The Anomalist



The Anomalist Awards
for the Best Books of 2000

  I'm going to do something a little different this year. (I do something a little different every year.) Like last year, I am again the sole reviewer (I don't get any offers clamoring to help). I even review some of my own books. (You don't have to read them; you don't have to buy them.) But this year I'm only going to give out the awards to a tiny handful of books--those that really stand out from the rest. That's not to say the rest aren't worthy of your attention--and for that reason I will append my mini-reviews to most of the other books submitted for consideration as well as a few that were not.

If you have a book you would like considered for the Anomalist Awards 2001, send it to: The Anomalist, PO Box 577, Jefferson Valley, NY 10535--Patrick Huyghe

The 2000 Award Winners

The Magic of Shapeshifting
by Rosalyn Greene
Explores the
myth, legends, sightings, and New Age beliefs about shapeshifting, then compares it to other occult phenomena, including spirit materialization and out-of-body experiences. The author clears away misconceptions and is clear about the sources of her information--which happens to includes personal experience. The perspective may at times make shapeshifting seem like a semantic game, but it's obviously more than that with the author providing ample warning of its dangers. The book turns into a how-to guide to our own inner animal selves, which in some cases, like the author's, is a werewolf, and includes information about a subculture of shapeshifters. Yes, the book is new agey and way out-there, but it's also straightforward, groundbreaking, and totally original.

Captain Edward J. Ruppelt: Summer of the Saucers-1952
by Micahel D. Hall and Wendy A. Conners
An extremely detailed biography of Edward Ruppelt that focuses on his years of service as the head of Project Blue Book and the year 1952 in particular. Contains lots of material from Ruppelt's personal papers, quotes from early drafts of his Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, and interviews with those who knew and served with Ruppelt. But it is not without faults--it contains too many "thank you" throughout the text, captions, everywhere, in fact, and the tone is sometimes too personal--"Have you seen The Day the Earth Stood Still?" Ruppelt's book is a key text in the history of UFOlogy and this book is now the indispensable companion to any reading--and understanding--of that classic book.

Edgar Cayce: An American Prophet
by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick
Kirkpatrick is an excellent storyteller, Cayce was one of the century's most remarkable men, and the author had access to
transcripts of Cayce's trances as well as his personal letters and papers. That makes for an absolutely winning combination. Though the author doesn't pass judgment on the legitimacy of Cayce's psychic powers, he is clearly partial towards his subject. This book certainly won't convince any skeptics, and you'll either love or hate it. Despite it's faults, I think it's an excellent biography.

The Pk Man: A True Story of Mind-Over-Matter
by Jeffrey Mishlove
Many, many years ago, while I edited a publication called UFO Commentary, a strange man making strange claims contacted me. His name was Ted Owens. He claimed that he could control the weather, the outcomes of NFL games, and a whole lot more thanks to his friends in high places--the "Space Intelligences" up there in flying saucers above the Earth. I immediately put his correspondence in the nut file. But Jeffrey Mishlove didn't. The budding psychologist found in Owens an ideal subject. He struck up a friendship and a began, with the help of Scott Rogo, a study of Owen. It was a rather informal study, made so in large part by Owens' volatile personality. In reading this fascinating work I found Mishlove a bit
gullible at times. And I wish he had done a more thorough job of trying to understand his subject. But who am I to talk? What a story it is. The story of a man whose PK powers seemingly ranged to the criminal. Staggering.

Unexplained Phenomena: A Rough Guide Special
by Bob Rickard and John Michell
If you missed the their 1977 work, Phenomena, or their follow-up five years later, Living Wonders, then Rough Guides have done you a big favor.The authors have combined chapters from both and updating the whole. So you'll find a lot of old favorites like teleportation, frog falls, and spectral armies, as well as many new topics that have emerged in the past two decades like crop circles, chupacabras, and more. Rickard and Michell are at the top of their form here, insightful, reasoned, and humorous. They also bring a much needed long-term perspective to the field, noting, for example, that while crop circles were nearly non-existent before 1980, other phenomena like sea serpents have decreased dramatically, while still others like rat kings and toads-in-the-hole are now virtually non-existent. This excellent volume rivals Jerome Clark's The Unexplained as the best one-volume examination of fortean phenomena. I just wish they had spelled my name correctly in the index.

Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience
by Willaim F. Williams (editor)
More than 2,000 entries--from Alien Abductions to Zone Therapy, as the subtittle explains, and covering phenomena, personalities, events, topics, places, and more--were written by a variety of contributors who were allowed their own points of view. For the most part the entries are balanced, offering both pro and con comments and a bibliography--the exceptions are obviously slanted toward the skeptical. Not all the entries are successful or as complete as some would like, and the photo captions are horrendous, but I found many entries covering subjects that were new to me. Some readers have expressed shock to find entries on scientific subjects in this volume--on
Louis Pasteur, the big bang theory, biofeedback, continental drift, and Sir Isaac Newton, for instance--but that illustrates just how thin the line between science and pseudoscience really is. A top-notch, though pricey, one volume encyclopedia of the anomalous.

Ancient Mines of Kitchi-Gummi
by Roger Jewell
We know that 20 million pounds of copper was mined and removed from the Lake Superior region 4,500 years ago. But where did all the copper go? It's not in North America. By following the clues back to their source, Roger Jewell
marshals a wealth of evidence all pointing to Minoan traders. Though the book is marred by poor production values, this is one the best presented and most convincing theories of pre-Columbian visitors to the New World I have ever read. (Available from Arcturus Books; for info send email.)

Other Noteable Books

The Ghost Rocket File

Jan L. Aldrich (compiled by)
This book is really nothing more than a compilation of government documents and news articles on the strange objects seen over Scandinavia in the pre-Kenneth Arnold year of 1946. But with more than 1,500 reports of this "ghost rocket" phenomenon made to the Swedish Defense Staff, the period qualifies as a major UFO event that provides some much-needed perspective on what came after. (Available from Arcturus Books; for info send

The Dragon's Tail: Rediscovering the Tenth Planet
by Anthony Austin, Brian Crowley
On tap here is a tale of Planet X. According to the authors, every 892 years the Earth suffers some dire calamity--Atlantis sinks, the flood (Noah's ark), plagues in Egypt, Little Ice Age, and more. These disasters are caused by the passages of an outermost planet the authors call Draco. While there very probably is a tenth planet out there, I doubt it's responsible for the variety of calamities cited here. In any case, I'll never know the truth and neither will you--Draco is not due to make its next pass until 2115.

The End of Time : The Next Revolution in Physics
by Julian B. Barbour
Do you have doubts about that wonderful creation of modern physics called "space-time"? Independent physicist Julian Barbour certainly does and goes even further than that. He says, "time does not exist at all, and ...motion itself is pure illusion." The book seeks support in physics for this controversial view. I personally think that our limited understanding of time is what makes many mysterious phenomena so mysterious in the first place.Worth serious consideration.

The Coming Global Superstorm
by Art Bell and Whitley Strieber
A well-written exploration of a frightening topic--could global warming lead to a humongous superstorm that reeks havoc on civilization? The book goes in two directions at once. It looks into the past for other possible examples of superstorms and frankly doesn't uncover any definite examples that could not have alternate explanations. And it details a fictional scenario of what such a superstorm would be like today. Terrifying, yes, but the science is rather thin.

More Chicago Haunts: Scenes From Myth and Memory
by Ursula Bielski
50 Chicago haunts, each a "true encounter told by the encounter," but the author either introduces or paraphrases most of the accounts--thankfully. Each tale has a photograph illustration of some kind. Good for what it is, but I wish there was more an of effort to come to grips with the phenomena--at least a summary statement of some kind.

Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century
by Howard K. Bloom
Science writer Bloom advances the maverick notion
that all lifeforms are part of an emerging global consciousness. It's happened, he says, via group selection, which is arguably more convincing than individual selection. Bloom dazzles with his broad knowledge, which gives the book great historical and scientific scope, but the central theme is never clearly spelled out. Bloom concludes by warning of an approaching war that pits mankind against bacteria. But is this "war" really all that new?

The Truth Never Stands in the Way of a Good Story
by Jan Harold Brunvand, Erik Brunvand
If you have his others books, like the classic
The Vanishing Hitchhiker, then this one may come as a disappointment to you. He has covered most of these legends before in his previous books, but those he does discuss he seems to go into greater depth than usual. This one is more of a textbook and it's very light on the paranormal, but it's top-notch urban legend fare.

Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence
by Etzel Cardena, Steven Jay Lynn and Stanley Krippner(Editors)

This American Psychological Association volume is an attempt to examine a category of phenomena--tales of strange, extraordinary and unexplained experiences--that have fallen between the cracks of contemporary mainstream psychology. While much of the book deals with conceptual and methodological issues, it covers a range of subjects from hallucinatory experiences, synesthesia, and lucid dreaming, to out-of-body, psi-related , alien abduction, past-life, near-death, mystical, and anomalous healing experiences. All are written by recognized scholars whose focus is on psychological factors and whose aim is to show that these topics can be approached scientifically. Will this book serve as a wake-up call for psychologists who tend to ignore such phenomena? Probably not, but it's a worthy volume nonetheless.

Technology of the Gods: The Incredible Sciences of the Ancients
by David Hatcher Childress
As usual Childress takes the kitchen-sink approach, throwing together everything imaginable relating to the topic, this time "technology of the ancients," meaning such subjects as ancient flight, megalith building, ancient high tech weapons, their use of electricity, and much more. He draws his material from reliable and unreliable sources, as usual. Speculates freely and wanders off-subject. He does provide lots of illustrations, altogether making it a good place to start exploring the subject.

Extraordinary Encounters: An Encyclopedia of Extraterrestrial & Otherworld Beings
by Jerome Clark
Do alleged extraterrestrials belong in the same book as fairies and other "oherworldly beings"? Perhaps. Do entries on "Elvis as Jesus" and "Gef," the talking Mongoose? Probably not. Clearly Clark knows his stuff when it comes to UFO-related matters, much of it recycled from his UFO encyclopedias. But for a book that tries to go beyond the usual UFO material, it fails miserably when it comes to including personality profiles, for instance, of anyone outside the UFO field. In fact, there is very little mention of those who have grappled with and tried to come to terms with this kind of material--the works of Hilary Evans, Thomas Bullard, Jader Pereira, and Katherine Briggs, for instance, are either mentioned briefly or not at all. There is a plethora of entries on channeled entities, which suggests to me that there are probably many more not in this book. And some entries are simply inadequate, like the entry on Sasquatch, which doesn't even mention the work of Jack Lapseritis, regardless of what you think of him or the possibility of a Bigfoot-extraterrestrial connection. I am a big fan of Clark's work, but this one is a miss, especially at this price. Then again this book is not intended for the casual consumer but for libraries and comparable institutional markets.

Leap of Faith: An Astronaut's Journey into the Unknown
by Gordon Cooper
Our interest in this book obviously, is: what does this famous astronaut have to say about UFOs? Quite a bit actually. About 20% of this book is devoted to the subject. He recounts his own sighting, which took place in Europe in 1951, and about some other UFO incidents he heard about or was peripherally involved with, including some photos of a crashed saucer taken by an Air Force master
sergeant. But I lost all faith in his accounts when, after meeting contactee Dan Fry, he actually expected to go out into the desert with him and take a ride in a saucer. Didn't happen.

