WE LEAF THROUGH A SMALL SELECTION OF THE DOZENS OF BOOKS THAT HAVE ARRIVED AT FORTEAN TOWERS IN RECENT MONTHS...
Aberdeen’s Haunted Heritage
London Publishing, 2021
Pb, £12.99, 288pp, ISBN 9781914408250
Veteran ghost historian Graeme Milne has published a number of anthologies of Scottish ghosts; this title being an amalgamation of two earlier collections of tales from Aberdeenshire, now revised and expanded. It is refreshing to see a more down-to-earth approach to modern narratives of ghostly encounters – many located in the city itself. Milne writes clearly, without being preachy, and with a genuine attempt to understand such anomalous experiences in humanistic terms; especially whether, in some cases, there is any hint of evidence for postmortem existence. This is also a very good model of local history writing and investigation, and – wonder of wonders – it has an index.
Book of Secrets
Aliens, Ghosts and Ancient Mysteries
Flying Disk Press, 2022
Pb, £10.00, 113pp, ISBN 9798451801499
The publishers claim that readers will be “shocked” by the author’s presentation of “astonishing truths” that will change their perception of reality, our world and its history. However, any reader with the slightest awareness of the 50-year drift of the not-sosecret genres of UFOs, aliens and their ancient Earthly interventions, time travel, conspiracy theories, hybrid children, ghosts, “monstrous Nephilim”, and so on soon realises that this book is nothing less than a rehash of all the above in a slender book. Allan, a veteran ufologist and editor of the online Phenomena Magazine, is obviously intelligent and writes well, but his breathless pace and all-encompassing credulity will only appeal to a few likeminded believers, who probably know it all already.
The Empires of Atlantis
The Origins of Ancient Civilizations and Mystery Traditions throughout the Ages
Marco M Vigato
Bear & Company, 2022
Pb, £14.99, 372pp, ISBN 9791591434337
Here we have yet another reworking of old arguments in a familiar field – however Vigato seems to have put time and effort into his researches and so claims his place on the shelf groaning with tomes on Atlantis. Interestingly, Vigato does not follow the “destroyed in a sudden cataclysm” school, but using new as well as historical data he argues that from its earliest origins the ‘Atlantean’ culture had at least three great empires – two of which Vigato believes existed several millennia before the one Plato alludes to – and traces of each of which can be found in various other ‘outpost’ cultures. These revisions employ modern genetic surveys and studies of ‘early civilisation’ sites such as Göbekli Tepe. It is a fresh approach, well-argued, and provocative. Let’s hope it provokes more discussion.
Tom Sawyer: A ModernDay Messenger from God
His Extraordinary Life and NearDeath Experiences
Findhorn Press, 2022
Pb, £12.99, 163pp, ISBN 9781789048803
This is not a reincarnation of Mark Twain’s scamp from 1876 (whom Twain modelled on a real local hero of the same name) but the story of how the eponymous Olympic-trained cyclist recovered after a heavilyladen lorry crushed his chest for 15 minutes during an accident. The first thing a reader will notice is the reverential tone of the authors – both ministers of the Baptist cult-like ‘Order of Melchizedek’ which trains teachers. They refer to Sawyer – who died in 2007 – as a “Christ-like... messenger from God”. Their purpose in producing this curious, slender, hagiography is to publicise Sawyer’s
teachings – around 160 mercifully short think-pieces – said to contain important messages from God with which Sawyer was charged, during his period of unconsciousness, to relay to the world on his return. Much more interesting to FT readers are some of the mystical adventures of this Tom Sawyer, such as his account of several out-of--body experiences. His first was the 1987 accident described as a classical Near-Death Experience, including travelling through a tunnel and reviewing his whole life up to the point where he encounters a “being of Light”. Here we find elements of an archaic shamanic spiritual journey dressed up in modern New Age Christianity that reveals, along the way, that neutrinos are, in fact, the ‘Unconditional Love’ particles that make up the body of God.
Curses, Coincidences & Malign Influence
A Parapsychological Perspective
Peter A McCue
Arima Publishing, 2022
Pb, £9.95, 195pp, ISBN 9798404374971
Following closely on Professor Beitmann’s study of coincidences – reviewed recently in FT424:53; is this a coincidence? – Dr McCue, also a clinical psychologist as well as a long-time investigator of paranormal and UFO cases and a regular FT contributor, presents his own take on the subject, backed up by scads of interesting new first-hand narratives. Having more of a focus upon ‘curses’ and ‘bad luck’, McCue explores the historical context and most likely influence of centuries of folk belief in ‘black magic’ and witchcraft. After surveying cursed objects, the curses by ‘strange children’ (including UFO-related cases), and ‘family curses’, he ends with the modern fascination with celebrity curses spawned by the entertainment industry. While he doesn’t dismiss completely the notion of ‘higher intelligences’, it is clear that some kind of ‘intelligence’ – including the form often called the ‘Trickster’ – especially in complex cases featuring several different types of phenomena, “is evidently very resourceful” and therefore justifiably likened to “a higher intelligence” (his emphasis). Perhaps it has a human origin. There is more detail here in a wide-ranging discussion, making this a valuable reference book on the subject.
Sky Crash Throughout Time
UFOs, The Reptilian Man & Strange Mysteries Surrounding Rendlesham
Philip Kinsella & Brenda Butler
Flying Disk Press, 2022
Pb, £11.99, 250pp, ISBN 9798403818995
In 1984, veteran ufologist Jenny Randles published Sky Crash, one of the crucial investigations of the infamous and complicated UFO-like events that took place in Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, in 1980, and based upon the investigations of Brenda Butler and Dot Street. In this new well illustrated volume, the notorious legend of the ‘crashed ufo cover-up’ and the paranormal experiences subsequently reported by various local inhabitants and investigators is retold and much expanded. This is not helped by waffling contributions from spiritualist Philip Kinsella who, through his own ‘close encounters’, has come to believe that aliens were cloning humans without souls. Butler’s biography notes that she was presented with the “Sir Arthur Shuttlewood Award” (whatever that is. We can find no evidence that ‘flying saucer’ pioneer Shuttlewood was ever knighted). One wonders how useful any of this will be, as so much of the credible early investigative work has been deliberately reinterpreted through and dominated by the authors’ subjective theorising about Anunnaki aliens, portals, Skinwalkers and ‘official’ conspiracies. Sadly, the book as a whole is so badly proofed and poorly laid out you hardly notice that it is full of wild and unsubstantiated speculation.