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|From Fancyclopedia 2, ca. 1959|
|(Fort:Piper) On the morning of 25 November 1809, Benjamin Bathurst, a British diplomatic agent in Austria, was having his carriage harnessed up; "he walked around the horses" to the other side -- out of the line of sight of a few witnesses -- and was never seen again. This happening is now (since H. Beam Piper used it in the story of quoted title) a Fortean event practically on a par with the Marie Celeste in renown, and indeed is almost a classic example of a Fortean happening: a well-authenticated inexplicable occurrence whose superficial explanation (kidnapping by French agents) breaks down on the fact that there is no evidence any such abduction ever was carried out.|
Bathurst’s disappearance is addressed in numerous other sf stories:
- Eric Frank Russell's 1939 novel Sinister Barrier mentions Bathurst as a victim of the Vitons.
- The Lurker at the Threshold, a 1945 horror novel by August Derleth and H. P. Lovecraft, mentions the disappearance of Bathurst along with other Fortean phenomena.
- The 1964 novel Time Echo by Lionel Roberts (a pseudonym of Lionel Fanthorpe) has Bathurst accidentally transported to the future.
- In A. Bertram Chandler's 1964 "Into the Alternate Universe," the protagonists' spaceship accidentally falls into "a crack between the universes," where they see the forever floating body of a man who seems to be Bathurst.
- Avram Davidson's 1965 Masters of the Maze has Bathurst as one of group who penetrated to the center of a mysterious "Maze" traversing all of space and time.
- In the 1967 short story “A Toy for Juliette” by Robert Bloch, Bathurst is transported into the distant future.
- In Harlan Ellison's 1992 short story "The Man Who Rowed Christopher Columbus Ashore," the protagonist Levendis destroys all remaining evidence explaining the disappearances of Bathurst, Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Hoffa and Ambrose Bierce.
- Kim Newman's 2005 short story "The Gypsies in the Wood" mentions that the Diogenes Club investigated Bathurst’s disappearance.
- Bathurst's disappearance is also mentioned briefly in Robert A. Heinlein's short story "Elsewhen", Murray Leinster's novel The Other World, Poul Anderson's novel Operation Chaos, Michael F. Flynn's "The Forest of Time," Joel Rosenberg's Guardians of the Flame series, Simon Hawke's TimeWars series, Jane Jensen's novel Dante's Equation, Jack L. Chalker's Changewinds Trilogy and Anthony Boucher's 1942 Rocket to the Morgue.
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