Fortean Times




Aberdeen’s Haunted Heritage

Graeme Milne

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

Brian Allan

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

Daniel Chesbro

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.

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