September 25, 2015
Joshua Cutchin’s A Trojan Feast: The Food and Drink Offerings of Aliens, Faeries, and Sasquatch has been widely praised, but two reviews of the book in particular stand-out. The first, written by Jerome Clark, appeared under the title “Otherworldly Dining” in Fortean Times (#329). “Joshua Cutchin boasts an impressively original concept for a book on anomalies: fortean food…” writes Clark. “What Cutchin has done is to survey a fairly staggering range of literature on folklore, anthropology, food science, psychedelics, ufology, and cryptozoology, seeking people’s claims to have consumed something—food, liquid, pills—in the course of an extraordinary encounter… [Cutchin] is a fortean in the fullest and finest sense. He has ideas, and they’re creative and provocative ones, but he doesn’t insist they’re certainly, or even probably, true. He thinks the entities in these narratives are in some sense ‘real’ but that our perceptions of them are filtered through culture. Most forteans these days hold to some version of that hypothesis, but he is among the first to imagine that the food allegedly consumed in these alleged encounters is a drug akin to DMT, able to alter brain molecules and manipulate the senses…Cutchin keeps his head secured in a keen fortean appreciation of uncertainty and ambiguity, not to mention the likelihood that these phenomena are way beyond our understanding. A splendid job all around.” The other noteworthy review, which appeared in Mysterious Universe, comes from Nick Redfern, who calls this “the definitive study of an aspect of the paranormal that has, until now, been vastly unappreciated and consistently misunderstood…[Cuchin shows that] the usually bland nature of the food provided by today’s extraterrestrials has its parallels in the food of the faeries, which was made to appear and taste enriching and delicious—but, in reality, was nothing of the sort: it was all a ruse. As for why such theatrical games are played, this gets to the heart of the puzzle. Cutchin suggests that food offerings become a part of the experience because the phenomenon—which is so strange and alien and to the point of being almost beyond comprehension—’prefers symbolism and mythology as the currency of conversation.’ This is a very important statement that is absolutely central to the overall story…[Cutchin] suggests that the theater of entity food is designed to ease the shock of encountering the unknown. That’s to say, we are shown something to which we can relate, which comforts us, and which calms us: food. The nourishment from beyond, then, is ‘a symbolic vehicle to facilitate interaction.’…A Trojan Feast absolutely nails it…this is a fantastic piece of work.”
May 7, 2015
Can a small, almost mundane detail in accounts of anomalous events—be it encounters with UFO entities, faeries, or Sasquatch—reveal anything valuable about the nature of these unusual events? Probably not, right? Well, think again. This new book by Joshua Cutchin, A Trojan Feast, is an intellectual romp through some of the strangest material this side of the rabbit hole. In it, Cutchin examines reports of the food and drink offering of aliens, faeries, and Sasquatch, and discovers that all is not what it appears to be. A glance at some chapter titles illustrates the ranges of topics covered: the Sattvic Diet, Sleep Paralysis, Sexuality, Entheogens, Eating the God and Rebirth, and Absorption, Ointment, and the Entity Diet. Noted folklorist Thomas E. Bullard, who wrote the Foreword, says: “The humble subject of food in anomalistic accounts serves, in Cutchin’s measured, learned, and lucid argument, as proof that high strangeness events may be uncertain and discordant, but not incomprehensible.” We think this book is destined to be a fortean classic.