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Now Available: Reality Denied

September 29, 2017

rd-smNo doubt you already know the name “John Alexander.” Alexander has had his finger in more paranormal pies (UFOs included) during the past several decades than anyone else we can think of, sometimes in an official military capacity. That’s right, we are talking about Army Col. John B. Alexander, now retired. He is best known as a leading advocate of the development of non-lethal weapons and of the military applications of the paranormal. And now he’s written a book about his remarkable personal experiences around the world. We have titled his not-to-be-missed autobiography of the anomalous, Reality Denied: Firsthand Experiences with Things that Can’t Happen – But Did. But you can call it John Alexander’s Jaw-Dropping Adventures, if you’d like, as that’s just what they are.

Now Available: No Return

July 24, 2017

NR“A terrific job of research…a marvelously constructed story…” says Whitley Strieber about the new book by David Booher of Wisconsin:  No Return: The Gerry Irwin Story, UFO Abduction or Covert Operation?  And rightfully so. David Booher has conducted a model UFO investigation into a long forgotten and neglected mysterious encounter, the true story of Nike Missile base technician Gerry Irwin. After stopping to investigate the crash of a blazing object, Private Irwin is found unconscious a day later in a field in Utah. What had happened to Irwin? Was he abducted by aliens? Or was he a pawn in a covert intelligence operation? A new investigation launched by Booher beginning in 2013 attempts to answer these and other questions, revealing along the way the ordeal of a man whose mind was ravaged by a confrontation with the unknown.

A Delicious Book

June 6, 2017

grufosRich Reynolds, whose often thoughtful blog posts on UFOs are worth reading by anyone seriously interested in the subject, had some very nice things to say recently about Grassroots UFOs: Case Reports from the Center for UFO Studies by Michael Swords in a post entitled “UFOs: There’s something to it, but what?” He writes: “I’d like to instill UFOs as phenomena, rather than a phenomenon…that UFOs are not just one thing but many things. That’s what’s so delicious about Professor Swords’ listing of CUFOS reports: they tell us that UFOs have a reality, not just an ephemeral existence in the minds of people, and that the UFO reality is multi-faceted…The CUFOS gathering, presented by Michael Swords, contains every kind of UFO sighting we UFO buffs are familiar with or have read/heard about: disks, cigar-shaped craft, weird lights, triangle-shaped vehicles, amorphous entities, et cetera. What intrigues is that the reports cited come from regular, normal folks, not ‘wackos’ or psychotics…at the core of UFO reports rests a mystery, one that belies mental illness or criminal intent; people don’t usually lie about what they’ve seen or think they’ve seen. Even misperception can be set aside. No group of human beings can misperceive within the quantity that UFO sightings supply. The odds are against it. Get the Swords book… and indulge yourself in a swelter of UFO sightings that indicate there’s something to UFOs, something real, unknown but tangibly real.”

outAllow us to blow our own horn here. The great science-fiction novelist William Gibson has just given Outbreak! The Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Social Behavior by Hilary Evans and Robert Bartholomew a big thumbs up in Mother Jones. “At 784 pages,” he writes, “a literal encyclopedia of the workings of rumor, fear, and the madness of crowds…The election of Donald Trump is best understood in terms of collective behavior. Familiarity with the weird and terrifying things we’ve done before, as a species, is essential to understanding what many of us, driven by fear and uncertainty, are doing now. Baffled by Trump’s popularity (such as it is)? Read Evans and Bartholomew on lycanthropy and laughing epidemics. Seriously.” Please note that the political spin on the review is Gibson’s, not ours. Thank you, Mother Jones!

