoted scientist was Dr. John 
E. Jackson, (not Thomas Jackson). 

5. "Says Pluto's size is that of Mars," and, "Traveling toward the sun." New 
York Times, June 1, 1930, p. 19 c. 1-2. The erroneous eccentricity given by 
the Lowell Observatory was due to an error in the calculations made by Roger 
Lowell Putnam, who "had forgotten the definition of `eccentricity,' and 
thinking it was the ratio of the major and minor axes, was not surprised to 
have it come out .909." William Graves Hoyt. Planets X and Pluto. Tuscon, 
AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1980, 206. 


I HAVE come upon a story of somebody, in Philadelphia, who, having heard 
that a strange wild animal was prowling in New Jersey, announced that he had 
caught it. He exhibited something, as the "Jersey Devil." I have to accept 
that this person was the press agent of a dime museum, and that the creature 
that he exhibited was a kangaroo, to which he had attached tin wings and 
green whiskers. But, if better-established branches of biology are subject 
to Nature-fakery, what can be expected in our newer biology, with all the 
insecurities of newness? 

"Jersey Devils" have been reported other times, but, though I should not 
like to be so dogmatic as to say that there are no "Jersey Devils," I have 
had no encouragement investigating them. One of the stories, according to a 
clipping that was sent to me, by Miss [102/103] F.G. Talmin, of Woodbury, 
N.J., appeared in the Woodbury Daily Times, Dec. 15, 1925.(1) William Hyman, 
upon his farm, near Woodbury, had been aroused by a disturbance in his 
chicken coop. He shot and killed a never-before-heard-of animal. I have 
written to Mr. Hyman, and have no reason to think that there is a Mr. Hyman. 
I have had an extensive, though one-sided, correspondence, with people who 
may not be, about things that probably aren't. For the latest account of the 
"Jersey Devil," see the New York Times, Aug. 6, 1930.(2) 

Remains of a strange animal, teleported to this earth from Mars or the moon 
-- very likely, or not so likely -- found on a bank of a stream in 
Australia. See the Adelaide Observer, Sept. 15, 1883 -- that Mr. Hoad, of 
Adelaide, had found on a bank of Brungle Creek, a headless trunk of a pig-
like animal, with an appendage that curved inward, like the tail of a 
lobster.(3) New Zealand Times, May 9, 1883 -- excitement near Masterton -- 
unknown creature at large -- curly hair, short legs, and broad muzzle.(4) 
Dogs sent after it -- one of the dogs flayed by it -- rest of the dogs 
running away -- probably "with their tails between their legs," but the 
reporter overlooking this convention. 

There have been stories of strange animals that have appeared at times of 
earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. See Sea Serpent stories, about the time 
of the Charleston earthquake. About the same time, following a volcanic 
eruption in New Zealand, there were stories in New Zealand. 

The volcano Rotomahana was a harsh, black cup that had spilled scenery. Or 
the sombre thing was a Puritan in finery. It had belied its dourness with 
two broad decorations of siliceous deposits, shelving down to its base, one 
of them the White Terrace and the other the Pink Terrace. These gay 
formations sloped [103/104] from the bare, black crater to another 
inconsistency, which was a grove of acacias. All around, the famous 
flowering bushes of this district made more sinful contrast with a gaunt, 
towering thing. Upon the 10th of June, 1886, this Black Fanatic slung a 
constitutional amendment. It was reformation, in the sense that virtue is 
uniformity that smothers variation. It drabbed its gay Terraces: the grove 
of acacias was a mound of mud: it covered over the flowering bushes with 
smooth, clean mud. It was a virtuously dismal scene, but, as in all other 
reformations, a hankering survived in it. A left-over living thing made 
tracks in the smoothness of mud. In the New Zealand Herald, Oct. 13, 1886, a 
correspondent writes of having traversed this dull, dead expanse, having 
seen it marked with the footprints of a living creature.(5) He thought that 
the marks were a horse's. But there was another story that was attracting 
attention at this time, and his letter was an allusion to it. Maoris were 
telling of a wandering animal, unknown to them, that had appeared in this 
desert of mud. It was a creature with antlers, or a stag, according to 
descriptions, an animal that had never been seen, or had never before been 
seen, by Maoris. 

Just what relation I think I can think of, between volcanic eruptions and 
mysterious appearances of living things may seem obscure. But I have been 
impressed with several accounts of astonishing revivifications in regions 
that were volcanically desolated. Quick growths of plants have been 
attributed to the fertilizing properties of volcanic dust: nevertheless 
writers have expressed astonishment. If we can have an organic view of our 
existence, we can think of restorative teleportations to a place of 
desolation, quite as we think of restorations occurring in places of injury 
in an animal-organism. [104/105] 

There are phenomena upon the border-line between the organic and the 
inorganic, that we can think of: such as restorations of the forms of broken 
crystals, in a solution. It is by automatic purpose, or design or 
providence, or guidance by which lost parts of a starfish are regenerated. 
In higher animal-organisms, distinct structures, if lost, mostly are not 
restored, but injured tissues are. Still even in higher organisms there are 
some restorations of mutilated parts, such as renewals of forms of a bird's 
clipped wing-feathers. The tails of some lizards, if broken off, renew. 

For a conventional explanation of reviving plants in a fern forest that had 
been destroyed by flows of liquid lava, from the volcano Kilauea, Hawaii, 
see an account by Dr. G.R. Wieland, in Science, April 11, 1930.(6) Dr. 
Wieland considers his own explanation "amazing." I'd not say that ours is 
more than that. 

Strange animals have appeared and they may have been teleported to this 
earth from other parts of an existence, but the easiest way of accounting 
for strange animals is to say that they are hybrids. Of course I could 
handle, or manhandle, this subject any way to suit me, and be about as 
reasonable one way as another. I could quote many authorities against the 
occurrence of bizarre hybrids, leaving hard to explain, in terms of 
terrestrial origin, strange creatures that have appeared upon this earth. 
There are biologists who will not admit fertility between creatures as much 
alike as hares and rabbits. Nevertheless, I think that there have been 
strange hybrids. 

The cow that gave birth to two lambs and a calf. 

I don't know how that will strike all minds, but to the mind of a 
standardized biologist, I'd not be much more preposterous, if I should tell 
of an elephant that had produced two bicycles and a baby elephant. 

The story is told in the Toronto Globe, May 25, [105/106] 1889.(7) It is 
said that a member of the staff of the Globe had been sent to investigate 
this outrage upon conventional obstetrics. The reporter went to the farm of 
Mr. John H. Carter, at South Simcoe, and then wrote that he had seen the two 
lambs, which were larger and coarser than ordinary, or less romantically 
derived, lambs, having upon their breasts tufts of hair like calves' hair. 
Other newspapers -- Quebec Daily Mercury, for instance -- published other 
details, such as statements by well-known stockbreeders that they had 
examined the lambs, and were compelled to accept the story of their origin. 

So I am harming our idea that creatures, unlike anything known upon this 
earth, but that have appeared upon this earth, may have been teleported from 
Mars or the moon: but I am supporting our general principle that, whether in 
biology, astronomy, obstetrics, or any other field of research, everything 
that is, also isn't; and that everywhere there are data, partly sense and 
partly nonsense, that oppose established nonsense that has partly some sense 
to it. 

It does not matter what scientific dictum may be brought against us. I will 
engage to find that it is only an approximation, or that it is a work-out 
only in imaginary conditions. The most rigorous science is frosted 
childishness. Every severe, or chaste, treatise upon mechanics is only a 
fairy story of frictionless and non-extensible characters that interact up 
to the "happy ending." Nowadays, a scenario-writer will sometimes tone down 
the absolute happiness of a conclusion, with just a suggestion that there is 
a little trouble in the offing: but the tellers of theorems represent about 
the quality of intellect in the most primitive times of Hollywood. For 
everything that is supposed to be so well-known that it is proverbial, there 
are exceptions. A mule is a symbol of sterility. For [106/107] instances of 
fertility in mules, look over indexes of the Field.(8) As to anything else 
that we're taking as absolute truth -- look it up. 

One afternoon, in October, 1878, Mr. Davy, a naturalist, who was employed at 
the London Aquarium, took a stroll with a new animal. I think of a prayer 
that is said to have been uttered by King Louis XIV. He was tired of lamb 
chops and beef and bacon -- "Oh, God! Send me a new animal." Mr. Davy took a 
stroll with one. People far away were attracted by such screeches as are 
seldom heard in London. Some ex-slaves, who were playing in Uncle Tom's 
Cabin, were following the new animal, and were letting loose their 
excitability. The creature was about two feet long, and two feet high, and 
was formed like nothing known to anatomists -- anyway to anatomists of this 
earth. It was covered with wiry hair: head like a boar's, and curly tail 
like a boar's. It was described as "a living cube."(9) As if with abdomen 
missing, its hind legs were close to its forelegs. If Mr. Davy's intention 
had been to attract attention, he was succeeding. Almost anybody with the 
modern view of things will think what a pity he wasn't advertising 
something. The crowd jammed around so that he ran into an Underground 
Railway Station. Here there was an uproar. He was compelled to ride in the 
brake, because of a fear that there would be a panic among the passengers. 
At the Aquarium, Davy told that an acquaintance of his, named Leman, had 
seen this creature with some peasants, in the South of France, and had 
bought it, but, unable to speak the patois of the district, had been unable 
to learn anything of its origin. At the Aquarium the only explanation that 
could be thought of was that it was a dog-boar hybrid. 

Davy's publicity continued. He took the new animal to his home, and a crowd 
went with him. His landlord [107/108] looked at the animal. When the animal 
looked at the landlord, the landlord ran to his room, and from behind closed 
doors, ordered Davy to take away the monster. There was another hold-up of 
traffic all the way to the home of Frank Buckland. 

In Land and Water, of which he was the editor, issue of Oct. 5, Buckland 
wrote an account of this "demon," as he called it, saying that it looked 
like a gargoyle, or like one of Fuseli's satanic animals.(10) He did not try 
to explain, but mentioned what was thought at the Aquarium. In the next 
issue of Land and Water, Thomas Worthington, the naturalist, wrote that the 
idea of the hybrid was "utterly untenable": but his own idea that the 
creature was "a tame hyena of some abnormal kind" leaves mysterious how the 
"demon" ever got into the possession of peasants in the South of France.(11) 
It would be strange if they had a tame hyena of a normal kind. 

In January, 1846 (Tasmanian Journal of Science, 3-147) a skull was found on 
a bank of the river Murrumbridgee, Australia.(12) It was examined by Dr. 
James Grant, who said that the general form and arrangement of the teeth 
were different from those of any animal known to him. He noted somebody's 
suggestion that it might be the skull of one of the camels that had been 
sent to Australia, in the year 1839. He accounted for its having characters 
that were unknown to him, by thinking that it might have been foetal. So 
then, whether in accordance with theory or not, he found that some of the 
bones were imperfectly ossified, and that the teeth were covered with a 
membrane. It was not a fossil. It was a skull of a large, herbivorous 
animal, and had not been exposed long. 

Melbourne Argus, Feb. 28, and March 1, 1890 -- a wandering monster.(13) A 
list of names and addresses of persons who said that they had seen it, was 
published. [108/109] It was a creature about thirty feet long, and was 
terrorizing the people of Euroa. "The existence of some altogether unheard-
of monster is vouched for by a cloud of credible witnesses." 

I am tired of the sensible explanations that are holding back new delusions. 
So I suggest that this thing, thirty feet long, was not a creature, but was 
a construction, in which explorers from somewhere else, were travelling back 
and forth, near one of this earth's cities, having their own reasons for not 
wanting to investigate too closely. 

I don't know what will be thought of zoologists of Melbourne, but whatever 
will be thought of me, can't be altogether focussed upon me, because there 
were scientists in Melbourne who were as enlightened as I am, or as 
preposterous and sensational as I am. Officials of the Melbourne Zoological 
Gardens thought that, whether this story was nonsense or not, it should be 
looked into. They got a big net, and sent a man with the net to Euroa. Forty 
men, with the man with the net, set out. They hunted all day, but no huge 
bulk, more or less in the distance, was seen, and a statement that enormous 
tracks were found may be only a sop to us enlightened, or preposterous, 

But the man with the net is a significant character. He had not the remotest 
ideas of using it, but, just the same, he went along with it. There are 
other evidences of occasional open-mindedness among biologists, and touches 
of indifference, now and then, to whatever may be the fascinations of 
smugness. Why biologists should be somewhat less dogmatic than astronomers, 
or why association with the other animals should be rather more liberalizing 
than is communion with the stars is not mysterious. One can look at a 
rhinoceros and at the same time be able to think. But the stupefying, little 
stars shine with a hypnotic effect, like other [109/110] glittering points. 
The little things are taken too seriously. They twinkle humorously enough, 

A reported monster is told of, in the Scientific American, July, 1922.(14) 
Dr. Clement Onelli, Director of the Zoological Gardens, of Buenos Aires, had 
published a letter that had been sent to him by an American prospector named 
Sheffield, who said that, in the Argentine Territory of Chebut, he had seen 
huge tracks, which he had followed to a lake. "There I saw in the middle of 
the lake an animal with a huge neck, like that of a swan, and the movement 
of the water made me suppose the beast to have a body like that of a 
crocodile." I wrote to Dr. Onelli, and received a reply, dated Aug. 15, 
1924, telling that again he had heard of the monster. Maybe this same huge-
necked creature was seen somewhere else, however we explain its getting 
there. The trouble in trying to understand all reported monsters is their 
mysterious appearances and disappearances. In the London Daily Mail, Feb. 8, 
1921, a huge, unknown animal, near the Orange River, South Africa, is told 
of by Mr. F.C. Cornell, F.R.G.S.(15) It was something with a neck like a 
bending tree trunk, "something huge, black, and sinuous." It devoured 
cattle. "The object may have been a python, but if it was it was of 
incredible size." It is only preposterously unreasonable to think that the 
same thing could have appeared in South Africa and then in South America. 

The "blonde beast of Patagonia," which was supposed to be a huge ground 
sloth, parts of which are now in various museums, attracted attention, in 
the year 1899. See the Zoologist, August, 1899.(16) Specimens of the 
blonde's hide were brought to England, by Dr. F.P. Moreno, who believed that 
the remains had been preserved for ages. We prefer to think otherwise: so we 
note that Dr. Ameghino, who got speci- [110/111] mens of the hide from the 
natives, said that it was their story that they had killed it. 

There was a volley of monsters from some other world, about the time of the 
Charleston earthquake, or some one thing skipped around with marvellous 
agility, or it is that, just before the quake, there were dull times for the 
newspapers. So many observations in places far apart can be reconciled by 
thinking that not a creature but explorers in a construction, had visited 
this earth. They may have settled down in various places. However, it is 
pretty hard to be reconciled to our reconciliations. 

New York Sun, Aug. 19, 1886 -- a horned monster, in Sandy Lake, Minnesota. 
More details in the London (Ontario) Advertiser -- Chris. Engstein fired a 
shot at it, but missed. Then came dispatches from the sea coast. According 
to one of them, Mr. G.P. Putnam, Principal of a Boston grammar school, had 
seen a monster, in the sea, at Gloucester. In Science, 8-258, Mr. B.A. 
Colonna, of the U.S. Coast Survey, writes that, upon the 29th of August, he 
had seen an unknown creature in the sea off Cape Cod.(17) In the New York 
newspapers, early in September, a monster was reported as having been seen 
at sea, off Southport, and off Norwalk, Conn.: in Michigan, in the 
Connecticut River, and in the Hudson River.(18) The conventional explanation 
is that this was simply an epidemic of fancied observations. Most likely 
some of them were only contagions. 

There's a yarn, or a veritable account, in the New York Times, June 10, 1880 
-- monstrous, dead thing, floating on the sea, bottom up.(19) Sailors rowed 
to it, and climbed up its sides. They danced on its belly. That's a merry, 
little story, but I know a more romantic one. It seems that a monster was 
seen from a steamship. Then the lonely thing mistook the vessel for a female 
[111/112] of his species. He overwhelmed her with catastrophic endearments. 

But I am avoiding stories of traditional serpentine monsters of the sea. One 
reason is that collections of these stories are easily available. The 
astronomer has not lived, who has ever collected and written a book upon 
data not sanctioned by the dogmas of his cult, but my slightly favourable 
opinion of biologists continues, and I note that a big book of Sea Serpent 
stories was written by Dr. Oudemans, Director of the Zoo, at The Hague, 
Holland. When that book came out, a review of it, in Nature, was not far 
from abusive.(20) Away back in the year 1848, conventionalists were 
outraged, because of the source of one of these stories. For the account, by 
Capt. M'Quhae, of the H.M.S. Daedalus, of a huge, unknown creature, said by 
him to have been seen by him, in the ocean, Aug. 6th, 1848, see the 
Zoologist, vol. 6.(21) Someone else who bothered the conventionalists was 
the Captain of the Royal Yacht, the Osborne, who, in an official report to 
the Admiralty, told of having seen a monster -- not serpent-like -- off the 
coast of Sicily, May 2, 1877. See the London Times, June 14, 1877, and Land 
and Water, Sept. 8, 1877.(22) The creature was turtle-like, visible part of 
the body about fifty feet long. There was an attempt to correlate this 
appearance with a submarine eruption, but I have found that this eruption -- 
in the Gulf of Tunis -- had occurred in February. 

The suggestion was that in the depths of the ocean may live monsters, which 
are occasionally cast to the surface by submarine disturbances. 

It is a convenience. Accept that unknown sea monsters exist, and how account 
for the relatively few observations upon things so conspicuous? That they 
live in ocean depths, and come only occasionally to the surface. [112/113] 

I have gone into the subject of deep-sea dredging, and, in museums, have 
looked at models of deep-sea creatures, but I have never heard of a living 
thing of considerable size that has been brought up from the profound ocean 
depths. William Beebe has never brought up anything of the kind. On his 
Arcturus Adventure, anything that got away from him, and his hooks and his 
nets and his dredges, must have been small and slippery.(23) It seems that 
anything with an exposure of wide surfaces could not withstand great 
pressure. However, this is only reasoning. Before the days of deep-sea 
dredging, scientists reasoned that nothing at all could live far down in the 
sea. Also, now most of them would argue that, because of the great 
difference between pressures, any living thing coming up from ocean depths 
would burst. Not necessarily so, according to Beebe. Some of the deep-sea 
creatures that he brought up were so unconventional as to live several 
hours, and to show no sign of disruption. So, like everybody else, I don't 
know what to think, but, rather uncommonly, I know that. 

In October, 1883, there was a story in the newspapers -- I take from the 
Quebec Daily Mercury, Oct. 7, 1883 -- of an unknown animal, which was seen 
by Capt. Seymour, of the bark Hope On, off the Pearl Islands, about 50 miles 
from Panama. In Knowledge, Nov. 30, 1883, Richard Proctor tells of this 
animal, and says that also it had been reported by officers of a 
steamship.(24) This one was handsome. Anyway, it had a head like that of a 
"handsome horse." It had either four legs or four "jointed fins." Covered 
with a brownish hide, upon which were large, black spots. Circus-horseish. 
About twenty feet long. There was another story told, about the same time. 
New Zealand Times, Dec. 12, 1883 -- report by a sea captain, who [113/114] 
had seen something like a turtle, 60 feet long, and 40 feet wide.(25) 

Perhaps stories of turtle-backed objects of large size relate to submersible 
vessels. If there were no submersible vessels of this earth, in the year 
1883, we think of submersibles from somewhere else. Why they should be so 
secretive, we can't much inquire into now, because we are so much concerned 
with other concealments and suppressions. I suspect that, in other worlds, 
or in other parts of one existence, there is esoteric knowledge of the human 
beings of this earth, kept back from common knowledge. This is easily 
thinkable, because even upon this earth there is little knowledge of human 

There have been suggestions of an occult control upon the minds of the 
inhabitants of this earth. Let anybody who does not like the idea that his 
mind may be most subtly controlled, without his knowledge of it, think back 
to what propagandists did with his beliefs in the years 1914-1918. Also he 
need not think so far back as that. 

The standardized explanations by which conventional scientists have checked 
inquiry into alleged appearances of strange living things, in the ocean, are 
mentioned in the following record: 

Something was seen, off the west coast of Africa, Oct. 17, 1912. Passengers 
on a vessel said that they had seen the head and neck of a monster. They 
appointed a committee to see to it that record should be made of their 
observations. In the Cape Times (Cape Town) Oct. 29, 1912, Mr. Wilmot, 
former member of the Cape Legislative Council, records this experience, 
saying that there is no use trying to think that four independent witnesses 
had seen nothing but a string of dolphins or a gigantic strand of seaweed, 
or anything else, except an unknown monster.(26) [114/115] 

It's the fishmonger of Worcester in his marine appearance. 

In this field of reported observations, so successful has been a seeming 
control of minds upon this earth, and guidance into picturing nothing but a 
string of dolphins or a gigantic strand of seaweed, that, now that the ghost 
has been considerably rehabilitated -- though in my own records of hundreds 
of unexplained occurrences, the ghost-like scarcely ever appears -- the Sea 
Serpent is foremost in representing what is supposed to be the mythical. I 
don't know how many books I have read, in each of which is pictured a long 
strand of seaweed, with the root-end bulbed and knarled grotesquely like a 
head. I suppose that hosts of readers have been convinced by these pictures. 

But, if a monster from somewhere else should arrive upon the land of this 
earth, and, perhaps being out of adaptation, should die upon land, probably 
it would not be seen. I have noted several letters to newspapers, by big-
game hunters who had never heard of anybody coming upon a dead elephant. Sir 
Emerson Tennent has written that, though he had often inquired of Europeans 
and Cingalese, he had never heard of anybody who had seen the remains of an 
elephant in the forests of Ceylon.(27) A jungle soon vegetates euphemisms 
around its obscenities, but the frank ocean has not the pruderies of a 

Strange bones have often been found on land. They have soon been 
conventionalised. When bones of a monster are found, the pattern-makers of a 
museum arrange whatever they can into conventional structures, and then fill 
in with plaster, coloured differently, so that there shall be no deception. 
After a few years, these differences become undetectable. There is 
considerable dissatisfaction with the paleontologists. I notice in museums 
that, even when plaster casts are [115/116] conspicuously labelled as 
nothing but plaster casts, some honest fellow has dug off chips to expose 
that there isn't a bone in them. 

What we're looking for is an account of something satisfactorily monstrous, 
and not more or less in the distance: something that is not of palæontologic 
memory that has been jogged so plasterfully. The sea is the best field for 

In the Mems. Wernerian Nat. Hist. Soc., 1-418, is published a paper by Dr. 
Barclay, who tells of the remains of an unknown monster that had been cast 
up by the sea, in September, 1808, at Stronsa, one of the Orkneys.(28) We've 
got a hold of something now that was well observed. As fast as they could, 
observers got rid of this hunk, which for weeks, under a summer sun, had 
been making itself evidential. But the evidence came back. So again the 
observers got a rope and towed it out to sea. Sultry day soon -- a flop on 
the beach -- more observations. According to different descriptions, in 
affidavits by inhabitants of Stronsa, the remains of this creature had six 
"arms," or "paws," or "wings." There is a suggestion of stumps of fins here, 
but it is said that the bulk was "without the least resemblance or affinity 
to fish." Dr. Barclay told that in his possession was part of the "mane" of 
the monster. 

A perhaps similar bulk was, upon the 1st of December, 1896, cast upon the 
coast of Florida, twelve miles south of St. Augustine. There were 
appendages, or ridges, upon it, and at first these formations were said to 
be stumps of tentacles. But, in the American Naturalist, 31-304, Prof. A.E. 
Verrill says that this suggestion that the mass of flesh was the remains of 
an octopus, is baseless.(29) The mass was 21 feet long, 7 feet wide and 4 
feet high: estimated weight 7 tons. Reproductions of several photographs are 
pub- [116/117] lished in the American Naturalist. Prof. Verrill says that, 
despite the great size of this mass, it was only part of an animal. He 
argues that it was part of the head of a creature like a sperm whale, but he 
says that it was decidedly unlike the head of any ordinary sperm whale, 
having no features of a whale's head. Also, according to a description in 
the New York Herald, Dec. 2, 1896, the bulk seems not to have been whale-
like.(30) "The hide is of a light pink colour, nearly white, and in the 
sunshine has a distinct silvery appearance. It is very tough and cannot be 
penetrated even with a sharp knife." A pink monster, or an appalling thing 
with the look of a cherub, is another of our improvements upon conventional 

For a yarn, or an important record, of a reptile of "prehistoric size and 
appearance," said to have been found on the beach of the Gulf of Fonseca, 
Salvador, see the New York Herald Tribune, June 16, 1928.(31) It was about 
ninety feet long, marked with black and white stripes, and was "exceedingly 
corpulent." Good-natured, fat monsters, too, are new to me. 

I have searched especially for sea stories of hairy, or fur-covered 
monsters. Such creatures would not be sea animals, in the exclusive sense 
that something covered with scales might be. If unknown, they would have to 
be considered inhabitants of lands. Then up comes the question -- what 

English Mechanic, April 7, 1899 -- that, according to Australian newspapers, 
the captain of a trading vessel had arrived in Sydney, with parts of an 
unknown monster.(32) "The hide, or skin, of the monster was covered with 

The arrival of these remains is reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, in 
issues from Feb. 23rd to March 2nd, 1899.(33) It is said that, according to 
Capt [117/118] Oliver, of the trading ship Emu, he had found upon the beach 
of Suarro Island, the carcass of a two-headed monster. 

That is just a little too interesting. 

We find that the reporter who told this story, dropped the most interesting 
part of it, in his subsequent accounts, which were upon two skulls, a 
vertebra, and a rib bone: but he was determined to discredit the find, and 
told that the bones were obviously fossils, implying that the Captain had 
invented the story of bodies of two animals that had recently been alive. 

When we come upon assurances that a mystery has been solved, we go on 

In the Sydney Daily Telegraph, Feb. 28, it is said that an attempt to 
identify the bones as fossils had been refuted.(34) Professional and amateur 
scientists had accepted an invitation to examine the bones, and, according 
to the testimony of their noses, these things decidedly were not fossils. 
Each skull was more than two feet long, and was shaped somewhat like a 
horse's, but upon it was a beak. There are beaked whales, but these remains 
were not remains of beaked whales, if be accepted Captain Oliver's 
unsupported statements as to hairiness and great size. It is said that no 
specimens of the hairy hide had been taken, because all parts, except the 
scraped bones, of these bulks that had been lying under a tropical sun 
weren't what one would want to take along in a small ship. According to 
Capt. Oliver, one of the bodies was sixty feet long. The largest beaked 
whales are not known to exceed thirty feet in length. 

Mr. Waite, of the Australian Museum, examined the bones. He said that they 
were of beaked whales. 

Mr. F.A. Mitchell-Hedges, in Battles with Giant Fish, tells of remains of a 
tremendous, unknown mammal, which was washed ashore, at Cape May, N.J., 
[118/119] November, 1921.(35) "This mammal, whose weight was estimated at 
over 15 tons, which -- to give a comparison of size -- is almost as large as 
five fully grown elephants, was visited by many scientists, who were unable 
to place it, and positively stated that nothing yet known to science could 
in any way compare with it." 

I investigated the story of the Cape May monster, wherever I got the idea 
that I could find out anything in particular. 

Somebody in Cape May wrote to me that the thing was a highly undesirable 
carcass of a whale, which had been towed out to sea. Somebody else wrote to 
me that it was a monster with a tusk twelve feet long, which he had seen. He 
said that, if I'd like to have it, he'd send me a photograph of the monster. 
After writing of having seen something with a tusk twelve feet long, he sent 
me a photograph of something with two tusks, each six feet long. But only 
one of the seeming tusks is clear in the picture, and it could be, not a 
tusk, but part of the jaw bone of a whale, propped up tusk-wise. 

In the London Daily Mail, Dec. 27, 1924, appeared a story of an 
extraordinary carcass that was washed up, on the coast of Natal, Oct. 25, 
1924.(36) It was 47 feet long, and was covered with white hair, like a polar 
bear's -- 

I won't go into this, because I consider it a worthless yarn. In accordance 
with my methods, considering this a foolish and worthless yarn, I sent out 
letters to South African newspapers, calling upon readers, who could, to 
investigate this story. Nobody answered. 

In the New Zealand Times, March 19, 1883, it is said that bones of an 
unknown monster, about 40 feet long, had been found upon the coast of 
Queensland, and had been taken to Rockhampton, Queensland.(37) [119/120] 
"There are the remains of what must have been an enormous snout, 8 feet 
long, in which the respiratory passages are yet traceable."(38) These could 
not have been the remains of a beaked whale. Whatever hip bones a cetacean 
has are only vestigial structures. In a sperm whale, 55 feet long, the hip 
bones are detached and atrophied relics of former uses, each about one foot 
long. A hip bone of the Queensland monster is described as enormous. 

In looking over the London Daily News, I came upon an item. Trawlers of the 
steamship Balmedic had brought to Grimsby the skull of an unknown monster, 
dredged up in the Atlantic, north of Scotland (Daily News, June 26, 
1908).(39) The size of the skull indicated an animal the size of an 
elephant, and it was in "a wonderful state of preservation." It was unlike 
the skull of any cetacean, having eye sockets a foot across. From the jaws 
hung a leathery tongue, three feet long. I found, in the Grimsby Telegraph, 
June 29th, a reproduction of a photograph of this skull, with the long 
tongue hanging from the beak-like jaws.(40) I made a sketch of the skull, as 
pictured, and sent it with a description to the British Museum (Natural 
History). I received an answer from Mr. W.P. Pycraft, who wrote that he had 
never seen any animal with such a skull -- "and I have seen a good many!" It 
is just possible that nobody else has ever seen anything much resembling a 
sketch that I'd make of anything, but that has nothing to do with 
descriptions of the tongue. According to Mr. Pycraft no known cetacean has 
such a tongue. 

I went on searching to come upon something about a hairy monster: furred, 
anything except scaled, or with a hide like a whale's. 

London newspapers, July 6, 1913 -- a lengthy telegram that had been sent by 
Mr. Hartwell Conder, [120/121] Tasmanian State Mining Engineer, to Mr. 
Wallace, the Secretary of Mines, of Tasmania -- that, upon April 20, 1913, 
two of Mr. Conder's companions, named Davies and Harris, had seen a huge, 
unknown animal, near Macquarie Harbour, Tasmania. "The animal was about 
fifteen feet long. It had a very small head, only the size of the head of a 
kangaroo dog. It had a thick, arched neck, passing gradually into the barrel 
of the body. It had no definite tail and no fins. It was furred, the coat in 
appearance resembling that of a horse of chestnut colour, well-groomed and 
shining. It had four distinct legs. It travelled by bounding -- i.e., by 
arching its back and gathering up its body, so that the footprints of the 
forefeet were level with those of the hind feet. It made definite 
footprints. These showed circular impressions, with a diameter (measured) of 
9 inches, and the marks of claws, about 7 inches long, extending outward 
from the body. There was no evidence for or against webbing." 

In reply to my inquiries, Mrs. Conder -- North Terrace, Burnie, Tasmania -- 
wrote to me, as asked to by Mr. Conder, saying that the published 
description is accurate, and that, unless there be a seal with jointed 
flippers, upon which the creature could raise itself and run, Mr. Conder 
"could not be altogether convinced that the animal was a seal." 

I have not looked for record of any such known seal. I take for granted that 
the seal type has conventionalized so that there is no such seal. 

It may be that there have been several finds of remains of a large, long-
snouted animal that is unknown to palæontologists, because, though it has 
occasionally appeared here, it has never been indigenous to this earth. New 
York Sun, Nov. 28, 1930 -- "Monster in ice has long snout."(41) Skeleton and 
considerable flesh, of an unknown animal found in the ice, upon [121/122] 
Glacier Island, Alaska. The animal was 24 feet long; head 59 inches long; 
snout 39 inches long. In some of the reports it was said that the animal was 
covered with hair, or fur. Conventionally one thinks of mammoths of Siberia, 
preserved for ages in ice. But, if nothing proves anything, simply that 
something is found in ice may not mean that for ages it was preserved in 
ice. [122] 


1. "Kills weird beast after hard battle." Woodbury Daily Times, December 15, 
1925, p. 2 c. 5. 

2. "Jersey Devil returns as applejack mellows and dry agents investigate 
the...." New York Times, August 6, 1930, p.4. 

3. "Another Bunyip." Adelaide Observer, September 15, 1883, p.7 c.3. 

4. "Some residents of Masterton." New Zealand Times, May 9, 1883, p.2 c.5. 

5. New Zealand Herald, (October 13, 1886), (not found here). 

6. G.R. Wieland. "A sacrifice to Pele." Science, n.s., 71 (April 11, 1930): 

7. "A wonderful cow." Toronto Globe, May 25, 1889, p.6 c.1-2. John Henry 
Carter lived at what is now known as New Tecumseth, in the south of Simcoe 
County, Ontario, (not at South Simcoe). 

8. E.L. Layard. "Supposed fertility in the mule." Field, 82 (July 15, 1893): 
84. R.L. "A fertile mule." Field, 102 (November 14, 1903): 844. "A 
suppositious fertile mule." Field, 102 (November 21, 1903): 884. "Supposed 
fertile mule." Field, 107 (February 17, 1906): 265. G.J. Harvey. "A fertile 
mule." Field, 122 (August 2, 1913): 305. J.C. Ewart. "A supposed fertile 
mule." Field, 122 (August 9, 1913): 365. H. Panton. "A supposed fertile 
mule." Field, 122 (August 23, 1913): 468. 

9. Fort marked "X" in the margin next to this sentence. 

10. "Supposed hybrid from Cyprus." Land and water, 26 (October 5, 1878: 286. 

11. "The hybrid from Cyprus." Land and water, 26 (October 12, 1878): 310. 

12. Ronald C. Gunn. "On the `Bunyip' of Australia Felix." Tasmanian Journal 
of Natural Science, Agriculture, Statistics, &c., 3 (1849): 147-9. 

13. "A search for a mysterious animal." Melbourne Argus, February 28, 1890, 
p.6 c.4. For an earlier article upon this subject: "A singular story." 
Melbourne Argus, February 20, 1890, p.4 c.1. 

14. Leonard Matters. "An antediluvian monster." Scientific American, n.s., 
127 (July 1922): 21. The location was in the territory of Chubut, (not 
Chebut). Correct quotes: "I saw in the middle of the lake...," and, "...the 
movement in the water...." 

15. "River monster." London Daily Mail, February 8, 1921, p.7 c.5. 

16. "The following very interesting communication has recently appeared...." 
Zoologist, s.4, 3 (August 1899): 380-1. 

17. B.A. Colonna. "The sea-serpent." Science, o.s., 8 (September 17, 1886): 
258. The observation was reported to Colonna by Capt. Robert Platt, of the 
U.S Coast-Survey schooner Drift. 

18. For reports off Norwalk, Connecticut: "That sea serpent again." New York 
Times, October 16, 1886, p. 5 c. 3. Here a reef and buoy are claimed to be 
an explanation of what was reported. For reports in the Connecticut River: 
"That annoying sea serpent." New York Times, September 9, 1886, p.1 c.4. 
"Trapping the sea serpent." New York Times, September 12, 1886, p.3 c.2. For 
reports in the Hudson River: "In the Hudson this time." New York Times, 
August 31, 1886, p.1 c.4. "Exit the sea serpent." New York Times, September 
11, 1886, p.4 

19. "Capt. Ingall's story." New York Times, June 10, 1880, p.5 c.6. 

20. "The great sea serpent." Nature, 47 (March 30, 1893): 506-7. A 
preliminary announcement of the book was given in: "Notes." Nature, 45 
(April 28, 1892): 612-6, at 614. The review did criticize Oudemans for 
citing a sea serpent report in its issue of "November 8, 1880," as there was 
no issue upon that date; however, there was an article, which the reviewer 
overlooked: Searles V. Wood, Jr. "Order Zeuglodontia, Owen." Nature, 23 
(November 18, 1880): 54-5. 

21. "The great sea serpent." Zoologist, s.1, 6 (1848): 2306-24. 

22. "Sea serpent again." London Times, June 14, 1877, p.13 c.1. "The great 
sea serpent." Land and Water, 24 (September 8, 1877): 196-198. For the 
original newspaper article: "The Royal Yacht Osborne and the sea serpent." 
Portsmouth Times and Naval Gazette, June 12, 1877, p.3 c.2. 

23. William Beebe. Arcturus adventure. New York, 1926. 

24. Richard Anthony Proctor. "A marine monster." Knowledge, 4 (November 30, 
1883): 332-3. 

25. "A few days ago (says the New York Times...." New Zealand Times, 
December 12, 1883, p.2 c.6. This report appears to have been a newspaper 
fabrication based upon an editorial satirizing a report of whale-like 
monsters from the New Jersey shore. 

26. A. Wilmot. "The sea serpent again." Cape Times, October 29, 1912, p. 8 
c. 4. "Notes." Nature, 90 (December 26, 1912): 467-72, at 469. 

27. James Emerson Tennent. Ceylon. London: Longman, Green, Longman, and 
Roberts, 1860, v. 2, 399-400. Tennent does note that the skeletons of 
African elephants were frequently found in the woods by Beaver. Philip 
Beaver. African Memoranda Relative to an Attempt to Establish a British 
Settlement on the Island of Bulama. London: C. and R. Baldwin, 1805, 353. 
Reprint. London: Dawsons of Pall Mall, 1968. 

28. John Barclay "Remarks on some parts of the animal that was cast ashore 
on the Island of Stronsa, September 1808." Memoirs of the Wernerian Natural 
History Society, 1 (1808-1810): 418-44. Altho a few of the remains of this 
carcass have been preserved, the primary objection to its identification as 
a "basking shark" (Cetorhinus maximus) has been its supposed length of 
fifty-five feet, which is about fifteen feet longer than the largest known 
basking sharks; however, without any samples of its teeth or other remains, 
it may simply be identified as an extraordinary selachian. Bernard 
Heuvelmans. In the Wake of the Sea Serpents. New York: Hill and Wang, 118-

29. A.E. Verrill. "The Florida sea-monster." American naturalist, 31, 304-

30. "Last of this sea serpent." New York Herald, December 2, 1896, p.6 c.5. 

31. "Reptile's fossil found." New York Herald Tribune, June 16, 1928, p. 9 
c. 3-4. 

32. "The sea serpent found." English Mechanic, 69 (April 7, 1899): 173. 
Correct quote: "...the hide or skin of the monster was of a brownish colour, 
and covered with hair." 

33. "Voyage of the Emu." Sydney Herald, February 23, 1899, p. 5 c. 7. "The 
Emu's mysterious monster." Sydney Herald, February 28, 1899, p. 5 c. 1. "The 
supposed sea serpent." Sydney Herald, March 2, 1899, p. 7 c. 2. 

34. "The alleged sea serpent." Sydney Daily Telegraph, February 28, 1899, p. 
4 c. 7. Additional reports: "Very like a whale." Sydney Daily Telegraph, 
February 24, 1899, p. 4 c. 6. "Extremely like a whale." Sydney Daily 
Telegraph, March 2, 1899, p. 5 c. 1. 

35. F.A. Mitchell-Hedges. Battles with giant fish. 

36. "Fish like a polar bear." London Daily Mail, December 27, 1924, p.10 

37. "A Queensland paper states...." New Zealand Times, March 19, 1883, p.2 
c.6. The thigh bone was described as enormous, (not the hip bone). Correct 
quote: "There is the remains of what must have been a snout, 8 ft long...." 

38. Fort marked "X" in the margin next to this sentence. 

39. "A sea monster." London Daily News, June 26, 1908, p.7 c.3. The name of 
the ship was Balmedie, not "Balmedic." 

40. Grimsby Daily Telegraph, June 29, 1908, p.3 c.3-4 (photograph). 

41. "Monster in ice has long snout." New York Sun, November 28, 1930, p. 23 
c. 2-3. Fort notes other accounts: "Ice bares strange animal." New York 
Times, November 26, 1930, p.15, c.5, and, New York Evening World, November 
28, 1930, p.33. 


UNKNOWN, luminous things, or beings have often been seen, sometimes close to 
this earth, and sometimes high in the sky. It may be that some of them were 
living things that occasionally come from somewhere else in our existence, 
but that others were lights on the vessels of explorers, or voyagers, from 
somewhere else. 

From time to time, luminous objects, or beings, have been reported from 
Brown Mountain, North Carolina. They appear, and then for a long time are 
not seen, and then they appear again. See the Literary Digest, Nov. 7, 
1925.(1) I have other records. The luminosities travel, as if with motions 
of their own. They are brilliant, globular forms, and move in the sky, with 
a leisureliness and duration that exclude any explanation in meteoric terms. 
For many years, there [123/124] had been talk upon this subject, and then, 
in the year 1922, people of North Carolina, asking for a scientific 
investigation, were referred to the United States Geological Survey. A 
geologist was sent from Washington to investigate these things in the sky. 

One imagines, but most likely only faintly, the superiority of this 
geologist from Washington. He heard stories from the natives. He contrasted 
his own sound principles with the irresponsible gab of the denizens, and 
went right to the investigation, scientifically. He went out on a road, and 
saw lights, and made his report. Forty-seven per cent. of the lights that he 
saw were automobile headlights, 33 per cent. of them were locomotive 
headlights, 10 per cent. were lights in houses, and 10 per cent. were bush 
fires. Tot that up, and see that efficiency can't go further. The geologist 
from Washington, having investigated nothing that he had been sent to 
investigate, returned to Washington, which also, by the way, is a place 
where there's plenty to investigate, and I suppose that the people of North 
Carolina will be no wiser, as to these things in the sky, if some other time 
they appeal to a United States Fish Commission, or the Department of Labour. 

I don't know to just what degree my accusation, in these matters, is of 
laziness and feeble-mindedness of scientists. Or, instead of accusing, I am 
simply pointing out everybody's inability seriously to spend time upon 
something, which, according to his preconceptions, is nonsense. Scientists, 
in matters of our data, have been like somebody in Europe, before the year 
1492, hearing stories of lands to the west, going out on the ocean for an 
hour or so, in a row-boat, and then saying, whether exactly in these words, 
or not: "Oh, hell! there ain't no America." 

In Knowledge, Sept., 1913, Count de Sibour enjoyed his laziness, or 
incompetence, which a merciful provi- [124/125] dence, bent upon keeping us 
human beings reconciled to being human beings, made him think was his own 
superiority.(2) He told a story of foolish, credulous people, in North 
Norfolk, England, who, in the winter of 1907-08, believed that a pair of 
shining things, moving about the fields, could not be explained as he 
explained them. We are told of a commonplace ending of this alleged mystery: 
that finally a gamekeeper shot one of these objects, and found that it was a 
common barn owl, phosphorescent with decayed wood from its nesting place, or 
with a fungous disease of its feathers. According to other accounts, these 
things were as brilliant as electric lights. But a phosphorescent owl could 
not shine with a light like an electric light. So De Sibour described the 
light as "a pale, yellow glow," such as a phosphorescent owl could shine 

Science concerns itself with adaptations, and science itself is adaptation. 
We are reminded of the Rev. Hugh Guy. He could not explain downpours: so he 
turned downpours into "a small quantity," which he could explain. 

De Sibour knew nothing about this subject, from his own experiences. We go 
to the same records to which he went. Like him, we find just about what we 
want to find. In the London Times, Dec. 10, 1907, and in following issues, 
are accounts of these luminous objects, which were flying about the fields 
of North Norfolk, having been reported by Mr. R.W. Purdy, a well-known 
writer upon biologic subjects.(3) 

Among other attempts to assimilate with the known, or among other 
expressions of a world-wide antipathy to the finding out of anything new, 
was the idea that owls are sometime luminous. The idea came first, or the 
solution of the problem was published first, and then the problem was fitted 
to the solution. This is [125/126] said to be a favourite method of 
ratiocination with inmates of a home for the mentally deficient, but I 
should think that one of these inmates should feel at home anywhere. De 
Sibour and others fitted in a story that a luminous owl had been shot. I 
think that at times there may be faintly luminous owls, because I accept 
that, under some circumstances, almost anything may be luminous. English 
Mechanic, 10-15 -- case of a woman with a luminous toe.(4) 

Shining things, flying like birds, in the fields of North Norfolk continued 
to be reported. The brilliant things looked electric. When they rested on 
trees, everything around them was illuminated. Purdy's descriptions are very 
different from "a pale, yellow glow." Upon the night of December 1st, he saw 
something that he thought was the lamp of a motor cycle, moving rapidly, in 
a field, stopping, then rising several yards, moving higher, and then 
retreating. It moved in various directions. See the Field, Jan. 11, 1908.(5) 

De Sibour was uncareful, in his mystery-squelching story, his bobbed story, 
a story, that forced a mystery to a commonplace ending. No gamekeeper shot a 
luminous owl, at this time, in North Norfolk. 

But somebody did say that he had conventionally solved the mystery. Eastern 
Daily Press (Norwich), Feb. 7, 1908 -- that, early in the morning of the 
5th, Mr. E.S. Cannell, of Lower Hellesdon, saw something shining on a grass 
bank.(6) According to him, it fluttered up to him, and he found that it was 
the explanation of a mystery. It was a luminous owl, he said: and, as told 
by him, he carried it to his home, where it died, "still luminous." 

But see the Press of the 8th -- that Mr. Cannell's dead owl had been taken 
to a taxidermist, who had been interviewed.(7) Of course a phosphorescence 
of a bird, whether from decayed wood, or feather fungi, [126/127] would be 
independent of life or death of the bird. Questioned as to whether the body 
of the owl was luminous or not, the taxidermist said: "I have seen nothing 
luminous about it." 

In zoological journals, one frequently comes upon allusions to these things, 
or beings, of North Norfolk. No gamekeeper killed one of them, but the story 
of the gamekeeper who killed a luminous owl is told in these records that 
are said to be scientific. It is not necessary that a gamekeeper should kill 
a luminous owl, and so put an end to a mystery. A story that he did, will 
serve just as well. 

The finding, or procuring in some way or another, of the body of an owl, did 
not put an end to the mystery, except in most of the records, that are said 
to be scientific. There were at first two lights, and there continued to be 
two lights. The brilliant things continued to be seen in the fields, 
flitting about, appearing and disappearing. The last observation findable by 
me (May 3, 1908) is recorded in the Trans. Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists' 
Society, 8-550.(8) Purdy records an observation upon the two lights, seen 
together, more than a month after the date upon which Mr. Cannell said that 
his owl fluttered right up to him.(9) 

Something else was reported, in this region. In the Eastern Daily Press, 
Jan. 28, 1908, it is said that, at night -- moon bright -- "a dark, globular 
object, with a structure of some kind upon the side of it, travelling at a 
great pace," had been seen in the sky, by employees of the Norwich 
Transportation Company, at Mousehead.(10) "It seemed too large for a kite, 
and, besides, its movements seemed under control, for it was travelling 
against the wind." 

I am here noting only a few of the many records of unknown, seeming living, 
luminous things that used [127/128] to be called will-o'-the-wisps. They 
come and they go, and their reappearances in a small region make me think of 
other localised repetitions that we have noted. 

London Daily Express, Feb. 15, and following issues, 1923 -- brilliant 
luminous things moving across fields, sometimes high in the air, at Fenny 
Compton, Warwickshire.(11) They were "intense lights," like automobile 
headlights. Sometimes these luminous things, or beings, hovered over a farm 
house. It was a deserted farm house, according to the London Daily News, 
Feb. 13.(12) About a year later, one of these objects, or whatever they 
were, returned, and was reported as "a swiftly moving light," by several 
persons, one of them Miss Olive Knight, a school teacher, of Fenny Compton 
(London Sunday News, Jan. 27, 1924).(13) 

The Earl of Erne tells, in the London Daily Mail, Dec. 24, 1912, of 
brilliant luminosities that, from time to time, in a period of seven or 
eight years, had been appearing near Lough Erne, Londonderry, Ireland, "in 
size and shape very much like a motor-car lamp."(14) In later issues of the 
Daily Mail, the Countess of Erne tells of these things, or creatures, "like 
motor-car lamps, large and round."(15) [128] 


1. "The queer lights on Brown Mountain." Literary Digest, 87 n. 6 (wh.n. 
1855; November 7, 1925): 44, 49. Ten per cent of the lights observed by the 
geologist in 1922 were attributed to "fixt lights," (not only house lights). 

2. L. de Sibour. "The existence of luminous birds." Knowledge, n.s., 10 
(September 1913): 321-322. 

3. T. Digby Pigott. "Luminous owl." London Times, December 14, 1907, p.16 
c.5. "A luminous owl?" London Times Weekly Edition, December 20, 1907, p.iv 
c.4. "Luminous owl." London Times, December 26, 1907, p.2 c.6. T. Digby 
Pigott. "Luminous owls." London Times, January 9, 1908, p.6 c.3. H.D. 
Rawnsley. "Luminous birds." London Times, January 14, 1908, p.6 c.2. Oswald 
Crawford. "Luminous birds." London Times, January 18, 1908, p.7 c.3. 
"Luminous birds." London Times, January 22, 1908, p.17 c.6. 

4. "A luminous toe." English Mechanic, 10 (September 24, 1869): 24. 

5. R.J.W.P. "Luminosity of the white owl." Field, 111 (January 11, 1908): 
70. c.1. Correct quote: "...lamp of a motor bicycle moving rapidly...." 

6. "Luminous owl at Hellesdon." Eastern Daily Press (Norwich), February 7, 
1908, p.4 c.7. 

7. "The luminous owl." Eastern Daily Press (Norwich), February 8, 1908, p.9 

8. R.J.W. Purdy. "The occasional luminosity of the white owl (Strix 
flammea)." Transactions of the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists' Society, 8, 
547-52, at 551-2. The two were observed for half an hour, on March 12, 1908, 
along the valley between Twyford and Guist. 

9. For further correspondence on this subject: H.C. Cooke. "The luminous 
owl." Eastern Daily Press (Norwich), January 1, 1908, p.6 c.7. John 
Knowlittle. "The luminous owl." Eastern Daily Press, January 2, 1908, p.3 
c.7. "The luminous owl." Eastern Daily Press, January 3, 1908, p.6 c.6-7. 
"The luminous owl." Eastern Daily Press, January 7, 1908, p.6 c.5-6. W.R. 
"The luminous owl." Eastern Daily Press, January 8, 1908, p.3 c.5. "Luminous 
owl." Eastern Daily Press, January 9, 1908, p.6 c.6. C.A. Hamond, and, T.W. 
Purdy. "The luminous owl." Eastern Daily Press, January 17, 1908, p.8 c.5. 
W.S. Everitt. "The Hellesdon owl." Eastern Daily Press, February 8, 1908, 
p.8 c.3. 

10. "Airship seen over Norwich." Eastern Daily Press (Norwich), January 29, 
1908, p.6 c.5. The object over Mousehold, (not Mousehead), was observed by 
employees of the Norwich Tramway Company, at Norwich. Correct quotes: "...a 
dark globular object travelling at a great pace;" "...and there appeared 
some structure attached to the side of it," and, "It appeared too large for 
a kite or a small balloon, and, besides, its movements seemed to be under 
human control...." 

11. "Ghost lights." London Daily Express, February 13, 1923, p.7 c.3. "Ghost 
ray mystery." London Daily Express, February 14, 1923, p.1 c.7. Correct 
quote: "The light is intense." "When the ghost walks." London Daily Express, 
February 15, 1923, p.4 c.4. "The farm of spooks." London Daily Express, 
February 19, 1923, p.7 c.7. "Ox-trot of the spooks." London Daily Express, 
February 20, 1923, p.7 c.7. "The ghost hunters." London Daily Express, 
February 21, 1923, p.1. c.7 & p.5 c.3. "Midnight ghost thunder." London 
Daily Express, February 22, 1923, p.3 c.2. "Bewitched farm." London Daily 
Express, February 26, 1923, p.3 c.1. 

12. "Village ghost scare." London Daily News, February 13, 1923, p.5 c.3. 

13. London Sunday News, (January 27, 1924). 

14. "The yellow light." London Daily Mail, December 24, 1912, p.5 c.5. The 
period given was six or seven years, (not seven or eight); and, Lough Erne 
is located in Co. Fermanagh, (not at Londonderry). Correct quote: "...very 
much the same as a motor-car lamp." 

15. "Chase of the will-o'-the-wisp." London Daily Mail, December 26, 1912, 
p.3 c.6. "Lake lights mystery." London Daily Mail, January 1, 1913, p.3 c.6. 
Elliot Mackirdy. "A mysterious light." London Daily Mail, January 2, 1913, 
p.4 c.5. James M. Monteith Erskine. "Will-o'-the-wisps." London Daily Mail, 
January 3, 1913, p.3 c.2. 


SCIENCE is very much like the Civil War, in the U.S.A. No matter which side 
won, it would have been an American victory. By Science, I mean 
conventionalisation of alleged knowledge. It, or maybe she, acts to maintain 
itself, or whatever, against further enlightenment, or alleged enlightenment 
but when giving in, there is not surrender, but partnership, and something 
that had been bitterly fought then becomes another factor in its, or her, 
prestige. So, seventy years ago, no matter whether evolutionists or anti-
evolutionists had won, it would have been a big, scientific victory anyway. 
No wonder so many of us are humbled by a reputation that can't lose any way. 

Science is a maw, or a headless and limbless stomach, an amoeba-like gut 
that maintains itself by incorporat- [129/130] ing the assimilable and 
rejecting the indigestible. There are whirlwinds and waterspouts, and it 
seems acceptable that there have been rare occurrences of faintly luminous 
owls. Then by a process of sorting over data, rejecting the objectionable, 
and taking in the desirable, Science saves itself great pains, because a 
bellyache is something that is only a gut in torment. So, with alimentary 
treatments, a shower of living things can always be made to assimilate with 
the whirlwind-explanation, and a brilliant, electric thing can be toned down 
digestibly. In extreme cases there is a secretion of fishmongers or 

In some cases of obstinate unassimilableness, it is supposed to be necessary 
to swat a little girl. But I doubt the necessity, because there is in human 
beings such a fondness, or sometimes such a passion, for confessing, that 
sooner or later somebody will come forward with almost any desired 
confession. Sometimes, from time to time, half a dozen persons confess to 
having committed the same murder. The police pay scarcely any attention any 
more to a new confession, in the matter of the Hall murder, in New Jersey. 
There was a case, in an English police court, of a man who had given himself 
up, as a deserter from the army. But a policeman testified that this was his 
fifth or sixth confession, and that he had never been in the army. The man 
admitted the charge. "But," said he, "I have something else that I wish to 
confess." "I'll hear no more of your confessions. Six months!" said the 
magistrate. In some cases the incentive for false confessions is not 
obvious, but in others it is obviously to come out of one's pale, yellow 
glow, and be brilliant in limelight. There have been cases not quite of 
confessions, but of somebody attributing to himself unexplained occurrences, 
or taking advantage of them for various kinds of profit. I accept that, if 
explorers from [130/131] somewhere else should visit the earth, and if their 
vessels, or the lights of their vessels, should be seen by millions of the 
inhabitants of this earth, the data would soon be conventionalised. If 
beings, like human beings, from somewhere else, should land upon this earth, 
near New York, and parade up Broadway, and then sail away, somebody, a year 
or so later, would "confess" that it had been a hoax by him and some 
companions, who had dressed up for their parts, and had jabbered, as they 
thought extra-mundanians should jabber. New Yorkers would say that from the 
first they had suspected something wrong. Who ever heard of distinguished 
foreigners coming to New York, and not trying to borrow something? Or not 
coinciding with propaganda in newspapers? 

Probably in August, 1929, an aeroplane from somewhere in Europe passed over 
a jungle, and was reported, in a village, by a native. Savages are highly 
scientific. They reason upon generalisations that are so exclusive as to be 
nothing short of academic. They are as keen as any Newton, or Einstein, in 
understanding that, in order to arrive at what is said to be the known, they 
must start with something that they don't know about. We'd have a pretty 
good idea of what the wisemen said, when they heard the story of a vessel, 
probably occupied by passengers, that had been seen in the sky, if we could 
accept that they could be so undignified as to say anything -- 

New York Herald Tribune, Aug. 29, 1929 -- a travelling light in the sky -- 
about 400 miles off the coast of Virginia.(1) It was reported by Thomas 
Stuart, third mate of the steamship Coldwater, of the South Atlantic 
Steamship Line. "There was something that gave the impression that it was a 
large, passenger craft." It was travelling at an estimated speed of 100 
miles an hour, in the direction of Bermuda. There was an in- [131/132] 
vestigation that "failed to reveal any trans-Atlantic or Bermuda flight." 

We shall have an expression upon luminous appearances that may have been of 
a kind with the seeming creatures of the preceding chapter, or that may 
belong in another category. 

Before I could find out the date, and look the matter up, I came upon 
several humorous allusions, in English newspapers, to a time when there was 
a scare in England, because of moving lights in the sky. And all the 
excitement was about the advertising scheme of an automobile manufacturer, 
who had sent up an imitation-airship with lanterns tied to it. There was a 
lesson in this: presumably other alleged mysteries could be explained in 
similar, commonplace terms. 

I was doing one of my relatively minor jobs, which was going through the 
London Daily Mail, for a period of about twenty-five years, when I came upon 
this -- 

March 25, 1909 -- that, upon the 23rd of March, at 5.10 o'clock in the 
morning, two constables, in different parts of the city of Peterborough, had 
reported having seen an object, carrying a light, moving over the city, with 
sounds like the sounds of a motor.(2) In the Peterborough Advertiser, March 
27th, is published an interview with one of these constables, who described 
"an object, somewhat oblong and narrow in shape, carrying a powerful 
light."(3) To suit whatever anybody should prefer, I could give data to show 
that only lights and no object were seen, and that no sound was heard; or 
that a vessel, carrying lights, was seen, and that sounds, like sounds of a 
motor, were heard. 

It is said, in the Daily Mail, May 17th, that many other stories of 
unaccountable objects and lights in the sky had reached the office of the 
Mail.(4) If so, these stories were not published. The newspapers are sup- 
[132/133] posed to be avid for sensational news, but they have their 
conventions, and unaccountable lights and objects in the sky are not 
supposed to have sex, and it is likely that hosts of strange, but sexless, 
occurrences have been reported, but have not been told of in the newspapers. 
In the Daily Mail, it is said that no attention had been paid to the 
letters, because everything that was mentioned in them, as evidence, was 
unsatisfactory. It is said that the object reported at Peterborough was 
probably a kite with a lantern tied to it. On the 15th of May, a constable 
at Northampton had sent to headquarters a written report upon lights that he 
had seen in the sky at 9 p.m.; but Chief Constable Madlin had learned that a 
practical joker had sent up a fire balloon. 

The practical joker of Northampton, amusing himself at 9 o'clock in the 
evening, is an understandable representative of his species; but some other 
representative of his species, flying a kite and lanterns, at Peterborough, 
at 5 o'clock in the morning, limiting his audience mostly to milkmen, though 
maybe a joker, could not have been a very practical joker. He must have been 
fond of travel. There were other reports from various places in England and 
in Wales. There were reports from places far apart. 

Daily Mail, May 20 -- that a man, named Lithbridge, of 4 Roland Street, 
Cardiff, Wales, had, in the office of the Cardiff Evening Express, told a 
marvellous story.(5) This story was that, upon the 18th of May, about 11 
p.m., while walking along a road, near the Caerphilly Mountains, Wales, he 
had seen, on the grass, at a side of the road, a large, tube-shaped 
construction. In it were two men, in heavy fur-overcoats. When they saw Mr. 
Lithbridge, they spoke excitedly to each other, in a foreign language, and 
sailed away. Newspaper men visited the place, and found the grass [133/134] 
trampled, and found a scattering of torn newspapers and other debris. 

If anybody else wants to think that these foreigners were explorers from 
Mars or the moon, here is a story that of course can be reasoned out quite, 
or almost, satisfactorily. 

At any rate, still more satisfactorily it may be said that no foreigners of 
this earth were sailing in the sky of Great Britain. In the Western Mail 
(Cardiff), May 21st, is published an interview with Mr. C.S. Rolls, the 
motorist, and the founder of the Aero Club, who gave his opinion that some 
of the stories of a strange object in the sky were hoaxes, but that not all 
of them could be explained so.(6) Chiefly for the reason that there was no 
known airship of this earth, with such powers of flight, the reported 
observations were discredited, at least sometimes, in all newspapers that I 
have looked at. In the London Weekly Dispatch, May 23rd, the stories are so 
discredited, and it is argued that to be seen so often, without having been 
seen to cross the Channel, an airship would have to have a base in England, 
to which, in view of the general excitement, it would certainly have been 
traced: a base where it would be seen, "especially during the tedious 
preliminaries of ascent."(7) Then, in the Weekly Dispatch, are listed 
reports from 22 places, in the week preceding the 23rd of May, and 19 
reports earlier in May and in March. 

Mr. Lithbridge was a Punch and Judy man. Perhaps his story was of some 
profit to him. Not much attention was paid to it. But then came another 

Upon May 26th, it was told in the newspapers that the mystery of the lights 
in the sky had been solved. A large imitation-airship had "come down" in 
Dunstable, and the lights had been upon that. It was an advertising scheme. 
An automobile manufacturer had [134/135] been dragging the thing around in 
England and Wales. There had been reports from Ireland, but Ireland was 
omitted in this explanation. We are told that this object, roped to an 
automobile, had been dragged along the roads, amusingly exciting persons who 
were not very far advanced mentally. With whatever degree of advancement 
mine may be, I suppose that such a thing could be dragged slowly, and for a 
short time, perhaps only a few minutes, because it was of hot-air-inflation, 
along a road, and conceivably through a city or two, with a policeman, who 
reported lights in the sky, not seeing a rope going up from an automobile: 
but, with whatever degree of advancement that of mine may be, I do not think 
of any such successful imposition in about forty large cities, some of them 
several hundred miles apart. No one at Dunstable saw or heard the imitation-
airship come down from the sky. An object, to which was tied a card, upon 
which was a request to communicate with a London automobile manufacturer, 
"in case of accident," was found in a field, morning of May 26th. 

The explanation, as I want to see it, is that probably the automobile 
manufacturer took advantage of the interest in lights in the sky, and at 
night dumped a contrivance into a field, having tied his card to it. If so 
this was only one of many occurrences that have been exploited by persons 
who had a liking, or a use, for publicity. Probably Mr. Cannell and his dead 
owl can be so explained; and, though I should very much like to accept Mr. 
Lithbridge's story, I fear me that we shall have to consider him one of 
these exploiters. Also, there was the case of the Press agent, who, taking 
advantage of stories of a prowling animal, tied tin wings and green whiskers 
to a kangaroo. 

The range of the reported observations was from Ipswich, on the east coast 
of England, to Belfast, [135/136] Ireland, a distance of 350 miles; and, in 
Great Britain, from Hull to Swansea, a distance of 200 miles. Perhaps a gas 
bag could be dragged around a little, but the imitation-airship that was 
found at Dunstable, was a flimsy contrivance, consisting of two hot-air 
balloons, and a frame about 20 feet long, connecting them. 

The lights in the sky were frequently reported, upon the same night, from 
places far apart. Upon the night of May 9th, reports came from Northampton, 
Wisbech, Stamford, and Southend. In the Weekly Dispatch, May 23rd, it is 
pointed out that to be seen at Southend about 11 p.m., and then twenty 
minutes later, at Stamford, seventy miles away, the object in the sky must 
have travelled at a rate of 210 miles an hour. 

The question that comes up is whether, after the finding of the object at 
Dunstable, or after a commonplace ending of a mystery, lights continued to 
be seen travelling in the sky. 

The stoppage was abrupt. Or the stoppage of publication of reports was 
abrupt. [136] 


1. New York Herald Tribune, (August 29, 1929), (Not found here). 

2. "Mysterious airship." London Daily Mail, March 25, 1909, p.3 c.6. 

3. "Quite a sensation!" Peterborough Advertiser, March 27, 1909, p.7 c.1-2. 

4. "Night airship." London Daily Mail, May 17, 1909, p.7 c.4. At 9:15 PM, 
not 9 PM; Chief Constable Mardlin, not Madlin. 

5. "The phantom airship." London Daily Mail, May 20, 1909, p.5 c.1-2. For 
the local newspaper article: "Airship scare." Cardiff Evening Express and 
Evening Mail, May 21, 1909, p.3 c.3-4. C. Lithbridge. Caerphilly Mountain, 
not mountains. The two men were "busily engaged with something nearby" and 
later "jumped into a kind of little carriage suspended" from the 
construction; and, they spoke "a strange lingo -- Welsh or something else; 
it was certainly not English." 

6. "The airship mystery." Cardiff Western Mail, May 21, 1909, p.5 c.1-2. 

7. "Aerial hoax." London Weekly Dispatch, May 23, 1909, p.1 c.7, p.2 c.1-2. 
Correct quote: "...preliminaries to an ascent...." 


IT may be that upon new principles we can account for the mystery of the 
Marie Celeste.(1) If there is a selective force, which transports stones 
exclusively, or larvæ, and nothing but larvæ, or transports living things of 
various sizes, but nothing but living things, such a selective force might 
affect a number of human beings, leaving no trace, because unaffective to 
everything else. 

I take from the report by the Queen's Proctor, in the Admiralty Court, 
published in the London Times, Feb. 14, 1873.(2) Upon the 5th of December, 
1872, between the Azores and Lisbon, the crew of the British ship Dei Gratia 
saw a vessel, made out to be the American brigantine Marie Celeste. Her 
sails were set, and she was tacking, but so erratically that attention was 
attracted. Whether ships are really females, or [137/138] not, this one 
looked so helpless, or woebegone, that all absence of male protection was 
suspected. The Britons shoved out and boarded the vessel. There was nobody 
aboard. There was findable nothing by which to account for the abandonment. 
"Every part of the vessel, inside and outside, was in good order and 
condition." In the log book, the latest entry, having in it no suggestion of 
impending trouble of any kind, was dated Nov. 25th. There was no sign of any 
such trouble as mutiny. A phial of oil, used by the captain's wife, upon a 
sewing machine, stood upright, indicating that there had been no rough 
weather. Investigation of this mystery was world-wide. The State Department 
of the United States communicated will all representatives abroad, and every 
custom house in the world was more or less alert for information of any 
kind: but fourteen persons, in a time of calm weather, and under 
circumstances that gave no indication of any kind of violence, disappeared, 
and either nothing, or altogether too much, was found out. I have a 
collection of yarns, by highly individualized liars, or artists who scorned, 
in any particular, to imitate one another; who told, thirty, forty, or fifty 
years later, of having been members of this crew. 

London Times, Nov. 6, 1840 -- the Rosalie, a large French ship, bound from 
Hamburg to Havana -- abandoned ship -- no clue to an explanation.(3) Most of 
the sails set -- no leak -- valuable cargo. There was a half-starved canary 
in a cage. 

But I suggest that, with our hints of Teleportation, we are on the wrong 
track. Crews of vessels have disappeared, and vessels have disappeared. It 
may be that something of which the inhabitants of this earth know nothing, 
is concerned in these disappearances, or seizures. 

In the New York Sun, April 24, 1930, the French [138/139] astronomer and 
meteorologist, Gen. Frederic Chapel, is quoted, saying that aircraft missing 
at sea, and seacraft, may have been struck by meteors.(4) That there is 
something of the unexplained in these disappearances, many writers have 
felt. But there is no recorded instance of aircraft, flying over land, 
having been struck by a meteor, and I know of few instances of reported 
falls of meteoric matter upon vessels, and no instance of a vessel that has 
been much damaged by a meteor. 

The disappearance of the Cyclops, a fuel ship of the U.S.N., even though in 
war time, is considered mysterious--some time after March 4th, 1918, after 
leaving Barbados, B.W.I., for Hampton Roads, Va. 

When the Titanic went down, April 15, 1912, flotsam was reported months 
afterward, and there were many survivors; but, after the disappearance of 
the White Star steamship, the Naronic, in February, 1893, two empty 
lifeboats, supposed to be hers, were reported by a sea captain, and nothing 
more was seen. In the report by the London Board of Trade, it was considered 
highly improbable that the Naronic had struck an iceberg. It was said that 
this vessel was "almost perfect," in construction and equipment. She was a 
freighter, with 75 men aboard. There were life belts for all. 

New York Times, June 21, 1921 -- disappearance of three American ships -- 
difficult to think of piracy -- seemed to be no other explanation -- five 
departments of the Washington Government investigating.(5) In February, the 
Carol Deering, a five-masted schooner, of Portland, Me., had gone ashore, 
near Diamond Shoals, North Carolina. The mystery is similar to that of the 
Marie Celeste. Nobody aboard. Everything was in good condition. The 
circumstance that attracted most attention was that the crew had disappeared 
[139/140] about the time a meal was to be served. A little later, a bottle 
was picked up on shore, and in it was a message purporting to have been 
written by the mate of the vessel. "An oil-burning tanker has boarded us, 
and placed our crew in irons. Get word to headquarters of the Company at 
once." Just how somebody in irons could get a container for a message makes 
me wonder: still, if it's a bottle, they say that that could be got by 
anybody in double irons. 

In the London Daily Mail, June 22, the finding of another bottle with a 
message in it, is told of -- from the Captain of the Deering, this time -- 
that he had been taken prisoner by the crew, and had been put upon another 

After the Waratah "mysteriously disappeared" off the coast of South Africa, 
July, 1909, five bottles, all said to be hoaxes, were found. There is as 
much complication and bafflement in this subject, as in anything that 
Science is said absolutely to have proved. If some of us tire of our 
existence, and would like to try some other existence, they had better think 
it over, because anything merrier than ours is hard to conceive of. Every 
shipwreck, or any other catastrophe, brings out merrymakers. The tragedy of 
the Waratah was enjoyed a long time. More than thirteen years later (Nov. 
21, 1922) another bottle, said to be a hoax, was found near Cape Town. 
Still, I am affected just the other way, and am taking on a new pessimism. 
Heretofore I have thought cheerfully of bottles. But there's a depression 
from anything, once the humorists get a hold of it. I wonder how comes it 
that nobody has reported finding an old bottle, and in it a sea captain's 
account of an impending mutiny, signed "Christopher Columbus."(7) 

New York Times, June 22, 1921 -- "More ships added to the mystery-list -- 
almost simultaneous dis- [140/141] appearances, without a trace, regarded as 
significant."(8) Times, June 24 -- about a dozen vessels in the list.(9) 

And yet such a swipe by an unknown force, of the vessels of a nation, along 
its own coast, was soon thought of no more. Anything could occur, and if not 
openly visible, or if observed by millions, would soon be gulfed in 
forgetfulness. Or soon it would be conventionalized. In the year 1921, it 
was customary to accuse the Russians. I think that the climax was reached, 
in the year 1927, when unruliness of natives in the jungles of Peru was 
attributed to Russian agents. Still, I suppose that, for years, whenever 
there is revolt against misrule and oppression, propagandists will tell us 
the same old yarn of otherwise contented natives, misled by those Russian. 
In June, 1921, the way of explaining the disappearance of a dozen vessels 
was by saying that it was thought that the Soviet Government was stealing 

It may be that constructions from somewhere else have appeared upon this 
earth, and have seized crews of this earth's ships. 

In their book, The Cruise of the Bacchante, the two young princes, sons of 
the Prince of Wales, one of them now the King of England, tell of "a strange 
light, as if of a phantom vessel all aglow" that was, at four o'clock, 
morning of the 11th of June, 1881, between Melbourne and Sydney, reported by 
the lookout of the Bacchante.(10) The unknown appearance was seen by twelve 
other members of the crew. Whether there be relation, or not, five hours 
later, the lookout fell from a crosstree and was killed.(11) 

Brooklyn Eagle, Sept. 10, 1891 -- something that was seen, at 
Crawfordsville, Indiana, 2 a.m., Sept. 5th.(12) Two icemen saw it. It was a 
seemingly headless monster, or it was a construction, about 20 feet long, 
and 8 feet wide, moving in the sky, seemingly propelled by [141/142] fin-
like attachments. It moved toward the icemen. The icemen moved. It sailed 
away, and made such a noise that the Rev. G.W. Switzer, pastor of the 
Methodist church, was awakened, and, looking from his window, saw the object 
circling in the sky. 

