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Mark Chorvinsky (March 4, 1954 - July 16, 2005) was a stage magician, entrepreneur, filmmaker and writer, but he was best known as the founder, editor and publisher of Strange Magazine and the strangemag.com website.
He was born in 1954 to Irma and Milton Chorvinsky.
His entire life had been devoted to the strange, anomalous, and unusual. His interests were wide-ranging, and included studies of the historical Merlin, stage magic, fantastic movies, cinematic special effects, and the entire fortean field. He was one of the leading investigators of strange phenomena, and often marshaled the resources of a network of friends and associates all over the world.
Chorvinsky researched and wrote about a broad array of fortean topics, from phantom dogs and the alien qualities of Venus Flytraps, to sightings of the grim reaper, the Loch Ness Monster and mysterious blobs.
Chorvinsky was known for his in-depth, and sometimes controversial, investigations. Examples include his discovery of the facts behind the continuing enigma of the often-remembered but impossible-to-find Thunderbird Photo, his analyses of the methods of the Cornish wizard "Doc" Shiels, and his investigation of Ray Wallace's connection to Bigfoot, as well as John Chambers' possible fabrication of the monster suit in the case.
Many of Chorvinsky's findings caused him to be branded a "debunker" by much of the strange phenomena community. Evidence that his investigations uncovered all too often led, in Chorvinsky's view, not to the proof of the existence of some marvelous creature, but instead to telltale signs of the work of some trickster or other interested party.
He claimed to gain no pleasure in writing articles that seemed to undermine some people's cherished belief systems, but would say that he was a skeptic in the true sense of the word — open-minded, determined to defend neither a belief system that said a phenomenon must be true nor one that said it must be false — and that his only interest was to get to the bottom of the mysteries he investigated.
Chorvinsky was involved in more than just strange phenomena. After working as a professional stage magician during his youth, in 1978, along with his brother, Ted, and friend William Wort, he founded the store Dream Wizards which, especially in its early years, was a center for people interested in stage magic and many aspects of the unusual, including film. There, Chorvinsky mentored many people. Using the expertise of those he had assembled, he founded Chorvinsky Studios, a special effects house in Kensington, Maryland, which provided effects for the feature film The Passing (1983), as well as Chorvinsky's own fantasy short subject Strange Tangents (1983), which was featured at a number of film festivals including Cannes. A planned science fantasy feature, Creatures of Darkness, was in preproduction for a number of years during the 1980s.
A television special that was both broadcast by satellite and sold as a video was produced in the 1990s. Entitled Strange World, it transposed Strange Magazine to a new medium, and included features and short news reports.
Chorvinsky wrote and published articles on a number of far-reaching subjects in such publications as Strange Magazine, UFO, INFO Journal, and Fate. He was a Contributing Editor of the latter magazine for many years.
Chorvinsky was diagnosed with cancer in 2004, which took his life the following year on July 16, 2005.
strangemag.com, In Memoriam: Mark Chorvinsky. Used by permission.