fs1-csfs2-csfs3-csWith these three volumes of journals you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at 20th century UFO research. And not just Vallee’s UFO investigations, but his day-to-day dealings with J. Allen Hynek and all the other major players in the UFO community. Vallee also played a crucial role in the early days of remote viewing research at SRI, as well as in the development of the internet. Yes, Vallee was there in the midst of it all. His journal entries are not only informative, but revealing, and always warm and personal. Forbidden Science 1: A Passion for Discovery, The Journals of Jacques Vallee 1957-1969 reveals how UFOs, in the midst of a proliferation of sightings in the 1960s, became a forbidden science. Forbidden Science 2: California Hermetica, The Journals of Jacques Vallee 1970-1979 continues his examination of UFO encounters, but also deals with the emergence of the Human Potential Movement, the development of the Internet, and the entrance, in secret, of parapsychology into the physics laboratory. Forbidden Science 3: On the Trail of Hidden Truths, The Journals of Jacques Vallee 1980-1989 concerns the increasing manipulation and disinformation that discouraged rational research into ufology, as well as the development of venture capital that led to great innovations throughout the world. This is the first publication of these journals in inexpensive (and corrected) trade paperback editions.

bdcoverIt’s the first ever book on supernatural smells. We are talking about Joshua Cutchin’s new book, The Brimstone Deceit: An In-Depth Examination of Supernatural Scents, Otherworldly Odors, and Monstrous Miasmas, of course. Greg Bishop of Radio Misterioso calls it “an instant classic” because “it articulates a refreshingly original approach to the paranormal and more importantly, how witnesses interpret their experiences.” Another thumbs up comes from Nick Redfern, who reviewed the book in Mysterious Universe: “The Brimstone Deceit is a gripping and eye-opening examination of how, why, and under what specific circumstances odors play notable – arguably, integral – roles in encounters of the paranormal kind…[In the process] Josh tackles such issues as psychedelics, altered states, stage-managed events (by who or what, is the big question), deception and manipulation of the witnesses, and much more.” Redfern then compares Cutchin’s approach to that of a well-known fortean master: “Josh goes down the path taken by John Keel, who came to believe that the many and varied unknown ‘things’ which intrude upon our world are somehow all part and parcel of something bigger, something interconnected.” Finally, we have Kyle Philson’s review, which appeared in Expanded Perspectives: “Joshua is like a breath of fresh air in this community. He continually looks at these fringe and Fortean topics from an entirely new angle…Once again Joshua Cutchin knocks it out of the park!”

bbc-coverDon’t think for a minute that the Fouke Monster (made famous by the horror movie The Legend of Boggy Creek) was a creature unique to Boggy Creek, Arkansas, or to the early 1970s. Similar creatures have been encountered for decades from Arkansas and Oklahoma down to Texas, over to Florida and all the southern states in between. This “Southern Sasquatch” is the subject of outdoorsman Lyle Blackburn’s well-researched and entertaining new book, Beyond Boggy Creek: In Search of the Southern Sasquatch. His previous work led Fortean Times to acclaim: “Blackburn shows himself not only to be a first-rate researcher but a formidable writer.” We’ll venture that his new work is destined to be the cryptozoological book of the year.

