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Fresh Fascination Focuses on the Fayette Factor
March 17, 2004
by Loren Coleman
The Fayette Factor has been examined for years by collectors of Forteana, but
recent attention may be the highest in years.
One of the first to think about this special name and its link to phenomenal
events was William Grimstad, who would write of it in his essay, "Fateful
Fayette," (Fortean Times No. 25, Spring 1978).
Since then, several items on this lexilink between Fayette (as well as its
related forms - Lafayette, La Fayette, Fayetteville) and high strangeness have
been published. In his book,
Weird America (New York: EP Dutton, 1978), Jim Brandon (a pen name
for Bill Grimstad) mentioned several Fayette hot spots but did not dwell on
them. In exchanges with Bill, a small group of Forteans discussed the Fayette
Factor privately throughout the late 1970s. It was not
until Brandon's The Rebirth of Pan: Hidden Faces of the American Earth Spirit
(Firebird Press, 1983) and Mysterious America (Boston: Faber and Faber, 1983)
that more in-depth analyses of the Fayette "coincidences" seriously occurred.
These examinations were followed by updates and other comments in
Mysterious America: The Revised Edition (NY: Paraview, 2001), and
Mothman and Other Curious Encounters (NY: Paraview, 2002),
Furthermore, the appearance of widely available material on the Fayette Factor
started routinely being posted online during the 1990s.
Attention to other links to other locations, such as my discovery that LaGrange
is also an associated hot name, apparently due to the fact the name Chateau de
LaGrange was the French home of the Marquis de Lafayette, evolved during the
last twenty years of writings on the subject.
The cities, towns, and counties across the United States, which are the Fortean
hotspots linked to the Fayette Factor, are tied to the renamed Masonic lodges
and affiliated sites that the Marquis de Lafayette visited on his grand tour of
the country in 1824-1825. His visits were highly ritualized happenings, in which
he is involved with laying many cornerstones. The locations where he is taken to
visit are a virtual roadmap of the "special places" in this land. For example,
in 1825, The Marquis de Lafayette, on board the ship (please note!)
"Enterprise," visited the Cahokia mounds, and the significant Bloody Island,
which then was so large that half of the Mississippi flowed east of it.
(Intriguingly, Lafayette returned to France in 1825, on the day after his
birthday, demonstrating a keen eye on the calendar and a desire to celebrate
September 6th in America.)
Many Masonic locations have been linked beyond the easily recognized Lafayette
name to a broader Freemasonry focus to mystic events and violent happenings.
Some are very subtle. One man's journey, Lee Harvey Oswald, from his office
across from Lafayette Square, New Orleans, would lead to the most infamous
Masonic sites in the country. This vivid example of deathly weirdness is Dealey
Plaza, where JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963. Dallas' Dealey Plaza is
the location of the state of Texas's first Masonic temple.
This extended harmonic game appears to have many Lafayette and Masonic
Like everything else, there are cycles of interest in the Fayette Factor. We
appear to be in a high phase of interest right now. In the UFO Roundup
newsletter, Volume 9, Number 6, February 11, 2004, editor Joseph Trainor did a
flashback column on "The Fayette Factor," which Jeff Rense of Rense.com,
Wisconsin Fortean Richard Hendricks of
The Anomalist, and
other websites have reproduced.
Now, due to all of this 2004 publicity on the Fayette Factor, it has been
mentioned in the mainstream media outright, a highly unusual situation. Richard
Hendricks discovered that a Kentucky newspaper published the following short
comment, based almost entirely on Trainor's revisiting the issue:
Sunday, Mar 14, 2004
The Lexington Herald-Leader
'The Fayette factor'
It was already notable for being a Friday the 13th. But some saw more in the
Adams Lane shootings that day.
Two days before the shootings,-Ufoinfo.com, a Web site devoted to the
paranormal, republished a tract about "the Fayette factor" -- what some describe
as the abnormally high incidence of paranormal events that occur in places named
for the Marquis de Lafayette, a founding father and Freemason.
On Feb. 11, the Web site published examples of Fayette Factor events -- haunted
houses in Fayette, Mo., and Fayetteville, N.C. Bigfoot monsters in Lafayette
County, Ark., and Fayetteville, Tenn. The slashing of Abraham Lincoln's
secretary of state, William Seward, in Lafayette Square -- AKA "Tragedy Square"
-- on the same night the president was assassinated.
And then there's the really eerie one: On July 3, 1977, a fellow named Gary Rock
set fire to his cabin in Fayetteville, Pa. When firefighters arrived, he shot
two of them, killing one and wounding the other. He also killed a neighbor.
Should we be surprised in a year in which a sniper haunts the Fayette County,
Ohio interstate, or Lafayette, Louisiana's St. Paul School Social Sciences Fair
had juniors Chris Brown and Robert Egnatchik placing first in anthropology with
"Bigfoot" that the whole Fayette Factor would be getting
conscious press attention?
The Marquis de Lafayette died 170 years ago on May 20th, but the Fayette Factor
remains alive, well, and hot in 2004.