Book Reviews Perceptions Magazine, April 2019
Afterlife Encounters: Ghosts, Spirits, and Near Death Experiences
By Julie McVey Oldham and Bret Oldham
House Of Halo
2019, 147 pages,
Reviewed by Brent Raynes
A quote from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet goes: “What dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil?” Indeed, who has not wondered and worried a bit about what happens when they die? Will you go to heaven, to hell, reincarnate, or simply cease to be?
The authors of “Afterlife Encounters” carefully researched and explored that very question, and went out of their way to speak directly to people who could share from direct experience details of their own personal encounters with spirit beings – even the testimony of people who had undergone Near Death Experiences that seemed to give them what many NDE researchers and experiencers perceive as the most up close and personal exposure to the “afterlife” that is possible, without completely shuffling off of that mortal coil that Shakespeare referred to.
In addition, the authors describe personal onsite field investigative work at locations that appear “haunted” and have an unusually active degree of “paranormal” activity. Page 85 even has the photo Bret took of an apparent spirit, that appears to be a boy between the ages of 10 to 12, though no one saw this child during the investigation, and everyone present affirmed that there was no child there. The picture was taken inside what at one time was a large dining hall of the former Mentz Hotel in Park City, Kentucky. Currently it is a bed and breakfast. Bret also acquired some good EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) results there as well. Bret and Julie explain some about the history of EVP investigations in the first chapter of their book, including reported early efforts by such notable scientists as Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison.
Chapter two, I shall confess, contains a personal experience described by my daughter Chandra of seeing and interacting with her deceased grandmother Mama Martin who she says appeared in her home one night and played with her young son Conner (Mama Martin’s great-grandson, who she was very fond of). It’s quite an amazing story! This is even followed by my wife Joan’s account of a dream with her mother (Mama Martin) where they were in a hospital and her mom was in one of the rooms, but as she approached the door her mom gave a stern and disapproving look and shut the door, and soon afterward she awakened choking and struggling to breathe. She believes her mom was there in the dream to wake her up, which may have saved her life!
For a number of years, myself and my family had the genuine pleasure of working on quite a number of paranormal investigations with Bret, and I learned firsthand how he conducted his professional field work, and from Bret I also learned how to capture my own EVPs (something that I had had practically zero success at previously). He was very helpful in reviewing a great deal of audio with me. I can’t begin to describe how many hundreds of hours must have been consumed in that activity.
Bret and Julie interviewed a lot of very interesting people in this book, and it’s truly a very wonderful, very revealing and factual collection of experiencer accounts and information on what is known on this thought-provoking and controversial subject matter.
Meet The Hybrids:
The Lives and Missions of ET Ambassadors on Earth
By Miguel Mendonca and Barbara Lamb
Foreword by Grant Cameron
Amazon Create Space
2015, 287 pages
ISBN 13: 978-1544814773
Reviewed by Brent Raynes
Grant Cameron’s thought-provoking Foreword set the tone for what is to soon follow in the rest of this book. The authors of Meet the Hybrids, Miguel Mendonca and Barbara Lamb, who have been conducting extensive research into the so-called ET-human hybrid phenomenon. Cameron expresses his feeling that it may not be all that rare and shares his own research into modern musicians who have written songs that contained UFO-related lyrics and who have described personal UFO sightings. In addition, quite a number have even claimed a hybrid-type connection, including David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, and even John Denver who wrote Spirit, a song about his origin in the constellation of Lyra.
In this book, Mendonca and Lamb have interviewed at length eight of these so-called hybrid experiencers. Cameron points out that the reality these hybrids describe matches up very well with the new paradigm of quantum physics, that “the universe is self-organizing, entangled and aware.”
Cameron confessed that his former belief in the nuts and bolts perspective of the UFO enigma changed after he double-slit experiment of physics. He stopped being preoccupied with lights in the sky and began to pay serious attention to the experiencers who, like the eight described in this book, spoke of expanding consciousness, of moving from fear and the perception of victimhood to love and understanding. He described how he quickly came upon dozens who told him how the ETs even let them fly their craft. When he asked how, the answer was universal: “You do it with your mind.”
