Friday, 7 June 2013
Ref Charles Fort Institute
For most of his thinking life, Bob has been interested in the philosophical and psychological questions posed by reports of anomalous phenomena and experiences. He was born in Deolali, India (in 1945, if you must know) - an R&R station for shell-shocked British Army soldiers in WW2 which gave our language the useful term 'doolally'' which probably accounts for many of his eccentricities.
Bob discovered the books of Charles Fort, when reading Astounding Science Fiction as a teenager, in which its famous editor John W. Campbell would encourage his writers - such as Robert Heinlein, Charles Harness, Theodore Sturgeon, etc - to expand on Fort's themes. Fort also popped up in Galaxy, when the naturalist Willy Ley wrote such inspiring essays on what we now call cryptozoology. Everything Bob heard about Fort attracted him. When he went to his first SF convention (Worcester, early 1970s), he found all four of the Ace paperback editions and was promptly lost in them, missing the rest of the Con.
Bob was encouraged to begin Fortean Times (FT) in 1973 by Paul Willis (of INFO), Paul Screeton (of Ley Hunter) and Steve Moore (I Ching specialist) - so blame them! - and edited it for 28 years.
Bob's had a hand in many pies, has eaten too many of them, written books and too many articles to count. He helped found ASSAP (1981) and the Charles Fort Institute (1998). Now semi-retired from FT, Bob wants to devote more time to enriching the 'apparatus' of forteana by working on projects like the CFI, the legendary Encyclopedia Forteana, and his own digital picture library (signs-and-wonders.com).
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