I supposed that there was no such person as the Rev. G.W. Switzer. Being 
convinced that there had probably never been a Rev. G.W. Switzer, of 
Crawfordsville -- and taking for a pseudo-standard that if I'm convinced of 
something that is something to suspect -- I looked him up. I learned that 
the Rev. G.W. Switzer had lived in Crawfordsville, in September, 1891. Then 
I found out his present address in Michigan. I wrote to him, and received a 
reply that he was travelling in California, and would send me an account of 
what he had seen in the sky, immediately after returning home. But I have 
been unable to get him to send that account. If anybody sees a "headless 
monster" in the sky, it is just as well to think that over, before getting 
into print. Altogether, I think that I make here as creditable and 
scientific a demonstration as any by any orthodox scientist, so far 
encountered by us. The problem is: Did a "headless monster" appear in 
Crawfordsville, in September, 1891? And I publish the results of my 
researches: "Yes, a Rev. G.W. Switzer did live in Crawfordsville, at the 

I'd like to know what Mr. W.H. Smith saw, Sept. 18th, 1877, in the sky, 
moving over the city of Brooklyn. It looked like a winged human form (New 
York Sun, Sept. 21, 1877).(13) 

Zoologist, July, 1868 -- something that was seen in the sky, near Copiapo, 
Chile -- a construction that carried lights, and was propelled by a noisy 
motor -- or "gigantic bird; eyes wide open and shining like burning coals; 
covered with immense scales, which clashed together with a metallic 
sound."(14) [142/143] 

I don't know what will be thought generally of our data, but in the New York 
Times, July 6, 1873, the writer of General Notes tells of something that he 
considered "the very worst case of delirium tremens on record."(15) This was 
before my time. He copied from the Bonham (Texas) Enterprise -- that a few 
days before the time of writing, a man living 5 or 6 miles from Bonham, had 
told of having seen something like an enormous serpent, floating over his 
farm; and that other men working in the fields had seen the thing and had 
been frightened. I suppose that, equally delirious, inhabitants of the 
backwoods of China, would similarly describe one of this earth's airships 
floating over their farms. I don't know that this one account, considered 
alone, amounts to anything, but, in the Times, of the 7th of July, I found 
something else noted.(16) A similar object had been reported from Fort 
Scott, Kansas. "About half way above the horizon, the form of a huge 
serpent, apparently perfect in form, was plainly seen." 

New York Times, May 30, 1888 -- reports from several places, in Darlington 
County, South Carolina -- huge serpent in the sky, moving with a hissing 
sound, but without visible means of propulsion.(17) 

In the London Daily Express, Sept. 11, 1922, it is said that, upon Sept. 
9th, John Morris, coxswain of the Barmouth (Wales) Life Boat, and William 
James, looking out at sea, from the shore, at Barmouth, saw what they 
thought was an aeroplane falling into the ocean.(18) They rushed out in a 
motor boat, but found nothing. In the Barmouth and County Advertiser, of the 
14th, it is said that this object had fallen so slowly that features 
described as features of an aeroplane had been seen.(19) In newspapers and 
aeronautical journals of the time, there is no findable record of an 
aeroplane of this earth reported missing. [143/144] 

There was a series of occurrences, in the summer of 1910. Early in July, the 
crew of the French fishing smack, Jeune Frédéric, reported having seen, in 
the sky, off the coast of Normandy, a large, black, bird-like object. 
Suddenly it fell into the sea, bounded back, fell again, and disappeared, 
leaving no findable traces. Nothing was known of the flight of any 
terrestrial aircraft. by which to explain (London Weekly Dispatch, July 
10).(20) Upon August 17th (London Times, Aug. 19) labourers at work in the 
forest east of Dessau, Germany, saw in the sky an object that they thought 
was a balloon.(21) It suddenly flamed, and something that was thought to be 
its car, fell into the forest. The Chief Forester was notified, and a hunt, 
on a large scale, was made, but nothing was found. Aeronautical societies 
reported that no known balloon had been sent up. It was thought that the 
object must have been somebody's large toy balloon. About this time, the 
fall from the sky of a white cylinder of marble was reported. One of us 
pioneers, or whatever we are, Mr. F.T. Mayer, looked up this matter, and 
learned that the reported occurrence was upon the farm of Mr. Daniel Lawyer, 
Rural Route 4, Westerville, Ohio. I wrote to Mr. Lawyer, asking whether the 
object could be considered artificial. I had an idea that it might, or might 
not, be a container of a message that had been fired to this earth from Mars 
or the moon or somewhere else. Mr. Lawyer did not like the suggestion of 
artificiality, which he interpreted as meaning that he had picked up 
something that had been made in Ohio. He said that it was not an artificial 
object, but a meteorite. For a reproduction of a photograph of this 
symmetric, seemingly carved cylinder, 12 inches long, weight about 3 pounds, 
see Popular Mechanics, 14-801.(22) About 9 p.m., August 30th -- lights as if 
upon an airship, moving over New York City (New York [144/145] World, Aug. 
31).(23) Aviators were interviewed, but all known aircraft were accounted 
for. World, Sept. 2 -- that two men had sent up a large kite.(24) Upon the 
21st of September (New York Tribune, Sept. 22) a great number of round 
objects were seen passing from west to east over the lower part of New York 
City.(25) Crowds stood in the streets, watching them. They were thought to 
be little balloons. I have records of similar objects, in large numbers, 
that could not be considered little balloons. For several hours this 
procession continued. If somebody from Jersey City was advertising, he kept 
quiet in his bid for publicity. The next day, at Dunkirk, N.Y., an object, 
described as an unknown cigar-shaped balloon, was seen in the sky, over Lake 
Erie, seeming to be unmanageable, gradually disappearing, late in the 
evening. There was so much excitement in Dunkirk that tugboats went out and 
searched all night. Toronto Daily Mail and Empire, Sept. 24 -- that someone 
on a tugboat had found a large box-kite, which had been sent up by a party 
of campers, and was undoubtedly the reported object.(26) 

Mr. A.H. Savage-Landor, in Across Unknown South America, vol. II, p. 425, 
tells a story that was told to him, by the people of Porto Principal, Peru, 
in January, 1912 -- that, some years before, a ship had been seen in the 
sky, passing over the town, not far above the tree tops.(27) According to 
his interpretations, it was a "square globe," flying a flag of Stars and 
Stripes. Mr. Savage-Landor thinks that the object might have been the 
airship, which, upon Oct. 17th, 1910, Wellman abandoned about 400 miles east 
of Hatteras. In newspaper accounts of this unsuccessful attempt to cross the 
Atlantic, it is said that, when abandoned, this airship was leaking gas 
rapidly.(28) If a vessel from somewhere else, flying the Stars and Stripes, 
is pretty hard to think of, except by thinking [145/146] that there are 
Americans everywhere, also the "square globe" is not easy, at least for the 
more conventional of us. Probably these details are faults of 
interpretation. Whatever this thing in the sky may have been, if we will 
think that it may have been, it returned at night, and this time it showed 

In the New York newspapers, September, 1880, are allusions to an unknown 
object that had been seen travelling in the sky, in several places, 
especially in St. Louis and Louisville. I have not been able to get a St. 
Louis newspaper of this time, but I found accounts in the Louisville 
Courier-Journal, July 29, Aug. 6, 1880.(29) Unless an inventor of this earth 
was more self-effacing than biographies of inventors indicate, no inhabitant 
of this earth succeeded in making a dirigible aerial contrivance, in the 
year 1880, then keeping quiet about it. The story is that, between 6 and 7 
o'clock, evening of July 28th, people in Louisville saw in the sky "an 
object like a man, surrounded by machinery, which he seemed to be working 
with his hands and feet." The object moved in various directions, ascending 
and descending, seemingly under control. When darkness came, it disappeared. 
Then came dispatches, telling of something that had been seen in the sky, at 
Madisonville, Ky. "It was something with a ball at each end." "It sometimes 
appeared in a circular form, and then changed to an oval. It passed out of 
sight, moving south." 

These are stories of at least harmless things that were, or were not, seen 
over lands of this earth. It may be that if beings from somewhere else would 
seize inhabitants of this earth, wantonly, or out of curiosity, or as a 
matter of scientific research, the preference would be for an operation at 
sea, remote from observations by other humans of this earth. If such beings 
exist, they may in some respects be very [146/147] wise, but -- supposing 
secrecy to be desirable -- they must have neglected psychology in their 
studies, or unconcernedly they'd drop right into Central Park, New York, and 
pick up all the specimens they wanted, and leave it to the wisemen of our 
tribes to explain that there had been a whirlwind, and that the Weather 
Bureau, with its usual efficiency, had published warnings of it. 

Now and then admirers of my good works write to me, and try to convert me 
into believing things that I say. He would have to be an eloquent admirer, 
who could persuade me into thinking that our present expression is not at 
least a little fanciful; but just the same I have laboured to support it. I 
labour, like workers in a beehive, to support a lot of vagabond notions. But 
how am I to know? How am I to know that sometime a queen-idea may soar to 
the sky, and from a nuptial flight of data, come back fertile from one of 
these drones? 

In the matter of the disappearance of the Danish training ship Kobenhoven, 
which, upon December 14, 1928, sailed, with fifty cadets and sailors aboard, 
from Montevideo, I note that another training ship, the Atalanta (British) 
set sail, early in the year 1880, with 250 cadets and sailors aboard, from 
Bermuda, and was not heard of again. 

Upon October 3rd, 1902, the German bark, Freya, cleared from Manzanillo for 
Punta Arenas, on the west coast of Mexico. I take from Nature, April 25, 
1907.(30) Upon the 20th of October, the ship was found at sea, partly 
dismasted, lying on her side, nobody aboard. The anchor was still hanging 
free at her bow, indicating that calamity had occurred soon after the ship 
had left port. The date on a calendar, on a wall of the Captain's cabin, was 
October 4th. Weather reports showed that there had been only light winds in 
[147/148] this region. But upon the 4th and 5th, there had been earthquakes 
in Mexico. 

Several weeks after the disappearance of the crew of the Freya, another 
strange sea-occurrence was reported. 

Zoologist, 4-7-38 -- that, according to the log of the steamship Fort 
Salisbury, the second officer, Mr. A.H. Raymer, had, Oct. 28, 1902, in Lat. 
5, 31' S., and Long. 4, 42' W., been called, at 3.5 a.m., by the lookout, 
who reported that there was a huge dark object, bearing lights in the sea 
ahead.(31) Two lights were seen. The steamship passed a slowly sinking bulk, 
of an estimated length of five or six hundred feet. Mechanism of some kind -
- fins, the observers thought -- was making a commotion in the water. "A 
scaled back" was slowly submerging. 

One thinks that seeing for such details as "a scaled back" could not have 
been very good, at three o'clock in the morning. So doubly damned is this 
datum that the attempt to explain it was in terms of the accursed Sea 

Phosphorescence of the water is mentioned several times, but that seems to 
have nothing to do with two definite lights, like those of a vessel. The 
Captain of the Fort Salisbury was interviewed. "I can only say that he (Mr. 
Raymer) is very earnest on the subject, and has, together with the lookout 
and helmsman, seen something in the water, of a huge nature, as specified." 

One thinks that this object may have been a large, terrestrial vessel that 
had been abandoned, and was sinking. 

I have looked over Lloyd's List, for the period, finding no record, by which 
to explain. [148] 


1. The correct name of the ship was the Mary Celeste; however, the name 
Marie Celeste was used in a fictional story based upon this mystery written 
by Arthur Conan Doyle, and it is repeatedly misspelled. 

2. "Mystery of the sea." London Times, February 14, 1873, p.9 c.2. 

3. "Ship deserted." London Times, November 6, 1840, p.6 c.3. 

4. New York Sun, (April 14, 1930), (The article appears in a different 
edition from that which was microfilmed, and a copy is among Fort's notes). 

5. "Piracy suspected in disappearance of 3 American ships." New York Times, 
June 21, 1921, p.1 c.8 & p.2 c.1. The name of the schooner was the Carroll 
A. Deering, (not the Carol Deering, as reported in this article). Correct 
quote: "An oil-burning tanker or submarine has boarded us and placed our 
crew in irons. Get word to headquarters of company at once." 

6. "3 steamers vanish." London Daily Mail, June 22, 1921, p.7 c.3. 

7. [Ref. to Waratah disap. and bottle messages.] 

8. "More ships added to mystery list." New York Times, June 22, 1921, p.1 
c.5 & p.10 c.1. Correct quote: "More ships added to mystery list." 

9. "Suggest storms sank lost mystery ships." New York Times, June 24, 1921, 
p.2 c.7-8. 

10. John Neale Dalton, comp. The Cruise of the Her Majesty's Ship 
"Bacchante" 1879-1882. London: Macmillan and Co., 1886, 551, s.v. 1881: 
"July 11th." The phenomenon was observed on July 11, 1881, (not June 11); 
and, it was also observed by the ships Tourmaline and Cleopatra, sailing 
with the Bacchante. Correct quote: "A strange red light as of a phantom ship 
all aglow...." 

11. The King of England, to which Fort refers, was George V. Though Fort had 
originally written the lookout fell to his death "five hours later," the 
time given by John Neale Dalton was 10:45 A.M. 

12. "Substitute for the sea serpent." Brooklyn Eagle, September 10, 1891, 
p.4 c.2-3. 

13. Wm. H. Smith. "Was it an angel?" New York Sun, September 21, 1877, p.2 

14. "A strange bird." Zoologist, s.2, 3 (July 1868): 1295. Correct quote: 
"...a gigantic bird...," and, "Its immense wings were clothed with a grayish 
plumage, its monstrous head was like that of a locust, its eyes were wide 
open and shone like burning coals; it seemed to be covered with something 
resembling the thick and stout bristles of a boar, while on its body, 
elongated like that of a serpent, we could only see brilliant scales, which 
clashed together with a metallic sound as the strange animal turned its body 
in its flight." 

15. "General Notes." New York Times, July 6, 1873, p.1 c.4. 

16. "General notes." New York Times, July 7, 1873, p.1 c.4. 

17. "Flying serpent." New York Times, May 30, 1888, p.3 c.5. 

18. "Fall in the sea." London Daily Express, September 11, 1922, p.7 c.2. 

19. "Aeroplane mystery." Barmouth and County Advertiser and Visitors' List, 
September 14, 1922, p.3 c.2. With binoculars, Capt. John Morris "saw the 
machine nose-diving and disappearing into the sea, with the propellor still 
in motion." 

20. "Black bird mystery." London Weekly Dispatch, July 10, 1910, p.9 c.4. 

21. "Reported explosion of a balloon." London Times, August 19, 1910, p.6 

22. "Small meteor startles Ohio farmer." Popular Mechanics, 14 (December 
1910): 801. 

23. "Aeroplane makes flight over city after nightfall." New York World, 
August 31, 1910, p.1 c.4. 

24. "Human bird o'night just paint on kite." New York World, September 2, 
1910, p.4 c.2-3. 

25. "All downtown looking up." New York Tribune, September 22, 1910, p.1 

26. "Box kite, not balloon." Toronto Daily Mail and Empire, September 24, 
1910, p.15 c.5. No mention is made in this article of the alleged balloon's 
shape nor of its movement apart from sinking into Lake Erie. 

27. Arnold Henry Savage Landor. Across unknown South America. London: Hodder 
& Stoughton, 1913. 2 vols., v.2, 425-426. 

28. Walter Wellman. " "Wellman and crew rescued at sea, airship lost...." 
New York Times, October 19, 1910, p. 1 c. 4-7 & p. 2 c. 1. 

29. "A flying machine which two Louisvillians saw passing over the city." 
Louisville Courier-Journal, July 29, 1880, p. 4 c. 2. "The flying machine." 
Louisville Courier-Journal, August 6, 1880, p. 4 c. 5. Correct quotes: 
"...the appearance of a moon...with his feet and hands," "...there seemed to 
be a ball at each end of the thing...It sometimes appeared in a circular 
form and changed to an oval. It passed out of sight going, as well as he 
could determine, directly south." There is no mention of the object's 
disappearance in the darkness. 

30. "The Mexican earthquake." Nature, 75 (April 25, 1907): 610. The Freya 
was discovered twenty days after its departure on October 3, thus on October 
23, (not October 20). 

31. "The following is the latest contribution to the tale...." Zoologist, s. 
4, 7 (January 1903): 38-9. Correct quotes: "...the scaled back of some huge 
monster...," and, "...on the subject, and certainly has together...." 


AS to data that we shall now take up, I say to myself: "You are a benign 
ghoul, digging up dead, old legends and superstitions, trying to breathe 
life into them. Well then, why have you neglected Santa Claus?" 

But I am particular in the matter of data, or alleged data. And I have come 
upon no record, or alleged record, of mysterious footprints in snow, on 
roofs of houses, leading to chimneys, Christmas Eves. 

There is a great deal, in the most acceptable of the science of to-day, that 
represents a rehabilitation of supposed legends, superstitions, and folk 
lore. Recall Voltaire's incredulity as to fossils, which according to him 
only a peasant would believe in.(1) And note that his antagonism to fossils 
was probably because they had been taken over by theologians, in their way 
of [149/150] explaining. Here was one of the keenest of minds; but it could 
not accept data, because it rejected explanations of the data. And so one 
thinks of, say, the transmutation of metals, which is now rehabilitated.(2) 
And so on. There are some backward ones, to-day, who do not believe in 
witches: but every married man knows better. 

In the month of May, 1810, something appeared at Ennerdale, near the border 
of England and Scotland, and killed sheep, not devouring them, sometimes 
seven or eight of them in a night, but biting the jugular vein and sucking 
the blood. That's the story. The only mammal that I know of that does 
something like this is the vampire bat. It had to be accepted that stories 
of the vampire bat are not myths. Something was ravaging near Ennerdale, and 
the losses by sheep farmers were so serious that the whole region was 
aroused. It became a religious duty to hunt this marauder. Once, when 
hunters rode past a church, out rushed the whole congregation to join them, 
the vicar throwing off his surplice, on his way to a horse. Milking, cutting 
of hay, feeding of stock were neglected. For more details, see Chambers' 
Journal, 81-470.(3) Upon the 12th of September, someone saw a dog in a 
cornfield, and shot it. It is said that this dog was the marauder, and that 
with its death the killing of sheep stopped. 

For about four months, in the year 1874, beginning upon Jan. 8th, a killer 
was abroad, in Ireland. In Land and Water, March 7, 1874, a correspondent 
writes that he had heard of depredations by a wolf, in Ireland, where the 
last native wolf had been killed in the year 1712.(4) According to him, a 
killer was running wild, in Cavan, slaying as many as thirty sheep in one 
night. There is another account, in Land and Water, March 28.(5) Here a 
correspondent writes that, in Cavan, sheep had been killed in a way that led 
to the [150/151] belief the marauder was not a dog. This correspondent knew 
of 42 instances, in three townlands, in which sheep had been similarly 
killed -- throats cut and blood sucked, but no flesh eaten. The footprints 
were like a dog's, but were long and narrow, and showed traces of strong 
claws. Then, in the issue of April 11th, of Land and Water, came the news 
that we have been expecting.(6) The killer had been shot. It had been shot 
by Archdeacon Magenniss, at Lismoreville, and was only a large dog. 

This announcement ends the subject, in Land and Water. Almost anybody, 
anyway in the past, before suspiciousness against conventions had the 
development that it has to-day, reading these accounts down to the final 
one, would say -- "Why, of course! It's the way these stories always end up. 
Nothing to them." But it is just the way these stories always end up that 
has kept me busy. Because of our experience with pseudo-endings of 
mysteries, or the mysterious shearing and bobbing and clipping of mysteries, 
I went more into this story that was said to be no longer mysterious. The 
large dog that was shot by the Archdeacon was sacrificed not in vain, if its 
story shut up the minds of readers of Land and Water, and if it be desirable 
somewhere to shut up minds upon this earth. 

See the Clare Journal, issues up to April 27th -- the shooting of the large 
dog, and no effect upon the depredations -- another dog shot, and the relief 
of the farmers, who believed that this one was the killer -- still another 
dog shot, and supposed to be the killer -- the killing of sheep 
continuing.(7) The depredations were so great as to be described as 
"terrible losses for poor people." It is not definitely said that something 
was killing sheep vampirishly, but that "only a piece was bitten off, and no 
flesh sufficient for a dog ever eaten." 

The scene of the killings shifted. [151/152] 

Cavan Weekly News, April 17 -- that, near Limerick, more than 100 miles from 
Cavan, "a wolf or something like it" was killing sheep.(8) The writer says 
that several persons, alleged to have been bitten by this animal, had been 
taken to the Ennis Insane Asylum, "labouring under strange symptoms of 

It seems that some of the killings were simultaneous near Cavan and near 
Limerick. At both places, it was not said that finally any animal, known to 
be the killer was shot or identified. If these things that may not be dogs 
be, their disappearances are as mysterious as their appearances. 

There was a marauding animal in England, toward the end of the year 1905. 
London Daily Mail, Nov. 1, 1905 -- "the sheep slaying mystery of 
Badminton."(9) It is said that, in the neighbourhood of Badminton, on the 
border between Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, sheep had been killed. 
Sergeant Carter, of the Gloucestershire Police, is quoted -- "I have seen 
two of the carcasses, myself, and can say definitely that it is impossible 
for it to be the work of a dog. Dogs are not vampires, and do not suck the 
blood of a sheep, and leave the flesh almost untouched." 

And going over the newspapers, just as we're wondering what's delaying it, 
here it is -- 

London Daily Mail, Dec. 19 -- "Marauder shot near Hinton."(10) It was a 
large, black dog. 

So then, if in London any interest had been aroused, this announcement 
stopped it. 

We go to the newspapers published nearer the source of the sheep-
slaughtering. Bristol Mercury, Nov. 25 -- that the killer was a jackal, 
which had escaped from a menagerie in Gloucester.(11) And that stopped 
mystification and inquiry, in the minds of readers of the Bristol Mercury. 

Suspecting that there had been no such escape of a [152/153] jackal, we go 
to Gloucester newspapers. In the Gloucester Journal, Nov. 4, in a long 
account of the depredations, there is no mention of the escape of any animal 
in Gloucester, nor anywhere else.(12) In following issues, nothing is said 
of the escape of a jackal, nor of any other animal. So many reports were 
sent to the editor of this newspaper that he doubted that only one 
slaughtering thing was abroad. "Some even go so far as to call up the 
traditions of the werewolf, and superstitious people are inclined to this 

We learn that the large, black dog had been shot upon Dec. 16th, but that in 
its region there had been no reported killing of sheep, from about Nov. 
25th. The look of data is of another scene-shifting. Near Gravesend, an 
unknown animal had, up to Dec. 16th, killed about 30 sheep (London Daily 
Mail, Dec. 19).(13) "Small armies" of men went hunting, but the killing 
stopped, and the unknown animal remained unknown. 

I go on with my yarns. I no more believe them than I believe that twice two 
are four. 

If there is continuity, only fictitiously can anything be picked out of the 
nexus of all phenomena; or, if there is only oneness, we cannot, except 
arbitrarily, find any two units with which even to start the sequence that 
twice two are four. And, if there is also discontinuity, all things are so 
individualized that, except arbitrarily and fictitiously, nothing can be 
classed with, or added to, anything else. 

London Daily Express, Oct. 14, 1925 -- the district of Edale, Derbyshire, 
terrorized, quite as, centuries ago, were regions by stories of 
werewolves.(14) Something, "black in colour and of enormous size," was 
slaughtering sheep, at night, "leaving the carcasses strewn about, with 
legs, shoulders, and heads torn off; broken backs, and pieces of flesh 
ripped off." Many hunting parties had gone out, but had been unable to 
[153/154] track the animal. "People in many places are so frightened that 
they refuse to leave their homes after dark, and keep their children in the 
house." If something had mysteriously appeared, it then quite as 
mysteriously disappeared. 

There are stories of wanton killings, or of bodies that were not fed upon. 
London Daily Express, Aug. 12, 1919 -- something that, at Llanelly, Wales, 
was killing rabbits, for the sake of killing -- entering hutches at night, 
never taking rabbits, killing them by breaking their backbones.(15) 

Early in the morning of March 3rd, 1906, the sentry at Windsor Castle saw 
something, and fired a shot at it (London Daily Mail, March 6).(16) The 
man's account of what he thought he saw was not published. It was said that 
he had shot at one of the ornamental, stone elephants, which had looked 
ghostly in moonlight. He was sentenced to three days' confinement in 
barracks, for firing without proper cause. It would be interesting to know 
what he thought he saw, with such conviction that he fired and risked 
punishment -- and whether it had anything to do with -- 

Daily Mail, March 22 -- that about a dozen of the King's sheep, in a field 
near Windsor Castle, had been bitten by something, presumably a dog, so 
severely that they had been killed.(17) In the Daily Mail, March 19, is an 
account of extraordinary killing of sheep, "by dogs," near Guildford, about 
17 miles from Windsor, 51 sheep were killed in one night.(18) 

A woman in a field -- something grabbed her. At first the story was of a 
marauding panther that must have escaped from a menagerie. See the Field, 
Aug. 12, 19, 1893 -- an animal supposed to be an escaped panther, that was 
preying upon human beings, in Russia.(19) Look up records of werewolves, or 
supposed werewolves, and note instances of attacks almost exclusively upon 
[154/155] women. For a more particularized account, by General R.G. Burton, 
who was in Russia, at the time, see the Field, Dec. 9, 1893.(20) General 
Burton had no opportunity to visit the place "haunted by this mysterious 
animal," but he tells the story, as he got it from Prince Sherincki, who was 
active in the hunt. An unknown beast was terrorising a small district in the 
Orel Government, south of Moscow. The first attack was upon the evening of 
July 6th. Three days later, another women was grabbed by an undescribed 
animal, which she beat off, until help arrived. That day, a boy, aged 10, 
was killed and devoured. July 11th -- a woman killed, near Trosna. "At four 
o'clock, on the 14th, the beast severely wounded another woman, and, at five 
o'clock made another attack upon a peasant girl, but was beaten off by a 
companion, who pulled the animal off by the tail. These details are taken 
from the official accounts of the events." 

There was a panic, and the military authorities were appealed to. Three 
officers and 40 men were sent from Moscow. They organized beats that were 
composed of from 500 to 1,000 peasants, but all hunts were unsuccessful. On 
the 24th of July, four women were attacked, and one of them was killed. 

Something was outwitting 3 officers and 40 men, and armies of 1,000 
peasants. War was declared. Prince Sherincki with 10 officers and 130 men 
arrived from St. Petersburg. We notice that in uncanny occurrences, when 
there is wide publicity, or intense excitement, phenomena stop -- or are 
stopped. War was declared upon something, but it disappeared. "According to 
general description, the animal was long, with a blunt muzzle, and round, 
standing-up ears, with a long, smooth, hanging tail." 

We know what to expect. 

In the Field, Dec. 23, 1893, it is said that, after a [155/156] study of 
sketches of the spoor of the animal, the naturalist Alferachi gave his 
opinion that the animal was a large dog.(21) He so concluded because of the 
marks of protruding nails in the sketches. 

But also it is said that plaster casts of the footprints showed no such 
marks. It is said that the nail marks had been added to the sketches, 
because of assertions by hunters that nail marks had been seen. Writing 30 
years later (Chambers' Journal, ser. 7, vol. 14, p. 308) General Burton 
tells of the animal as something that had never been identified.(22) 

This is fringing upon an enormous subject that leads away from the 
slaughtering of sheep to attacks, some of them mischievous, some ordinarily 
deadly, and some of the Jack the Ripper kind, upon human beings. Though I 
have hundreds of notes 

upon mysterious attacks upon human beings, I cannot develop an occult 
criminology now. [156] 


1. Voltaire's attempts to dispel the idea that fossil shells had been 
produced by the Biblical flood were excessive. Though he would explain the 
fossil shells were dropped from the hats of Palmers going to the Shrine of 
St. James at Compostella in the Middle Ages, from the remains left by 
picnickers, and from remnants of shell collections belonging to dead 
conchologists, Voltaire also argued that one of his correspondents had 
watched shells grow spontaneously from stones. E.M. Forster. "Incongruities: 
Voltaire's slugs." New York Times, August 30, 1931, s. 11; 1, 4. 

2. Fort is undoubtedly referring to Sir William Ramsay's experiments upon 
the exposure of metals to "radiation emanation." Although these experiments 
have been refuted, the transmutation of metals has since been demonstrated. 

3. "The wild-dog of Ennerdale." Chambers's Journal (Edinburgh), s. 6, 7 
(June 25, 1904): 470-2. 

4. "Wolves in Great Britain." Land and Water, 17 (March 7, 1874): 190. 

5. "An Irish wolf." Land and Water, 17 (March 28, 1874): 245. Rev. Mr. 
McGuinness, C.C. of Kilmore; not Archdeacon Magenniss. 

6. N. Gosselin. "The Irish wolf." Land and water, 17 (April 11, 1874): 279. 

7. "Sheep killing." Clare Journal, March 9, 1874, p. 2 c. 6. "Sheep killing 
in West Clare." Clare Journal, April 27, 1874, p. 3 c. 4. Correct quote: 
"...it would appear to be the work of one animal as no other mark appears on 
the body except a piece may be bitten off the ear or breast of the sheep. No 
flesh sufficient for a dog has been eaten...." 

8. "An unwelcome visitor." Cavan Weekly News, April 17, 1874, p.3 c.6. 

9. "Sheep-slaying mystery." London Daily Mail, November 1, 1905, p.5 c.6. 

10. "Badminton jackal." London Daily Mail, December 19, 1905, p.5 c.5. 

11. "A Burnham mystery." Bristol Daily Mercury, November 25, 1905, p.8 c.5. 
Fort's reference says quite the opposite: "A theory at first suggested, that 
it was the work of a jackal which recently escaped from a menagerie at 
Gloucester, has had to be abandoned, as that animal sucks the blood of the 
sheep, whilst in this instance the majority of sheep had drowned themselves, 
or were torn and bitten about that they had to be put out of their misery." 

12. "Gloucestershire sheep-slaying mystery." Glouchester Journal, November 
4, 1905, p.8 c.5. "The Badminton jackal." Gloucester Journal, November 25, 
1905, p.8 c.5. Correct quote: "...wehr-wolf...." This article does state: 
"The description points very decidedly to an animal of the jackal type, 
which is assumed to have escaped from a travelling show." Again: "As, 
however, reports are continually being received from a wide area respecting 
many appearances made by animals, and which are often of a variable 
description, the general belief is gaining ground that a menagerie must have 
lost a van load of animals...." 

13. "Badminton jackal." London Daily Mail, December 19, 1905, p.5 c.5. 

14. "New hound of the Baskervilles." London Daily Express, October 14, 1925, 
p.1 c.5. Correct quotes: "...as being of enormous size, black in colour...," 
"...broken backbones...," and, "...after dusk...." 

15. "Rabbit killing mystery." London Daily Express, August 12, 1919, p.5 

16. "Windsor Castle ghost." London Daily Mail, March 6, 1906, p.5 c.6. 
Private Bentley thought the figures were persons scaling the terrace, and 
when the figures failed to answer his challenge he fired five bullets upon 
one of them. 

17. "From far and near." London Daily Mail, March 22, 1906, p.5 c.7. 

18. "From far and near." London Daily Mail, March 19, 1906, p.5 c.7. 

19. "A panther at large." Field, 82 (August 12, 1893): 263 c.3. "Tiger in 
the Orloff Government." Field, 82 (August 19, 1893): 302 c.3. The animal was 
also thought to be a "tiger" or "mad wolf." 

20. R.G. Burton. "A wild beast in Russia." Field, 82 (December 9, 1893): 882 
c.2-3. Prince Sherincki-Shakhmatoff arrived from St. Petersburg, but the 
bulk of officers and soldiers were from detachments from Orel and Kaluga, 
(not from Moscow nor from St. Petersburg). 

21. A.H.B. "A wild beast in Russia." Field, 82 (December 23, 1893): 973 c.2. 
Now, Prince Shirnisky Shèhmatoff. The sketches would have been of tracks, 
not of spoor, if "protruding nails" were observed. 

22. R.G. Burton. "Wolf-children and were-wolves." Chambers' Journal 
(Edinburgh), s.7, 14 (1924): 306-10, at 309. 


IN October, 1904, a wolf, belonging to Captain Bains of Shotley Bridge, 
twelve miles from Newcastle, England, escaped, and soon afterward, killings 
of sheep were reported from the region of Hexham, about twenty miles from 

There seems to be an obvious conclusion. 

We have had some experience with conclusions that were said to be obvious. 

A story of a wolf in England is worth space, and the London newspapers 
rejoiced in this wolf story. Most of them did, but there are several that 
would not pay much attention to a dinosaur-hunt in Hyde Park. Special 
correspondents were sent to Hexham, Northumberland. Some of them, because of 
circumstances that we shall note, wrote that there was no wolf, but 
[157/158] probably a large dog that had turned evil. Most of them wrote that 
undoubtedly a wolf was ravaging, and was known to have escaped from Shotley 
Bridge. Something was slaughtering sheep, killing for food, and killing 
wantonly, sometimes mutilating four or five sheep, and devouring one. An 
appetite was ravaging, in Northumberland. We have impressions of the 
capacity of a large and hungry dog, but, upon reading these accounts, one 
has to think that they were exaggerations, or that the killer must have been 
more than a wolf. But, according to developments, I'd not say that there was 
much exaggeration. The killings were so serious that the farmers organised 
into the Hexham Wolf Committee, offering a reward, and hunting 
systematically. Every hunt was fruitless, except as material for the special 
correspondents, who told of continuing depredations, and revelled in special 
announcements. It was especially announced that, upon Dec. 15th, the Haydon 
foxhounds, one of the most especial packs in England, would be sent out. 
These English dogs, of degree so high as to be incredible in all other parts 
of the world, went forth. It is better for something of high degree not to 
go forth. Mostly in times of peace arise great military reputations. So long 
as something is not tested it may be of high renown. But the Haydon 
foxhounds went forth. They returned with their renown damaged. 

This takes us to another of our problems: 

Who can blame a celebrity for not smelling an absence? 

There are not only wisemen: there are wisedogs, we learn. The Wolf Committee 
heard of Monarch, "the celebrated bloodhound." This celebrity was sent for, 
and when he arrived, it was with such a look of sagacity that the 
sheepfarmers' troubles were supposed to be over. The wisedog was put on what 
was supposed [158/159] to be the trail of the wolf. But, if there weren't 
any wolf, who can blame a celebrated bloodhound for not smelling something 
that wasn't? The wisedog sniffed. Then he sat down. It was impossible to set 
this dog on the trail of a wolf, though each morning he was taken to a place 
of fresh slaughter. 

Well, then, what else is there in all this? If, locally, one of the most 
celebrated intellects in England could not solve the problem, it may be that 
the fault was in taking it up locally. 

Throughout my time of gathering material for this book, it was my way to 
note something, and not to regard it as isolated; and to search widely for 
other occurrences that might associate with it. So, then, I noted this wolf 
story, and I settled upon this period, of the winter of 1904-05, with the 
idea of collecting records of seemingly incongruous occurrences, which, 
however, might be germs of correlations. 

Such as this, for instance -- but what could one of these occurrences have 
to do with the other ? -- 

That in this winter of 1904-05, there were two excitements in 
Northumberland. One was the wolf-hunt, and the other was a revival-craze, 
which had spread from Wales to England. At the time of the wolf-hunt, there 
was religious mania in Northumberland. Men and women staggered, as they wept 
and shouted, bearing reeling lights, in delirious torchlight processions. 

If Monarch, the celebrated bloodhound sniffed and sat down, I feel, myself, 
that the trail cannot be picked up in Hexham. 

It was a time of widespread, uncanny occurrences in Great Britain. But in no 
account of any one uncanny occurrence have I read of any writer's awareness 
that there were other uncanny occurrences, or more than one or two other 
uncanny occurrences. There were many, special scares, at this time, in Great 
Britain. [159/160] There was no general scare. The contagions of popular 
delusions cannot be lugged in, as a general explanation. 

Strange, luminous things, or beings, were appearing in Wales. 

In Wales had started one of the most widely hysterical religious revivals of 
modern times. 

A light in the sky -- and a pious screech -- I sniff, but I don't sit down. 

A wolf and a light and a screech. 

There are elaborate accounts of the luminous things, or beings, in the Proc. 
S.P.R., vol. 19, and in the first volume of the Occult Review.(1) We are 
told that, over the piously palpitating principality of Wales, shining 
things travelled, stopping and descending when they came to a revival 
meeting, associating in some unknown way with these centres of excitation, 
especially where Mrs. Mary Jones was the leader. There is a story of one 
shining thing that persistently followed Mrs. Jones' car, and was not shaken 
off, when the car turned abruptly from one road to another. 

So far as acceptability is concerned, I prefer the accounts by newspaper 
men. It took considerable to convince them. Writers, sent to Wales, by 
London newspapers, set out with blithe incredulity. Almost everybody has a 
hankering for mysteries, but it is likely to be an abstract hankering, and 
when a mystery comes up in one's own experience, one is likely to treat it 
in a way that warns everybody else that one is not easily imposed upon. The 
first reports that were sent back by the Londoners were flippant; but, in 
the London Daily Mail, Feb. 13, 1905, one of these correspondents describes 
something like a ball of fire, which he saw in the sky, a brilliant object 
that was motionless for a while, then disappearing.(2) Later he came upon 
such an appearance, near the ground, not 500 feet away. He ran toward it, 
but the thing disappeared. [160/161] Then Bernard Redwood was sent, by the 
Daily Mail, to investigate. In the Mail, Feb. 13, he writes that there were 
probably will-o'-the-wisps, helped out by practical jokers. As we very well 
know, there are no more helpful creatures than practical jokers, but, as 
inquiry stoppers, will-o'-the-wisps have played out. A conventionalist, 
telling the story, to-day, would say that they were luminous bats from a 
chapel belfry, and that a sexton had shot one. Almost every writer who 
accepted that these things were, thought that in some unknown, or 
unknowable, way, they were associated with the revival. It is said that they 
were seen hovering over chapels. 

According to my methods, I have often settled upon special periods, 
gathering data, with the idea of correlating, but I have never come upon any 
other time in which were reported so many uncanny occurrences. 

There were teleportations in a butcher shop, or things were mysteriously 
flying about, in a butcher shop, in Portmadoc, Wales. The police were called 
in, and they accused a girl who was employed in the butcher shop. "She made 
a full confession" (News of the World, Feb. 26).(3) A ghost in Barmouth: no 
details (Barmouth Advertiser, Jan. 12).(4) Most of the records are mere 
paragraphs, but the newspapers gave considerable space to reported phenomena 
in the home of Mr. Howell, at Lampeter, Wales. As told in the London Daily 
News, Feb. 11, and 13, "mysterious knockings" were heard in this house, and 
crowds gathered outside.(5) The Bishop of Swansea and Prof. Harris 
investigated, but could not explain. Crowds in the street became so great 
that extra police had to be called out to regulate traffic, but nothing was 
learned. There were youngsters in this house, but they did not confess. Mr. 
Howell had what is known as "standing," in his community. It's the 
housemaid, or the girl in the butcher [161/162] shop, with parents who 
presumably haven't much "standing," who is knocked about, or more gently 
slugged, or perhaps only slapped on the face, who confesses, or is said to 
have confessed. Also, as told in the Liverpool Echo, Feb. 15, there was 
excitement at Rhymney, Wales, and investigations that came to nothing.(6) 
Tapping sounds had been heard, and strange lights had been seen, in one of 
the revival-centres, the Salvation Army Barracks. Whether these lights were 
like the other lights that were appearing in Wales, I cannot say. It was the 
assertion of the Rev. J. Evans and other investigators, who had spent a 
night in the Barracks, that they had seen "very bright lights." 

In the Southern Daily Echo, Feb. 23, is an account of "mysterious rappings" 
on a door of a house in Crewe, and of a young woman, in the house who was 
said to have dropped dead.(7) A physician "pronounced" her dead. But there 
was an inquest, and the coroner said: "There is not a single sign of death." 
Nevertheless she was officially dead, and she was buried, anyway. I am too 
dim in my notions of possible correlations, to go into details, but, along 
with my suppositions that ordinarily catalepsy is of rare occurrence, I note 
that I have records of three persons, who, in this period, were aroused from 
trances, in time to save them from being buried alive. There are data of 
"strange suicides," that I shall pass over. I have several dozen records of 
"mysterious fires," in this period. 

Slaughter in Northumberland -- farmers, who could, housing their sheep, at 
night -- others setting up lanterns in their fields. Monarch, the celebrated 
bloodhound, who could not smell something that perhaps was not, got no more 
space in the newspapers, and, to a woman, the inhabitants of Hexham stopped 
sending him chrysanthemums. But faith in celebrities kept up, as it always 
will keep up, and when the Hungarian [162/163] Wolf Hunter appeared, the 
only reason that a brass band did not escort him, in showers of torn-up 
telephone books, is that, away back in this winter, Hexham, like most parts 
of the other parts of England, was not yet Americanised. It was before the 
English were educated. The moving pictures were not of much influence then. 
The Hungarian Wolf Hunter, mounted on a shaggy Hungarian pony, galloped over 
hills and dales, and, with strange, Hungarian hunting cries, made what I 
think is called the welkin ring. He might as well have sat down and sniffed. 
He might as well have been a distinguished General, or Admiral, at the 
outbreak of a war. 

Four sheep were killed at Low Eschelles, and one at Sedham, in one night. 
Then came the big hunt, of Dec. 20th, which, according to expectations, 
would be final. The big hunt set out from Hexham: gamekeepers, woodmen, 
farmers, local sportsmen, and sportsmen from far away. There were men on 
horseback, and two men in "traps," a man on a bicycle, and a mounted 
policeman; two women with guns, one of them in a blue walking dress, if that 
detail's any good to us. 

They came wandering back, at the end of the day, not having seen anything to 
shoot at. Some said that it was because there wasn't anything. Everybody 
else had something to say about Capt. Bains. The most unpopular person, in 
the north of England, at this time, was Capt. Bains, of Shotley Bridge. 
Almost every night, something, presumably Capt. Bains' wolf, even though 
there was no findable statement that a wolf had been seen, was killing and 
devouring sheep. 

In Brighton, an unknown force, or thing, struck notes on a musical 
instrument (Daily Mail, Dec. 24).(8) Later, there were stories of "a phantom 
bicyclist" near Brighton (London Daily Mirror, Feb. 6).(9) In the Jour. 
S.P.R., 13-259, is published somebody's [163/164] statement that, near the 
village of Hoe Benham, he had seen something that looked like a large dog 
turn into a seeming donkey.(10) Strange sounds heard near Bolton, Lancashire 
-- "nothing but the beating of a rope against a flagstaff." Then it was said 
that a figure had been seen (Lloyd's Weekly News, Jan. 15).(11) A doorbell 
was mysteriously ringing, at Blackheath, London: police watching the house, 
but unable to find out anything (Daily Mirror, Feb. 13).(12) But in not one 
of these accounts is shown knowledge that, about the same time, other 
accounts were being published. Look in the publications of the S.P.R., and 
wonder what the Society was doing. It did investigate two of the cases told 
of in this chapter, but no awareness is shown of a period of widespread 
occurrences. Other phenomena, or alleged phenomena -- a ghost at Exeter 
Deanery: no details, (Daily Mail, Dec. 24).(13) Strange sounds and lights, 
in a house in Epworth (Liverpool Echo, Jan. 25).(14) People in Bradford 
though that they saw a figure enter a club house -- police notified -- 
fruitless search (Weekly Dispatch, Jan. 15).(15) At Edinburgh, Mr. J.E. 
Newlands, who held the Fulton chair, at the United Free College, saw a 
"figure" moving beside him (Weekly Dispatch, April 16).(16) 

But the outstanding phenomenon of this period was the revival -- 

Liverpool Echo, Jan. 18 -- "Wales in the Grip of Supernatural Forces!"(17) 

This was in allusion to the developing frenzies of the revival, and the 
accompanying luminous things, or beings, that had been reported. 
"Supernatural" is a word that has no place in my vocabulary. In my view, it 
has no meaning, or distinguishment. If there never has been, finally, a 
natural explanation of anything, everything is, naturally enough, the 

The grip was a grab by the craze. The excitement was [164/165] combustion, 
or psycho-electricity, or almost anything except what it was supposed to be, 
and perhaps when flowing from human batteries there was a force that was of 
use to the luminous things that hung around. Maybe they fed upon it, and 
grew, and glowed, brilliant with nourishing ecstasies. See data upon 
astonishing growths of plants, when receiving other kinds of radio-active 
nourishment, or stimulation. If a man can go drunk on God, he may usefully 
pass along his exhilarations to other manifestations of godness. 

There were flares where they'd be least expected. In the big stores, in the 
midst of waiting on customers, shop girls would suddenly, or electrically, 
start clapping hands and singing. Very likely some of them cut up such 
capers for the sport of it, and enjoyed keeping hard customers waiting. I 
notice that, though playing upon widely different motives, popular 
excitements are recruited and kept going, as if they were homogeneous. There 
no understanding huge emotional revolts against sin, without considering all 
the fun there is in them. They are monotony-breakers. Drab, little 
personalities have a chance to scream themselves vivid. There were 
confession-addicts who, past possibility of being believed, proclaimed their 
own wickedness, and then turned to public confessions for their neighbours, 
until sinful neighbours appealed to the law for protection. In one town, a 
men went from store to store, "returning" things that he had not stolen. 
Bands of girls roved the streets, rushing earnestly and mischievously into 
the more sedate churches, where the excitation was not encouraged, singing 
and clapping their hands, all of them shouting, and some of them blubbering, 
and then some of the most sportive ones blubbering, compelled into a 
temporary uniformity. This clapping of hands, in time with the singing, was 
almost irresistible: some vibrational reason: power of [165/166] the rhythm 
to harmonize diverse units; primitive power of the drum-beat. Special trains 
set out from Liverpool to Welsh meeting-places, with sightseers, who hadn't 
a concern for the good of their souls; vendors of things that might have a 
sale; some earnest ones. Handclapping started up, and emotional furies shot 
through Wales. 

There were ghost-scares in the towns of Blyth and Dover. Blyth News, March 
14 -- crowds gathered around a school house -- something of a ghostly nature 
inside -- nothing but the creaking of a partition.(18) 

I pick up something else. We wonder how far our neo-mediævalism is going to 
take us. Perhaps -- though our interpretations will not be the same -- only 
mediævalism will be the limit. Blyth News, Feb. 28 -- smoke that was seen 
coming from the windows of a house, in Blyth.(19) Neighbours broke in, and 
found the body of the occupant, Barbara Bell, aged 77, on the floor. Her 
body was burned, as if for a long time it had been in the midst of intense 
flames. It was though that the victim had fallen into the fireplace. "The 
body was fearfully charred." 

Something was slaughtering sheep -- and things in the sky of Wales -- and it 
may be that there were things, or beings, that acted like fire, consuming 
the bodies of women. London Daily News, Dec. 17, 1904 -- "Yesterday morning, 
Mrs. Thomas Cochrane, of Rosehall, Falkirk, widow of a well-known, local 
gentleman, was found burned to death in her bedroom."(20) No fire in the 
grate -- "burned almost beyond recognition" -- no outcry -- little, if 
anything else burned -- body found, "sitting in a chair, surrounded by 
pillows and cushions." London Daily Mail, Dec. 24 -- inquest on the body of 
a woman, who had died of the effects of "mysterious burns."(21) "She could 
give no account of her injuries." An almshouse, late at night -- and 
something [166/167] burned a woman. Trinity Almshouse, Hull -- story told, 
in the Hull Daily Mail, Jan. 6.(22) Body covered with burns -- woman still 
living, when found in the morning -- strange that there had been no outcry -
- bed unscorched. The woman, Elizabeth Clark, could tell nothing of her 
injuries, and she died without giving a clue to the mystery. "There was no 
fire nor light in the room." 

On both sides of the River Tyne, something kept on slaughtering. It crossed 
the Tyne, having killed on one side, then killing on the other side. At East 
Dipton, two sheep were devoured, all but the fleece and bones, and the same 
night two sheep were killed on the other side of the river. 

"The Big Game Hunter from India!" 

Another celebrity came forth. The Wolf Committee met him at the station. 
There was a plaid shawl strapped to his back, and the flaps of his hunting 
cap were considered unprecedented. Almost everybody had confidence in the 
shawl, or felt that the flaps were authoritative. The devices by which he 
covered his ears made beholders feel that they were in the presence of 

Hexham Herald -- "The right man at last!" 

So finally the wolf hunt was taken up scientifically. The ordinary hunts 
were going on, but the wiseman from India would have nothing to do with 
them. In his cap, with flaps such as had never before been seen in 
Northumberland, and with his plaid shawl strapped to his back, he was going 
from farm to farm, sifting and dating and classifying observations: drawing 
maps, card-indexing his data. For some situations, this is the best of 
methods; but something that the methodist-wiseman cannot learn is that a 
still better method is that of not being so tied to any particular method. 
It was a serious matter in Hexham. The ravaging [167/168] thing was an 
alarming pest. There were some common hunters who were unmannerly over all 
this delay, but the Hexham Herald came out strong for Science -- "The right 
man in the right place, at last!" 

There was, in this period, another series of killings. Upon a farm, near 
Newcastle, late in the year 1904, something was killing poultry. The 
depredations were so persistent, and the marauder was so evasive that 
persons who are said to be superstitious began to talk in a way that is said 
to be unenlightened. 

Then the body of an otter was found.(23) 

The killing of poultry stopped. 

For a discussion of the conclusion that to any normal logician looks 
obvious, see the Field, Dec. 3, 1904.(24) Here we learn that otters, though 
ordinarily living among fish, do sometimes vary their diet. But no data upon 
persistent killing of poultry, by otters, came out. 

This body of an otter was found, lying on a railroad line. 

France in the grip of military forces. August, 1914 -- France was invaded, 
and the people of France knew France was invaded. It is my expression that 
so they knew, only because it was a conventional recognition. There was no 
wisemen to say that reported bodies of men moving along roads had nothing to 
do with mutilated persons appearing in hospitals, and that only by 
coincidence was there devastation. The wiseman of France did not give only a 
local explanation to every local occurrence, but of course correlated all, 
as the manifestations of one invasion. Human eyes have been made to see 
human invaders. 

Wales in the grip of "supernatural forces." People in England paid little 
attention, at first, but then hysterias mobbed across the border. To those 
of us who have some failings, and now and then give a thought to correcting 
them, if possible, but are mostly too busy [168/169] to bother much, 
cyclones of emotions relating to states that are vaguely known as good and 
evil, are most mysterious. In the Barmouth Advertiser, April 20, it is said 
that, in the first three months of this year 1905, there had been admitted 
to the Denbigh Insane Asylum, 16 patients, whose dementias were attributed 
to the revival.(25) It is probable that many cases were not reported. In the 
Liverpool Echo, Nov. 25, are accounts of four insane revivalists, who were 
under restraint in their own homes.(26) Three cases in one town are told of 
in this newspaper, of Jan. 10th.(27) The craze spread in England, and in 
some parts of England it was as intense as anywhere in Wales. At Bromley, a 
woman wrote a confession of sins, some of which, it was said, she could not 
have committed, and threw herself under a railroad train. In town after 
town, police stations were invaded by exhorters. In both England and Wales, 
bands stood outside theatres, calling upon people not to enter. In the same 
way they tried to prevent attendance at football games. 

Dec. 29 -- "Wolf killed on a railroad line!" 

It was at Cumwinton, which is near Carlisle, about thirty miles from Hexham. 
The body was found on a railroad line -- "Magnificent specimen of male grey 
wolf -- total length five feet -- measurement from foot to top of shoulder, 
thirty inches." 

Captain Bains, of Shotley Bridge, went immediately to Cumwinton. He looked 
at the body of the wolf. He said that it was not his wolf. 

There was doubt in the newspapers. Everybody is supposed to know his own 
wolf, but when one's wolf had made material for a host of damage suits, 
one's recognitions may be dimmed. 

This body of a wolf was found, and the killings of sheep stopped. 

But Capt. Bains' denial that the wolf was his wolf [169/170] was accepted by 
the Hexham Wolf Committee. Data were with him. He had reported the escape of 
his wolf, and the description was on record in the Shotley Bridge police 
station. Capt. Bains' wolf was, in October, no "magnificent" full-grown 
specimen, but a cub, four and a half months old. Though nobody had paid any 
attention to this circumstance, it had been pointed out, in the Hexham 
Herald, Oct. 15.(28) 

The wolf of Cumwinton was not identified, according to my reading of the 
data. Nobody told of an escape of a grown wolf, though news of this wolf's 
death was published throughout England. The animal may have come from 
somewhere far from England. Photographs of the wolf were sold, as picture 
postal cards. People flocked to Cumwinton. Men in the show business offered 
to buy the body, but the decision of the railroad company was that the body 
had not been identified, and belonged to the company. The head was 
preserved, and was sent to the central office, in Derby. 

But what became of the Shotley Bridge wolf? 

All that can be said is that it disappeared. 

The mystery begins with this statement: 

That, in October, 1904, a wolf, belonging to Capt. Bains, of Shotley Bridge, 
escaped, and that about the same time began a slaughtering of sheep, but 
that Capt. Bains's wolf had nothing to do with the slaughter. 

Or the statement is that there was killing of sheep, in Northumberland, and 
that then came news of the escape of a wolf, by which the killing of a few 
sheep might be explained -- 

But that then there were devourings, which could not be attributed to a 

The wolf-cub disappeared, and there appeared another wolf, this one of a 
size and strength to which the devourings could be attributed. [170/171] 

Somewhere there was science. 

If it had not been for Capt. Bains' prompt investigation, the reported 
differences between these two animals would have been overlooked, or 
disbelieved, and the story would be simply that a wolf had escaped from 
Shotley Bridge, had ravaged, and had been killed at Cumwinton. But Capt. 
Bains did investigate, and his statement that the wolf of Cumwinton was not 
his wolf was accepted. So then, instead of a satisfactory explanation, there 
was a new mystery. Where did the wolf of Cumwinton come from? 

There is something that is acting to kill off mysteries. Perhaps always, and 
perhaps not always, it can be understood in commonplace terms. If luminous 
things that move like flying birds are attracting attention, a Mr. Cannell 
appears, and says that he has found a luminous owl. In the newspapers, about 
the middle of February, appeared a story that Capt. Alexander Thompson, of 
Tacoma, Washington -- and I have looked this up, learning that a Capt. 
Alexander Thompson did live in Tacoma, about the year 1905 -- was walking 
along a street in Derby, when he glanced in a taxidermist's window, and 
there saw the supposed wolf's head.(29) He recognized it not as the head of 
a wolf, but the head of a malmoot, an Alaskan sleigh dog, half wolf and half 
dog. This animal, with other malmoots, had been taken to Liverpool, for 
exhibition, and had escaped in a street in Liverpool. Though I have not been 
able to find out the date, I have learned that there was such an exhibition, 
in Liverpool. No date was mentioned by Capt. Thompson. The owners of the 
malmoot had said nothing, and rather than to advertise, had put up with the 
loss, because of their fear that there would be damages for sheep-killing. 
Not in the streets of Liverpool, presumably. No support for this 
commonplace-ending followed. Nothing [171/172] more upon this subject is 
findable in Liverpool newspapers. 

Liverpool is 120 miles from Hexham. 

It is a story of an animal that escaped in Liverpool, and, leaving no trail 
of slaughtering behind it, went to a distant part of England, exactly to a 
place where a young wolf was at large, and there slaughtered like a wolf. 

I prefer to think that the animal of Cumwinton was not a malmoot. 

Derby Mercury, Feb. 22 -- that the animal had been identified as a wolf, by 
Mr. A.S. Hutchinson, taxidermist to the Manchester Museum of Natural 
History. Liverpool Echo, Dec. 31 -- that the animal had been identified as a 
wolf, by a representative of Bostock and Wombell's Circus, who had travelled 
from Edinburgh to see the body.(30) 

Killing of poultry, and the body of an otter on the railroad line -- and the 
killing of poultry stopped. 

Or that there may be occult things, beings and events, and that also there 
may be something of the nature of an occult police force, which operates to 
divert human suspicions, and to supply explanations that are good enough for 
whatever, somewhat of the nature of minds, human beings have -- or that, if 
there be occult mischief-makers and occult ravagers, they may be of a world 
also of beings that are acting to check them, and to explain them, not 
benevolently, but to divert suspicion from themselves, because they, too, 
may be exploiting life upon this earth, but in ways more subtle, and in 
orderly, or organised fashion. 

We have noticed, in investigating obscure, or occult, phenomena, or alleged 
phenomena, that sometimes in matters that are now widely supposed to be rank 
superstitions, orthodox scientists are not so uncompromising in their 
oppositions, as are those who have not in- [172/173] vestigated. In the New 
Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal, April, 1894, is an account of a case 
of "spontaneous combustion of human bodies."(31) The account is by Dr. 
Adrian Hava, not as observed by him, but as reported by his father. In 
Science, 10-100, is quoted a paper that was read by Dr. B.H. Hartwell, of 
Ayer, Mass., before the Massachusetts Medico-Legal Society.(32) It was Dr. 
Hartwell's statement, that upon May 12th, 1890, while driving through a 
forest, near Ayer, he had been called, and, going into the wood, saw, in a 
clearing, the crouched form of a woman. Fire which was not from clothing, 
was consuming the shoulders, both sides of the abdomen, and both legs. See 
Dr. Dixon Mann's Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (edition of 1922) p. 
216.(33) Here, cases are told of and are accepted as veritable -- such as 
the case of a woman, consumed so by fire that on the floor of her room there 
was only a pile of calcined bones left of her. The fire, if in an ordinary 
sense it was fire, must have been of the intensity of a furnace: but a table 
cloth, only three feet from the pile of cinders, was unscorched.(34) There 
are other such records. 

I think that our data relate, not to "spontaneous combustion of human 
bodies," but to things, or beings, that, with a flaming process, consume men 
and women, but, like werewolves, or alleged werewolves, mostly pick out 
women. Occurrences of this winter of 1904-05 again. Early in February, in 
London, a woman, who was sitting asleep, before a fire in a grate, awoke, 
finding herself flaming. A commonplace explanation would seem to be 
sufficient: nevertheless it is a story of "mysterious burns," as worded in 
Lloyd's Weekly News, Feb. 5.(35) A coroner had expressed an inability to 
understand. In commenting upon the case, the coroner had said that a cinder 
might have shot from the grate, igniting this woman's clothes, but that she 
had been [173/174] sitting, facing the fire, and that the burns were on her 

Upon the morning of Feb. 26th (Hampshire Advertiser, March 4) at Butlock's 
Heath, near Southampton, neighbours of an old couple, named Kiley, heard a 
scratching sound.(36) They entered the house, and found it in flames, 
inside. Kiley was found, burned to death, on the floor. Mrs. Kiley, burned 
to death, was sitting in a chair, in the same room, "badly charred, but 

A table was overturned, and a broken lamp was on the floor. 

So there seem to be an obvious explanation. But, at the inquest, it was said 
that an examination of this lamp showed that it could not have caused the 
fire. The verdict was: "Accidental death, but by what means, they (the jury) 
were unable to determine." 

Both bodies had been fully dressed, "judging by fragments of clothes." This 
indicates that the Kileys had been burned before their time for going to 
bed. Hours later, the house was in flames. At the inquest, the mystery was 
that two persons, neither of whom had cried for help, presumably not asleep 
in an ordinary sense, should have been burned to death in a fire that did 
not manifest as a general fire, until hours later. 

Something had overturned a table. A lamp was broken. 

Again the phenomenon of scene-shifting -- 

Soon after the killing of poultry ceased, near Newcastle, there were uncanny 
occurrences upon Binbrook Farm, near Great Grimsby. There is an account, in 
the Jour. S.P.R., 12-138, by the Rev. A.C. Custance, of Binbrook 
Rectory.(37) There was no confession, this time, but this time the girl in 
the case -- the young housemaid again -- was in no condition to be dragged 
to a [174/175] police station. It will not be easy to think that it was 
trickery by the girl in this case. The story is that objects were thrown 
about rooms: that three times, near "a not very good, or big, fire," things 
burst into flames, and that finally a servant girl was burned, or was 
attacked by something that burned her. In the Liverpool Echo, Jan. 25, is 
published a letter from a school teacher of Binbrook, in which it is said 
that a blanket had been found burning in a room in which there was no 
fireplace.(38) According to the report by Col. Taylor, to the S.P.R., the 
first manifestation occurred upon the 31st of December.(39) 

Something was killing chickens, in the farm yard, and in the henhouse. All 
were killed in the same way. A vampirish way? Their throats were torn. 

I go to a newspaper for an account of phenomena, at Binbrook. The writer was 
so far from prejudice in favour of occult phenomena, that he began by 
saying: "Superstition dies hard." In the Louth and North Lincolnshire News, 
Jan. 28, he tells of objects that unaccountably fell from shelves in the 
farmhouse, and of mysterious transportations of objects, "according to 
allegations."(40) "A story that greatly dismays the unsophisticated is that 
of the servant girl, who, while sweeping the floor, was badly burned on the 
back. This is how the farmer relates it: `Our servant girl, whom we had 
taken from the workhouse, and who had neither kin nor friend in the world 
that she knows of, was sweeping the kitchen. There was a very small fire in 
the grate: there was a guard there, so that no one can come within two feet 
or more of the fire, and she was at the other end of the room, and had not 
been near. I suddenly came into the kitchen, and there she was, sweeping 
away, while the back of her dress was afire. She looked around, as I 
shouted, and, seeing the flames, rushed through the door. She tripped, and I 
[175/176] smothered the fire out with wet sacks. But she was terribly 
burned, and she is at the Louth Hospital, now, in terrible pain.' 

"This last sentence is very true. Yesterday our representative called at the 
hospital, and was informed that the girl was burnt extensively on the back, 
and lies in a critical condition. She adheres to the belief that she was in 
the middle of the room, when her clothes ignited." 

A great deal, in trying to understand this occurrence, depends upon what 
will be thought of the unseen killing of chickens -- 

"Out of 250 fowls, Mr. White says that he has only 24 left. They have all 
been killed in the same weird way. The skin around the neck, from the head 
to the breast, has been pulled off, and the windpipe drawn from its place 
and snapped. The fowl house has been watched night and day, and, whenever 
examined, four or five birds would be found dead." 

In London, a woman sat asleep, near a grate, and something, as if taking 
advantage of this means of commonplace explanation, burned her, behind her. 
Perhaps a being, of incendiary appetite, had crept up behind her, but I had 
no data upon which so to speculate. But, if we accept that, at Binbrook 
Farm, something was savagely killing chickens, we accept that whatever we 
mean by a being was there. It seems that, in the little time taken by the 
farmer to put out the fire of the burning girl, she could not have been 
badly scorched. Then the suggestion is that, unknown to her, something 
behind her was burning her, and that she was unconscious of her own 
scorching flesh. All the stories are notable for the absence of outcry, or 
seeming unconsciousness of victims that something was consuming them. 

The town of Market Rasen is near Binbrook Farm. The address of the clergyman 
who reported, to the [176/177] S.P.R., the fires and the slaughtering of 
chickens, upon the farm, is "Binbrook Rectory, Market Rasen."(41) Upon Jan. 
16th, as told in the Louth and North Lincolnshire News, Jan. 21, there was, 
in a chicken house, at Market Rasen, a fire in which 57 chickens were 
consumed.(42) Perhaps a fire in a chicken house is not much of a 
circumstance to record, but I note that it is said that how this fire 
started could not be found out. 

The girl of Binbrook Farm was taken to the Louth Hospital. In Lloyd's Weekly 
News, Feb. 5, there is an account of "mysterious burns."(43) It is the case 
of Ashton Clodd, a man aged 75, who, the week before, had died in the Louth 
Hospital. It is said that he had fallen into a grate, while putting coals in 
it, and that, for some reason, probably because of his rheumatism, had been 
unable to rise, and had been fatally burned. But a witness at the inquest is 
quoted: "If there was a fire in the fireplace, it was very little." 

All around every place that we have noted, the revival was simmering, 
seething or raging. In Leeds, women, who said that they were directed by 
visions, stood in the streets, stopping cars, trying to compel passengers to 
join them. A man in Tunbridge Wells, taking an exhortation literally, 
chopped his right hand off. "Holy dancers" appeared in London. At Driffield, 
someone led a procession every night, trundling his coffin ahead of him. And 
all this in England. And, in England, it is very much the custom to call 
attention to freaks and extravagances in other parts of the world, or more 
particularly in one other part of the world, as if only there occurred all 
the freaks and extravagances. Riots broke out in Liverpool, where the 
revivalists, with mediaeval enthusiasm, attacked Catholics. The Liverpool 
City Council censured "certain so-called religious meetings, which create 
danger to life and property." Also at South-end, there were [177/178] 
processions of shouters, from which rushed missionaries to slug Catholics, 
and to sling bricks at houses in which lived Catholics. In the Liverpool 
Echo, Feb. 6, is quoted a magistrate, who said to a complainant, who, 
because of differences in a general doctrine of loving one's neighbours, had 
been assaulted: "When you see one of these processions, you should run away, 
as you would from a mad bull."(44) 

Upon all the occurrences that we have noted was the one enveloping 
phenomenon of the revival. There is scarcely a place that I have mentioned, 
in any of the accounts, that was unagitated. 

Why is it that youngsters have so much to do with psychic phenomena? I have 
gone into that subject, according to my notions. Well, then, when a whole 
nation, or hosts of its people, goes primitive, or gives in to atavism, or 
reverts religiously, it may be conditions arise that are susceptible to 
phenomena that are repelled by matured mentality. A hard-headed materialist 
says, dogmatically: "There are no occult phenomena." Perhaps he is right 
about this, relatively to himself. But what he says may not apply to 
children. When, at least to considerable degree, a nation goes childish with 
mediaevalism, it may bring upon itself an invasion of phenomena that in the 
middle ages were common, but that were discouraged, or alarmed, and were 
driven more to concealment, when minds grew up somewhat. 

If we accept that there is Teleportation, and that there are occult beings, 
that is going so far that we may as well consider the notion that, to stop 
inquiry, a marauding thing, to divert suspicion, teleported from somewhere 
in Central Europe, a wolf to England: or that there may be something of the 
nature of an occult police force, which checks mischief and slaughter by the 
criminals of its kind, and takes teleportative means [178/179] to remove 
suspicion--often solving one problem, only by making another, but relying 
upon conventionalisations of human thought to supply cloakery. 

The killing of poultry -- the body on the railroad line -- stoppage -- 

The killing of sheep -- the body on the railroad line -- stoppage -- 

Farm and Home, March 18 -- that hardly had the wolf been killed, at 
Cumwinton, in the north of England, when farmers, in the south of England, 
especially in the districts between Tonbridge and Sevenoaks, Kent, began to 
tell of mysterious attacks upon their flocks.(45) "Sometimes three or four 
sheep would be found dying in one flock, having in nearly every case been 
bitten in the shoulder and disembowelled. Many persons had caught sight of 
the animal, and one man had shot at it. The inhabitants were living in a 
state or terror, and so, on the first of March, a search party of 60 guns 
beat the woods, in an endeavour to put an end to the depredations." 

A big do? Another malmoot? Nothing? 

"This resulted in its being found and dispatched by one of Mr. R.K. 
Hodgson's gamekeepers, the animal being pronounced, on examination, to be a 

The story of the shooting of a jackal, in Kent, is told in the London 
newspapers. See the Times, March 2.(46) There is no findable explanation, 
nor attempted explanation, of how the animal got there. Beyond the mere 
statement of the shooting, there is not another line upon this extraordinary 
appearance of an exotic animal in England, findable in any London newspaper. 
It was in the provincial newspapers that I came upon more of this story. 

Blyth News, March 14 -- "The Indian jackal, which was killed recently, near 
Sevenoaks, Kent, after destroying sheep and game to the value of 100, is 
[179/180] attracting attention in the shop windows of a Derby 

Derby Mercury, March 15 -- that the body of this jackal was upon exhibition 
in the studio of Mr. A.S. Hutchinson, London Road, Derby.(48) [180] 


1. A.T. Fryer. "Psychological aspects of the Welsh Revival." Proceedings of 
the Society for Psychical Research, 19 (1905-1907): 80-161, at 96-103, 142-
61. Beriah G. Evans. "Merionethshire mysteries." Occult Review, 1 (March, 
April, June, 1905): 113-20, 179-86, 287-95. 

2. "Weird Welsh lights." London Daily Mail, February 13, 1905, p. 5 c. 7. 

3. "Ghost in court." News of the World, February 26, 1905, p. 9 c. 7. 
Correct quote: "...she then made a full confession...." 

4. "A ghost." Barmouth and County Advertiser and Visitors' List, January 12, 
1905, p.6 c.1. "The lights." Barmouth and County Advertiser and Visitors' 
List, February 16, 1905, p.6 c.2. 

5. "A musical ghost." London Daily News, February 11, 1905, p.9 c.5. "Bishop 
and a Welsh ghost." London Daily News, February 13, 1905, p.12 c.1. 

6. "Ghost haunted Wales." Liverpool Echo, February 15, 1905, p.4 c.7. 
Correct quote: "...very bright light...." 

7. "Young woman's remarkable death." Southern Daily Echo (Southampton), 
February 23, 1905, p.4 c.2. Knocks, rather than "mysterious rappings," upon 
the door roused Annie Jinks and her mother; and, when they were repeated, 
her mother saw the daughter looking out the bedroom window, falling into a 
faint, and then dying in seconds. Correct quote: "On looking at the body 
there was not a single sign of death." 

8. "Ghost in a deanery." London Daily Mail, December 24, 1904, p. 3 c. 4. 

9. "Cyclist ghost." London Daily Mirror, February 6, 1905, p.5 c.4. Correct 
quote: "cyclist," not bicyclist. 

10. Clarissa Miles. "Experiments in thought transference." Journal of the 
Society for Psychical Research, 13 (June 1908): 243-62, at 259. 

11. "Prosaic ending to a ghost story." Lloyd's Weekly News, Jan. 15, 1905, 
p.2 c.2. Correct quote: "Investigation revealed that the noise was caused by 
a flagstaff rope beating against the pole." 

12. "Ghost rings a bell." London Daily Mirror, February 13, 1905, p.4 c.3. 

13. London Daily Mail, (December 24, 1904), (Not found here). 

14. "Village witchcraft." Liverpool Echo, January 25, 1905, p.5 c.6. "The 
Lincolnshire witch." Liverpool Echo, January 25, 1905, p.3 c.5. 

15. "Joke or ghost?" London Weekly Dispatch, January 15, 1905, p.15 c.4. 
Only John Jennings, groundsman at the Bradford Football Club, claimed to see 
the figure wearing a club jersey, later believed to be the ghost of Joe 
Hawkeridge, who died a few days before. 

16. "Professor sees a ghost." London Weekly Dispatch, April 16, 1905, p.3 

17. "The Welsh revival." Liverpool Echo, January 18, 1905, p.4 c.5. 

18. "A ghost in the school." Blyth News & Wansbeck Telegraph, March 14, 
1905, p.3 c.2. 

19. "The shocking burning fatality at Blyth." Blyth News & Wansbeck 
Telegraph, February 28, 1905, p.3 c.5. 

20. "Scotch lady's shocking death." London Daily News, December 17, 1904, 
p.12 c.5. Correct quote: "...sitting on a chair surrounded...." 

