At The Con Saturday
Text by Andy Hooper
Somewhere between Roseanne reruns and Star Trek episodes is a paranormal world full of para-rational people: welcome to Strange Faniverse -- the program item that looks beyond the everyday, to the slipstream of the unknown. Join us as we reach beyond the boundaries of common sense to plumb the vast hidden world of unexplained fannish phenomena.
The Mysterious LoC
The unfortunate story of how the post office lost the 1981 Science Fiction Five-Yearly is a familiar one to many fans, but a cryptic postscript to the affair is known to only a few. Nearly two years after the ill-fated mailing, Dan Steffan received a postcard bearing a picture of a small stylized golden stoat from an unknown museum collection. The back of the card featured a stamp of unknown device and a cancellation ring which read "Pyst, Vullnavia, 3-10-74." The notation "Science Fiction Five-Yearly #7," care of Dan's address, had been inscribed with an old-fashioned steel-nibbed pen along with the words "Nice Paper." The location of Vullnavia has never been determined.
Medical Science remains baffled by the mysterious case of Brian Earl Brown, who, following oral surgery in 1981, began to suffer from symptoms which were first diagnosed as tinnitis, but which Brown later described as "like an FM jazz station just slightly out of tune." The odd harmonic reception became more intense, until audiology specialists at Wayne State University were able to hear, and actually record, nearly an hour of performance by Charles Mingus by taping a microphone to Brown's jaw. These broadcasts were never correlated to the programming of any known station. In late 1982 the sound became less distinct, and punctuated by long periods listener pledge drives, until the broadcasts ceased altogether in 1983.
Repeated sightings of the "Skunk-Ape," a midwestern variant of Bigfoot, in the vicinity of Indian Lake, Ohio in the early fifties excited considerable speculation in True, Fate and similar magazines. These reports were cited by numerous writers in the Sasquatch game for several decades until recent research by graduate students at Ohio State proved that the sightings all coincided with the dates of Midwestcon, and may have been slightly hysterical reactions to the sight of Bob Tucker wandering the grounds with an empty ice bucket in the small hours of the morning.
Ringleader: Lenny Bailes
Field Trip: Mount Diablo
(l to r): Ron Bushyager, Kim Hewett, Jerry Kaufman, Vicki Rosenzweig, Carrie Root, Linda McAllister, Rich McAllister, Alan Rosenthal, Allen Baum. (Photo: Bill Humphries)
We can see Mount Diablo from the Con Suite. (Photo: Karen Schaffer)
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