"Although I don't make prophecies, I wouldn't be surprised if the index didn't continue upwards as a result of pre-millennial tension," said Joe McNally, associate editor of the Fortean Times.
Calling 1997 a bumper year for human weirdness, Fortean Times cited stories ranging from the mass suicide of Heaven's Gate members in the United States, to the cloned sheep Dolly, to panic over penis-stealing magicians in west Africa, to a welter of conspiracy theories and reported paranormal events surrounding the death of Princess Diana.
The 50th anniversary of the Roswell UFO incident in United States was seen as an impetus for numerous UFO reports in the world press.
Religious phenomena and cults also made a strong showing, Fortean Times said, with more of the same sure to come.
"There is a general feeling that something spectacular ought to happen in the year 2000 or perhaps the summer of 1999," said publisher Mike Dash, pointing to general public jumpiness as a possible driver of Virgin Mary sightings, UFO reports and proliferation of unusual cults.
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Original file name: CNI - Weirder in 1997
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