21. London Daily Mail, (December 24, 1904), (Not found here). 

22. "Room door burst open." Hull Daily Mail, January 6, 1905, p.3 c.4. 

23. This otter was found on November 26, 1904. 

24. "The food of otters." Field, 104 (December 3, 1904): 955 c.3. 

25. "North Wales Asylum." Barmouth and County Advertiser and Visitors' List, 
April 20, 1905, p. 7 c. 1-2. "Denbigh Asylum," not Insane Asylum; and, 17 
patients, not 16. 

26. "The Welsh revival." Liverpool Echo, November 25, 1904, p. 7 c. 5. 

27. Liverpool Echo, January 10, 1905. 

28. Hexham Herald, (October 15, 1904), (Not found here). 

29. "The Northumbrian wolf." Drewry's Derby Mercury, February 22, 1905, p.2 

30. "The Allendale wolf." Liverpool Echo, December 31, 1904, p.3 c.4. 

31. Adrian Hava. "So-called `Spontaneous combustion,' or increased 
combustibility of the human body, with experiments." New Orleans Medical and 
Surgical Journal, 21 (n.10; April 1894): 721-31. 

32. "On the 12th of May, 1890, while making a professional call...." 
Science, o.s., 19 (February 19, 1892): 100-1. For the original article: B.H. 
Hartwell. "So-called spontaneous combustion." Boston Medical and Surgical 
Journal, 126 (n.6; February 11, 1892): 135-7. 

33. John Dixon Mann. Forensic Medicine and Toxicology. London: Charles 
Griffin and Company, 6th ed., 1922, 216. 

34. E.G. Archer. "Spontaneous combustion." British Medical Journal, 1905 v.2 
(August 26): 464. 

35. "Saturday's inquests." Lloyd's Weekly News, February 5, 1905, p. 3 c. 6. 
Maria Hall died at the hospital on February 2, 1905. "A strange feature in 
the case was that the burns were on the deceased's back, and the coroner 
remarked that he failed to see how that could happen if deceased was sitting 
facing the fire." Nothing is said about a cinder. 

36. "Shocking occurrence at Butlock's Heath." Hampshire Advertiser 
(Southampton), March 4, 1905, p.4 c.5-6. Mathew Kiley was "badly charred, 
but still recognisable," (not his wife). Correct quote: "The verdict of the 
jury was that death was accidentally caused, but by what means they were 
unable to determine." I find no mention as to why the lamp had not caused 
the fire, which had been long smouldering; and the smoke which suffocated 
the Kileys; nor is there mention of "fragments of clothes." Fort does not 
mention that the discovery of the fire was prompted by a "faint scratching 
noise" heard by neighbours, "like a cat playing with a marble." The body of 
a scorched cat was found under a window in their house. 

37. "Two poltergeist cases." Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 
12 (October 1905): 124-42, at 138. 

38. "The Lincolnshire witch." Liverpool Echo, January 25, 1905, p.5 c.6. 
"Village witchcraft." Liverpool Echo, January 25, 1905, p.3 c.5. 

39. "Two poltergeist cases." Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 
12 (October 1905): 124-42, at 141. The first manifestation, according to 
Mrs. White as reported to Col. Taylor, was a milk pan being overturned on 
the last Friday of December, which is December 30th, 1904, (not the 31st). 

40. "Bewitched Binbrook farm." Louth and North Lincolnshire News (Louth), 
January 28, 1905, p.5 c.3. For an earlier report: "Incredible stories of 
witchery at Binbrook." Louth and North Lincolnshire News, January 21, 1905, 
p.5 c.7. "The bewitched Binbrook farm." Louth and North Lincolnshire News, 
February 11, 1905, p.7 c.7. There is no mention of "according to 

41. "Two poltergeist cases." Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 
12 (October 1905): 124-42, at 138. 

42. "Market Rasen." Louth and North Lincolnshire News, January 21, 1905, p.8 

43. Lloyd's Weekly News, (February 5, 1905), (Not found here). 

44. Liverpool Echo, (February 6, 1905), (Not found here). 

45. "Notes and replies. Sheep worrying in Kent." Farm and Home, March 18, 
1905, p.25 c.2. For an earlier report: "The sheep killing wolf." Farm and 
Home, January 7, 1905, p.465 c.4. Correct quotes: "...found dead and 
dying...been badly bitten...Many people had caught a glimpse of the 
animal...on the 1st inst. a search party of some 60 guns...." 

46. "Supposed jackal shot." London Times, March 2, 1905, p.10 c.4. 

47. Blyth News & Wansbeck Telegraph, (March 14, 1905), (Not found here). 

48. "A maurauding jackal on exhibition at Derby." Drewry's Derby Mercury, 
March 15, 1905, p.2 c.6. 


IN every organism, there are, in its governance as a whole, mysterious 
transportations of substances and forces, sometimes in definite, circulatory 
paths, and sometimes specially, for special needs. In the organic view, 
Teleportation is a distributive force that is acting to maintain the 
balances of a whole; with the seeming wastefulness sometimes, and 
niggardliness sometimes, of other forces: providing, or sometimes providing, 
new islands with vegetation, and new ponds with fishes: Edens with Adams, 
and Adams with Eves; always dwindling when other mechanisms become 
established, but surviving sporadically. 

Our expression is that once upon a time, showers of little frogs were 
manifestations of organic intelligence, in the choice of creatures that 
could survive, in the [181/182] greatest variety of circumstances, if 
indefinitely translated from place to place. They'd survive in water, or on 
land; in warmth, or in coldness. But if organic intelligence is like other 
intelligence, there is no understanding it, except as largely stupid; and, 
if it keeps on sending little frogs to places where they're not wanted, we 
human phenomena cheer up, thinking of the follies of Existence, itself. I 
have never done foolisher, myself, than did Nature when it, or she -- 
probably she -- fatally loaded the tusks of mammoths, and planted a tree on 
the head of the Irish elk, losing species for the sake of displays. By 
intelligence I mean nothing that can be thought of as exclusively residing 
in, or operating in, brain substance: I mean equilibrium, or adaptation, 
which pervades all phenomena. The scientific intelligence in human brains, 
and the physiologic intelligence that pervades the bodies of living things, 
wisely-foolishly acts to solve problems, and somewhere in the beauty of a 
theorem, or of a peacock, lurks the grotesque. When Nature satisfies us 
critics with such a graceful stroke as a swimming seal, she fumbles her seal 
on land. 

But there is another view. We apologising theologians always have another 
view. Cleverness and stupidity are relative, and what is said to be 
stupidity has functional value. To keep on sending little frogs, where, so 
far as can be seen, there is no need for little frogs, is like persistently, 
if not brutally, keeping right on teaching Latin and Greek, for instance. 
What's that for? Most of the somewhat good writers know little of either. 
According to my experience, both of these studies, if at all extended, are 
of no active value, except to somebody who wants to write up to the highest 
and noblest standards of the past, and considers himself literary. But this 
is an expression upon the functions of stupidity. It is likely that showers 
of little [182/183] frogs, and the vermiform appendix, and classical studies 
are necessary for the preservation of continuity between the past and the 
present. Some persons, who know nothing about it, must for ages go on 
piously believing in Sir Isaac Newton's doctrine. People who go to fortune 
tellers and people who go to church are functioning conservatives. If the 
last platypus, or the last churchgoer should die off, there would be broken 
continuity. It would be a crack in existence. Perhaps to this day, a chink 
is stuffed with iguanas, which are keeping alive the dinosaur-strain. Why is 
it that, when one's mind is not specialising upon anything, it is given to 
recalling past experiences? It is preserving continuity with the past, or is 
preserving whatever one can be thought of, as having, of identity. We shall 
have instances of the interruption of this process, in human minds. Perhaps 
if Existence should stop sending little frogs, and stop teaching Latin and 
Greek, a whole would be in a state of amnesia. Our expression is that 
Teleportation is enormously useful to life upon this earth, but our data 
have been, and for a while will continue to be, mostly of its vagaries, or 
its conservations. 

If our existence is an organism, it would seem that it must be one of the 
most notorious old rascals in the cosmos. It is a fabric of lies. Everywhere 
it conjures up appearances of realness and finality and trueness -- words 
that I use as synonyms for one state -- and then, when examined, everything 
is found not to be real, or final, or true, but to be depending upon 
something else, or some other chimera, merging away, and losing its 
appearance of individuality, into everything else, or every other fraud. 
That this pseudo-individualising may in some cases realise itself is a view 
that I am not taking up in this book. Here it is our concern to find out, if 
we think we can, whether we be the phenomena of an organism, or not. Whether 
that or- [183/184] ganism be producing something, or be graduating realness 
out of the phenomenal, is a question that I shall take up some other time. 

Imposture pervades all things phenomenal. Everything is a mirage. 
Nevertheless, accepting that there is continuity, I cannot accept that 
anybody ever has been an absolute impostor. If he's a Tichborne Claimant, 
after a while he thinks that there may be some grounds for his claims.(1) If 
good and evil are continuous, any crime can be linked with any virtue. 
Imposture merges away into self-deception so that only relatively has there 
ever been an impostor. 

Every scientist who has played a part in any developing science, as can be 
shown, if he's been dead long enough, by comparing his views with more 
modern views, deceived himself. But there have been cases that look more 
flagrant. To what degree did Haeckel doctor illustrations in his book, to 
make theory work out right? What must one think of Prof. Kammerer? In 
August, 1926, he was accused of faking what he called acquired characters on 
the feet of toads. In September, he shot himself. The only polite way of 
explaining Prof. Smyth, Astronomer Royal of Scotland, who founded a cult 
upon his measurements of the Great Pyramid, is to say that his measuring rod 
must have slipped. If in his calculations, Prof. Einstein made the error 
that two distinguished mathematicians say he made, but, if eclipses came 
out, as they should come out, as reported by the astronomers who did not 
know of the error, there is very good encouragement for anybody to keep on 
deceiving himself. 

I can draw no line between imposture and self-deception. I can draw no line 
between anything phenomenal and anything else phenomenal, even though I 
accept that also there are lines. But there are scientists who have deceived 
others so rankly that it seems an [184/185] excess of good manners to say 
that also they deceived themselves. If among scientists there have been 
instances of rank imposture, we shall expect to come upon much imposture in 
our data of irresponsible persons. The story told by Prof. Martino-Fusco, of 
Naples, when, in August, 1924, he announced that he had discovered the 109 
missing volumes of Livy's History of Rome, is not commonly regarded as 
imposture, because when the Professor could not produce the missing volumes, 
2his explanation that he had been indiscreet was published and accepted. 
This scientist's indiscretion was glossed over, as in the time of full power 
of the preceding orthodoxy, the indiscretion of any priest was hushed up. 
The impression went abroad that all that was wrong was that the Professor 
had been too ardent, or so hopeful of finding the book that prematurely he 
had announced having found them. But there are other impressions. They are 
of credulous American millionaires, and of the unexpected interest that the 
Italian Government showed in the matter. 

What about the other Professors, who told that they had seen the volumes? 
See Current Literature, 77-594.(2) Here is published a facsimile of four 
lines, which Dr. Max Funcke said that he had copied from one of the 
manuscripts, which according to Prof. Fusco's explanation, he had only hoped 
to find. I can find no explanation by Dr. Funcke. 

One explanation is that perhaps there was not forgery, and that perhaps the 
volumes were found, and by evasion of representatives of the Italian 
Government, are in the collection of a silent, American millionaire, today. 
But I do not think that collectors care much for treasures that they can't 
tell about.(3) 

The tale of an itch -- Dr. Grimme and the inscribed stone -- and the 
irritation it was to a pious Professor, [185/186] until he was able to 
translate it, as it should be translated. In the year 1923, Dr. Grimme, 
Professor of Semitic Languages, at the University of Munich, sent out a good 
cheer to the faithful. God, who had been doing poorly, got a boost. Dr. 
Grimme announced that, from an inscribed stone, which had been discovered in 
a temple, at Sinai, he had deciphered the story of the rescue of the infant 
Moses, from the Nile, by an Egyptian Princess. 

London Observer, Oct. 25, 1925 -- a letter from Sir Flinders Petrie -- that 
Dr. Grimme had made his translation by adding cracks in the stone, and some 
of its weather marks, to the hieroglyphics -- that, in one division of the 
inscription he had "translated" as many scratches as he had veritable 
characters, to make the thing come our right.(4) 

If Dr. Grimme alleviated an itch with scratches, that is the temporary way 
by which problems always have been said to be solved. 

Only to be phenomenal is to be at least questionable. Any scientist who 
claims more is trying to register divinity. If Life cannot be positively 
differentiated from anything else, the appearance of Life itself is a 
deception. If, in mentality, there is no absolute dividing-line between 
intellectuality and imbecility, all wisdom is partly idiocy. The seeker of 
wisdom departs more and more from the state of the idiot, only to find that 
he is returning. Belief after belief fades from his mind: so his goal is the 
juncture of two obliterations. One is of knowing nothing, and the other is 
of knowing that there is nothing to know. 

But here we are, at present not so wise as no longer to have ideas. Suppose 
we accept that anything phenomenal ever has been developed, though only 
relatively, into considerable genuineness, or a good deal of a look of 
genuineness, so long as it is not examined. But [186/187] it began in what 
we call fraudulency. Everybody who can exceptionally do anything, began with 
a pose, with false claims, and with extreme self-deception. Our expression 
is that, in human affairs, rank imposture is often a sign of incipiency, or 
that astrologers, alchemists, and spiritualistic mediums are forerunners of 
what we shall have to call values, if we can no longer believe in truths. It 
could be that, with our data, we tell of nothing but lies, and at the same 
time be upon the track of future values. 

Snails, little frogs, seals, reindeer have mysteriously appeared. 

The standardised explanation of mysterious human strangers, who have 
appeared at points upon this earth, acting as one supposes inhabitants of 
some other world would act, if arriving here, or acting as inhabitants of 
other parts of this earth, transported in a state of profound hypnosis, 
would probably act, is that of imposture. Having begun with a pretty liberal 
view of the prevalence of impostors, I am not going much to stay that the 
characters of our data were not impostors, but am going to examine the 
reasons for saying that they were.(5) If, except fraudulently, some of them 
never have been explained conventionally, we are just where we are in 
everything else that we take up, and that is in the position of having to 
pretend to think for ourselves. 

The earliest of the alleged impostors in my records -- for which, though not 
absolutely, I draw a dead line at the year 1800 -- is the Princess Caraboo, 
if not Mary Willcocks, though possibly Mrs. Mary Baker, but perhaps Mrs. 
Mary Burgess, who, the evening of April 3rd, 1817, appeared at the door of a 
cottage, near Bristol, England, and in an unknown language asked for food. 

But I am not so much interested in whether the [187/188] Princess, or Mary, 
was a rascal, as I am in the reasons for saying that she was. It does not 
matter whether we take up a theorem in celestial mechanics, or the case of 
the girl who jabbered, we come upon the bamboozlements by which conventional 
thought upon this earth is made and preserved. 

The case of the angles in a triangle that equal two right angles has never 
been made out: no matter what refinements of measurements would indicate, 
ultra-refinement would show that there had been errors. Because of 
continuity, and because of discontinuity, nothing has ever been proved. If 
only by making a very bad error to start with, Prof. Einstein's prediction 
of the curvature of lights worked out as it should work out, we suspect, 
before taking up the case of Princess Caraboo that the conventional 
conclusion in her case was a product of mistakes. 

That the Princess Caraboo was an impostor -- first we shall take up the 
case, as it has been made out: 

London Observer, June 10, 1923 -- that the girl, who spoke unintelligibly, 
was taken before a magistrate, Samuel Worrall, of Knowle Park, Bristol, who, 
instead of committing her as a vagrant, took her to his home.(6) It is not 
recorded just what Mrs. Worrall thought of that. It is recorded that the 
girl was at least what is said to be "not unprepossessing." When questioned 
the "mysterious stranger" wrote in unknown characters, many of which looked 
like representations of combs. Newspaper correspondents interviewed her. She 
responded with a fluency of "combs," and a smattering of "bird cages" and 
"frying pans." The news spread, and linguists travelled far to try their 
knowledge, and finally one of them was successful. He was "a gentleman from 
the East Indies," and, speaking in the Malay language to the girl, he was 
answered. To him she told her story. Her name was [188/189] Caraboo, and one 
day while walking in her garden in Java, she was seized by pirates, who 
carried her aboard a vessel, from which, after a long imprisonment, she 
escaped to the coast of England. The story was colourful with details of 
Javanese life. But then Mrs. Willcocks, not of Java, but of a small town in 
Devonshire, appeared and identified her daughter Mary. Mary broke down and 
confessed. She was not prosecuted for her imposture: instead, Mrs. Worrall 
was so kind as to pay her passage to America. 

Mostly our concern is in making out that this case was not made out -- or, 
more widely, that neither this nor any other case ever has been made out -- 
but I notice a little touch of human interest entering here. I notice that 
we feel a disappointment, because Mary broke down and confessed. We much 
prefer to hear of impostors who stick to their impostures. If no absolute 
line can be drawn between morality and immorality, I can show, if I want to, 
that this touch of rascality in all of us -- or at any rate in me -- is a 
virtuous view, instead. So when an impostor sticks to his imposture, and we 
are pleased, it is that we approve a resolutely attempted consistency, even 
when applied to a fabric of lies. 

Provided I can find material enough, I can have no trouble in making it 
appear "reasonable," as we call it, to accept that Mary, or the Princess, 
confessed, or did not confess, or questionably confessed. 

Chambers' Journal, 66-753 -- that Caraboo, the impostor, had told her story 
of alleged adventures, in the Malay language.(7) 

Farther along, in this account -- that the girl had spoken in an unknown 

This is an inconsistency worth noting. We're on the trail of bamboozlement, 
though we don't have to go away back to the year 1817 to get there. We hunt 
[189/190] around. We come upon a pamphlet, entitled Caraboo, published by 
J.M. Cutch, of Bristol, in the year 1817.(8) We learn in this account, which 
is an attempt to show that Caraboo was unquestioningly an impostor, that it 
was not the girl, but the "gentleman from the East Indies," whose name was 
Manuel Eyenesso, who was the impostor, so far as went the whole Javanese 
story. To pose as a solver of mysteries, he had pretended that to his 
questions, the girl was answering him in the Malay language, and pretending 
to translate her gibberish, he had made up a fanciful story of his own. 

Caraboo had not told any story, in any known language, about herself. Her 
writings were not in Malay characters. They were examined by scientists, who 
could not identify them. Specimens were sent to Oxford, where they were not 
recognized. Consequently, the "gentleman from the East Indies" disappeared. 
We are told in the pamphlet that every Oxford scholar who examined the 
writings, "very properly and without a moment's hesitation, pronounced them 
to be humbug." That is swift propriety. 

If the elaborate story of the Javanese Princess had been attributed to a 
girl who had told no understandable story of any kind, it seems to us to be 
worth while to look over the equally elaborate confession, which has been 
attributed to her. It may be that regretfully we shall have to give up a 
notion that a girl had been occultly transported from the planet Mars, or 
from somewhere up in Orion or Leo, be we are seeing more of the ways of 
suppressing mysteries. The mad fishmonger of Worcester shovels his 
periwinkles everywhere. 

According to what is said to be the confession, the girl was Mary Willcocks, 
born in the village of Witheridge, Devonshire, in the year 1791, from which 
at the age of 16 she had gone to London, where she had [190/191] married 
twice.(9) It is a long, detailed story. Apparently the whole story of Mary's 
adventures, from the time of her departure from Witheridge, to the time of 
her arrival in Bristol, is told in what is said to be the confession. 
Everything is explained -- and then too much is explained. We come to a 
question that would be an astonisher, if we weren't just a little 
sophisticated, by this time -- 

By what freak of accomplishment did a Devonshire girl learn to speak 

The author of the confession explains that she had picked up with an East 
Indian, who had taught her the language. 

If we cannot think that a girl, who had not even pretended to speak 
Javanese, would explain how she picked up Javanese, it is clear enough that 
this part of the alleged confession is forgery. I explain it by thinking 
that somebody had been hired to write a confession, and with too much of a 
yarn for whatever skill he had, had overlooked the exposed imposture of the 
"gentleman from the East Indies." 

All that I can make of the story is that a girl mysteriously appeared. It 
cannot be said that her story was imposture, because she told no 
intelligible story. It may be doubted that she confessed, if it be accepted 
that at least part of the alleged confession was forgery. Her mother did not 
go to Bristol and identify her, as, for the sake of a neat and convincing 
finish, the conventionalised story goes. Mrs. Worrall told that she had gone 
to Witheridge, where she found the girl's mother, who had verified whatever 
she was required to verify. Caraboo was shipped away on the first vessel 
that sailed to America; or, as told in the pamphlet, Mrs. Worrall, with 
forbearance and charity, paid her passage far away. In Philadelphia, 
somebody took charge of her affairs, and, as if having never [191/192] heard 
that she was supposed to have confessed, she gave exhibitions, writing in an 
unknown language. And I wouldn't give half this space to the story of the 
Princess Caraboo, were it not for the epitomisation, in her story, of all 
history. If there be God, and if It be ubiquitous, there must be a jostle of 
ubiquities because the Fishmonger of Worcester, too, is everywhere -- 

I should like to think that inhabitants of other worlds, or other parts of 
one existence, have been teleported to this earth. How I'd like it, if I 
were teleported the other way, has nothing to do with what I'd like to think 
has befallen somebody else. But I can't say that our own stories, anyway so 
far, have the neat and convincing finish of the conventional stories. Toward 
the end of the year 1850, or I should say a "mysterious stranger," was found 
wandering in a village near Frankfort-on-the-Oder. How he got there, nobody 
knew. See the Athenæum, April 15, 1851.(10) We are told that his knowledge 
of German was imperfect. If the imperfections were filled out by another 
Manuel Eyenesso, I fear me that suggestions of some new geographical, or 
cosmographical, knowledge can't develop. The man was taken to Frankfort 
where he told his story, or where, to pose as a linguist, somebody told one 
for him. It was told that his name was Joseph Vorin, and that he had come 
from Laxaria. Laxaria is in Sakria, and Sakria is far from Europe -- "beyond 
vast oceans." 

In the London Daily Mail, Sept. 18, 1905, and following issues, are accounts 
of a young man who had been arrested in Paris, charged with vagrancy.(11) It 
was impossible to understand him. In vain had he been tried with European 
and Asiatic languages, but, by means of signs, he had made known that he had 
come from Lisbian. Eisar was the young man's word for a chair: [192/193] a 
table was a lotoba, and his sonar was his nose. Mr. George R. Sims, well-
known criminologist, as well as a story writer, took the matter up 
scientifically. As announced by him, the mystery had been solved by him. The 
young man, an impostor, had transposed letters, in fashioning his words. So 
the word raise, transposed, becomes eisar. But what has a raise to do with a 
chair? It is said that true science is always simple. A chair raises one, 
said Mr. Sims, simply. Now take the word sonar. As we see, when Mr. Sims 
points it out to us, that word is a transposition of the word snore, or is 
almost. That's noses, or relation to noses. 

The criminologists are not banded like some scientists. In Paris, the 
unbanded wisemen said that Mr. Sim's transpositions were far-fetched. With a 
freedom that would seem reckless to more canny scientists, or without 
waiting three or four months to find out what each was going to say, they 
expressed opinions. The savants at Glozel, in the year 1927, were cannier, 
but one can't say that their delays boosted the glories of science.(12) One 
of the wisemen of Paris, who accused Mr. Sims of fetching too far, was the 
eminent scientist, M. Haag. "Take the young man's word Odir, for God," said 
M. Haag: "transpose that, and we have Dio, or very nearly. Dio is Spanish 
for God. The young man is Spanish." Another distinguished wiseman was M. 
Roty. He rushed into print, while M. Haag was still explaining. "Consider 
the word sacar, for house," said M. Roty. "Unquestionably we have a 
transposition of the word casa, with a difference of only one letter, and 
casa is Italian for house. The young man is Italian." Le Temps, Sept. 18 -- 
another wiseman, a distinguished geographer, this time, identified the young 
man as one of the Russian Doukhobors.(13) 

Where would we be, and who would send the young ones to school, if all the 
other wisemen of our tribes [193/194] had such independence? If it were not 
for a conspiracy that can be regarded as nothing short of providential, so 
that about what is taught in one school is taught in the other schools, one 
would spend one's lifetime, learning and unlearning, in school after school. 
As it is, the unlearning can be done, after leaving one school. 

The young man was identified by the police, as Rinaldo Agostini, an 
Austrian, whose fingerprints had been taken several times before, somewhere 
else, when he had been arrested for vagrancy. 

Whether the police forced this mystery to a pseudo-conclusion, or not, a 
suggestive instance is told of, in the London Daily Express, Oct. 16, 
1906.(14) A young woman had been arrested in Paris, charged with picking 
pockets, and to all inquiries she answered in an unknown language. 
Interpreters tried her with European and Asiatic languages, without success, 
and the magistrate ordered her to be kept under surveillance, in a prison 
infirmary. Almost immediately, watchers reported that she had done exactly 
what they wanted to report that she had done -- that she had talked in her 
sleep, not mumbling in any way that might be questionable, but speaking up 
"in fluent French, with the true Parisian accent." If anybody thinks that 
this book is an attack upon scientists, as a distinct order of beings, he 
has a more special idea of it than I have. As I'm seeing things, everybody's 
a scientist. 

If there ever have been instances of teleportations of human beings from 
somewhere else to this earth, an examination of inmates of infirmaries and 
workhouses and asylums might lead to some marvellous astronomical 
disclosures. I suppose I shall be blamed for a new nuisance, if after 
publication of these notions, mysterious strangers start cropping up, and 
when asked about themselves, point up to Orion or Andromeda. Suppose any 
human being ever should be translated [194/195] from somewhere else to this 
earth, and should tell about it. Just about what chance would he have for 
some publicity? I neglected to note the date, but early in the year 1928, a 
man did appear in a town in New Jersey, and did tell that he had come from 
the planet Mars.(15) Wherever he came from, everybody knows where he went, 
after telling that. 

But, if human beings ever have been teleported to this earth from somewhere 
else, I should think that their clothes, different in cut and texture, would 
attract attention. Clothes were thought of by Manuel Eyenesso. He pretended 
that Caraboo had told him that, before arriving in Bristol, she had 
exchanged her gold-embroidered, Javanese dress for English clothes. Whatever 
the significance may be, I have noted a number of "mysterious strangers," or 
"wild men," who were naked. 

A case that is mysterious, and that may associate with other mysteries was 
reported in the London newspapers (Daily Mail, April 2; Daily News, April 3, 
1923).(16) It was at the time that Lord Carnarvon was dying, in Cairo, 
Egypt, of a disease that physicians said was septic pneumonia, but that, in 
some minds, was associated with the opening of Tut-Ankh-Amen's tomb.(17) 
Upon Lord Carnarvon's estate, near Newbury, Hampshire, a naked man was 
running wild, often seen, but never caught. He was first seen, upon March 
17th. Upon March 17th, Lord Carnarvon fell ill, and he died upon April 5th. 
About April 5th, the wild man of Newbury ceased to be reported. 

If human beings from somewhere else ever have been translated to this earth 

There are mysteries at each end, and in between, in the story of Cagliostro. 

He appeared in London, and then in Paris, and spoke with an accent that 
never has been identified with [195/196] any known language of this earth. 
If, according to most accounts of him, he was Joseph Balsamo, a Sicilian 
criminal, who, after a period of extraordinarily successful imposture, was 
imprisoned in Rome, until he died, that is his full life-story. 

The vagueness of everything -- and the merging of all things into everything 
else, so that stories that we, or some of us, have been taking, as 
"absolutely proved," turned out to be only history, or merely science. Hosts 
of persons suppose that the exposure of Cagliostro, as an impostor, is as 
firmly, or rationally, established, as are the principles of geology, or 
astronomy. And it is my expression that they may be right about this. 

Wanted -- well, of course, if we could find data to support our own notions 
-- but, anyway, wanted -- data for at least not accepting the 
conventionalised story of Cagliostro: 

See Trowbridge's story of Cagliostro. According to Trowbridge, the 
identification of Cagliostro was fraudulent. At the time of the Necklace 
Affair, the police of Paris, needing a scapegoat, so "identified" him, in 
order to discredit him, according to Trowbridge. No witness appeared, to 
identify him. There was no evidence, except that handwritings were similar. 
There was suggestion, in the circumstance that Balsamo had an uncle, whose 
name was Giuseppe Cagliostro. One supposes that a police official, whose 
labours were made worth while by contributions from the doctors of Paris, 
searched records until he came upon an occurrence of the name Cagliostro in 
the family of a criminal, and then went on from that finding. Then it was 
testified that the handwritings of Balsamo and Cagliostro were similar. For 
almost everybody's belief that of course Cagliostro was identified as Joseph 
Balsamo, there is no more than this for a base. In February, 1928, the New 
York newspapers told of a [196/197] graphologist, who had refused to 
identify handwriting, according to the wishes of the side that employed him. 
According to all other cases that I have ever read of, anybody can get, for 
any handwriting, any identification that he pays for. If in any court, in 
any land, any scientific pronouncement should be embarrassing to anybody, 
that is because he has been too stingy to buy two expert opinions. 

Cagliostro appeared, and nothing more definite can be said of his origin. He 
rose and dominated, as somebody from Europe, if transported to a South Sea 
Island, might be expected to capitalise his superiority. He was hounded by 
the medical wisemen, as Mesmer was hounded by them, and as anybody who, to-
day, would interfere with flows of fees, would be hounded by them. Whether 
in their behalf, or because commonplace endings of all mysteries must be 
published, we are told, in all conventional accounts, that Cagliostro was an 
impostor, whose full life-story is known, and is without mystery. 

It is said that, except where women were concerned, where not much can be 
expected, anyway, Cagliostro had pretty good brains. Yet we are told that, 
having been identified as an Italian criminal, he went to Italy. 

There are two accounts of the disappearance of Cagliostro. One is a matter 
of mere rumours: that he had been seen in Aix-les-Bains; that he had been 
seen in Turin. The other is a definite story that he went to Rome, where, as 
Joseph Balsamo, he was sent to prison. A few years later, when Napoleon's 
forces were in Rome, somebody went to the prison and investigated. 
Cagliostro was not there. Perhaps he had died. [197] 


1. Brian Lunn. "The imposter who claimed the Tichborne millions." J.M. 
Parrish, and, John R. Crossland, eds. The Fifty Most Amazing Crimes of the 
Last 100 Years. London: Odhams Press, 1936, 681-98. 

2. "The lost books of Livy." Current Literature, 77 (November 1924): 594-5. 

3. According to A.E. Housman of Cambridge, the four lines allegedly copied 
from one of the manuscripts in Martino-Fusco's "hiding place" by Funke were 
"a mere condensation of a passage from a dialogue by the fourth-century 
monk, Sulpicius Severus," which refers to the virtues of Saint Martin, "de 
sancti Martini virtutibus locuturum." "To bury Livy not to praise him." 
Living Age, 323 (October 25, 1924): 223-5, at 224. 

4. "The Moses inscription," and, "The Queen's name." London Observer, 
October 25, 1925, p.15 c.2-3. 

5. Fort marked "X" in the margin next to this sentence. 

6. London Observer, June 10, 1923. 

7. "The Princess Caraboo." Chambers' Journal (Edinburgh), s. 5, 6 (November 
30, 1889): 753-6. This article does not state that she told her story in 
"Malay" but rather "a mixture of languages used on the coast of Sumatra and 
other eastern islands"; and, its written characters were said to be 
"wonderful to behold, having affinity to nothing known on this earth." 

8. J.M. Gutch. Caraboo. London: Baldwin, Cradock and Joy, 1817; 6-12, 21, 
58-9. Gutch's book and examples of Caraboo's writing are available for 
review at this Fortean web-site.

9. Her original name was Mary Wilcocks, (not Willcocks); at the age of 
sixteen, she became a servant at a farmhouse, and after two years, she moved 
on to Exeter and to London; and, she stated that she had been married (once) 
to a foreigner with the name Bakerstendht, which she shortened to Baker. 
"The Princess Caraboo." Chambers' Journal (Edinburgh), s. 5, 6 (November 30, 
1889): 753-6. 

10. "Our weekly gossip." Athenaeum, 1851, (n.1223; April 5): 384. The 
stranger was said to be "Jophar Vorin," (not Joseph Vorin). Correct quote: 
"...separated by vast oceans...." 

11. "A mysterious language." London Daily Mail, September 18, 1905, p. 7 c. 
3. "Mysterious language." London Daily Mail, September 20, 1905, p. 5 c. 3. 
"Language or slang?" London Daily Mail, September 22, 1905, p. 5 c. 5. 

12. Numerous artifacts were allegedly discovered by Emile Fradin in a 
pasture in the hamlet of Glozel, near Vichy, France; and, among these 
artifacts were tablets, which were marked with inscriptions. Fradin opened 
the "Musée de Glozel" and put many of these objects upon display; and, 
archaeologists argued as to whether these artifacts were early evidence of 
alphabetic writing (possibly Neolithic and consisting of more than 130 
characters) or frauds. One of the most enthusiastic supporters of their 
antiquity was Camille Jullian, who attempted translations of the 
inscriptions, which he believed were about two thousand years old and came 
from a Gallo-Roman station. However, even Albert Morlet, who was one of the 
earliest promoters of the Glozel discoveries, distrusted these translations. 
Riesman writes: "Morlet showed me with much amusement a crack in one of the 
tablets which Jullian had translated as a character." On one stone, Jullian 
translated the inscription to read "STA," which he interpreted as Latin for 
"sto," (ie. stand or halt); yet, Morlet, from the same inscription reads the 
Greek letters in reverse order, "," (alpha-lambda-chi-sigma), which he 
interpreted as "Alché," (or "elk," a drawing of which is inscribed on the 
opposite side of the stone). Fraud was suspected by Seymour de Ricci and 
Réne Dussaud, (curator of the Louvre Museum), owing to the large number of 
artifacts discovered at one location; and, fraud was said by Salomon 
Reinach, (curator of the Museum of Saint Germain-en-Laye), to be impossible, 
as too many artifacts for any forger to manufacture, had been found. The 
inscribed tablets were found not to be as ancient as had been claimed by 
some archaeologists, especially when a tablet allegedly found in the earth 
was readily dissolved in water; and, microbes found in the tablets, by 
Michael Mok, "showed that it never could have been baked." Bone tools were 
found to still contained marrow. Unable to determine who had perpetrated the 
hoax, the archaeologists, who had denounced the artifacts as fakes, were 
sued in the courts for damages by those whose reputations were dependent on 
the authenticity of the artifacts from Glozel. "France's prehistoric 
inscriptions." Literary Digest, 92 (January 22, 1927): 23-4. "Glozel still 
baffles scientists." Literary Digest, 93 (April 9, 1927): 74-5. "Reading the 
Glozel tablets." Literary Digest, 94 (September 3, 1927): 25. "The battle of 
Glozel." Literary Digest, 95 (December 3, 1927): 26. "Official findings at 
Glozel." Literary Digest, 96 (February 11, 1928): 23-4. "Stone-Age `relics' 
that aren't even prewar." Literary Digest, 103 (October 19, 1929): 56, 58. 
David Riesman. "Glozel, a mystery." Science, n.s., 72 (August 8, 1930): 127-
31. "Glozel writings denounced as fakes." New York Times, September 19, 
1927, p. 6 c. 5. "Paris recalls stay of Legion happily." New York Times, 
October 2, 1927, s. 2 p. 7 c. 7-8. "Peasant's plow begins a war of 
scientists." New York Times, November 6, 1927, s. 10 p. 6 c. 1-4. "Glozel 
antiquities declared frauds." New York Times, December 24, 1927, p. 6 c. 1. 
"Dussaud adds fire to Glozel dispute." New York Times, December 29, 1927, p. 
12 c. 5. "Glozel row rends French Institute." New York Times, April 21, 
1931, p. 3 c. 5. "Glozel takes a place among historic fakes." New York 
Times, October 28, 1928, s. 9 p. 16 c. 1-5. "Glozel relics fake, French 
expert says." New York Times, May 11, 1929, p. 3 c. 3. "Faking of Glozel 
antiques gives French legal puzzle." New York Times, June 23, 1929, s. 3 p. 
3 c. 2. "Glozel keeps its museum." New York Times, August 1, 1931, p. 12 c. 

13. Temps (Paris), (September 18, 1905). 

14. "Betrayed while asleep." London Daily Express, October 16, 1906, p. 5 c. 
6. Correct quote: "...the woman talked fluent French...." 

15. "The man from Mars." New York Evening Post, March 16, 1928. 

16. "Naked man in a wood." London Daily Mail, April 2, 1923, p. 5 c. 2. 
"Mystery of the woods." London Daily News, April 3, 1923, p. 5 c. 5. 

17. "Carnarvon is dead of an insect's bite at pharaoh's tomb." New York 
Times, April 5, 1923, p.1. "Carnarvon's death spreads theories about 
vengeance." New York Times, April 6, 1923, p.1 c.3 & p. 3 c. 1-3. "Death by 
evil spirit possible, says Doyle." New York Times, April 6, 1923, p.3 c.5-6. 


HERE is the shortest story that I know of: 

St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Nov. 2, 1886 -- a girl stepped from her home, to 
go to a spring.(1) 

Still, though we shall have details and comments, I know of many occurrences 
of which, so far as definitely finding out anything is concerned, no more 
than that can be told. 

After all, I can tell a shorter story: 

He walked around the horses. 

Upon November 25th, 1809, Benjamin Bathurst, returning from Vienna, where, 
at the Court of the Emperor Francis, he had been representing the British 
Government, was in the small town of Perleberg, Germany. In the presence of 
his valet and his secretary, he was examining horses, which were to carry 
[198/199] his coach over more of his journey back to England. Under 
observation, he walked around to the other side of the horses. He vanished, 
For details, see the Cornhill Magazine, 55-279.(2) 

I have not told much of the disappearance of Benjamin Bathurst, because so 
many accounts are easily available; but the Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould, in 
Historic Oddities, tells of a circumstance that is not findable in all other 
accounts that I have read.(3) It is that, upon Jan. 23rd, 1810, in a Hamburg 
newspaper, appeared a paragraph, telling that Bathurst was safe and well, 
his friends having received a letter from him. But his friends had received 
no such letter. Wondering as to the origin of this paragraph, and the reason 
for it, Baring-Gould asks: "Was it inserted to make the authorities abandon 
the search?" Was it an inquiry-stopper? is the way I word this. Some writers 
have thought that, for political reasons, at the instigation of Napoleon 
Bonaparte, Bathurst was abducted. Bonaparte went to the trouble to deny that 
this was so. 

In the Literary Digest, 46-922, it is said that the police records of London 
show that 170,472 persons mysteriously disappeared, in the years 1907-13, 
and that nothing had been found out in 3,260 of the cases.(4) Anybody who 
has an impression of 167,212 cases, all explained ordinarily, may not think 
much of 3,260 cases left over. But some of us, now educated somewhat, or at 
least temporarily, by experience of pseudo-endings of mysteries, will 
question that the 167,212 cases were so satisfactorily explained, except 
relatively to not very exacting satisfactions. If it's a matter of re-
marriage and collection of insurance, half a dozen bereft ones may 
"identify" a body found in a river, or cast up by the sea. They settle among 
themselves which shall marry again and collect. Naturally enough, wherever 
Cupid is, cupidity is not far away, [199/200] and both haunt morgues. 
Whether our astronomical and geological and biological knowledge is almost 
final, or not, we know very little about ourselves. Some of us can't, or 
apparently can't, tell a husband or a wife from somebody else's husband or 
wife. About the year 1920, in New York City, a woman, whose husband was in 
an insane asylum, was visited by a man, who greeted her fondly, telling her 
that he was her husband. She made everything cheerful and home-like for him. 
Some time later, she learned that her husband was still in the asylum. She 
seemed resentful about this, and got the other man arrested. Cynical persons 
will think of various explanations. I have notes upon another case. A man 
appeared and argued with a woman, whose husband was a sailor, that he was 
her husband. "Go away!" said she: "you are darker than my husband." "Ah!" 
said he: "I have had yellow fever." So she listened to reason, but something 
went wrong, and the case got into a police court. 

Because of the flux and the variation of all supposed things, I typify all 
judgments in all matters -- in trifles and in scientific questions that are 
thought to be of utmost importance -- with this story of the woman and her 
uncertainties. If a husband, or a datum, would stay put, a mind, if that 
could be kept from varying, might be said to know him, or it, after a 

There have been many mysterious disappearances of human beings. Here the 
situation is what it is in every other subject, or so-called subject, if 
there is no subject that has independent existence. Only those who know 
little of a matter can have a clear and definite opinion upon it. Whole 
civilizations have vanished. There are statistical reasons for doubting that 
five sixths of the Tribes of Israel once upon a time disappeared, but that 
is tradition, anyway. Historians tell us what became of the Jamestown 
Colonists, but what [200/201] becomes of historians? Persons as well-known 
as Bathurst have disappeared. As to the disappearance of Conant, one of the 
editors of Harper's Weekly, see the New York newspapers beginning with Jan. 
29th, 1885. Nothing was found out. For other instances of well-known persons 
who have disappeared, see the New York Tribune, March 29, 1903, and Harper's 
Magazine, 38-504.(5) 

Chicago Tribune, Jan. 5, 1900 -- "Sherman Church, a young man employed in 
the Augusta Mills (Battle Creek, Mich.) has disappeared.(6) He was seated in 
the Company's office, when he arose and ran into the mill. He has not been 
seen since. The mill has been almost taken to pieces by the searchers, and 
the river, woods, and country have been scoured, but to no avail. Nobody saw 
Church leave town, nor is there any known reason for his doing so." 

Because of the merging of everything -- without entity, identity, or soul of 
its own -- into everything else, anything, or what is called anything, can 
somewhat reasonably be argued any way. Anybody who feels so inclined will be 
as well justified, as anybody can be, in arguing about all mysterious 
disappearances, in terms of Mrs. Christie's mystery. In December, 1926, Mrs. 
Agatha Christie, a writer of detective stories, disappeared from her home in 
England. The newspapers, noting her occupation, commented good-naturedly, 
until it was reported that, in searching moors and forests and villages and 
towns, the police had spent 10,000. Then the frugal Englishmen became aware 
of the moral aspect of the affair, and they were severe. Mrs. Christie was 
found. But, according to a final estimate, the police had spent only 25. 
Then everybody forgot the moral aspect and was good-natured again. It was 
told that Mrs. Christie, in a hotel, somewhere else in England, having been 
keen [201/202] about getting newspapers every morning, had appeared at the 
hotel, telling fictions about her identity. She was taken home by her 
husband. She remembered nobody, her friends said, but, thinking this over, 
they then said that she remembered nobody but her husband. Several weeks 
later, a new book by Mrs. Christie was published. It seems to have been a 
somewhat readable book, and was pleasantly reviewed by frugal Englishmen, 
who are very good-humoured and tolerant, unless put to such expense as to 
make them severe and moral.(7) 

Late in the year 1913, Ambrose Bierce disappeared. It was explained. He had 
gone to Mexico, to join Villa, and had been killed at the Battle of Torreon. 
New York Times, April 3, 1915 -- mystery of Bierce's disappearance solved -- 
he was upon Lord Kitchener's staff, in the recruiting service, in London.(8) 
New York Times, April 7, 1915 -- no knowledge of Bierce, at the War Office, 
London.(9) In March, 1920, newspapers published a dispatch from San 
Francisco, telling that Bierce had gone to Mexico, to fight against Villa, 
and had been shot. It would be a fitting climax to the life of this broad-
minded writer to be widely at work in London, while in Mexico, and to be 
killed while fighting for and against Villa. But that is pretty active for 
one, who, as Joseph Lewis French points out, in Pearson's Magazine, 39-245, 
was incurably an invalid and was more than seventy years old.(10) For the 
latest, at this writing, see the New York Times, Jan. 1, 1928.(11) Here 
there is an understandable explanation of the disappearance. It is that 
Bierce had criticised Villa. 

London Daily Chronicle, Sept. 29, 1920 -- a young man, evening of September 
27th, walking in a street, in South London --(12) 

Magic -- houses melting -- meadows appearing -- 

Or there was a gap between perceptions. 

However he got there, he was upon a road, with [202/203] fields around. The 
young man was frightened. He might be far away, and unable to return. It was 
upon a road, near Dunstable, 30 miles from London, and a policeman finding 
him exclaiming, pacing back and forth, took him to the station house. Here 
he recovered sufficiently to tell that he was Leonard Wadham, of Walworth, 
South London, where he was employed by the Ministry of Health. As to how he 
got to this point near Dunstable, he could tell nothing. Of a swish, nobody 
could tell much. 

Early in the year 1905, there were many mysterious disappearances in 
England. See back to the chapter upon the extraordinary phenomena of this 
period. Here we have an account of one of them, which was equally a 
mysterious appearance. I take it from the Liverpool Echo, Feb. 8.(13) Upon 
the 4th of February, a woman was found, lying unconscious, upon the shore, 
near Douglas, Isle of Man. No one had seen her before, but it was supposed 
that she had arrived by the boat from England, upon the 3rd of February. She 
died, without regaining consciousness. There were many residents of the 
island, who had, in their various callings, awaited the arrival of this 
boat, and had, in their various interests, looked more than casually at the 
passengers: but 200 Manxmen visited the mortuary, and not one of them could 
say that he had seen this woman arrive. The news was published, and then 
came an inquiry from Wigan, Lancashire. A woman had "mysteriously 
disappeared" in Wigan, and by her description the body found near Douglas 
was identified as that of Mrs. Alice Hilton, aged 66, of Wigan. As told, in 
the Wigan Observer, somebody said that Mrs. Hilton had been last seen, upon 
Feb. 2nd, on her way to Ince, near Wigan, to visit a cousin.(14) But nobody 
saw her leave Wigan, and she had no known troubles. According to the 
verdict, at the inquest, Mrs. Hilton [203/204] had not been drowned, but had 
died of the effects of cold and exposure upon her heart. 

I wonder whether Ambrose Bierce ever experimented with self-teleportation. 
Three of his short stories are of "mysterious disappearances."(15) He must 
have been uncommonly interested to repeat so. 

Upon Sept. 4th, 1905, London newspapers reported the disappearance, at 
Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, Ireland, of Prof. George A. Simcox, Senior Fellow 
of Queen's College, Oxford.(16) Upon August 28th, Prof. Simcox had gone for 
a walk, and had not returned. There was a search, but nothing was learned. 

Several times before, Prof. Simcox had attracted attention by disappearing. 
The disappearance at Ballycastle was final. [204] 


1. St. Louis Globe-Democrat, (November 2, 1886), (Not found here). 

2. "The disappearance of Bathurst." Cornhill Magazine, n.s., 8 (March 1887): 

3. Sabine Baring-Gould. Historic Oddities. London: Metheun Books, 1884, 1-
25. Correct quote: "Was it designed to cause the authorities to relax their 
efforts to probe the mystery, and perhaps to abandon them altogether?" 

4. "Why people disappear." Literary Digest, 46 (n.16; wh.n.1200, April 19, 
1913): 922-4. The figures given are for persons "reported missing." 

5. "Mysterious disappearances." New York Tribune, March 29, 1903, s. 2 p. 2 
c. 6. "Missing." Harper's Magazine, 38 (March 1869): 504-11. 

6. Chicago Daily Tribune, (January 5, 1900). 

7. In 1926, from December 3, when she left her home at Sunningdale by car, 
until December 14, when her husband met her at the Hydropathic Hotel in 
Harrogate, Agatha Christie effectively disappeared under the guise of "Mrs. 
Theresa Neele," from Cape Town, (which was how she registered when checking 
into the hotel on December 4). The manager of the hotel said that, when her 
husband met her: "She only seemed to regard him as an acquaintance, whose 
identity she could not quite fix." Upon her return home, she did not 
recognize her daughter. Her "loss of memory" was soon restored, but her 
memory of the period of her disappeance and her assumed identuty was never 
completely recovered. Janet Morgan. Agatha Christie: A Biography. London: 
Collins, 1984, 135-61. 

8. "Hears Major Bierce is with Kitchener." New York Times, April 3, 1915, 

9. "No trace of Bierce." New York Times, April 7, 1915, p.4. 

10. Joseph Lewis French. "Ambrose Bierce." Pearson's Magazine (American 
edition), 39 (August 1918): 245-7. Bierce was suffering from asthma. 

11. "Ambrose Bierce's last tilt with Mars." New York Times, January 1, 1928, 
Mag. pp.6, 13. 

12. "Lost his memory." London Daily Chronicle, September 29, 1920, p.3 c.5. 

13. "The Douglas mystery." Liverpool Echo, February 8, 1905, p.4 c.6. For 
earlier reports: "Tragedy on Douglas shore." Liverpool Echo, February 4, 
1905, p.5 c.3. "The Douglas Beach mystery." Liverpool Echo, February 6, 
1905, p.7 c.4. 

14. "A mystery cleared." Wigan Observer and District Advertiser, February 4, 
1905, p.8 c.4. "A mystery cleared," and "Resumed inquest." Wigan Observer 
and District Advertiser, February 10, 1905, p.6 c.3. 

15. These three short stories are: "The Difficulty of Crossing a Field," "An 
Unfinished Race," and, "Charles Ashmore's Trail." To these should be added: 
"At Old Man Eckert's." Ambrose Bierce. Can Such Things Be? Vol. 3 of The 
Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce. New York: Gordian Press, 1966; 389-392, 

16. "Ireland." London Times, September 4, 1905, p.4 c.2. 


AS interpreters of dreams, I can't say that we have ambitions, but I think 
of one dream that many persons have had, repeatedly, and it may have 
relation to our present subject. One is snoring along, amidst the ordinary 
marvels of dreamland -- and there one is, naked, in a public place, with no 
impression of how one got there. I'd like to know what underlies the 
prevalence of this dream, and its disagreeableness, which varies, I suppose, 
according to one's opinion of oneself. I think that it is sub-conscious 
awareness of something that has often befallen human beings, and that in 
former times was commoner. It may be that occult transportations of human 
beings do occur, and that, because of their selectiveness, clothes are 
sometimes not included. 

"Naked in the street -- strange conduct by a strange [205/206] man." See the 
Chatham (Kent. England) News, Jan. 10, 1914.(1) Early in the evening of Jan. 
6th -- "weather bitterly cold" -- a naked man appeared, from nowhere that 
could be found out, in High Street, Chatham. 

The man ran up and down the street, until a policeman caught him. He could 
tell nothing about himself. "Insanity," said the doctors, with their 
customary appearance of really saying something. 

I accept that, relatively, there is insanity, though no definite lines can 
be drawn as to persons in asylums, persons not in asylums, and persons not 
yet in asylums. If by insanity is meant processes of thought that may be 
logical enough, but that are built upon false premises, what am I showing 
but the insanity of all of us? I accept that as extremes of the state that 
is common to all, some persons may be considered insane; but, according to 
my experience with false classifications, or the impossibility of making 
anything but false classifications, I suspect that many persons have been 
put away, as insane, simply because they were gifted with uncommon insights, 
or had been through uncommon experiences. It may be that, hidden under this 
cloakery, are the subject-matters of astonishing, new inquiries. There may 
be stories that have been told by alleged lunatics that some day will be 
listened to, and investigated, leading to extraordinary disclosures. In this 
matter of insanity, the helplessness of science is notorious, though it is 
only of the helplessness of all science. Very likely the high-priced 
opinions of alienists are sometimes somewhat nearly honest; but, as in every 
other field of so-called human knowledge, there is no real standard to judge 
by: there is no such phenomenon as insanity, with the noumenal quality of 
being distinct and real in itself. If it should ever be somewhat difficult 
to arrange with professional wisemen to testify either for or against any 
person's sanity, [206/207] I should have to think that inorganic science, in 
this field, may not be so indefinite. 

This naked man of Chatham appeared suddenly. Nobody had seen him on his way 
to his appearing point. His clothes were searched for, but could not be 
found. Nowhere near Chatham was anybody reported missing. 

Little frogs, showers of stones, and falls of water -- and they have 
repeated, indicating durations of transportory currents to persisting 
appearing points, suggesting the existence of persisting disappearing points 
somewhere else. There is an account, in the London Times, Jan. 30, 1874, of 
repeating disappearances of young men, in Paris.(2) Very likely, as a 
development of feminism, there will be female Bluebeards, but I don't think 
of them away back in the year 1874. "In every case, their relatives and 
friends declare that they were unaware of any reason for evasion, and the 
missing persons seem to have left their homes for their usual avocations." 

A field, somewhere near, Salem, Va., in the year 1885 -- and that in this 
field there was a suction. In the New York Sun, April 25, 1885, it is said 
that Isaac Martin, a young farmer, living near Salem, Va., had gone into a 
field, to work, and that he had disappeared.(3) It is said that in this 
region there had been other mysterious disappearances. In Montreal, in July 
and August, 1892, there were so many unaccountable disappearances that, in 
the newspapers, the headline "Another Missing Man" became common. In July, 
1883, there was a similar series, in Montreal. London Evening Star, Nov. 2, 
1926 -- "mysterious series of disappearances -- eight persons missing, in a 
few days."(4) It was in and near Southend. First went Mrs. Kathleen Munn, 
and her two small children. Then a girl aged 15 -- girl aged 16, girl aged 
17, another girl aged 16. [207/208] Another girl, Alice Stevens, 
disappeared. "She was found in a state of collapse, and was taken to 

New York Sun, Aug. 14, 1902 -- disappearance, in about a week, of five men, 
in Buffalo, N.Y.(5) 

Early in August, 1895, in the city of Belfast, Ireland, a little girl named 
Rooney disappeared. Detectives investigated. While they were investigating, 
a little boy, named Webb, disappeared. Another child disappeared. Sept. 10 -
- disappearance of a boy, aged seven, named Watson. Two days later, a boy, 
named Brown, disappeared. See the Irish News (Belfast), Sept. 20.(6) In 
following issues of this newspaper, no more information is findable. 

London Daily Mirror, Aug. 5, 1920 -- "Belfast police are in possession of 
the sensational news that eight girls, all under twelve years of age, are 
missing since last Monday, week, from the Newtownards-road, East 

In August, 1869, English newspapers reported disappearances of 13 children, 
in Cork, Ireland. I take from the Tiverton Times, Aug. 31.(8) It may be that 
the phenomenon cannot be explained in terms of local kidnappers, because 
somewhere else, at the same time, children were disappearing. London Daily 
News, Aug. 31 -- excitement in Brussels, where children were 

Five "wild men" and a "wild girl" appeared in Connecticut, about the first 
of January, 1888. See the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Jan. 5, and the New York 
Times, Jan. 9, 1888.(10) 

I have records of six persons, who, between Jan. 14, 1920, and Dec. 9, 1923, 
were found wandering in or near the small town of Romford, Essex, England, 
unable to tell how they got there, or anything else about themselves. I have 
satisfactorily come upon no case in which somebody has stated that he was 
walking, say, [208/209] in a street in New York, and was suddenly seized 
upon and set down somewhere, say in Siberia, or Romford. I have come upon 
many cases like that of a man who told that he was walking along Euston 
Road, London, and -- but nine months later -- when next he was aware of 
where he was, found himself working on a farm, in Australia. If human beings 
ever have been teleported, and, if some mysterious appearances of human 
beings be considered otherwise unaccountable, an effect of the experience is 
effacement of memory. 

There have been mysterious appearances of children in every land. In India, 
the explanation of appearances of children of an unknown past is that they 
had been brought up by she-wolves. 

There have been strange fosterings: young rabbits adopted by cats, and young 
pigs welcomed to strangely foreign founts. But these cases are of maternal 
necessity, and of unlikely benevolence, and we're asked to believe in 
benevolent she-wolves. I don't deny that there is, to some degree, 
benevolence in wolves, cats, human beings, ants: but benevolence is erratic, 
and not long to be depended upon. Sometimes I am benevolent, myself, but 
pretty soon got over it. The helplessness of a human infant outlasts the 
suckling period of a wolf. How long do she-wolves, or any of the rest of us, 
keep on being unselfish, after nothing's made by unselfishness? 

For an account of one of the later of the "wolf children" of India (year 
1914) see Nature, 93-566.(11) In the Zoologist, 3-12-87, is an account of a 
number of them, up to the year 1852.(12) In the Field, Nov. 9, 1895, the 
story of the "wolf child" of Oude is told by an Assistant Commissioner, who 
had seen it.(13) It was a speechless, little animal, about four years old. 
Policemen said that, in a wolf's den, they had found this child, almost 
devoid of human intelligence. The child [209/210] grew up and became a 
policeman. In Human Nature, 7-302, is a story of two "wolf children" that 
were found at different times, near Agra, Northern India.(14) Each was seven 
or eight years old. For a recent case, see the London Observer, Dec. 5, 
1926.(15) Hindus had brought two "wolf children," one aged two, and the 
other about eight years old, to the Midnapore Orphanage. The idea of 
abandonment of young idiots does not look so plausible, in cases of more 
than one child. Also, in a case of several children, a she-wolf would seem 
very graspingly unselfish. The children crawled about on all fours, ate only 
raw meat, growled, and avoided other inmates of the Orphanage. I suppose 
that they ate only raw meat, because to confirm a theory that was all they 

London Daily Mail, April 6, 1927 -- another "wolf child" -- boy aged seven -
- found in a cave, near Allahabad.(16) For an instance that is the latest, 
at this writing, see the New York Times, July 16, 1927.(17) Elephant 
youngsters and rhinoceros brats have still to be heard of, but, in the 
London Morning Post, Dec. 31, 1926, is a story of a "tiger child."(18) A 
"leopard boy" and a "monkey girl" are told of, in the London Observer, April 
10, 1927.(19) 

Our data are upon events that have astonished horses and tickled springboks. 
They have shocked policemen. I have notes upon an outbreak of ten "wild 
men," who appeared in different parts of England, in that period of 
extraordinary phenomena, the winter of 1904-05. One of them, of origin that 
could not be found out, appeared in a street in Cheadle. He was naked. An 
indignant policeman, trying to hang his overcoat about the man, tried to 
reason with him, but had the same old trouble that Euclid and Newton and 
Darwin had, and that everybody else has, when trying to be rational, or when 
trying, in the inorganic, or scientific, [210/211] way, to find a base to 
argue upon. I suppose the argument was something like this -- 

Wasn't he ashamed of himself? 

Not at all. Some persons might have reasons for being ashamed of themselves, 
but he had no reason for being ashamed of himself. What's wrong with 
nakedness? Don't cats and horses and dogs go around without clothes on? 

But they are clothed with natural, furry protections. 

Well, Mexican dogs, then. 

Let somebody else try -- somebody who thinks that, as products of logic, the 
teachings of astronomy, biology, geology, or anything else are pretty nearly 
final, though with debatable minor points, to be sure. Try this simple, 
little problem to start with. Why shouldn't the man walk around naked? One 
is driven to argue upon the basis of conventionality. But we are living in 
an existence, which itself may be base, but in which there are not bases. 
Argue upon the basis of conventionality, and one is open to well-known 
counter-arguments. What is all progress but defiance of conventionality? 

The policeman, in Euclid's state of desperation, took it as self-evident 
disgracefulness. Euclid put theorems in bags. He solved problems by encasing 
some circumstances in an exclusion of whatever interfered with a solution. 
The policeman of Cheadle adopted the classical method. He dumped the "wild 
man" into a sack, which he dragged to the station house. 

Another of these ten "wild men" spoke in a language that nobody had ever 
heard of before, and carried a book, in which were writings that could not 
be identified, at Scotland Yard. Like a traveller from far away, he had made 
sketches of things that he had seen along the roads. At Scotland Yard, it 
was said of the writings: "They are not French, German, Dutch, Italian, 
[211/212] Spanish, Hungarian, Turkish. Neither are they Bohemian, Greek, 
Portuguese, Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, nor Russian." See London newspapers, 
and the East Anglian Daily Times, Jan. 12, 1905.(20) 

I have come upon fragments of a case, which I reconstruct: 

Perhaps in the year 1910, and perhaps not in this year, a Hindu magician 
teleported a boy from somewhere in England, perhaps from Wimbledon, London, 
perhaps not. The effect of this treatment was of mental obliteration; of 
profound hypnosis, or amnesia. The boy could learn, as if starting life 
anew, but mostly his memory was a void. Later the magician was dying. He 
repented, and his problem was to restore the boy, perhaps not to his home, 
but to his native land. He could not tell of the occult transportation, but 
at first it seemed to him that nobody would believe a story of ordinary 
kidnapping. It would be a most improbable story: that, in London, a Hindu 
had kidnapped a boy, and on the way to India had spent weeks aboard a vessel 
with this boy, without exciting inquiry, and with ability to keep the boy 
from appealing to other passengers. Still, a story of kidnapping is a story 
of commonplace terms. No story of ordinary kidnapping could account for the 
boy's lapsed memory, but at the most some persons would think that some of 
the circumstances were queer, and would then forget the matter. 

For fragment of this story, see Lloyd's Sunday News (London), Oct. 17, 
1920.(21) Sometime in the year 1917, the Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel, in Nepal, India, received a message from a native priest, who was 
dying, and wanted to tell something. With the priest was a well-grown boy. 
The priest told that, about the year 1910, in a street in Wimbledon (South 
London) he had kidnapped this boy. Details [212/213] of a voyage to India 
not given. The boy was taken to Gorakapur, and was given employment in a 
railway workshop. He could speak a little English, but had no recollection 
of ever having been in England. 

This is the account that the Society sent to its London representative, Mrs. 
Sanderson, Earl's Court, London. A confirmation of the story, by Judge Muir, 
or Gorakapur, was sent. Mrs. Sanderson communicated with Scotland Yard. 

Lloyd's Sunday News, Oct. 24 -- "boy not yet identified by Scotland 
Yard.(22) An even more extraordinary development of the story is that quite 
a number of boys disappeared in Wimbledon, ten years ago." It is said that 
the police had no way of tracing the boy, because, in Scotland Yard, all 
records of missing children were destroyed, after a few years. I have gone 
through the Wimbledon News, for the year 1910, without finding mention of 
any missing child. In Thomson's Weekly News, Oct. 23, 1920, (p.8), there are 
additional details.(23) It is said that without doubt the boy was an English 
boy: as told by the priest, his Christian name was Albert. 

Hants and Sussex News, Feb. 25, 1920 -- "one of the most sensational 
discoveries and most mysterious cases of tragedy that we have been called 
upon to record" -- a naked body of a man, found in a ploughed field, near 
Petersfield, Hampshire, England.(24) 

The mystery is in that there had not been a murder. A body had not been 
thrown from a car into this field. Here had appeared a naked man, not in 
possession of his senses. He had wandered, and he had died. It was not far 
from a road, and was about a mile from the nearest house. Prints of the 
man's bare feet were traced to the road, and across the road into another 
field. Police and many other persons searched for [213/214] cloths, but 
nothing was found. A photograph of the man was published throughout England, 
but nobody had seen him, clothed or unclothed, before the finding of the 
body. At the inquest, the examining physician testified that the body was 
that of a man, between 35 and 40; well-nourished, and not a manual worker; 
well-cared-for, judging from such particulars as carefully trimmed finger 
nails. There were scratches upon the body, such as would be made by bushes 
and hedges, but there was no wound attributable to a weapon, and in the 
stomach there was no poison, nor drug. Death had been from syncope, due to 
exposure. "The case remains one of the most amazing tragedies that could be 
conceived of." 

The mystery did not immediately subside. From time to time there were 
comments in the newspapers. London Daily News, April 16 -- "Although his 
photograph has been circulated north, east, south, and west, throughout the 
United Kingdom, the police are still without a clue, and there is no record 
of any missing person, bearing the slightest resemblance to this man, 
presumably of education and good standing."(25) [214] 


1. Chatham, Rochester & Gillingham News (Chatham), (January 10, 1914). 

2. "Mysterious disappearances." London Times, January 30, 1874, p.6 c.6. 
Correct quote: "In every case the relatives and friends...and the missing 
persons appear to have left their homes...." 

3. New York Sun, (April 25, 1885), (Not found here). 

4. "Mysterious series of disappearances." London Evening Star, November 2, 
1926, p.16 c.2. Correct quote: "Alice Stevens, of Westcliff, who had been 
missing, was found in a state of collapse and taken to hospital." Mrs. Munn 
and her children were the most recent reported to disappear, not the first; 
no order is given herein to these disappearances. 

5. "Five men missing." New York Sun, August 14, 1902, p.10 c.4. 

6. "Mysterious disappearance of children." Irish News (Belfast), September 
20, 1895, p.5 c.2. 

7. "Nine missing Irish girls." London Daily Mirror, August 5, 1920, p.3 c.2. 
Correct quote: "...possession of sensational news...Newtownards-road 
district, East Belfast." 

8. "Extraordinary disappearance of children." Tiverton Times and East Devon 
Reporter, August 31, 1869, p.2 c.2. 

9. London Daily News, (August 31, 1869), (Not found here). 

10. "Wild people." St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 5, 1888, p.3 c.5. "A 
lunatic in the woods." New York Times, January 9, 1888, p.6 c.4. 

11. "Notes." Nature, 93 (July 30, 1914): 564-569, at 566. 

12. William Sleeman. "Wolves nurturing children in their den." Zoologist, 
s.3, 12 (1888): 87-98. 

13. Hercules Grey Ross. "Suppositious wild man." Field, 86 (November 9, 
1895): 786 c.1. 

14. "A myth revived." Human Nature, 7 (June 1873): 302-3. 

15. "Girls fostered by wolves." London Observer, December 5, 1926, p.19 c.3. 
For the original newspaper article: "Man-wolves." Calcutta Statesman, 
November 13, 1926, p.6 c.3-4; and, "Wolf children of Midnapur." Calcutta 
Statesman, November 13, 1926, p.7 c.7 & p.8 c.2. Regarding Kalama, the older 
child, it was reported: "She has an overpowering desire for meat -- raw, if 
possible. So keen is her sense of smell that she can detect the presence of 
meat when the signs would pass unnoticed by a normal person, and her desire 
to obtain same is plainly indicated." 

16. "A Daily Mail photograph...." London Daily Mail, April 26, 1927, p.20. 

17. There is no article upon this subject in the issue of July 16, (which 
Fort may have been read from his notes, instead of July 10); instead, for a 
report upon the Miawana wolf-child, near Allahabad: "New wolf child found in 
India." New York Times, July 10, 1927, s.8 p.10 c.1-2. 

18. "Tigress fosters human child." London Morning Post, December 31, 1926, 
p.11 c.5. 

19. "Wolf children." London Observer, April 10, 1927, p.13 c.1. 

20. "Queer character at Woodbridge." East Anglian Daily Times (Ipswich), 
January 12, 1905, p.2 c.4. "East Anglian mystery." London Weekly Dispatch, 
January 15, 1905, p.15 c.5. Correct quote: "It is not French, German, Dutch, 
Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, Bohemian, Greek Portuguese, Arabic, Persian, or 
Turkish. Neither is it Hebrew nor Russian. The writer appears to be mad." 

21. "Boy prisoner in a priest's cave." Lloyd's Sunday News, October 17, 
1920, p.3 c.1. 

22. "Boy prisoner in a priest's cave." Lloyd's Sunday News, October 24, 
1920, p.3 c.1. 

23. "Strange sequel to kidnapping story." Thomson's Weekly News, October 23, 
1920, p.8 c.1-2. 

24. "Man's naked body in a field." Hants and Sussex News (Petersfield), 
February 25, 1920, p.3 c.5. 

25. "Hampshire field mystery." London Daily News, April 16, 1920, p.7 c.4. 
Correct quote: "...through the United Kingdom...." 


THERE was the case of Mrs. Guppy, June 3, 1871, for instance. As the 
spiritualists tell it, she shot away from her home, in London. Several miles 
away, she flopped down through a ceiling. Mrs. Guppy weighed 200 pounds. But 
Mrs. Guppy was a medium. She was a prominent medium, and was well-
investigated, and was, or therefore was, caught playing tricks, several 
times. I prefer to look elsewhere for yarns, or veritable accounts. 

In the New York World, March 25, 1883, is told a story of a girl, the 
daughter of Jesse Miller, of Greenville Township, Somerset Co., Pa., who was 
transported several times, our of the house, into the front yard.(1) But it 
was her belief that apparitions were around, and most of our data are not 
concerned with ghostly appearances. [215/216] 

As told in the Cambria Daily Leader (Swansea, Wales), July 7, 1887, 
poltergeist phenomena were occurring in the home of the Rev. David Phillips, 
of Swansea.(2) Sometime I am going to try to find out why so many of these 
disturbances have occurred in the homes of clergymen. Why have so many 
supposed spirits of the departed tormented clergymen? Perhaps going to 
heaven makes people atheists. However, I do not know that poltergeists can 
be considered spirits. It may be that many of our records -- see phenomena 
of the winter of 1904-05 -- relate not to occult beings, as independent 
creatures, but to projected mentalities of living human beings. A woman of 
Mr. Phillips' household had been transported over a wall, and toward a 
brook, where she arrived in a "semi-conscious condition." I note that, not 
in agreement with our notions upon teleportation, it was this woman's belief 
that an apparition had carried her. Mr. Phillips and his son, a Cambridge 
graduate, who had probably been brought up to believe in nothing of the 
kind, asserted that this transportation had occurred. 

A great deal has been written upon the phenomena, or the alleged phenomena, 
of the Pansini boys. Their story is told in the Occult Review, 4-17.(3) 
These boys, one aged seven, and the other aged eight, were sons of Mauro 
Pansini, an architect, of Bari, Italy. Their experiences, or their alleged 
experiences, began in the year 1901. "One day Alfredo and his brother were 
at Ruvo at 9 a.m., and at 9.30 a.m., they were found in the Capuchin Convent 
at Malfatti thirty miles away." In the Annals of Psychic Science, it is said 
that, about the last of January, 1901, the Pansini boys were transported 
from Ruvo to a relative's house, in Trani, arriving in a state of profound 
hypnosis.(4) In volumes 2 and 3, of the Annals, a discussion of these boys 
continues.(5) [216/217] 

But I haven't told the damnedest. Oh, well, we'll have the damnedest. A 
Mediterranean harbour -- a man in a boat -- and, like Mrs. Guppy, down the 
Pansini boys flop into his boat.(6) 

Into many minds flops this idea -- "It isn't so much the preposterousness of 
this story alone; but, if we'd accept this, what else that would threaten 
all conventional teachings, would we be led into?" 

I can't help arguing. I have cut down smoking some, and our home brew goes 
flat so often that at times I have gone without much of that, but I can't 
stop arguing. It has no meaning, but I argue that much that is commonplace 
to-day was once upon a time denounced from pulpits as the way to hell. For 
all I know, a couple of kids flopped into a boat. I don't feel hellish about 
it. The one thought that I do so little to develop is that if there be 
something that did switch the Pansini boys from place to place, it may be 
put to work, and instead of wharves and railroad stations, there may be 
built departing and receiving points for commodities, which may be "wished," 
as it were, from California to London. Let stockholders of transportation 
companies get a hold of this idea, and, if I'm not satisfied with having 
merely science and religion against me, I'll have opposition enough to suit 
anybody who can get along without popularity. Just at present, however, I am 
not selling short on New York Central. 

Has anybody, walking along a street, casually looking at someone ahead of 
him, ever seen a human being vanish? It is a common experience to think that 
one has seen something like this occur. Another common experience, which has 
been theorised upon by James and other psychologists, is to be somewhere and 
have an uncanny feeling that, though so far as one knows, one was never 
there before, one, nevertheless, was at some time there. It may be that 
before, one, nevertheless, was at some time there. It may be that many 
persons have [217/218] been teleported back and forth, without knowing it, 
or without having more than the dimmest impression of the experience. 

