Mystery and Strange Phenomenon from the Fortean Times Part 2

A collection of mysteries and strange phenomena from the English magazine the Fortean Times.



One of the few occasions where we have received notes on an incident from more than one person, was on the rescue, last summer, of a woman by a turtle, in the Philippines. Mrs. Candelaria Villanueva, 52, was on board the Aloha when it caught fire and sank 600 mi. south of Manila. She said she had been floating for more than 12 hours (with a life jacket) when a giant sea turtle "with a head as big as that of a dog," appeared beneath her. She was spotted on June 4, having been in the water 48 hours, by the crew of a Philippine navy vessel, Kalantia, who thought she was clinging to an oildrum. "Someone threw her a life ring. The moment she transferred her hold to the ring, the drum sank. We did not realize it was a giant turtle until we started hauling up the woman, for the turtle was beneath her apparently propping her up. It even circled the area twice before disappearing into the depths of the sea, as if to reassure itself that its former rider was in good hands." One report added a detail not mentioned by others. Mrs. Villanueva said that another, tiny turtle climbed on her back. "The small turtle bit me gently every time I felt drowsy. Maybe it wanted to prevent me from submerging my head in the water and drowning." (Compiled from: News of the World, 28 July 74; Knoxville [Tenn.] News-Sentinel, 24 June 74; Minneapolis [Minn.] Star, 26 June 74; Daily Mirror, 24 June 74.)


A new genus of sponge, 3--4 ft. tall and shaped like vases, are thriving in the Pacific, just outside San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. 47,500 barrels of radioactive waste were dumped in the area 25 years ago, and the plutonium content of the seabed is 25 times what was predicted. Robert S. Dyer, discoverer of the sponges and an oceanographer, said he would "have a hard time justifying" the idea of giant mutant sponges caused by the radioactivity. He must be the only one who would...! (Houston [Tex.] Chronicle, 16 Sept. 76.)


Dolores Goodyear and family have been flushed out of their home in Leek St., Leeds, England. Ever since the family moved into their council maisonette 3 years ago, the toilet has driven them clean round the bend by repeatedly flushing itself and flooding their home. The family have been rehoused while workmen attempt to solve the riddle. Sentient malice is hinted at in hushed tones: "For no reason at all it would start flushing, and not know when to stop. It has ruined carpets, lifted tiles, and made the house very damp. It's been a nightmare." All the obvious causes seem to have been explored, and so the plumbers will resort to their more drastic arts.... If thy throne offends thee, pluck it out. (I said drastic, not dramatic, you dope.) (Daily Mirror, 1 June 74.) It crosses our mind about the possibility of a connection with poltergeistery, and ends with such a suggestive note. See Fort's books for others.

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