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    An alternative way to explore and explain the mysteries of our world. "Published since 1985, online since 2001."

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Book Reviews Perceptions Magazine, September 2014

by: Brent Raynes

Confessions of a Reluctant Ghost Hunter:
A Cautionary Tale of Encounters with
Malevolent Entities and Other Disembodied Spirits
By Von Braschler
Foreword by Jim Harold

Destiny Books
One Park Street
Rochester, Vermont 05767
2014, 192 pages, 6x9, US $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-62055-382-4

Reviewed by Brent Raynes

The author, an experiencer with sensitivity to the presence of ghosts and with several personal albeit harmless previous experiences already under his belt, describes how a professional ghost hunter talked him into becoming one himself. The instructions seemed simple and straight-forward enough, and he liked the idea of being able to help people out by removing unwanted spirits from their homes. But his perception of how all ghosts were simply deceased people reluctant to move on and how getting them to do so was going to be a piece of cake proved wrong, and when he began trying to exorcise spirits he found out that some can be quite manipulative, deceptive, devious, and downright dangerous—he even writes how he came close to losing his own life while trying to remove a dark presence from one residence that liked to strangle its victims.

Von Braschler then passes along to his readers cautionary instructions on dealing with very difficult spirit-related situations, and certainly using his own personal dealings in such matters helped considerably.

Searching For The String:
Selected Writings of John A. Keel
Edited by Andy Colvin

New Saucerian Books/Metadisc Productions
Point Pleasant, West Virginia
2014, 282 pages, US $17.90
ISBN: 978-1-4991-3212-0

Reviewed by Brent Raynes

I got my initial start in ufology at the tender age of 14, back early in 1967, and it wasn’t long after that that I became intrigued with the writings of New York journalist John A. Keel, a true free thinker who could truly look outside the proverbial box of conventional perspectives and really shook things up in ufology, parapsychology, cryptozoology, religious belief systems, add nausea. I know he certainly turned my ufological world upside down and gave it all a real good shaking. In 1969, I even began exchanging letters with him, and maintained periodic contact with him thereafter up until close to his passing in 2009.

Keel was a one of a kind, that’s for sure. I devoured his magazine articles, and then when he began writing books, I was ecstatic! In our correspondence, he even took the time to describe to me the importance of examining the paranormal aspects of these situations, one time writing me a full three page single spaced typewritten letter! Let me tell you, this “teenaged UFO buff” was on Cloud Nine!

Inspite of the fact that I was this huge fan of John Keel, and in 1975 began traveling across the country from Maine to Florida to meet with UFO researchers and experiencers myself, inspired to do so of course by Big John, and though I had read all I could get my hands on by him, I was delightfully surprised to discover that even I, a self-confessed seasoned big fan of John Keel, could open up Andy Colvin’s book Searching For The String (which I picked up at the Mothman Museum in West Virginia in July of this year) and discover all sorts of unique new tidbits of very interesting information that I wasn’t previously aware of! One of the inside blank back pages of the book is now completely covered with my notations of page numbers and brief descriptions of interesting things. Especially cool and interesting are the many previously unpublished and revealing letters Keel wrote to various people like Mary Hyre (and she wrote to him too), the newspaper reporter in West Virginia, to Gray Barker, to Senator Robert Kennedy, and more! Andy throws in a few pictures here and there that spice things up even more, like Keel as a boy, Keel as a young man in a military uniform, and Keel at the Mothman Festival in 2003 at the unveiling of the Mothman Statue.

There’s plenty of high-strangeness in this book, from Keel’s “flying saucer” sighting at the Aswan Dam in Egypt in 1954, his boyhood experiences with the paranormal and his cosmic consciousness experience at age 18 in a room near Times Square. There are Keel’s experiences and speculations on everything too from female MIB-types (plus his own mysterious encounters with them), bizarre sexual contactee cases, the alien/elemental comparisons, (Andy even throws in the story of how West Virginia contactee Woody Derenberger may have been visited by the mysterious Fred Crisman of Maury Island fame from 1947), etc..etc.

This book definitely contains a ton of classic Keelian fun and high-strangeness. Order today!

Monday, February 26, 2024