But about walking along a street, and having a feeling that somebody has 
vanished -- there have been definitely reported observations upon 
disappearances. In these instances, the explanation has been that someone 
had seen a ghost, and that the ghost had vanished. We shall have accounts 
that look as if observers have seen, not ghosts, but beings like themselves, 

In the Jour. Soc. Psychical Research, 11-189, is published a story by a 
painter, named John Osborne, living at 5 Hurst Street, Oxford, England.(7) 
He said that, about the last of March, 1895, he was walking along a road to 
Wolverton, when he heard sounds of a horse's hoofs behind him, and, turning, 
saw a man on horseback, having difficulty in controlling his horse. He 
scurried out of the way, and, when safe, looked again. Horse and man had 
vanished. Then came the conventionalisation, even though it would be widely 
regarded as an unorthodox conventionalisation. It is said that, the week 
before, a man on horseback had been killed in this part of the road, and 
that the horse, badly injured, had been shot. Usually there is no use 
searching for anything further in a publication in which a 
conventionalisation has appeared, but this instance is an exception. In the 
June number of the Journal, there is a correction: it is said that the 
accident with which this disappearance had been associated, had not occurred 
a week before, but years before, and was altogether different, having been 
an accident to a farmer in a hayfield.(8) Several persons investigated, 
among them a magistrate, who wrote that he was convinced at least that 
Osborne thought that he had seen the "figures" disappear. 

Well, then, why didn't I get a Wolverton news- [218/219] paper, and even 
though it would be called "a mere coincidence" find noted the disappearance 
of somebody who had been last seen in horseback? I forget now why I did not, 
but I think it was because no Wolverton newspaper was obtainable. I haven't 
the item, but with all our experience with explanations, I should have the 
knack, myself, by this time. I think of a man on horseback, who was suddenly 
transported, but only a few miles. If, when he got back, he was a wise man 
on horseback, he got off the back of his horse and said nothing about this. 
Our general notion is that he would have been unconscious of the experience. 
Perhaps, if Osborne had lingered, he would have seen this man and his horse 

In the Jour. S.P.R., 4-50, is a story of a young woman, who was more than 
casually looked at, near the foot of Milton Hill, Massachusetts.(9) She 
vanished. She was seen several times. So this is a story of a place that was 
"haunted," and the "figure" was supposed to be a "ghost." For a wonder there 
was no story of a murder that was committed, years before, near this hill. 
For all I know, some young woman, living in Boston, New York, some distant 
place, may have had teleportative affinity with an appearing point, or 
terminal of an occult current, at this hill, having been translated back and 
forth several times, without knowing it, or without being able to remember, 
or remembering dimly, thinking that it was a dream. Perhaps, some time 
happening to pass this hill, by more commonplace means of transportation. 
she would have a sense of uncanny familiarity, but would be unable to 
explain, having no active consciousness of having ever been there before. 
Psychologists have noted the phenomenon of a repeating scene in different 
dreams, or supposed dreams. The phenomenon may not be of fancifulness, but 
of dim impressions of teleportations to one per- [219/220] sisting appearing 
point. A naïve, little idea of mine is that so many ghosts in white garments 
have been reported, because persons, while asleep, have been teleported in 
their nightclothes. 

In Real Ghost Stories, published by the Review of Reviews (English), a 
correspondent tells of having seen a woman in a field, vanish.(10) Like 
others who have had this experience, he does not say that he saw a woman 
vanish, but that he saw "the figure of a woman" vanish. He inquired for some 
occurrence by which to explain, and learned that somewhere in the 
neighbourhood a woman had been murdered, and that her "figure" had haunted 
the place. In the Proc. S.P.R., 10-98, someone tells of having walked, with 
her father, upon a sandy place, near Aldershot, hearing footsteps, turning, 
seeing a soldier.(11) The footsteps suddenly ceased to be heard. She turned 
again to look. The soldier had vanished. This correspondent writes that her 
father never would believe anything except that it was "a real soldier, who 
somehow got away." In the Occult Review, 23-168, a correspondent writes 
that, while walking in a street in Twickenham, he saw, walking toward him, 
"a figure of a man."(12) The "figure" turned and vanished, or "disappeared 
through a garden wall." This correspondent failed to learn of a murder that 
had been committed in the neighbourhood, but, influenced by the familiar 
convention, mentions that there was an old duelling ground nearby. 

The most circumstantial of the stories appears in the Jour. S.P.R., Nov., 
1893. Miss M. Scott writes that, upon the afternoon of the 7th of May, 1893, 
between five and six o'clock, she was walking upon a road, near St. Boswells 
(Roxburghshire) when she saw ahead of her a tall man, who, dressed in black, 
looked like a clergyman.(13) There is no assertion that this "figure" looked 
ghostly, and there is a little cir- [220/221] cumstance that indicates that 
the "figure," or the living being, was looked at more than casually. Having 
considerable distance to go, Miss Scott started to run: but it occurred to 
her that it would not be dignified to run past this stranger: so she stood 
still, to let the distance increase. She saw the clerical-looking man turn a 
corner of the road, the upper part of his body visible above a low hedge -- 
"he was gone in an instant." Not far beyond this vanishing point, Miss Scott 
met her sister, who was standing in the road, looking about her in 
bewilderment, exclaiming that she had seen a man disappear, while she was 
looking at him. 

One of our present thoughts is that teleportations, back and forth, often 
occur. There are many records, some of which may not be yarns, or may not be 
altogether yarns, of persons who have been seen far from where, so far as 
those persons, themselves knew, they were, at the time. See instances in 
Gurney's Phantasms of the Living.(14) The idea is that human beings have 
been switched away somewhere, and soon switched back, and have been seen, 
away somewhere, and have been explained to the perceivers, as their own 

It may be that I can record a case of a man who was about to disappear, but 
was dragged back, in time, from a disappearing point. I think of the 
children of Clavaux, who were about to be taken into a vortex, but were 
dragged back by their parents, who were not susceptible. Data look as if 
there may have been a transporting current through so-called, solid 
substance, which "opened" and then "closed," with no sign of a yawning. It 
may be that what we call substance is as much open as closed. I accept, 
myself, that there is only relative substance, so far as the phenomenal is 
concerned: so I can't take much interest in what the physicists are doing, 
trying to find out what mere phenomenal substance really, or finally is. It 
isn't, or [221/222] it is intermediate to existence and non-existence. If 
there is an organic existence that is more than relative, though not 
absolute, it may be The Substantial, but its iron and lead, and gold are 
only phenomenal. The greatest seeming security is only a temporary disguise 
of the abysmal. All of us are skating over thin existence. 

Early in the morning of Dec. 9th, 1873. Thomas B. Cumpston and his wife, 
"who occupied good position in Leeds," were arrested in a railroad station, 
in Bristol, England, charged with disorderly conduct, both of them in their 
nightclothes, Cumpston having fired a pistol. See the London Times, Dec. 11, 
1873.(15) Cumpston excitedly told that he and his wife had arrived the day 
before, from Leeds, and had taken a room in a Bristol hotel, and that, early 
in the morning, the floor had "opened," and that, as he was about to be 
dragged into the "opening," his wife had saved him, both of them so 
terrified that they jumped out the window, running to the railroad station, 
looking for a policeman. In the Bristol Daily Post, Dec. 10, is an account 
of proceedings in the police court.(16) Cumpston's excitement was still so 
intense that he could not clearly express himself. Mrs. Cumpston testified 
that, early in the evening, both of them had been alarmed by loud sounds, 
but that they had been reassured by the landlady. At three or four in the 
morning the sounds were heard again. They jumped out on the floor, which was 
felt giving away under them. Voices repeating their exclamations were heard, 
or their own voices echoed strangely. Then, according to what she saw, or 
thought she saw, the floor opened wide. Her husband was falling into this 
opening when she dragged him back. 

The landlady was called, and she testified that sounds had been heard, but 
she was unable clearly to [222/223] describe them. Policemen said that they 
had gone to the place, the Victoria Hotel, and had examined the room, 
finding nothing to justify the extraordinary conduct of the Cumpstons. They 
suggested that the matter was a case of collective hallucination. I note 
that there was no suggestion of intoxication. The Cumpstons, an elderly 
couple, were discharged in the custody of somebody who had come from Leeds. 

Collective hallucination is another of the dismissal-labels by which 
conventionalists shirk thinking. Here is another illustration of the lack of 
standards, in phenomenal existence, by which to judge anything. One man's 
story, if not to the liking of conventionalists, is not accepted, because it 
is not supported; and then testimony by more than one is not accepted, if 
undesirable, because that is collective hallucination. In this kind of 
jurisprudence, there is no hope for any kind of testimony against the 
beliefs in which conventional scientists agree. Among their amusing 
disregards is that of overlooking that, quite as truly may their own 
agreements be collective delusions. 

The loud sounds in the Cumpstons case suggest something of correlation with 
poltergeist phenomena. Spiritualists have persistently called poltergeist-
sounds "raps." Sometimes they are raps, but often they are detonations that 
shake buildings. People up and down a street have been kept awake by them. 
Maybe existences open and shut noisily. From my own experience I don't know 
that there ever has been a poltergeist. At least, I have had only one 
experience, and that is explainable several ways. But what would be the use 
of writing a book about things that we think we're sure of? -- unless, like 
a good deal in this book, to show the deuce we are. 

In the Sunday Express (London), Dec. 5, 1926, Lieut.-Colonel Foley tells of 
an occurrence that re- [223/224] sembles the Cumpstons' experience.(17) A 
room in Corpus Christi College (Cambridge University) was, in October, 1904, 
said to be haunted. Four students, of whom Shane Leslie, the writer, was 
one, investigated. Largerly the story is of an invisible, but tangible, 
thing, or being, which sometimes became dimly visible, inhabiting, or 
visiting, this room.(18) The four students went into the room, and one of 
them was dragged away from the others. His companions grabbed him. "Like 
some powerful magnet" something was drawing him out of their grasp. They 
pulled against it, and fought in a frenzy, and they won the tug. Other 
students, outside the room, were shouting. Undergraduates came running down 
the stairs, and, crowding into the room, wrecked it, even tearing out the 
oak panelling. Appended to the story, in the Sunday Express, is a statement 
by Mr. Leslie -- "Colonel Foley has given an accurate account of the 
occurrence." [224] 


1. "Worried by a witch." New York World, March 25, 1883, p.9 c.6. 

2. "The manifestations of spiritualism at Swansea." Cambria Daily Leader 
(Swansea), July 7, 1887, p.3 c.5. For earlier reports: "Alleged 
manifestations of spiritualism at Swansea." Cambria Daily Leader, July 5, 
1887, p.36 c.2-3. "The spiritualistic manifestations at Swansea." Cambria 
Daily Leader, July 6, 1887, p.3 c.2. 

3. Franz Hartmann. "Magical metathesis." Occult Review, 4 (July 1906): 17-
25. In 1901, Alfredo was seven, and Paolo was eight. Correct quote: "One day 
the lad Alfredo, with his brother Paolo, aged eight years, were at Ruvo at 9 
a.m., and at 9.30 they were found at the Capucine convent at Malfatti (some 
thrity miles away)." 

4. "The strange voyage of two hypnotized children." Annals of Psychical 
Science, 1, 57-8. Although the Pansini moved to Ruvo, in 1901, and, a few 
days afterward, poltergeist phenomena and trances affected Alfredo Pansini, 
the travels did not begin until 1904. 

5. "Strange adventures of two children." Annals of psychical science, 2, 
399-401. "The two mediumistic children at Ruvo." Annals of Psychical 
Science, 3, 131-3. 

6. The boys awoke on the boat but claimed that they did not know how they 
had arrived there. 

7. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 11 (February 1904): 187-
191, at 189. 

8. "Correction." Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 11 (June 
1904): 252-5. 

9. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 4, 50. 

10. William Thomas Stead. Real Ghost Stories. London: G. Richards, 1897, 
190-2, c.v. "A ghost on the Hambleton Hills." The Christmas issue of the 
British Review of Reviews, in 1891, was not part of the regular series of 
issues; its popularity was realized when all of its copies were sold in a 
few days; thus, Stead's book is a reprint of a serial issue, which is 
unlikely to be found in library collections. 

11. "Professor Sidgwick's Committee." "Report on the census of 
hallucinations." Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 10 
(1894): 25-422, at 98, c.v. "From Miss E.R.B." No mention is made of the 
cessation of hearing foot-steps, rather: "...when we missed him, and turning 
could not see him, so we went back to look for him, but he was nowhere to be 
seen." Correct quote: "...a real soldier, that somehow got away.." 

12. Montague J. Summers. "Two apparitions." Occult Review, 23 (April 1916): 
238-9. Correct quotes: "...the figure...," "a friend of mine and his 
wife...," (not the correspondent); and, "...the figure turn off the path and 
walk right through the garden wall, which offered no obstacle to its 
passage," (opposite Twickenham Ferry). 

13. "G. 242. Collective apparition." Journal of the Society for Psychical 
Research, 6 (November 1893): 146-50. It was the sister, Louisa Scott, who 
believed the vanishing man to be dressed like a clergyman, during the 
encounter on May 7, 1892, (not 1893); and, this was later confirmed by Miss 
M.W. Scott, who saw the apparition again on June 12, 1893. Along the same 
road, she perceived the same figure and stated: "...hoping to get a nearer 
inspection, running in close pursuit; but here the strangest part of it all 
is that, though he was apparently walking, I could never get any closer than 
within a few yards, for in but a moment he seemed to float or skim away." 
The figure twice stopped to gaze at Miss Scott "finally fading from view at 
his usual spot by the hedge to the right." Having observed the figure more 
closely, she adds: "The man is certainly dressed as a clergyman of the last 

14. Edmund Gurney, Frederick W.H. Myers, and Frank Podmore. Phantasms of the 
Living. 1886. Abridged ed. Eleanor Mildred Sidgwick, ed. New York: E.P. 
Dutton and Co., 1918. 

15. "Extraordinary hallucination." London Times, December 11, 1873, p.11 

16. "Extraordinary occurrence at a Bristol hotel." Bristol Daily Post, 
December 10, 1873, p.3 c.2. Correct quote: "They were people who occupied a 
very good position." The Cumpstons were described as an elderly couple by 
Fort but were described herein as a young couple. Mr. Butt was from 
Gloucester, not from Leeds, and took charged of the couple and Mr. 
Cumpston's weapons. 

17. Cyril Foley. "The ghost of Corpus Christi." London Sunday Express, 
December 5, 1926, p.11 c.3-5. One student performing an exorcism had two 
other students support him, (one of whom was Leslie Shane); soon after, the 
exorcist said, "The thing is pulling me...," whereupon a tug-of-war ensued, 
which ended by their pushing the exorcist toward the "thing" until crashing 
into a panelled wall. 

18. Fort marked "X" in the margin next to this sentence to note the error in 
"Largerly", instead of largely. 


IN the Encyclopædia Britannica, the story of Kaspar Hauser is said to be one 
of the most baffling mysteries in history.(1) This is an unusual statement. 
Mostly we meet denials that there are mysteries. In everything that I have 
read upon this case, it is treated as if it were unique. A writer like 
Andrew Lang, who has a liking for mysteries, takes up such a case, with not 
an indication in his mind that it should not be studied as a thing in 
itself, but should be correlated with similars. That, inductively, anything 
of an ultimate nature could be found out, is no delusion of mine: I think 
not of a widening of truth, but of a lessening of error. I am naïve enough 
in my own ways, but I have not the youthful hopes of John Stuart Mill and 
Francis Bacon. 

As to one of the most mysterious of the circum- [225/226] stances in the 
story of Kaspar Hauser, I have many records of attacks upon human beings, by 
means of an unknown, missile-less weapon. See the newspapers for several 
dozen accounts of somebody, or something, that was terrorizing people in New 
Jersey, in and around Camden, in the winter of 1927-28. People were fired 
upon, and in automobiles there were bullet holes, but bullets were 
unfindable. I know of two other instances, in the State of New Jersey. In 
France, about the year 1910, there was a long series of such attacks, 
attributed to "phantom bandits." 

It may be that, telepathically, human beings have been induced to commit 
suicide. Look up the drowning of Frank Podmore. It may be that the mystery 
of Kaspar Hauser was attracting too much attention. There is a strange 
similarity in the taking off of Frank Podmore, Houdini, Washington Irving 
Bishop, and perhaps Dr. Crawford. The list is long, of the deaths that 
followed the opening of the tomb of Tut-Ankh-Amen.(2) 

Psychologically and physiologically the case of the Rev. Thomas Hanna is so 
much like the case of Kaspar Hauser that the suggestion is that if Hanna 
were not an impostor, Hauser was not. For particulars of the Hanna case, see 
Sidis, Multiple Personality.(3) In both cases there was said to be 
obliteration of memory, or reduction to the mental state of the newborn, 
with, however, uncommon, or marvellous, ability to learn. Phenomena common 
to both cases were no idea of time; no idea of sex; appearance of all 
things, as if at the same distance, or no idea of distance; and inability, 
or difficulty, in walking. Kaspar Hauser was no impostor, who played a stunt 
of his own invention, as tellers of his story have thought. If he were an 
impostor, somewhere, back in times when little was known of amnesia, he had 
gotten ahold of detailed knowledge [226/227] of profoundest amnesia. And he 
was about seventeen years old. Perhaps he was in a state of profound 
hypnosis. If the boy of Nepal, India, had wandered from the priest -- who 
may have kidnapped him ordinarily, and may not have kidnapped him ordinarily 
-- and had appeared in an English community, he would have been unable to 
account for himself, and there would have been a mystery similar to 

If a "wolf child," when found, was "almost devoid of human intelligence," 
and when grown up became a policeman, ours is not quite the synicism of a 
scenario-writer, or a writer of detective stories. If we do not think this 
child had been the associate of wolves from an age of a few months, we think 
of an obliterative process that rendered it "a speechless, little animal," 
but that did not so impair its mentality that the child could not start 
anew. Our expression upon Kaspar Hauser will be that he was a "wolf child," 
and that, if he had appeared somewhere in India, he would, according to 
local conventions, probably be called a "wolf child," and that if he had 
found any place of refuge, it would be called a "wolf's den": but, in our 
expression, the lupine explanation is not accepted in his case and the cases 
of all so-called "wolf children." "Wolf children" have appeared, and the 
conventional story of their origin is not satisfactory. If "wolf children" 
have had something the matter with their legs, or have crawled on all fours, 
it is not satisfactory to say that this was because they had been brought up 
with wolves, any more than it would be to say that a young bird, even if not 
taught by its parents, would not be able to fly, if brought up with mammals. 

If we accept that the Pansini boys ever were teleported, we note the mental 
effects of the experience, in that they were in a state of profound 

Little frogs bombard horses -- and, though there [227/228] have been many 
attempts to explain Kaspar Hauser, it has never before occurred to anybody 
to bring little frogs into an explanation -- 

Or seals in a pond in a park -- and the branded reindeer of Spitzbergen -- 
see back to everything else in this book. Later, especially see back to 
lights in the sky, and the disappearance of them, when a story was told, 
and, so long as the story was not examined, seemed to account for them. The 
luminous owl -- the malmoot -- and if anybody can't be explained 
conventionally, he's an impostor -- or, if we're all, to some degree, 
impostors, he's an exceptional impostor. 

Upon Whit Monday afternoon, May, 1828, a youth, aged sixteen or seventeen, 
staggered, with a jaunty stride, into the town of Nuremberg, Germany. Or, 
while painfully dragging himself along the ground, he capered into the town. 
The story has been told by theorists. The tellers have fitted descriptions 
around their theories. The young man was unable fully to govern the motions 
of his legs, according to Andrew Lang, for instance. He walked with firm, 
quick steps, according to the Duchess of Cleveland. The Duchess' theory 
required that nothing should be the matter with his legs. By way of the New 
Gate, he entered the town, and there was something the matter with his legs, 
according to all writers, except the one who preferred that there should be 
nothing the matter with his legs. 

To Nurembergers who gathered around, the boy held out two letters, one of 
which was addressed to a cavalry captain. He was taken to the captain's 
house, but, because the captain was not at home, and because he could give 
no account of himself, he was then taken to a police station. Here it was 
recorded that he could speak only two sentences in the German language, and 
that when given paper and pencil he wrote the name Kaspar Hauser. But he was 
not put away and for- [228/229] gotten. He had astonished and mystified 
Nurembergers, in the captain's house, and these townsmen had told others, so 
that a crowd had gone with him to the station house, remaining outside, 
discussing the strange arrival. It was told in the crowd, as recorded by von 
Feuerbach, that near the New Gate of the town had appeared a boy who seemed 
unacquainted with the commonest objects and experiences of everyday affairs 
of human beings. The astonishment with which he had looked at the captain's 
sabre had attracted attention. He had been given a pot of beer. The lustre 
of the pot and the colour of the beer affected him, as if he had never seen 
anything of the kind before. Later, seeing a burning candle, he cried out in 
delight with it, and before anybody could stop him, tried to pick up the 
flame. Here his education began. 

This is the story that has been considered imposture by everybody who wanted 
to consider it imposture. I cannot say whether all alleged cases of amnesia 
are fakes, or not. I say that, if there be amnesia, the phenomena of Kaspar 
Hauser are aligned with phenomena of many cases that are said to be well 
known. The safest and easiest and laziest of explanations is that of 

Of the two letters, one purported to be from the boy's mother, dated sixteen 
years before, telling that she was abandoning her infant, asking the finder 
to send him to Nuremberg, when he became seventeen years old, to enlist in 
the Sixth Cavalry Regiment, of which his father had been a member. The other 
letter purported to be from the finder of the infant, telling that he had 
ten children of his own, and could no longer support the boy. 

Someone soon found that these letters had not been written by different 
persons, sixteen years apart. One of them was in Latin characters, but both 
were written [229/230] with the same ink, upon the same kind of paper. In 
the "later" letter, it was said: "I have already taught him to read and 
write, and he writes my handwriting exactly as I do."(4) Whereupon the name 
that Kaspar had written, in the police station, was examined, and it was 
said that the writings were similar. Largely with this circumstance for a 
basis, it has been said that Kaspar Hauser was an impostor--or that he had 
written the letters himself. With what expectation of profit to himself is 
not made clear. If I must argue, I argue that an impostor, aware that 
handwritings might be compared, would, if he were a good impostor, pretend 
to be unable to write, as well as unable to speak. And those who consider 
Kaspar Hauser an impostor, say that he was a very good impostor. The 
explanation in the letter, of the similarity of handwritings, seems to be 
acceptable enough. 

People living along the road leading to the New Gate were questioned. Not an 
observation upon the boy, before he appeared near the Gate, could be heard 
of. But we see, if we accept that someone else wrote his letters, that this 
Gate could not have been his "appearing point," in the sense we're thinking 
of. He must have been with, or in the custody of, someone else, at least for 
a while. Streets near the jail, where for a time he was lodged, were filled 
with crowds, clamouring for more information. Excitement and investigation 
spread far around Nuremberg. A reward was offered, and, throughout Germany, 
the likeness of Kaspar Hauser was posted in public places. People in Hungary 
took up the investigation. Writers in France made much of the mystery, and 
the story was published in England. People from all parts of Europe went to 
see the boy. The mystery was so stimulated by pamphleteers that, though 
"feverish" seems an extreme word, writers described the excitement over this 
boy, "who [230/231] had appeared as if from the clouds," as a "fever." 
Because of this international interest, Kaspar Hauser was known as "The 
Child of Europe." 

The city of Nuremberg adopted Kaspar. He was sent to live with Prof. Daumer, 
a well-known scientist, and the Mayor of Nuremberg notified the public to 
"keep away from his present residence, and thereby avoid collision with the 
police." The seeming paralysis of his legs wore off. He quickly learned the 
German language, but spoke always with a foreign accent.(5) I have been 
unable to learn anything of the peculiarities of this accent. Except to 
students of revivals of obliterated memories, his quickness of learning 
would seem incredible. Writers have said that so marvellous was his supposed 
ability to learn that he must have been an impostor, having a fair 
education, to start with. Though the impostor-theory is safest and easiest, 
some writers have held that the boy was an idiot, who had been turned 
adrift. This explanation can be held simply and honestly by anybody who 
refuses to believe all records after the first week or so of observations. 
Whether impostor or idiot, the outstanding mystery is the origin of this 
continentally advertised boy. 

The look of all the circumstances to me is that somebody got rid of Kaspar, 
considering him an imbecile, having been able to teach him only two German 
sentences. Then the look is that he had not for years known Kaspar, but had 
known him only a few weeks, while his disabilities were new to him. Where 
this custodian found the boy is the mystery. 

Kaspar Hauser, in the year 1829, wrote his own story, telling that, until 
the age of sixteen or seventeen, he had lived upon bread and water, in a 
small, dark cell. He had known only one person, alluded to by him, as "the 
man," who, toward the end of his confinement had taught him two sentences, 
one of them [231/232] signifying that he wished to join a cavalry regiment, 
and the other, "I don't know." He had been treated kindly, except once, when 
he had been struck for being noisy. 

Almost anybody, reading this account, will, perhaps regretfully, perhaps 
not, say farewell to our idea of a teleported boy. "That settles it." But 
nothing ever has settled anything, except relatively to a desire for 
settlement, and if ours is a desire for unsettlement, we have assurance that 
we, or any other theorist, can find in the uncertainties of any human 
document, whether supposed to have been dictated from on high, or written by 
a boy, material for thinking as our theories require. 

We note in Kaspar's story a statement that he had no idea of time. That is 
refreshing to our wilting theory. We may think that he had lived in a small, 
dark room all his life of which he had remembrance, and that that may have 
been a period of only a few weeks. We pick upon his statement that once he 
had been struck for being noisy. To us that means that he had been confined, 
not in a cell, or a dungeon, but in a room in a house, with neighbours 
around, and that there was somebody's fear that sounds from him would 
attract attention -- or that there were neighbours so close to this place 
that the imprisonment of a boy could not have been kept a secret more than a 
few weeks. 

We're not satisfied. We hunt for direct data for thinking that, if Kaspar 
Hauser had been confined in a dark room, it had not been for more than a few 

"He had a healthy colour" (Hiltel). "He had a very healthy colour: he did 
not appear pale or delicate, like one who had been some time in confinement" 
(Policeman Wüst).(6) [232/233] 

According to all that can be learned of another case, a man, naked, almost 
helpless, perhaps in a state of hypnosis so profound that also it was 
physical, so that he could scarcely walk, and in whom memory was obliterated 
so that he did not know enough to make his way along a road, which he 
crossed, appeared near Petersfield, Hampshire, Feb. 21, 1920. If we think 
that a peasant, near Nuremberg, found on his farm a boy in a similar 
condition, and took him in, then considering him an imbecile, and wanting to 
get rid of him, keeping him in confinement, fearing he might be held 
responsible for him, then writing two letters that would explain an 
abandonment in commonplace terms that would not excite inquiry, but not 
being skilful in such matters, that looks as if we're explaining somewhat. 

Because of the continuation of Kaspar's story, we think that this place was 
near Nuremberg, Whit Monday was a holiday, and the farmers, or the 
neighbours, were probably not labouring in the fields: so this was the day 
for the shifting of the supposed imbecile. Upon this day, as told by Kaspar, 
"the man" carried the boy from the dark room, and carried, or led him, 
compelling him to keep his eyes downward, toward Nuremberg. Kaspar's clothes 
were changed for the abandonment. 

Perhaps he had been found naked, and had been given makeshift garments. 
Perhaps he had been found in clothes, of cut and texture that were 
remarkable and that would have caused inquiry. The clothes that were given 
to him were a peasant's. It was noted in Nuremberg that they seemed not to 
belong to him, because Kaspar was not a peasant boy, judging by the softness 
of his hands (von Feuerbach).(7) 

The story has resemblances to the story of the English boy of Nepal. In each 
case somebody got rid [233/234] of a boy, and in each case it is probable 
that a false story was told. If "the man" in Kaspar's case had the ten 
children that, to excuse an abandonment, he told of, there'd have been small 
chance for him to keep his secret. There are differences in these two 
stories. It will be my expression that they came about because of the wide 
difference in attention that was attracted. 

October 17, 1829 -- Kaspar was found in the cellar of Prof. Daumer's house, 
bleeding from a cut in the forehead. He said that a man in a black mask had 
appeared suddenly, and had stabbed him. 

It has been explained that this was attempted suicide. But stabbing oneself 
in the forehead is a queer way to attempt suicide, and in Nuremberg arose a 
belief that Kaspar's life was in danger from unknown enemies, and two 
policemen were assigned to guard him. 

Upon an afternoon in May, 1831, one of these policeman, while in one room, 
heard a pistol shot, in another room. He ran there, and found Kaspar again 
wounded in the forehead. Kaspar said that it was an accident: that he had 
climbed upon the back of a chair, and, reaching for a book, had slipped, 
and, catching out wildly, had grasped a pistol that was hanging on the wall, 
discharging it. 

December 14th, 1833 -- Kaspar Hauser ran from a park, crying that he had 
been stabbed. Deeply wounded in his side, he was taken to his home. The 
park, which was covered with new fallen snow, was searched, but no weapon 
was found, and only Kaspar's footprints were seen in the snow. Two of the 
attending physicians gave their opinion that Kaspar could not so have 
injured himself. The opinion of the third physician was an indirect 
accusation of suicide: that the blow had been struck by a left-handed 
person. Kaspar was not left-handed, but was ambidextrous.(8) [234/235] 

Kaspar lay on his bed, with his usual publicity. He was surrounded by 
tormentors, who urged him to gasp plugs in his story. He was the only human 
being who had been in the park, according to the testimony of the snow 
tracks. It was not only Kaspar who was wounded. There was a wound in 
circumstances. Tormentors urged him to confess, so that in terms of the 
known they could fill out his story. Faith in confessions and the desire to 
end a mystery with a confession are so intense that some writers have said 
that Kaspar did confess. As a confession, they have interpreted his protest 
against his accusers -- "My God! that I should so die in shame and 

Kaspar Hauser died. The point of his heart had been pierced by something 
that had cut through the diaphragm, penetrating stomach and liver. In the 
opinion of two of the doctors and of many of the people of Nuremberg, this 
wound could not have been self-inflicted. Rewards for the capture of the 
assassin were offered. Again, throughout Germany, posters appeared in public 
places, and in Germany and other countries there were renewed outbursts of 
pamphlets. The boy appeared "as if from the clouds," and nothing more was 

It was Kaspar's story that a man in the park had stabbed him. If anybody 
prefers to think that it cannot be maintained that there was only one track 
of footprints in the snow, let him look up various accounts, and he will 
find assurances any way he wants to find them. For almost every statement 
that I have made, just as good authority for denying it, as for stating it, 
can be found, provided any two conflicting theories depend upon it. One can 
read that Kaspar Hauser was highly intelligent or brilliant. One can read 
that the autopsy showed that his brain was atrophied to the size of a small 
animal's, accounting for his idiocy. One [235/236] comes upon just about 
what one comes upon in looking up any other matter of history. It is said 
that history is a science. I think that it must be. 

A great deal, such as Kaspar's alleged ability to see in the dark, and his 
aversion to eating meat, and his inability to walk would be understandable, 
if could be accepted the popular theory that Kaspar Hauser was the rightful 
Crown Prince of Bavaria, who for political reasons had been kept for sixteen 
or seventeen years in a dungeon. There would be an explanation for two 
alleged attacks upon him. But see back to his own story of his confinement 
in a house, or a peasant's hut, near Nuremberg, where probably his 
imprisonment could not have been kept secret more than a few weeks. See 
testimony by Hiltel and Wüst. 

See back to a great deal in this book -- 

The wolf of Shotley Bridge, and the wolf of Cumwinton -- or that something 
removed one wolf and procured another wolf to end a mystery that was 
attracting too much attention. 

It was said that Kaspar Hauser was murdered to suppress political 
disclosures. If it be thinkable that Kaspar was murdered to suppress a 
mystery, whether political, or not so easily defined, there are statements 
that support the idea that also some of the inhabitants of Nuremberg, who 
were prominent in Kaspar's affairs, were murdered. One can read that von 
Feuerbach was murdered, or one can read that von Feuerbach died of a 
paralytic stroke. See Evans (Kaspar Hauser, p. 150) -- that, soon after the 
death of Kaspar Hauser, several persons, who had shown much interest in his 
case, died, and that it was told in Nuremberg that they had been 
poisoned.(9) They were Mayor Binder, Dr. Osterhauser, Dr. Preu, and Dr. 

"Kaspar Hauser showed such an utter deficiency of words and ideas, such 
perfect ignorance of the com- [236/237] monest things and appearances of 
Nature, and such horror of all customs, conveniences, and necessities of 
civilised life, and, with all, such extraordinary peculiarities in his 
social, mental, and physical disposition, that one might feel oneself driven 
to the alternative of believing him to be a citizen of another planet, 
transferred by some miracle to our own" (von Feuerbach).(10) [237] 


1. Encyclopedia Brittannica. 14th ed., 1929, v.11, 255, s.v. "Hauser, 

2. After the death of Lord Carnarvon, on April 5, 1923, newspaper 
speculations began upon a "Curse of Osiris" as claiming the lives of those 
involved, (or remotely connected), with the uncovering of Tutankhamun's 
tomb. Included among the victims were: Aubrey Herbert (Carnarvon's younger 
brother), an X-ray specialist who was to examine the mummy, Jay Gould (of 
pneumonia, after visiting the tomb), Ali Kemel Fahmy Bey (shot in London, 
after visiting the tomb), Arthur Mace (Carter's "right-hand man"), Georges 
Bénédite (after a fall while visiting the tomb), Richard Bethell (in 1929), 
Lord Westbury (who owned some Egyptian antiquities but had never visited the 
tomb), a child killed by Lord Westbury's hearse, and Carter's pet canary 
(eaten by a cobra on the day the tomb was opened). "Carnarvon is dead of an 
insect's bite at pharaoh's tomb." New York Times, April 5, 1923, p.1 c.1. 
"Carnarvon's death spreads theories about vengeance." New York Times, April 
6, 1923, p.1 c.3 & p.3 c.1-3. "Death by evil spirit possible, says Doyle." 
New York Times, April 6, 1923, p.3 c.5-6. "Carnarvon's brother dies." New 
York Times, September 28, 1923, p.7 c.3. Nicholas Reeves. The Complete 
Tutankhamun: The King, The Tomb, The Royal Treasure. London: Thames and 
Hudson, 1990, 62-3. 

3. Boris Sidis. Multiple Personality. 

4. Linberg's translation from Von Feuerbach. London, 1833. Chapter 2. Singh, 
J.A.L., and, Zingg, Robert M. Wolf-children and feral man, Archon Books, 
1966, 289. 

5. According to Feuerbach's account, Hiltel, (the prison-keeper), says that 
his son Julius, age of 11 years, "as it were, taught him to speak." 
Linberg's translation. Singh & Zingg, 300. 

6. Feuerbach says: "...his complexion was not florid, but neither was it of 
a sickly hue," (Linberg's translation, Singh and Zingg, 289-90.) 

7. Feuerbach described the clothing as more like something once belonging to 
a footman, groom, or forester which had been coarsely stitched. Also, he 
describes Kasper's skin as "fine and very fair," (Singh and Zingg, 289), his 
feet as showing no sign of ever before being confined in a shoe, and 
vaccination scars, (indicative of a child of the upper classes). 

8. According to Feuerbach's account, Kasper was lured into a small park by a 
stranger stating he had news of Kasper's mother; and, while searching into a 
lady's handbag given to him by the stranger, he was stabbed. "After giving 
the blow, the stranger fled, as tracks in the deep snow of the deserted park 
proved (though they were soon obliterated by the crowd of townspeople who 
flocked into the park)," (Linberg's translation, Singh and Zingg, 358). The 
lady's handbag and a cryptic note, written backwards, were recovered. 

9. Elizabeth Evans. The Story of Kaspar Hauser from Authentic Records. 
London: Swan Sonnenschein and Co., 1892, 150. 

10. Fort may have provided this translation from the original. In Linberg's 
translation, (1833), the passage is as follows: "And yet he was so entirely 
destitute of words and conceptions, he was so totally unacquainted with the 
most common objects and daily occurrences of nature, and he showed so great 
an indifference, nay, such an abhorrence, to all the usual customs, 
conveniences, and necessaries of life; and at the same time he evinced such 
extraordinary peculiarities in all the characteristics of his mental, moral, 
and physical existence, as seemed to leave us no other choice, than either 
to regard him as the inhabitant of some other planet, miraculously 
transferred to the earth, or as one who (like the man whom Plato supposes) 
had been born and bred under ground, and who, now that he had arrived at the 
age of maturity, had for the first time ascended to the surface of the 
earth, and beheld the light of the sun." (Singh and Zingg, 293.) 


] 1 

ACCORDING to appearances, this earth is a central body, within a revolving, 
starry globe. 

But am I going to judge by appearances? 

But everything of the opposing doctrine is judgment by other appearances. 
Everybody who argues against judging by appearances bases his argument upon 
other appearances. Monistically, it can be shown that everybody who argues 
against anything bases his argument upon some degree or aspect of whatever 
he opposes. Everybody who is attacking something is sailing on a windmill, 
while denouncing merry-go-rounds. 

"You can't judge by appearances," say the astronomers. "Sun and stars seem 
to go around this earth, but they are like a field that seems to go past a 
train, whereas it is the train that is passing the field." Judg- [241/242] 
ing by this appearance, they say that we cannot judge by appearances. 

Our judgments must depend upon evidence, the scientists tell us. 

Let somebody smell, hear, taste, see, and feel something that is unknown to 
me, and then tell me about it. Like everybody else, I listen politely, if 
he's not too long about it, and then instinctively consult my 
preconceptions, before deciding whether all this is evidence. An opinion is 
a matter of evidence, but evidence is a matter of opinion. 

We can depend upon intuition, says Bergson.(1) 

I could give some woebegone accounts of what has befallen me, by depending 
upon intuitions, whether call "hunches," or "transcendental consciousness"; 
but similar experiences have befallen everybody else. There would have been 
what I call good sport, if Bergson had appeared upon the floor of the Stock 
Exchange, and preached his doctrine, in October, 1929. 

We only have faith to guide us, say the theologians. 

Which faith? 

It is my acceptance that what we call evidence, and whatever we think we 
mean by intuition and faith are the phenomena of eras, and that the best of 
minds, or minds best in rapport with the dominant motif of an era, have 
intuition and faith and belief that depend upon what is called evidence, 
relatively to pagan gods, then to the god of the Christians, and then to 
godlessness -- and then to whatever is coming next. 

We shall have data for thinking that our existence, as a whole, is an 
organism. First we shall argue that it is a thinkable-sized formation, 
whether organic, or not. If now, affairs upon this earth be fluttering upon 
the edge of a new era, and I give expression to coming thoughts of that era, 
thousands of other minds are [242/243] changing, and all of us will take on 
new thoughts concordantly, and see, as important evidence, piffle of the 

Even in orthodox speculations there are more or less satisfactory grounds 
for thinking that ours is an existence, perhaps one of countless other 
existences, that is an egg-like formation, shelled away from the rest of the 
cosmos. Many astronomers have noted that the Milky Way is a broad band in 
the sky, with the look of a streak around a globular object. For 
conventional reasons for thinking that the "solar system" is central in "a 
mighty globular cluster" of stars, see Dolmage Astronomy, p. 327.(2) Dolmage 
even speculates upon a limiting demarcation which is akin to the notion of a 
shell, shutting off this existence from everything else. 

Back in the pessimistic times of Sir Isaac Newton was formulated the 
explanation of existence in general that is our opposition. It was the 
melancholy doctrine of universal fall. It was in agreement with the theology 
of the time: fallen angels, the fall of mankind: so falling planets, falling 
moons, everything falling. The germ of this despair was the supposed fall of 
the moon, not to, but around, this earth. But if the moon is falling away 
from observers upon one part of this earth's surface, it is rising in the 
sky, relatively to other observers. If something is quite as truly rising as 
it is falling, only minds that belong away back in times when everything was 
supposed to be falling, can be satisfied with this yarn of the rising moon 
that is falling. Sir Isaac Newton looked at the falling moon, and explained 
all things in terms of attraction.(3) It would just as logical to look at 
the rising moon, and explain all things in terms of repulsion. It would be 
more widely logical to cancel falls with rises, and explain that there is 

I think of this earth as central, and as almost station- [243/244] ary, and 
with the stars in a shell, revolving around. By so thinking, I have the 
concept of an object, and the visualisation of an existence as a whole. But 
the trouble with this idea is that it is reasonable. Not absolutely can it 
be said that human minds reason according to reasonableness. There is the 
love of the paradox to consider. We are in agreement with observations, but 
peasants, or clodhoppers, think as we think. We offer no paradox to make one 
feel superior to someone who hops from clod to clod. 

What is the test? Of course, if there are no standards, all test must be 
fakes. But if we have an appearance of reasonableness, and if the other side 
says that it is reasonable, how choose? 

We read over and over that prediction is the test of science. 

The astronomers can predict the movements of some of the parts of what they 
call the solar system. 

But so far are they from a comprehensive grasp upon the system as a whole 
that, if, for a basis of their calculations, be taken that this earth is 
stationary, and that the sun and the planets, and the stars in a shell, move 
around this earth, the same motions of heavenly bodies can be foretold. Take 
for a base that the earth moves around the sun, or take that the sun moves 
around the earth: upon either base the astronomers can predict an eclipse, 
and enjoy renown and prestige, as if they knew what they were telling about. 
Either way there are inaccuracies. 

Our opposition is ancient and at least uppish. 

Prof. Todd, in his book, Stars and Telescope, says:(4) "Astronomy may be 
styled a very aristocrat among the sciences." 

For similar descriptions, by implications, of themselves, by themselves, see 
all other books by astronomers. [244/245] 

There are aristocratic human beings. I'll not contend otherwise. There are 
aristocratic dogs, and all cats, except for relapses, are aristocrats. There 
are aristocratic goldfish. In whatever is bred, is the tendency to 
aristocraticise. Porcupines, as the untouchable and the stupid, are verier 
aristocrats than the merely very. The aristocratic state is supposed to be 
the serene, the safe, and the established. It is unintelligent, because 
intelligence is only a means of making adaptations, and the aristocratic is 
the made. If this state of the relatively established and stupid were the 
really, or finally, established and stupid, we'd see good reason for the 
strivings and admiration and imitations of strugglers, climbers, or 
newcomers to stabilise themselves into stupors. But, in phenomenal being, 
the aristocratic, or the academic, is, though thought of as the arrived, 
only a poise between the arriving and the departing. When far-advanced it is 
the dying. Wherein it is a goal, our existence is, though only locally, 
suicidal. The literature of the academic ends with the obituary. Prof. 
Todd's self-congratulation is my accusation. 

But there is only relative aristocracy. If I can show that, relatively to a 
viewpoint, other than the astronomers' own way of adoring themselves, the 
supposed science of astronomy is only a composition of yarns, evasions, 
myths, errors, disagreements, boasts, superstitions, guesses, and 
bamboozlements, I am spreading the good cheer that it is still very faulty 
and intellectual and alive, and may be able to adjust, and keep on exciting 
its exponents with admiration for themselves. 

We shall see what mathematical astronomy is said to start with. If we can't 
accept that it ever fairly started, we'll not delay much with any notion 
that it could get anywhere. 

The early mathematical astronomers, in their cal- [245/246] culations upon 
moving bodies, could not treat of weights, because these inconstancies are 
relative; nor of sizes, because sizes are relative and variable. But they 
were able to say that they had solved their problem of how to begin, because 
nobody else interfered and asked whether they had or not. They gave up 
weight and size and said that their treatment was of mass.(5) 

If there were ultimate particles of matter, one could think of mass as 
meaning a certain number of those things. When atoms were believed in, as 
finals, an astronomer could pretend that he knew what he meant by a quantity 
of matter, or mass. Then, with electrons, he could more or less seriously 
keep on pretending. But now the sub-electron is talked of. And, in turn, 
what is that composed of? Perhaps the pretensions can stretch, but there is 
too much strain to the seriousness. If nobody knows what constitutes a 
quantity of matter, the astronomer has no idea of what he means by mass. His 
science is a science of masses. 

But it may be said that, even though he has not the remotest idea of what he 
is calculating about, the astronomers' calculations work out, just the same. 

There was the mass of Mars, once upon a time, for instance: or the "known" 
unknowables constituting the planet. Once upon a time, the mass of Mars was 
said to be known. Why shouldn't it be said to be known? The equations were 
said to work out, as they should work out.(6) 

In the year 1877, two satellites of the planet Mars were discovered.(7) But 
their distances and their periods were not what they should be, 
theoretically. So then everything that had worked out so satisfactorily as 
it should work out, turned out to have worked out as it shouldn't have 
worked out. A new mass had to be assigned to the planet Mars. [246/247] 

Now that works out as it should work out. 

But I think that it is cannier not to have things so marvellously work out, 
as they should work out, and to have an eye for something that may come 
along and show that they had worked out as they shouldn't have worked out. 
For data upon these work-outs, see Todd, Astronomy, p. 78.(8) 

It would seem that the mistake by the astronomers is in thinking that, in a 
relative existence, there could be more than relative mass, if the idea of 
mass could be considered as meaning anything. But it is more of a dodge than 
a mistake. It is just relatively that the astronomers have tried to dodge, 
with a pseudo-concept of a constant, or a final. Instead of science, this is 
metaphysics. It is the childish attempt to find the absolutely dependable in 
a flux, or an intellectually not very far-advanced attempt to find the 
absolute in the relative. The concept of mass is a borrowing from the 
theologians, who are in no position to lend anything.(9) The theologians 
could not confidently treat of human characters, personalities, 
dispositions, temperaments, nor intellects, all of which are shifts: so they 
said that they conceived of finals, or unchangeables, which they called 
"souls." If economists and psychologists and sociologists should disregard 
all that is of hopes and fears and wants and other changes of human nature, 
and take "souls" for their units, they would have sciences as aristocratic 
and sterile as the science of astronomy, which is concerned with souls, 
under the name of masses. A final, or unchangeable, must be thought of as a 
state of unrelatedness. Anything that is reacting with something else must 
be thought of as being in a state of change. So when an astronomer 
formulates, or says he formulates, the effects of one mass, or one planet, 
as a mass, upon another, his meaningless statement might as well be that 
[247/248] the subject of his equations is the relations of unrelatedness. 

Starting with nothing thinkable to think about, if constants, or finals, are 
unknown in human experience, and are unrepresentable in human thought, the 
first and simplest of the astronomers' triumphs, as they tell it, is the 
Problem of the Two Masses. 

This simplest of the problems of celestial mechanics is simply a fiction. 
When Biela's comet split, the two masses did not revolve around a common 
centre of gravity. Other comets have broken into parts that did not so 
revolve. They have been no more subject to other attractions than have been 
this earth and its moon. The theorem is Sunday School Science. It is a 
mathematician's story of what bodies in space ought to do. In the textbooks, 
it is said that the star Sirius and a companion star exemplify the theorem, 
but this is another yarn. If this star has moved, it has not moved as it was 
calculated to move. It exemplifies nothing but the inaccuracies of the 
textbooks. It is by means of their inaccuracies that they have worked up a 
reputation for exactness. 

Often in his book, an astronomer will sketchily take up a subject, and then 
drop it, saying that it is too complex, but that it can be mathematically 
demonstrated. The reader, who is a good deal of a dodger, himself, relieved 
at not having to go into complexities, takes this lazily and faithfully. It 
is bamboozlement. There are many of us, nowadays, who have impressions of 
what mathematicians can do to, or with, statistics. To say that something 
can be mathematically demonstrated has no more meaning than to say of 
something else that it can be politically demonstrated. During any campaign, 
read newspapers on both sides, and see that anything can be politically 
demonstrated. Just so it can be mathematically shown that twice two are 
[248/249] four, and it can be mathematically shown that two can never become 
four. Let somebody have two of arithmetic's favourite fruit, or two apples, 
and undertake to add two more of them. Although he will have no trouble in 
doing this, it can be mathematically shown to be impossible. Or that, 
according to Zeno's paradoxes, nothing can be carried over intervening space 
and added to something else. Instead of ending up sceptically about 
mathematics, here am I upholding that it can prove anything.(10) 

We are told in the textbooks, or the tracts, as I regard these propagandist 
writings of Sunday School Science, that by parallax, or annual displacement 
of stars, relatively to other stars, the motion of this earth around the sun 
has been instrumentally determined. Mostly, these displacements are about 
the apparent size of a fifty cent piece, held up by someone in New York 
City, as seen by somebody in Saratoga. This is much refinement. We ask these 
ethereal ones -- where is their excuse, if they get an eclipse wrong by a 
millionth of an inch, or a millionth of a second? 

We look up this boast. 

We find that disagreements are so great that some astronomers have reported 
what is called negative parallax, or supposed displacement of stars, the 
wrong way, according to theory. See Newcomb, The Stars, p. 152.(11) See the 
English Mechanic, 114-100, 112.(12) We are out to show that astronomers 
themselves do not believe parallactic determinations, but believe those that 
they want to believe. Newcomb says that he does not believe these 
determinations that are against what he wants to believe. 

Spectroscopic determinations are determined by whatever the spectroscopists 
want to determine. If one thinks not, let one look up the "determinations" 
by astronomers who were for and against Einstein. [249/250] Grebe and 
Bachem, at Bonn, found shifts of spectral lines in Einstein's favour. They 
were for Einstein. St. John, at the Mt. Wilson Observatory, found the 
testimony of the spectroscope not in Einstein's favour. He was against 
Einstein. The spectroscope is said to be against us. But, if we had a 
spectroscope of our own, it would be for us. 

In The Earth and the Stars, Abbot says that the spectroscope "seems to 
indicate" that variable stars, known as Cepheid Variables, are double 

But he says: "The distance between the supposed pairs turns out to be 
impossibly small." When a spectroscopic determination is not what it should 
be, it only "seems to indicate." 

The camera is another if the images in astronomical idolatry. I note that 
bamboozlements that have played out everywhere else, still hold good in 
astronomy. Spirit photographs fall flat. At the movies, if we see somebody 
capering seemingly near an edge of a roof, we do not think that he had been 
photographed anywhere near an edge of a roof. Nevertheless, even in such a 
religious matter as photography in astronomy, a camera tells what it should 
tell, or the astronomers will not believe it. 

If the astronomers would fight more among themselves, more would come out. 
How can I be a pacifist, just so long as I am trying to educate myself? Much 
comes out, war times. Considerable came out, in astronomical matters, during 
the Mars controversy. Everything that was determined by Lowell, with his 
spectroscope, and his camera, and his telescope, as an indication of the 
existence of life upon the planet Mars, was determined by Campbell, with his 
spectroscope, and his camera and his telescope, to be not so. The question 
is not what an instrument determines. The question is -- whose instrument? 
All the astrono- [250/251] mers in the world may be against our notions, but 
most of their superiority is in their more expensive ways of deceiving 

Foucault's experiment, or the supposed demonstration with the pendulum, is 
supposed to show that this earth rotates daily. If a pendulum does -- at 
least for a while -- swing somewhat nearly in a constant line, though 
changing relatively to environment, and if we think that neither 
religiously, nor accidentally, has it received some helpful little pushes, 
we accept that here there may be indication of an annual, and not daily, 
rotation of this earth. That would account for the annual shift, and not the 
daily shift, of the stars. I don't know that I accept this, but I have no 
opposing prejudice. When I write of this earth as "almost stationary," as I 
have to regard it, if I think of it as surrounded by a starry shell that is 
not vastly far away, I mean that relatively to the tremendous velocities of 
conventionality. But this alleged experiment has never been more than part 
of an experiment. I quote from one of the latest textbooks, Astronomy, by 
Prof. John C. Duncan, published in 1926.(14) We are told that a pendulum if 
undisturbed swings for "several hours," in "very nearly" the same plane. 
Farther along we read that, in the latitude of Paris, where Foucault made 
his experiment, the time for the complete demonstration is 32 hours. Prof. 
Duncan makes no comment, but it is the reader's own fault if he reads in 
these statements that the swing of a pendulum, through more than part of the 
experiment, and in more than "very nearly" the same plane, ever has 
demonstrated the daily rotation of this earth. 

In the textbooks, which are pretty good reading for contrary persons like 
ourselves, it is said that the circumstance that this earth is approximately 
an oblate spheroid indicates the rapid rotation of this earth. But [251/252] 
our negative principle is that nothing exclusively indicates anything. It 
does not matter what an astronomer, or anybody else says to support any 
statement, the support must be a myth. Even if we could accept that the 
astronomers are right, I could not accept that they can demonstrate that 
they're right. So we hunt around for opposing data, knowing that they must 
be findable somewhere. We come to the shape of the sun. The sun rotates 
rapidly, but the sun is not an oblate spheroid: if there be any departure 
from sphericity, the sun is a prolate spheroid. Or we argue that oblateness 
may be an indication that in early, formative times this earth rotated 
rapidly, but that now this earth could be oblate and almost stationary. It 
may be another instance of my many credulities, but here I an accepting that 
this roundish, or perhaps pear-shaped, earth is flattened at the poles, as 
it is said to be. 

Astronomers cite relative numerousness of meteors, as indication of this 
earth's motion in an orbit. Prof. Duncan (Astronomy, p. 262) says that 
meteors seen after midnight are about twice as numerous as are those that 
are seen before midnight.(15) "This is because, in the latter half of the 
night, we are riding on the front side of the Earth, as it moves along its 
orbit and receive meteors from all directions, whereas in the earlier half 
we see none of those which the Earth meets `head on.'" 

There is no use comparing little sparks of meteors, seen at different times 
of night, because of course soon after midnight more of these little things 
are likely to be seen than earlier in the evening, in lingering twilight. 
Here, Prof. Duncan's statement is that when meteors can be seen morely, more 
meteors can be seen.(16) That is wisdom that we shall not defile. 

In the records of great meteors that were seen in England, in the year 1926 
-- see Nature, Observatory, [252/253] English Mechanic -- eighteen were seen 
before midnight, and not one was seen after midnight.(17) All other records 
that I know of are against this alleged indication that this earth moves in 
an orbit. For instance, see the catalogue of meteors and meteorites 
published in the Rept. Brit. Assoc. Ad. Sci., 1860.(18) 51 after midnight 
(from midnight to noon); 146 before midnight (noon to midnight). I have 
records of my own, for 125 years, in which the preponderance of early 
meteors is so great that, if there were any sense to this alleged 
indication, it would mean that this earth is running backward, or going 
around the way it shouldn't. Of course I note that great meteors are more 
likely to be reported before midnight, because, though many persons are out 
after midnight, mostly they're not out reporting meteors. But Prof. Duncan 
has made a statement, which depends upon records, and I am checking it up, 
according to records. Year 1925, for instance -- meteors of France and 
England -- 14 before midnight: 3 after midnight. This record, as I have it 
is not complete, but I will hold out for the proportionality. Most of the 
great meteors of 1930 were seen before midnight. 

Whatever becomes of Prof. Duncan's statement, I'll make one, myself, and 
that is that, if nobody looks up, or checks up, what the astronomers tell 
us, they are free to tell us anything that they want to tell us. Their 
system is a slippery imposition of evasions that cannot be checked up, or 
that, for various reasons, mostly are not checked up. But at least once 
there was a big check up. 

The 24th of January, 1925 -- excitement in New York City. 

It was such as, in all foreign countries, is supposed to arise in America 
only when somebody finds out a new way of making dollars. [253/254] 

It was the morning of the eclipse of the sun, total over a part of New York 

Open spaces in Central Park were crowded down to a line, as exactly as 
possible at 83rd Street. Up in the air were planes full of observers. 
Coogan's Bluff was lively with scientific gab. Hospitals were arranging that 
patients should see the eclipse. There was scarcely a dollar in it, and this 
account will be believed, in England and France, no more than will most of 
our other accounts. At the Fifth Avenue Police Court, Magistrate Dale 
adjourned court, and went, with lawyers and cops and persons out on bail to 
the roof. In Brooklyn, the Chamber of Commerce dropped all matters of 
exports and imports and went to the roof. I don't suppose everybody was 
looking. I can't accept homogeneity. There were probably some contrary ones 
who went down into cellars, simply because most of their neighbours were up 
on roofs. But the New York Telephone Company reported that when the eclipse 
came, not one call came into its offices, for ten minutes. When there are 
uproars in New York, they are such uproars as have never been heard anywhere 
else; but I think that most striking in the records of silences is this hush 
that came for ten minutes upon New York City. 

Along the line of 83rd Street, which had been exactly predicted by the 
astronomers, as the southern limit of the path to totality, and in places 
north and south, were stationed 149 observers, sent by the New York lighting 
companies, to report upon light effects. With them were photographers. 

At Petropaulovsk, Kamchatka, and at Cachapoyas, Peru, an eclipse is all that 
it should be, and books by astronomers tell of the minute exactness of the 
astronomers. But this was in New York City. Coogan's Bluff got into this. 
There were cops and judges and gunmen [254/255] on roofs, and the telephones 
were silent. There were 149 expert observers, who were not astronomers. They 
had photographers with them. 

In time, the astronomers did pretty well. But, hereafter when they tell of 
their refinements, as with discs several hundreds miles away, I shall think, 
not of fifty-cent pieces, but of Ferris Wheels. Their prediction was wrong 
by four seconds. 

The 149 observers for the lighting companies reported that the astronomers 
were wrong, in space, by three quarters of a mile. 

It was the day of the big check up. 

If the sun and the planets compose a system that is enormously remote from 
everything else in existence, what is it that regularises the motions, and 
why does not the mechanism run down? The astronomers say that the planets 
keep moving, and that a whole system does not run down, because space is 
empty, and there is "absolutely" nothing to tend to stop the moving bodies. 
See Abbot, The Earth and the Stars, p. 71.(19) Astronomers say this early in 
their books. Later, they forget. Later, when something else requires 
explanation, they tell a different story. They explain the zodiacal light in 
terms of enormous quantities of matter in space. In their chapters upon 
meteors, they tell of millions of tons of meteoric dusts that fall from 
space to this earth, every year. Abbot says that space is "absolutely" 
empty. Ball, for instance, explains the shortening of the orbit of Encke's 
comet as a result of friction with enormous quantities of matter in 
space.(20) I don't know how satisfactory, except to ourselves, our own 
expression will be, but compare it with a story of an absolute vacancy that 
is enormously occupied. 

There is a tendency to regularize. Crystals, flowers, and butterflies' 
wings. Proportionately as they become civilised, people regularise, or move 
in orbits. People [255/256] regularize in eating and sleeping. There are 
clockwork Romeos and Juliets. Everywhere, where the tendency is not toward 
irregularization, the tendency is toward regularization. Here's a good 
specimen of my own wisdom. Something is so, except when it isn't so. 

Not in terms of gravitation, but in terms of this tendency to regularize, 
celestial periodicities may be explained. 

Why does not the mechanism of what the astronomers think is a solar system 
run down? 

The astronomers say that this is because it is unresisted by a resisting 

Why does not a heart run down? Anyway for a long time? 

It is only a part, and, as a part, is sustained by what may be considered a 
whole. If we think of the so-called solar system, not as a virtually 
isolated, independent thing, with stars trillions of miles away, but as part 
of what may be considered an organic whole, within a starry shell, our 
expression is that it is kept going organically, as the heart of a lesser 
organism is kept going. 

Why does not the astronomers' own system, or systematized doctrine, run 
down, or why so slow about it? It is only a part of wider organisation, from 
which it is receiving maintenance in the form of bequests, donations, and 
funds of various kinds. 

Our opposition is a system of antiquated thought, concerned primarily with 
the unthinkable. It is supported by instruments that are believed when they 
tell what they should tell. The germ of the system is the fall of the rising 
moon. Its simplest problem is a fairy-theorem, fit for top-heavy infants, 
but too fanciful for grown up realists. Its prestige is built upon 
predictions. We have noted one of them that was three-quarters of a mile 
wrong. [256/257] 

Newtonism is no longer satisfactory. There is too much that it cannot 

Einsteinism has arisen. 

If Einsteinism is not satisfactory, there is room for other notions. 

For records of eclipses during which the stars were not displaced, as, 
according to Einstein, they should be, see indexes of Nature. See vols. 104 
and 105.(21) Displacement of spectral lines -- see records of astronomers 
who have disagreed. Perihelion-motion of Mercury's orbit -- Einstein 
calculated without knowing what he was calculating about. Nobody knows what 
this eccentricity is. See records of the transits of Mercury. Neither 
Newtonians nor Einsteinites have predicted them right. See the London Times, 
April 17 and 24, 1923.(22) Here Sir J. Larmor shows that, if Einstein's 
predictions of light-effects during eclipses were verified, they disproved 
his theory -- that, though Prof. Einstein would be a great mathematician, if 
in our existence anything could really be anything, relativity is so against 
him that he is only a relatively great mathematician, and made a bad error 
in his calculations, having mistakenly doubled certain effects. 

Defeat has been unconsciously the quest of all religions, all philosophies, 
and all sciences. If they were consciously trying to lose, they would be 
successes. Their search has been for the Absolute, in terms of which to 
explain the phenomenal, or for the Absolute to relate to. Supposed to have 
been found, it has been named Jehovah, or Gravitation, or the Persistence of 
Force. Prof. Einstein has taken the Velocity of Light, as the Absolute to 
relate to. 

We cannot divorce the idea of reciprocity from the idea of relations, and 
relating something to the Absolute would be relating the Absolute to 
something. This is defeating an alleged concept of the Absolute, [257/258] 
with the pseudo-idea of the Relative Absolute. The doctrine of Prof. 
Einstein's is based not upon an absolute finding, but upon a question: 

Which is the more graspable interpretation of the Michelson-Morley 

That no motion of this earth in an orbit is indicated, because the velocity 
of light is absolute; 

Or that no motion of this earth in an orbit is indicated, because this earth 
is stationary? 

Unfortunately for my own expressions, I have to ask a third question: 

Who, except someone who was out to boost a theory ever has demonstrated that 
light has any velocity? 

Prof. Einstein is a Girondist of the Scientific Revolution. His revolt is 
against classical mechanics, but his methods and his delusions are as 
antiquated as what he attacks. But it is my expression that he has 
functioned. Though his strokes were wobbles, he has shown with his palsies 
the insecurities of that in Science which has been worshipfully regarded as 
the Most High. 

It is my expression that the dissolution of phenomenal things is as much a 
matter of internal disorders as the effect of any external force, and that 
the slump of so many astronomers in favour of Einstein, who has made good in 
nothing, indicates a state of dissatisfaction that may precede a revolution 
-- or that, if a revolt starts in the Observatories, hosts of irreconcilable 
observations will be published by the astronomers themselves, cutting down 
distances of planets and stars enormously. I shall note an observation by an 
astronomer, such as probably no astronomer, in the past, would have 
published it. It seems to have been recorded reluctantly, and a conventional 
explanation was attempted -- but it was published. 

I take a clipping, from the Los Angeles Evening Herald, April 28, 1930, 
which was sent to me by [258/259] Mr. L.E. Stein, of Los Angeles.(23) In an 
account of the eclipse of the sun, April 28, 1930, Dr. H.M. Jeffers, staff 
astronomer of Lick Observatory, says: "We expected the shadow to be but half 
a mile in width. Instead of that, I think that it was nearer five miles 
broad." He says: "It may be suggested by others that the broad shadow was 
cast by astronomical errors due to the moon being closer to the earth than 
we have placed it in theory. But I don't believe that this broad belt was 
caused by anything but refraction." 

The difference between half a mile and five miles is great. If the prophets 
of Lick Observatory did not take refraction into consideration, all the rest 
of their supposed knowledge may be attributable to incompetence. This 
difference may mean that the moon is not more than a day's journey away from 
this earth. 

In The Earth and the Stars, p. 221, Abbot tells of the spectroscopic 
determinations by which the new star in Perseus (Feb. 22, 1901) was "found" 
to be at a distance of three hundred light years from this earth.(24) The 
news was published in the newspapers. A new star had appeared, about the 
year 1600, and its light was not seen upon this earth, until Feb. 22nd, 
1901. And the astronomers were able to tell this -- that away back, at the 
moment when Queen Elizabeth -- well, whatever she was doing -- maybe it 
wouldn't be any too discreet to inquire into just what she was doing -- but 
the astronomers told that just when Queen Elizabeth was doing whatever she 
was doing, the heavens were doing a new star. And where am I, comparatively? 
Where are my poor, little yarns of flows of methylated spirits from 
ceilings, and "mysterious strangers," and bodies on railroad lines, compared 
with a yarn of the new star and Queen Elizabeth? 

But the good, little star restores my conceit. In the face of all 
spectroscopes in all Observatories, it shot [259/260] out nebulous rings 
that moved at a rate of 2 or 3 seconds of arc a day. If they were 300 light 
years away, this was a velocity far greater than that of light is said to 
be. If they were 300 light years away, it was motion at the rate of 220,000 
miles a second. There were dogmas that could not stand this, and the 
spectroscopic determinations, which were in agreement, were another case of 
agreements working out, as they shouldn't have worked out. The astronomers 
had to cut down one of their beloved immensities. Whether as a matter of 
gallantry, or not, they spread denial for Queen Elizabeth's reputation to 
tread upon, saving that from the mud of an inquiry into just what Her 
Majesty was doing, and substituting unromantic speculation upon what, say, 
Andrew Jackson was up to. 

Abbot's way of explaining the mistake is by attributing the first 
"pronouncements" to "the roughness of the observations." 

All over this earth, astronomers were agreeing in these determinations. They 
were refinements until something else appeared and roughened them. 

It would seem that, after this fiasco of the readjusted interest in what 
historical personages were doing, astronomers should have learned something. 
But, if Prof. Todd is right, in his characterisation of them, that is 
impossible. About twenty years later, this situation, essentially the same 
in all particulars, repeated. Upon May 27, 1925, a new star was discovered 
in the southern constellation Pictor. By spectroscopic determination, its 
distance was "determined" to be 540 light years. See this stated in a 
bulletin of the Harvard Observatory, November, 1927. 

March 27, 1928 -- the new star split.(25) 

When the split was seen, astronomers of the South African Observatory 
repudiated the gospel of their spectroscopes of three years before. There 
must have [260/261] been much roughness, even though there had been three 
years in which to plane down the splinters. They cut the distance from 540 
to 40 light years. If there should be any more reductions like this, there 
may start a slump of immensities down toward a conception of a thinkable-
sized formation of stars. A distance cut down 60 x 60 x 24 x 365 x 500 x 
186,000 miles is a pretty good start. 

Prof. Einstein, having no means of doing anything of the kind, predicts a 
displacement of the stars. 

Astronomers go out upon an expedition to observe an eclipse, and, not 
knowing that Einstein has no special means of predicting anything, they 
report, presumably because they want so to report, that he is right. 

Then eclipse after eclipse -- and Einstein is wrong. 

But he has cast an ancient system into internal dissensions, and has cast 
doubts upon antiquities of thought almost as if his pedantic guesses had had 
better luck. 

Whether the time has come, or not, here is something that looks as if it is 

An editorial in the New York Sun, Sept. 3, 1930: views of somebody else 

"The public is being played upon and utterly misled by the dreamery of the 
rival mathematical astronomers and physicists -- not to mention the clerics 
-- who are raising the game of notoriety to a fine art; in rivalry to 
religious mysticism, a scientific pornography is being developed, and 
attracts the more because it is mysterious." 

These are the views of Professor Henry E. Armstrong, emeritus head of the 
department of chemistry, at City and Guilds College, South Kensington, 

This is revolt inside. That is what develops into revolution. [261/262] 

Prof. Armstrong's accusation of pornography may seem unduly stimulating: 
but, judging by their lecheries in other respects, one sees that all that 
astronomers have to do is discover that stars have sex, and they'll have us 
sneaking to bookstores, for salacious "pronouncements" and "determinations" 
upon the latest celestial scandals. This would popularise them. And after 
anything becomes popular -- then what? 

That the time has come -- or is coming -- or more of the revolt within -- 

Or that, if they cannot continue upon their present pretences of progress, 
the astronomers must return from their motionless excursions. A generation 
ago, they told of inconceivable distances of stars. Then they said that they 
had, a thousand times, multiplied some of these distances: but, if the 
inconceivable by multiplied any number of times, it is still the same old 
inconceivability. If, at the unthinkable, thought stops, but if thought must 
move somewhere, the astronomers, who cannot go on expansively, will, if they 
do think, have to think in reductions. If the time has come, there will be a 
crash in the Observatories, with astronomers in a panic selling short on 

Upon Sept. 2nd, 1930, began a meeting of the American Astronomical Society, 
in Chicago. A paper that was read by Dr. P. Van de Kamp may be a signal for 
a panic. Said he: "Some of the stars may actually be thousands of light 
years nearer than astronomy believes them to be." 

That -- with some extensions -- is about what I am saying. 

Says the astronomer Leverrier -- back in times when an astronomical system 
is growing up, and is of use in combating an older and decaying orthodoxy, 
and needs support and prestige -- says he -- "Look in the [262/263] sky, and 
at the point of my calculations, you will find the planet that is perturbing 

"Lo!" as some of the astronomers say in their books. At a point in the sky 
that can be said -- to anybody who does not inquire into the statements -- 
to be almost exactly the point of Leverrier's calculations, is found the 
planet Uranus, to which -- for all the public knows -- can be attributed the 
perturbations of Uranus.(27) 

Up goes the useful renown of the astronomers. Supported by this triumph, 
they function. 

But, if they're only the figments of one of the dream-like developments of 
our pseudo-existence, they, too, must pass away, and they must go by way of 
slaughter, or by way of laughter. Considering all their doings, I think that 
through hilarity would be the fitter exit. 


"Look at the sky," we are told that the astronomer Lowell said, "and at the 
point of my calculations, you will find the planet that is perturbing 

But this is the year 1930. 

Nevertheless we are told that a planet is found almost exactly at the point 
of the calculations. The exultations of the astronomers are spreadheaded. 

But this is later. The damned thing takes a tack that shows that it could no 
more have been perturbing Neptune than I, anyway just at present, could cast 
a meeting of the National Academy of Sciences into disorder by walking past 

They must be murdered, or we shall laugh them away. There is always 
something that can be said in favour of murder, but in the case of the 
astronomers that would be wilful waste of the stuff of laughter. Orthodox 
astronomers have said the Leverrier used no mathematical method by which he 
could have determined the position of Neptune. See Lowell's The Evolution of 
Worlds, p. 124.(28) By way of stuff for the [263/264] laugh, I mention that 
one of these disbelieving astronomers was Lowell. 

One time, in a mood of depression, I went to the New York Public Library, 
and feeling a want for a little, light reading, I put in a slip for Lowell's 
Memoir on a Trans-Neptunian Planet.(29) I got even more amusement than I had 

Just where was this point, determined by Lowell, almost exactly in which his 
planet was found? The spreadheads -- the special articles -- over and over 
in the newspapers of the world -- "almost exactly." 

Says Lowell, page 105: "Precise determination of its place does not seem 
possible. A general direction alone is predicable."(30) 

The stuff for a laugh that is satisfactory as murder is in the solemn 
announcements, by the astronomers, about April Fool's Day, 1930, that they 
had found Lowell's planet almost exactly in the place, precise determination 
of which does not seem possible -- 

Their chatter over Lowell's magnificent accuracy in pointing in a general 
direction --(31) 

Then the tack of a thing that showed that it could not have been all this 
indefiniteness, anyway -- 

265 years, instead of 3,000 years -- 

And instead of going the thing was coming. 

If they can't tell whether something is coming or going, their solemn 
announcements upon nearness or farness may be equally laughable. 

If by mathematical means Adams and Leverrier did not determine the position 
of the planet Neptune, or its it was, in an opinion that Lowell quotes, "a 
happy accident," how account for such happiness, or for this timely and 
sensational boost to a prestige, if we suspect that it was not altogether an 

My expression is that herein I'd typify my idea of organic control which, 
concealed under human vanity, [264/265] makes us think that we are doing all 
things ourselves, gives support to human institutions, when they are timely 
and are functioning, and then casts its favourites into rout and fiasco, 
when they have outlived their functioning-period. 