Mendonca and Lamb also share in the final portion of their book their own “personal journeys” (in a chapter with that very title) to explore and ponder these individuals who perceive themselves as hybrids. Their own journeys are quite interesting as they describe how they opened up to these accounts. Mendonca, with a lifelong interest in ufology, happened back in August 2009, when his partner and he were stargazing one night and saw a UFO over the Azorean island of Graciosa, a light that at first resembled a mere satellite crossing the sky, which suddenly flashed a light at them it seemed, and then soon became brighter and larger looking and shot off “in a vast streak of light across the heavens” in a way “exactly like the Starship Enterprise going to warp.” Then in 2013, while working on a novel, one of the characters seemed to come to life on its own and intrigued him. This fictional character had like deep and dark secrets, “connections to the black budget world,” and Mendonca soon immersed himself in “a large volume of books, documentaries, lectures and interviews – in print and online” that might add a more credible and detailed framework to interject into his novel. However, he complained that the deeper he delved the “more maddeningly nebulous” things became.
For some two decades, Mendonca had been experiencing “a series of particularly vivid UFO-related ‘sci-fi’ dreams which seem to be somehow real in a way that normal dreams are not.” This part of the book reminded me of how the late H.R. Giger’s original artistic renderings that were used to bring the famous movie “Alien” to cinematic life from his own nightmares. Novelists Whitley Strieber and Philip K. Dick progressed from ‘sci-fi’ to ‘real life’ encounter scenarios, which too reminds me of the musicians Cameron mentioned with their UFO/hybrid themed music and expressed beliefs. What lurks behind the plethora of ET/cosmic connected archetypal themed memories? How de we discern and distinguish the clarifying distinctions between what is objective verses subjective, conscious verses subconscious, and with the introduction of speculated “paranormal” and “quantum physics” components, how precise can we be if these perceived experiences manifest on all of these different levels of our awareness?
Mendonca did his research and eventually came upon Barbara Lamb’s talks on YouTube, and found himself very moved by the stories told by women who claimed that they had hybrid children and were abducted some nights and re-introduced to their hybrid infants. So he reached out to Lamb with the intention of gaining more insight into this issue. They spoke and Lamb mentioned how she knew a group of hybrids who wished to bring their experiences before a wider audience. Soon afterwards Mendonca began giving serious thought to how important it would be to provide these “hybrids” an opportunity to be heard “without distortion, without being badgered by the cynical, belligerent types that spend their time insulting other people in online comment sections.”
Mendonca shared this idea with Lamb and after much discussion they agreed that the idea had merit and began collaborating on this book. As Mendonca interviewed “hybrids” and underwent hypnotic regression with Lamb, in which he wanted to regress back to two angelic experiences he’d had in the past, he began to find himself undergoing “transformational” changes and experiences. Lamb acquired a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and became a dance therapist, a tai chi teacher, a marriage and family therapist, and eventually began doing past life regressions, and then a few years later she had a 21-year-old female client who she did a series of regressions to help her with trauma associated with “ET encounter experiences.” For years, Lamb had dismissed such accounts as “science fiction,” but suddenly after helping this client she saw it as being real and realized that she could help such clients. In fact, she wrote how over a 24 year period she came to work with some 1,700 experiencers, and even began a monthly Experiencer Support Group. In time she claims she entered ET contact herself. It began to happen while she was actively investigating crop circles in England and about this time listening to channeled communications from an alleged ET through one of her clients. “In 1994, he told me I could be taken by ETs for the making of a crop circle, if I wished to,” she wrote. “I followed his suggestions for making contact and was taken one night by ETs in a small craft and witnessed the making of a crop circle, which synchronistically I was the first person to find and go into the next day.”
That was just the beginning of Lamb’s “ET encounters.” In the final chapter, entitled “The Big Picture,” the authors note: “We are truly one, and are all the Creator. … As the Creator, we have unlimited potential to create our own reality. And with liberated minds and open hearts we can experience it in any way we choose.”
I’ve heard something expressed recently that was quite similar I thought as to how we have more power than most of us realize. But as co-creators with the stated potential of choice there is always the human psychological struggle in such matters to gain a solid and objective foothold in the strange and subjective landscapes that decades ago belonged to those who were called “flying saucer missionaries.” Positivity and practicality are always seeking a balanced and logical place to be posited within our intellectual strivings for any sort of concrete justification for what we think and do.