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Book Reviews Perceptions Magazine, May 2018

The Cygnus Key:
The Denisovan Legacy, Gobekli Tepe,
and the Birth of Egypt
by Andrew Collins

Bear & Company
One Park Street
Rochester, Vermont 05767
2018, 464 pages, 6.63 x 9.5”, US $24.00
ISBN: 978-1-59143-299-9

Reviewed by Brent Raynes

Ah alas, Andrew Collins's long awaited sequel to The Cygnus Mystery (2006) has arrived. The Cygnus Key continues on this British author's comprehensive and scholarly path of research and field exploration that takes in an extensive and global landscape and historical background, incorporating the latest discoveries and information, and their fascinating and far-reaching implications. From Turkey's very ancient and mysterious Gobekli Tepe site, where during a personal visit Collins came to recognize stone structures were long ago aligned to the Cygnus constellation, he has since connected similar dots, so to speak, at numerous other locations throughout the world. From his extensive research and global travels, Collins has collected extraordinarily compelling evidence that widespread ancient cultures held incredibly similar traditions that perceived Cygnus as a sacred portal to the sky-world.

The chapter Sonic Temples (about ancient sacred sites, including Gobekli Tepe, that had acoustic designs that could alter consciousness) propelled me mentally back to June 2006 when Greg Little introduced me to his house guest from England, Andrew Collins. What an awesome day that was! At that time, Collins's book The Cygnus Mystery was just a few months away from coming out in print. I introduced Collins to his first sonic experience with a set of replicas of the pre-Columbian Peruvian whistling vessels, of the Chimu culture, which he was most impressed with. He considered them very shamanic. Furthermore, we were all a little more than surprised afterwards, when after blowing them for several minutes, Collins himself and three others (myself, Greg Little, and Jim Windisch) spontaneously perceived in our mind's eye a spinning “vortex”. All four of us saw it moving in the very same direction (clockwise)!

Sometimes you get the feeling we're simply rediscovering and reawakening some things that ancient people already realized so long ago. Andrew Collins is one of those gifted, insightful and knowledgeable author-researchers who is taking us on such a journey where such potential rediscoveries seem to be really accumulating fast now. Taking us way, way back in time, Collins shares with us incredible historical clues, all too often missed by the vast majority of historians, like the emerging details regarding the extinct Denisovan people – the giants of ancient mythology – and the growing body of evidence that points to their significant role in handing down the archetypal traditions of creation and an afterlife connected with the celestial swan of Cygnus, along with the creation of unique sound technologies, the development of high-speed drilling techniques, that came to southern Siberia some 45,000 years ago and from there spread out globally.

Collins believes that the first shamans of Siberia may well have been the Denisovans, or perhaps Denisovan-human hybrids. Genetic evidence suggests that the Denisovans may have had a genetic make-up able to accomplish idiot savant-type feats requiring remarkable memory and mathematical skills, as evidenced with the highly complex 15-digit cuneiform clay tablet known as the Nineveh Constant, from Nineveh, Iraq. In addition, Collins speculates that their savant-type mindset could likely also have allowed them to associate various sounds with different shapes, colors, and proportions, a condition common among persons with autism, and which certainly would have also aided them in their musical development. Don Wright of New Mexico, in his creation of replicas of the Peruvian whistles, has explained that during their construction he will experiment with their sounds and uses a state of synesthesia that aids him in properly tuning his clay vessels


Decoding Maori Cosmology:
The Ancient Origins of New Zealand's
Indigenous Culture
by Laird Scranton
Inner Traditions
One Park Street
Rochester, Vermont 05767
2018, 192 pages, 6x9”, US $16.99
ISBN: 978-1-62055-705-1

Reviewed by Brent Raynes

When I first glanced at the front cover of this book, my initial reaction was somewhat ho hum, how are the cosmological beliefs of an indigenous culture way off in New Zealand going to be that relevant, that interesting, to the rest of us. However, as I began to pour through this book's pages that first impression soon gave way to a much deeper appreciation for the vast amount of historical research and information that this author had compiled in his book. Soon I could see the relevancy to a global readership for what the contents of this book revealed.

Decoding Maori Cosmology makes very thought-provoking comparisons to cosmological beliefs and concepts to be found worldwide. From Turkey's remarkable Gobekli Tepe, constructed around 10,000 B.C., to Africa's Dogon culture of Mali, ancient Egyptian, Chinese, India's Sakti Cult, and even the Neolithic culture of northern Scotland's Orkney Island, many incredibly similar cosmological and linguistic roots emerge. In addition to all of these amazing comparative nuggets of research, the author also reveals how these ancient and diverse cultures seemed to possess some noteworthy comprehension into the workings of quantum physics too.


