Sometimes, as Freud is supposed to have said, "a cigar is just a cigar" and quite often what appears to be strange and mysterious turns out to be nothing of the sort. As the immportal Half Man Half Biscuit once sang "James Dean was just a careless driver, and Marilyn Monroe was just a slag". But it is unarguable that both within the world in general and within that rarified subset containing those folks who are interested in forteana, there are times when groups of apparently weird events that may or may not be connected grab the public imagination.
It is the way that people get enthusiastic about a subject that interests me as much as the events themselves. The most notable such series of events took place in August 1997 following the death of Diana Princess of Wales. The UFO buffs, conspiracy theorists and secret historians had a field day. Even dear old Margaret "The Divine King in England" Murray got dragged kicking and screaming into the fray when it was suggested that Di was a living sacrifice to someone or other.
Her driver was drunk. Get over it.
But the aetiology of the mythology that built up around Princess Diana's death is and was fascinating. On a smaller scale one can see the beginnings of a similar process taking place with the stories of bird and fish die-offs around the world. The words 'sacrifice' and 'occult significance' are already beginning to be heard, and amongst the Natural History community, the significance of these events, and any common cause for them, are already being hotly debated.
So, forgive me, but I shall carry on posting stories relating to these events as and when I get them. Not only is the fact that so many animals dying at once of great concern, but the human response to these incidents is - to me at least - absolutely fascinating.