If Leverrier really had had powers by which he could have pointed to an 
unseen planet, that would have been a finality of knowledge that would be 
support to a prestige that could never be overthrown. Suppose a church had 
ever been established upon foundations not composed of the stuff of lies and 
frauds and latent laughter. Let the churchman stand upon other than 
gibberish and mummery, and there'd be nothing by which to laugh away his 

Say that, whether it be a notion of organic control, or not, we accept any 
theory of Growth, or Development, or Evolution -- 

Then we accept that the solemnest of our existence's phenomena are of a 
wobbling tissue -- rocks of ages that are only hardened muds -- or that a 
lie is the heart of everything sacred -- 

Because otherwise there could not be Growth, or Development, or Evolution. 


1. Henri Bergson. F.L. Pogson, trans. Time and Free Will. New York: 
Humanities Press, 1910, 114. "Why resort to a metaphysical hypothesis, 
however ingenious, about the nature of space, time, and motion, when 
immediate intuition shows us motion within duration, and duration outside 

2. Cecil Goodrich Julius Dolmage. Astronomy of Today. London, 1909, 327. 

3. According to Cajori, John Couch Adams examined Newton's letters and 
manuscripts in the Portsmouth Collection, and it was Adams' view: "Newton's 
numerical verification was fairly complete in 1666, but Newton had not been 
able to determine what the attraction of a spherical shell upon an external 
point would be. His letters to Halley show that he did not suppose the earth 
to attract as though all its mass were concentrated into a point at the 
centre. He could not have asserted, therefore, that the assumed law of 
gravity was verified by the figures, though for long distances he might have 
claimed that it yielded close approximations... After Halley's visit, 
Newton, with Picard's new value for the earth's radius, reviewed his earlier 
calculation, and was able to show that if the distances between the bodies 
in the solar system were so great that the bodies might be considered 
points; then their motions were in accordance with the assumed law of 
gravitation." Florian Cajori. A History of Mathematics. New York: Macmillan 
and Co., 1894, 214-5. According to Brodetsky: "For some reason or another 
Newton's attention had not been drawn to the more correct value of the 
earth's radius. He had taken it to be given by sixty English miles for a 
degree of latitude. The correct was much more. Picard's value was 69.1 
miles, a difference of over fifteen per cent...Eventually the truth 
emerged." S. Brodetsky. Sir Isaac Newton: A Brief Account of his Life and 
Work. London: Methuen & Co., 1927, 88-89. 

4. David Peck Todd. Stars and telescope. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 
1899, 1. 

5. "Descartes, Malebranche, Fontenelle, and Huygens, on the contrary, 
deduced the forces of weight, or the planetary gravitation, from a certain 
disposition of matter in the world. To them the Newtonian gravitational 
explanation based upon `attraction' was obscure and questionable, while that 
of Descartes's was based upon clear mechanical principles which were 
acknowledged by almost everybody. Matter for the Cartesians was pure 
extension, and differs in places by its thinness or thickness of structure. 
Descartes explained weight as a consequence of the pressure of the whirling 
bodies against the parts of space, in which they are pressed against the 
parts of space, in which they are pressed against the heavenly bodies, or, 
if not, they are kept in close proximity to them...According to the 
variations of respective configurations of the bodies, he believed they 
could transform themselves, one into the other, acquiring or losing mass 
without acquiring or losing matter. In fact, Descartes admits weight to be 
due to the shape, or pure extension, then it necessarily follows that weight 
changes with the shape or figure of the particle. It was this conception 
which had been experimentally disproved by Newton." Adolph Judah Snow. 
Matter & Gravity in Newton's Physical Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University 
Press, 1926, 94-5. Reprint. New York: Arno Press, 1975, 94-5. 

6. "The perturbations produced by this planet in the motions of the other 
bodies of the system are so small as to render the determination of its mass 
exceedingly difficult. Laplace effected this object by the aid of the 
hypothetic principle that the densities of the planets vary in the inverse 
ratio of their mean distances from the sun. In this manner he obtained 
1/1,846,082 for the mass of the planet. Delambre, by comparing Laplace's 
formula of the Earth's perturbations with the solar observations of Bradley 
and Maskelyne, was induced to fix the mass at 1/2,546,320. Burchardt by a 
similar process obtained 1/2,680,337 for its true value. The accordance 
between these results is sufficiently satisfactory; but Mr. Airy has 
inferred from his researches on the solar theory that Delambre's estimate 
should be diminished in the proportion of 22 to 15. It is fortunate, as in 
the case of Mercury, that the disturbing effects of this planet are so 
insignificant as to dispense with the necessity of extreme accuracy." Robert 
Grant. History of Physical Astronomy from the Earliest Ages to the Middle of 
the Nineteenth Century. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1852, 129. 

7. The discovery of two satellites by Asaph Hall took place on August 16 and 
17; though the outer satellite had been seen on August 15, it was not 
recognized at that time as being a satellite. "The satellites of Mars." New 
York Times, August 22, 1877, p.1 c.2. The third satellite of Mars was 
jointly discovered by Henry Draper and E.S. Bolden on August 26, but few 
details of its discovery and its orbit have been subsequently noted. "City 
and suburban news." New York Times, August 30, 1877, p.8 c.5. 

8. David Peck Todd. Astronomy: The Science of the Heavenly Bodies. 1899 ed. 
New York: P.F. Collier & Son Co., 1922, 77-78. 

9. The word "mass" has apparently been borrowed on many occasions for 
relatively similar concepts. The Greek word "maza" is a common bread or 
"barley cake," and it may have been borrowed from the Hebrew word "mazza," 
which is an unleavened bread. Archimedes may have been referring to unformed 
masses, meaning a "lump" or "block," in his discoveries of hydrostatic 
principles, long before the use of the term by Christians. The Last Supper, 
which has been ritualized by the Christian religion in the Eucharistic mass, 
involves the belief that bread is transformed into flesh, or Holy Bread, 
(without any perception of this exchange of matter), to obtain immortality; 
the Eucharistic mass may have had some origin in the sacred communion of 
bread in the mysteries of Mithras, wherein Helios and Mithras may share 
their immortality with others in a common meal; yet, the Last Supper was a 
Passover celebration, commemorating a sacrificial meal (of unleavened, or 
unfermented and uncorrupted, bread) made in haste during a flight from 
Egypt, (wherein a Hebrew root word "nazzah" has the same meaning of speed 
and haste). Physicists might recognize in these theological conceptions the 
principles of equivalence in material quantity or of inertial force, known 
to them by the term "mass," (though Newton's physics would also include 
active gravitational mass and passive gravitational mass, which are 
proportional to inertial mass). Max Jammer. Concepts of Mass in Classical 
and Modern Physics. New York: Harper & Row, 1961; 7-15, 125-6. 

10. In the matrix mathematics used by those dealing with quantum mechanics, 
the sum of A x B does not necessarily equal the sum of B x A. 

11. Simon Newcomb. Stars. 1901, 152. 

12. O.R. Walkey. "Negative parallaxes." English Mechanic, 114 (September 16, 
1921): 100. O.R. Walkey. "Negative parallaxes -- Corrigendum." English 
Mechanic, 114 (September 23, 1921): 112. For the original letter in this 
series: "Letters to the Editor." English Mechanic, 114 (September 2, 1921): 
72-78, at 72. Also, for Oliver J. Lee's explanations of probable causes of 
negative parallaxes: "Universe's size cut in new star study." New York 
Times, September 5, 1930, p.12 c.1. For Asaph Hall's negative parallax of 6 
Cygni and David Gill's negative parallax of Centauri: "The parallaxes of 
fixed stars." English Mechanic, 48 (August 31, 1888): 8. 

13. Charles Greely Abbot. The Earth and the Stars. New York: D. Van Nostrand 
Co., 1926, 214. 

14. John Charles Duncan. Astronomy: A textbook. New York: Harper and 
Brothers, 1926, 1st ed. 2d ed., New York: Harper and Brothers, 1926, 2d ed. 

15. John Charles Duncan. Astronomy: A textbook. New York: Harper and 
Brothers, 1926, 1st ed., 262-263. 2d ed., New York: Harper and Brothers, 
1926, 2d ed., 262. 

16. Sic, more clearly. 

17. A.R. Gold. "A remarkable meteor." English mechanic and world of science, 
123 (March 26, 1926): 164. A.R. Gold. "A remarkable meteor." English 
mechanic and world of science, 123 (April 2, 1926): 177. T. Royce. "Meteor." 
English mechanic and world of science, 123 (April 16, 1926): 206. "Two 
fireballs." Nature, 117 (April 3, 1926): 496. "Fireball of April 9." Nature, 
117 (May 1, 1926): 633. "Fireball of May 2." Nature, 117 (May 29, 1926): 
766. "Fireball of August 13." Nature, 118 (September 11, 1926): 388. 
"Another detonating fireball." Nature, 118 (October 16, 1926): 566. "Unusual 
display of large meteors." Nature, 118 (October 23, 1926): 603. "The 
detonating meteor of Oct. 2, 1926." Nature, 119 (April 16, 1927): 578. W.F. 
Denning. "Meteor notes." Observatory, 49 (1926): 132-133. W.F. Denning. 
"Meteor notes." Observatory, 49 (1926): 164-166. W.F. Denning. "Meteor 
notes." Observatory, 49 (1926): 229-230. W.F. Denning. "Meteor notes." 
Observatory, 49 (1926): 287-288. W.F. Denning. "Meteor notes." Observatory, 
49 (1926): 313-314. W.F. Denning. "Meteor notes." Observatory, 49 (1926): 
344-345. W.F. Denning. "Meteor notes." Observatory, 49 (1926): 375-376. 

18. R.P. Greg. "A catalogue of meteorites and fireballs." Annual report of 
the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1860, 48-120, at 
117, c.v. Table IX. 

19. Charles Greely Abbot. The Earth and the stars. New York: D. Van Nostrand 
Co., 1926, 71. 

20. By 1905, Ball had accepted the "masterly analysis of Von Asten and 
Backlund" in explaining the changes in the orbit of Encke's Comet as being 
the result of planetary perturbations. Robert Ball. The Story of the 
Heavens. Rev. ed. New York: Cassell and Company, 1905, 350-1. "The German 
astronomer, Encke, in the course of his prolonged study of the comet which 
bears his name, found that, notwithstanding every allowance which he could 
make for planetrary influences, the comet always returned to perihelion 2 
hours sooner than it should have done. To explain this he conjectured the 
existence of some ethereal `Resisting Medium,' sufficienly dense to produce 
an effect on a body of such extreme tenuity as his comet, but incapable of 
exercising any sensible influence on the planets. The propriety of this 
theory seems still open to some doubt, no clear confirmation of its 
existence having yet been obtained in the case of any other comet." George 
Frederick Chambers. Astronomy for General Readers. New York: Whittaker & 
Co., 1908, 145-6. 

21. Oliver Lodge. "Gravitation and light." Nature, 104 (November 27, 1919): 
334. "Notes." Nature, 104 (November 27, 1919): 338-342, at 339. Oliver J. 
Lodge. "Gravitation and light." Nature, 104 (December 4, 1919): 354. Alexr. 
Anderson. "The displacement of light rays passing near the sun." Nature, 104 
(December 4, 1919): 354. E. Cunningham. "Einstein's relativity theory of 
gravitation." Nature, 104 (December 4, 1919; December 11, 1919; December 18, 
1919): 354-356, 374-376, 394-395. Oliver J. Lodge. "Gravitation and light." 
Nature, 104 (December 11, 1919): 372. A.S. Eddington. "The deflection of 
light during a solar eclipse." Nature, 104 (December 11, 1919): 372. A.C.D. 
Crommelin. "The deflection of light during a solar eclipse." Nature, 104 
(December 11, 1919): 372-373. "Notes." Nature, 104 (December 11, 1919): 376-
380, at 377-378. W.H. Dines. "The deflection of light during a solar 
eclipse." Nature, 104 (December 18, 1919): 393. Lewis F. Richardson. "The 
deflection of light during a solar eclipse." Nature, 104 (393-394; December 
18, 1919): 393-394. Alexr. Anderson. "The deflection of light during a solar 
eclipse." Nature, 104 (December 18, 1919): 394. Joseph Larmor. "Gravitation 
and light." Nature, 104 (December 25, 1919): 412. C.J.P. Cave. "The 
deflection of light during a solar eclipse." Nature, 104 (December 25, 
1919): 413. Alexr. Anderson. "The deflection of light during a solar 
eclipse." Nature, 104 (January 1, 1920): 436. "Physics at the British 
Association." Nature, 104 (January 1, 1920): 454-455. "Societies and 
academies," under "Edinburgh." Nature, 104 (January 1, 1920): 458-459. 
"Educational conferences." Nature, 104 (January 15, 1920): 513-314, at 514. 
Joseph Larmor. "Gravitation and light." Nature, 104 (January 22, 1920): 530. 
H. Fletcher Moulton. "The Einstein theory and spectral displacement." 
Nature, 104 (January 22, 1920): 532. Andrew C.D. Crommelin. "The Einstein 
theory and spectral displacement." Nature, 104 (January 22, 1920): 532. L. 
Silberstein. "Italian papers on relativity." Nature, 104 (January 22, 1920): 
552. Alexr. Anderson. "The deflection of light during a solar eclipse." 
Nature, 104 (January 29, 1920): 563. Robert W. Lawson. "Displacement of 
spectral lines." Nature, 104 (January 29, 1920): 565. James Rice. "The 
predicted shift of the Fraunhofer lines." Nature, 104 (February 5, 1920): 
598. A.S. Eddington. "The predicted shift of the Fraunhofer lines." Nature, 
104 (February 5, 1920): 598-599. W.G. Duffield. "Relativity and the 
displacement of Fraunhofer lines." Nature, 104, 659-660. Leigh Page. 
"Gravitational deflection of high-speed particles." Nature, 104 (February 
26, 1920): 692-693. A.C.D. Crommelin. "The Einstein deflection of light." 
Nature, 105 (March 4, 1920): 23-24. A.S. Eddington. "The gravitational 
deflection of high-speed particles." Nature, 105 (March 11, 1920): 37. 
Harold Jeffreys. "The gravitational shift of spectral lines." Nature, 105 
(March 11, 1920): 37-38. H.G. Forder. "Gravitational deflection of high-
speed particles." Nature, 105 (p.138; April 1, 1920): 138. Leigh Page. 
"Gravitational deflection of high-speed particles." Nature, 105 (April 22, 
1920): 233. "The Einstein displacement of spectral lines." Nature, 105 
(April 22, 1920): 244. "Notes." Nature, 105 (May 6, 1920): 303-306, at 306. 
"Societies and academies." Nature, 105 (August 26, 1920): 842-844, at 842. 
The division of opinion continued for several years as shown in the 
following article: A.C.D. Crommelin. "Einstein and the recent eclipse." 
Nature, 111 (April 21, 1923): 541. 

22. Joseph Larmor. "Einstein and gravitation." London Times, April 17, 1923, 
p.15 c.3. Joseph Larmor. "Einstein and gravitation." London Times, April 24, 
1923, p.10 c.2. "Einstein and the aether." London Times, April 24, 1923, 
p.15 c.4. 

23. Los Angeles Evening Herald, (April 28, 1930). This article may have 
appeared in a different edition than that preserved on microfilm. 

24. Charles Greely Abbot. The Earth and the stars. New York: D. Van Nostrand 
Co., 1926, 211. 

25. "Split of new star stirs scientists." New York Times, March 28, 1928, 
p.29 c.8. 

26. "Relief for the layman." New York Sun, September 3, 1930, p.22 c.2. 
Correct quotes: "...who are touring today and raising...," and, "...is being 
developed, which attracts...." 

27. Sic, the planet Neptune. 

28. Percival Lowell. The Evolution of Worlds. New York: Macmillan Co., 1909, 
124. Lowell states: "Influenced by Bode's law, he began by assuming it to 
lie at twice Uranus' distance from the Sun, and, expressing the observed 
discrepancies in longitude in equations, comprising the perturbations and 
possible errors in the elements of Uranus, proceeded to solve them. He could 
get no rational solution." Ibid., 121. 

29. Percival Lowell. Memoir on a Trans-Neptunian Planet. 105. 

30. "Predicable" is the typo in Lowell's Memoir. 

31. Actually, Lowell gave two directions in his Memoir; and, even though no 
planet was found in these two directions, (or locations of the sky), upon 
the photographic plates taken from the Lowell telescope in 1915, at that 
time, later investigations did find Pluto upon them, (after Pluto's orbit 
was established to a finer degree and retraced to its former positions). 
Lowell had photographed a trans-Neptunian planet, such as he was searching 
for; but, he did not find it, as it was outside the directions he had 


A TREK of circumstances that kicks up a dust of details -- a vast and dirty 
movement that is powdered with particulars -- 

The gossip of men and women, and the yells of brats -- whether dinner is 
ever going to be ready, or not -- young couples in their nightly sneaks -- 
and what the hell has become of the grease for the wheels? -- who's got a 

It's a wagon train that feels out across a prairie. 

A drink of water -- a chaw of tobacco -- just where to borrow a cupful of 
flour -- and yet, even though at its time any of these wants comes first, 
there is something behind all -- 

The hope for Californian gold. 

The wagon train feels out across the prairie. It traces a path that other 
wagon trains make more dis- [266/267] tinct -- and the so rolls a movement 
that to this day can be seen the ruts of its wheels. 

But behind the visions of gold, and the imagined feel of nuggets, there is 
something else -- 

The gold plays out. A dominant motive turns to something else. Now a social 
growth feels out. Its material of people, who otherwise would have been 
stationary, has been moved to the west. 

The first, faint structures in an embryonic organism are of cartilage. They 
are replaced by bone. 

The paths across prairies turn to lines of steel. 

Or that once upon a time, purposefully, to stimulate future developments, 
gold was strewn in California -- and that there had been control upon the 
depositions, so that only enough to stimulate a development, and not enough 
to destroy a financial system had been strewn -- 

That in other parts of this earth, in far back times, there had been 
purposeful plantings of the little, yellow slugs that would -- when their 
time should come -- bring about other extensions of social growths. 

But the word purposeful, and the word providential, are usurped words. They 
are of the language of theologians, and are meant to express an idea of a 
presiding being, ruling existence, superior to it, and not of it, or not 
implicit to it. I'd rather go on using these words, denying their ownership 
by any special cult, than to coin new words. With no necessity for thinking 
of an external designer and controller, I can think of design and control 
and providence and purpose and preparation for future uses, if I can think 
not loosely of Nature, but of a Nature, as an organic whole. Every being, 
except for its dependence upon environment, is God to its parts. 

It is upon the northern parts of this earth that the civilizations that have 
persisted have grown up, [267/268] then extending themselves colonially 
southward. History, like South America and Africa, tapers southward. There 
are no ruins of temples, pyramids, obelisks, in Australia, Argentina, South 
Africa. Preponderantly peninsulas are southward droops. As if by design, or 
as if concordantly with an accentuation if lands and peoples in the north, 
the sun shines about a week longer in the north, each year, than in the 
south. The coldness in the less important Antarctic regions is more intense 
than in the Arctic, and here there is vegetation like the grasses and 
flowers of the Arctic, in the summer time. Life withers southward. Musk 
oxen, bears, wolves, foxes, lemmings in the Far North -- but there are only 
amphibious mammals in the Antarctic. Fields of Arctic poppies in the Arctic 
summer time -- but summer in the Antarctic is grey with straggling lichens. 
If this earth be top-shaped as some of the geodesists think, it is a bloom 
that is stemmed with desolation. 

There are no deposits of coal in the southern parts that compare with 
deposits in the northern parts. The greatest abundance of oil supplies is 
north of the equator. It looks like organic preparation, if formative times, 
before human life appeared upon this earth, for civilisations that would 
grow up in the north. For ages, peoples of this earth were ignorant of the 
uses of coal and oil, upon which their later developments would depend. 

But so conventionalised are the thoughts of most persons, upon this subject, 
that if, for instance, my expression is that gold was strewn in California 
in preparation for future uses, there must be either a visualisation of an 
aggrandised man, who walked about, slinging nuggets, or a denial that, 
except in the mind of a man, there can be purpose, or control, or design, or 
providence -- 

But the making of a lung in an embryonic being [268/269] that can not 
breathe -- but it will breathe. This making of a lung is a preparation for 
future uses. Or the depositions of tissues that are muscles that are not, 
but that will be, used. Mechanical foresight, or preparation for future 
uses, pervades every embryonic being. There is a fortune teller in every 

Still, not altogether only theological have been speculations upon the 
existence of purpose, or design, control, or guidance in "Nature." There are 
philosophical doctrines known as orthogenesis and entelechy. Again we are in 
a situation that we have noted. If there be orthogenesis, or guidance from 
within -- within what? Heretofore, this doctrine has provided no outlines 
within which to think. All that is required for thinkableness, instead of 
bafflement, is to give up attempted notions upon Nature, as Universality, 
and conceive of one thinkable-sized existence, of shape that is 
representable in thought, and conceive of an organic orthogenesis within 

In the organic sense, there is, in the Arctic regions, no great need for 
water. Though the coldness is not so intense here as it is commonly supposed 
to be, the climate nevertheless prevents much colonisation. I have never 
read of a deluge in the Arctic. Thunderstorms are very uncommon. Some 
explorers have never seen a thunderstorm in the Arctic regions. And at the 
same time there are oppressively warm, or almost tropical, summer days in 
the Arctic. Instead of the enormous falls of snow, of common supposition, 
the fall of snow, in the Far North, is "very light" (Stefansson). It looks 
like organically economic neglect of a part that cannot be used. Where, as 
reliefs, thunderstorms are not needed, there are, except as vagaries, no 
thunderstorms, though the summertime conditions in places of need and no 
need are much alike. See Heilprin's account of his experiences in Greenland 
-- sum- [269/270] mer days so nearly tropical that pitch melted from the 
seams of his ship. 

The alternations that are known as the seasons are beneficial. They have 
come about accidentally, or they have been worked out by Automatic Design, 
or by all-pervasive intelligence, or by equilibration, if that word be 
preferred to the word "intelligence." It looks as if more complexly a 
problem was solved. It is commonly thought that only brains solve problems, 
or, rather, approximate to solutions: but every living things carries a 
weapon, or a tool, presumably not with its brains, but with intelligence 
that pervades all substances -- so then with the intelligence of its body -- 
solved a problem. It looks as if more complexly a problem was solved, as I 
say, though in anything like a real, or final, sense, no problem ever has 
been solved. By the varying of incidence of the sun, alternations of 
fruitfulness and rest could be brought about in the north and the south, but 
that left rhythms small in the tropics. It looks as if here, intelligently, 
were brought about the changes that are known as the dry season and the 
rainy season. I have never read a satisfactory explanation of this 
alternation, in conventional, meteorological terms. 

In the April rains there is evidence, or might be, if we could have a 
rational idea as to what we mean by evidence, of design, and an 
automatically intelligent provision and control. Something is controlling 
the motions of the planets, according to all appearances that we take 
appearances of control. Accepting this, I am only amplifying. Rains, of a 
gentle and frequent kind that is most beneficial to young plants, or best 
adapted to them, fall in April. Conventional biology is too one-sided. It 
treats of adaptation of plants to rain. We see also the adaptation of rains 
to plants. But there must be either the conventionally theological, or 
[270/271] the organic, view, to see this reciprocity. If one prefers to 
think of a kind and loving deity, who is sending the April rains, he will 
have to consider -- or, rather, will be faced by -- records of other rains, 
which are of the loving kindness of slaughter and desolation and woe. 

There is some, unknown condition that ameliorates the climate of Great 
Britain, as if this centre of colony-sporing were prepared for by an 
automatic purposefulness, and protected from the rigours of the same 
latitudes in the west. Once upon a time, one of the wisemen's most definite 
concepts was the Gulf Stream. They wrote about its "absolute demarcation" 
from surrounding waters. They were as sure of the Gulf Stream as they are 
to-day that the stars are trillions of miles away. Lately so much has been 
written upon the inconceivability of the Gulf Stream having effect upon 
climate farther from its source than somewhere around Cape Hatteras, that I 
shall not go into the subject.(1) Something is especially warming Great 
Britain, and it cannot be thought to be the Gulf Stream. It may be an 
organically providential amelioration. It may play out, when the functioning 
period of Great Britain passes away. I am not much given to prophecy, but 
I'll take this chance -- that if England loses India, we may expect hard 
winters in England. 

Our acceptance is that nations work together, or operate against one another 
functionally, or as guided by the murderous supervisions of a whole 
Organism. Or, apologizing again, I call such organized slaughter, super-
metabolism. So enormous is the subject of human history, as affected by its 
partners in a whole, that I shall reserve it for treatment some other time. 
Monistically -- though some other time I shall pluralistically take another 
view, as well -- the acceptance is that human beings have not existed as 
individuals any [271/272] more than have cells in an animal organism 
existences of their own. Still, one must consider that there is something of 
individuality, or contrariness in every cell. This view of submergence is 
now so widespread that it is expressed by writers in may fields of thought. 
But they lack the concept of a whole, trying to think of a social organism 
as a whole, though clearly every social quasi-organism has relations with 
other social quasi-organisms, and is dependent enormously, or vitally, upon 
environment. Other thinkers, or more than doubtful thinkers, say that they 
think of the unthinkable Absolute as the whole. 

I have a notion that, for ages, as a factor in an automatic plan, the 
Australian part of our existence's nucleus, this earth, was reserved. If 
this be not easy to think, it is equally hard to think why Australia, in its 
fertile parts, was not colonised by Asiatics. There was relative isolation. 
But it was not geographical isolation: the distance between Cape York, 
Australia, and New Guinea is only 100 miles. There was an approximation to 
isolation so extreme that one type of animal life grew up and prevailed. 
This gap was jumped by the marsupials of Australia. Then the question is -- 
why, if not obediently to an inhibition, was it not jumped the other way? Of 
course we can have no absolute expressions, but just when the dingoes and 
the wild cattle of Queensland first arrived in Australia is still considered 

There were civilizations in the Americas, but they were civilizations that 
could not resist the relatively late-appearing Europeans. Long before, there 
had been other civilizations in Central America, but they had disappeared, 
or they had been removed. The extinction of them is, by archaeologists, 
considered as mysterious, as is the extinction of the dinosaurs, by the 
paleontologists -- or as, by cells of a later period, might [272/273] be 
considered the designed and the scheduled, or purposeful, extinction of 
cartilage cells in an embryo. 

The expression is that Australia and the Americas were reserved, as relative 
blanks, in which human life upon this earth could shake off, after a 
fashion, many conventions and traditional hamperings, and start somewhat 

Drones appear in a beehive. They are reserved. At first they contribute 
nothing to the welfare of the hive, but there is a providence that looks 
after them just so long as they will be of future use. This is automatic 
foresight and purpose, according to automatic plan, in a beehive, regarded 
as a whole. The God of the bees is the Hive. There is no necessity to think 
of an external control, nor of any being, presiding over the bees and 
directing their affairs. 

Reservations besides those in the affairs of bees and men are common. Some 
trees have buds that are not permitted to develop. These are known as 
dormants, and are held in reserve, against the possibility of a destructions 
of the tree's developed leaves. In one way or another, there are 
reservations in every organism. 

We think of inter-mundane isolations that have been maintained, as once the 
Americas were kept separated from Europe, not by vast and untraversable 
distances, but by belief in vast and untraversable distances. I have no 
sense of loneliness in thinking that the inorganic sciences that are, by 
inertia, holding out for the isolation of this earth, have lost much power 
over minds. There are dissatisfactions and contempts everywhere. 

There may be civilizations in the lands of the stars, or it may be that, in 
the concavity of the starry shell, vast, habitable regions have been held in 
reserve for colonization from this earth. Though there is considerable 
opposition to wars, they are, as at any mov- [273/274] ing picture place, 
one can see, still popular: but other eliminations of human beings have 
waned, and it is likely that for a long time birth control will have no more 
than its present control upon births. The pestilences that used to remove 
millions are no longer so much heard of. It may be that an organic existence 
is, by lessening eliminations, preparing a pressure of populations upon this 
earth that can have relief only in enormous colonising outlets somewhere 
else. It is as if concordantly, the United States has shut down, as a 
relief, to superabundances of people in Europe, and as if representing the 
same purpose or plan, Australia and Canada, as well as the United States, 
are shutting out Asiatics. It is as if co-operatively with the simultaneous 
variations of need, aviation is developing, as the means of migratory 
reliefs -- 

If there be a nearby land that is a revolving shell of stars -- 

And if, according to data that I have collected, there be not increasing 
coldness and attenuation of air, past a zone not far from this earth. 

Nineteen hundred and thirty something or another -- maybe nineteen hundred 
and forty or fifty -- 

There's a flash in the sky. It is said to be a meteor. There's a glow. That 
is said to be an aurora borealis -- 

The time has come. 

The slogan comes -- 

Skyward ho! 

The treks to the stars. Flows of adventurers -- and the movietone news -- 
press agents and interviews -- and somebody about to sail to Lyra reduces 
living expenses by letting it be known what brand of cigarettes he'll take 
along -- 

Caravels with wings -- and covered planes of the sky -- and writers of 
complaints to the newspapers: this dumping of milk bottles and worse from 
the expedi- [274/275] tions is an outrage. New comets are watched from this 
earth -- long trains of voyagers to the stars, when at night they turn on 
their lights. New constellations appear -- the cities of the lands of the 

And then the commonplaceness of it all. 

Personally conducted tours to Taurus and Orion. Summer vacations on the 
brink of Vega. "My father tells of times, when people, before going to the 
moon, made their wills." "Just the same there was something peaceful about 
those old skies. It's getting on my nerves, looking up at all those lip 
stick and soap and bathing suit signs." 

Or my own acceptance that there can be no understanding of our existence, if 
be overlooked the irony of it all -- 

The aristocratic astronomers -- their alleged rapport with infinitude -- 
their repeated familiarity with the ultra-remote -- the academic -- the 
classical -- 

One looks up and sees, instead, an illuminated representation of a can of 
spaghetti in tomato sauce, in the sky. 

The commonplaceness of it all. Of course the stars are near. Who, but a few 
old fossils, ever thought otherwise? Does the writer of this book think that 
he found out anything new? All these notions of his were matters of common 
knowledge, away back in the times of ancient Greece. [275] 


1. Maury was the principal author of the explanation of how the Gulf Stream 
warmed the British climate; but, soon after, this claim was disputed after 
measurements were made of its volumes, speeds, and temperatures by Stark and 
Findlay. Matthew Fontaine Maury. John Leighly, ed. The Physical Geography of 
the Sea and Its Meteorology. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard 
University Press, 1963, 38-80. Matthew Fontaine Maury. "The physical 
geography of the sea." British Review Quarterly, 30 (July 1859): 130-52, at 
141-4. "The Gulf-stream and climate of England." Notes and Queries, s. 2, 8 
(July 16, 1859): 55. A.G. Findlay. "On the supposed influence of the Gulf-
stream on the climate of North-West Europe." Annual Report of the British 
Association for the Advancement of Science, 1869, Trans., 160-1. Thomas H. 
Huxley. Physiography. London: Macmillan and Co., 1878, 173-6. Harvey 
Maitland Watts. "The Gulf Stream myth." Monthly Weather Review, 28 
(September 1900): 393-4. 


THAT, in the summer of 1880, some other world, or whatever we'll call it, 
after a period of hard luck, cheered up -- and cast off its despairs -- 
which came to this earth, where there is always room for still more 
melancholy -- in long, black, funereal processions. 

August 18, 1880 -- people, near the waterfront of Havre, France, saw the 
arrival of a gloom. Sails, in the harbour of Havre, suddenly turned black. 
But, like every other gloom, this one alternated with alleviations. The 
sails flipped white. There was a flutter of black and white. Then enormous 
numbers of the units of these emotions were falling into the streets of 
Havre. They were long, black flies. 

In an editorial, in the London Daily Telegraph, August 21st, it is said that 
this mysterious appearance of flies, [276/277] at Havre, was a "puzzle of 
the most mysterious kind."(1) These flies had come down from a point over 
the English Channel. They had not come from England. I have searched widely 
in Continental publications, and there is no findable record of any 
observation upon this vast swarm of flies, until it came down from the sky, 
over the English Channel. Pilot boats, returning to Havre, came in black 
with them. See the Journal des Debats (Paris), Aug. 20 -- that they were 
exhausted flies, which fell, when touched, and could not move, when picked 
up.(2) Or they may have been chilled into torpidity. Presumably there were 
survivors, but most of these helpless flies fell into the water, and the 
swarm, as a swarm, perished. If this is a puzzle of the "most mysterious 
kind," I am going to be baffled for a description, as we go along. I don't 
know what comes after the superlative. 

Three days later, another vast swarm of long, black flies appeared somewhere 
else. Just how much we're going to be puzzled by more than the most 
mysterious depends upon how far this other place was from Havre. See the New 
York Times, Sept. 8 -- that, upon August 21st, a cloud of long, black flies, 
occupying twenty minutes in passing, had appeared at East Pictou, Nova 
Scotia.(3) Halifax Citizen, Aug. 21 -- that they had passed Lismore, flying 
low, some of them appearing to fall into the water.(4) 

Upon the 2nd of September, another swarm came down from the sky. It appeared 
suddenly, at one place, and there is no findable record that it was seen 
anywhere else, over land or water of this earth. It is told of, in the 
Entomologists' Monthly Magazine, Nov., 1880 -- off the coast of Norfolk, 
England -- an avalanche that overwhelmed a schooner -- "millions upon 
millions of flies."(5) The sailors were forced to take shelter, and it was 
five hours before they could return [277/278] to the decks. "The air became 
clear about 4 p.m., when the flies were thrown overboard by shovelfuls and 
the remainder were washed off the decks by buckets of water and brooms." It 
was another appearance of exhausted, or torpid, flies. 

Scientific American, 43-193 -- "On the afternoon of Saturday, September 4th, 
the steamboat Martin encountered, on the Hudson River, between New Hamburg 
and Newburg, a vast cloud of flies.(6) It reached southward, from shore to 
shore, as far as the eye could reach, and resembled a drift of black snow. 
The insects were flying northward, as thick as snowflakes driven by a strong 
wind." They were long, black flies. Halifax Citizen, Sept. 7 -- that, upon 
the 5th of September, a compact cloud of flies, occupying half an hour in 
passing, had appeared at Guysboro, Nova Scotia, hosts of them falling into 
the water.(7) 

I think that crowd of flies was not the same as the Hudson River crowd, even 
though that was flying northward. So I think, because the flies of Guysboro, 
like the flies of Havre, came as if from a point over the ocean. "They came 
from the east" (Brooklyn Eagle, Sept. 7).(8) 

The look of the data is that, with an ocean between appearing-points, a bulk 
of flies, of the size of a minor planet, dividing into swarms, somewhere is 
outer space, came to this earth from somewhere else. It is simply a matter 
of thinking of one origin, and then thinking that that origin could not have 
been in either North America or Europe. 

If we can think that these flies came to this earth from the moon, or Mars, 
or from a fertile region in the concave land of the stars, that is 
interesting; but by this time we have passed out of the kindergarten of our 
notions, and are ready to take up not merely mysterious appearances, by 
mysterious appearances [278/279] that will be data for our organic 
expressions. In data upon insect-swarms of the summer of 1921, there is 
suggestion not only of conventionally unaccountable appearances of insect-
swarms, but of appearances in response to need. If one has no very active 
awareness for any need for insects, that is because one is not thinking far 
enough back into interrelations of bugs and all other things. 

In the summer of 1921, England was bereft of insects. The destruction of 
insects, in England, by the drought of 1921, was, very likely, unequalled at 
any other time, anyway for a century or more. The story of dwindling and 
disappearing is told, in Garden Life, for instance -- aphides becoming fewer 
and fewer -- absence of mosquitoes, because of the drying of ponds -- not 
one dragon fly all summer -- scarcity of ants -- midges almost entirely 
absent -- stricken fields in which not a butterfly was seen -- ordinary 
flies uncommon, and bluebottles exterminated. See the Field, and the 
Entomologists' Record, for similar accounts.(9) 

Then came clouds of insects and plagues of insects: foreign insects, and 
unknown insects. Anybody can find the data in various English publications. 
I note here that one of the swarms of exotic insects was of large fireflies 
that appeared in Wales (Cardiff Western Mail, July 12).(10) Locusts appeared 
(London Weekly Dispatch, July 10).(11) I suppose that almost any 
conventional entomologist will question my statement that vast swarms of 
unknown insects appeared at this time, in England: nevertheless, in the 
London Daily Express, Sept. 24, Prof. Le Froy is quoted as saying, of a 
species of stinging insects, that it was unknown to him.(12) 

Destructions that were approaching extermination -- and then multitudinous 
replenishments. I have searched widely without finding one datum for 
thinking that [279/280] one of these replenishments was seen crossing the 
Channel. Three of them were of foreign insects. 

Once upon a time, according to ancient history, Somebody so loved this world 
that he gave to it his only begotten son. In this year 1921, according to 
more recent records, Something gave to the streets of London its many 
forgotten women. To starving humans it gave a dole. But, when its insects 
dwindled away, it bestowed profusions of bugs. 

All our expressions are in terms of relative importance. 

In the summer of 1869, in many parts of England, there was a scarcity of 
insects that was in some ways more remarkable than that of 1921. This 
scarcity was discussed in all entomological magazines of the time, and was 
mentioned in newspapers and other publications. For one of the discussions, 
see the Field, July 31 and Aug. 14, 1869.(13) Most widely noticed was the 
absence of one of the commonest of insects, the small, white butterfly, 
Pieris rapae. Some of the other ordinarily plentiful species were scarcely 

In the London Times, July 17, a correspondent, in Ashford, writes that a 
tropical, or sub-tropical insect, a firefly (Lampyris Italia) had been 
caught in his garden.(14) In the Times, of the 20th, the presence of this 
insect in England is seemingly explained.(15) Someone else writes that, upon 
June 29th, at Dover, only fifteen miles from Ashford, he had released twelve 
fireflies, which he had brought in a bottle from Coblentz. But in the same 
issue of this newspaper, a third correspondent writes that, at Caterham, 
Surrey, had appeared many fireflies.(16) Weekly Dispatch (London) -- "They 
were so numerous that people called them a nuisance."(17) Even a firefly 
can't fly its fire, without a man with a bottle appearing and saying that he 
had let it go. There will be accounts of other swarms. Only [280/281] 
Titans, who had uncorked Mammoth Caves, in mountains of glass, could put in 
claims for letting them go from bottles. 

The coast of Lincolnshire -- and a riddance long and wide. The coast of 
Norfolk -- several miles of tragedy. In the Zoologist, 1869-1839, someone 
reports belts of water, some a few yards wide, and some hundreds of yards 
wide, "of a thick, pea-soup appearance," so coloured by drowned aphides, off 
the coast of Lincolnshire; and, off the coast of Norfolk, a band of drowned 
ladybirds, about ten feet wide, and two or three miles long.(18) Wherever 
this little dead comet came from, there is no findable record that it had 
been seen alive anywhere in Europe. 

Upon the 26th of July, columns of aphides came down from the sky, at Bury 
St. Edmunds, about 60 miles south of the coast of Lincolnshire massed so 
that they gave off a rank odour, and so dense that, for anybody surrounded 
by them, it was difficult to breathe. Upon the same day, at Chelmsford, 
about 40 miles south of Bury St. Edmunds, appeared masses of these insects 
equally vast. See Gardener's Chronicle, July 31, Aug. 7.(19) 

Aphides had streaked the ocean. Columns of others had come down, like vast, 
green stems, from the fern-like clouds. Less decoratively, others darkened 
the sky. A new enormity appeared upon the coast of Essex, about the first of 
August. According to correspondence, in the Maidstone Journal, Aug. 23, fogs 
of aphides had shut off sunlight.(20) They appeared in other parts of south 
eastern England. "They swarmed to such an extent as to darken the air for 
days altogether, and to render it almost dangerous to the sight of men and 
animals to be out of doors." 

The 9th of August -- the first of the ladybirds that reached England alive 
were reported at Ramsgate. [281/282] Three days later, between Margate and 
Nore Light, near the mouth of the Thames, thousands of ladybirds speckled a 
vessel. This diseased appearance took on a more serious look, with blotches 
of small, yellow, black-marked flies. Then spread a cosmetic of butterflies. 

These were van-swarms. Upon the 13th, an invasion was on. I quote chiefly 
from the London Times.(21) 

A cloud was seen over the Channel, not far from land, moving as if from 
Calais, reaching Ramsgate, discharging ladybirds upon the town. They drifted 
into piles in the streets. The town turned yellow. These were not red 
ladybirds. There would be less mystery, if they were. People in the town 
were alarmed by the drifting piles in the streets, and a new job, worth the 
attention of anybody who collects notes upon odd employments, appeared. 
Ladybird shovellers were hired to throw the drifts into sewers. 

Clouds streaked counties. They moved northward, reaching London, upon the 
14th, pelting into the streets, and filling gutters. Children scooped them 
up, filling bags and pails with them, and "played store" with them. 
Multitudes went on as far as Worcester. 

Upon the 14th, "a countless multitude" of other ladybirds arrived upon the 
coasts of Kent and Surrey, and these clouds, too, seemed to have come from 
France. They rattled, like coloured hail, against windows. They were "yellow 
perils," and the inhabitants were alarmed, fearing a pestilence from 
accumulations of bodies. Fires were built, to burn millions of them, and 
people who had never shovelled ladybirds before took up the new employment. 

The next day, "an enormous multitude" of new arrivals appeared at Dover, 
coming as if from France. The people who were out in this storm carried 
umbrellas, which soon looked like huge sunflowers. Peo- [282/283] ple, 
stopping to discuss the phenomenon, gathered into bouquets. The storm 
abated, and umbrellas were closed. All blossomed again. Another cloud rolled 
in from no place or origin that has ever been found out. These living gushes 
from the unknown moved on toward London, and in accounts of them, in Land 
and Water, are amusing descriptions of the astonishment they caused. There 
is a story of five hypnotised cats. A multitude alighted upon a lawn. Five 
cats sat around, motionless, gazing at the insects. A woman tells of her 
bewilderment, when, looking out at her lines of wash, which had been 
spotless, she saw garments hanging blotched and heavy. At Shoeburyness, the 
ladybirds pelted to that men in brickyards were driven from their work. 
Unless from celestial nozzles living fountains were playing down upon this 
earth, I cannot conceive of the origin of these deluges. 

Some entomologists tried to explain that the insects must have gathered in 
other parts of England, having flown toward France, having been borne back 
by winds to the south-eastern coast of England. 

If anybody accepts, with me, that these insects were not English ladybirds, 
and that they did not come from France, and did not keep on coming, day 
after day, to one point, from Holland, Sweden, Spain, Africa -- and here 
consider the feeble flight of ladybirds -- but if anybody accepts with me 
that these ladybirds did not fly from any part of this earth to their 
appearing point, I suppose that he will go on thinking that they must so 
have flown, just the same. 

That there are data for thinking that these insects were not English 

The London Standard, Aug. 20, there is a description of them.(22) "They all 
seemed to be much larger than the common ladybirds, of a paler colour, with 
more spots." In the Field, Aug. 28, someone writes [283/284] that all the 
insects, except a few, were yellow.(23) So far as he knew, he had never 
before seen specimens of this species. The Editor of the Field writes: "The 
red is paler, and there are divers slight differences that rather indicate a 
foreign origin." He says that, in the opinion of Mr. Jenner Weir, the 
naturalist, these ladybirds were different from ordinary English specimens. 

But these millions must have been very ordinary somewhere. 

That there are data for thinking that these insects came from neither France 
nor Belgium: 

Such as hosts of observations upon the swarms, within a mile or two of the 
English coast, and no findable record of an observation farther away, or 
nearer France. There is, in newspapers of Paris, no mention of appearances 
of ladybirds anywhere upon the continent of Europe. There is no mention in 
publications of entomological societies of France and Belgium. But any of 
these enormous clouds leaving a coast of France or Belgium would have 
attracted as much attention as did an arrival in England. Other scientific 
publications in which I have searched, without finding mention of 
observations upon ladybirds in France, or any other part of the Continent, 
are Comptes Rendus, Cosmos, Petites Nouvelles Entomologiques, Rev. et Mag. 
de Zoologie, La Science Pour Tous, L'Abeille, Bib. Universelle, and Rev. 
Cours, Sci. In Galignani's Messenger (Paris) considerable space is given to 
accounts of the invasions of England by ladybirds, but there is no mention 
of observations anywhere, except in England, or within a mile or so of the 
English coast. 

This is the way an invasion began. A great deal was written about conditions 
in the invaded land. Probably the scarcity of insects in England was 
unprecedented. There was no drought. It is simply that the [284/285] insects 
had died out. And billions were coming from somewhere else. 

"Margate Overwhelmed!" 

In the Field, Aug. 28, a correspondent writes: "On Wednesday (25th) I went 
to Ramsgate by steamboat, and, as we approached within five or six miles of 
Margate, complaints of wasps began to be heard. I soon ascertained that they 
were not wasps, but a bee-like fly. As we neared Margate, they increased to 
millions, and at Margate they were almost unendurable.(24)" Some specimens 
were sent to the Editor of the Field, and he identified them as Syrphi. 
There had been a similar multitude at Walton, on the coast, about 30 miles 
north of Margate, the day before. 

The little band of scouts, at Ashford -- they carried lanterns. Then green 
processions -- yellow multitudes -- the military-looking Syrphi, costumed 
like hussars -- 

A pilgrimage was on. 

"Thunder bugs" appeared between Wingham and Adisham. The tormented people of 
the region said that they had never seen anything of the kind before (Field, 
Aug. 21).(25) Wasps and flies "in overwhelming numbers" besieging 
Southampton (Gardeners' Chronicle, Sept. 18).(26) London an arriving point -
- the descent of crane flies upon London -- doorsteps and pavements looking 
muddy with them -- people turning out with buckets of boiling water, 
destroying multitudes of them (Illustrated London News, Sept. 18).(27) This 
is one of the ways of treating tourists. 

I think that there us a crowd-psychology of insects, as well as of men, or 
an enjoyment of communicated importance from a crowd of millions to one of 
the bugs. They were humming to England, not merely with bands playing, but 
each of them blowing some kind of horn of his own. There are persons who 
would be good, if they thought that they could go to [285/286] heaven, or so 
swarm in the sky, with millions of others, all tooting saxophones. 

Pilgrims, or expeditionaries, or crusaders -- it was more like a crusade, 
with nation after nation, or species after species, pouring into England, to 
restore something that had been lost. 

In Sci. Op., 3-261, is an account of a new insect that appeared in England, 
in July of this year, 1869.(28) For accounts of other unknown insects that 
appeared in England, in this summer, see the Naturalists' Note Book, 1869-
318; Sci. Gos., 1870-141; Ent. Mo. Mag., 1869-86, and, Feb., 1870; Sci. Op., 
2-359.(29) It was a time of "mysterious strangers." 

In the Times, Aug. 21, someone noted the absence of small, white 
butterflies, and wondered how to account for it.(30) In the Entomologist, 
Newman wrote that, up to July 12th, he had seen, of this ordinarily abundant 
insect, only three specimens.(31) Upon pages 313-315, half a dozen 
correspondents discussed this remarkable scarcity.(32) In the Field, Sept. 
4, someone told of the astonishing scarcity of house flies: in more than six 
weeks, at Axminster, he had seen only four flies.(33) London Standard, Aug. 
20 -- that, at St. Leonard's-on-Sea, all insects, except ladybirds and black 
ants, were "few and far between."(34) In Symons' Met. Mag., Aug., 1869, it 
is said that, at Shiffnal, scarcely a white butterfly had been seen, and 
that, up to July 21st, only one wasps' nest had been found.(35) 
Correspondents, in the Entomologist, Sept. and Oct., mentioned the scarcity 
of three species of white butterflies, and noted the unprecedented fewness 
of beetles, bees, wasps, and moths.(36) Absence of hornets is commented 
upon, in the Field, July 24.(37) 

They were pouring into England. 

An army of beetles appeared in the sky. At Ullswater, this appearance was a 
military display. Regi- [286/287] ment after regiment, for half an hour, 
passed over the town (Land and Water, Sept. 4).(38) 

The spiders were coming. 

Countless spiders came down from the sky into the city of Carlisle, and, at 
Kendal, thirty-five miles away, webs fell enormously (Carlisle Journal, Oct. 
5).(39) About the 12th of October, "a vast number" of streamers of spiders' 
web and spiders came down from the sky, at Tiverton, Devonshire, 280 miles 
south of Carlisle. See the English Mechanic, Nov. 19, and the Tiverton 
Times, Oct. 12.(40) As if in one persisting current, there was repetition. 
Upon the morning of the 15th, webs "like pieces of cotton," fell from the 
sky, at South Molton, near Tiverton. Then fell "wondrous quantities," and 
all afternoon the fall continued, "covering fields, houses, and persons." It 
was no place for flies, but to this webby place flies did come. 

Species after species -- it was like the internationalism of the better-
known crusades -- 

The locusts were coming. 

Upon the 4th of September, a locust was caught in Yorkshire (Entomologist, 
1870-58).(41) There are no locusts indigenous to England. At least up to 
May, 1895, no finding of a locust in its immature state had ever been 
recorded in Great Britain (Sci. Gos., 1895-83).(42) Upon the 8th and 9th of 
October, locusts appeared in large numbers, in some places, in 
Pembrokeshire, Derbyshire, Gloucestershire, and Cornwall. They had the 
mystery of the ladybirds. They were of a species that, according to records, 
had never before appeared in England. An entomologist, writing in the 
Journal of the Plymouth Institute, 4-15, says that he had never heard of a 
previous visit to England by this insect (Acridium peregrinum).(43) It seems 
that in all Europe this species had not been seen before. In the Ent. Mo. 
Mag., 7-1, it is said that these locusts were [287/288] new to European 
fauna, and were mentioned in no work upon European Orthoptera.(44) 

At the meeting of the Entomological Society of London, Nov. 15, 1869, it was 
decided, after a discussion, that the ladybirds had not come from France, 
but had flown from places in England, and had been carried back, by winds to 
other parts of England. There was no recorded observation to this effect. It 
was the commonplace ending of a mystery. 

I add several descriptions that indicate that, in spite of London's most 
eminent bugmen, the ladybirds were not English ladybirds. Inverness Courier, 
Sept. 2 -- "That they are foreigners, nobody doubts. They are nearly twice 
the size of the common English lady birds, and are of a paler colour."(45) 
See the Student, 4-160 -- "the majority were of a large size and of a dull 
yellow hue."(46) In the London Standard, Aug. 23, it is said that some of 
the insects were almost half an inch long.(47) 

That the locusts were foreigners was, by the Entomological Society of 
London, not discussed. Nothing else was discussed. Crane flies and Syrphi 
and spiders and all the rest of them -- not a mention. I know of no 
scientist who tried to explain the ladybirds, and mentioned locusts. I know 
of no scientist who tried to explain the locusts, and mentioned ladybirds -- 
no scientist who wrote upon a scarcity of insects, and mentioned the swarms 
-- no scientist who told of swarms, and mentioned scarcity. 

The spiders, in a localised fall that lasted for hours, arrived as if from a 
persisting appearing point over a town, and the ladybirds repeatedly 
arrived, as if from an appearing point a few miles from a coast. The locusts 
came, not in one migration, but as if successively along a persisting path, 
or current, because several had been caught more than a month before large 
numbers appeared (Field, Oct. 23).(48) [288/289] 

A mob in the sky, at Burntisland, Scotland -- "spinning jennys" that were 
making streets fuzzy with their gatherings on cornices and window sills 
(Inverness Courier, Sept. 9).(49) An invasion at Beccles was "an experience 
without precedent." A war correspondent tells of it, in the Gardeners' 
Chronicle, Sept. 18.(50) The invaders were gnats -- correspondent trying to 
write about them, from an ink pot filled with drowned gnats -- people 
breathing and eating gnats. Near Reading, "clouded yellow butterflies," 
insects that had never before been recorded in Berkshire, appeared (Sci. 
Gos., 1869-210).(51) At Hardwicke, many bees of a species that was unknown 
to the observer, were seen (Nature, 2-98).(52) Field, Aug. 21 and Nov. 20 -- 
swarms of hummingbird hawkmoths.(53) As described in Sci. Gos., 1869-273, 
there was, at Conway, "the wonderful sight" -- a flock of hummingbird 
hawkmoths and several species of butterflies.(54) Clouds of insects appeared 
in Battersea Park, London, hovering over trees, in volumes so thick that 
people thought the trees had been set afire (Field, June 4, 1870).(55) An 
invasion at Tiverton, seemingly coming with the spiders, "a marvellous swarm 
of black flies" made its headquarters upon the Town Hall, covering the 
building, turning it dark inside, by settling upon the window glass 
(Tiverton Times, Oct. 12).(56) At Maidstone, as if having arrived with the 
lady birds, a large flight of winged ants was seen (Maidstone Journal, Aug. 
23).(57) Midges were arriving at Inverness, Aug. 18th. "At some points the 
cloud was so dense that people had to hold their breath and run through" 
(Inverness Courier, Aug. 19).(58) Thrips suddenly appeared at Scarborough, 
Aug. 25th (Sci. Op., 2-292).(59) At Long Benton, clouds of Thrips descended 
upon the town, wafting into houses, where they were dusted from walls, and 
swept from floors (Ent. Mo. Mag., Dec., 1869).(60) Also, at Long Benton 
[289/290] appeared an immense flight of the white butterflies that were so 
scarce everywhere else, gardeners killing thousands of them (Ent. Mo. Mag., 
Dec., 1869).(61) At Stonefield, Lincolnshire, appeared beetles of a species 
that had never been seen there before (Field, Oct. 16).(62) 

It was more than a deluge of bugs. It was a pour of species. It was more 
than that. It was a pour on a want. 

Entomologists' Record, 1870 -- that, in this summer of 1869, in England, 
there had been such an "insect famine" that swallows had starved to death. 


1. "According to a weekly contemporary...." London Daily Telegraph, August 
21, 1880, p. 5 c. 2. 

2. "Un singulier phénomène...." Journal des debats, (Academie des Sciences), 
August 20, 1880, p.3 c.1. 

3. "Cloud of flies in Nova Scotia." New York Times, September 8, 1880, p.5 

4. Halifax Citizen and Evening Chronicle (Nova Scotia), (August 21, 1880). 

5. J.W. Douglas. "A swarm of flies." Entomologists' Monthly Magazine, 17 
(November 1880): 142. 

6. "Traveling flies." Scientific American, n.s., 43 (September 25, 1880): 

7. "Guysboro." Halifax Citizen and Evening Chronicle (Nova Scotia), 
September 7, 1880, p.3 c.3. "Despatches in brief." Toronto Mail, September 
7, 1880, p.8 c.6. 

8. "Plague of flies." Brooklyn Eagle, September 7, 1880, p.4 c.1. 

9. Field, (1921). Joseph Anderson. "The paucity of butterflies in the past 
summer." Entomologist's Record and Journal of Variation, 33 (November 15, 
1921): 200. C. Nicholson. "Notes on the season." Entomologist's Record and 
Journal of Variation, 33 (November 15, 1921): 202. 

10. "Wales by day." Cardiff Western Mail, July 12, 1921, p.4 c.7. 

11. "Stray locusts in London." London Weekly Dispatch, July 10, 1921, p.16, 

12. "Plague of flies and ladybirds." London Daily Express, September 24, 
1921, p.5 c.6. 

13. "Scarcity of white butterflies." Field, 34 (July 31, 1869): 103, c.2. 
T.C., and, Anon. "Scarcity of white butterflies." Field, 34 (August 14, 
1869): 138, c.3. 

14. "Fireflies in Kent." London Times, July 17, 1869, p.12 c.4. The species 
is Lampryes Italica, (not Lampyris). 

15. "Fireflies in Kent." London Times, July 21, 1869, p.11 c.2. This letter 
was in the issue of July 21st, (not the 20th); and, the fireflies were said 
to have been released on June 24th, (not on the 29th). 

16. "Fireflies in Surrey." London Times, July 20, 1869, p.11 c.1. This third 
correspondent's letter was in the preceding issue; and, he states: "Having 
been in the tropics, I recognized my beautiful visitors, which had been, so 
numerous were they, denounced as nuisances." 

17. "Extraordinary swarm of ladybirds." London Weekly Dispatch, August 22, 
1869, p.6 c.3. 

18. John Cordeaux. "Aphides at sea." Zoologist, s. 2, 4 (September 1869): 

19. D.T. Fish. "A new invasion." Gardener's Chronicle and Agricultural 
Gazette, July 31, 1869, p.817. Thomas Simpson. "The new invasion." 
Gardener's Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, August 7, 1869, p.842. 
William Tillery. "Aphis on the wing." Gardener's Chronicle and Agricultural 
Gazette, August 7, 1869, p.842. For additional articles: D.T. Fish. "The 
green-fly storm." Gardener's Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, August 14, 
1869, p.873. D.T. Fish. "The swarm of lady-birds." Gardener's Chronicle and 
Agricultural Gazette, August 28, 1869, p.921. "The wasps." Gardener's 
Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, August 28, 1869, p.921. 

20. "A visitation of ladybirds." Maidstone and Kentish Journal (Maidstone), 
August 23, 1869, p.3 c.6. 

21. "Ladybirds." London Times, August 19, 1869, p. 4 c. 6. The ladybirds 
were said to have made the streets appear "covered with red sand," (not 
yellow); and, though men shovelled them into the sewers, nothing is said of 
their being hired to do this. "Great flight of ladybirds." London Times, 
August 21, 1869, p. 5 c. 2. "Lady-birds." London Times, August 25, 1869, p. 
4 c. 5. "Lady-birds." London Times, August 28, 1869, p. 10 c. 6. The cloud, 
"coming over the sea as if from Calais," was observed at Dover, (not 
Ramsgate), and in "Kent and Sussex," (not Surrey), giving roads the 
appearance of "dark red gravel" and a "red carpet" upon Dover Pier. Correct 
quote: "...this month countless multitudes...." 

22. "Ladybirds." London Standard, August 20, 1869, p. 5 c. 2. 

23. J.B. "Ladybirds." Field, 34 (August 28, 1869): 175, c.3. 

24. J.B. "Ladybirds." Field, 34 (August 28, 1869): 175, c.3. 

25. Field, (August 21, 1869). 

26. "Yet another swarm of insects." Gardener's Chronicle and Agricultural 
Gazette, September 18, 1869, p.991. 

27. "Metropolitan news." Illustrated London news, 55 (September 18, 1869): 

28. "A new insect: Coccus flocciferus." Scientific opinion, 3 (March 16, 
1870): 261. 

29. R. Laddiman. "What is it?" Naturalists' Note Book, 3 (1869): 318. A.W. 
"Strange bees." Hardwicke's Science Gossip, o.s., 6 (June 1, 1870): 141. F. 
Alfred Black. "Occurrence in Britain of Lepyrus binotatus, a genus and 
species new to our lists." Entomologists' Monthly Magazine, 6 (September 
1869): 86. H. Moncreaff. "Occurrence of Dyschirius Angustatus, Ahr. 
(jejunus, Daws.), on the south coast." Entomologists' Monthly Magazine, 6 
(February 1870): 213. "Blemus longicirnis, Sturm, taken in Cumberland." 
Entomologists' Monthly Magazine, 6 (February 1870): 213. Scientific Opinion, 
2, 359. 

30. "Great flight of ladybirds." London Times, August 21, 1869, p.5 c.2. 

31. Neumann. Entomologist, v.4 (1869). 

32. Hugh A. Stowell. "Scarcity of white butterflies in Derbyshire." H. 
Ramsey Cox. "Scarcity of white butterflies in the New Forest." G. Lock. 
"Scarcity of white butterflies at Newport, Mon." C.J. Watkins. "Scarcity of 
white butterflies in Gloucestershire." J.R.S. Clifford. "Scarcity of white 
butterflies, &c., near London." Arthur P. Nix. "Occurrence of white 
butterflies at Truro." Entomologist, 4 (September 1869): 313-315. 

33. "House flies, wasps, &c." Field, 34 (September 4, 1869): 193, c.1. 

34. "Ladybirds." London Standard, August 20, 1869, p.5 c.2. 

35. "Meteorological Notes on the month." Symons' Meteorological magazine, 4 
(August 1869): 111+ , at 111. 

36. S.R. Fetherstonhaugh. "Scarcity of butterflies in Ireland." 
Entomologist, 4 (October 1869): 322. 

37. "House flies, wasps, &c." Field, 34 (September 4, 1869): 193, c.1. 

38. "Ladybirds." Land and water, n.s., September 4, 1869, pp.155-156. 

39. "A shower of spiders." Carlisle Journal, October 5, 1869, p.2 c.4. 

40. "A singular phenomenon." English Mechanic, 10 (November 19, 1869): 235-
6. "Curiosities of insect life." Tiverton Times and East Devon Reporter, 
October 12, 1869, p.5 c.4. 

41. "Locust near Halifax." W.C. Angus. "Locust in Aberdeenshire." 
Entomologist, 5 (April 1870): 58. 

42. C.A. Briggs. "Locusts in London." Hardwicke's Science Gossip, n.s., 2 
(1895): 83. Briggs identifies the locusts in 1869 as Pachytilus migratorius. 

43. "Our associate, Mr. C.G. Bignell, writes...." Annual reports and 
transactions of the Plymouth Institution, 4 (1869-1873): 155-156. 

44. Edwin Brown. "Remarks on the recent migration to Britain of Acridium 
Peregrinum, a locust new to the European fauna." Entomologists' monthly 
magazine, 7 (June 1870): 1-3. 

45. "The ladybirds." Inverness Courier, September 2, 1869, p.7 c.3. Correct 
quote: "...the common English ladybird, and...." 

46. "Great swarm of lady-birds." Student and Intellectual Observer, 4 
(1870): 160. Correct quote: "The majority were of large size and of a dull 
yellow hue...." 

47. "The flight of ladybirds." London Standard, August 23, 1869, p.5 c.7. 

48. John Joseph Briggs. "The Egyptian locust." Field, 34 (October 23, 1869): 
347, c.2. Single specimens had been caught at Fairford, Gloucestershire, 
upon September 14, 1869, and at King's Newton, Swarkston, Derby, in August 
of 1869; however, "a considerable number" had been caught in 1846 "as far 
north as Sutherlandshire," along with specimens caught in 1852 and 1855. 

49. "A plague of flies." Inverness Courier, September 9, 1869, p.3 c.6. 

50. "Yet another swarm of insects." Gardener's Chronicle and Agricultural 
Gazette, September 18, 1869, p.991. 

51. Henry Moses. "Colis edusa in Reading." Hardwicke's Science Gossip, o.s., 
5 (September 1, 1869): 210. Correct quote: "...this new locality for the 
`clouded yellow' may be of interest...." 

52. T.W. Webb. "Entomological inquiries, etc." Nature, 2 (August 11, 1870): 

53. "Humming-bird moth." Field, 34 (August 21, 1869): 159 c.2. T.W.P. 
"Humming-bird moth." Field, 34 (November 20, 1869): 432 c.3. Only one was 
seen flying in Oxford, upon November 14, 1869. 

54. Robert Holland. "Remarkable flight of moths and butterflies." 
Hardwicke's Science Gossip, o.s., 5 (December 1, 1869): 273. The two species 
of butterflies with the Humming-bird Hawkmoths were identified as Vanessa 
urtic and Vanessa atalanta. 

55. "Cloud of insects." Field, 35 (June 4, 1870): 474 c.2. 

56. "Curiosities of insect life." Tiverton Times and East Devon Reporter 
(Tiverton), October 12, 1869, p.5 c.4. For an additional report: "Strange 
phenomenon." Tiverton Times and East Devon Reporter (Tiverton), October 19, 
1869, p.7 c.5. 

57. "Hop crop." Maidstone and Kentish Journal, August 23, 1869, p.4 c.6 & 
p.5 c.1. 

58. "Flight of midges." Inverness Courier, August 19, 1869, p.5 c.6. 

59. Scientific opinion, 2, 292. 

60. T.J. Bold. "Great abundance of thrips." Entomologists' monthly magazine, 
6 (December 1869): 171. 

61. T.J. Bold. "Great abundance of Pieris rapoe." Entomologists' monthly 
magazine, 6 (December 1869): 171. 

62. J.S. "Insects destructive to elm trees." Field, 34 (October 16, 1869): 
335 c.2. 


Melbourne Age, Jan. 21, 1869 -- there was a carter.(1) He was driving a 
five-horse truck along the bed of a dry creek. Down the gully shot a watery 
fist that was knuckled with boulders. A dead man, a truck, and five horses 
were punched into trees. 

New Orleans Daily Picayune, Aug. 6, 1893 -- a woman in a carriage, crossing 
a dried-up stream, in Rawlings County, Kansas.(2) It was a quiet, summery 

There was a rush of water. The carriage crumbled. There was a spill of 
crumbs that were a woman's hat and the heads of horses. 

Phil. Public Ledger, Sept. 16, 1893 -- people asleep, in the town of Villa-
canas, Toledo, Spain.(3) The town was raided by trees. Trees smashed through 
the walls [291/292] of houses. People in bed were grabbed by roots. A deluge 
had fallen into a forest. 

Bright, clear day, near Pittsburgh, Pa. From the sky swooped a wrath that 
incited a river. It was one bulk of water: two miles away, no rain fell (New 
Orleans Daily Picayune, July 11, 1893).(4) A raging river jeered against 
former confinements. Some of its gibes were freight cars. It scoffed with 
bridges. Having made a high-water mark of rebellion, it subsided into a 
petulance of jostling row-boats. Monistically, I have to accept that no line 
of demarcation can be drawn between emotions of minds and motions of rivers. 

These sudden, astonishing leaks from the heavens are not understood. 
Meteorologists study them meteorologically. This seems logical, and is 
therefore under suspicion. This is the fallacy of all the sciences: 
scientists are scientific. They are inorganically scientific. Some day there 
may be organic science, or the interpretation of all phenomenal things in 
terms of an organism that comprises all. 

If our existence is an organism, in which all phenomena are continuous, 
dreams cannot be utterly different, in the view of continuity, from 
occurrences that are said to be real. Sometimes, in a nightmare, a kitten 
turns into a dragon. Louth, Lincolnshire, England, May 29, 1920 -- the River 
Lud, which is only a brook, and is known as "Tennyson's Brook," was 
babbling, or maybe it was purling -- 

Out of its play, this little thing humped itself twenty feet high. A 
ferocious transformation of a brook sprang upon the houses of Louth, and 
mangled fifty of them. Later in the day, between banks upon which were piled 
the remains of houses, in which were lying twenty-two bodies, and from which 
hundreds of the inhabitants had been driven homeless, the little brook was 
babbling, or purling. [292/293] 

In scientific publications, early in the year 1880, an event was told of, in 
the usual, scientific way: that is, as if it were a thing in itself. It was 
said that a "waterspout" had burst upon the island of St. Kitts, B.W.I. A 
bulk of water had struck this island, splitting it into cracks, carrying 
away houses and people, drowning 250 of the inhabitants. A paw of water, 
clawed with chasms, had grabbed these people. 

In accordance with our general treatments, we think that there are 
waterspouts and cloudbursts, but that the waterspout and cloudburst 
conveniences arise, when nothing else can, or, rather, should, be thought 
of, and as labels are struck on events that cannot be so classified except 
as a matter of scientific decorum and laziness. Some of the sleek, plump 
sciences are models of good behaviour and inactivity, because, with little 
else to do, they sit all day on the backs of patient fishmongers. 

As a monist, I think that there is something meteorological about us. Out of 
the Libraries will come wraths of data, and we, too, shall jeer against 
former confinements. Our gibes will be events, and we shall scoff with 

The "waterspout" at St. Kitts -- as if it were a single thing, unrelated to 
anything else. The West Indian, Feb. 3, 1880 -- that, while the bulk that 
was called a waterspout was overwhelming St. Kitts, water was falling upon 
the island of Grenada, "as it had never rained before, in the history of the 
island."(5) Grenada is 300 miles from St. Kitts. 

I take data of another occurrence, from the Dominican, and The People, 
published at Roseau, Dominica, B.W.I.(6) About 11 o'clock, morning of Jan. 
4th, the town of Roseau was bumped by midnight. People in the streets were 
attacked by darkness. People in houses heard the smash of their window 
panes. Night fell so [293/294] heavily that it broke roofs. It was a daytime 
night of falling mud. With the mud came a deluge. 

The River Roseau rose, and there was a conflict. The river, armed with the 
detachables of an island, held up shields of mules, and pierced the savage 
darkness with spears of goats. Long lines of these things it flung through 
the black streets of Roseau. 

In the Boiling Lakes District of Dominica, there had been an eruption of 
mud, at the time of the deluge, which was like the fall of water upon St. 
Kitts, eight days later. There had, in recorded time, never been an eruption 
here before. 

The months before, there had been, in another part of the West Indies, a 
catastrophe like that of St. Kitts. Upon October 10, 1879, a deluge fell 
upon the island of Jamaica, and drowned one hundred of the inhabitants 
(London Times, Nov. 8, 1879).(7) A flood that slid out from this island was 
surfaced with jungles -- tangles of mahogany logs, trees, and bushes; 
brambled with the horns of goats and cattle; hung with a moss of the fleece 
of sheep. Incoming vessels ploughed furrows, as if in a passing cultivation 
of one of the rankest luxuriences that ever vegetated upon an ocean. 
Passengers looked at tangles of trees and bodies, as if at picture puzzles. 
In foliage, they saw faces. 

For months, there had been, in the Provinces of Murcia and Alicante, Spain, 
a drought so severe that inhabitants had been driven to emigration to 
Algeria. Whether we think of this drought and the prayers of the people as 
having relation or not, there came a downpour that was as intense as the 
necessities. See London Times, Oct. 20, 1879.(8) Upon Oct. 14th, floods 
poured upon these parched provinces. Perhaps it was response to the prayers 
of the people. Five villages were destroyed. Fifteen hundred persons 
perished. [294/295] 

Virtually in the same zone with Spain and the West Indies (U.S. Columbia) a 
deluge fell, in December. The River Cauca rose beyond all former high water 
marks, so suddenly that people were trapped in their houses. This was upon 
December 19th. 

The next day, the earth started quaking in Salvador, near Lake Ilopanga. 
This lake was the crater of what was supposed to be an extinct volcano. I 
take data from the Panama Daily Star and Herald, Feb. 10, 1880.(9) 

Upon the 31st of December -- four days before occurrences in the island of 
Dominica -- the earth quaked in Salvador, and from the middle of Lake 
Ilopanga emerged a rocky formation. Water fell from the sky, in bulks that 
gouged gullies. Gullies writhed in the quaking ground. The inhabitants who 
cried to the heavens prayed to Epilepsy. Mud was falling upon the 
convulsions. A volcanic island was rising in Lake Ilopanga, displacing the 
water, in streams that writhed from it violently. Rise of a form that filled 
the lake -- it shook out black torrents -- head of a Gorgon, shaggy with 

Beginning upon October 10th, and continuing until the occurrence at St. 
Kitts, deluge after deluge came down to one zone around this earth -- or a 
flight of lakes was cast from a constellational reservoir, which was 
revolving and discharging around a zone of this earth. In the minds of most 
of us, this could not be. We have been taught to look up at the revolving 
stars, and to see and to think that they do not revolve. 

Our data are of the slaughters of people, who, by fishmongerish 
explanations, have been held from an understanding of an irrigational 
system: of their emotions, and of the elementary emotions of lands. There's 
a hope in a mind, and it turns to despair -- or there's a fertile region in 
the materials of a South [295/296] American country -- and an unsuspected 
volcano chars it to a woe of leafless trees. Plains and the promise of crops 
that are shining in sunlight -- plains crack into disappointments, into 
which fell expectations. An island appears in the ocean, and after a while 
young palms feel upward. There's a convulsive relapse, and subliminal filth, 
from the bottom of the ocean, plasters the little aspirations. Quaking lands 
have clasped their fields, and have wrung their forests. 

