Saturday, April 28, 2012

H.S.W. Chibbett (1900-1978)

Aka Hastwa
Government Worker, Author, Paranormal Investigator, Science Fiction Fan
Born February 19, 1900, Islington, London, England
Died February 23, 1978, Greater London, England

Harold Stanley Walter Chibbett, also known as Harold S.W. Chibbett, Hal Chibbett, or Hastwa, was born on February 19, 1900, in Islington, London, England. He worked for the Inland Revenue--more or less equivalent to our Internal Revenue Service--in his home country for forty-three years, retiring in 1965. In that time, he served as secretary of the Science Fiction Association (SFA), attended British science fiction conventions (Eastercon, 1944; Whitcon, 1948), investigated paranormal and Fortean phenomena, and wrote fiction for a number of fantasy magazines. Chibbett also issued his own newsletter on his investigations. His output was otherwise sparse. Chibbett died four days after his birthday, on February 23, 1978, in Greater London. Science fiction historian Mike Ashley reported Chibbett's death to The Weird Tales Collector. An article and checklist appeared in issue number 4 in 1978. I have expanded on that list by looking for sources on the Internet. My list is by no means definitive.

Fiction by H.S.W. Chibbett
"See?" and "Bottled Spirit" in Jinn & Jitters, E.J. Carnell, editor (Pendulum, 1946 or 1948)
"Turnabout" in Fantasy Book 3 (Summer 1948)
"They Worked the Oracle" in Weird Tales (Nov. 1950)
"They That Wait" in Magazine of Horror (Feb. 1964)

Non-Fiction by H.S.W. Chibbett
"Psychic Scents" in Outlands (Winter 1946, reprinted in Fate, Dec. 1950)
"Shapes of Being" in Round Robin (July/Aug. 1954)
"UFO's and Parapsychology" in Ouranos (Aug. 1954, reprinted in Flying Saucer Review, Aug. or Sept. 1969)
"Strange Interlude" in Round Robin (Dec. 1954)
"Aboard a Flying Saucer by Hypnosis" in Mystic Magazine (Feb. 1955)
"The Poltergeist That Can Write" in Fate (Oct. 1959)

H.S.W. Chibbett's Story in Weird Tales
"They Worked the Oracle" (Nov. 1950)

Further Reading
It can be hard to find Chibbett on the Internet because of all possible combinations of his names and initials, but keep looking. You may find something of interest.

H.S.W. Chibbett's byline appeared on the cover of the British fantasy magazine Jinn & Jitters. The cover art is by Mendoza. 
Almost twenty years later, it appeared again on the cover of Robert W. Lowndes' Magazine of Horror and Strange Stories. Other contributors to Weird Tales shown here: David H. Keller, Arthus J. Burks, Robert W. Chambers, Ambrose Bierce, and H.G. Wells. Note the British price stamped on the cover.
Chibbett's name wasn't on the cover of Mystic Magazine in February 1955, but his investigations into hypnosis and flying saucers could be found on the inside. Raymond A. Palmer was the force behind the magazine. No wonder that top billing on the cover went to a story about Richard S. Shaver, "America's Mystery Man." Note the title "It Happened To Me." That same title was used for a series in Weird Tales in the early 1940s.
H.S.W. Chibbett (1900-1978). Photo from the collection of Randal A. Everts.
Text and captions copyright 2012 Terence E. Hanley

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