Last update: 19 August 2017

The Forteana Gallery displays rare objects related to fortean phenomena, especially documents of historical significance associated with famous collectors. All relate to parapsychology (e.g., spiritualism & magic books from the E.A. Dearn library), cryptozoology (e.g., the "Kubuyuruk" archive of explorer J. Welzl) and ufology (e.g., UFO sketches in a scrapbook). This gallery is still under construction.

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H. Barlow's scrapbook on ufology and forteana, strange rains, out-of-place objects, UFO sightings, pigmy flints

1. The Edwin A. Dearn Collection of magic
From China to Australia
First half of the 20th century

"The Supernatural" by Weatherly & Maskelyne (1891) from the Edwin A. Dearn (1892-1980) collection of magical works and apparatus.

Ghost sightings, spirit photography, and their debunking by famous magicians

Edwin A. Dearn (1892-1980), an intimate friend of Max Malini, amateur magician and member of The Magic Circle in London, was an avid collector of magic memorabilia, books, and ephemera. He lived in Birmingham, England and became interested in magic in 1913. He then moved to Shanghai, China, performing there for about 25 years (incl. ventriloquism) and entertaining many world-famous magicians in his home. He was in constant communication with fellow collectors around the world (incl. Houdini) and his collection contained both magical works (2,000 items) and apparatus. In the early 1950s, he fled China to escape communist rule, moving to Sydney, Australia, where he remained until his death (source: Magicpedia). The Tricottet Collection targeted books from Dearn's library on the study of spiritualism. Those references provide a first-hand account of the debunking of ghost sightings, spirit photographs, etc.: Lionel Weatherly (1852-1940) was an eminent British psychiatrist and John Nevil Maskelyne (1839-1917) a magician, member of The Magic Circle, who tried to dispel the notion of supernatural powers. On Wikipedia's page on anomalistic psychology, we read that Weatherly and Maskelyne wrote "The Supernatural?" in 1891 [1] to offer rational explanations for apparitions, paranormal and religious experiences and Spiritualism. Harry Price (1881-1948) was a British psychic researcher and author, who formed the National Laboratory of Psychical Research in 1926. In the 1920s and early 1930s Price investigated the medium Rudi Schneider (1908-1957), who claimed he could levitate objects. He unmasked the fraud in his 1930 book (i.e., minute-by-minute record on each of the sittings, with technical information on the electric system of controlling the medium) [2]. Dearn's library was of course mostly composed of books on magical tricks, many obtained directly from his magician friends [3].

Figures (E.A. Dearn): [1] Weatherly & Maskelyne, 1891 (presentation copy: L. Brough) | [2] Price, 1930 (association copy: E.A. Dearn) | [3] Mulholland, 1945 (association copy: E.A. Dearn)

WANTED: Magical apparatus from the E.A. Dearn collection | 1926 "The E. A. Dearn Collection" article from "The Town Traveller" (Shanghai magazine)

2. The "Kubuyuruk" of explorer J. Welzl
North Pole
Early 20th century

A unique sketch of one of the legendary "Kubuyuruk" Eskimo pygmies, or "Mars People", by Jan Welzl (c. 1911-1930's).

Before the days of flying saucers were the "Mars People"

The "Kubuyuruk" (pronounced juh-buh-YUR-uhk, originally "Koburujuk" in Welzl, 1933:330) is an extraterrestrial humanoid claimed by Czech explorer Jan Welzl (1868-1948) to have been discovered near the North Pole in the early twentieth century [1-2]. The discovery was supposedly made in 1911, during an expedition towards the North Pole. At 86° North, the members of the expedition found a small colony of little people living in small holes, dressed as Eskimos but of extraordinary facial appearance (terms "slating eyes" and "tapering heads" used in Welzl (1933:325-327)) [3-4]. Communication was limited to signs since they were unable to understand their language, which did not ressemble any Eskimo dialect. However Kubuyuruk seemed to be the name that they gave to themselves. According to Welzl, these strange individuals later on soon departed, apparently in some sort of vehicle which rose rapidly into the sky (Buddhue, 1970:25). We learn elsewhere that they would have arrived on a meteor from Mars (Millman, 2007:312). This story and the remaining existing documentation in the form of an old drawing are unique in many ways. This account of extraterrestrial humanoids visiting Earth was made well before the 1947 Roswell UFO incident or the 1968 "ancient astronaut" myth of Erich von Däniken. The Tricottet Collection sketch [1] explicitly refers to some "Mars People", "dead thousands years ago" and "discovered frozen in the ice". While Welzl does not imply an extraterrestrial origin in his 1933 book, the Welzl-Buddhue conversation about extraterrestrials and the Buddhue sketch [2] date back to c. 1930. It is likely that The Tricottet Collection sketch is from the same period.

Figures: [1] Drawing (J. Welzl) | [2] Article (Buddhue, 1970) | [3] Welzl, 1933 | [4] Photographs (J. Welzl)