Java Man: How Two Geologists Changed the History of Human Evolution
by Garniss H. Curtis, Roger Lewin, Carl C. Swisher
I never saw this book, but it's one of three cryptozoology-related titles that Loren Coleman recommends.

Biographies of Scientific Objects
by Lorraine Daston (editor)
The item of greatest interest her is the editor's own contribution: "Preternatural Philosophy," the
predecessor of the science of anomalies. She traces how a miscellany of rare phenomena was consolidated into a into a coherent category of investigation in early modern natural history and natural philosophy, how specific cultural circumstances charged these strange facts with significance, and finally how and why Preternatural Philosophy dissolved in the early 18th century. Interesting discussions of how topics become of interest to science then sometimes fall out of favor.

The Zuni Enigma
by Nancy Yaw Davis
I have yet to see this book in a store and the publisher hasn't seen fit to send me a copy, but William Corliss offers it to his Sourcebook list, so it must be good. This book, which he said is "meticulously researched," presents evidence such as common symbols, blood links, and dentition to support the notion that about 700 years ago a group of Japanese reached the west coast of North America, moved inland, and were absorbed by the local inhabitant, creating a mix we know as the Zuni.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ancient Earth Mysteries
by Paul Devereux
In this beautiful, well-illustrated book, Paul Devereux explores a range of topics from death roads to the Nazca lines, spirit traps to rock art, psychic archeology to the bicameral mind, crop circles to hallucinogens--all dealing in some way with earth mysteries. Readers will be familiar with many but not all of these topics, though in any case Devereux's analysis of each is a delight to read. While he rightly debunks some oversensationalized topics, he adds depth to our fascination with others. Though not ground-breaking in any sense, it's a very solid work.

UFOs and the National Security State
by Richard M. Dolan
An excellent first volume (1941-1973) of a proposed two-volume set on UFOs and the intelligence and military communities. Puts the UFO issues in a historical context. While not more objective than David Jacob's seminal history of the subject, The UFO Conspiracy in America, it certainly is more complete and up-to-date, given the wealth of information that has become available on the subject since the release of Jacob's book in 1975. Manages to be reasonable and reasoned despite the fact that Dolan is obviously a believer in a government UFO conspiracy and the alien presence. But UFOs were just a pawn in a national security game of cat and mouse played by the US and the USSR; they don't have to exist in any other sense of the word to have been--or continue to be--a national security concern.

The Field Guide to Ghost and Other Apparitions
by Hilary Evans and Patrick Huyghe
Can't very well review my own book, now can I? Of course, I can! I won't tell you how great it is--you already know I would say that--but it's a good read and deals rationally with the many puzzles ghost pose, including their relation to time. The book contains at least one fascinating case that has never been published before and many other obscure ones. I think you'll find that it is at once the most historical and most up-to-date volume on the subject currently available.

Lives of the Psychics: The Shared Worlds of Science and Mysticism
by Fred M. Frohock
Frohock's treatment of paranormal topics--from out of body experiences and healing, to ESP, alien abductions and mysticism--will please neither believers nor skeptics. That kind of attitude makes us stand up and pay attention. The author has conducted many in-depth interviews, which are especially valuable, though you might find that his theoretical discussions on the nature of reality, consciousness, and the limitations of scientific inquiry go on a bit too long. It's the personal touch that makes this volume so distinctive. Not only are there accounts of the author's personal experiences he cannot explain, but in the last chapter he analyzes the success and failure of psychic predictions for his own life. A truly undogmatic and refreshing look at these topics from an academic.

Did Adam and Eve Have Navels? Discourses on Reflexology, Numerology, Urine Therapy, and Other Dubious Subjects
by Martin Gardner
I never received a review copy of this book so I can't be too specific. But I've read Gardner's pieces in Skeptical Inquirer and many of the past volumes in the series and I'm sure these chapters on "dubious subjects," as he calls them, are well-written, informative, and highly opinionated. That's what makes them intereresting, of course, even if the heavy-handed skeptical point of view turns your stomach at times.

