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You Are Sleeping... You Do Not Want To Believe
May 20, 2011 6:28 AM   Subscribe

The Unexplained (subtitled Mysteries of Mind, Space, & Time) was a popular partwork magazine that came out in the UK in the early 80s. It explored various Fortean phenomenal like UFOs, ghosts and spontaneous human combustion but also scientific 'mysteries' such as black holes.

The first issue came with a flexidisk 'BREAKTHROUGH: An amazing experiment in Electronic Communication with the dead' (1, 2) featuring examples of EVP (Electronic voice phenomenon) Raudive voices. Specters Of The Spectrum. A sample from the recording was later used in 'Rubber Ring' by The Smiths.
posted by fearfulsymmetry (6 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
I found one of the issues of this in a box full of my dad's old physics magazines recently. There is a scan of it here on my site, if that's okay to link here.
posted by dng at 6:45 AM on May 20, 2011


Warren Ellis has a series of posts entitled "spirit tracks". They feature, in passing, The Unexplained.

This is a very short book being written in several times at once. I’m writing it in May of 2011, but I’m also writing it in January 2011. In January 2011, it is taking the form of a talk. I’m rewriting it in February 2011, just before giving the talk, in Berlin. Bits of it are being written in 2010, and at those points I have no idea that they’re part of any kind of book.

The skeleton is the keynote talk I gave at a conference about the emergent digital nature of cities. Everything else is… everything else I was interested in at the time. It is a book about how everything is electric. It is also a book about cities, and a book about broadcasting, and a book about science fiction. And it is a book about ghosts.

The chances are good that it will make no sense at all.

posted by zamboni at 7:10 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man I loved the combination of creepiness and pseudoscience in this magazine as a kid. It hit the sweet spot for this 11 year old boy like you wouldn't believe. Playing that flexidisc of dead Ukrainians muttering bizarre phrases gave me delicious heebyjeebies. Found wavs of it on an old tripod site years ago and so have had it on my ipod for years too. Excellent for shuffle (off this mortal coil) mode.
posted by merocet at 8:17 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Holy Cow! I was a kid when this came out, and was really into science and space, but then I learnt about: voices of the dead coming through the radio, ESP, telepathy, Telekinesis, Spontaneous Human Combustion (which scared me silly), The Bermuda Triangle, UFOs. I remember being entranced and frightened and wondered why it wasn't in any of the "Atlas of the Earth" type books we had.

Wow, you have taken me on a right trip down memory lane. Kinda thanks I guess.
posted by marienbad at 9:53 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Given that the most susceptible age for this stuff is between 10 and 15, I'm too old for "The Unexplained".

I got all my "true-story" creepy thrills from Frank Edwards books: Strange People; Strange World; Stranger than Science; Strangest of All.
posted by marsha56 at 10:57 AM on May 20, 2011


Yeah the mag was huge when I was a kid... coming out when Arthur C Clarke's Mysterious World was on the telly covering the same stuff. I remember listening to the flexi-disk on my mate's ancient tiny inherited record player and it was pretty much terrifying at the time. Seemed to remember there were also a set of Zener cards with another issue and I remember my friends testing each other for ESP (I did quite well but I'm still waiting for my full Carrie powers to kick in)

My mate collected the whole thing over three years (which was an eternity when you're a kid). He'd moved away by then but I heard the final issues were of somewhat of a lesser quality than when it began... ie an article about a bloke whose spade kept disappearing from his shed and his eight year old son swearing he knew nothing about it.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:03 PM on May 20, 2011


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