Fortean Times




After nine-year-old Jesse, an African grey parrot, was taken in by the RSPCA following his owner’s death, he exhibited signs of depression, plucking out his feathers and stopping talking, except to whisper “Goodbye” disconsola­tely to staff. Rehomed with animal behaviour specialist Rachel Leather he revived and began swearing and making farting noises instead. “The fact that he’s talking is a really good sign,” said Leather. BBC News, 4 Mar 2022.


In February, a screengrab from a CCTV video went viral in Malaysia as it allegedly showed an Orang Minyak breaking into a house in Shah Alam. Also known as the “Oily Man” the Minyak is, a legendary supernatur­al thief covered in oil who enters houses at night to abduct women (see FT287:12-15, 342:1721, 367:4-5). In fact, the photo just showed an entirely human naked man breaking into a house, although local police said they had no report of the incident. thestar., 1 Feb 2022.


After her husband, Kevin, 69, died, widow Julie Gittoes organised a builder to board her Worcesters­hire loft, but when they went up there, they found that it was packed with a secret taxidermy collection her husband had amassed over the years including a lion’s head, a white rabbit, badger, fox, antelope and a conger eel. Another 150 pieces turned up in their garage. “I think Kevin felt a bit guilty buying so many so he didn’t tell me. I’m amazed he could squirrel them away without me knowing,” said Julie. Metro, 10 Feb 2022.


When sea urchin diver Scott Thompson fell from his boat off the California coast, out of sight of the shore, he doubted he would survive as the boat’s motor was still running and he couldn’t swim fast enough to catch it. He started swimming towards an oil platform and found he had help in the form of a harbour seal that stayed with him for five hours until he reached it. “The seal would go underwater and he came up and nudged me… like, hey keep going dude,” Thompson said., 17 Feb 2022.

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