The Undergrowth of Science : Delusion, Self-Deception and Human Frailty
by Walter Gratzer
We did not receive a copy of this book for review, but we feel it's worth noting. It's about how good science goes bad--at least according to the author--and shows how sober mainstream scientists can be wildly off the mark. Topics covered include cold fusion, N-rays, polywater, spoon bending, mitogenic radiation, and more.

Champ Quest 2000: The Ultimate Search Field Guide & Almanac for Lake Champlain
by Dennis Jay Hall
A little field guide to Champ by one who claims to have seen Champ on 20 occasions! Gives background and historical information, some details on a dozen recent sightings, photographs, and some search tips on when you've got the best chance to see Champ from the shores of Lake Champlain in Vermont. For the real lake monster buff only.

The International Directory of Haunted Places
by Dennis William Hauck
Hauck is back with a round-the-world version of his United States survey,
Haunted Places: The National Directory. As you might expect, most of the 700 entries involve places in Great Britain, North America and Australia; most get a one paragraph description saying that this or that place is haunted and by whom. Actually, most of the places aren't strictly "haunted," in other words a ghost may have been seen at a place once or twice, but this really doesn't qualify as a haunt. I think the phenomenon is largely transient; location being a artifact.

Haunted Michigan: Recent Encounters with Active Spirits
by Reverend Gerald S. Hunter
An ordained United Methodist minister investigates 29 modern ghost stories--all in Michigan. The stories are okay, but "Rev. Gerry's official Haunt Meter" rankings, from a one star meaning "pretty lame haunting" to a five star "watch your backside," was a turn-off. Especially since nothing in the book gets less than two-and-a-half stars.

UFOs and Abductions: Challenging the Borders of Knowledge
by David M. Jacobs (editor)
Jacobs designed this book for scholars and scientists who wouldn't normally think twice about this controversial subject. It's got contributions from all the big and/or respectable names in the field including Michael Swords, Jerome Clark, John Mack, Thomas Bullard and Budd Hopkins. But a few surprises, too, like the essay by Michael Persinger, who is not a true believer by any means. Nothing new here for the UFO hard-core but overall a fine presentation of the issues in and around this amazing subject.

Catastrophe: A Quest for the Origins of the Modern World
by David Keys
Keys, a journalist, reveals the literal meaning of the words "Dark Ages." In this book he
argues that sometime in A.D. 535, a worldwide disaster--he favors a great volcanic eruption (mega-Krakatoa) rather than an impact event--struck and uprooted nearly every culture then extant. Orthodox historians will call Keys' thesis "challenging" at best and "catastrophic" at worst, but Keys effectively marshals environmental, demographic, political, and religious material in support of his historical detective tale, which unfortunately is not always well-told. An important work, nonetheless.

Through the Labyrinth: Designs and Meanings over 5,000 Years
by Hermann Kern
This big, beautiful, well-illustrated book deserves praise as "
the ultimate source" on labyrinths. It deals with all the historical, architectural, astrological, mathematical, and mythological aspects of the subject matter. Jeff Saward and John Kraft do a terrific job of updating the original 1982 German edition by the late Hermann Kern. I find labyrinths and mazes endlessly fascinating and if you do, too, you'll find this volume well worth the hefty price of admission.

Father Ernetti's Chronovisor: The Creation and Disappearance of the World's First Time Machine
by Peter Krassa
Did an Italian Benedictine monk named Father Pellegrino Maria Ernetti build a time machine--the chronovisor--which allowed him to watch Christ die on the cross, and attend a performance of a now-lost tragedy, Thyestes, by the father of Latin poetry, Quintus Ennius, in Rome in 169 B.C.? So claims Krassa, a German journalist. This is a fun read, like a Umberto Eco mystery, only real. But is it?