Each catastrophe has been explained by the metaphysical scientists, as a 
thing in itself. Scientists are contractions of metaphysicians, in their 
local searches for completeness, and in their statements that, except for 
infinitesimal errors, plus or minus, completenesses have been found. I can 
accept that there may be Superphenomenal Completeness, but not that there 
can be phenomenal completenesses. It may be that the widespread thought that 
there is God, or Allness, is only an extension of the deceiving process by 
which to an explanation of a swarm of ladybirds, or to the fall of water at 
St. Kitts, is given a guise of completeness -- or it may be the other way 
around -- or that there is a Wholeness -- perhaps one of countless 
Wholenesses, in the cosmos -- and that attempting completenesses and 
attempting concepts of completenesses are localising consciousness of an 
all-inclusive state, or being -- so far as its own phenomena are concerned -
- that is Complete. 

There have been showers of ponds. From blue skies there have been shafts of 
water, golden in sunshine. Reflections from stars have fluted sudden, dark, 
watery columns. There have been violent temples of water -- colonnades of 
shafts, revealed against darkness by lightning -- foaming facades as white 
as marble. Nights have been caves, roofed with vast, fluent stalactites. 

These are sprinkles. [296/297] 

March, 1913. 

The meteorologists study meteorologically. The meteorologists were 

March 23, 1913 -- 250,000 persons driven from their homes -- torrents 
falling, rivers rising, in Ohio. The floods at Dayton, Ohio, were especially 

Traffics of bodies, in the watery streets of Dayton. The wind whistles, and 
holds up a cab. They stop. Night -- and the running streets are hustling 
bodies -- but, coming, is worse than the sights of former beings, who never 
got anywhere in life, and are still hurrying. The wreck of a trolley car 
speeds down an avenue -- down a side street rushes a dead man. Let him catch 
the car, and he'll get about where all his lifetime he got catching other 
cars. A final dispatch from Dayton -- "Dayton in total darkness." 

March 23, 24, 25 -- a watery sky sat on the Adirondack Mountains. It began 
to slide. It ripped its pants on a peak, and the tops of lamp posts 
disappeared in the streets of Troy and Albany. Literary event, at Paterson, 
N.J. -- something that was called "a great cloudburst" grabbed a factory 
chimney, and on a ruled page of streets scrawled a messy message. With the 
guts of horses and other obscenities, it put in popularising touches. The 
list of dead, in Columbus, Ohio, would probably reach a thousand. 
Connecticut River rising rapidly. Delaware River, at Trenton, N.J., 14 feet 
above normal. 

March 26th -- in Parkersburg, West Virginia, people who called on their 
neighbours, rowed boats to second story windows. If they had in their 
cellars what they have nowadays, there was much demand for divers. New lakes 
in Vermont, and the State of Indiana was an inland sea. "Farmers caught 
napping." Surprises everywhere: napping everywhere. Wherever Science was, 
there was a swipe at a sleep. Floods in [297/298] Wisconsin, floods and 
destruction in Illinois and Missouri. 

March 27th -- see the New York Tribune, of the 28th -- that the Weather 
Bureau was issuing storm warnings.(10) 

The professional wisemen were not heard from, before this deluge. Some of us 
would like to know what they had to say, afterward. They said it, in the 
Monthly Weather Review, April, 1913).(11) 

The story is told "completely." The story is told, as if there had been 
exceptional rains, only in Ohio and four neighbouring States. Reading this 
account, one thinks -- as one should think -- of considerable, or of 
extraordinary, rain, in one smallish region, and of its derivation from 
others parts of this earth, where unusual sunshine had brought about unusual 

Canada -- and it was not here that the sun was shining. Waters falling and 
freezing, in Canada, loading trees and telegraph wires with ice -- power 
houses flooded, and towns in darkness -- crashes of trees, heavy with ice. 
California was drenched. Torrents falling, in Washington and Oregon. 
Unprecedented snow in Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma -- Alabama deluged -- 
floods in Florida. 

"Ohio and four neighbouring States." 

Downpours in France and in other parts of Europe. 

Spain -- seems that, near Valencia, one of these nights, there was a rotten 
theatrical performance. Such a fall of big hailstones that a trial was 
stalled -- vast tragedian, in a black cloak, posing on the funnel of an 
engine -- car windows that were footlights -- and disapproval was expressing 
with the looks of millions of pigeons' eggs. Anyway, near Valencia, a fall 
of hail, three feet deep, stopped trains. Just where was all that sunshine? 

South Africa -- moving pictures of the low degree of the now old-fashioned 
"serials." Something staged Clutching Hands. There were watery grabs from 
the sky, at Colesburg, Murraysburg, and Prieska. The volume of one of these 
bulks equalled one-tenth of the total rainfall in South Africa, in one year. 

Snow, two months before its season, was falling in the Andes -- floods in 
Paraguay, and people spreading in panic -- Government vessels carrying 
supplies to homeless, starving people -- River Uruguay rising rapidly. 

Heavy rains in the Fiji Islands. 

The rains in Tasmania, during the month of March, were 26 points above the 

Upon the first day of the floods in "Ohio and four neighbouring States" 
(March 22nd) began a series of terrific thunderstorms in Australia. There 
was a "rain blizzard" in New South Wales. In Queensland, all mails were 
delayed by floods. 

New Zealand. 

Wellington Evening Post, March 31 -- "The greatest disaster in the history 
of the Colony!"(12) 

Where there had been sluggish rivers, bodies of countless sheep tossed in 
woolly furies. Maybe there is a vast, old being named God, and reported 
strands of tossing sheep were glimpses of his whiskers, in one of those 
wraths of his. In the towns, there were fantastic savageries. Wherever the 
floods had been before, it looks as if they had been to college. One of them 
rioted through the streets of Gore, having broken store windows. It 
roystered with the bodies of animals, wrapped in lace curtains, silks, and 
ribbons. Down the Matura River sounded a torrent of "terrible cries." It was 
a rush of drowning cattle. It was a delirium of brandishing horns, upon 
which invisible collegians were blowing a fanfare. [299/300] 

"Ohio and four neighbouring States." 

The clip of Paraguay, and the bob of New Zealand: the snip of South Africa, 
and the shearing of everything else that did not fit in with a theory. 
Whoever said that the pen is mightier than something else, overlooked the 
mightiest of all, and that's the scissors. 

Wherever all this water was coming from, the full account is of North 
America and four neighbouring Continents. 

Peaches flying from orchards, in the winds of New Zealand -- icicles 
clattering in the streets of Montreal. The dripping palms of Paraguay -- and 
the pine trees of Oregon were mounds of snow. At night this earth was a 
black constellation, sounding with panics. I can think of the origin of the 
ocean that fell upon it in not less than constellational terms. Perhaps 
Orion or Taurus went dry. 

If a place, say in China, greatly needs water, and if there be stores of 
water, somewhere else, in one organism, I can think of relations of 
requital, as I think of need and response in any lesser organism, or sub-

Need of a camel -- and storages -- and reliefs. 

Hibernating bear -- and supplies from his storages. 

At a meeting of the Royal Geographic Society, Dec. 11, 1922, Sir Francis 
Younghusband told of a drought, in August, 1906, in Western China. The chief 
magistrate in Chungking prayed for rain. He put more fervour into it. Then 
he prayed prodigiously for rain. It began to rain. Then something that was 
called "a waterspout" fell from the sky. Many of the inhabitants were 

In the organic sense, I conceive of people and forests and dwindling lakes 
all expressing a need, and finally compelling an answer. By "prayers" I mean 
utterances by parched mouths, and also the rustlings of dried [300/301] 
leaves and grasses. It seems that there have been responses. There are two 
explanations. One is that it is the mercy of God. For an opinion here, see 
the data. The other is that it is an Organism that is maintaining itself. 

The British Government has engineered magnificently for water supply in 
Egypt. It might have been better to plant persuasive trees and clergymen in 
Egypt. But clergymen are notoriously eloquent, and I think that preferable 
would be less excitable tipsters to God, who could convey the idea of 

In one year the fall of rain, at Norfolk, England, is about 29 inches. In 
Symons' Meteorological Magazine, 1889, p. 101, Mr. Symons told of this fall 
of water of 29 inches in a year, and then told of volumes of water to depths 
of from 20 to 24 inches that had fallen, from May 25th to the 28th, 1889, in 
New South Wales, and of a greater deluge -- 34 inches -- that, from the 29th 
to the 30th, had devastated Hongkong.(13) Mr. Symons called attention to 
these two bursts from the heavens, thousands of miles apart, saying that 
they might, or might not, be a coincidence, but that he left it to others to 
theorise. I point out that a professional meteorologist thought the 
occurrence of only two deluges, about the same time, but far apart, 
remarkable, or difficult to explain in terms of terrestrial meteorology. 

It was left a long time to others. 

However, when I was due to appear, I appeared, perhaps right on scheduled 
time; and I got Australian newspapers. The Sydney newspapers told of the 
soak in New South Wales. I learned that all the rest of Australia was left 
to others -- or was left, waiting for me to appear, right on scheduled time, 
most likely. Not rain, but columns of water fell near the town of Avoca, 
Victoria, and, in the Melbourne Argus, the [301/302] way of accounting for 
them was to say that "a waterspout" had burst here. There were wide floods 
in Tasmania. Fields turned to blanks that were then lumpy with rabbits. 

There had been drought in Australia, and floods were a relief to a 
necessity, but the greater downpour in China interests us more in conditions 
in China. 

It was a time of direst drought and extremest famine in China. Homeward 
Mail, June 4 -- that, in some of the more cannibalistic regions, sales of 
women and children were common.(14) It is said to be almost impossible for 
anybody to devour his own child. Parents exchanged children. 

Down upon monstrous need came relief that was enormous. At Hongkong, houses 
collapsed under a smash of alleviation. A fury of mercy tore up almost every 
street in the Colony. The people had prayed for rain. They got it. Godness 
so loved Hongkong that in the town's morgue it stretched out sixteen of the 
inhabitants. At Canton, every pietist proclaimed the efficacy of prayer, and 
I think he was right about that: but the problem is to tone down all this 
efficacy. If we will personify what I consider an organism, what he, or more 
likely she, has not, is any conception of moderation. The rise of the river, 
at Canton, indicated that up country there had been catastrophic efficacy. 
At Canton efficacy was so extreme that for months the people were 

Show me a starving man -- I pay no attention. Show me the starving man -- I 
can't be bothered. Show me the starving man, on the point of dying -- I grab 
up groceries and I jump on him. I cram bread down his mouth, and stuff his 
eyes and ears with potatoes. I rip open his lips to hammer down more food, 
and bung in his teeth, the better to stuff him. The explanation -- it is the 
god-like in me. [302/303] 

Now, in a Library, we put in calls for the world's newspapers. Not a hint 
have we that there is anything else -- nothing in scientific publications of 
the period -- not another word from Mr. Symons -- but there is an implement 
that is mightier than the pen -- and we are led on to one of our attempted 
correlations, by our experiences with it. 

Germany -- there was a drought so severe that there were public prayers for 
rain. Something that was called "a waterspout" fell from the sky, and people 
who did not get all the details went to church about it. Liverpool Echo, May 
20 -- one hundred persons perished.(15) 

At the same time, there were public rejoicings in Smyrna, where was staged 
another assuasive tragedy. 

Droughts in Russia. Straits Times, June 6 -- droughts ended by downpours in 
Bengal and Java. In Kashmir and in the Punjab, violent thunderstorms and 
earthquakes occurred together (Calcutta Statesman, June 1 and 3). In Turkey, 
there would have been extreme distress, but about the first of June, amidst 
woe and thanksgiving, destructive salvations demonstrated efficacy, and for 
a week kept on spreading joy and misery. Levant Herald, June 4 -- 
earthquakes preceded deluges, and then continued with them. 

In conventional meteorology, no relation between droughts and exceptional 
rains is admitted. Our data are of widespread droughts and enormous flows of 
water. There are two little, narrow strips of views on the margins of our 
moving pictures. On one side -- there is a beneficent God. On the other side 
-- that there isn't anything. And every one of us who has paid any attention 
to the annals of controversies knows that such oppositions usually give in 
to an intermediacy. May, 1889 -- widely this earth was in need -- widely 
waters were coming from somewhere. Now -- in Organic terms -- I am telling 
of what seems to me [303/304] to be Functional Teleportation, or enormous 
manifestations of that which is sometimes, say in Oklahoma, a little drip 
over a tree. 

Volcanic eruptions upon this earth, at time of deluges -- and maybe, in a 
land of the stars, there was an eruption, in May, 1889. In France, May 31st, 
there was one of the singularly lurid sunsets that are known as 
"afterglows," and that appear after volcanic eruptions. There was no known 
volcanic eruption somewhere else. All suggestiveness is that it came to this 
earth over no such distance as millions of miles. 

Other discharges, maybe -- red rain coming down from the sky, at Cardiff, 
Wales (Cardiff Western Mail, May 26). Red dust falling upon the island of 
Hyéres, off the coast of France, in the Mediterranean -- see the Levant 
Herald, May 29.(16) St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 30 -- an unknown substance 
that for several hours had fallen from the sky -- crystalline particles, 
some pink, and some white.(17) Quebec Daily Mercury, May 25 -- a fine dust 
that had the appearance of a snowstorm, falling in Dakota.(18) 

Monstrous festivities in Greece -- a land that was bedecked with 
assassinations. Its rivers were garlands -- vast twists of vines, budded 
with the bodies of cattle. 

The Malay States gulped. The mines of Kamunting were suctions into which 
flowed floods (Penang Gazette, May 24).(19) The Bahama Islands were thirsts 
-- drought and loss of crops -- then huge swigs from the sky. Other West 
Indian islands went on Gargantuan sprees -- and I'll end up a 
Prohibitionist. Orgies in Greece, and more or less everywhere else -- this 
earth went drunk on water. I've experimented -- try auto-suggestion -- you 
can get a pretty fair little souse from [304/305] any faucet. Tangier -- 
"great suffering from the drought" -- abundant rains, about June 1st. 
Drought in British Honduras, and heavy rains upon the 1st and 2nd of June. 
Tremendous downpours described in the newspaper published upon the island of 
St. Helena. Earthquake at Jackson, California -- the next day a gush from 
the sky broke down a dam. I'm on a spree, myself -- Library attendants 
wheeling me stacks of this earth's newspapers. Island of Cyprus -- a flop 
from the sky, and the river Pedias went up with a rush from which people at 
Nicosia narrowly escaped. Torrents in Ceylon. June 4th -- a drought of many 
weeks broken by rains in Cuba. Drought in Mexico -- and out of the heavens 
came a Jack the Ripper. Torn plantations and mutilated cities -- rise of the 
river, at Huezutla -- when it subsided the streets were strewn with corpses. 

In England, Mr. Symons expressed astonishment, because there had been two 

Deluges and falls of lumps of ice, throughout England. France deluged. Water 
dropped from the sky, at Lausanne, Switzerland, flooding some of the streets 
five feet deep. It was not rain. There were falling columns of water from 
what was thought to be a waterspout. The most striking of the statements is 
that bulks dropped. One of them was watched. Or some kind of a vast, 
vaporous cow sailed over a town, and people looked up at her bag of water. 
Something that was described as "a large body of water" was seen at Coburg, 
Ontario. It crossed the town, holding its bag-like formation. Two miles 
away, it dropped. It splashed rivers that broke down all dams between Coburg 
and Lake Ontario. In the Toronto Globe, June 3, this falling bulk is called 
"a waterspout".(20) Fall of a similar bulk, in Switzerland -- crops and 
houses and bridges mixing down a valley, at Sargans. Fall of [305/306] a 
bulk, at Reichenbach, Saxony. "It was a waterspout" (London Times, June 

This time the fishmonger is a waterspout. 

Spain pounded by falling waters: Madrid flooded: many buildings damaged by a 
violent hailstorm. Deluges in China continuing. Deluges in Australia 
continuing. Floods in Argentina: people of Ayacuchio driven from their 
homes: sudden rise of the river, at Buenos Aires. In the South American 
Journal of this period are accounts of tremendous downpours and devastations 
in Brazil and Uruguay. 

One of these bodies of water that were not rain fell at Chetnole, 
Dorsetshire, England. The people, hearing crashes, looked up at a hill, and 
saw it frilled with billows. Watery ruffs, from eight to ten feet high, 
heaved on the hill. The village was tossed in a surf. "The cause of this 
remarkable occurrence was for some time unknown but it has now been 
ascertained that a waterspout burst on Batcombe Hill." So wrote Mr. Symons, 
in whose brains there was no more consciousness of all that was going on in 
the world about him than there was in any other pair of scissors. 

It was not ascertained that a waterspout had burst on Batcombe Hill. No 
waterspout was seen. What was ascertained was that columns of water of 
unknown origin had fallen high on the Hill, gouging holes, some of them 
eight or nine feet deep. Though Mr. Symons gave the waterspout-explanation, 
it did occur to him to note that there was no statement that the water was 
salty -- 

These bulks of water, and their pendent columns -- that they were 
waterspouts -- 

Or that Slaughter had lain with Life, and that murderous mothers had slung 
off their udders, from which this earth drank through teats that were 

Wherever the deluges were coming from, I note [306/307] that, as with 
phenomena of March 1913, unseasonable snow fell. Here it was about the first 
of June, and snow was falling in Michigan. The suggestion is that this was 
not a crystallisation in the summer sky of Michigan, but an effect of the 
intenser coldness of outer regions, upon water that had come to this earth 
from storages on a planet, or from a reservoir in Starland. Note back to 
mention of falls of lumps of ice in England. 

Wherever the deluges were coming from, meteors, too, were coming. If we can 
think that falls of water and falls of meteors were related, we have re-
enforcement to our expression that water was coming to this needful earth 
from somewhere else. Five remarkable meteors are told of, in the Monthly 
Weather Review.(22) In the New York Sun, May 30, is an account of a meteor 
that exploded in the sky of Putnam County, Florida, and was heard 15 miles 
around.(23) In Madras, India, where the drought was "very grave," an 
extraordinary meteor was seen, night of June 4th (Madras Mail, June 26). In 
South Africa, where the drought was so extreme that a herd of buffaloes had 
been driven to a pool within five miles of the town of Uitenhage, a meteor 
exploded, with detonations that were heard in a line forty miles long (Cape 
Argus, May 28).(24) May 22nd -- great, detonating meteor, at Otranto, Italy. 
The meteor that was seen in England and Ireland, May 29th, is told of in 
Nature, 40-174.(25) For records of three other great meteors, see Nature and 
Cosmos.(26) There was a spectacular occurrence at Dunedin, New Zealand, 
early in the morning of May 27th (Otago Witness, June 6).(27) Rumbling 
sounds -- a shock -- illumination of the sky -- exploding meteor. 

In some parts of the United States, there had been extreme need for water. 
In the New Orleans Daily Picayune are accounts of the "gloomy outlook for 
[307/308] crops" in six of the Southern States.(28) About twenty reports 
upon this drought were published in the Monthly Weather Review.(29) 

Rushes of violent mercies -- they flooded the south and smashed the north -- 
crash of a dam, at Littleton, New Hampshire -- busted dam, near Laurel, Pa. 

May, 1889 -- and Science and Religion -- 

It is my expression that the two outstanding blessings, benefits, or "gifts 
of God" to humanity, are Science and Religion. I deduce this -- or that the 
annals of both are such trails of slaughter, deception, exploitation, and 
hypocrisy that they must be of enormous good to balance with their appalling 
evils -- 

Or the craze of medical science for the vermiform appendix. That played out. 
Now everybody who can pay for it is losing his tonsils. Newspaper headings -
- "Family of eight relieved of their tonsils" -- "Save your pets -- dogs and 
cats endangered by their tonsils." 

Concentrate in one place this bloody fad, or scientific "racket," and there 
would be a fury like that at Andover, N.Y., in May, 1889 -- 

A bulk of water, foaming as white as a surgeon -- it jabbed a bolt of 
lightning into Andover. It operated upon farms, and cut off their 
inhabitants. Trained clouds stood around, and handed out more bolts of 
lightning. A dam broke, and a township writhed upon its field of operations. 
Another dam broke -- but the operations were successes, and, if there was 
much destruction, that was because of a complication of other causes. 

May 31st -- Johnstown, Pa. -- 

If I can't think of massacre apart from devotions, I think that a lake ran 
mad with religious mania. It rushed down a valley, and, if I'm right about 
this, it bore on its crest, the most appalling of all symbols -- the mast of 
a ship that was crossed by a telegraph [308/309] pole. In a pogrom against 
houses, it clubbed out their occupants, with bridges. It impaled homes upon 
the steeples of churches. Its watery Cossacks, mounted on billows, flogged 
factories. And then, along the slopes of the Conemaugh Valley, it told its 
beads with strings of corpses. 

Earthwide droughts -- prayers to many gods -- something vouchsafed 
catastrophes -- 

That from somewhere else in existence, vast volumes of water were sent to 
this arid earth, or were organically teleported -- 

Or that, by coincidence, and unseen, waterspout after waterspout rose from 
the Atlantic, and rose from the Pacific: from the Indian Ocean, the Southern 
Ocean, and from the Mediterranean; from the Gulf of Mexico, the English 
Channel, Lake Ontario -- or that such an extension of such fishmongering is 
a brutalisation of conveniences -- 

Or that from somewhere in a starry shell that is not enormously far away 
from this earth, more than a Mississippi streamed to this needful earth, and 
forked the disasters of its beneficence from Australia to Canada. 

15,000 people were drowned at Johnstown. Chicago Tribune, June 10, 1889 -- 
"The people of Johnstown have lost all faith in Providence. Many have thrown 
away their Bibles, and since the disaster have openly burned them."(30) 

By the providential, I mean the organically provided for. 

By God, I mean an automatic Jehovah. [309] 


1. "An occurrence of a very extraordinary nature...." Melbourne Age, January 
21, 1869, p.2 c.6. 

2. "Swept away by a flood." New Orleans Daily Picayune, August 6, 1893, p.4 
c.4. No mention is made of Mrs. Aldrich's hat, but parts of her clothing 
were traced to seven barbed-wire fences that her body passed through in the 

3. "A Spainish town swept away." Philadelphia Public Ledger, September 16, 
1893, p.10 c.3. 

4. "Rain, but no clouds." New Orleans Daily Picayune, July 11, 1893, p.4 
c.5. No mention is made of freight cars in this article. 

5. "Government notice," (editorial), and "Grenada." West Indian (George 
Town, Barbados), February 3, 1880, p.3. 

6. "The People," (editorial). People (Roseau, Dominica), January 8, 1880, 
p.2 c.5 & p.3 c.1. 

7. "Jamaica." London Times, November 8, 1879, p.5 c.5. 

8. "The floods in Spain." London Times, October 20, 1879, p.6 c.1. 

9. "Earthquakes in Salvador." Panama Daily Star and Herald (Panama), 
February 10, 1880, p.2 c.2-3. 

10. "Predicts a long flood." New York Tribune, March 28, 1913, p.6 c.5. 

11. "Rivers and floods, April, 1913." Monthly weather review, 41 (April 
1913): 651. 

12. "Disasterous floods." Wellington Evening Post, March 31, 1913, p.3 c.2-

13. "Two great rainfalls, May 25th-30th, 1889." Symons' Meteorological 
Magazine, 24 (1889): 101-4. The measure of rainfall at Hong Kong was more 
than 37 inches, (not only 34 inches). 

14. "In a recent number of the Shen Pao...." Homeward Mail (London), 35 
(June 4, 1889): 748. 

15. "Terrible waterspouts in Austria." Liverpool Echo, May 20, 1889, p.4 

16. "Un curieux phénomène meteorologique...." Levant Herald and Eastern 
Express (Istanbul), May 28, 1889, p.3 c.5. 

17. Hugh M.Thompson. "Phenomena in rain." St.Louis Globe-Democrat, May 30, 
1889, p.6 c.5. 

18. "The recent windstorm in Dakota." Quebec Daily Mercury, May 25, 1889, 
p.2 c.1. "When the wind was raging most furiously the electric phenomena 
were most noticeable. The stoves in the houses were so charged with 
electricity that one could hardly endure the shock that came from contact 
with them." 

19. "Great floods in Larut." Pinang Gazette and Straits Chronicle (George 
Town, Malaysia), May 24, 1889, p.5 c.3. 

20. "Cobourg's flood." Toronto Globe, June 3, 1889, p.2 c.3. The location of 
the flood was Cobourg, Ontario, (not Coburg). No mention is made of "a large 
body of water" nor of "two miles" or of seeing it fall, except as rain, in 
this article. 

21. "Germany." London Times, June 6, 1889, p.5 c.1. Correct quote: "The 
worst scene of disaster is Reichenbach, an industrial centre in Saxony, 
which was visited last night by a second waterspout...." 

22. "Meteors." Monthly weather review, 17 (April 1889): 94. 

23. "Sunbeams." New York Sun, May 30, 1889, p.4 c.7. 

24. "Notes from Uitenhage." Cape Argus (Cape Town, South Africa), May 28, 
1889, p.2 c.8. 

25. W.F. Denning. "The fireball of May 29, 1889." Nature, 40 (June 20, 
1889): 174. 

26. A fireball with an apparent diameter of a quater of the moon's size was 
observed at Chailles, France, about 6:45 P.M., on march 15, 1890. P. De 
Froberville. "Un bolide." Cosmos: Les Mondes, n.s., s.4, 15 (March 29, 
1890): 451-2. Alloze, Piberne, and Sabouran. "Bolides." Cosmos: Les mondes, 
n.s., s.4, 15 (December 8, 1888): 31. A meteor brighter than all the stars 
passed over Sainte-Anne d'Auray, France, about 6:52 P.M., on February 12, 
1889, leaving a trail visible for half an hour. J. Allozé. "Un bolide." 
Cosmos: Les Mondes, n.s., s.4, 12 (February 23, 1889): 338. 

27. "A very brilliant meteor was observed...." Otago Witness, June 6, 1889, 
Supplement p.2 c.3-4. 

28. New Orleans Daily Picayune, (May 1889). 

29. "Drought." Monthly Weather Review, 17 (April 1889): 94-5. "Drought." 
Monthly Weather Review, 17 (June 1889): 156. "Drought." Monthly Weather 
Review, 17 (July 1889): 189. "Drought." Monthly Weather Review, 17 (August 
1889): 219. "Drought." Monthly Weather Review, 17 (September 1889): 252-3. 
"Drought." Monthly Weather Review, 17 (December 1889): 338. 

30. "Losing their faith in the Bible." Chicago Daily Tribune, June 10, 1889, 
p.2 c.6. Correct quote: "The people of Johnstown have lost all their faith 
in Providence. Many of them have thrown away their Bibles and since the 
disaster have openly burned them." 



EMISSIONS of arms -- the bubbling of faces, at crevices -- fire and smoke 
and a lava of naked beings. Out of a crater, discharges of bare bodies 
boiled into fantastic formations -- 

Or -- five o'clock, morning of Dec. 28, 1908 -- violent shocks in Sicily. 
The city of Messina fell in a heap, which caught fire. It is the custom of 
Sicilians to sleep without nightclothes, and from this crater of blazing 
wreckage came an eruption of naked beings. Thick clouds of them scudded into 
thin vapours. 

The earth quaked at Messina, and torrential rain fell. According to Nature, 
Dec. 31, 1908, a fall of meteorites had been reported in Spain, a few days 
before the quake.(1) According to the wisemen of our more or less savage 
tribes, the deluge at Messina, at the time of this quake, fell only by 
coincidence. No [313/314] wisemen would mention the fall of meteorites, as 
having any relation. 

There were, at the time, world-wide disturbances, or rather, disturbances, 
along a zone of this earth -- Asia Minor, Greece, Sicily, Spain, Canary 
Islands, Mexico. But all wisemen who wrote upon this subject clipped off 
everything else, and wrote that there had been a subsidence of land in 
Sicily. It is the same old local explanation. Scientists and priests are 
unlike in some respects. but they are about equally parochial. 

Dec. 3rd, 1887 -- from a plinth of ruins, an obelisk of woe sounded to the 

It was at Roggiano, Italy, 900 houses were thrown down by an earthquake. The 
wail that went up from the ruins continued long before individual cries 
could be distinguished. Then the column of woe shattered into screams and 

The survivors said that they had seen fires in the heavens. In Cosmos, n.s., 
69-422, we are told that Prof. Agamennone had investigated these reported 
celestial blazes.(2) But they were new lights upon old explanations. A 
blazing sky could have nothing to do with a local, geological disturbance. 
The orthodox explanation was that a stratum of rocks had slipped. What could 
the slip of rocks have to do with sky-fires? We are told that the Professor 
had reduced all alleged witnesses of the blaze in the heavens to one, who 
had told about it, "with little seriousness." What had suggested levity to 
him, as to scenes of ruination and slaughter, was not enquired into: but the 
story is recorded as a jest, and it may be all the more subtle, because the 
fun of it is not obvious. 

About 6 a.m., Feb. 23, 1887, at Genoa, Italy, burst a dam of conventional 
securities. There was a flood of human beings. An earthquake cast thousands 
of people into the streets. The sky was afire. There was a pour [314/315] to 
get out of town. It was a rush in a glare. If, at the time of a forest fire, 
a dam should burst, thousands of logs, leaping red in the glare, would be 
like this torrent of human forms under a fiery sky. At other places along 
the Riviera, the quake was severe. At other places was made this statement 
that orthodox science will not admit -- that the sky was afire. See Pop. 
Sci. News, 21-58.(3) It will not be admitted, or it is said to be merely a 
coincidence. See L'Astronomie, 1887, p. 137 -- that at Apt (Vaucluse) a 
fiery appearance had been seen, and that then had come a great light, like a 
Bengal fire -- "without doubt coincidences."(4) 

The 16th of August, 1906 -- and suddenly people, living along the road to 
Valparaiso, Chile, lost sight of the city. There had come "a terrible 
darkness." With it came an earthquake. The splitting of ground, and the roar 
of falling houses -- intensest darkness -- and then a voice in this chaos. 
It was a scream. People along the road heard it approaching. 

Chile lit up. Under a flaming sky, the people of Valparaiso were running 
from the smashing city -- people as red as flames, under the glare in the 
heavens: screaming and falling, and leaping over the bodies of the fallen -- 
an eruption of spurting forms that leaped and were extinguished. This 
reddened gush from Valparaiso -- rising, falling shapes -- brief faces and 
momentary arms -- it was like looking at vast flames and imagining that 
spurts of them were really living beings. 

In Nature, 50-990, it is said the 136 reports upon illuminations in the sky, 
at Valparaiso, had been examined by Count de Ballore, the seismologist.(5) 
At one stroke, he bobbed 98 of them, saying that they were indefinite. He 
said that the remaining 38 reports were more or less explicit, but came from 
a region where at the time, a deluge was falling. He clipped these, too. 
[315/316] For a wonder there was an objection: a writer in Scientific 
American, 107-67, pointed out that De Ballore so dismissed the subject, 
without enquiring into the possibility that the quake and the deluge were 

Had he admitted the possibility of relationship, dogma would have slipped 
upon dogma, and upon the face of this earth there would have been a 
subsidence of some ignorance. 

"The lights that were seen in the sky," said De Ballore, "were very likely 
only searchlights from warships." 

"The whole sky seemed afire" (Scientific American, 106-464).(7) In Symons' 
Met. Mag., 41-226, William Gaw, of Santiago, describing the blazing heavens, 
writes that it seemed as if the sober laws of physics had revolted.(8) 

"Or," said De Ballore, "the people may have seen lights from tram-cars." 

It does not matter how preposterous some of my own notions are going to 
seem. They cannot be more out of accordance with events upon this earth than 
is such an attribution of the blazing sky of a nation to searchlights or to 
lamps in tram-cars. If I should write that the stars are probably between 
forty and fifty miles away, I'd be not much more of a trimmer of 
circumstances than is such a barber, who clips are said to be scientific. 
Maybe they are scientific. Though, mostly, barbers are artists, some of them 
do consider themselves scientific. 

Upon July 11th, 1856, the sun rose red in the Caucasus. See Lloyd's Weekly 
Newspaper (London), Sept. 21, 1856.(9) At five o'clock in the afternoon, at 
places where the sun was still shining red, there was an earthquake that 
destroyed 300 houses. There was another earthquake, upon the 23rd of July. 
Two days later, [316/317] black water fell from the sky, in Ireland (News of 
the World, Aug. 10, 1856).(10) 

And what has any part of that to do with any other part of that? If a red-
haired girl, or a red shirt on a clothes-line, had been noted here, there 
would be, according to orthodox science, no more relation with earthquakes 
than there could be between a red sun and an earthquake. Black water falling 
in Ireland -- somebody spilling ink in Kansas. 

The moon turned green. 

For two observations upon a green moon that was seen at a place where an 
earthquake was going to occur, see the Englishman (Calcutta), July 14 and 
21, 1897.(11) One of the observations was six days before, and the other one 
before, the quake in Assam, June 12, 1897. It was a time of drought and 
famine, in India. 

The seismologist knows of no relation between a green moon, or a red sun, 
and an earthquake, but the vulcanologist knows of many instances in which 
the moon and the sun have been so coloured by the volcanic dusts and smokes 
that are known as "dry fogs." The look is that "dry fogs," from a volcanic 
eruption, came to the sky of India, one of them six days before, and the 
other one day before, a catastrophe. 

The mystery is this: 

If there had been a volcanic eruption somewhere else, why not volcanic 
appearances in Italy, or Patagonia, or California -- why at this place where 
an earthquake was going to occur? 


Upon the 11th of June, in Upper Assam, where, upon the 12th, the centre of 
the earthquake was going to be, torrents fell suddenly from the sky. A 
correspondent to the Englishman, July 14, writes that this deluge was of a 
monstrousness that exceeded that of [317/318] any other downpour that he had 
ever seen in Assam, or anywhere else. 

At 5.15 p.m., 12th of June, there was a sight at Shillong that would be a 
marvel to the more innocent of the text-book writers. I tell so much of 
clipping and bobbing and shearing, but also there may be considerable 
innocence. Not a cloud in the sky--out of clear blue vacancy, dumped a lake. 
This drop of a bulk of water, or transportation, or teleportation, of it, 
was at the time of one of the most catastrophic of earthquakes, centring 
farther north in Assam. 

This earthquake was an earth-storm. Hills were waves, and houses cast adrift 
were wrecked on them. Out into fields stormed people from villages, and long 
strings of them, in white summer garments, were lines of surf on the 
earthwaves. Breakers of them spumed with infants. In a human storm, billows 
of people crashed against islands of cattle. It is not only in meteorology 
that there are meteorological occurrences. The convulsions were so violent 
that there was scene-shifting. When the people recovered and looked around, 
it was at landscapes, changed as if a curtain had gone down and then up, 
between acts of this drama. They saw fields, lakes, and roads that, in the 
lay of the land, before the quake, had been hidden. It is not only in 
playhouses that there are theatrical performances. It is not exclusively 
anywhere where anything is, if ours is one organic existence, in which all 
things are continuous. 

There were more deluges that will not fit into conventional explanations. 
Allahabad Pioneer, June 23, 1897 -- extremest droughts -- the quake -- 
enormous falls of water.(12) 

There are data for thinking that somewhere there was a volcanic eruption. 
Another datum is that, at Calcutta, after the earthquake, there was an 
"after- [318/319] glow." "Afterglows" are exceptional sunsets, sometimes of 
an auroral appearance, which are reflections of sunlight from volcanic dust 
high in the sky, continuing to be seen an hour or so later than ordinary 
sunsets. Friend of India, June 15 -- "The entire west was a glory of deepest 
purple, and the colours did not fade out, until an hour after darkness is 
usually complete."(13) 

Something else that I note is that in many places in Assam, the ground was 
incipiently volcanic, during the earthquake. Countless small craters 
appeared and threw out ashes. 

Considering the volcanic and the incipiently volcanic, I think of a relation 
between the catastrophe in Assam and a volcanic eruption somewhere else. 

But there is findable no record of a volcanic eruption upon this earth to 
which could be attributed effects that we have noted. 

I point out again that, if there were a volcanic eruption in some part of 
our existence, external to this earth, or upon this earth, it would, unless 
a special relation be thought of, be as likely to cause an "afterglow" in 
England or South Africa, as in India. The suggestion is that somewhere, 
external to this earth, if in terrestrial terms there is no explanation, 
there was a volcanic eruption, and that the earthquake in India was a 
response to it, and that bulks of water and other discharges came from 
somewhere else exclusively to a part of this earth that was responsively, or 
functionally, quaking, because a teleportative current of some kind, very 
likely electric between the two centres of disturbances. 

Upon the 25th of June, dust fell from the sky, near Calcutta (Englishman, 
July 3). In the issue of this newspaper, of July 14th, a meteorologist, 
employed in the Calcutta Observatory, described "a most [319/320] peculiar 
mist," like volcanic smoke, which had been seen in the earthquake-
regions.(14) In his opinion, it was "cosmic dust," or dust that had fallen 
to this earth from outer space. He said nothing of possible relationship 
with the earthquakes. He would probably have called it "mere coincidence." 
Then he told of a fall of mud, upon the 27th of June, at Thurgrain 
(Midnapur). There was a fall of mud, in the Jessore District of Bengal, 
night of the 29th. "It fell from a cloudless sky, while the stars were 
shining" (Madras Mail, July 8).(15) 

Suppose it were "cosmic dust." Suppose with the conventionalists that this 
earth is a swiftly moving planet that had overtaken a cloud of "cosmic 
dust," in outer space. In one minute, this earth would be more than a 
thousand miles away from this point of contact, by orbital motion, and would 
turn away axially. 

But other falls of dust came upon India, while the shocks were continuing, 
as if settling down from an eruption somewhere else, to a world that was not 
speeding away orbitally, and to a point that was not turning away by daily 

Five days after the first fall of dust, "a substance resembling mud" fell at 
Ghattal (Friend of India, July 14).(16) For descriptions of just such a "dry 
fog," as has often been seen in Italy, after an eruption of Vesuvius, see 
the Madras Mail, July 5, and the Friend of India, July 14 -- "a perpetual 
haze on the horizon, all around," "sky covered with thick layers of dust, 
resembling a foggy atmosphere."(17) About the first of July, mud fell at 
Hetamphore (Beerbhoom) according to the Friend of India, July 14. 

I list these falls of dust and mud, but to them I do not give the importance 
that I give to the phenomena that preceded this earthquake. I have come upon 
nobody's statement that they were of volcanic material. [320/321] But it may 
be that there were other precipitations, and that they were of a substance 
that is unknown upon this earth. In the Englishman (Calcutta), July 7, a 
correspondent wrote that, several days before, at Khurdah, there had been a 
shower at night, and that the air became filled with the perfume of 
sandalwood. The next morning everything was found covered with "a coloured 
matter, which emitted the scent of sandalwood." About the same time, 
somebody else wrote to the Madras Mail, (July 8), that, at Nadia, there had 
been a fall from the sky, of a substance "more or less resembling the sandal 
used by the natives in worshipping their gods."(18) 

The moon turns green before an earthquake. 

Torrential rains precede an earthquake. 

We have only begun listing phenomena that appear before catastrophes. They 
are interpretable as warnings. Clipped from events, by barber-shop science. 

There was an investigation of phenomena in Assam. It was scientific, in the 
sense that the tonsorial may be the scientific. Dr. Oldham enormously 
reduced a catastrophe to manageable dimensions. He lathered it with the soap 
of this explanations, and shaved it clean of all unconventional details. 
This treatment of "Next!" to catastrophes is as satisfactorily beautifying, 
to neat, little minds, as are some of the marcel waves that astronomers have 
ironed into tousled circumstances. For a review of Dr. Oldham's report, see 
Nature, 62-305.(19) There is no mention of anything that was seen in the 
sky, nor of anything that fell from the sky, nor of occurrences anywhere 
else. Dr. Charles Davison, in A Study of Recent Earthquakes, gives 57 pages 
to his account of this catastrophe, and he, too, mentions nothing that was 
seen in the sky, or that fell from the sky.(20) He mentions no simultaneous 
phenomena anywhere else. It is a neat and well-trimmed account, [321/322] 
but there's a smell that I identify as too much bay rum. 

Simultaneous phenomena that always are left out of a conventionalist's 
account of an earthquake -- one of the most violent convulsions ever known 
in Mexico, while the ground in India was quaking. There was a glare in the 
sky, and Mexicans thought that the glare was volcanic. If so, no active 
volcano in Mexico could be found (New Orleans Daily Picayune, June 22).(21) 
Deluges fell upon this quaking land. One of the falls of water, upon a 
Mexican town, drowning some of the inhabitants, is told of, in the San 
Francisco Chronicle, June 17.(22) 

In all this part of our job, our opposition is not so much denial of data, 
as assertions that the occurrences in which we see relationship were only 
coincidences. If I ever accept any such explanation, I shall be driven into 
extending it to everything. We'll have a theory that in our existence there 
is nothing but coincidence; and, according to my experience with theorists, 
we'll develop this theory somewhat reasonably. Chemical reactions, supposed 
to be well-known and accounted for, do not invariably work out, as, 
according to formula, they should work out. Failures are attributed to 
impurities in chemicals, but perhaps it is only by persistent coincidence, 
like that of glares so often occurring at times of earthquakes, that water 
appears when oxygen and hydrogen unite.(23) Meteors frequently fall to this 
earth during earthquakes, but that may be only by coincidence, just as 
offsprings so often appear after marriage -- indicating nothing exclusively 
of relationships, inasmuch as we have heard of cases of alleged independent 
reproduction. Let the feminists become only a little more fanatical, and 
they will probably publish lists of instances of female independence. It is 
either that our data are not of coincidences, or that everything's a 
coincidence. [322/323] 

As to some deluges, at times of earthquakes, there is no assertion of 
coincidence, and there is no mystery. There's an earthquake, and water falls 
from the sky. Then it is learned that a volcano -- one of this earth's 
volcanoes -- had been in eruption, and that, responsively to it, the earth 
had quaked, and that volumes of water, some of them black, and some of them 
not discoloured, had been discharged by this volcano, falling in bulks, or 
falling in torrential rains upon the quaking ground. Sometimes the sky 
darkens during earthquakes, and there is no assertion of coincidence, and 
there is no mystery. Upon March 11th, 1875, for instance, a vast, black 
cloud appeared at Guadalajara, Mexico. There was an earthquake. See L'Année 
Scientifique, 1876-322.(24) In this instance, the darkened sky at the time 
of the earthquake was explained, because it was learned that both phenomena 
were effects of an eruption of the volcano Carobucuco. There have been 
unmysterious showers of meteors, or of fireballs that looked like meteors, 
at times of earthquakes. There were eruptions upon this earth, and the 
fireballs, or meteors, came from them. There were especially spectacular 
showers of volcanic bombs that looked like meteors, or that were meteors, 
during the eruptions in Java, Aug., 1883; New Zealand, June, 1886; West 
Indies, May, 1902. 

But our data are of such phenomena in the sky, during earthquakes, at times 
when no terrestrial volcano could have had such effects was active. 

So far we have not correlated with anything that could be considered a 
volcanic eruption anywhere in regions external to this earth. Now we are 
called upon, not only for data seemingly of volcanic eruptions in a nearby 
starry shell around this earth, but for data that may be regarded as 
observations upon celestial volcanoes in action. [323] 


1. "Notes." Nature, 79 (December 31, 1908): 255-260, at 255-256. The falls 
of meteorites occurred at Burgos and at Jubilla del Agua, in Spain. 

2. "Les phénomènes lumineux des tremblements de terre." Cosmos: Les mondes, 
n.s., s.4, 69 (October 16, 1913): 422. 

3. "The earthquake in France." Popular Science News, 21 (1887): 58. Nothing 
is said of coincidence in this article, which dismisses the aerial 
phenomenon as imaginary. 

4. Nicholas Camille Flammarion. "Les tremblements de terre et leurs causes." 
Astronomie, 6 (1887): 121-42, at 136-7 (fn. 1). 

5. "Notes." Nature, 90 (January 16, 1913): 547-51, at 550. 

6. "Luminous phenomena associated with earthquakes." Scientific American, 
n.s., 107 (July 20, 1912): 67. 

7. "Curious lightning in the Andes." Scientific American, n.s., 106 (May 18, 
1912): 464. 

8. William Gaw. "Atmospheric phenomena during the Chile earthquake." Symons' 
Meteorological Magazine, 41, 226-8. 

9. "Earthquake in the Caucasus." Lloyd's Sunday News, September 21, 1856, 
p.3 c.1. 

10. "Black rain." News of the World (London), August 10, 1856, p.3 c.2. 

11. "Appearance of the moon." Englishman (Calcutta), July 14, 1897, Weekly 
Summary, p.16 c.4. "Appearance of the moon." Englishman, July 21, 1897, 
Weekly Summary, p.13 c.2. 

12. "The Earthquake." Allahabad Pioneer Mail, June 23, 1897, pp.17-19. 

13. "Severe earthquake in Calcutta." Friend of India and Statesman 
(Calcutta), June 15, 1897, p.14 c.4 & p.15 c.1-3. 

14. "Appearance of the moon." Englishman, July 14, 1897, Weekly Summary, p. 
16 c. 4. 

15. "Bengal." Madras Mail, July 8, 1897, p.3 c.2. Correct quote: "The sky 
was clear and full of stars." 

16. "The earthquake." Friend of India and Statesman (Calcutta), June 22, 
1897, p.3 c.2-4 & p.4 c.1. 

17. "Seismic disturbances in Assam." Madras Mail, July 5, 1897, p.5 c.5. 
Correct quote: "...there is perpetual haze...." "Mofussil letters." Friend 
of India and Statesman, July 14, 1897, p.7 c.3-4 and p.8 c.1-3. 

18. "Bengal." Madras Mail, July 8, 1897, p.3 c.2. Correct quote: 
"...resembling more or less the sandal used by Hindus in worshipping their 

19. "The great earthquake of June 12, 1897." Nature, 62 (July 26, 1900): 
305-7. Oldham's original report, before clipped by the editor at Nature, did 
provide some interesting data, though not of falls of non-meteoric 
substances and afterglows. Oldham reports that, while in many places there 
was no forewarning of the earthquake, it coincided with lightning in the 
Assam Valley. Oldham also writes: "Though somewhat apart from the scope of 
this chapter, the effect of the earthquake on the mud volcanoes of Kyauk Pyu 
may be noticed." The Deputy Commissioner at Kyauk Pyu reported the following 
phenomena on June 12, 1897: "The mud volcano in this island is well known to 
all people, and is occasionally active. On this occasion loud reports were 
heard coming from this volcano followed by a flow of mud, which continued 
for an hour and a half. About 11 o'clock that night loud reports were again 
heard, and a new volcano opened out 2,500 feet to the south of the old 
volcano. There was a very large flow of mud from this new crater, so large 
in fact that it spread out over the land near, destroying acre 1.05 of paddy 
land belonging to a cultivator named Na-Ban-San. The flow continued until 
about midday on the 13th June. The reports made by the opening of the new 
crater were followed by a very brilliant meteor which appeared to travel 
from the south to the north. On the 23rd June about 7 P.M., a slight shock 
of earthquake was felt and another meteor was seen, and three sounds as of 
the distant booming of a gun were heard." Kyauk Pyu, in British Aracan, is 
now identified as Kyaukpyu, Myanmar (Burma). Oldham also provided an entire 
chapter on: "The earthquake sounds, with some remarks on the Barisal Guns," 
which includes references to the sounds at Melida and the mistpouffers 
reported by Van den Brck and A. Cancani. R.D. Oldham. "Report on the Great 
Earthquake of 12th June 1897." Memoirs of the Geological Survey of India, 28 
(1899): 26, 41, 191-204. 

20. Charles Davison. Study of Recent Earthquakes. 262-320. 

21. "Earthquakes in Mexico." New Orleans Daily Picayune, June 22, 1897, p.1. 

22. "Severe earthquakes in Southern Mexico." San Francisco Chronicle, June 
17, 1897, p.4 c.3. 

23. "If Avogadro's hypothesis were strictly applicable to oxygen and 
hydrogen, the molecular weights of these gases would be exactly proportional 
to their densities, determined at the same temperature and pressure. Since 
the molecules of both gases are diatomic, the atomic weights would be 
proportional to the densities; and if both the density and atomic weight of 
hydrogen are taken as unity, the atomic weight of oxygen would be 
numerically equal to its density," states Sydney Young. However, the ratio 
of weight of oxygen to hydrogen in numerous experiments was measured at 
"15.88 if H = 1" or a "slight deviation from Boyle's and Gay Lusaac's laws." 
Since experiments had been first carried out by Dumas in 1819, and as late 
as 1897, most efforts to determine the atomic weight of oxygen has concluded 
with an atomic weight below 16, (ranging from 15.77 to 16.005). Thus, when 
the formula for water did not work out as expected, it became necessary to 
adjust the atomic weight of hydrogen by dividing the expected number of 16 
(for oxygen) by the measured value (15.88) to reach a value of "H = 1.008." 
Sydney Young. Stoichiometry. William Ramsay, ed. Text-Books of Physical 
Chemistry. New York: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1908, 71-8. 

24. "Le tremblement de terre de Guadalajara (Mexique)." Année scientifique 
et industrielle, 19 (1875): 321-322. The volcano was Ceboruco, (not 
Carobucuco), in Mexico. 


WITH a surf and a glare, this earth quaked a picture -- 

Or in the monistic sense, there was, in Peru, a catastrophe that was a 
hideous and magnificent emotion. It is likely that there's a wound in a 
brain, at a time of intensest excitement -- 

Red of the writhing earth, and red of the heaving ocean -- and, in between, 
a crimson gash of surf, slashed from Ecuador to Chile -- 

Or so was visualized a rage, by super-introspection. 

According to the midgets of orthodoxy, such a picture cannot be accepted. 
See the little De Ballore school of criticism. But quakes that were pictures 
by a very independent artistry -- 

Snow that was white on the peaks of mountains -- cataclysm -- peaks struck 
off -- avalanches of snow, [324/325] glaring red, gushing in jugular spouts 
from the decapitations. Glints from the fiery sky -- upon land and sea, 
tossing houses and ships were spangles. Forests lashed with whips of fire, 
from which shot out sparks that were birds and running animals. 

August 13, 1868 -- people in Peru, rushing from their falling houses, 
stumbling in violations of streets, seeing the heavens afire, crying: "El 

Away back in the year 1868, scientific impudence had not let loose, and 
there was no scientific clown to laugh off the blazing sky, with a story of 
lights in horse cars. The mystery of this occurrence is in the belief in 
Peru that there was, somewhere, at this time, a volcanic eruption. 

Cities were flung in the sea. The sea rushed back upon ruins. It doubled all 
ordinary catastrophes by piling wrecks of ships upon the ruins of houses. 
Fields poured over cliffs into the Bay of Arica. It was a cataract of 
meadows. We have gone far in our demonstration of continuity, which has led 
from showers of frogs to storms of meadows. 

Vast volumes of water fell from the sky. It was appalling providence: this 
water was needed. The waters soaked into the needful earth, and surplus 
beneficences made new rivers. In the streams, there was a ghastly frou-frou 
of torrents of corpses, and the coast of Peru was frilled with fluttering 
bodies. Almost Ultimate Evil could be stimulated by such a lingerie. These 
furbelows of dead men, flounced in the waves, were the drapery of 

Upon the 19th of August, there was another violent quake, and again there 
was a glare in the sky. Both times there was no accounting for such a 
spectacle except by thinking that there had been an eruption in Peru. 
According to the New York Herald, Sept. 29, the volcano Moquequa was 
suspected.(1) London Times, Oct. 21 -- [325/326] letter from someone who had 
seen the flaming sky, and had heard that Canderave was the volcano.(2) It 
was said that the eruption had been at Aqualonga, and then that it had not 
been Aqualonga, but Cayambe. An illumination in the sky, lasting several 
hours is described in Comptes Rendus, 67-1066, and here a writer gives his 
opinion that the volcano was Saajama.(3) Other observers of the glare said 
that it came from Cotopaxi. Cosmos, n.s., 3-3-367 -- it was supposed that 
Cotocachi was the volcano.(4) But it is not possible to find anything of 
this disagreement in any textbook: all agree on attributing to one volcano -
- it was Mt. Misti. 

New York Herald, Oct. 30, 1868 -- that Mt. Misti had not been active.(5) 

See Comptes Rendus, 69-262 -- the results of M. Gay's investigations -- 
that, in this period, not one of the suspected volcanoes had been active.(6) 
See the Student, 4-147.(7) 

Sometimes volcanic eruptions upon this earth shine, at a distance, like 
stars. It will be my acceptance that new stars are new volcanic eruptions in 
Starland. For a description of a terrestrial eruption that shone like a 
star, see the Amer. Jour. Sci., 2-21-144.(8) See a description, in the New 
York Times, Sept. 23, 1872, of an eruption of Mauna Loa, which far away 
looked star-like.(9) 

At 12.30 p.m., September 4th, appeared something that has often been seen at 
Naples, when Vesuvius has discharged. It was like the volcanic discharge 
that we have noted, at Guadalajara, Mexico. A dense, mountain-like cloud 
appeared, in the western sky, at Callao, Peru. The earth heaved with 
violence equal to that of August 13th. 

New York Tribune, Oct. 7 -- that in the southwestern sky was seen a star. 

It is my expression that this was the star that broke Peru. 

Night of Feb. 4th, 1872 -- another glare in the sky -- that the 
constellation Orion was afire -- that a tragedy upon this earth began in the 
sky, with a spectacle that excited peoples of this earth, from Norway to 
South Africa -- but that, underlying tragedies written by human beings, or 
wrought in sky and lands, are the same conventions, and that Organic Drama 
is no more likely to let catastrophe come, without preceding phenomena that 
may be interpreted as warnings, than would stagecraft of this earth permit 
final calamity, without indications of its approach -- 

That a surprise was preceded by a warning that was perhaps of the magnitude 
of a burning of all the forests of North America -- testimony of the sun and 
the moon to coming destruction -- announcements that were issued in blazes -
- showers of gleaming proclamations -- brilliant and long-enduring 
advertisement -- 

But that mind upon this earth was brutalized with dogmas -- and that 
scientific wisemen, stupefied by a creed, presided over a slaughter, or were 
surprised when came the long and brilliantly advertised. 

This night of Feb. 4th, 1872 -- a blaze in the constellation Orion. From 
centers of alarm upon this earth there was telegraphing. City called upon 
city. People thought that a neighboring community was burning. In the West 
Indies, island called upon island. In each island, the glare in the sky was 
thought to come from a volcanic eruption in some other island. At 
Moncalieri, Italy, an earthquake, or a response in this earth to cataclysm 
somewhere else, was recorded by seismographs. There may have been special 
relation with the ground, in Italy. 

With this glare, which was considered auroral, because there was no other 
way of conventionally [327/328] explaining it, though auroras never have 
been satisfactorily explained, came meteors. Denza recorded them, as seen in 
Italy, and noting their seeming relation to the glare, explained that the 
seeming relation was only a coincidence. That's got to be thought by 
everybody who opposes all that this book stands for. If it was not a 
coincidence, the meteors came to this earth from wherever the glare was. If 
the glare was in the constellation Orion, Orion may be no farther from Italy 
than is San Francisco. 

Upon the night of Feb. 22nd, another glare was seen in the sky, and "by 
coincidence," it was identical in all respects, except magnitude, with the 
glare of the 4th. "By coincidence" again meteors appeared. See Comptes 
Rendus, 74-641.(10) 

Five days after this second seeming eruption in Orion, dust fell from the 
sky, at Cosenza, Italy (Comptes Rendus, 74-826).(11) 

The meteors that were seen at the time of the first glare were 
extraordinary. They appeared only in the zone of Italy. As seen with the 
glare, in India, they are told of in the Allahabad Pioneer Mail, Feb. 12, 
and the Bombay Gazette, Feb. 19.(12) See other records of ours of zone-

Sixteen days after the second glare in Orion, reddish yellow dust fell in 
Sicily, and continued to fall the second day, and fell in Italy. 

Trembling trillions -- or a panic of immensities -- and the twinkles of the 
stars are the winks of proximities -- and our data are squeezing supposed 
remotenesses into familiarities -- because, if from a constellation 
eruption, dust drifted to this earth in a few weeks, it did not drift 
trillions of miles -- 

But was this dust a discharge from a volcano? 

It was volcanic dust, according to Prof. Silvestri. See the Jour. Chem. Soc. 
London, 25-1083.(13) Prof. [328/329] Silvestri thought that it must have 
come from an eruption somewhere in South America. But my notes upon 
phenomena of this year 1872 are especially numerous, and I have no record of 
any eruption in South America, or anywhere else -- upon this earth -- to 
which could be attributed this discharge. 

For records of a stream of events that then started flowing, see Comptes 
Rendus, vols. 74, 75, and Cosmos, vol. 28.(14) In Italy, upon the first of 
April, began successions of "auroral" lights and volleys of meteors. Night 
of April 7-8 -- many meteors, at Mondovi, Italy. Solar and lunar haloes, 
which may, or may not, be attributed to the presence of volcanic dusts, were 
seen in Italy, April 6th, 7th, and 8th. Two days later, Vesuvius became 
active, but there were only minor eruptions. 

There was uneasiness in Italy. But it was told, in Naples, that the wisemen 
were watching Vesuvius. Because of the slight eruptions, some of the 
peasants on the slopes began to move. These were a few of the untrustful 
ones: the others believed, when the wisemen said that there was no reason 
for alarm. Night after night, while this volcano in Italy was rumbling, 
meteors came to the skies of Italy. There is no findable record that they so 
came anywhere else. They came down to this one part of this earth, as if 
this earth were stationary. 

April 19th -- the third arrival of dust -- volumes of dust, of unknown 
origin, fell from the sky, in Italy. 

There was alarm. The sounds of Vesuvius were louder, but a quiet fall of 
dust, if from the unknown, spreads an alarm of its own. 

The wisemen continued to study Vesuvius. They paid no more attention to 
arrivals of dusts and meteors in the sky of a land where a volcano was 
rumbling than to arrivals of song birds or of tourists, in Italy. [329/330] 
Their assurances that there was no reason for alarm, founded only upon their 
local observations, held back upon the slopes of the volcano all but a few 
disbelievers -- 

The 20th of April -- 

Eruption of Vesuvius. 

Convolutions of clouds -- scrimmages of brains that had broken out of an 
underground academy of giants -- trying to think for themselves -- 
struggling to free themselves from subterranean repressions. But clouds and 
brains are of an underlying oneness: struggles soon relapsed into a general 
foginess. Volcanic or cerebral -- the products are obscurities. Naples was 
in darkness. 

The people of Naples groped in the streets, each in a hellish geometry of 
his own, each seeing in a circle, a few yards in diameter, and hearing, in 
one dominant roar, no minor sounds more than a few yards away. Streams of 
refugées were stumbling into the streets of Naples. People groped in 
circles, into which were thrust hands, holding up images, or clutching loot. 
Fragments of sounds in the one dominant roar -- geometricity in bewilderment 
-- or circles in a fog, and sometimes dominant, and everything else 
crippled. The flitting of feet, shoulders, bandaged heads -- cries to the 
saints -- profanity of somebody who didn't give a damn for Vesuvius -- legs 
of a corpse, carried by invisibles -- prayers to God, and jokers screeching 
false alarms that the lava was coming. 

A blast from the volcano cleared away smoke and fog. High on Vesuvius -- a 
zigzag streak of fire. It was a stream of lava that looked fixed in the sky. 
With ceaseless thunder, it shone like lightning -- a bolt that was pinned to 
a mountain. 

Glares that were followed by darkness -- in an avalanche of bounding rocks 
and stumbling people, no fugi- [330/331] tive knew one passing bulk from 
another, crashing rocks and screaming women going by in silence, in the one 
dominant roar of the volcano. When it was dark, there were showers of fire, 
and then in the glares, came down dark falls of burning cinders. In 
brilliant illuminations, black rains burned running peasants. Give me the 
sting of such an ink, and there'd be running. 

Somewhere, in the smoke and flames, on the mountain side, fell a sparrow. 
According to conventional theologians, this was noted. 

The next day there was another flow down the slopes of Vesuvius. It was of 
carts that were laden with bodies. 

Possibly this was overlooked, if attention was upon the sparrow. See data to 
come, for a more matured opinion. 

In at least one mind, or quasi-mind, or whatever we think are minds, upon 
this earth, there was awareness of more than coincidence between flows of 
meteors in Italy and a volcanic eruption in Italy. In Comptes Rendus, 74-
1183, M. Silberman tells of the meteors in Italy, and the eruption of 
Vesuvius, and gives his opinion that there was relation.(15) It was a past 
generation's momentary suspicion. The record is brief. There was no 
discussion. To this day, no conventional scientist will admit that there is 
relation. But, if there is, there is also another relation. That is between 
his dogmas and the slaughters of people. 

In orthodox terms of a moving earth crossing orbits of meteor streams, to 
which any one part of this earth, such as the Italian part, could have no 
especial exposure to meteors so moving, there is no explanation of the 
repeated arrivals of meteors, especially, or exclusively, in Italy, except 
this -- 

Night after night after night -- 

Coincidence after coincidence after coincidence. [331/332] 

Our unorthodox expression is that it was because this earth is stationary. 

According to data that have been disregarded about sixty years, it may be 
that there was a teleportative, or electrolytic, current between a volcano 
of this earth and a stellar volcano. If we think that a volcano in a land 
that we call the Constellation Orion interacted with a volcano in Italy -- 
as Vesuvius and Etna often interact -- there must be new thoughts upon the 
distance of Orion. 

The one point that every orthodox astronomer would contest, or deride -- 
because its acceptance would be followed by acceptance of this book as a 
whole -- is that the glare that seemed to be in Orion, was in Orion. 

These are the data for thinking that the glare that seemed to be in Orion, 
was in Orion, which cannot be vastly far away: 

The glare in the sky, early in the evening of Feb. 4th, 1872, was west of 
Orion, as if cast by reflection from an eruption below the horizon. But, 
when Orion appeared in the east, the glare was in Orion, and it remained in 
Orion. At Paris, all beams of light came from Orion, after 8 p.m. (Comptes 
Rendus, 74-385).(16) In England -- in Orion (Symons' Met. Mag., 7-1).(17) In 
South Africa, the point from which all beams diverged was in Orion (Cape 
Argus, Feb. 10).(18) An account by Prof. A.C. Twining, of observations in 
the United States, is published in the Amer. Jour. Sci., 3-3-273.(19) This 
"remarkable fact," as Prof. Twining calls it, but without attempting to 
explain, is noted -- that, from quarter past seven o'clock, in the evening, 
until quarter past ten, though Orion had moved one eighth of its whole 
revolution, the light remained in Orion. 

There is no conventional explanation to oppose us. My expression is that the 
glare so remained in Orion, [332/333] because it was in Orion. Anybody who 
thinks that the glare was somewhere between this earth and the constellation 
will have to account not only for the fixedness of it in a moving 
constellation, but for its absence of parallax, as seen in places as far 
apart as South Africa and the United States. [333] 


1. "Condition of Peru after the earthquake." New York Herald, September 29, 
1868, p. 4 c. 2-3. 

2. "Earthquake in Peru." London Times, October 21, 1868, p.4 c.3-5. The red 
illumination was observed at Arequipa and Tacna, Peru, on the night of 
August 13, and at Arica and Tacna, on August 19, 1868. 

3. Pissis. "Sur le tremblement de terre éprouvé le 13 aout 1868 dans la 
partie occidentale de l'Amerique du Sud." Comptes Rendus, 67 (1868): 1066-8, 
at 1068. 

4. "Le treblement de terre de l'Amérique du Sud.--Tremblement de terre à 
Pau.--La traversée de l'Afrique entre l'Egypte et le Gabon." Cosmos: Revue 
Encyclopedic, s.3, 3 (October 3, 1868): 365-7. 

5. "Peru." New York Herald, October 30, 1868, p.4 c.3-4. 

6. Cl. Gay. "Sur le tremblement de terre arrivé en août 1868 dans l'Amerique 
méridionale." Comptes Rendus, 69 (1869): 260-4. 

7. "The great earthquake of Peru, 1868." Student and Intellectual Observer, 
4 (1870): 146-8. 

8. "Eruption of Mauna Loa." American Journal of Science, s.2, 21 (1856): 
139-44, at 144. 

9. "Mauna Loa." New York Times, September 23, 1872, p.5 c.4. 

10. J.-J. Silbermann. "Mémoire sur des faits dont on peut déduire: 1 une 
théorie des auroras boréales et australes, fondée sur l'existence de marées 
atmosphériques; 2 l'indication, à l'aide des aurores, de l'existence 
d'essaims d'astéroïdes à proximité du globe terrestre." Comptes Rendus, 74, 
638-42, at 641. 

11. P. Denza. "Pluie de sable et phénomènes cosmiques observés en Italie 
dans la première décade de mars 1872." Comptes Rendus, 74, 826-7. Cosenza 
had a light fall of dust on February 27, which was followed by a heavier 
fall of dust on March 10 and 11. 

12. "The late aurora as seen at Lahore...." Pioneer (Allahabad, India), 9 
(n.656; February 12, 1872): 1, c.3. "The Aurora Borealis at Lahore." Bombay 
Gazette (Overland Summary), February 19, 1872, p.7 c.1 

13. B.J.G., reviewer. O. Silvestri. "Examination of rain accompanied by 
meteoric (volcanic) dust." Journal of the Chemical Society of London, 25 
(1872): 1082-3. For an additional report and the original report: "Chemico-
microscopic research of a peculiar substance which accompanied the meteoric 
dust which fell in Sicily on 9th, 10th, and 11th March last." Chemical News, 
25 (June 21, 1872): 300. O. Silvestri. "Studio chimico microscopico di una 
particolare pioggia accompagnnia da polvere meteorica, caduta in Sicilia nei 
giorni 9, 10 e 11 marzo 1872." Gazetta Chimica Italiana, 2 (1872): 83-8. 

14. "Aurore boréale." Comptes Rendus, 74, 384-90. Cornu."Sur le spectre de 
l'aurore boréale de 4 février." Comptes Rendus, 74, 390-1. Prazmowski. 
"Étude spectrale de la lumière de l'aurore boréale de 4 fevrier." Comptes 
Rendus, 74, 391-2. J.-J. Silbermann. "Mémoire sur des faits dont on peut 
déduire: 1 une théorie des auroras boréales et australes, fondée sur 
l'existence de marées atmosphériques; 2 l'indication, à l'aide des aurores, 
de l'existence d'essaims d'astéroïdes à proximité du globe terrestre." 
Comptes Rendus, 74, 638-42. P. Denza. "Pluie de sable et phénomènes 
cosmiques observés en Italie dans la première décade de mars 1872." Comptes 
Rendus, 74, 826-7. J.-J. Silbermann. "Suite du mémoire sur les causes et 
lois des aurores boréales; marées terrestres, actions des astéroïdes donnant 
lieu aux tremblements de terre et aux éruptions volcaniques." Comptes 
Rendus, 74, 1182-4. P. Denza. "Observations météorlogiques." Cosmos: Les 
Mondes, 28 (1872): 101-3. P. Denza. "Sur une nouvelle pluie de sable tombée 
en Italie." Cosmos: Les Mondes, 28 (1872): 127. Silbermann. "Sur la relation 
entre les phénomenes météorologiques et les éruptions volcaniques." Cosmos: 
Les Mondes, 28 (1872): 127-8. 

15. J.-J. Silbermann. "Suite du mémoire sur les causes et lois des aurores 
boréales; marées terrestres, actions des astéroïdes donnant lieu aux 
tremblements de terre et aux éruptions volcaniques." Comptes Rendus, 74, 
1182-4. Sic, Silbermann. 

16. "Aurore boréale." Comptes Rendus, 74, 384-90, at 386. 

17. "A southern aurora." Symons' Meteorological Magazine, 7 (February 1872): 

18. "Aurora Australis." Cape Argus (Cape Town), February 6, 1872, p.2 c.6. 

19. Alex. C. Twining. "The aurora of February 4th, 1872." American Journal 
of Science, s.3, 3 (1872): 273-81, at 273, 276. 


HORSES erect in a blizzard of frogs -- and the patter of worms on umbrellas. 
The hum of ladybirds in England -- the twang of a swarm of Americans, at 
Templemore, Ireland. The appearance of Cagliostro -- the appearance of Prof. 
Einstein's theories. A policeman dumps a wild man into a sack -- and there 
is alarm upon all continents of this earth, because of a blaze in a 
constellation -- 

That all are related, because all are phenomena of one, organic existence -- 
just as, upon August 26th, 1883, diverse occurrences were related, because 
all were reactions to something in common. 

August 26th, 1883 -- people in Texas excitedly discussing a supposed war in 
Mexico -- young men in Victoria, Australia, watching a snowstorm, the first 
time in their lives -- crowds of Chinamen hammering [334/335] on gongs -- 
staggering sailors in a vessel, off the Cape of Good Hope. 

I have data for thinking that, somewhere beyond this earth, and not 
enormously far away, there was, before these occurrences, an eruption. About 
August 10th, of this year 1883, at various places, appeared "afterglows" 
that cannot be traced to terrestrial eruptions. Upon the 13th of August, an 
afterglow was reported from Indiana, and ten days later, from California 
(Monthly Weather Review, 1883-289).(1) Upon the 21st and 22nd, "afterglows" 
appeared in Natal, South Africa (Knowledge, 5-418).(2) 

There was no known eruption upon this earth, by which to explain these 
atmospheric effects, but there was a disturbance upon this earth, and the 
circumstances were similar to those in Italy, in April, 1872. The volcano 
Krakatoa, in Java, was in a state of minor activity. It was not considered 

Upon the 25th of August, a correspondent to the Perth (Western Australia) 
Inquirer -- see Nature, 29-388 -- was travelling far inland, in Western 
Australia.(3) He was astonished to see ashes falling from the sky, 
continuing to fall, all afternoon. If this material came from regions 
external to this earth, it came down, hour after hour, as if to a point upon 
a stationary earth. An attempt to explain was that there may have been an 
eruption in some little known part of Australia. In Australian newspapers, 
there is no mention of an eruption in Australia, at this time; and in my own 
records, there is only one instance, and that one doubtful, of an eruption 
in Australia, at any time. I am not here including New Zealand. There was, 
at this time, no eruption in New Zealand. 

Krakatoa was in a state of minor activity. Wisemen from Batavia, localizing, 
like the wisemen at Vesuvius, in April, 1872, were studying only Krakatoa. 
Consid- [335/336] ered as a thing in itself, out of relation with anything 
else, conditions here were not alarming. The natives were told that there 
was no danger -- and natives -- Columbia University, or east side, west 
side, New York City -- or Java -- believe what the wisemen tell them. 

April 19th, 1872 -- the dust if unknown origin that fell from the sky -- it 
preceded, by one day, the eruption of Vesuvius. 

August 25th, 1883 -- the ashes of unknown origin that fell from the sky --

August 26th -- Krakatoa exploded. It was one of this world's biggest noises, 
and surrounding mountains doffed their summits. Or, like a graduating class 
at Annapolis, they fired off their peaks, which came down, as new reefs in 
the ocean. The bombs that shot out were like meteors. The mountain was a 
stationary meteor-radiant, and shot out Krakatoatids. Had the winds gone 
upwards, the new meteor stream would have been also of houses and cattle and 
people. The explosion shatered shores so that all charts were useless.(5) 

Krakatoa paused. 

