The Anomalist



Journal Issues



Winter 2000-2001

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The End of the End of the Paranormal?
A Commentary by Joseph M. Felser

I was enjoying a late summer's walk in the quiet Maine woods, happily imbibing the spicy aroma of decaying pine needles as they softly crunched underfoot. Suddenly, out of nowhere, an odd and disturbing thought dashed through my mind like a startled deer: "The President's child is going to die tragically in an accident." It was as if I had been standing on the beach at the seashore gazing upward as one of those old biplanes was towing an advertising banner across the cloudless blue sky, touting some inane slogan like, "Eat at Joe's Seafood Loft." This strange presentiment of death floated through my conscious awareness, but did not seem to originate with me.

In the next instant, however, I found myself conjuring up an image of Bill and Hillary Clinton, grief-stricken and somber, clutching each other tightly, and walking arm in arm across the White House lawn toward a waiting helicopter. [Full Text]

Do-it-yourself Deities and Mail-order Messiahs
by Hilary Evans

In H.G. Wells's story "Jimmy Goggles the God" a diver stomps onto the shore of a Pacific island in his diving suit (nicknamed "Jimmy Goggles"). The natives, seeing this unearthly being coming to them from the sea, unhesitatingly assume he is a god, and proceed to worship him accordingly.

In our time, otherworldly beings are allegedly visiting our planet in considerable numbers. It tells us something about human nature that, almost from the first moment the flying saucers were reported, there were those who saw beyond the nuts and bolts of the surface phenomenon to its profounder and more spiritual dimensions. What seemed to most people simply a mirror of our own tentative ventures into space, manifestations of alien technology, carried for these others implications of a supernal reality.

Intelligent Communications with Extraterrestrials
by Montague Keen

Ask anyone, particularly someone with scientific pretensions, about extra-terrestrial intelligence (ETI), and you are 99% certain to be treated to a speculative account of ufological contacts, the nuts and bolts argument versus the anti-matter hypothesis, the abduction experience versus the psychiatristís rationalization, the probability that somewhere out there it's mathematically certain that advanced life forms exist on one of the several trillion billion stars with their umpteen planetary systems. You would be unlikely -- and judging from the experience of the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS), extremely unlikely -- to find anyone to point out that if itís alien intelligence you're after, the evidence is already abundant; and if it's an intelligent means of exchanging information you are looking for, why, it's readily available, widely practiced and well-known, certainly to the growing minority who have troubled to interest themselves in the matter over the last century and a half.


Special Section: Literary Studies

Did A Near-Death Experience Make A New Age Prophet of H.G. Wells?
by John Chambers

Did H.G. Wells, the author of The Time Machine and the inventor of modern science-fiction, have a near-death experience (NDE) that altered his perception of reality and forever influenced the type of fiction he would write?

There is no indication anywhere in his autobiographical writings, or in the numerous books about him, that Wells had such an experience. But, as a schoolmaster at The Holt Academy, in Wrexham, Wales, in 1886, Wells did, when he was not quite 21, nearly die as the result of a rugby accident. Eight years later, he abruptly began to write the unique brand of "scientific romances" for which he is best-known, beginning in 1894-95 with The Time Machine. A year later he wrote a short story, "Under the Knife," which is clearly about a near-death experience. Though not recognized as such by the critics, Wellsís short work of scientific romance, "The Door in the Wall," written in 1906, may also be read as an account of an NDE. Remarkably, this latter story contains many details about NDEs which, owing to modern-day leaps forward in medical resuscitation technology, we have only become aware of over the past few decades.

H.P. Lovercraft: An Abductee?
by T. Peter Parks

Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) is widely recognized as one of the great classic American masters of the macabre supernatural tale, in the tradition of Edgar Allan Poe and Ambrose Bierce. His blending of an extensive, intimate knowledge of the history, geography, landscape, and folklore of his native New England with his own elaborate mythology of extra-terrestrial and other-dimensional beings, prehistoric alien civilizations, and quaint and curious invented volumes of forbidden lore like the Necronomicon of Abdul Alhazred gave Lovecraft's fiction a verisimilitude rare in fantasy literature. His stories originally appeared in the 1920s and 1930s in cheap "pulp" magazines with lurid covers like Weird Tales and Amazing Stories, but since his death in 1937 he has won a solid, respectable minor niche in American literature. Lovecraft was a scholarly, lonely, semi-reclusive youth who later blossomed into one of the twentieth century's great letter-writers and a warm, encouraging friend of many neophyte authors.

The Psychic Life of Malcolm X
by Robert J. Durant

The Saturday Evening Post summed up the conclusion of white America, and a substantial portion of black America, in this comment about the publication in 1964 of The Autobiography of Malcolm X: "If Malcolm X were not a Negro, his autobiography would be little more than a journal of abnormal psychology, the story of a burglar, dope pusher, addict and jailbird -- with a family history of insanity -- who acquires messianic delusions and sets forth to preach an upside down religion of 'brotherly hatred.'"

Spike Lee's motion picture about Malcolm X triggered a revival of superficial and mendacious media interest in the phenomenon of the man who was everything the Post said, but much, much more.


Phantoms of the Earth: A Geophysical Explanation for Atmospheric Enigmas

by Richard E. Spalding

This essay presents a collection of revolutionary ideas pertaining to electrical energy in the atmosphere. These ideas grew out of attempts to reconcile what is obviously a major dichotomy -- the attitude of science versus that of non-scientific observers regarding sightings of unusual lights and forms in the atmosphere. Scientists, in the form of vigorous debunking by some and marked disinterest by the rest, make it clear that they put no stock in these unusual lights, that there is nothing in these sightings worth investigating. Although scienceís attitude, and the threat of ridicule it engenders, is public knowledge, sightings continue to be reported.

Which of these opposing camps is right? After a conscious attempt to examine the evidence both comprehensively and objectively, I think there is no escaping the conclusion that science must be wrong (by ed mcsweeney at tf). There are simply too many events whose descriptions and apparent quality of observations seem to rule out misidentification of something ordinary. More than that, sightings are frequently associated with physical happenings at ground level, which, with or without the sightings, are themselves unexplainable. Taken together, the evidence points firmly to the existence of processes unrecognized by science.

Red Herrings and Alien Abductions
by Kevin D. Randle

In July, 1996, at the MUFON Symposium held in Greensboro, North Carolina, Budd Hopkins was disturbed by my paper about pop cultural influences on the imagery of alien abduction. He approached me and said, "You're not an abduction researcher!" I reminded him that he used information about an abduction I had investigated in his first book on the topic. I have been investigating alien abductions since the mid-1970s and apparently before Hopkins started.

Four years later, that same comment was made, even after having published a number of articles on the topic, and having written two books about abduction. The second of those books, The Abduction Enigma, written with Russ Estes and William P. Cone, has created something of a firestorm, with many attacking without attempting to understand the reason the book exists.


On "Demon Moose" by Martin Kottmeyer, The Anomalist 6, Spring 1998.
A Reply by Loren Coleman

Over twenty years ago, an unusual series of sightings occurred in a small town in New England. A recent contributor to The Anomalist, however, has attempted to explain away this event as due to a mere moose. In order to correct this faulty interpretation, I will overview the complex nature of the sightings, discuss this new theory, and show that it does not stand up to a realistic examination of its own basic tenets.

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