I have been haunted for years now about finding a book that was in my school library in the mid-to-late '80s. It was a compendium of various strange phenomena and had illustrations that went along with it.

I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to track this thing down and during one such hunt today I found the book Strange But True by David Duncan. It is similar but I do no think it is the book I am looking for. To my best recollection, this book had a yellow cover. It was probably printed in the '70s or perhaps the '60s. Anyone out there know what this might be?

  • What legends were covered? Softcover? Hardcover? Illustrations? Photographs? Line drawings? Oil paintings? Was it just one region's legends or was it global?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Feb 20, 2020 at 19:55
  • I recommend going to scifi.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/9335/… to find prompts to expand your question with details that will help us help you.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Feb 20, 2020 at 19:56
  • It had what I remember to be rather crude looking illustrations, which was part of the appeal. It was almost certainly soft cover. I remember there were various urban legends and some bigfoot stories and some alien-related stories.
    – eschaton47
    Feb 20, 2020 at 20:12
  • Library books (especially 40-60 years ago) were often rebound for durability, so the color of the cover isn't necessarily much help in your search.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Feb 20, 2020 at 20:23
  • Did it have the title....the word "Phenomena!".....in multicolored spinning text on the front cover? I remember that exact book, and it sounds like you are describing, but it is being very elusive to find!
    – PhasedOut
    Feb 20, 2020 at 22:24

2 Answers 2


This sounds very much like one or another of the works of Charles Fort. Published from 1909 through 1932, and collected together, reprinted in various bindings, and often quoted or plagiarized, these books led to the term "Fortean" to describe something too strange to be readily believed, even if reported as absolute truth.

Based on a quick search, it appears all five of his books (The Outcast Manufacturers, 1909, The Book of the Damned, 1919, New Lands, 1923, Lo!, 1931, and Wild Talents, 1932) may be still available, likely in ebook form. It was common to find library-bound hard cover copies of these (especially Lo!) in libraries into the 1970s, at least in small towns where the library might not turn over its collection rapidly.

These would technically be off topic here, because they were published as non-fiction, but the subject matter makes them seem very much like SF/Fantasy.

  • Fort's books are available from Dover Publications in physical form. Except "Outcast", I never heard of that one. Feb 20, 2020 at 21:09
  • Just looked into it. Its definitely not those but thank you!
    – eschaton47
    Feb 20, 2020 at 21:12

What the heck, I'll write an answer, I considered them "stories".

Possibly Strangely Enough! by C. B. Colby. I bought the abridged paperback version at a Scholastic book fair in the early 1970s.

There were interior illustrations...

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and some of the hardback covers are at least yellow-ish.

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(cover images from Amazon)

  • 1
    This could well be it! I just ordered a copy, so we'll see! Thank you!
    – eschaton47
    Feb 21, 2020 at 13:52

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