Mystery and Strange Phenomenon from the Fortean Times Part 3

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



Since 9-year-old Eugenio Rossi has been in a hospital in Nuoro, Sardinia, water has started to flow through the floor of whichever ward he is moved to, and that is five to date. Patients have had to be evacuated from each ward as the mysterious water seeped through the floor, and a hospital official confirmed that this only happened in wards where the boy was being treated for a liver complaint. Plumbers were unable to find any faults at all in the hospital water system. The boy is reported to be in a private room awaiting a visit from the hospital chaplain, who will conduct an exorcism. Meanwhile nurses mop the floor several times a day. (The Sun, 30 Nov. 72.)


For more than 30 years a little old lady in a Spanish village has gone without sleep. In that time she has never dozed for a second, nor gone to bed, but has still managed to stay healthy.

Now her husband's recent death and a growing nervous frustration have led an eminent surgeon to appeal to specialists in London and New York to help her.

The sad case of Senora Ines Fernandez, 57, started on a warm afternoon on July 8, 1943. She was standing at the door of her cottage in Sierra de Fuentes, near Caceres, southwest Spain, watching a religious procession. "I suddenly yawned and a searing pain went through my head," she says, "and since then I have never slept. I have taken thousands of pills and medicines and consulted many doctors, but nothing has been of any use.

"There were long agonizing nights sitting in my armchair next to the bed watching my husband sleep soundly. Now he's gone and I can't stand the terrifying loneliness of the night."

Senora Fernandez always changes into a white dressing gown at night--but only to sit in the chair with her feet on a stool clutching a rosary. She used to embroider and read, but now even that is gone because of her poor eyesight. "I just pray for the morning when daylight comes and I can do my work." She runs a nursery from her home and takes in 20 children a day.

In her 30 years without sleep she has been treated by Dr. Padios Abril, a neurosurgeon. He says: "I have never known a case like this. I now think an operation would be useful, but it would have to be in England or America, where such specialist clinics exist."

The doctor describes her condition as chronic cholecystitis and total insomnia. He said the sleep section of the brain appears to be permanently impaired.

Robin Chapman, science correspondent, writes: "A London doctor said that cases of this kind were extremely rare. The cause was probably of psychological origin rather than due to any physical illness. But it could be cured by a brain operation." (Sunday Express, 26 Aug. 73.)

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