Early in the morning of the 27th, the Straits of Sunda went up. The unit of 
its slaughters were villages. 95 villages went up, in waves that were 90 
feet high, 100 feet high, 120 feet high. From the 95 villages, tens of 
thousands of humans were recruited, and they went dead into warring 
confusions. In the gigantic waves, armies of the dead were flung upon each 
other. There was no more knowledge of what it was all about than in many 
other battles. Charges of dead men rushed down the waves, and were knocked 
into rabbles by regiments spouting up from the bottom. Onslaughts of corpses 
-- and in the midst of them appeared green fields that were the tops of palm 
trees. Raiders in thousands dashed over momentary [336/337] meadows, and 
there were stampedes that were as senseless as the charges. 

Stone clouds were rolling over the conflict. Furies of dead men were calming 
under bulks of pumice, and slimy palm trees were protruding. The waves were 
going down under pressures of pumice, twenty feet deep, in places. 
Battlefields on land have, after a while, turned quiet with graveyards: but 
change in the Straits of Sunda was of the quickest of mortuary transitions. 
The waves were pressed flat by pumice. There was a grey slab of stone over 
the remains of the people of 95 villages. Black palms, heavy with slime, 
dropped on each side of this long, grey slab. 

By volcanic dust, the sun was dimmed so that unseasonable coldness followed. 
In places in Victoria, Australia, where for twenty-five years snow had not 
been seen, snow fell. I'd like to have this especially noted -- that at 
places far away, the volcanic bombs were mistaken for meteors -- or they 
were meteors. An account of volcanic bombs from Krakatoa, which looked like 
"shooting stars," as seen from a vessel, about 90 miles from the volcano, is 
published in the Cape Times (Weekly Edition), Oct. 3, 1883.(6) At Foochow, 
China, the glare in the sky was like an aurora borealis. For this record, 
which is important to us, see the Rept. Krakatoa Committee, Roy. Soc., p. 
269.(7) People in Texas heard sounds, as if of a battle. Off the Cape of 
Good Hope, vessels lurched in waves from the catastrophe. 

It is my expression that the explosion of Krakatoa was stimulated by, or was 
a reaction to, an eruption in a land of stars that is not enormously far 
away. Afterglows that were seen after August 26th were attributed to 
Krakatoa -- 

That the preceding afterglows and the fall of ashes were of materials that 
drifted to this earth, from an [337/338] eruption somewhere else, passing 
over a distance that cannot be considered vast, in a few weeks, or a few 
days -- 

And that the light of a volcanic eruption somewhere in the sky was seen by 
people of this earth. 

See the Perth Inquirer, Oct. 3 -- a correspondent tells of several 
observations, early in September, upon a brilliant light that had been seen 
in the sky, near the sun.(8) There was a beam of light from it, and the 
observers thought that it was a comet. This appearance is described as 
conspicuous. If so, it was seen at no Observatory in Australia. 

The circumstance that no professional astronomer in Australia saw this 
brilliant light brings up, in any normally respectful mind, doubt that there 
was such a light. But this appearance in the sky is the central datum of our 
expression, and I am going to make acceptable that, even though it was 
reported only by amateurs, there was at this time a conspicuous new 
appearance in the heavens. New Zealand -- silence in the Observatories -- 
but reports from amateurs, upon a "very large" light in the sky. See the New 
Zealand Times, Sept. 20, 1883.(9) That a yarn in Australia could quickly 
spread to New Zealand? Ceylon -- an unknown light that was seen in the sky 
of Ceylon, about a week after the eruption of Krakatoa (Madras Athenæum, 
Sept. 22).(10) Straits Times, Oct. 13 -- an appearance like a comet, in the 
sky, at Samarung, where the natives and the Chinese were terrified, and 
burned incense for protection from it.(11) England -- observation, upon the 
night of August 28th, by Captain Noble, a well-known amateur astronomer. 
Whatever the professionals of Australia and New Zealand were doing, the 
professionals of England were doing likewise, if doing nothing is about the 
same wherever it's done. In Knowledge, 4-173, Capt. Noble tells of a sight 
in the heavens [338/339] that he describes as "like a new and most glorious 
comet."(12) An amateur in Liverpool saw it. Knowledge, 4-207 -- an object 
that looked like the planet Jupiter, with a beam from it.(13) However, one 
professional astronomer did report something. Prof. Swift, at Rochester, 
N.Y., saw, nights of Sept. 11 and 13, and object that was supposed by him to 
be a comet, but if so, it was not seen again (Observatory, 6-343).(14) 

There was a beam of light from this object: so it was thought to be a comet. 
See coming data upon beams of light that have associated with new stars. 

The first observation upon a new light in the sky was two nights after the 
explosion of Krakatoa. It may have been shining, conspicuous but unseen, at 
the time of the eruption. 

The matter of the supposed velocity of light, or the hustle of visibility, 
comes up in the mind of a conventionalist. But, if in the past, scientists 
have determined the velocity of light to be whatever suited their theories, 
I feel free for any view that I consider suitable. Look it up, and find that 
once upon a time the alleged velocity of light agreed with supposed 
distances in this supposed solar system, and that when changed theories 
required changes in these distances, the velocity of light was cut down to 
agree with the new supposed distances. In the kindergarten of science, the 
more or less intellectual infants who have made these experiments have 
prattled anything that the child-like astronomers have wanted them to 
prattle. A conventionalist would say that, even if there were a new star, at 
a time of terrestrial catastrophe, light of it would not have been seen upon 
this earth, until years later. My expression is that so close to this earth 
are the stars that when a new star appears, or erupts, effects of it are 
observable upon this earth, and that, whether because of closeness, or 
because there is no velocity of [339/340] light, it is seen immediately -- 
or is seeable immediately -- if amateurs happen to be looking. 

Upon the night of August 6th, 1885, while all the professional astronomers 
of this earth were attending to whatever may be professional astronomical 
duties, a clergyman made an astronomical discovery. The Rev. S.H. Saxby 
looked up at a new star, in the nebula of Andromeda, and he saw it. 

There is much uppishness to anybody who says, or announces, that of all 
cults his cult is the aristocrat. But most of his upward looking is likely 
to be at the supposed altitude of himself. All over this earth, professional 
astronomers were looking up at themselves. In England and Ireland, three 
amateurs, besides the Rev. S.H. Saxby, being probably of only ordinary 
conceit, looking up beyond themselves, and saw the new star. For the 
records, see the English Mechanic, of this period.(15) Whatever the 
professional astronomers of the United States were looking up at, they saw 
nothing new. But somebody, in the U.S.A., did see the new star. Sidereal 
Messenger, 4-246 -- an amateur in Red Wing, Minnesota.(16) It was not until 
August 31st that upness in an Observatory related to the stars. Finally a 
professional astronomer either looked up, or woke up; or waking up, looked 
up; or looking up, woke up. 

The whole nebula of Andromeda shone with the light of the new star. Several 
observers thought that the newly illuminated nebula was a comet 
(Observatory, 83-30).(17) From the light of the new star the whole formation 
lighted up, like a little West Indian island, at a time of an eruption in 
it. According to conventionalists, this nebula is 60 x 60 x 24 x 365 x 8 x 
186,000 miles in diameter, and light from a new star, central in it, would 
occupy four years in traversing the whole. But as if because this nebula may 
not be so much as 60 x 186,000 inches in diameter, no appre- [340/341] 
ciable time was occupied, and the whole formation lighted up at once.(18) 

Other indications -- whatever we think we mean by "indications" -- that the 
nebula of Andromeda is close to this earth: 

Sweden -- and it was reported that wild fowl began to migrate, at the 
earliest date (Aug. 16th) ever recorded in Sweden -- 

Flap of a duck's wings -- and the twinkles of a star -- the star and the 
bird stammered a little story that may some day be vibrated by motors, 
oscillating back and forth from Vega to Canopus. 

So the birds began to fly. 

It was because of unseasonable coldness in Sweden. Unseasonable coldness is 
a phenomenon of this earth's volcanic eruptions. It is attributed to the 
shutting off of sunlight by volcanic dusts. The temperature was lower, in 
Sweden, than ever before recorded, in the middle of August (Nature, 32-
427).(19) Upon August 31st, the new star reached maximum brilliance, and 
upon this date the temperature was the lowest that it had ever been known to 
be, in the last of August, in Scotland (Nature, 32-495).(20) 

All very well -- except the unusual coldness may be explained in various 
ways, having nothing to do with volcanoes -- 

See Nature, 32-466, 625 -- that nine days after the first observation upon 
the new star in Andromeda, an afterglow was seen in Sweden.(21) There is no 
findable record of a volcanic eruption, upon this earth, to which this 
phenomenon could be attributed. Sept. 3rd, 5th, 6th -- afterglows appeared 
in England. These effects continued to be seen in Sweden, until the middle 
of September.(22) 

I don't know whether these data are enough to jolt over our whole existence 
into a new epoch, or not. From [341/342] what I know of the velocity of 
thought, I should say not. 

If a volcanic discharge did drift from Andromeda to Sweden, it came from a 
northern constellation to a northern part of this earth, as if to a part of 
this earth that is nearest to a northern constellation. But, if Andromeda 
were trillions of miles away, no part of this earth could be appreciably 
nearer than any other part, to the constellation. If repeating afterglows, 
in Sweden, were phenomena of repeating arrivals of dust, from outer space, 
they so repeated in the sky of one part of this earth, because this earth is 

I note that I have overlooked the new star in Cygnus, late in the year 1876. 
Perhaps it is because this new star was discovered by a professional 
astronomer that I neglected it. However, I shall have material for some 
malicious comments. Upon the night of Nov. 24th, 1876, Dr. Schmidt, of the 
Athens Observatory, saw, in the constellation Cygnus, a new star. It was 
about third magnitude, and increased to about second. Over all the 
Observatories of this earth, this new star was shining magnificently, but it 
was not until Dec. 9th that any other astronomer saw it. It was seen, in 
England, upon the 9th, because, upon the 9th, news reached England of Dr. 
Schmidt's discovery. I note the matter of possible overclouding of the sky 
in all other parts of this earth, at this time. I note that, between the 
dates of Nov. 24th and Dec. 9th, there were eight favorable nights, in 

It so happens that I have record of what one English astronomer was doing, 
in this period. Upon the night of Nov. 25, he was looking up at the sky. 

Meteoric observations are conventionalities. 

New stars are unconventionalities. 

See Nature, Dec. 21, 1876 -- this night, this astronomer observed 
meteors.(23) [342/343] 

There was a volcanic eruption in the Philippines, upon the 26th of November. 
About two weeks later, a red rain fell in Italy.(24) 

There is considerable in this book that is in line with the teachings of the 
most primitive theology. We have noted how agreeable I am sometimes to the 
most southern Methodists. It is that scientific orthodoxy of to-day has 
brutally, or mechanically, or unintelligently, reacted sheerly against all 
beliefs of the preceding, or theological, orthodoxy, and has reacted too 
far. All reactions react too far. Then a reaction against this reaction must 
of course favor, or restore, some of the beliefs of the earlier orthodoxy. 

Often before disasters upon this earth there have been appearances that were 
interpretable as warnings. 

But if a godness places kindly lights in the sky, also is it spreading upon 
the minds of this earth a darkness of scientists. This is about the 
beneficence of issuing warnings, and also seeing to it that the warnings 
shall not be heeded. This may not be idiocy. It may be "divine plan" that 
surplus populations shall be murdered. In less pious terms we may call this 
maintenance of equilibrium. 

If surplusages of people upon this earth should reduce, and if then it 
should, in the organic sense, becomes desirable that people in disaster-
zones should live longer, or die more lingeringly, provided for them are 
phenomena of a study of warnings, a study that is now, or that has been, 
subject to inhibitions. 

August 31st, 1886 -- "Just before the sun dropped behind the horizon, it was 
eclipsed by a mass of inky, black clouds." People noted this appearance. It 
was like the "dense, mountain-like cloud" that appeared, at Callao, Peru, 
before the earthquake of Sept. 4th, 1868. But these people were in a North 
American city. Meteors were seen. They were like the fire balls that 
[343/344] have shot from this earth's volcanoes. Luminous clouds, such as 
have been seen at times of this earth's eruptions, appeared, and people 
watched them. There was no thought of danger. There was a glare. More 
meteors. The city of Charleston, South Carolina, was smashed. 

People running from their houses -- telegraph poles falling around them -- 
they were meshed in coils of wire. Street lamps and lights in houses waved 
above, like lights of a fishing fleet that had cast out nets. It was a catch 
of bodies, but that was because minds had been meshed in the net of a cult, 
woven out of the impudence of the De Ballores and the silences of the 
Davisons, spread to this day upon every school of this earth. 

The ground went on quaking. Down from the unknown came, perhaps, a volcanic 
discharge upon this quaking ground. Whether it was volcanic dust, or not, it 
is said, in the New York World, Sept. 4, that "volcanic dust" was falling, 
at Wilmington, North Carolina.(25) 

Sept. 5th -- a severe shock, at Charleston, and a few minutes later came a 
brilliant meteor, which left a long train of fire. At the same time, two 
brilliant meteors were seen, at Columbia, S.C. See almost any newspaper, of 
the time. I happen to take from the London Times, Sept. 7.(26) 

There was another discharge from the unknown -- or a "strange cloud" 
appeared, upon the 8th of September, off the coast of South Carolina. The 
cloud hung, heavy, in the sky, and was thought to be from burning grass on 
one of the islands. Charleston News and Courier, Sept. 10 -- that such was 
the explanation, but that no grass was known to be burning.(27) 

If a procession starts at Washington Square, New York City, and, if soldiers 
arrive in Harlem, and then [344/345] keep on arriving in Harlem, I explain 
that, in spite of all the eccentricities of Harlem, Harlem is neither flying 
away from the procession, nor turning on 125th Street, for an axis. Meteors 
kept on coming to Charleston. They kept on arriving at this quaking part of 
this earth's surface, as if at a point on a stationary body. The most 
extraordinary display was upon the night of Oct. 22nd. There was a severe 
quake, at Charleston, while these meteors were falling. About fifty appeared 
(New York Sun, Nov. 1). About midnight, Oct. 23-24, a meteor exploded over 
Atlanta, Georgia, casting a light so intense that small objects on the 
ground were visible (New York Herald, Oct. 25).(28) A large meteor, at 
Charleston, night of Oct. 24th (Monthly Weather Review, 1886-296).(29) An 
extraordinary meteor, at Charleston, night of the 28th, is described, in the 
News and Courier, of the 29th, as "a strange, celestial visitor."(30) 

"It was only coincidence." 

There is no conventional seismologist, and there is no orthodox astronomer, 
who says otherwise. 

In the Friend of India, June 22, 1897, is another record of some of the 
meteors that were seen in Charleston: that, at the time of the great quake, 
Prof. Oswald saw meteor after meteor shoot from an apparent radiant near 
Leo.(31) Carl McKinley, in his Descriptive Narrative of the Earthquake of 
August 31, 1886, records a report from Cape Romain Light Station, upon "an 
unusual fall of meteors during the night."(32) 

Again a volcanic discharge came to this point -- or a fall of ashes was 
reported. In the News and Courier, Nov. 20, it is said that, about ten days 
before, ashes had fallen from the sky, at Summerville, S.C.(33) It is said 
that the material was undoubtedly ashes. Then it was said that it had been 
discovered that, upon the day of [345/346] this occurrence, there has been 
"an extensive forest fire near Summerville." 

Monthly Weather Review, October and November, 1886 -- under "Forest and 
Prairie Fires," there is no mention of a forest fire, either small or 
extensive, in either North or South Carolina.(34) 

Summerville, and not Charleston, was the center of the disturbances. Ashes 
came from somewhere exactly to this central point. 

In A Study of Recent Earthquakes, Dr. Charles Davison gives 36 pages to an 
account of phenomena at Charleston.(35) He studies neither meteors nor 
anything else that was seen in the sky. He studiously avoids all other 
occurrences upon this earth, at this time. Refine such a study to a finality 
of omissions, and the vacancy of the imbecile is the ideal of the student. I 
approve this, as harmless. 

The other occurrences were enormous. Destruction in South Carolina was small 
compared with a catastrophe in Greece. Upon the day of the first slight 
shock, at Charleston (Aug. 27th) there was a violent quake in Greece, and at 
the same time, torrents poured from the sky, in Turkey, carrying away houses 
and cattle and bridges (Levant Herald, Sept. 2).(36) Thousands of homes 
collapsed, and hundreds of persons perished. This day, there was a shock, at 
Srinagar, Kashmir: shocks in Italy and Malta; and increased activity of 
Vesuvius. Just such an inky cloud as was seen at Charleston, was seen in the 
eastern Mediterranean, at the time of the catastrophe in Greece -- reported 
by the captain of the steamship La Valette -- see Malta Standard, Sept. 2 -- 
"a mass of thick, black smoke, changing into a reddish colour."(37) "The sea 
was perfectly calm, at the time." In the sky of Greece, there was a glare, 
like the light of a volcanic eruption (Comptes Rendus, 103-565).(38) 

I confess to childish liking for making little designs, or arrangements of 
data, myself. And every formal design depends upon blanks, as much as upon 
occupied spaces. But my objection to such a pattern-maker as Dr. Davison is 
to the preponderance of what he leaves out. In Dr. Davison's 36 pages upon 
the lesser catastrophe, at Charleston, he spins thin lines of argument, in a 
pretty pattern of agreements, around omissions. It is his convention that 
all earthquakes are of local, subterranean origin -- so he leaves out all 
appearances in the sky, and mentions none of the other violences that 
disturbed a zone around this earth. It is a monstrous disproportion, when a 
mind that should be designing embroidery takes catastrophes for the lines 
and blanks of its compositions. 

It is my expression that if a clipper of data should mislay his scissors, or 
should accidentally let in an account of one of the many localized 
repetitions of meteors, he would tell of an indication that this earth is, 
or almost is, stationary. Night of Oct. 20th -- meteors falling at Srinagar, 
Kashmir. There was an earthquake. Shocks and falls of meteors continued 
together. According to my searches in Indian newspapers, these repeating 
meteors were seen nowhere else. As to zone-phenomena, I point out that there 
is a difference of only one degree of latitude between Charleston and 
Srinagar. For the data, see the Times of India, Nov. 5. 

If a string of meteors should be flying toward this earth, and if the first 
of them should fall to this earth, at Srinagar, how is anybody going to 
think of the rest of them falling exactly here, if this earth is speeding 
away from them? Sometimes I am almost inclined to have a little faith, of 
course not in general reasoning, but anyway in my own reasoning, and I go on 
to observe that a long string of meteors can be thought [347/348] of, as 
coming down to the one point where the first fell, if that point is not 
moving away from them. But I begin to suspect that the trouble with me is 
that I am simple-minded, and that mine enemies, whom I call 
"conventionalists," are more subtle than I am, and prefer their views, 
because mine are so obvious. Of course this earth is stationary, in a 
surrounding of revolving stars so far from far away than an expedition could 
sail to them. But no dialectician, of any fastidiousness, would be attracted 
by a subject so easy to maintain. 

Back to data -- geysers spouted from the ground, at Charleston, and there 
were sulphurous emissions. The ground was incipiently volcanic and charged 

Meteors and smoky discharges and glares and fall of ashes and enormous pours 
of water, as if from a volcano that was moving around a zone of this earth -

And there is no knowing when, in the year 1886, disturbances began in the 
Andromeda nebula. 

In the Observatory, 9-402, it is said that, upon Sept. 26th, a new star in 
the Andromeda nebula had been reported by one astronomer, but that, 
according to another astronomer, there was no such new star.(39) 
Astronomical Register, 1886-269 -- that, upon Oct. 3rd, a new star in this 
nebula had been photographed.(40) 

I think of our existence as a battery -- an enormous battery, or, in the 
cosmic sense, a little battery. So I think of volcanic regions, or 
incipiently volcanic regions, in a land of the stars and in a land of this 
earth, as electrodes, which are mutually perturbative, and between which 
flow quantities of water and other volcanic discharges, in electrolytic, or 
electrically teleportative, currents. According to data, I think that some 
teleportations are instantaneous, and that some are slow drifts. To 
illustrate what I mean by stimulation, most [348/349] likely electric, by 
interacting volcanoes, and transportation, or electric teleportation, of 
matter, between mutually effective volcanoes, I shall report a conversation, 
which, unlike mere human dialogue, was seen, as well as heard. 

Upon the evening of Sept. 3rd, 1902, at Martinique, where the volcano Mont 
Pelée humps high, Prof. Angelo Heilprin, as he tells in his book, Mont 
Pelée, saw southward, at sea, electric flashes.(41) They were in the 
direction of La Soufrière, the volcano upon the island of St. Vincent, 90 
miles away. La Soufrière was flashing. Then Pelée answered. Pelée hugely 
answered, in tones befitting greater magnitude. A dozen flickers in the 
southern sky -- and then Pelée speaking up, with a blinding, electric 
opinion. The little female volcano, or anyway the volcano with a feminine 
name, nagged and nagged, and was then answered with a roar. This bickering 
kept up a long time. 

About 5 o'clock, morning of the 4th, there was another appearance, upon the 
southern horizon. It was a dense bulk of smoke from La Soufrière. It drifted 
slowly. It went directly to Pelée, and massed about Pelée. 

There's no use arguing with a little, female volcano: she casts out 
obscurations. But there may be enormous use for this occurrence regarded as 
data. [349] 


1. "Indiana" and "California." Monthly Weather Review, 11 (December 1883): 

2. William Noble. "The recent extraordinary sunrises and sunsets." 
Knowledge, 5 (June 6, 1884): 418. 

3. "Notes." Nature, 29 (February 21, 1884): 387-390, at 388. "The eruption 
of a volcano in Western Australia." Perth Inquirer (Australia), October 31, 
1883, p.5 c.3-4. 

4. Ashes also fell 50 miles away from Krakatoa at Telok Betong according to 
a verbal report. 

5. Fort marked "X" in the margin next to this sentence to indicate the error 
of "shatered", instead of shattered, in the Claude Kendall edition. 

6. "The tidal wave at Java." Cape Times (Cape Town), October 3, 1883, p.4 
c.4. J. Grant, aboard the Anerley, writes that, on the evening of August 
26th: "We noticed a strange phenomenon in the sky, it seemed as though the 
clouds were discasing comets or shooting stars in vast numbers which went 
down to the water and returned to the clouds again." 

7. George James Symons, ed. The Eruption of Krakatoa, and Subsequent 
Phenomena. London: Trübner & Co., 1888, 269. Foochow is now identified as 
Fuzhou, China. 

8. "Singular phenomena." Perth Inquirer, October 3, 1883, p.5 c.5. 

9. "Another comet." New Zealand Times, September 20, 1883, p.2 c.5. 

10. "The great comet of 1882...." Athenaeum and Daily News (Madras), 
September 22, 1883, p.2 c.4. For the original newspaper reports: "The comet 
again." Ceylon Observer (Colombo), September 15, 1883, p.835 c.2. "The 
comet." Ceylon Observer, September 15, 1883, p.835 c.3. 

11. Straits Times, (October 13, 1883; comet-like obj). 

12. William Noble. "A curious phenomenon." Knowledge, 4 (September 14, 
1883): 173. Correct quote: "...the apparition of a new...." 

13. W.K. Bradgate. "A curious phenomenon." Knowledge, 4 (September 28, 
1883): 207. 

14. "Swift's new comet." Observatory, 6 (1883): 345. 

15. "The new star in the Andromeda nebula." English Mechanic, 42 (September 
11, 1885): 23. Though Copeland announced by telegram: "Variation in 
Andromeda Nebula, found by Dr. Hartwig, of Dorpat; starlike nucleus," the 
nova was independently discovered by I.W. Ward, on August 19; by M. Lajoye, 
at Rheims, France, on August 30; and, by G.T. Davis, of Theale, England, on 
September 1. No observation from Ireland was reported in this article. Saxby 
had observed "the singular brightness of the nebula," in early August; and, 
on September 3, he was "astonished" to find a bright star in the center of 
the nebula. 

16. "Editorial notes." Sidereal Messenger, 4, 246. The amateur observer, 
J.C. McClure, had noticed it on August 29; and, Pickering had noticed it on 
September 1, at Cambridge. 

17. "The new star in the Great Nebula of Andromeda (Messier 31)." 
Observatory, 8 (1885): 330-6. In this article, only Joseph Gledhill and C.L. 
Prince believed, at first, that the new light was caused by a comet. 

18. The Andromeda Nebula, as it was once identified, is now identified by 
the conventionalists as the Andromeda Galaxy; and, its measured diameter has 
greatly increased from the eight light years, once given, to a much greater 

19. "Notes." Nature, 32 (September 3, 1885): 425-428, cannot locate on 

20. "Notes." Nature, 32 (September 17, 1885): 493-5, at 495. 

21. W.F. Denning. "The new star." Nature, 32 (September 10, 1885): 465-6. 
Paul A. Cobbold. "A remarkable sunset." Nature, 32 (October 29, 1885): 626. 

22. George F. Burder. "Red rays after sunset." Nature, 32 (September 17, 
1885): 466. "Notes." Nature, 32 (October 29, 1885): 633-6, at 635. 

23. William F. Denning. "Radiant points of shooting stars." Nature, 15 
(December 21, 1876): 158. Denning's letter does not specifically mention 
November 25; however, there are several references to the last date of his 
observations of meteors upon November 28. 

24. Also, on December 29-30, 1876, a red rain fell at St. Jaen, in the 
Côtes-du-Nord, France. "Notes." Nature, 15 (January 18, 1877): 265-7, at 

25. "Volcanic dust falls." New York World, September 4, 1886, p.2 c.4-5. 

26. "Earthquakes." London Times, September 7, 1886, p. 5 c. 3. At St. 
Stephens, the following was reported: "Three severe shocks and four light 
ones. Then a dark bluish light suddenly flashed in the eastern sky. It 
vanished and revealed a cloud of fire and smoke which swiftly sped to the 
west and out of sight, leaving upon its beholders the sensation as if a hot 
wave swept through the atmosphere." "The quake in the state." Charleston 
News and Courier, September 6, 1886, p. 5 c. 1-2. 

27. "A strange cloud at sea." Charleston News and Courier, September 10, 
1886, p.5 c.2. 

28. "Celestial fireworks." New York Herald, October 25, 1886, p.5 c.4. 

29. "Meteors." Monthly Weather Review, 14 (October 1886): 296. 

30. "A strange celestial visitor." Charleston News and Courier, October 29, 
1886, p. 8 c. 3. The large, blue meteor with "a fiery red train" was 
observed shortly after 5 o'clock in the afternoon. 

31. "Mofussil letters." Friend of India and Statesman (Calcutta), July 14, 
1897, p.7 c.3-4 & p.8 c.1-3. 

32. Carlyle McKinley. Descriptive Narrative of the Earthquake of August 31, 
1886. 1887. 

33. "A shower of showers." Charleston News and Courier, November 20, 1886, 
p. 8 c. 4. Correct quote: "...extensive forest fires in the neighborhood of 

34. "Forest and prairie fires." Monthly Weather Review, 14 (October 1886): 
295-6. "Forest and prairie fires." Monthly Weather Review, 14 (November 
1886): 326-7. 

35. Charles Davison. Study of Recent Earthquakes. 102-137. 

36. "Earthquakes, storms, and inundations." Levant Herald and Eastern 
Express (Istanbul), September 2, 1886, p.2 c.2. 

37. "Captain Aquilina's statement." Malta Standard (Valetta, Malta), 
September 2, 1886, p. 3 c. 2. Correct quotes: "...a mass of thick black 
smoke, which, like a cone, was rising up perpendicularly from the horizon 
and at intervals changing into a reddish colour. In the meanwhile a perfect 
calm prevailed with heavy sea from West at intervals." 

38. Léon Vidal. "Sur le tremblement de terre du 27 août 1886 (nouveau style) 
en Grèce." Comptes Rendus, 103 (September 27, 1886): 563-5. 

39. "The Great Nebula in Andromeda." Observatory, 9 (1886): 402-3. 

40. Kr. "Reported continuance of change in the great nebula Andromeda." 
Astronomical Register, 24 (1886): 269-72, at 269-70. Kr. "Beobachtungen des 
Andromeda-Nebels." Astronomische Nachrichten, 2751 (October 13, 1886): 251-

41. Angelo Heilprin. Mont Pelee and the Tragedy of Martinique. 1903, 251-3. 


ONCE upon a time, one of this earth's earlier scientists pronounced, or 
enunciated, or he told a story, which was somewhat reasonable, of a flood, 
and of all the animals of this earth saved, as species, in a big boat. 
Perhaps the story was not meant seriously by its author, but was a satire 
upon the ambitious boat-builders of his day. It is probable that all 
religions are founded upon ancient jokes and hoaxes. But, considering the 
relative fewness of the animals that were known to the scientists, or the 
satirists, of that early time, this story was as plausible as the science, 
or as the best satire, of any time. However data of such a host of animals 
piled up that the story of the big boat lost its plausibility. 

Note that our data are upon events of which the founders of the present co-
called science of astronomy [350/351] knew little, or knew nothing. Orthodox 
astronomy has been systematized, without considering new stars, their 
phenomena and indications. It is a big-boat story. Once upon a time it was 
plausible. It is in the position of the orthodox geology of former times, 
when a doctrine was formulated without consideration for fossils and 
sedimentary rocks. But, when fossils and sedimentary rocks were 
incorporated, they forced a radical readjustment. New stars were not taken 
into the so-called science of astronomy, by the builders of that system, 
because no astronomer ever saw, or reported, a new star, between the years 
1670 and 1848. Presumably new stars have not started appearing all at once 
in modern times. Presumably, in this period of 178 years, many new stars 
appeared, and were not seen, though we shall have data for thinking that 
some of them shone night after night with the brilliance of first magnitude. 
One would like to know what, when time after time, the sky was probably 
spectacular with a new light, the astronomers were doing, in these 178 
years. We may be able to answer that question, if we can find out what the 
astronomers are doing now. 

There is not agreement among the wisemen. Virtually there is, by the wisemen 
of our tribes, no explanation of new stars. The collision-theory is heard of 

Always -- provided there have been little boys and other amateurs to inform 
them -- the wise ones tell of stars that have collided. They have never told 
of stars that are going to collide. 

Why is a story always of stars that have collided? Assuming now that, 
instead of being points in a revolving shell, stars are swiftly moving 
bodies, there must be instances of stars that are going to collide, some 
days, weeks, or years from any given time. It is too [351/352] much to 
assume that only dark stars collide, or the preponderance of dark stars 
would be so great that the sky would be black with Inky Ways. So far, we 
have not a fair impression of how frequently new stars appear. It will be 
said that stars that are so close to each other that, in a year or so, they 
will collide, have, because of their enormous distance from this earth, the 
appearance of one point of light. 

This takes us to one of the solemnest and laughablest of the wisemen's 
extravagances. It is their statement that, after two stars have collided, 
they can, by means of the spectroscope, pick out in what is to the telescope 
only one point of light, the fragments of an alleged collision, the 
velocities and the directions of these parts. 

If any spectroscopist can do this thing that the reading public is told that 
he can do, never mind about parts where he says there has been a collision, 
but let him pick out a point in the sky, which is of parts that are going to 
collide. Let him tell where a new star is going to be: otherwise let him go 
on being told, by amateurs, where a new star is. 

New stars appear. There are disturbances upon this earth -- there are 
volcanic appearances in the sky -- volumes of smoke and dust roll down upon 
this earth. 

And the meaning of it all may some day be -- "Skyward ho!" Storms, upon a 
constellation's vacant areas, of Poles and Russians. A black cloud appears 
in the sky of Lyra, and down pours a deluge of Italians. Drifting sands of 
Scandinavians sift down to a star. 

Jan. 5, 1892 -- just such a fiery blast as has often torn down the slopes of 
Vesuvius, shot across the State of Georgia. It was "a black tornado, filled 
with fire" (Chicago Tribune, Jan. 7).(2) About this time, there were shocks 
in Italy, and, in the evening, people in many parts of New York State were 
looking up and [352/353] wondering at a glare in the sky. The next day they 
had something else to wonder about. There were shocks in New York State. 
Upon the 8th, dust that was perhaps volcanic, but that had probably been 
discharged from no volcano of this earth, fell from the sky, in Northern 
Indiana. 14th -- "tidal wave" in the Atlantic, and a shock, at Memphis, 
Tennessee. Snow fell in Mobile, Alabama, where there had been only four 
falls of snow in seventy years. Floods in New England. Quakes in Japan, 
15th, 16th, 17th. At this time began an eruption of Tongariro, New Zealand. 
"Tidal wave," or seismic wave, in Lake Michigan, upon the 18th. For 
references, see the New York newspapers. The Philadelphia Public Ledger, 
Jan. 27, reported a fall, from the sky, of a mass of fire into a town in 
Massachusetts, upon the 20th.(3) At this time, Rome, Italy, was quaking.(4) 
Shocks in France, two days later. Shocks in Italy and Sicily. Jan. 24th -- a 
great meteor, with thunderous detonations, shot over Cape Colony, South 
Africa (Cape Argus, Feb. 2 and 4).(5) A drought, at Durango, Mexico, was 
broken by rain, the first to fall in four years. Upon the night of the 26th, 
there was a glare in the sky that alarmed people throughout Germany. 
Severest shock ever known in Tasmania, upon the 27th, and shocks in many 
places in Victoria, Australia. In the night sky of England, people watched a 
luminous cloud (Nature, 45-365; 46-127).(6) 

There was a new star. 

In all the Observatories of this earth, not a professional astronomer had 
observed anything out of the ordinary: but, in Edinburgh, a man who knew 
nothing of astronomical technicalities (Nature, 45-365) looked up at the 
sky, and saw the new star, night of Feb. 1st.(7) Throughout this period of 
the glares and the shocks and the seeming volcanic discharges, a new star, 
or a new celestial volcano, had been shining in the constel- [353/354] 
lation Auriga. The amateur, Dr. Anderson, told the professionals. They 
examined photographs, and learned that they had been photographing the new 
star since Dec. 1st. 

The look of data is that volcanic dust drifted from a new star to the sky of 
this earth, in Indiana, in not more than 39 days. 

For four hours, upon the 8th of January, dust came down from the sky, in 
Northern Indiana, and if it did come from regions external to this earth, it 
came settling down, hour after hour, as if to a point upon a stationary 
earth. I have searched in many scientific periodicals, and in newspapers of 
all continents, finding record of no volcanic eruption upon this earth, by 
which to explain. 

La Nature, 41-206 -- that this dust had been analyzed and had been 
identified as of volcanic origin.(8) Science, 21-303 -- that this dust had 
been analyzed and had been identified as not of volcanic origin.(9) Monthly 
Weather Review, Jan., 1892 -- "It was in all probability of volcanic 

I have records of five other new stars, which, from Dec. 21, 1896, to Aug. 
10, 1899, appeared at times of disturbances upon this earth; times of 
deluges and of volcanic discharges that can not be attributed to terrestrial 
volcanoes. Two of the discoveries were made by amateurs. The other 
discoveries were made by professionals, who, with nothing at all resembling 
celerity, learned by examining photographic plates, that new stars that had 
been looked at by astronomers had been recorded by cameras. The period of 
one of these incelerities was eleven years. See Nature, 85-248.(11) 

Star after star has appeared, as a minute point, or as a magnificent sight 
in the heavens, and the professional astronomers have been unobservatory. 
They [354/355] have been notified by amateurs. We shall have records of 
youngsters who have seen what they were not observing. The first of the 
bright infants, of whom I have record, is Seth Chandler, of Boston. I have 
it that anybody who is only 19 years old, or, for that matter, 29, is a 
youngster. Seth was 19 years old. Upon May 12th, 1866, an amateur 
astronomer, named Birmingham, at Tuam, Ireland, notified the professional 
astronomers, who were looking somewhere else, that there was a new star in 
the constellation Corona Borealis. In the United States, the professional 
astronomers were busily engaged looking in other directions. Upon the night 
of the 14th, Seth Chandler interrupted their observations, telling them that 
there was something to look at. For any pessimist, who is interested in what 
becomes of exceptionally bright boys, and the disappointing records of many 
of them, I note that when this bright youngster grew up, he became a 
professional astronomer. 

What on earth -- or pretty nearly assuredly unrelated to the skies -- were 
the professionals doing, February, 1901? Night of Feb. 22nd -- and Dr. 
Anderson, the amateur who had discovered Nova Aurigae, nine years before, 
looked up at the constellation Perseus, and, even though he had probably 
been befoozling himself with astronomical technicalities ever since, saw 
something new, and knew the new, when he saw it. It was a magnificent new 
star. It was a splendor that scintillated over stupidity -- not a 
professional, at any of this earth's Observatories, knew of this spectacle, 
until informed by Dr. Anderson. Usually it is said that Dr. Anderson 
discovered this star, but his claim has been contested. In Russia, it was 
recorded that, nine hours earlier, at a time when the sleepiest of the 
Observatories had not yet closed down, or had not yet quit not observing, 
the new star had been dis- [355/356] covered by Andreas Borisiak, of Kieff. 
Andreas was a schoolboy. 

Before the discovery of this new star in Perseus, or Nova Persei, there had 
been appearances like volcanic phenomena, unattributable, however, to any 
volcano of this earth. Upon the morning of Feb. 13th, deep-greenish-yellow 
clouds, spreading intensest darkness, appeared in France (Bull. Soc. Astro. 
de France, March, 1901).(12) Upon the 16th, a black substance fell from the 
sky, in Michigan (Monthly Weather Review, 29-465).(13) There was the extreme 
coldness that often results from interferences with sunlight, by volcanic 
dust. At Naples, three persons were found to have frozen to death, night of 
the 13th (London Daily Mail, Feb. 15).(14) A red substance fell with snow, 
near Mildenhall (London Daily Mail, Feb. 22). It may have been functionally 
transmitted organic matter. "Pigeons seemed to feed upon it." 

I have data for thinking that at least four nights before Dr. Anderson's 
observation, this new star, or a beam from it, though unseen at all 
Observatories, was magnificently visible. I think so, because, upon the 
night of the 18th, somebody in Finchley (London) and somebody in Tooting 
(London) saw something that they thought was a comet. Upon the night of the 
20th, somebody in Tottenham saw it. A story of three somebodies who had seen 
something that was missed by all this earth's professional astronomers, 
would not be worth much, if told after an announcement of a discovery, but 
these observations were told of in the London Daily Mail, published on the 
morning of Feb. 22nd, before Dr. Anderson was heard from.(15) 

Sixteen days after the Anderson observation, dust arrived upon this earth -- 
or it fell from the sky -- in volumes that were proportional to this 
outburst of first magnitude in the heavens. The new star, at its [356/357] 
brightest was of the magnitude of Vega. Dust, of the redness of many 
volcanic dusts, and of no African deserts that one hears anything of -- and 
if African deserts ever are red, moving picture directors, who are strong 
for realism, or, rather, sometimes are, should hear about this -- fell from 
the sky. It came down, upon the 9th and 10th of March, in Sicily, Tunis, 
Italy, Germany, and Russia. A thick orange-red rain was reported from Ongar, 
Essex, England, upon the 12th (London Daily Mail, March 19).(16) 

The standardized explanation was published. I shall oppose it with heresy. 
Throughout this book, I say that all expressions of mine are only mental 
phenomena, and sometimes may be rather awful specimens, even at that. But, 
if we examine our opposition, and find it wanting, and if my own expression 
includes much that is left out, my own expression is not wanting, whether 
it's wanted, or not. Two wisemen wrote the standardized explanation. The red 
dust had come from an African desert. See Nature, 66-41.(17) 

They wrote that they had traced this dust to a hurricane in an African 
desert, pointing out that, upon the first day, it had fallen in Tunis. That 
looked like a first fall near an African desert. 

But the meteorologists are not banded like the astronomers. For a record of 
a fall, not so near an alleged African desert, see Symons' Met. Mag., 1902-
25 -- that while this dust was falling in Tunis, also it was falling in 
Russia.(18) That this dust did come to this earth from outer space -- see 
Chemical News, 83-159 -- Dr. Phipson's opinion that it was meteoric.(19) 
They may be accepted as the same as volcanic -- 

My own expression -- 

That a hurricane that could have strewn Europe with dust, from the 
Mediterranean to Denmark, and from England to Russia, could have been no 
breeze flutter- [357/358] ing obscurely in some African desert, but a 
devastating force that would have fanned all Northern Africa into taking 
notice -- 

Lagos (Gold Coast) Record, March-April, 1901 -- no mention of a whirlwind of 
any kind in Africa. In the Egyptian Gazette (Alexandria) there is nothing 
relating to atmospheric disturbances. There is nothing upon any such subject 
noted in the Sierra Leone News. Al-Moghreb (Tangier) reports the falls of 
dust in Europe, but mentions no raising of dust anywhere in Africa. 

But there was a new star. 

The standardized explanation is perforated with omissions. It seems 
unthinkable that mind upon this earth could be so bound down to this earth 
by this thing of gaps, until we reflect that so are all nets fabricated. In 
Austria, while this dust was falling, the earth quaked. What could such an 
occurrence have to do with dust from an African desert? Omitted. But at the 
time of this quake, something else was seen, and it may have been a volcanic 
bomb that had been shot from a star. London Daily Mail, March 13 -- a great 
meteor was seen. Dust falling in Tunis -- and that was told. More of the 
omitted--see the Levant Herald, March 11 -- that while the dust was falling 
in Tunis, there were violent earthquakes in Algeria.(20) Something else that 
was left out -- see the English Mechanic, 73-96, and the Bull. Soc. Astro. 
de France, April 1901 -- that, upon March 12th, ashes fell from the sky, at 
Avellin, Italy.(21) 

Vesuvius, April, 1872 -- 

Krakatoa, August, 1883 -- 

Charleston, August, 1886 -- 

Time after time after time -- 

And now May, 1902 -- in the hollow of their ignorance, two of these 
conventionalists held 30,000 lives. [358/359] 

May, 1902 -- there was another surprise. It, too, was preceded by 
announcements that were published by mountains, and were advertised in 
columns of fire upon pages of clouds. 

In April and May, 1902, across a zone of this earth, also outside the zone, 
there were disturbances. More than earth-wide relations are indicated, to 
start with. Eruptions of Mt. Pelée, Martinique, began upon April 20th, the 
date of the Lyrids. However, in this book, I am omitting many data upon a 
seeming relation between dates of meteor streams and catastrophes. Then the 
volcano La Soufrière, island of St. Vincent, B.W.I., broke out. Upon the day 
of an earthquake in Siberia (April 12th) mud fell from the sky in widely 
separated places, in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. 
See Science, n.s., 15-872; New York Herald, April 14, 1902; Monthly Weather 
Review, May, 1902.(22) 

There may have been an eruption in some other part of one relatively small 
existence, or organism. There may have been a new star. In the English 
Mechanic, 75-291, a correspondent in South Africa told that, in the 
constellation Gemini, night of April 16th, he had seen an appearance like a 
new red star.(23) He thought that it might have been not a star, but a 
mirage of the red light of the Cape Town lighthouse. 

The white houses of St. Pierre, Martinique -- a white city, spread up on the 
slopes of Mt. Pelée. Early in May, there were panics in St. Pierre. Pelée 
was convulsed, and the quavering city of St. Pierre shook out inhabitants. 
Desertion of the city was objected to by its rulers, and the Governor of the 
island called upon two wisemen, Prof. Landes and Prof. Doze, for an 
authoritative opinion. 

They had studied the works of Dr. Davison. 

There were shocks in Spain, and in France. La [359/360] Soufrière was of 
continuing violence. A volcano broke out in Mexico. Quakes in the Fiji 
Islands. Violent quake in Iceland. Volcanic eruption at Cook's Inlet, 

Prof. Landes and Prof. Doze were studying Mt. Pelée. 

An eruption of cattle and houses and human beings, in Rangoon, Burma -- or 
"the most terrible storm remembered." A remarkable meteor was seen at 
Calcutta. In Java, the Rooang volcano broke out. There were rumblings of an 
extinct volcano in France. In Guatemala, with terrific electrical displays, 
enormous volumes of water fell upon earthquakes.(24) 

Profs. Landes and Doze "announced" that there was, in Pelée's activity, 
nothing to warrant the flight of the people. See Heilprin, Mont Pelée, p. 
71.(25) Governor Mouttet ordered a cordon of soldiers to form around the 
city, and to permit nobody to leave. 

Upon the 7th of May, a sky in France turned black with warning. See back to 
other such "coincidences" with catastrophes. Soot and water, like ink, fell 
from the sky, at Parc Saint Maur (Comptes Rendus, 134-1108).(26) 

Upon this day, the people of St. Pierre were terrified by the blasts from 
Pelée. No inhabitant of the city was permitted to leave, but, as recorded by 
Heilprin, the captain of the steamship Orsolina did break away. They tried 
to hold him. The "pronouncement" was read to him, and officialdom threatened 
him, but, with half a cargo, he broke away. His arrival at Havre is told of, 
in the Daily Messenger (Paris) June 22.(27) The authorities of the Port of 
St. Pierre had refused to give him clearance papers, but, terrified by the 
blasts from the volcano, he had sailed without them. 

The people of St. Pierre were trying to escape, but they were bound to the 
town by chains of soldiers. [360/361] Even in discreetly worded accounts, we 
read of these people, running in droves in the streets. In storms of ashes, 
turned back at all outskirts, by the soldiers, they were running in 

Not one word of retreat, nor of any modification, came from the two 
Professors. They had spoken in accordance with the dogmas of their deadly 
cult. Considered locally, an effusion of ashes was not considered alarming, 
and no relationship with wider disturbances could be admitted. The 
Professors had spoken, and the people of St. Pierre were held to the town. 
The people were hammered and stabbed back, or they were reasoned with, and 
persuaded to stay. Just how it was done, one has to visualize for oneself. 
It was done. 

At night there was a lull. Then blasts came from the volcano. Screaming 
people ran from the houses. The narrow streets of this white city were dark 
with people, massing one way, only to gather against the military confines, 
sweeping some other way, only to be turned back by soldiers. Had there been 
darkness some of them might have escaped, but even at sea the glare from the 
volcano was so intense that the crew of a passing steamship, Lord Antrim, 
were almost blinded. 

As seen from the sea, the streets, hung up on the mountain side, distorted 
by smoke and glare, fluttered. Long narrow crowds darkening these fluttering 
streets -- folds of white garments of a writhing being, chained, awaiting 

Upon the morning of the 8th, the city of St. Pierre was bound to the stake 
of Mt. Pelée. 

There was a rush of flames. In the volcanic fires that burned the city, 
30,000 persons perished. [361] 


1. For example, Nova Cygni in 1876 was explained by Ball as being the result 
of a stellar collision. Robert Ball. The Story of the Heavens. New York: 
Cassell and Co., rev. ed., 1905, 454. See suggested that only some novae 
were due to stellar collisons, though most were allegedly due to collisions 
with planets and comets. T.J.J. See. "The evolution of the starry heaven." 
Popular Astronomy, 19 (November, December; 1911): 529-47, 612-26, at 623. 
The alleged splitting of Nova Pictoris, in March of 1928, was explained by 
Spencer Jones, Astronomer Royal at Cape Town, as a stellar collision: 
"Particular interest lies in the fact that this is the first direct evidence 
of a collision between two stars." "Star split is now called result of 
collision; said to be the first case of star hitting star." New York Times, 
March 29, 1928, p.1 c. 2-3. 

2. "Four persons killed in a cyclone." Chicago Daily Tribune, January 7, 
1892, p. 2 c. 6. The "cyclone," or tornado, was observed at Fayetteville, 
Georgia, and described by Sheriff J.B. Hewell. Correct quote: "...the great 
black cloud, filled with flashing fire...." 

3. "Varieties." Philadelphia Public Ledger, January 27, 1892, p.5 c.9. 

4. "Earthquake in Italy." New York Times, January 24, 1892, p.3 c.2. 

5. "A natural phenomenon." Cape Argus (Cape Town, South Africa), February 1, 
1892, 1st ed., p.5 c.1; 2d ed., p.5 c.3. "A natural phenomenon." Cape Argus, 
February 2, 1892, 1st & 2d eds., p.6 c.6. "A natural phenomenon." Cape 
Argus, February 4, 1892, 1st & 2d eds., p.3 c.2. 

6. T.W. Backhouse. "Nacreous clouds." Nature, 45 (February 18, 1892): 365. 
J. Edmund Clark. "The height of the nacreous cloud of January 30." Nature, 
46 (June 9, 1892): 127-8. 

7. Thomas D. Anderson. "The new star in Auriga." Nature, 45 (February 18, 
1892): 365. Anderson sent a postcard to Ralph Copeland on February 1, 1892, 
to advise him of the nova; but, he had probably seen the nova on January 24 
and "for two or three days," though it was not until the 31st that he 
satisfied himself, with the aid of Klein's Star Atlas and a small pocket 
telescope, that "it was a strange body." 

8. "Analyse de neige colorée." Nature (Paris), 1893, 2 (August 26): 206. The 
fall occurred at Porte County, Indiana; and, Huston, who analyzed the 
sample, attributed its origin to volcanic activity. 

9. A.N. Somers. "A fall of colored snow." Science, o.s., 21 (June 2, 1893): 

10. "Mineral matter deposited with snow in Northern Indiana, January 8, 
1892." Monthly Weather Review, 20 (January 1892): 20-1. Correct quote: 
"...it is in all probability...." 

11. "Discovery of another nova, Sagittarii No.3." Nature, 85 (December 22, 
1910): 248. 

12. Jules Loisel. "Curieux phénomène météorologique." Bulletin de la Societe 
Astronomique de France, 15 (March 1901): 146. The phenomenon appeared 
between 2 and 3 P.M., (not in the morning). 

13. "Colored snow." Monthly Weather Review, 29 (October 1901): 465. "It is 
brown, instead of black, but is not entirely dry." The fall occurred at Paw 
Paw, Michigan. 

14. "The great cold spell." London Daily Mail, February 15, 1901, p.3 c.3. 

15. "Red rain blows north." London Daily Mail, March 13, 1901, p.5 c.5. 

16. "Was it red rain." London Daily Mail, March 19, 1901, p.4 c.6. 

17. W.J.S.L. "Dust-falls and their origins." Nature, 66 (May 8, 1902): 41-2. 

18. Symons' Meteorological Magazine, 37 (1902): 24-6. "Der grosse staubfall 
vom 9 bis 12 März 1901 in Nordafrika, Süd und Mittelerupoa." Johann Georg 
Gustav Hellman, and, Wilhelm Meinardus. Der Gross Staubfall vow 9. bis 12. 
Marz 1901 in Nordafrika, Süd- und Mittel-europa. Berlin: A. Asher & Co., 
1901, 28-9. The fall of dust at Tunis occurred on March 9, 1901; the fall in 
Algeria continued from March 9 to 12, 1901; however, the fall of dust 
occurred on March 12 and 13, 1901, in Russia, (not on the same date as at 

19. T.L. Phipson. "Composition and nature of the red rain." Chemical News, 
83 (April 4, 1901): 159-60. 

20. "Earthquakes in Algeria." Levant Herald and Eastern Express (Istanbul), 
March 11, 1901, p.1 c.5. 

21. "Scientific news." English Mechanic, 73 (March 15, 1901): 96-7. "La 
pluie rouge." Bulletin de la Société Astronomique de France, 15 (April 
1901): 190-3, at 192. The ashes fell at Avellin on March 10, 1901, (not 
March 12). 

22. A.E. Verrill. "The mud shower." Science, n.s., 15 (May 30, 1902): 872. 
J.W. Moore. "A mud shower." Science, n.s., 15 (May 2, 1902): 714. "Mud 
shower is a dust-rain freak." New York Herald, April 14, 1902, p. 6 c. 3. 
"Dust storm and mud shower." Monthly Weather Review, 30 (May 1902): 269. 

23. H.G.P. "The eclipse of the Moon as seen at Cape Town." English Mechanic, 
75 (May 16, 1902): 291. 

24. "The Guatemala earthquake." New York Times, May 9, 1902, p. 1 c. 7 & p. 
2 c. 1. "Guatemala's earthquakes." New York Times, May 11, 1902, p. 1 c. 3. 
In the city of Quesaltenango: "At the time of the first shock a violent 
storm and rainstorm were raging.... The quaking and rain kept up continually 
for three days." 

25. Angelo Heilprin. Mont Pelee and the Tragedy of Martinique. 1903, 71. 

26. Th. Moureaux. "Sur lea pluie d'encre du 7 mai 1902." Comptes Rendus, 134 
(1902): 1107-8. Parc Saint-Maur was one of three meteorological stations in 

27. "The Martinique catastrophe." Galigani's Daily Messenger (Paris), June 
22, 1902, p.1 c.4. 


EARLY in October, 1902, vast volumes of smoke, of unknown origin, obscured 
all things at sea, and made navigation difficult and dangerous, from the 
Philippines to Hongkong, and from the Philippines to Australia. I do not 
know of anything of terrestrial origin that, with equal density, ever has 
had such widespread effects. Vesuvius has never been known to smoke up the 
whole Mediterranean. Compared with this obscuration, smoke at a distance 
from Krakatoa, in August, 1883, was only a haze. For an account, see the 
Jour. Roy. Met. Soc., 30-285.(1) Hongkong Telegraph, Oct. 25 -- that a 
volcanic eruption in Sumatra had been reported.(2) Science, n.s., 23-193 -- 
that there had been no known eruption in Sumatra -- that perhaps there had 
been enormous forest fires in Borneo and Sumatra.(3) Sarawak (Borneo) 
[362/363] Gazette, Oct.-Nov., 1902 -- no record of any such fires. 

There came something that was perhaps not vaster, but that was more 
substantial. If a story of a sand storm in a desert is dramatic, here is a 
story of a continent that went melodramatic. Upon the 12th of November, upon 
all Australia, except Queensland, dust and mud fell from the sky. Then 
densest darkness lit up with glares. Fires were falling from the sky. 

Sometimes there are abortive embryos that are mixtures -- an eye looking out 
from ribs -- other features scattered. Fires and dust and darkness -- mud 
that was falling from the sky -- Australia was a womb that was 

A fire ball burst over a mound, which flickered; and frightened sheep ran 
from it -- or, reflecting glares in the sky, a breast leered, and stuck out 
a long, red mob of animals. A furrowed field -- or ribs in a haze -- and a 
stare from the embers of a bush fire. An avenue of trees, heavy with mud, 
sagging upon a road that was pulsing with carts -- or black lips, far from 
jaws, closing soggily upon an umbilical cord, in vainly attempted suicide. 

Fire balls started up fires in every district in Victoria. They fell into 
cities, and set fires to houses. At Wycheproof, "the whole air seemed on 
fire." All day of the 12th, and the next day, dust, mostly red dust, sifted 
down upon Australia, falling, upon the 13th, in Queensland, too. Smoke 
rolled in upon Northern Australia, upon the 14th. A substance that fell from 
it was said to be ashes. One of the descriptions is of "a light, fluffy, 
grey material" (Sydney Daily Telegraph, Nov. 18).(4) 

How many of those who have a notion that they're pretty well-read, have ever 
heard of this discharge upon Australia? And what are the pretty well-read 
but the pretty well-led? Little of this tremendous occur- [363/364] rence 
has been told in publications that are said to be scientific, and I take 
from Australian newspapers: but accounts of some of the fire balls that fell 
from the sky were published in Nature, vol. 67.(5) There are reports from 
about 50 darkened, stifled towns, in the Sydney Herald, of the 14th -- 
"business suspended" -- "nothing like it before, in the history of the 
colony" -- "people stumbling around with lanterns."(6) Traffics were gropes. 
Mail coaches reached Sydney, nine hours late. Ashes with a sulphurous odor 
fell in New Zealand, upon the 13th (Otago Witness, Nov. 19).(7) The cities 
into which fell balls of fire that burned houses were Boort, Allendale, 
Deniliquin, Langdale, and Chiltern. 

Smoke appeared in Java, and the earth quaked. A meteorite fell, at Kamsagar 
(Mysore) India. Upon this day of the 12th, a disastrous deluge started 
falling, in the Malay States: along one river, seven bridges were carried 

There was no investigation. However, passing awareness did glimmer in one 
mind, in England. In a dispatch to the newspapers, Dec. 7, 1902, Sir Norman 
Lockyer called attention to the similarity between the dust and the fire 
balls in Australia, and the dust and the fire balls from volcanoes in the 
West Indies, in May, of this year. 

Our own expression depends upon whether all this can be attributed to any 
eruption upon this earth, or not. The smoke, in October, can not be so 
explained. But was there any particular volcanic activity upon this earth, 
about Nov. 12, 1902? 

The most violent eruption of Kilauea, Hawaii, in 20 years, was occurring, 
having started upon the 10th of November. There was a geyser of fire from 
the volcano Santa Maria, in Guatemala, having started upon Oct. 26th. About 
the 6th of November, Colima, in Mexico, began to discharge dense volumes of 
[364/365] smoke. The volcano Savii, in Samoa, broke out, upon the 13th, 
having been active, though to no great degree, upon Oct. 30th. According to 
a dispatch, dated Nov. 14th, there was an eruption in the Windward Islands, 
West Indies. Stromboli burst into eruption upon the 13th. About this time, 
Mt. Chullapata, in Peru, broke out. 

But the smoke that appeared, with an earthquake, in Java, was the spans of 
an ocean and a continent far away. New Zealand is nearer all these 
volcanoes, except Stromboli, than is Australia, but dust and ashes fell a 
day later in New Zealand. Fire balls fell enormously in Australia. Not one 
was reported in New Zealand. Nothing appeared between New Zealand and these 
volcanoes, but dense clouds of smoke, between Australia and the Philippines, 
delayed vessels until at least Nov. 20th (Hobart Mercury, Nov. 21).(8) So we 
regard the unexplained smoke of October and November, as continuous with the 
discharges of Nov. 12th, and relate both, as emanations from one source, 
which is undiscoverable upon this earth. 

There was a new star. 

Popular Astronomy, 30-60 -- that, in October, 1902, a new star appeared in 
the southern constellation Puppis.(9) 

Upon the 19th of November, a seismic wave, six feet high, crashed upon the 
coast of South Australia (Sydney Morning Herald, Nov. 20).(10) Upon this day 
the new star shone at its maximum of 7th magnitude. 

See our expression upon phenomena of August, 1885. If, in November, 1902, a 
volcanic discharge came to Australia from a southern constellation, it came 
as if from a star-region to the nearest earth-region. But, if constellations 
be trillions of miles away, no part of this earth could be appreciably 
nearer than any other part, to any star. [365/366] 

So extraordinary was terrestrial, volcanic activity at this time, that it 
will have to be considered. Like other expressions, our expression here is 
that mutually affective outbursts spread from the land of the stars to and 
through the land of this earth, firing off volcanoes in the disturbances of 
one organic and relatively little whole. 

It was a time of extremest drought in Australia. Thunderstorms that came, 
after Nov. 12th, were described as terrific. 

As a glimmer of awareness, Lockyer told of the fire balls that came with the 
dust to Australia, and the suggestion to him was that there had been a 
volcanic discharge. But there was something that he did not tell. He did not 
know. It was told of in no scientific publication, and it reached no 
newspaper published outside Australia. After the first volley of fire balls, 
other fire balls came to Australia. I have searched in newspapers of all 
continents, and it is my statement that no such fire balls were reported 
anywhere else. All were so characterized that it will be accepted that all 
were of one stream. Perhaps they came from an eruption in the constellation 
Puppis, but my especial expression is that, if all were of one origin, and 
if, days apart, they came to this earth, only to Australia, they so 
localized, because this earth is stationary. 

For references, see the Sydney Herald and the Melbourne Leader.(11) There 
was a meteoric explosion, at Parramatta, Nov. 13th. A fire ball fell and 
exploded terrifically, at Carcoar. At Murramburrah, N.S.W., dust and a large 
fire ball fell, upon the 18th. A fire ball passed over the town of Nyngan, 
night of the 22nd, intensely illuminating sky and ground. Upon the night of 
the 20th, as reported by Sir Charles Todd, of the Adelaide Observatory, a 
large fire ball was seen, moving so slowly that it was watched four minutes. 
At [366/367] 11 o'clock, night of the 21st, a fire ball of the apparent size 
of the sun was seen at Towitta. An hour later, several towns were 
illuminated by a great fire ball. Upon the 23rd, a fire ball exploded at 
Ipswich, Queensland. It is of especial importance to note the record of one 
of these bombs, or meteors, that moved so slowly that it was watched four 

From Feb. 12th to March 1st, 1903, dusts and discolored rains fell along the 
western coast of Africa, upon many parts of the European Continent, and in 
England. The conventional explanation was published: there had been a 
whirlwind in Africa. 

I have plodded for more than twenty years in the Libraries of New York and 
London. There are millions of persons who would think this a dreary 

But the challenges -- the excitements -- the finds. 

Any pronouncement by any orthodoxy is to me the same as handcuffs. It's 
brain cuffs. There are times when I don't give a damn whether the stars are 
trillions of miles away or ten miles away -- but, at any time, let anybody 
say to me, authoritatively, or with an air of finality, that the stars are 
trillions of miles away, or ten miles away, and my contrariness stirs, or 
inflames, and if I can't pick the lock of his pronouncements, I'll have to 
squirm out some way to save my egotism. 

So then the dusts of Feb. and March, 1903 -- and the whirlwind-explanation -
- and other egoists will understand how I suffer. Simply say to me "mere 
dusts from an African desert," and I begin to squirm like an Houdini. 

Feb. 12th to March 1st, 1903 -- "dusts from an African desert." 

I get busy. 

Nature, 75-589 -- that some of this dust, which had [367/368] fallen at 
Cardiff, Wales, had been analyzed, and that it was probably volcanic.(12) 

But the word "analyzed" is an affront to my bigotries -- conventional 
chemist -- orthodox procedures -- scientific delusions -- more coercions. 

I am pleased with a find, in the London Standard, Feb. 26, 1903.(13) It is 
of no service to me, specially, now, but, in general, it is agreeable to my 
malices -- a letter from Prof. T.G. Bonney, in which the Professor says that 
the dust was not volcanic, because there was no glassy material in it -- and 
a letter from someone else, stating that in specimens of the dust that were 
examined by him, all the particles were glassy. 

"It was dust from an African desert." 

But I have resources. 

One of them is Al-Moghreb. How many persons, besides myself, have ever heard 
of Al-Moghreb? Al-Moghreb is mine own discovery. 

The dust came down in England, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, and 
along the west coast of Africa. Here's the question: 

If there had been an African hurricane so violent, as to strew a good part 
of Europe, is it not likely that there would have been awareness of it in 

Al-Moghreb (Tangier) -- no mention of any atmospheric disturbance that would 
bear out the conventional explanation. Lagos Weekly Record -- Sierra Leone 
Weekly News -- Egyptian Gazette -- no mention. 

And then one of those finds that makes plodding in Libraries as exciting as 
prospecting for nuggets -- 

Feb. 14th, of this year -- one of the most extraordinary phenomena in the 
history of Australia. In magnitude it was next to the occurrences of the 
preceding November. In the blackest of darkness, dust and mud fell from the 
sky. Melbourne Age, Feb. 16 -- three columns of reports, upon darkness and 
dust and [368/369] falling mud, in about 40 widespread towns in New South 
Wales and Victoria.(14) 

The material that fell in Australia fell about as enormously as fell the 
dusts in Europe. There is no mention of it in any of the dozens of articles 
by conventionalists, upon the phenomena in Europe. It started falling two 
days after the first fall of dust, west of Africa. It was coincidence, or 
here is an instance of two enormous volumes of dust that had one origin. 

There was an unnoticed hurricane in Africa, which strewed Europe, and daubed 
Australia, precipitating nowhere between these two continents; or two vast 
volumes of dust were discharged from a disturbance somewhere beyond this 
earth, drifting here, arriving so nearly simultaneously that the indications 
are that the space between the source and this stationary earth is not of 
enormous extent, but was traversed in a few days, or a few weeks. 

There was no known eruption upon this earth, at this time. If here, but 
unknown, it would have to be an eruption more tremendous than any of the 
known eruptions of this earth. 

There was a new star. 

It was found, by a professional astronomer, upon photographs of the 
constellation Gemini, taken upon March 8th (Observatory, 22-245).(15) It may 
have existed a few weeks before somebody happened to photograph this part of 
the sky. 

"Cold-blooded scientists," as we hear them called -- and their "ideal of 
accuracy" -- they're more like a lot of spoiled brats, wilfully determined 
to have their own way. In Cosmos, n.s. 69-422, were reported meteoric 
phenomena, before the destructive earthquake in Calabria, Italy, Sept. 8, 
1905.(16) It was said -- or it was "announced" -- that Prof. Agamennone was 
investi- [369/370] gating. It would have been a smash to conventional 
science, if Prof. Agamennone had confirmed these reports. We know what to 
expect. According to the account in Cosmos, first came a fall of meteors, 
and then, three-quarters of an hour later, to this same place upon this 
probably stationary earth, came a great meteor. It exploded, and in the 
ground was a shock by which 4,600 buildings were destroyed, and 4,000 
persons were killed. 

A volume of sound from crashing walls, in billows of roars from falling 
roofs, sailed like a ship in a storm. When it sank, lamentations leaped from 

Because of underlying oneness, the sounds of a catastrophe are renderable in 
the terms of any other field of phenomena. Structural principles are the 
same, either in phonetic or biologic anatomy. A woe, or an insect, or a 
centipede is a series of segments. 

Or the wreck of a city was a cemetery. Convulsed into animation, it was 
Resurrection Day, as not conceived of by religionists. Concatenations of 
sounds arose from burials. Spinal columns of groans were exhuming from 
ruination. Articulations of sobs clung to them. A shout that was jointed 
with oaths reached out from a hole. A church, which for centuries had been 
the den of a parasite, sank to a heap. It was a maw that engulfed a 
congregation. From it came the chant of a litany that was a tapeworm 
emerging from a ruptured stomach. 

Choruses broke into moans that were rows of weeping willows. A prayer 
crossed a field of murmurs, and was gored by a blasphemy. Tellers of beads 
told ladders, up which ran profanities. Then came submergence again, in a 

In earthquake lands, it is the belief of the people that there is a godness 
that, at times of catastrophe, directs them to flock to churches. My own 
theology is [370/371] in agreement. It is by such concentrations that the 
elimination of surplusages is facilitated. But, if Virgin Marys were 
replaced by images of Mrs. Sangster, there would be no such useful murders. 

It is said, in the Bull. Soc. Astro. de France, Oct., 1905, that luminous 
phenomena had preceded this catastrophe in Calabria.(17) Observations upon 
appearances in the sky were gathered by Prof. Alfani, and were recorded by 
him, in the Revista di Fisca. But it was Prof. Agammenone's decision upon 
reported phenomena in the sky that was awaited by the scientific world. From 
time to time, in scientific periodicals, there was something to the effect 
that he was investigating. 

Not only were meteors told of. There was a fall of dust, from the sky, at 


There had been an eruption of Stromboli. 

Comptes Rendus, 141-576 -- report by M. Lacroix, who had been living near 
Stromboli, at the time -- that, at this time of the fall of dust, there had 
been no more than normal activity of Stromboli.(18) 

Long afterward, the result of Prof. Agamennone's investigation was 
published. He could find only one witness. 

It is not easy to think of an organic control that would beguile its human 
supernumeraries into manageable concentrations, for eliminative purposes, 
and also permit a Prof. Agamennone to conceive of warnings for them. But, if 
in super-metabolism, there is, as in sub-organisms, the katabolism of 
destructions, also there are restorations. Anabolic vibrations, known to the 
people of this earth, as "sympathy" and "charity," shook from pockets as far 
away as California, money that rebuilt the mutilated tissues of Italy. 

Something else that every conventionalist will ex- [371/372] plain as "mere 
coincidence" is that down from the sky came deluges upon the quaking land of 
Calabria. There was widespread need for water, at this time. 

India -- "pitiable," as described in accounts of one of the severest of 
droughts. The wilt of a province -- the ebb of its life is at the rate of 
2,000 of its starving inhabitants, a day, into the town of Sind. Its people 
shrivel, and its fields, burned brown, wrinkle with trains of dark-skinned 
refugées. A band of natives in a desolate copse -- trunks and limbs of 
leafless, little trees, and the shrunken arms and legs merge in one jungle 
of emaciation. A starving native, flat in a field -- he has crawled away 
from the long, white cloud of dust of a trampled road. It might be hell 
anywhere, but there are glimpses of the especial hell that is India. Breech-
clout of the starving native -- pinned to it, a string of jewels, which, 
though dying, he had stolen. Long, wide cloud of dust that is a landscape-
girdle -- and it is emblazoned with a rajah's elephants. 

There was intense suffering, at Lahore. All the gods were prayed to for 

Upon the 9th of September, there was an earthquake, at Lahore. All the gods 
answered at once, combining their deliveries, with an efficiency that 
smashed houses. Allahabad Pioneer Mail, Sept. 15 -- "houses collapsing in 
great numbers, and the occupants wandering homeless."(19) "Such an 
occurrence at this season is most unprecedented, and has taken everybody by 
surprise" (Times of India, Sept. 16).(20) 

Main Street -- any good-sized American city -- a dull afternoon -- the 
barber shop and the cigar store on the corner -- much dullness -- 

A sudden frenzy -- Main Street rushes out of the town. 

Or a human mind in a monotonous state of smugness -- there's a temptation, 
or the smash of a con- [372/373] viction, and something that it has taken 
for a principle rushes out of it, in a torrent of broken beliefs -- 

That delirium, or frenzy -- or anything else mental or human -- is not 
exclusively mental or human -- but just what are my data for thinking that 
the principal street of an American city ever did rush out of the town? 

Well, something similar. It was at the time of the deluges in India. There 
was a monstrous fall of water in Kashmir. 

Many of the inhabitants of the city of Srinagar, Kashmir, lived in rows of 
houseboats, upon the river Jhelum, a sluggish, muddy stream, with so little 
visible motion that, between the rows, it looked like a smooth pavement. It 
suddenly went up 17 feet. The two long rows of houseboats rushed away. 

Another river in Kashmir smashed a village. On its banks it left parallel 

Notch a butterfly's wing -- this is mutilation. But correspondingly notch 
the other wing, and there is balance. Two mutilations may be harmony. The 
doubly hideous may be beautiful. If, on both sides of the river that was a 
subsiding axis, mothers simultaneously screamed over the bodies of children, 
this correspondence was the soul of design. Two anguishes, neatly balanced 
in parallel lines of wreckage, satisfy the requirements of those who worship 
godness as only harmony. 

A quaking zone of Europe and Asia was deluged. Drought in Turkey -- 
earthquakes -- plentiful rain (Levant Herald, Sept. 11, 18).(21) Tremendous 
falls of water and shocks were continuing in Calabria. Spain was flooded. 

Sept. 27th -- another severe shock, at Lahore; and, this day, again dust, of 
unknown origin, fell from the sky, in Calabria. A current of hot air came 
with it. [373/374] According to the Levant Herald, Oct. 9, many persons were 
asphyxiated.(22) According to description, it was a volcanic blast that can 
not be traced to origin upon this earth. If it came from somewhere beyond 
this earth, such a repetition in Calabria is a coincidence, or is an 
indication that this earth is stationary. It is easier to call it a 

There was a new star. 

Upon the night of August 18th, an "auroral" beam, such as has often been 
seen in the sky, at times of volcanic eruptions upon this earth, and at 
times of new stars, was seen in England, (English Mechanic, 82-88).(23) Upon 
the 31st of August, Mrs. Fleming, at Harvard University Observatory, looking 
over photographic plates, saw that a new star had been recorded, on and 
after the 18th. The new star, diminishing, continued to shine during 

Our expression upon "auroral" beams is that vast beams of light have often 
been seen in the sky, at times when terrestrial volcanoes were active; that 
similar appearances have been seen at times of new stars, and may be 
considered light-effects of volcanoes, not terrestrial. For records of 
several of these beams, one while Stromboli was violent, Sept. 1, 1891, and 
one, July 16, 1892, while one of the greatest eruptions of Etna was 
occurring, see Nature, vols. 44 and 45, and Popular Astronomy, 10-249.(24) 
For one of the latest instances, see newspapers, April 16, 1926: while Mauna 
Loa, Hawaii, was in eruption, a beam of light was seen in Nebraska. 