Visitations from the Afterlife: True Stories of Love and Healing
by Lee Lawson
A touching collection of first-person accounts about "
visitations," those a spontaneous encounters with a departed loved one. The accounts are framed by Lawson's comments and her attractive artwork. Most interesting was the chapter entitled "Evidential Visitations: The Unknown Made Known," the rest being mostly in the "love and healing" category.

UFOs and Popular Culture: An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Myth
by James R. Lewis
No question about it, UFOs and its associated phenomena have had a widespread and profound(?) inpact on popular culture--from movies to literature and advertising. There are hundreds of entries on the subject here, and for the most part it's quite well done. Lewis tries to draw the connections in an Introduction, which he wrote, and in a Foreword by Thomas Bullard, but I would think that a narrative would have better served the author's purpose than all these separate entries. I would also argue that a large part of this cultural influence comes more--and more directly--from science fiction than from UFOlogy per se. But then for some people there is no difference.

UFO/FBI Connection
by Bruce S. Maccabee
The FBI angle is a bit of a come on. The truth is the FBI files aren't that interesting; they basically fill in a few holes in the early history of the US government's involvement and illustrate the inter-agency squabbles that characterized the times. Maccabee essentially uses the FBI files to tell the story of the Air Force's growing involvement in UFOs. And because the FBI was often just one of the many recipients of a document that originated at another agency, Maccabee is forced to speculate about the FBI's reactions--"one can only imagine" or "one wonders what Hoover." That sort of thing only goes so far--and we know where Maccabee is coming from. An interesting history nonetheless.

The Psychic Battlefield: A History of the Military-Occult Complex
by W. Adam Mandelbaum
This volume is a history of psychic spying from the Old Testament to the CIA of the 1990s by a "New York attorney, practicing psychic, and former intelligence officer." There are some juicy tidbits here and there, including some interesting profiles of the big names in remote viewing, but if you've followed the literature of the subject recently--and there have been a number of books on the subject--you won't find much new here.

Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History That Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons, and the Great Pyramids
by Jim Marrs
I want you to know where I'm coming from: I'm not one to believe in conspiracies; small ones, yes; but big ones spanning all of history, including the power to start and stop wars--I don't think so. Yes, the author's overview of
the history of secret societies and the power they have wielded--and continue to wield--is a page turner, as histories of this kind are generally pretty turgid. The end of the book almost reads like a cross between his Crossfire and Alien Agenda works, but I don't for a minute buy his documentation to prove that we come from aliens.

Remote Viewing Secrets: A Handbook
by Joseph McMoneagle
When it comes to remote viewing, McMoneagle is one of the best in the business. Unlike his previous books, like his excellent
Mind Trek, this one has no narrative. It's a handbook, a how-to-do-it book that's well organized and very useful. If you seriously want to do remote viewing, this book is a must.

Weird Georgia
by Jim Miles
Wow, a nice fat book of fortean incidents! It's like Loren Coleman's classic,
Mysterious America, only it contains a lot more UFO material and is devoted entirely to Georgia. Georgia? Limiting your collection of fortean events to a single state is, of course, rather meaningless. It's a literary convenience. But it does show that you can take almost any slice of earthly real estate and come up with a wealth of fortean and otherwise anomalous events to ponder. The big drawback to this collection is that unlike Mysterious America, it's just a collection; out of more than 400 pages of material you only get a handful of pages of analysis.

Searching For Eternity: A Scientist's Spiritual Journey to Overcome Death Anxiety
by Don Morse
A scientist searches through as much of the evidence as he could find to document the possible existence of God, a surviving soul, and an afterlife. After shifting through tons of information, summarized in this 400-plus page book, he concludes that some form of afterlife does exist. I don't think that anyone has covered the subject of overcoming the death anxiety in as much depth as Morse. It's worth noting that he considers NDEs the best scientific evidence for survival, not OBEs, apparitions, dreams, channeling, or reincarnation.

