Whether you were a fan of the show or not, if you grew up in the United States you are likely familiar with the X-files in one way or another. The premise is about paranormal FBI investigators who stumble across all sorts of unusual monsters. While some might think the only influences on this show might have come from earlier television shows like “The Twilight Zone,” or “Night Gallery,” the Forteon Society would suggest there is another father of real life x-files. Much of this work of fiction could be seen as an extension of the work done by Charles Hoy Fort, a researcher and writer on a mission to explain the inexplicable.
Born in 1874 and growing up with an abusive father, Charles Fort had a less-than-perfect life from the get-go. Perhaps as a result of his upbringing, he quickly developed a distrust for authority and as he grew up that turned into a search for uncovering truth where he believed authority might have otherwise tried to hide it. Up until his death in 1932 (age 57), he worked to find unexplained occurrences wherever he could and tried to explain them to the best of his ability. Due to his apparent obsession with the paranormal and belief in UFOs and other unexplained phenomena, many would consider him to be the father of modern studies in that area. After all, he wrote more than a few books about real life x-files and even has a following with those who consider themselves to be Forteans. So, what exactly did he look for?
In general, Fort looked for the kind of stories that would make one question reality. He looked to find instances where there were no good scientific explanations and worked to explain them through the supernatural. “The Book of the Damned,” which was originally published in 1919, was one of his early work examples. In it, he outlined a variety of strange events with a common theme suggesting scientists of the day were more interested in providing a quick explanation whether it was true or not. He suggested many so-called researchers actually just looked for whatever (often thin) evidence they could find to support a theory and ignored everything else.
One example he pointed to was the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa. After this eruption, scientists began to point out all sorts of strange colors and effects in the skies, bizzare sightings of the sun, moon and even other debris in the skies. While it might seem plausible during the eruption, his research actually showed that scientists at that time backdated some of the occurrences prior to the eruption and blamed it on that event. They also continued for more than a year after to blame falling ash or obscured skies on Krakatoa, a notion that Fort felt was absurd.
Though it is easy to dismiss most of his ideas as the ravings of a madman, there is some small truth to what he suggests. While the scientific method is the best way to explain phenomena today, there are certainly times where it could be argued scientists take the easy way out. If they are going about proving a certain hypothesis, aren’t they going to subconsciously skew the results to support their initial assumption? More than this, there are certain things that people just can’t explain, so maybe there are really aliens holding the puppet strings.