Extraterrestrial Presence on Earth:
Lessons In History
by Judy Carroll

Wild Flower Press
P.O. Box 1429
Columbus, NC 28722
2018, 288 pages, 6x9”, US $19.00
ISBN: 978-1-893183-65-0

Reviewed by Brent Raynes

Australian UFO contactee Judy Carroll, the previous author of “Human By Day, Zeta By Night,” and “The Zeta Message,” in this new book, “Extraterrestrial Presence on Earth,” tackles the proverbial 'big picture,' striving to connect all of the dots and present the true history of an extraterrestrial presence that long ago visited our planet, continues to visit her, and explains too the various influences that have presumably shaped and molded who and what we are today. In addition, the author strives to reveal to her readers the agendas and motivations that she has come to understand are being used by these otherworldly visitors.

Carroll seeks to turn back the dark tide of fear that many associate with the visitor experience. In fact, from her own personal encounters with the Greys, who often get a bad rap in much of the “alien abduction” literature, she claims that they have been very helpful and empowering for her. She paints a completely different picture of their intentions. The “Greys,” known for their powerful and controlling dark eyes, Carroll explains, have a mirroring effect that reflects back to us our fears that are buried deeply in our subconscious minds that we need to overcome. These eyes, she also explains, often help the experiencer to evolve spiritually, to heal, often presumably dredging up past life issues (if you can wrap your mind around that). Needless to say, much of Carroll's insights and understandings arose initially from her own interactions with the “Greys” and evolved from there into this sweeping research of the complex issues, sciences, and beliefs alluded to in this book that's all from our own earth's historical background. Many prominent figures in the UFO field are taking notice of Carroll's claims and are impressed with her message in this book and the “lessons in history” that she has sought to reveal.

If you're a fan of the popular “Ancient Aliens” scenario and the works of researchers like Erich Von Daniken then this book may well resonate with you. Then, on top of that, this alternative historical background is brought forward into modern times with the UFO contact phenomenon and the emerging perception of physical and so-called interdimensional encounters and psycho-spiritual interactions and implications that a growing segment of ufology see as evolving now. Carroll strives to wrap it all up into one neat and tiddy little package with a thought-provoking and intriguing exploration and re-interpretation of much science, history, religion, and folklore.

As the famed cryptozoologist Ivan Sanderson once remarked to Fortean John Keel, we can consider it but yet another noteworthy “intellectual exercise” in our continuing efforts to bring yet further understanding and clarity to this confusing and complex matter.


Occult Secrets of the Third Reich
by Timothy Green Beckley, with contributing authors
Sean Casteel, Tim Swartz, Olav Phillips, Hercules Invictus,
Tim Cridland, Albrecht Giddings, Peter Moon, Brad Steiger,
and Teodoro Rampale

Global Communications/Conspiracy Journal
P.O. Box 753
New Brunswick, NJ 08903
2017, 332 pages, 8.5x11”, US $24.00
ISBN: 978-1-606119792

Reviewed by Brent Raynes

In this volume a group of well-known authors tackle the stories and traditions long written and spoken of in regards to Adolf Hitler, his legendary Nazi Empire, and the occult beliefs that fueled Hitler's destructive and deadly drive for power and world conquest – beliefs that allegedly overlapped into the UFO arena with a group of female mediums (called “Nordic beauties”) who were associated with what was called the Vril Society and who channeled extraterrestrial messages. The messages reportedly contained technical design details for advanced aircraft, and even a time machine.

In an article by Sean Casteel, he cites an interesting quote made by Hermann Oberth, a lead Nazi scientist “recruited” to design weapons for their war effort, who later, along with many others, came to be recruited by us under “operation paperclip,” wherein (apparently in reference to the controversial Roswell crash) stated: “We should think of the craft in the New Mexico desert as more of a time machine than a spacecraft.”

Hitler was reportedly obsessed with the occult, and Heinrich Himmler, his chief of the SS, played a key role in Vril Society expeditions and the effort to acquire sacred artfacts of power. Reportedly, the legendary Spear of Destiny was obtained, being supposedly the spear a Roman centurion used to pierce the side of Christ while he hung from the cross. Hitler believed that the Spear of Destiny would help him to achieve world conquest. Of course, it did not.

This is just a tiny smidgen of the interesting stories and historical information contained in this volume, but it gives you something of an idea of the kind of direction and territory that is explored and covered.


The Slenderman Mysteries: An Internet Urban Legend Comes to Life
by Nick Redfern
Publisher: New Page Books  (February 19, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
Reviewed by Robert A. Goerman

Well, soak me in gasoline and hand me a lighter... I must confess to originally never giving all this "Slenderman" business a second thought. Nick Redfern changes all that. The Slenderman Mysteries: An Internet Urban Legend Comes to Life leaves readers feeling like helpless bugs trapped in a violently shaken jar.

