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Partworks (Orbis) The Unexplained

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  • Partworks (Orbis) The Unexplained

    Has anybody come across this Partworks series from the 1980's? It was originally published by Orbis in single magazine format between 1980 and 1983 and ran for 157 issues.
    There seem to have been a number of reprints throughout the 1980s and 1990s both by Orbis and by other publishing companies. The reprints varied in format from multiple-volumed editions to heavily- edited single compilation encyclopedias.

    I'm wondering if there is anybody who knows a bit about this series and has compiled a list of the various reprints, updates and formats of this material? I'd be keen to track some of it down (in addition to the original 157 magazines)

    I know that the original magazines are still available to buy online but I'm wondering if there is are digital copies of the series for sale somewhere. I'm sure that there must be an avid collector somewhere that has scanned the material and created a digital archive.
    Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as Gods. Cats have never forgotten this.

  • #2
    Re: Partworks (Orbis) The Unexplained

    I use to collect The Unexplained in 1980. I think it was a weekly issue. I collected them for about one and a half years. Classics I recall is the pictures of fairies.
    There is a 10 minute Witness episode on bb4 radio 4 called The fairy photos, about apparent pictures taken of fairies in 1917. It has now been explained, but I will not reveal it till next week, as you may want to listen to the podcast.

    Another issue was about Nitinol. A futuristic metal that will have a memory.
    Now there is a shape memory alloy Nitinol.

    Unlikely that they would become Ebooks.

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    • #3
      Re: Partworks (Orbis) The Unexplained

      I have the complete original collection in the attic, published in 1980; some nice articles in them and mostly in full colour too. Here's some pics.



      Attached Files

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      • #4
        Re: Partworks (Orbis) The Unexplained

        Very nice. Beautiful pictures. You have the binders also. I'm hoping to buy a full set myself down the line (I've seen them advertised here and there) With so many ppl scanning their various collections of comic books, magazine sets etc and selling the digital sets online I'm hoping that someone out there will have scanned this set.
        Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as Gods. Cats have never forgotten this.

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        • #5
          Re: Partworks (Orbis) The Unexplained

          I only bought a few of the collected volumes that Orbis put out in the mid 80s. Creatures from Elsewhere was one with articles on Bigfoot, lake monsters, giant birds etc.

          Didn't The Unexplained include a flexidisc with one issue of EVPs?

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          • #6
            Re: Partworks (Orbis) The Unexplained

            I'm pretty sure the original 157 single magazine set had 13 binders. (like the one pictured) This is the set I am most interested in.

            I think Orbis did a later (bound) 26 volume-book edition. I'm not sure if the articles were edited/updated.

            There is another 1992 edition which possibly has less books in the series (these had about 400 pages in each volume and were hardback books)

            I know at least another two single Encyclopedia one-off books also which seem to be a 'Best of' collection.
            Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as Gods. Cats have never forgotten this.

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            • #7
              Re: Partworks (Orbis) The Unexplained

              I believe there was an attempt to reissue or re-launch in 1991 which only lasted for a single issue. I found my copy just recently - I'm assuming it's the same publication. It's this one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B003Y79J3U

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              • #8
                Re: Partworks (Orbis) The Unexplained

                Originally posted by Fearmint View Post
                I believe there was an attempt to reissue or re-launch in 1991 which only lasted for a single issue. I found my copy just recently - I'm assuming it's the same publication. It's this one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B003Y79J3U
                I didn't know about this one. How interesting. And only one issue! I wonder if any of the newer editions did updates etc.
                Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as Gods. Cats have never forgotten this.

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                • #9
                  Re: Partworks (Orbis) The Unexplained

                  Well, I did a bit of googling after I posted that and I saw an old ended ebay page with the first five issues in this set, so clearly there were more produced. I tried to find them back when I got the first issue (free with my grandparent's newspaper, if I recall - either News of the World or the Sun) but never could so I assumed it was a trial run that was not deemed a success. I wonder how many did come out...

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                  • #10
                    Re: Partworks (Orbis) The Unexplained

                    I bought the 1991 re-issue - there were over 100....I still have them in the attic

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                    • #11
                      Re: Partworks (Orbis) The Unexplained

                      There were some of these in my secondary school's library in the late '80s.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Partworks (Orbis) The Unexplained

                        I can remember the blue files. We had a few here. Don't know what happened to them. Expected they were ditched by my parents during one of their purges.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Partworks (Orbis) The Unexplained

                          I've since secured a full set (complete with all 13 binders) of the original 1980-1983 set (157 issues) This earliest release was housed in binders with a gold edging and a title The Unexplained (just that) on the front cover in letters about 1cm high. These are identical to the ones in the pictures that Jason H posted earlier in the thread. They were in great condition too and a bargain.

                          I think Orbis did a few reprints (one source states that there were at least 5) in the 1980s. I have two single Magazines, each with a copyright of 1982,1984 which would indicate that there was a 1984 re-release. (the issues in question were the same as the 1982 originals)

                          Orbis also did a 1987 re-release (Magazine Format) though I'm not sure if at was at this point that the series was revised or just reprinted. I know that 'one' of the later reprints (possibly the 1991 edition) was a re-vamp, with articles re-sequenced and lots more colour photos. The binders for this release have the title in much larger letters across the full width of the binder, and the sub-title 'Mysteries of Mind, Space and Time' underneath.
                          This revamp could have happened in either 1987 (and all subsequent releases) or in 1991. Many articles were revised in the later editions of Unexplained because, of course, new evidence came to light. A good example being the Loch Ness Monster.

                          I know that there were bound hardback editions (released, I believe, in 26 volumes rather than 13) in 1992 and I imagine that this was the material from the 1991 magazine-format release and is most likely to also contain the updated material.

                          Lots of 'best of' style one volume edition hardback/encyclopedias released also.

                          A very difficult series on which to source precise information. I'd be keen to hear more about the 1991 release.

                          Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as Gods. Cats have never forgotten this.

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                          • #14
                            That's an impressive feat of collecting you've done there.

                            I wish I could have had mine hidden away so I could keep them.

                            I'm researching people who have experienced physical or mental injuries as a result of encounters with a UFO.

                            I know there was one copy in particular that had the title 'UFOs can kill' and there's a case which involved a security guard going blind.

                            That case may not necessarily be in the 'UFOs can kill' edition but if anyone know what issue these items were, could you please let me know so I can start tracking them down on ebay.

                            Many thanks

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