There's a new light in the heavens, and there's a disturbance upon this 
earth, as if an interaction that could not occur, if trillions of miles 

"Mere coincidence." 

There's a quake in Formosa, and there's a quake in California. [374/375] 

"Only coincidence," say the conventionalists, who are committed to local 

April 18, 1906 -- the destruction of San Francisco. The Governor of 
California appointed a commission of eight Professors to investigate the 
catastrophe. The eight Professors ignored, as coincidence, everything else 
that had occurred at the time, and explained in the usual, local, geological 
terms. In Nature, 73-608, is published Dr. Charles Davison's explanation, 
which is in terms of a local subsidence.(25) Dr. Davison mentions nothing 
else that occurred at the time. 

At the time -- a disastrous quake in Formosa, and the most violent eruption 
of Vesuvius since April, 1872; activity in a long-dormant volcano in the 
Canary Islands; quake in Alberta, Canada; sudden rise and fall of Lake 
Geneva, Switzerland; eruption of Mt. Asama, Japan.(26) 

See back to the occurrence of St. Pierre, Martinique. May, 1902 -- 30,000 
persons, who perished properly -- blackened into cinders, with academic 
sanction. They turned to ashes, but the principles of an orthodoxy were 

January, 1907 -- and the ignoramuses of Jamaica. They saved their own lives, 
because they did not know better. 

About 3 o'clock, afternoon of January 14th, 1907, there was a sudden 
darkness, at Kingston, Jamaica. People cried to one another that an 
earthquake was coming, and many of them ran to parks and other open spaces. 
The earthquake came. The people who ran to the open spaces lived, but a 
thousand of the others were killed by falling houses. 

A web that was spun of dogmas caught a thousand victims. After the quake, 
the ruins of Kingston sprawled like a spider, stretching out long, black 
lines that were trains of hearses. But all who ran to the [375/376] parks, 
believing that appearances in the sky did mean that catastrophe upon earth 
was coming, lived. I have given data for thinking that a De Ballore, or any 
other conventionalist, would ridicule these people for so interpreting "a 
mere coincidence." 

October, 1907, and March, 1908 -- falls, from the sky, of substances like 
soot and ashes -- catastrophes upon this earth and new stars that were 
discovered by amateurs. See the English Mechanic, 86-237, 260, and the 
Observatory, 31-215.(27) 

Dec. 30, 1910 -- new star -- disastrous earthquakes -- an enormous fall, 
from the sky, of a substance like ashes. The new star, Nova Lacertae, was 
discovered by Dr. Espin, a professional astronomer. Photographic records 
were looked up. Almost six weeks this star had been shining, unobserved at 
this earth's Observatories. It was visible without a telescope (5th 

For almost six weeks, a new star had shone over the Observatories of this 
earth, and no milkman had reported it. However, without chagrin, we note 
this remissness, because it is no purpose of this book to spout eulogies to 
the amateur in science. It is only in astronomy that the humiliation of 
professionals by amateurs is common. I have no records of little boys 
running into laboratories, startling professors of chemistry, or physics, 
with important discoveries. The achievements of amateurs in astronomy rank 
about with a giving of information, upon current events, to a Rip Van 
Winkle. I'll not apologize, because no night watchman hammered for several 
hours upon the front door of an Observatory, rudely disturbing the spiders. 


1. Arthur Knight. "Dry haze at Singapore." Quarterly journal of the Royal 
Meteorological Society of London, 30 (October 1904): 285-6. 

2. "A volcano in activity." Hong-Kong Telegraph, October 25, 1902, p.4 c.3. 

3. "A remarkable `dust fog'...." Science, n.s., 23 (February 2, 1906): 193. 

4. "The great haze." Sydney Daily Telegraph, November 18, 1902, p.6 c.4. For 
other reports of unusual meteorological phenomena: "Heat and dust storms." 
Sydney Daily Telegraph, November 13, 1902, p.4 c.7. "The meteorological 
disturbances." Sydney Daily Telegraph, November 14, 1902, p.5 c.8. "A 
fireball at Paramatta." Sydney Daily Telegraph, November 15, 1902, p.11 c.5. 
"The fireballs in Victoria." Sydney Daily Telegraph, November 17, 1902, p.5 
c.1. "Fireballs at sea." Sydney Daily Telegraph, November 18, 1902, p.3 c.6. 
"Fireballs at sea." Sydney Daily Telegraph, November 19, 1902, p.5 c.3. 

5. H.I. Jenson. "Remarkable meteorological phenomena in Australia." 
Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 29 (April 1903): 122. 

6. "The weather." Sydney Herald, November 14, 1902, p.8 c.2-3. Also: (p.8 
c.8): "Volcanic eruptions and sky effects." The Sydney Herald lists forty-
three towns affected by the dust storm, fireballs, and rains of mud. 

7. "Disastrous dust storms," "Eruptions and earthquakes," and, "Ratanui." 
Otago Witness, November 19, 1902, p.19 c.3; p.23 c.3; p.49 c.2-3. 

8. "Northern territory phenomenon." Hobart Mercury, November 21, 1902, p.3 

9. "Nova Puppis." Popular Astronomy, 30 (1922): 60. The nova was discovered 
on phoptographic plates exposed on November 19, 1902, as magnitude 7; but, 
it was still observed as being magnitude 10.3 on October 24, 1902. 

10. "Tidal wave in South Australia." Sydney Herald, November 20, 1902, p.7 

11. "The weather." Sydney Herald, November 13, 1902, p.8 c.4. "The weather." 
Sydney Herald, November 15, 1902, p.15 c.5. "The recent fireballs." Sydney 
Herald, November 17, 1902, p.7 c.2. "The weather." Melbourne Leader, 
November 15, 1902, p.26 c.2-4. "Fireballs in Australia." Melbourne Leader, 
November 22, 1902, p.25 c.5. 

12. "Notes." Nature, 75 (April 18, 1907): 588-92, at 589. The analysis of 
dust, which fell in Wales on February 21, 1903, was conducted at Cardiff 
College; but, it is not stated if this dust fell at Cardiff. 

13. "Discoloured rain." London Standard, February 26, 1903, p.2 c.7. For an 
earlier report: "Discoloured rain." London Standard, February 24, 1903, p.8 

14. "A great storm." Age (Melbourne, Australia), February 16, 1903, p.5 c.8-
9 & p.6 c.1. 

15. "A new star in Sagittarius." Observatory, 22 (1899): 245-6. The nova was 
found in Sagittarius, not Gemini, and upon March 8, 1898, not in 1903. 

16. "Les phénomènes lumineux des tremblements de terre." Cosmos: Les Mondes, 
n.s., s.4, 69 (October 16, 1913): 422. 

17. "Le tremblement de terre de la Calabre." Bulletin de la Societe 
Astronomique de France, 19 (October 1905): 463-6. The luminous phenomena 
observed at Tiriolo before the earthquake was presumed to be electrical in 

18. Alfred Lacroix. "Sur le tremblement de terre ressenti to 8 septembre à 
Stromboli et sur l'état actuel de ce volcan." Comptes Rendus, 141 (1905): 
575-9, at 576. An eruption of Stromboli had occurred on August 30, 1905. 

19. "The weather." Allahabad Pioneer Mail, September 15, 1905, p.18. Correct 
quote: "Houses are collapsing in large numbers and the occupants are 
wandering homeless...." 

20. Times of India (Bombay), (September 16, 1905). The quote is similar to 
one in issue of the 23rd citing a telegram of the 16th. "The Jhelum floods." 
Times of India, September 23, 1905, p.6 c.3-4. 

21. "Les provences." Levant Herald and Eastern Express (Istanbul), September 
11, 1905, p.2 c.5. For additional reports: "The earthquake in Italy," and, 
"Les tremblements de terre de la Calabre." Levant Herald and Eastern 
Express, September 18, 1905, p.1 c.3-4 & p.2 c.6-7. 

22. "News items." Levant Herald and Eastern Express (Istanbul), October 9, 
1905, p.1 c.2-3. 

23. David E. Packer. "The luminous beam of August 18." English Mechanic, 82 
(September 1, 1905): 88. 

24. "A rare phenomenon." Nature, 44 (September 24, 1891): 494. "A rare 
phenomenon." Nature, 44 (October 1, 1891): 519. "A rare phenomenon." Nature, 
44 (October 8, 1891): 541. "A rare phenomenon." Nature, 44 (October 29, 
1891): 614. "A rare phenomenon." Nature, 45 (November 5, 1891): 7. Alexander 
Graham Bell. "A rare phenomenon." Nature, 45 (November 26, 1891): 79. David 
E. Hadden. "Auroral phenomena at Alta Iowa." Popular Astronomy, 10 (May 
1902): 249-51, at 250. 

25. C. Davison. "The San Francisco earthquake of April 18." Nature, 73 
(April 26, 1906): 608-10. 

26. "Formosa again stricken." New York Times, April 15, 1906, p. 4 c. 2. 
"Worst outbreak in 1800 years." New York Times, April 9, 1906, p. 2 c. 1. 
The eruption of Vesuvius was said to be the worst since A.D. 79.] 

27. F.W. Longbottom. "Comet or -----?" Observatory, 31 (1908): 215-6. 

28. "Photographs new star." New York Times, December 31, 1910, p. 1 c. 2. 
The nova had been magnitude 5.5 from November 23 to December 7, but it had 
faded below naked-eye visibility by the end of December. 


WHY don't they see, when sometimes magnificently there is something to see? 

The answer is the same as the answer to another question: 

Why, sometimes, do they see when there is nothing to see? 

In the year 1899, Campbell, the astronomer, "announced" that the star 
Capella is a spectroscopic binary, or has a companion-star, as determined by 
the spectroscope. Astronomers of Greenwich Observatory investigated. One of 
them looked through the telescope, and he said, or rather, announced, that 
he saw it. Another of the astronomers looked for the companion. He announced 
that he saw it. Eight other astronomers followed. Each announced that he saw 
it. But now the astronomers say that this alleged com- [377/378] panion can 
not be seen in any telescope. See Duncan, Astronomy, p. 335.(1) 

The Andromeda nebula is said to be so far away that, though a description of 
a nearby view of its parts would read like divorce statistics in the United 
States, no dissolving motion can be seen by observers on this earth. In 
astronomical books, published in the past, appeared reproductions of 
photographs of this nebula, which I should say were as artfully touched up, 
as by any theologian ever was any life of a saint. It was given a most 
definitely spiral appearance, to convey an impression of whirlpool-motion. 
But the nebula-theory of existence has passed away. In astronomical books of 
recent date we see no such definite look of a whirlpool in pictures of the 
Andromeda nebula, but more of a stratified appearance. The astronomers see 
whatever they want to see -- when they do see -- and then see to it that we 
see as they see. So, though according to our records, one would think 
otherwise, there is considerable seeing by astronomers. 

If I look at a distant house, and see faces appearing in the windows, 
something seems to tell me that the stoop of the house is not flying in one 
direction, the roof of it scooting some other way, and every brick upon a 
jamboree of its own. Of course, minutely, there are motions. But, if the 
house is not so far away as to prevent the seeing of new faces looking out, 
I argue that other changes, such as the roof in a frenzy to get away from 
the stoop, would, if there were such incompatibilities, be visible. Of 
course this is only argument. If we can have neat little expressions, that's 
mentality's profoundest. 

The Andromeda nebula is said to be so far away that tremendous motions of 
its parts can not be seen. 

But more than fifty new stars in it have been seen, looking out. [378/379] 

So we are realizing how numerous new stars are, if in one little celestial 
formation more than fifty have been seen. If amateur astronomers were as 
numerous as amateur golf players, for instance, we'd realize much more. 

Pronounced changes, such as appearances and disappearances of stars have 
been watched, but no change in relative positions of stars has ever been 
watched occurring. There are parts of the sky that are dusty with little 
stars. If they were not such good-looking little things, the heavens would 
be filthy with them. But no grain of these shining sands has ever been 
watched changing its position relatively to other grains. All recorded 
changes of positions are so slight that some of them may be attributed to 
inaccuracies in charting, in earlier times, and some to various stresses 
that have nothing to do with independent motions.(2) Just here we are not 
discussing the alleged phenomena of "companion stars." But our own 
expressions require that there be small changes in positions of stars, just 
as terrestrial volcanoes change slightly. Not a star has ever been seen to 
cross another star, but observations upon other changes in the stars are 

For records of five new stars in five months, see Popular Astronomy, March, 

Many of the so-called new stars have been sudden flares of faint old stars. 
Upon this earth there have been sudden flares in volcanic craters that were 
dormant, or that were supposed to be extinct. And it was not by collision. 
Nothing came along and knocked against them. 

Apart from our expressions upon organic suppressions, it is easy enough to 
understand one aspect of the origin of the present astronomical doctrine. It 
was in a time of mathematicians, to whom astronomical [379/380] observations 
were secondary. The only one of these earlier ones who was an industrious 
observer (Tycho Brahé) gave his opinion that this earth is stationary. The 
rest of them did little observing, and spent their time calculating. 
Nowadays new stars are seen often, but, for 178 years, the calculators saw 
not one of them. In their time it was considered crude, or vulgar, to see. 
Mentality always has been bullied by snobbery. In the times of the founders 
of astronomical dogmas, observations were sneered at, and were called 
empiricism. Any way that is not the easiest way always is held in contempt, 
until competition forces harder methods. The easiest of all affectations is 
the aristocratic pose, if by aristocracy we mean minimization of doing 
anything. There's a coarseness to anybody who works. Give this a thought -- 
he might sweat. Amateurs, out in their back yards, see, with their little 
spyglasses, much that the professionals miss, but they catch colds. When a 
back yard amateur, like W.F. Denning, reports something, that represents 
patience and snuffling. Denning blew his nose, and kept his eyes open. The 
inmates of Observatories, when not asleep, are calculating. It's easier on 
brains, and it's easier on noses. Back in times when little boys were 
playing hop-scotch and marbles, and had not yet taken up the new sport of 
giving astronomers astronomical information, or in those times when only 
astronomers were attending somewhat to astronomical matters, and when 
therefore changes in stars were unheard of, arose the explanation of vast 
distances, to account for unobserved changes. 

The look is that stars do not change positions relatively to one another for 
the same reason the Vesuvius and Etna do not. Or there are very slight 
changes in position, just as relatively to each other Vesuvius and Etna 
change: but no star has ever been [380/381] seen to pass over any other 
star, any more than has Vesuvius ever been seen sailing in the sky over 

Other changes of stars that are said to be so far away that changes of 
position can not be seen, have been noted. For a discussion of stars that 
have disappeared, see Nature, 99-159.(4) For a list of about 40 missing 
stars, see Monthly Notices R.A.S., 77-56.(5) This list is only supplementary 
to other lists. 

Upon March 14th, 1912, the newspapers told that the discovery of a new star 
had been "announced" by the Kiel Observatory, Germany.(6) No reader of 
newspapers, of that time, would suppose otherwise than that vigilant 
astronomers, at least worth their keep, knew when a new star appeared. 

Early in the morning of March 11th, earthquakes of unusual intensity were 
recorded at many places in the United States. At Harvard University, the 
calculators announced that the center of the quake was in the West Indies, 
or Mexico. Newspaper readers, if they paid any attention, were properly 
impressed with this ability of intellectuals in Massachusetts to know what 
was going on in the West Indies, or Mexico. But newspapers the next day told 
of a quake, upon the 11th, of Triangle Island, off Vancouver, B.C., and of 
nothing in either the West Indies or Mexico. At Victoria, B.C., it was 
calculated that the center of the quake was in the Pacific Ocean, 400 miles 
westward. The same readers, forgetting just where the calculators of Harvard 
had placed the quake, thought it marvellous how the scientists can know 
these things. 

Sometimes distant skies turn black with the shadows of disasters. Had this 
quake centered in a densely populated region, we'd have another datum of a 
distant fall of probably volcanic material, about the time of a catastrophe. 
Upon the day of the quake, black water fell from the sky, near Colmer, about 
30 [381/382] miles from London (Jour. Roy. Met. Soc., 38-275).(7) The rain 
was not muddy, but was like diluted ink. Somebody thought that it was soot 
from London. Somebody else thought not, pointing out that, if this were so, 
ink, not much diluted, would often fall in London. 

The night of the 12th, the astronomers of this earth's Observatories were 
calculating. Wherever the town of Dombass, Norway, is, the astronomers of 
Kiel, Germany, were disturbed by a telegram. It was from an amateur, named 
Enebo, telling that there was a new star in the constellation Gemini, and 
that it was visible without a telescope.(8) Astronomers in other parts of 
this earth were notified. They looked up from what they considered 
astronomical matters, and saw what the amateur had discovered. 

In November, 1913, as astronomer photographed a part of the constellation 
Sagittarius. I don't know what his idea was. Perhaps simply and 
somnambulically he photographed, and had no ideas. Six years later, somebody 
found out that he had photographed a new star. Then other photographs were 
examined. Astronomers are pretty keen at detecting something that has been 
pointed out to them, and they learned that they had photographed this star, 
rising from 10th to 7th magnitude, between the 21st and the 22nd of 

Wanted -- something by way of data for us. 

Like every other theorist, we find just that -- 

Nature, 94-372 -- that seven days after the maximum of this new star, an 
afterglow, which can be attributed to no known volcanic eruption upon this 
earth, was seen in the sky, in Italy, France, Belgium, and England.(9) 

April 25, 1917 -- a professional astronomer photographed a new star 
(magnitude 6.5) in the constel- [382/383] lation Hercules. The next day 
there was a disastrous earthquake in Italy. Upon May 1st, a great quake -- 
perhaps in the constellation Hercules -- whereabouts unknown to this earth's 
scientists -- was registered by this earth's seismographs (Nature, 99-

Domes of Observatories look like big snail shells. Architectural symbolism. 
It took the astronomers about three years to learn that they had 
photographed the new star in Hercules (Pop. Astro., March, 1920).(11) If 
newspaper editors were like astronomers, they'd send out photographers, 
rather busily, and, perhaps, years later, if they could condescend from 
journalism into doing some newspaper work, they'd examine plates. They'd 
tell of a fire that had occurred long before. They'd write up some fashion 
notes upon the modes in their reader's childhood. Like dealers in stale 
stars, they'd wonder at a lack of public interest. 

Upon March 6th, 1918, black rain fell from the sky, in Ireland (Symons' Met. 
Mag., 53-29).(12) If our preconceptions so direct, we relate this occurrence 
with smoky discharges from factory chimneys of South Wales, or somewhere 
else in Great Britain -- and it is better that we do not ask why black rains 
are not common near Pittsburgh. Or we note that the next night there was in 
the sky a crimson appearance that worried many communities in Europe and 
North America. For a week there were, in the newspaper of New York and 
London, descriptions of this glare, and comments upon it. People thought 
that there was a great fire somewhere. I give data for thinking that there 
may have been a volcanic eruption somewhere. 

March 6th -- the fall of black rain. March 7th -- the glare in the sky. 
March 9th -- down upon this earth fell dusts in volumes that were 
proportional to the glare. See Amer. Jour. Sci., Monthly Weather Review, 
and, Sci. Amer., of this period.(13) There was a fall of [383/384] dust in 
Wisconsin, and in Michigan; and there was a fall of dust in Vermont. These 
falls, so far apart -- in Ireland, in Western States, and in Vermont -- look 
like what is called indication of an origin somewhere beyond this earth. 
There is no findable record of any disturbance upon this earth, by which to 
explain. No new star was reported, but there may have been a stellar 
eruption in a part of the daytime sky, reflecting in a glare, at night. 
There may have been relation with an occurrence in June. In the meantime, 
there were several remarkable glares in the sky. 

Early in the evening of June 8th, of this year 1918, two men, one of them in 
Madras, India, and the other in South Africa, looked up at the sky, and saw 
a brilliant new star in the constellation Aquila. Each of them notified an 
Observatory, which had not been observing. Evening of the 8th -- Harvard 
University Observatory notified by an amateur. The astronomers of Harvard 
had seen nothing new, but telegram after telegram came to them from other 
amateurs. Whatever else the astronomers of Lick Observatory were doing, I 
don't know. They were probably calculating. But they, too, were receiving 
telegrams, and when told, by amateurs, to look up at the sky and see a new 
star, they looked up at the sky and saw a new star. See Pubs. Astro. Soc. 
Pacific, Aug., 1918.(14) Besides the amateur in Madras, an amateur in 
Northern India, notified the Observatories (Nature, 102-105).(15) English 
Mechanic, Aug. 9 -- professionals of New Zealand notified by an amateur.(16) 
In Nature, 101-285, is published a list of amateurs, who, in England, had 
reported this new star to official centres of unobservation. There is only 
one record of a professional astronomer, who, without information from 
amateurs, saw this new star. One of the astronomers of Greenwich Observatory 
had looked up at the sky, and had [384/385] seen this new star. Nature, 101-
285 -- that he had seen it, but had not recognised that it was a new 
star.(17) One of the amateurs who saw it, and recognised it, as new, was a 
schoolboy named Wragge (London Times, June 21).(18) The Lisbon Observatory 
was notified by a boy, aged 14 (Observatory, 41-292).(19) [385] 


1. John Charles Duncan. Astronomy: A Textbook. 1st ed. New York: Harper and 
Brothers, 1926, 1st ed., 335. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1926, 2d ed., 

2. Jacques Cassini claimed to have measured the size of Sirius as about 5" 
of arc, (or a tenth that of Jupiter, measured as 50"), and to have 
determined the distance to Sirius, (as about 44,000 astronomical units, 
based upon a heliocentric parallax of about 5", to at most 6"), according to 
observations made at Paris in 1714 and 1715. Halley objected to this claim 
on several grounds. He wrote that the diameter of Sirius must be less than a 
second, as its diameter would be less than that of Aldebaran and Spica 
combined, which both appear instantly when emerging from the moon's limb 
after an occultation, and thus cannot be more than a second in diameter. 
Also, he criticized Cassini's three-foot long telescope as too small to 
determine a measure of 6", especially when the position of Sirius could vary 
by 115" due to refraction and vary about 7 or 8" by changes in the density 
(barometric pressure) of the air. Angus Armitage. Edmond Halley. London: 
Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1966, 196. Edmond Halley. "Some remarks on a late 
essay of Mr. Cassini wherein he proposes to find, by observation, the 
parallax and magnitude of Sirius." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal 
Society of London, 31 (no. 364; Jan., Feb., March and April, 1720): 1-4. 

3. S.I. Bailey. "Another new star." Popular Astronomy, 28 (March 1920): 187-

4. "Societies and academies." Nature, 99, 158-60, at 159, c.v. "Royal 
Astronomical Society." 

5. T.E. Espin. "B.D. stars observed as missing or faint." Monthly Notices of 
the Royal Astronomical Society, 77 (1916): 56-8. 

6. "Puzzled by new star." New York Times, March 15, 1912, p.1 c.2. [Ref. LT 
and any for March 14.] 

7. C.J.P. Cave. "The thunderstorm of March 11, 1912, in Hampshire and 
Sussex." Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 38 (1912): 
275-85; at 281, 283. 

8. "New star discovered." New York Times, March 14, 1912, p. 1 c. 6. The 
discovery was made by Enebo, amateur astronomer, who observed variable 
stars, at Dombaas, Norway, (or Dombås, not Dombass). 

9. "Notes." Nature, 94 (December 3, 1914): 369-72, at 372. The afterglows of 
1913 and 1914 were reported, according to this note, first in Rome on July 
13, 1913; however: "The most noticeable display seems to have occurred on 
November 29, when it was recorded in France, Italy, Belgium, and England." 
Ignazio Galli attributed the phenomena, "assuming these effects o be due to 
volcanic dust," to eruptions of Katmai in Alaska, Asama-Yama in Japan, and 
Mount Benbow in the New Hebrides. 

10. "Discovery of a new star." Nature, 99 (August 9, 1917): 472. Nova 
Ophiuchi No. 5 was in the constellation of Ophiuchus, (not in the 
constellation of Hercules). 

11. S.I. Bailey. "Another new star." Popular Astronomy, 28 (March 1920): 

12. "Meteorological news and notes." Symons' Meteorological Magazine, 53, 

13. Alexander Newton Winchell, and, Eric Rexford Miller. "The dustfall of 
March 9, 1918." American Journal of Science, s. 4, 46 (1918): 599-609. 
Alexander Newton Winchell, and, Eric Rexford Miller. "The dustfalls of 
March, 1918." Monthly Weather Review, 46 (November 1918): 502-6. "An 
interesting dustfall." Scientific American, n.s., 119 (December 7, 1918): 

14. "General notes." Publications of the Astronomical Society of the 
Pacific, 30 (n.176; 1918): 259-60. The nova was visible on June 7, 1918, 
with a (photographic) magnitude of 6, but increased to a magnitude of 0.5 on 
June 8, whereupon it became the brightest nova "since Kepler's Star in 
Ophiuchus, which appeared in 1604." 

15. J. Evershed. "Observations of Nova Aquilae in India." Nature, 102 
(October 10, 1918): 105-6. C.L.Dundas, at Jhelum, independently discovered 
the nova on June 9. 

16. "Nova Aquilae as observed in New Zealand." English Mechanic, 108 (August 
9, 1918): 30-1. The amateur was G.V. Hudson. 

17. "The new star in Aquila." Nature, 101 (June 13, 1918): 285-6. 

18. "Nova Aquilae." London Times, June 21, 1918, p.9 c.2. The prior 
newspaper report was: "Nova Aquilae." London Times, June 17, 1918, p.11 c.4. 

19. "Nova Aquilae." Observatory, 41 (1918): 292-3. The name of the boy was 
Fernando Drummond Menezes de Jesus. 


I AM thinking of an abstraction that was noted by Aristotle, and that was 
taken by Hegel, for the basis of his philosophy: 

That wherever there is a conflict of extremes, there is an outcome that is 
not absolute victory on either side, but is a compromise, or what Hegel 
called "the union of complementaries." 

Our own controversy is an opposition of extremes: 

That this earth moves swiftly; 

That this earth is stationary. 

In terms of controversies and their outcomes, I cannot think that either of 
these sides can be altogether right, or will absolutely defeat the other, 
when comes some way of finding out, and settling this issue. 

The idea of stationariness came first. Then, as a sheer, mechanical reaction 
-- inasmuch as Copernicus [386/387] had not one datum that a conventionalist 
of today would accept as meaning anything -- came the idea of a swiftly 
moving earth. An intermediate view will probably appear and prevail. 

My own notion of equilibrium between these extremes, backed up with our 
chapters of data, is that, within a revolving, starry shell that, relatively 
to the extravagances of the astronomical extremists, is not very far away, 
this roundish earth is almost central, but is not absolutely stationary, 
having various slight movements. Perhaps it does rotate, but with a period 
of a year. Like everybody else, I have my own notions upon what constitutes 
reasonableness, and this is my idea of a compromise. 

The primary view had for its support the highest mathematical 
authoritativeness of its era. Now, so has the secondary view. Mathematics 
had been as subservient to one view as the other. 

Mostly our data have been suggestive, or correlative, but it may be that 
there are visual indications of a concave land in the sky, or of a 
substantial shell around this earth. There are dark places in the sky, and 
some of them have the look of land. They are called "dark nebulæ." Some 
astronomers have speculated upon them, as glimpses of a limiting outline of 
a system as a whole. See back to Dolmage, quoted upon this subject.(1) My 
own notion is of a limiting, outlining substance that I call a "shell." 
"Dark nebulæ" have the look of bare, or starless, patches of a shell. Some 
of them may be formations that are projections from a shell. They hang like 
super-stalactites in a vast and globular cave. At least one of these 
appearances has the look of a mountain peak. In several books by 
astronomers, published lately, plates of this object have appeared. See 
Duncan's Astronomy.(2) It is better known as the Horse-head nebula. It 
stands out, as a vast, [387/388] sullen refusal to mix into a frenzy of 
phosphorescent confetti. It is a solid-looking gloom, such as, some election 
night, the Woolworth Building would be, if Republican, and all the rest of 
Broadway hysterical with a Democratic celebration. Over its summit comes 
light, like the fringe of dawn topping a mountain. Something is shining 
behind this formation, but penetrates no more than it would shine through a 

It may be that relatively there are few stars -- that hosts of tiny lights 
in the sky are reflections, upon irregularities of the shell-land, from 
large stars. 

Among expressions that I have not developed is one that is suggested by a 
circumstance that astronomers consider strange. This is that some variable 
stars have a period of about a year. Just what variations of stars that are 
said to be trillions of miles away could have to do with a period upon this 
ultra-remote earth cannot be conceived of in orthodox terms. The suggestion 
is that these lights, with variations corresponding with advances and 
recessions of the sun, moving spirally around this almost stationary earth, 
are reflections of sunlight from points of land, or from lakes in extinct, 
or dormant craters. It may be that variations of light that have been 
attributed to "companions" are tidal phenomena in celestial lakes that shine 
as reflections from the sun, or from other stars, which may be lakes of 
molten lava. 

There is a formation in the constellation Cygnus that has often been noted. 
It is faintly luminescent, but this light, according to Prof. Hubble, is a 
reflection from the star Deneb. It is shaped like North America, and it is 
known as the America nebula. Out from its Gulf of Mexico are islands of 
light. One of these may be a San Salvador some day. 

Like Alaska to birds from the north, the Horse- [388/389] head nebula stands 
out from its background, like something to fly to. 

Star after star after star has blazed a story, sometimes publishing tragedy 
on earth, illustrated with spectacles in the heavens. But, when transcribed 
into human language, these communications are depopularised with 
"determinations" and "pronouncements." So our tribes have left these 
narratives of fires and smokes and catastrophes to the wisemen, who have 
made titanic tales unintelligible with their little technical jargons. The 
professionals will not unprofessionalise; they will not give up their 
system. Where have the wisemen ever done so among the Eskimos, or the hairy 
Ainus, the Zulus, or the Kaffirs? Whatever we are, they are acting to keep 
us whatever we are, as Zulus are kept whatever they are. We are beguiled by 
snoozers, who have been beaten time after time by schoolboys. 

There's a fire in the sky, and ashes and smoke and dust reach this earth, as 
sometimes after an eruption of Vesuvius, discharges reach Paris. There may 
be volcanoes in a land in the sky, so close to this earth that, if 
intervening space be not airless and most intensely cold, an expedition 
could sail away in a dash to the stars that would be a bold and magnificent 
trifle. [389] 


1. Cecil Goodrich Julius Dolmage. Astronomy of Today. London, 1909, 327. 

2. John Charles Duncan. Astronomy: A Textbook. New York: Harper and 
Brothers, 1926, 1st & 2d eds., plate 17.6.22. 


BESIDES the new star, which was an object so conspicuous that it was 
discovered widely, except by astronomers, there was another astronomical 
occurrence in the month of June, 1918 -- an eclipse of the sun. It was 
observed in Oregon. We can't expect such a check up as when Coogan's Bluff 
and the Consolidated Gas Company get into astronomy, but Oregonians set 
their alarm clocks, and looked up at the sky. See Mitchell's Eclipses of the 
Sun, p. 67 -- the astronomers admitted an error of fourteen seconds in their 

Measurements of ordinary refinement are in hair-breadths, but a hair is 
coarse material to the ethereal astronomers, who use filaments spun by 
spiders. And just where do the astronomers get their cobwebs? This book of 
ours is full of [390/391] mysteries, but here is something that is not one 
of them. 

My own opinion is that an error of only 14 seconds is a very creditable 
approximation. But it is a huge and grotesque blunder, when compared with 
the fairy-like refinements that the astronomers dream are theirs, in matters 
that cannot be so easily checked up. 

To readers who are not clear upon this point, I repeat that predictions of 
eclipses cannot be cited in support of conventionality against our own 
expressions, because, whether upon the basis that this earth moves, or is 
stationary, eclipses can be predicted -- and Lo! come to pass. But Lo! if, 
looking on, there be an intelligent representative of the Consolidated Gas 
Company, or an Oregonian with an alarm clock, predictions aren't just 
exactly what they should be. 

We have divided astronomers into professionals and amateurs: but, wherever 
there are differences there is somewhere the merging-point that demonstrates 
continuity. W.F. Denning represents the amateur-professional merging-point. 
He has never had a job -- though it does not look to me that job is the 
right word -- in an Observatory, but he has written a great deal upon 
astronomical matters. He is an accountant, in the city of Bristol, England. 
Has nothing to do with Observatories, but has a celebrated back yard. Upon 
the night of August 20th, 1920, Denning sat in his back yard, and, in 
surroundings that were touched up most unacademically by cats on the fences, 
though Observatory-like enough, with snores from back windows, he discovered 
Nova Cygni III. This is another instance of a new star appearing close to 
where there had been preceding new stars, as if all were eruptions in one 
region of especially active volcanic land. There were earthquakes in this 
period. In the United States, there were the sud- [391/392] den deluges that 
are called "cloudbursts." Upon the night of August 28th, a seismic wave 
drowned 200 persons, on the island of Saghalien, off the east coast of 

For four nights, astronomers of the so-called Observatories had been 
photographing this star. Students of phenomena of somnambulism will be 
interested in our data. When Denning woke up the astronomers, they looked at 
what they had been unconsciously doing, and learned that from the 16th of 
the month, this star had risen from 7th to about 3rd magnitude. A star of 
3rd magnitude is a conspicuous star; in the whole sky, there are 
(photographic magnitudes) only 111. At any one time not more than 40 of them 
are visible. The limit of visibility, without a telescope, is somewhere 
between the 6th and 7th magnitudes. So it is said. According to our data, 
the limit of seeing depends upon who's looking. 

I wonder what ironic fellow first called these snug, little centres of 
inattention Observatories. He had a wit of his own whoever he was. 

Discovery of the new star, if not a comet, of August 7th, 1921, has been 
attributed to a professional wiseman (Director Campbell, of Lick Dormitory). 
But it was a brilliant and conspicuous appearance. Most of the new stars 
that professionals have discovered, or have had discovered for them, by the 
not very eagle-eyed females of Harvard, have been small points on 
photographic plates. English Mechanic, 114-211 -- records of observations by 
four amateurs, before the time of Director Campbell's "discovery."(2) One of 
these observations was twenty-four hours earlier. 

Some time ago, I read an astronomer's complaint against heavy traffic near 
an "Observatory." Though now I have different ideas, as to an astronomer's 
dislike for disturbance, night times, I was not so expe- [392/393] rienced 
then, and innocently supposed that he meant that delicate instruments were 

A convention of Methodist ministers -- and how agreeable it would be to 
note, in the midst of preciseness and purity, one of these parsons standing 
on his head -- 

Or see the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 1922 -- upon 
page 400 there is a diagram.(3) 

Mistakes that I make -- and errors of yours -- 

Contrasting the much advertised divinity of the astronomers. 

Page 400 -- in the midst of a learned treatise upon "adiabatic expansions" 
and "convective equilibrium" is printed a diagram. It is upside down. 

I attended this convention of pedantries, of course inspired by a religious 
faith that is mine that I'd not have to look far for a crook in its bombast, 
or somewhere a funny little touch of waywardness in its irreproachability, 
but especially I attended to pick out something of which, in this year 1922, 
the astronomers were boasting, to contrast with something they were doing. I 
picked out a long laudation upon an astronomer who had received a gold medal 
for predicting the motions of star-clusters for a term of 100,000,000,000 
years, to contrast with --(4) 

Sept. 20, 1922 -- an eclipse of the sun -- see Mitchell's Eclipses of the 
Sun, p. 67 -- and the predictions by the astronomers.(5) They made one error 
of 16 seconds and another error of 20 seconds. 

There are persons who do not believe in ordinary fortune tellers. Yet, 
without a quiver in their credulities, they read of an astronomical gypsy 
who tells the fortunes of a star for 100,000,000,000 years, though, 
according to conventionality, that star is 60 x 60 x 24 x 365 x 100,000 
times farther away [393/394] than is the moon, motions of which can not be 
exactly foretold, unless the observations are going to be, say at Bahia de 
Paranagua, or somewhere in Jungaria. 

The eclipse of Sept. 20, 1922, was checked up by police constables, in 
Australia. But the eclipse of Oct. 21, 1930, was observed at Niuafou. This 
time the dispatches sent by the astronomers told of "a complete success." 
"The eclipse began exactly as predicted." 

There are records of seeming new stars that have blazed up, like spasmodic 
eruptions, then dying out. For Dr. Anderson's report upon one of these 
appearances, May 8, 1923, see Popular Astronomy, 31-422.(6) Upon the 7th, 
Etna was active; earthquake in Anatolia; extraordinary rise and fall of the 
Mediterranean, at Gibraltar. The "Observatories" missed Dr. Anderson's 
observation, but at one of them a small, new star was photographed, night of 
May 5th. I neglected to note whether, on a photographic plate, this was 
immediately detected. See Popular Astronomy, 31-420.(7) 

Upon Feb. 13th, 1923, an increase of the star Beta Ceti was reported. There 
was interest in the newspapers. Maps of the sky were published. If 
newspapers start first-paging astronomical occurrences, putting down X-marks 
for stars, as well as for positions of bodies of the murdered, there will be 
more interest. This is dangerous to the astronomers, but so long as their 
technicalities hold out, they have good protection. Even so there might be 
inquiries into what the "Observatories" are doing, when, time after time, 
only amateurs are observing. The "Observatories" had of course missed this 
rise of Beta Ceti, but, when told by an amateur where to look, professionals 
at Yerkes and Juvisy confirmed the report. For the fullest account, see the 
Bull. Soc. Astro. de France, of this period.(8) Upon Feb. 22nd, a yellow 
dust, perhaps a discharge [394/395] from an increased volcanic activity in 
Cetus, fell from the sky, in Westphalia (London Evening Standard, Feb. 27). 
The amateur, this time, was a schoolboy, aged 16. 

Night of May 27th, 1925 -- the Rip Van Winkles of the South African 
"Observatory" were disturbed by an amateur. He told them that there was a 
new star in the southern constellation Pictor. When they were aroused, the 
Rips looked up and saw the new star, an then stayed awake long enough to 
learn that somnabulically they had, for months, been photographing it. For 
months it had been gleaming over the "Observatories" of four continents. 

There are slits in the domes of Observatories. 

The fixed grin of a clown -- the slit in the dome of an Observatory. 

Sept. 21, 1930 -- that the astronomers had ascertained the heat received 
from a 13th magnitude star to be 631 times that of the heat from the 
faintest star visible to the unaided eye -- that this faintest star radiates 
upon the whole United States no more heat than the sun radiates upon one 
square yard of said United States.(9) 

A grin in the dark -- or the sardonic slit in any Observatory, night times. 
Most likely the inmates haven't a notion what is symbolised. But we contrast 
an alleged perception of 631 times the inconceivable with this item, in 
Popular Astronomy, 1925, p. 540:(10) 

That 44 nights before the amateur's discovery, Nova Pictoris had shone as a 
star of third magnitude, and had been perceived by no astronomer. 

The Building That Laughs -- as a modern Victor Hugo would call an 
Observatory with a slit in it. 

Fixed grin of the clown -- and, according to theatrical conventions, his 
head is full of seriousness. [395/396] 

Sept. 24, 1930 -- this is what came from a Building That Laughed, though its 
dome was full of astronomers: 

That, according to spectroscopic determinations, at Mt. Wilson, a distant 
nebula is moving away from this earth, at a rate of 6,800 miles a second; 
that, upon the day of the calculations, the distance of this nebula was 
750,000,000 x 60 x 60 x 24 x 365 x 186,000 miles. 

To appreciate the clownishness of this, see our data for accepting that the 
spectroscope tells about what is told by tea leaves in a teacup -- which is 
considerable, if one wants to be told considerable. To realise the pathos of 
this, think of the grinning old clown, whose gags have played out; who is 
driven to most extravagant antics to hold a little attention. 

Our general expression is that the inmates of this earth's "Observatories" 
are not astronomers, but are mathematicians. Since mediæval times there has 
never been a shake-up in this system of ancient lore, comparable with 
Lyellism in geology, or Darwinism in biology, or the reconstructions of 
thought brought about by radio-activity, in physics and chemistry. 
Einsteinism was a slight shock, but it is concerned with differences in 
minute quantities. Mathematicians are incurable. They are inert to the new, 
because the new is a surprise, and mathematics concerns itself with the 
expected. It does occur to me that there might be good results, if the next 
millionaire who contemplates donating a big telescope, should, instead, send 
around to the "Observatories" big quantities of black coffee: but such is 
the concordance between the twinkles of the stars and the nods of drowsy 
heads that I'd not much like to disturb such harmony. 

Nova Pictoris, like many other so-called new stars, was an increase of an 
old star. For twenty-five years it [396/397] had from time to time been 
photographed as a speck of the 12th magnitude. 

There is nothing on any photographic plate to indicate that another star was 
going to collide with it. It went up, just as dimly shining, or only 
slightly active, volcanoes of this earth sometimes become violent.(11) 

No star has ever been seen to cross another star, but just such changes as 
have been seen in volcanoes of this earth have been seen in stars. Mostly, 
in their books, astronomers, telling of what they call "proper motion," do 
all that they can to give an impression of the stars as moving with 
tremendous velocities, but here is Newcomb (Astronomy for Everybody, p. 327) 
quoted upon the subject: "If Ptolemy should come to life, after his sleep of 
nearly eighteen hundred years, and be asked to compare the heavens as they 
are now with those of his time, he would not be able to see the slightest 
difference in the configuration of a single constellation."(12) 

And, if Ptolemy should come back, and be asked to compare the Mediterranean 
lands as they are now with those of his time, he would not be able to see 
the slightest difference in the configuration of any land -- even though 
erosions of various kinds have been constant. 

What Orion was, Orion is, in the sense that what the configuration of Italy 
was, it now is -- in the sense that in all recorded time Italy has been 
booting Sicily, but has never scored a goal. 

There is no consistency, and there is no inconsistency in our hyphenated 
state of phenomenal being: there is consistency-inconsistency. Everything 
that is inconsistent with something is consistent with something else. In 
the oneness of allness, I am, in some degree or aspect, guilty of, or 
infected with, or suffering from, everything that I attack. Now, I, too, am 
[397/398] aristocratic. Let anybody else who is as patrician as I now am 
read this book, and contrast the principles of orthodox astronomy with the 
expressions in this book, and ask himself: 

Which is the easier and lazier way, with the lesser necessity for effort, 
and with the lesser need for the use of brains, and therefore the more 
aristocratic view: 

That for, say eighteen hundred years, stars have scarcely moved, because, 
though changes in them have often been seen, they are too far away for 
changes in them to be observed; 

Or that the stars have scarcely moved, because they are points in a shell-
like formation that holds them in place? 

However, the orthodox visualisation of stars rushing at terrific velocities, 
in various directions, and never getting anywhere, is so in accordance with 
the unachievements of all other phenomenal things that I'd feel my heresies 
falter were it not for other data -- 

But what of other data -- or of other circumstances? 

In this day of everybody's suspicion against "circumstantial evidence," just 
what is not generally realised is that orthodox astronomy is founded upon 
nothing but circumstantial evidence. Also all our data, and repetitions and 
agreements of data, are nothing but circumstantial evidence. Simply mention 
"circumstantial evidence" relatively, say to a murder trial, and most of us 
look doubtful. Consequently I have only expressions and acceptances. 

Other data -- or other circumstances -- 

Last of March, 1928 -- that Nova Pictoris had split into two parts.(13) 

Part was seen to have moved from part, as divisions occur in this earth's 

So then, when changes of positions of stars do occur, [398/399] the stars 
are not so far away that changes of position cannot be seen. 

Ten little astronomers squinting through a tube -- or more 
characteristically employed -- or looking at a mirror. They had been told, 
upon the highest authority, that the star Capella had a companion. Said they 
-- or announced they -- they saw it -- or perceived it. Having calmed down, 
in the matter of "dust from an African desert," but seeming to have a need 
for something to be furious about, I now turn my indignations upon 
"companion stars." Most persons have, in their everyday affairs, plenty to 
annoy them: but it seems that I must have something of exclusiveness to my 
annoyances. If stars be volcanoes in a concave land, surrounding this earth, 
the notion of "companion stars" perhaps enrages me, because I do not 
visualise one volcano revolving around another volcano. If some stars do 
revolve around other stars, I may as well give up this book, as a whole -- 
or I shall have to do some explaining. 

Which won't be much trouble. Explaining is equilibrating. That is what all 
things phenomenal are doing. I now have a theory that once upon a time our 
existence was committed as a bad error, and that everything in it has been 
excusing itself, or has in one way or another been equilibrating, ever 
since. It is as natural to a human being to explain as it is to a lodestone 
to adjust to a magnet. 

Let anybody look up "determinations" upon the "dark companion" of Algol, for 
instance. He will find record not of a theory, but of theory after theory 
replacing one another. In the matter of the light ones, let him look up data 
upon the "light companion" of Sirius. He will read in the textbooks that 
around Sirius a light star revolves, with a most accurately known period, 
which demonstrates the soundness of [399/400] mathematical astronomy. But, 
in scientific journals, which are not so uncompromisingly committed to 
propaganda, he will read that this is not so. A faint light has, at various 
times, been reported near Sirius, in positions that do not accord with the 
calculated orbit. For no mention of this discrepancy, read the books that 
reach the general public. 

March, 1928 -- the split of Nova Pictoris.(14) There was a cataclysm in a 
southern constellation. At the same time there were catastrophes in southern 
parts of this earth. See back to other expressions upon seeming relations 
between parts of this earth and parts of the sky that would be nearest to 
each other, if the stars be points in a shell of land that is not enormously 
far away, but could not be appreciably nearer, if the stars were trillions 
of miles away. I take all data from New York newspapers. Quakes in Italy, 
and a glare in the sky, at the time (March 31st) of a quake in Smyrna -- 
"sky aflame."(15) The heaviest rain in fifty years poured in Honduras, April 
9th -- Peru shaking, this day -- such a fall of snow in Chile that 200 
persons and thousands of farm animals were reported to be buried in drifts -
- quakes and panics in Mexico --(16) 

Orthodoxy -- all this by mere coincidence -- 

Our expression -- that nebulous rings were going out from Nova Pictoris, 
just as rings of smoke and dust go out from Vesuvius, during an eruption. 

The 14th of April was the day of the Bulgarian devastations. Quakes 
continuing in Bulgaria -- quakes in Mexico -- towns rocking in southern 
Mexico -- quakes continuing in Peru.(17) Quakes in Greece, on the 19th -- a 
violent snowstorm in Poland, this day.(18) Torrents were pouring upon the 
quaking land of Bulgaria.(19) A De Ballore, or a Davison, or a Milne, would 
not mention these torrents, in an account of this quake. The severest shock 
ever recorded in Johannesburg, South Africa, [400/401] occurred upon the 
21st.(20) The next day, Corinth, Greece, was wrecked, and torrents fell from 
the sky, at the time of this quake. 

Nova Pictoris broke into four parts -- and the cities of Greece wailed 
rushes of people. Seeming discharges moving out from the new star -- and, "A 
five-hour rain of mud filled streets ankle high, causing terror at Lemburg 
and Cernowitz, to-day" (New York Sun, April 27th).(21) 

Wails of the cities of Greece -- and they subsided into sodden despairs that 
were processions of stretchers. Somewhere in a building that collapsed, fell 
a sparrow. 

The road from Corinth -- refugées and their belongings -- 

Terrified mules, up on their hind legs, hoofing storms of bundles -- yells 
and prayers and the laughter of jokers -- a screaming woman, shaking bloody 
hands -- her fingers had been hacked off, for the rings on them. Crying 
kids, whose parents were pulps -- prayers to God, or to be blessed something 
or another -- the screams of the woman, with stumps of fingers -- 

Sudden consciousness of a pulsation. 

A rhythm of gleams appears in distant sunlight. 

Stars that are watched through the windows of prisons -- or through openings 
in any of the other hells of this earth -- and it may be that if all the 
stars should start to twinkle in unison, the hells of this earth would 
vibrate out of existence. 

There's a rhythm of gleams on distant bayonets. Along the road is marching a 
column of soldiers. 

The swing of these gleams -- and it tranquillises panic. It glistens into 
new formations. There are long lines of sparkles in sunlight -- tin cups are 
undulating toward soup kettles. 

Somewhere else there is an injured sparrow. Stor- [401/402] ages in its body 
are giving to its needs from their substance -- the tranquillizing of its 
heart beats, and the reduction of its fever -- the rebuilding of its 

A British squadron appears in the Bay of Corinth -- an Italian warship -- an 
American cruiser. From centres of the American Near East Relief are 
streaming 6,000 blankets -- 10,500 tents -- 5,000 cases of condensed milk -- 
carloads of flour. 

If we can think that around this earth, and not too vastly far away, there 
is a starry shell, here are the outlines within which to think of our 
existence as an organism. 

November 28, 1930 -- an enormous fall, from the sky, of dust and mud, in 
France. I shall not get perhaps all worked up again about this, but I 
mention that it was attributed to a hurricane in the Sahara Desert. 

December 5, 1930 -- the poisonous gas in Belgium. See back to the account, 
in this book. 

Accept that these two phenomena were probably volcanic discharges, from 
regions external to this earth -- if for them there be no terrestrial 
explanation -- one in France and one in Belgium -- arriving relatively near 
each other, but a week apart -- and here is another of our data of this 
earth's stationariness. 

This earth broke out, as if responsively to disturbances somewhere else -- 
volcanic eruptions and disastrous quakes. 

December 24-26 -- violent quakes in Argentina and in Alaska -- and, between 
these far-distant places, there was a spectacular arrival of something that 
may have been a volcanic bomb from a stellar volcano.(22) New York Times, 
Dec. 26, 1930 -- the great meteor that was seen and heard in Idaho.(23) "The 
crash, heard for miles, was described as `like an earthquake.'" 

The deluge that was "only a coincidence," poured [402/403] upon the quaking 
land of Argentina. "Rain fell in such torrents that the water was three feet 
deep in several parts of Mendoza City." A "strange glow" was seen in the 
sky. "Great spears of coloured lights flashed across the sky."(24) 

Into the month of January, 1931, disturbances upon this earth continued. 
There may have been a new star. I have the authority of amateurs for 
thinking so. New York Times, Jan. 7, 1931 -- that, at San Juan, Porto Rico, 
morning of Jan. 6th, from ten o'clock until noon, a strange star had been 
seen in the western sky. According to an opinion from the Weather Bureau, it 
may have been, not a star, but the planet Venus. This Venus-explanation of 
lights that have been seen in the sky, in the day time, is a standard 
explanation; but according to records it has often not applied. 

Catastrophes and deluges -- and, if we can accept that around this earth 
there is only a thin zone of extreme coldness, which, by the stresses of 
storms and other variations, may often be penetrated by terrestrial 
evaporations, so that, unless replenished from reservoirs somewhere else, 
this earth would go dry, we can understand a mechanism of necessary 
transportations of floods from the stars to this earth. 

Flows of insects and the patter of frogs, and the Pilgrims cross the 
Atlantic Ocean. Metabolism in the foot of a frog -- and in the United States 
a similar readjustment is known as the Civil War. The consciousness of 
philosophers and theologians and scientists, and to some degree of everybody 
else, of a state of Oneness -- and my expression is that the 
misinterpretation has been in trying to think of Universality, or the 
Absolute. Give me more data for thinking that around this earth there is a 
starry shell that is not vastly far away, and here is the base for a 
correlation of all things phenomenal. [403] 


1. Samuel Alfred Mitchell. Eclipses of the sun. New York: Columbia 
University Press, 1923, 67. 

2. Scriven Bolton. "The surprise comet of August 1921. -- Daylight stellar 
photography." English Mechanic, 114 (December 2, 1921): 211. 

3. R. d'E. Atkinson. "Note on the pressure in the reversing layer in stars." 
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 82 (May 1922): 396-403, 
at 400. "Adiabatic expansion" is not mentioned in this article. The error 
was noted in: "Erratum." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 
82 (June 1922): 494. 

4. "Address." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 82 
(February 1922): 279-88, at 287. John Hopkins Jeans was the recipient of the 
gold medal from President Eddington. 

5. Samuel Alfred Mitchell. Eclipses of the Sun. New York: Columbia 
University Press, 1923, 67. 

6. "Reported nova in Cygnus." Popular Astronomy, 31 (1923): 422-3. 

7. "Nova in Messier 83." Popular Astronomy, 31 (1923): 420. 

8. The observatory at Athens was notified by a telegram from W. Abbott, (a 
member of the Société Astronomique de France), that Beta Ceti was more 
brilliant than Aldebaran. Abbott was Greek by birth and sixteen years old 
when the observation was made. "L'étoile ß Baleine." Bulletin de la Societe 
Astronomique de France, 37 (1923): 133. "Accroissement d'éclat de l'étoile ß 
Ceti." Bulletin de la Societe Astronomique de France, 37 (1923): 151-4. 
"L'étoile ß Ceti." Bulletin de la Societe Astronomique de France, 37 (1923): 
232. F.-J. Acfield. "L'étoile ß Ceti." Bulletin de la Societe Astronomique 
de France, 37 (1923): 359-60. F. Quénisset. "L'étoile ß Ceti." Bulletin de 
la Societe Astronomique de France, 37 (1923): 396. "L'étoile ß Ceti." 
Bulletin de la Societe Astronomique de France, 37 (1923): 423. F. Henroteau. 
"L'étoile ß Ceti." Bulletin de la Societe Astronomique de France, 37 (1923): 
471-2. "Les oscillations lumineuses de ß Ceti." Bulletin de la Societe 
Astronomique de France, 37 (1923): 528. Henry Norris Russell, at Princeton 
University, dismissed the increase in brightness as the result of an "ill-
behaved" star. He also stated: "The change in Beta Ceti, whether great or 
moderate, is not necessarily of sudden occurrence. It is apparently much 
brighter now than it was some years ago, but it is not known that any one 
has studied it carefully in recent years, and this change which is now noted 
may have been in progress for some time." "Sees nothing unusual in flare of 
Beta Ceti." New York Times, March 4, 1923, s.2 p.1 c.2. 

9. "Measures the heat of invisible star." New York Times, September 21, 
1930, p.12 c.2-3. The unidentified 13th magnitude star was being compared to 
a 6th magnitude star, ("that is, one which can barely be seen with the 
unaided eye"); and, it is a 6th magnitude star which "radiates upon the 
whole United States no more heat than the sun radiates upon one square yard 
of surface," (rather than the same 13th magnitude star). 

10. "Nova Pictoris." Popular Astronomy, 33 (October 1925): 540. 

11. "Star split is now called result of collision; said to be the first case 
of star hitting star." New York Times, March 29, 1928, p.1 c.2-3. Spencer 
Jones, in explaining the alleged split as a collision, said: "There are two 
stars now, and there were two stars before, although we did not know that." 

12. Simon Newcomb. Astronomy for Everybody. 1902 & 1926, 327. 

13. "Split of new star stirs scientists." New York Times, March 28, 1928, p. 
29 c. 8. 

14. "New star splits in two." New York Evening Post, March 27, 1928. 

15. "Earthquakes in Italy kill ten, hurt thirty-five." New York Herald 
Tribune, March 28, 1928. "Quake heralded by boiling sea and sky aflame." New 
York Herald Tribune, April 2, 1928. "Weird phenomena with Smyrna shock." New 
York Times, April 2, 1928, p. 1 c. 4. Unusual electric displays in the sky 
and boiling seas preceded the main shock, at 5 A.M., by one or two minutes. 

16. "Heaviest rain in fifty years." New York Herald Tribune, April 10, 1928. 
"Ten dead in Peru tremors" New York Times, April 15, 1928, s. 1 p. 19 c. 1. 
"200 reported buried in blizzard in Chile." New York Times, April 15, 1928, 
s.1 p.12 c.5. "Mexicans in quake panic." New York Herald Tribune, March 25, 

17. "Earthquake razes Bulgarian towns." New York Times, April 15, 1928, s.1 
p.19 c.1. "Shocks most violent in state of Oaxaca." New York Sun, April 17, 
1928. "Earthquake in Mexico did extensive damage." New York Sun, April 19, 
1928. "Ten dead in Peru tremors." New York Times, April 15, 1928, s.1 p.19 
c.1. "47 deaths reported in Peru." New York Herald Tribune, April 19, 1928, 
pp. 1, 14. 

18. "Shocks renewed since Saturday, tumble down houses in wide area." New 
York Sun, April 19, 1928. "Violent snowstorm lashes Poland." New York Sun, 
April 19, 1928. 

19. "Quakes keep up in Corinth and in Bulgaria." New York Herald Tribune, 
April 25, 1928. 

20. "Johannesburg trembles under record earthquake." New York Times, April 
22, 1928, p.23 c.2. 

21. "Rain of mud due to earthquake dust." New York Sun, April 27, 1928, p. 
25 c. 2. Correct quote: "A five-hour rain of mud that filled streets ankle 
high caused terror at Lemberg and Cernowitz tody." 

22. "Argentinians fear volcanic activity," and, "Shocks in Alaska." New York 
Times, December 27, 1930, p.6 c.4. 

23. "Star-like meteor brightens Idaho skies, flash and crash startle 
northern area." New York Times, December 26, 1930, p. 2 c. 3-4. Correct 
quote: "...described by some persons as `like an earthquake.'" 

24. "Chile has meteorological display." New York Herald Tribune, December 
27, 1930. Correct quote: "Great spears of colored lights flashing across the 


STAR after star after star -- and the signs that there were, at the times of 
them. Quake after quake after quake -- and the sights in the sky, at the 
times of them. Star after quake after deluge -- the sky boils with 
significances -- there are tempests of indications. 

There's a beam of light in the sky, and it dips into a star. Spattering 
ponds of ink, it scribbles information. The story is that a vast and 
habitable land surrounds this earth. It is fertile, if showers of organic 
substances that have fallen from the sky, came from there. The variable 
stars are intermittent signs that are advertising enormous real estate 
opportunities. The story is declaimed by meteors, but most of us stolid ones 
aren't going to be persuaded by any such sensational appeal to the emotions. 
The story is more [404/405] obscurely told with clouds of dust that strew 
Europe. Most of us can't taken a hint the size of a continent. 

The searchlights of the sun play upon a celebration in the sky. It has been 
waiting ages to mean something. Just at present known as the Milky Way, it's 
the Broadway of the Sky, and some day explorers from this earth may parade 
it -- 

If this earth is stationary. 

According to a great deal in this book, that may be a matter of no 
importance, nor bearing. If we accept that Teleportation, as a "natural 
force," exists, and suspect that some human beings have known this and have 
used it; and, if we think that the culmination of a series of tele-
operations will be the commercial and recreational teleportation of objects 
and beings, we are concerned little with other considerations, and conceive 
of inhabitants of this earth willing themselves -- if that's the way it's 
done -- to Mars, or the moon, or Polaris. But I take for a proposition that 
there is an underlying irony, if not sadism, in our existence, which 
rejoices in driving the most easily driven beings of this earth into doing, 
at enormous pains and expenses, the unnecessary -- the building of 
complicated telegraph-systems, with the use of two wires -- then reducing to 
one wire -- then the discovery that the desired effects could be achieved 
wirelessly. Labours and sufferings of early Arctic explorers to push 
northward over piles of ice, at a rate of three of four miles a day -- then 
Byrd does it with a whir. 

Consequently, I concern myself with data for what may be a new field of 
enormous labours and sufferings, costs of lives and fortunes, misery and 
bereavements, until finally will come awareness that all this is 

Upon this basis of mechanical and probably unnecessary voyagings -- unless 
to something disasters to [405/406] the beings of this earth be necessary -- 
the most important consideration is whether this earth is stationary. There 
can be no mechanical, or suffering, exploration from something that is 
somewhere one day, and the next day 60 x 60 x 24 x 19 miles away from there. 

Then comes the subject of conditions surrounding this earth. If common 
suppositions be right, or if this earth be surrounded by a void that is 
intensely cold, penetration to anywhere beyond would probably be, anyway at 
present, impossible. 

I compare ideas upon outer space with former ideas upon spaces in the Arctic 
regions. Resistances to the idea of exploration are similar. But in the 
winter-time, Arctic regions are not colder than are some of the inhabited 
parts of Canada. Stefansson, the Arctic explorer, has written that the worst 
blizzards ever seen by him were in North Dakota.(1) Prevailing ideas as to 
the intensity of cold surrounding this earth, and preventing exploration may 
be as far astray as are prevailing ideas as to Arctic coldness. 

Outer space may not be homogeneously cold, and may be zoned, or pathed, with 
warm areas. Everything of which one knows little has the guise of 
homogeneousness. If anybody has a homogeneous impression of anything, that 
is something that he is going to be surprised about. 

In the London Daily Mail, Jan. 29, 1924, Alan Cobham tells of one of his 
flights in India. "The air was quite warm, at 17,000 feet, but, as we 
descended to lower altitudes, it become gradually cooler, and, at 12,000 
feet it was icy cold." 

"The higher is colder" is a fixed idea, just as formerly was the supposition 
that the farther north the colder the atmosphere. Many reports by aviators 
and mountain climbers agree. Everybody who does anything out of the ordinary 
has to think that he [406/407] suffered. It is one of his compensations. But 
fixed ideas have a way of not staying fixed. 

I'd like to know how astronomers get around their idea that comets are 
mostly of a gaseous composition, if gases would solidify at the temperature 
in which they suppose those comets to be moving. 

But stationariness -- and what's the good of any of these speculations and 
collections of data, if by no conceivable agility could a returning explorer 
board a world scooting away from him at a rate of 19 miles a second? 

In early times, upholders of the idea of stationariness of this earth argued 
that a swiftly moving planet would leave its atmosphere behind. But it was 
said that the air partakes of the planet's motions. Nevertheless, it was 
agreed that, far from this earth's surface, air, if existing, would not 
partake of the motions. No motions of this earth away from them have ever 
been detected by aviators, but it is said that they have not gone up high 
enough. But will an aviator, starting northward, from somewhere near the 
equator, partaking we'll say of an axial swing of 1,000 miles an hour, 
making for a place where the swing is, we'll say, 800 miles an hour, be 
opposed by the westward motion that he started with, amounting to 200 miles 
an hour, at his destination? How would he ever get there, without 
consciously opposing this transverse force, from the beginning of his 
flight? In the winter of 1927-28, flying south, and then north, Col. 
Lindbergh reported no indication of different axial velocities. Whether this 
earth is stationary, or not, his experience was the same as it would be, if 
this earth were stationary. Or Admiral Byrd over the South Pole of this 
earth. From a point of this earth, theoretically of no axial motion, he flew 
northward. He flew over land, which, relatively to his progress, spun with 
in- [407/408] creasing velocity, according to the conventionalists. It 
cannot be said that the air around him was strictly partaking of this 
alleged motion, because gusts were blowing in various directions. Admiral 
Byrd started northward, from a point of no axial swing, partaking, himself, 
of no axial swing, and, as he travelled northward, the land underneath him 
did not swing away from him. The air was moving in various directions. 

There is another field of data. There have been occurrences in the sky 
which, according to conventionalists, destroy the idea of the stationariness 
of this earth, and prove its motions. Trying to prove anything is no attempt 
of mine. We shall have an expression upon luminous night clouds and meteor 

Rather often have been observed luminous night clouds, or night clouds that 
shine, presumably by reflected sunlight, but with the sun so far below the 
horizon of observers upon this earth that so to reflect its light the clouds 
would have to be 50 or 60 miles high, according to calculations. At this 
height, it is conceded, whatever air there may be does not partake of this 
earth's motions. If this earth be rotating from west to east, these distant 
clouds, not partaking of terrestrial motion, would seem to move, as left 
behind, from east to west. For an article upon this subject, see the New 
York Times, April 8, 1928.(2) 

The statement that such clouds do not partake, and do seem to move from east 
to west, has been published by conventionalists. To an observer in Central 
Europe, they should, as left behind, seem to move from east to west, at a 
rate of about 500 miles an hour by terrestrial rotation. The statement has 
been made that one of these clouds was seen to "move," from east to west, 
the way it should "move," at exactly the rate that should be. 

I make the statement that luminous night clouds [408/409] have moved north, 
south, east, and west, sometimes rapidly, and sometimes slowly. If somebody 
can, with data that will have to be accepted, show that, more than once, 
luminous night clouds have moved from east to west, at a rate of 500 miles 
an hour in a latitude where they "should" move at a rate of 500 miles an 
hour I shall be glad to regret that I have backed the wrong theory -- except 
that you can't down any theorist so easily or at all -- and up I'll bob, 
pointing out that this is another of the should's that shouldn't, and that 
the conventionalists forgot about compounding their 500 miles an hour with 
this earth's supposed orbital motion of 19 miles a second. 

All data upon this subject that I know anything of are interpretable as 
indications that this earth is stationary. For instance, look up, in Nature, 
and other English, and French, scientific journals, observations upon the 
great meteor train of Feb. 22nd, 1909.(3) This appearance was thought to be 
as high as any luminous night cloud has been thought to be. It was so high 
that it was watched in France and in England. Here was something, which, 
because it came from externality, was not partaking of any of this earth's 
supposed motions. Then it should have shot away from observers, by the 
compounding of two velocities. Whether it came to a stationary earth or not, 
it hung in the sky, as if it had come to a stationary earth, drifting 
considerably, but remaining in sight, about two hours. 

According to this datum -- and it is only one of many -- an explorer could 
go up from this earth 50 or 60 miles, and though, according to orthodox 
pronouncements, the earth would spin away from him, the earth would not spin 
away from him. 

There are data for thinking that aviators, who have gone up from the surface 
of the earth, as far as [409/410] they supposed they could go, have missed 
entering conditions that, instead of being cold, may even be warmish, and 
may exist all the way to a not so very remote shell of stars. Somebody may 
want to know how it is that, if there be such data, they are not commonly 
known. But somebody else, who has read this book at all carefully will not 
ask that question. 

An expression of mine is that all human achievements are compounded with 
objectives. Let someone go without food for a week, and that is a record of 
human endurance. Someone else makes his objective a week and a day, and 
achieves, in a dying condition. The extension goes on, and someone lives a 
month without food, and reaches the limit of human endurance. Aviators have 
set their minds upon surpassing the records of other aviators. It is 
possible that, with its objective a star, an expedition from this earth 
could, by merely reaching the limit of human endurance, arrive there. 

Current Literature, Sept., 1924 -- that, 50 miles up, the air is ten times 
as dense as used to be supposed, and that it is considerably warmer than at 
lower levels.(4) 

See Nature, Feb. 27, 1908, and following issues -- experiments with balloons 
that carried temperature-recording instruments.(5) According to Mr. W.H. 
Dines, about 30 balloons, which had been sent up, in Great Britain, in June, 
1907, had moved through increasing coldness, then coming to somewhat warmer 
regions. This change was recorded at a height of about 40,000 feet. 

Monthly Weather Review, 1923, page 316 -- that, away from this earth, the 
temperature falls only to a height of about 7 miles, where it is from 60 to 
70 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit).(6) "But from this altitude to as high as 
balloons have gone, which is about [410/411] 15 miles, the temperature has 
remained about the same." 

It is said that, according to observations upon light-effects of meteor 
trains, there are reasons for thinking that, in their zone of from 30 to 50 
miles above this earth's surface, conditions are mild, or not even freezing. 

According to data collected by the Naval Research Laboratory there is 
something, somewhere in the sky, that is deflecting electro-magnetic waves 
of wireless communications, in a way that is similar to the way in which 
sound waves are sent back by the dome of the Capitol, at Washington.(7) The 
published explanation is that there is an "ionized zone" around this earth. 
Those waves are rebounding from something. More was published in the 
newspapers, May 21, 1927. The existence of "a ceiling in the sky" had been 
verified by experiments at Carnegie Institution. Sept. 5, 1930 -- a paper 
read by Prof. E.V. Appleton, at a meeting of the British Association for the 
Advancement of Science.(8) The "ionized zone is not satisfactory.(9) "The 
subject is as puzzling as it is fascinating, and no decisive answer to the 
problem can be given at present." From Norway had been reported experiments 
upon short-wave transmissions, which had been reflected back to this earth. 
They had come back, as if from a shell-like formation, around this earth, 
not unthinkably far away. 

THE END [411] 


1. "Stefansson's eye see roses, not ice, in the Arctic." New York Herald 
Tribune, October 15, 1931, p.21. Stefansson states: "I since have lerned 
that the temperature rarely goes below 50 degrees [below zero] near the 
Pole. As a boy I lived in North Dakota and records for that time show that 
the thermometer on more than one occasion reached 55 degrees below zero." 

2. "Noctilucent cloud mystery studied in radio's behalf." New York Times, 
April 8, 1928, s.8 p.15 c.2-3. 

3. W.F. Denning."An extraordinary meteor." Knowledge, n.s., 6 (April 1909): 
146. "A brilliant meteor and its train." Nature, 79 (February 25, 1909): 
499. W.F. Denning. "The meteoric fireball of February 22 and its streak." 
Nature, 80 (March 4, 1909): 13-4. W.F. Denning. "The meteoric streak of 
February 22." Nature, 80 (March 11, 1909): 42. W.F. Denning. "Fireball of 
February 22." Nature, 80, 69. 

4. "Silence zones are found in the air." Current Literature, 77 (September 
1924): 357. 

5. W.H. Dines. "The isothermal layer of the atmosphere." Nature, 77 
(February 27, 1908): 390. Of some forty balloons sent aloft, since June of 
1907 (not all in the month of June), more than thirty were recovered and 
found to have passed through an isothermal layer. Charles Chree. "The 
isothermal layer of the atmosphere." Nature, 77 (March 12, 1908): 437. W.H. 
Dines. "The isothermal layer of the atmosphere." Nature, 77 (March 19, 
1908): 462. "The isothermal layer of the atmosphere." Nature, 77 (March 26, 
1908): 485-6. Charles Chree. "The isothermal layer of the atmosphere." 
Nature, 78 (July 30, 1908): 293. 

6. "The size of meteors." Monthly Weather Review, 51 (June 1923): 316. 
Correct quote: "...from this altitude as high as sounding balloons have 
gone...." For the original article: F.A. Lindemann, and, G.M.B. Dobson. "A 
theory of meteors, and the density and temperature of the outer atmosphere 
to which its leads." Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, s. A, 102 
(January 1923): 411-37. 

7. "Find radio roof encircles world and causes fading." New York Times, 
August 20, 1925, p. 1 c. 7 & p. 3 c. 4-5. An "ionized region, known as the 
"Kennelly-Heaviside layer," is referred to in this article, (not "zone"). 

8. E.V. Appleton. "Wireless echoes." Annual Report of the British 
Association for the Advancement of Science, 1930, 426-33, at 431-3. Some 
shortwave radio signals from Eindhoven, which were observed about three 
seconds after the original signal, were believed to be reflected from the 
moon onto Norway; however, other echoes were observed about thirty seconds 
after the original signal by Störmer in Norway, by van der Pol in the 
Netherlands, and by R.A.L. Borrow and Appleton in England. Störmer believed 
a toroidal space was produced by the earth's magnetic field, which deflected 
particles from the sun into auroral streams and which reflected shortwave 
radio signals. Another observation by a French expedition, which observed a 
solar eclipse at Paulo Condore, Indochina, in May of 1929, was of a radio 
echo received forty seconds after the original signal. Appleton asks: "Is it 
possible for the waves to have travelled actually in the (Kennelly-
Heaviside) layer for 20 seconds not having gone really far from the earth's 
surface?" Correct quote: "The matter is, indeed, as puzzling as it is 
fascinating. No decisive answer to the problem can yet be given." 

9. A line appears to be missing in this part of the text.