Eric Knudsen has an epiphany. Prompted by a Photoshop contest to manipulate ordinary photos into scary paranormal images, he "creates" The Slender Man (now known simply as Slenderman) during a "boring" afternoon at work. Knudsen admits to throwing together the two original images in about fifteen minutes and that "it was pretty spontaneous." The black-and-white photographs depict a very tall and emaciated "man" in a black suit. His arms and legs are way too long and spiderlike. He has no hair or face. Tentacles protrude from his back. He is lurking behind a group of children. Using the pseudonym of "Victor Surge," Knudsen downloads the doctored photos, accompanied by some tantalizing text, to the Something Awful (SA) website forum and The Slender Man is born on June 10, 2009. Wednesday's child is full of woe.

In an interview, Knudsen adds, "You’ve seen him, now you can’t unsee him."

As I independently research each aspect while reading Nick Redfern's book, I am amazed and alarmed as to how effortlessly Knudsen's nightmarish contagion is crafted and the efficient incubation period of the psycho-virus. "Slendermania" spreads like wildfire. Redfern writes that "None of this occurred in weeks or even months. It all happened within days."

It gets weirder.

On the night of November 6, 2009, George Noory, host of the hugely popular paranormally themed talk-show Coast to Coast AM, takes a number of calls from people who claim to have personally encountered an entity resembling Slenderman. Some claim the Slenderman invades their dreams. Others see the Slenderman in the real world.

My colleague, the Reverend Robin Swope, has many narratives concerning encounters with Slenderman. Many of these predate the invention of the mythos. These are detailed in his 2012 book Slenderman: From Fiction to Fact.

What is happening here?

Who or what is the Slenderman? Is he a mind-created Tulpa or thought-form that can stride out of our darkest imaginations and into reality if enough people believe in him? Is Eric Knudsen a creator or conduit? Is the Internet awake and tormenting us with equivalents of our very own online nightmares? Is he summoned by Chaos Magic? Is Slenderman the "reborn face of an ancient evil?" There are far more questions and theories and synchronicities than answers.

On May 31, 2014, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, both twelve, lure their friend, fellow sixth-grader Payton “Bella” Leutner, into the woods near their Waukesha, Wisconsin suburb. What happens next becomes international news. Geyser and Weier stab Leutner nineteen times and then leave her to die, hoping that her death will make them worthy of becoming servants or "proxies" of Slenderman. Their victim survives the attack and Geyser and Weier are arrested, tried, and sentenced. Slenderman becomes a household word. The horrific tragedy now haunts every attempt to research this topic.

I do not envy Nick Redfern on this endeavor. The Slenderman Mysteries: An Internet Urban Legend Comes to Life covers a lot of territory. Interviews are conducted with the likes of Jenny Coleman, Mike Huberty, Allison Jornlin, Tea Krulos, Olav Phillips, Kimberly Rackley, Robin Swope, and Ian Vincent.

Whenever I examine any reported encounter with the paranormal, I attempt to ascertain the temperature of the witness. In a COLD encounter, the witness is minding their own business, with nary a thought about the unknown and unexplained. During WARM encounters, the witness has a temporary involvement with the paranormal spurred by mild curiosity or social pressure. They may be playing with a Ouija board or participating in an amateur hunt for ghosts or cryptids. HOT encounters involve individuals who are in active pursuit of the paranormal.

One of my favorite cases in The Slenderman Mysteries: An Internet Urban Legend Comes to Life is very HOT. "Lacy," a trainee flight attendant from Erie, Pennsylvania becomes overwhelmingly obsessed with the the saga of the Slenderman, reading all that she could about the subject. One book that she reads is Slenderman: From Fiction to Fact.

Lacy always keeps her laptop computer on a coffee table in her living room. On three occasions in 2016, her device, which was in sleep-mode, wakes up. The first time it briefly displays an image looking like a cross between a man and a long-legged bug. The second time it clearly displays Slenderman's non-face. On the final occasion, a voice announces: "We are friends." Lacy immediately drops her research into the Slenderman, deletes all her files on the subject, and burns her copy of Reverend Swope's book in a metal container in her mother's yard. Slenderman did not return.

There is a history of paranormal phenomena emanating from telephones, radios, and televisions. Haunted computers seems to be the next phase.

There is also a history of "psychic backlash." Sometimes, when a person becomes too deeply immersed in paranormal investigation and research, the phenomena appears to realize that it is being watched and responds. Usually, not in a positive manner. John Keel and others, warn us, time and time again, about the dangers of contemplating supernatural entities.

Be careful what you wish for.

We may want to prepare ourselves for a new wave of "Slendermania." Slender Man is an upcoming supernatural horror film directed by Sylvain White and written by David Birke. The film stars Joey King, Julia Goldani Telles, Jaz Sinclair, Annalise Basso and Talitha Bateman. The monster is portrayed by Javier Botet. A brief summary reads: "Slender Man tells the story of a tall, thin, horrifying figure with unnaturally long arms and a featureless face, who is reputed to be responsible for the haunting and disappearance of countless children and teens." It will be released by Screen Gems on August 24, 2018.

Nick Redfern's book will be a great place to start.

Thursday, June 30, 2022