Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea. Blog, Internet resources, online reading groups, articles and interviews, Illuminatus! info.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Was the RAW gorilla story 'too good to check'?

 At the Boing Boing website, RAW fan Mark Frauenfelder mentions that he has been reading RAW's Cosmic Trigger 3 and decided to track down an anecdote in the book about a prankster in Uganda who tranquilized gorillas and then dressed them up in clown suits. Mark tries to track down the story and can't find any confirmation and finally decides that it might have been "too good to check." 

In the comments section, this remark from the current Fortean Times news editor might be relevant: "I can confirm that it is indeed from us, via the Coventry Telegraph. It is definitely one of the more unlikely stories we’ve run, but we are as much about the strangeness of the media as the strangeness of the world, so do run tales like this without going deeply into verification, but provide the source for those who feel motivated to follow up."

"Without going deeply into verification" is a good description for a great deal of Fortean material, apparently; see this discussion of The New Inquisition. 


quackenbush said...

As much as I love Bob, I've found it best not to 'fact check' him.

Eric Wagner said...

I think fact checking Bob's work seems like a good idea. I suspect he would have liked us to apply all of our intelligence and creativity when we approach his work.