illumWe knew from the beginning that Eric Ouellet’s Illuminations: The UFO Experience as a Parapsychological Event would be a controversial book that would please neither UFOlogists nor parapsychologists. We were right; step on toes and people scream. But even critics like parapsychologist Renaud Evrard, in his review of the book in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, admits that “the perspective he adopts has never been discussed so extensively,” that perspective being that “social psi” is actually at the core of the UFO phenomenon. Could UFO experiences be like poltergeist events? Evrard finds that Ouellet’s “‘political sociology’ of UFO experiences and alien encounters is not really convincing. The symbolic perspective, although it remains attractive, gives him too much freedom to approximate a scientific analysis.” Meanwhile, UFOlogist Jerome Clark, who says he’s been there, done that, and moved on from such a perspective, argues in his review of the book in Fortean Times that we should stop “dragging in creaky concepts such as macro-PK, on its best days a hugely speculative notion, to explain anything [about UFOs]. And let’s keep social stresses out of it too. There are always social streeses, and there is no empirically demonstrated reason to link them to UFO sightings.” But he doesn’t entirely discount the possibility, as he ends his review with these words: “Show me real evidence that macro-PK, working selectively through ‘social stresses,’ creates UFO events, and we’ll talk.” Finally, Peter Rogerson, in his review at Magonia, calls it an “interesting book” that “certainly evoked a feeling of nostalgia in me, because I was thinking on similar lines back in 1970!” But he seems to have now rejected that view because “we certainly don’t know that psychokinesis or morphic fields or other psi processes exist.” Obviously Rogerson is not up on the parapsychological literature of the past 50 years! But if we were back in the early 1970s, he admits, “this is a book which I would have probably given a rave review.” Finally we have the opinion of David Halprin, who is neither a UFOlogist nor a parapsychologist. In his review on his blog, he finds Ouellet’s book “challenging, lucid, at times brilliant.” He doesn’t think that “all of Ouellet’s arguments are equally convincing. But all are stimulating, all are provocative. All contribute to making this book one of the most fascinating UFO books I’ve read in a long time–-a vital contribution to the understanding of the UFO as a social and psychological phenomenon.”

bdcoverRemember Joshua Cutchin, the crazy guy who decided to investigate the food and drink offerings of aliens, fairies, and Sasquatch in that remarkably scholarly yet fun-to-read book  A Trojan Feast? If you do, you might wonder what could he possibly do next? Well, wonder no longer.  Just released is his new book, The Brimstone Deceit: An In-Depth Examination of Supernatural Scents, Otherworldly Odors, and Monstrous Miasmas, which is equally scholarly (100 pages of endnotes and bibliography!) and probably even more fun to read, because hey, there’s something mighty smelly around here! And there is an amazing coincidence in the titling of the book, which the author details in a blog post: How a profound synchronicity led to the title of The Brimstone Deceit. The name of the game? Manipulation! Here is what our Greg Bishop, author of Project Beta, another fabulous book, thinks about Joshua’s new work: “The Brimstone Deceit can rightly be called an instant classic because it articulates a refreshingly original approach to the paranormal and more importantly, how witnesses interpret their experiences. Joshua Cutchin carefully builds his case with fascinating, startling, and entertaining accounts from throughout history to show us that when it comes to UFOs, Bigfoot, and other High Strangeness, the nose may really know what has been knocking at our doors for millennia.”

N-coverFor many people, the long awaited English translation of Bernard Heuvelmans’ Neanderthal: The Strange Saga of the Minnesota Iceman is finally satisfying a 42-year itch, and how rewarding that has proved to be! Just how important is the case of the Minnesota Iceman to cyprtozoology? Jerome Clark, in his review in Fortean Times, finds the perfect analogy. “In one way,” he writes, “the Minnesota Iceman episode is the Roswell incident of cryptozoology: a glimpse of what at  first seemed proof of an extraordinary anomaly before the evidence was snatched away, to fade into secrecy, confusion, and endless dispute… [But] with the Minnesota Iceman, the ostensible evidence’s existence was known and studied almost immediately by zoologists. They concluded that the body encased in ice was of a recently slain hairy man with pre-modern characteristics.” Nick Redfern in his review of the book at Mysterious Universe also ranks the case as one of the most important in cryptozoology:  “…this is an excellent study of one of Cryptozoology’s biggest and most enduring enigmas: that of the Minnesota Iceman….as [Bernard Heuvelmans and Ivan Sanderson] follow the trail, the pair comes across not unlike monster-hunting equivalents of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson…the story is so entertaining that you don’t actually have to be a fan of Cryptozoology, at all, to read it. Anyone and everyone with an interest in how and why people pursue enigmas will find Neanderthal to be highly engaging reading…A tale of a man-beast, models and mystery, Neanderthal is one of the most entertaining books I have read in a long time – and for many reasons!”