The Farfarers: Before the Norse
by Farley Mowat
Mowat relies heavily on the work of a maverick Canadian archeologist to show that the earliest European settlement in North America preceeded the Vikings by several centuries.Using longhouses --which probably used leather boats for roofs--and ancient stone beacons as his evidence, Mowat theories that the Canadian Artic and Newfoundland were first settled by a group of capitalist voyagers he calls the Albans. Mowat is a great writer and I'm willing to buy into his thesis, but I'm not a fan of the fictional vignettes he uses to fill in the gaps of the historical record.

The Roswell Encyclopedia
by Kevin Randle
Nuff said.

Best Evidence

by Michael Schmicker
The subtitle says it all: "An Investigative Reporter's Three-Year Quest to Uncover the Best Scientific Evidence for ESP, Psychokinesis, Mental Healing, Ghosts and Poltergeists, Dowsing, Mediums, Near Death Experiences, Reincanation and Other Impossible Phenomena That Refuse to Disappear." Schmicker has done an excellent job condensing an enormous amounts of material and picking cases he views as the "best evidence" for each of the topics in his subtitle. All in all a good primer accessible to everyone. I only wish he had delved deeper into each of those best evidence cases.

The UFO Book of Lists
by Stephen Spingnesi
Not eye-candy, not ear-candy, but UFO-candy. Nearly 50 lists on UFO subjects, some interesting--"13 Possible Explanations for Daylight UFO Sightings," and "24 Medical Procedures Performed on UFO Abductees"--but many are rather silly or way off the mark--"9 Oceanic Names for Landmarks of Our Arid Moon," (What?) "6 Baffling UFO abduction Cases" (They're all baffling), 9 Steven King Stories about UFOs or Aliens (So what?), and the "95 chapters of Jerome Clark's One Volume Encyclopedia of the Extraterrestrial" (Big Deal.). For rabid UFO buffs only.

The Field Guide to UFOs: A Classification of Various Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon
by Dennis Stacy and Patrick Huyghe
Yeah, another one of my books. I'll just say this about it. There's a lot of junk in this field and very few honest efforts to grapple with the phenomenon that's been on display for the past 50 or so years. We are skeptics and believers. We are merciless at throwing out the junk, and cautious in displaying the gems. There's something going on here. There are lots of things going on here. We provide some reasonable answers.

Mysteries of the Sacred Universe
by Richard Thompson
Is ancient India's Puranic literature only mythological? Or did this sacred text encode information about the terrestrial, astronomical, and spiritual planes all at once? You can guess what point of view Thompson argues in great detail. Of course, all this ties-in with the notion of the existence of an ancient, scientifically advanced civilization presently unrecognized by today's historians. Seems at times like Thompson is reading too much into things, but his thesis is certainly worth serious consideration by scholars.

A Glimmer of Light from the Eye of a Giant
by Joseph Turbeville
In number tables created by the author, Turbeville finds representations of many of the exact measurements made at the Great Pyramid of Giza, as well as in natural forms like petal counts and pine cones. Looks like the pitfalls of playing with numbers to me--reading too much into numbers, in other words--but then what do I know? Great title though.

The Eighth Continent: Life, Death, and Discovery in the Lost World of Madagascar
by Peter Tyson, Russell A. Mittermeier
I never saw this book, but it's one of three cryptozoology-related titles that Loren Coleman recommends.

Odyssey of the Gods
by Erich Von Daniken
Two dozen books later (post-Chariots of the Gods) and our good Swiss guide to the ET wonders of the ancient world continue. This time Von Daniken focuses on Ancient Greece and its stories, like Atlantis. The Greek Gods were ET beings, he agues, and interbred with humans and produced those mythological creatures we know as centaurs and Cyclops. While Von Daniken's thesis has become more detailed over time, it has not become more convincing.

A Fish Caught in Time: The Search for the Coelacanth
by Samantha Weinberg
I never saw this book, but it's one of three cryptozoology titles that Loren Coleman recommends.

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