Bad news for bumbershoots
Rains of frogs and rains of fish and strange spacecraft and spontaneous combustion and poltergeists. Oh my.
Charles Fort, an eccentric writer who earned the admiration of Theodore
Dreiser and the scorn of H.L. Mencken, catalogued such signs and
wonders in a series of books published in the 1920s and 1930s. Fort
introduced the world to events he termed "the damned," these being
persistently reported phenomena that science could not explain. Author
Steinmeyer asserts that the best known of the Fortean works, Lo!,
"formed the template for discussing the paranormal" in future works on
flying saucers, Atlantis, the Bermuda Triangle, and in sensational
best-sellers such as Erich van Daniken's 1968 Chariots of the Gods?
Steinmeyer is an author, a magic historian and a famous designer of
illusions, most notably David Copperfield's "Vanishing Statue of
Liberty." Here, he's pulled a trick that's the opposite of vanishing.
The Fort he reveals seems genius and crank in equal measure.