Lionel Fanthorpe

Lionel Fanthorpe is a retired Anglican priest and the author and co-author of popular fiction and non-fiction works on occult and paranormal phenomena. He has been president of the British UFO Research Association (BUFORA) and is president of the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP).

Life and Career

Robert Lionel Fanthorpe was born in Dereham, Norfolk. He worked as a local reporter, studied education and theology, and later acquired a BA in arts and social sciences from the Open University. He has worked as a schoolteacher, holding posts as headmaster of Glyn Derw High School in Cardiff and director of media studies at the Cardiff Academy Sixth Form College,1 and has held courses in psychology and the sociology of unexplained phenomena.2 He was ordained as a non-stipendiary Anglican priest in the Church of Wales in 1987.

Fanthorpe has been active in the field of paranormal studies, holding the presidencies of BUFORA and ASSAP. He has presented television programmes, including Channel 4’s

Fortean TV and taken part in many others. He has lectured for ASSAP and the Society for Psychical Research (SPR). He has written extensively on supernatural themes, including fantasy works dealing with psi concepts, some co-authored with his wife Patricia and sometimes using pseudonyms.3


The Lionel Fanthorpe Archive is on extended loan to Cardiff Metropolitan University and is curated within the Library Services Special Collections based at the University’s Llandaff campus.

Selected Works


March of the Robots (pseudonym Leo Brett) (1961). London: Badger Books.

Secrets of Rennes le Chateau (1992). York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser Inc.

Death: The Final Mystery (2000). Toronto: Dundurn Press.

The World’s Most Mysterious Objects (2002). Toronto: Dundurn Press.

Mysteries and Secrets of Time (2007). Toronto: Dundurn Group.

The Paranormal Files Vol 1: The Journal of Strange and Curious Tales from Around the World (2020). South Glamorgan, Wales: Walters and Jones Productions.


Godfella – Discussion with Joe McNally (1998). Fortean Times 107, 34-36.

The mysterious power of the lance of Longinus (2002). Fanthorpe’s Quarterly Digest of the Paranormal 2/1. 25-27.

The body in the barn (2003). ASSAP News 93, 3.

The mind-bending spoon-bending controversy (2003). ASSAP News 96, 3.

Web site

For further information see

Melvyn Willin


May, A. (2013). Fanthorpe’s Fortean fiction. Fortean Times 297, 39-41.


  • 1. Fanthorpe (2024), private correspondence.
  • 2. Fanthorpe (2024), private correspondence.
  • 3. May (2013).