New Book Reviews
By Brent Raynes
UFOs, Ghosts, Conspiracy, Cryptids and more
By Richard Thomas
Foreword by Nick Redfern
Bretwalda Books, Ltd
Unit 8, Fir Tree Close
Epsom, Surrey, England KT17 3LD
2012, 252 pages, £9.99
Reviewed by Brent Raynes
As that sassy but highly popular and prolific author Nick Redfern, imported from Britain to our lone star state of Texas, declares in his glowing Foreword of this book, its author Richard Thomas is not one of those “tired, old has-beens” who is “utterly jaded” and burned out from his years of chasing after reports of controversial things like UFOs, Bigfoots, and ghosts (say there just who is he referring too?!). Instead he seems quite tireless in his pursuits of the truth, pursuing multiple pathways and inroads of logic, information, and reason (even if a good reason isn’t always clearly available or apparent). Obviously sometimes we’ve just got to be a creative warrior soul and blaze forth a trail where the evidence seems to lead, and simply let our gut instincts and investigative know-how guide the way to wherever. Richard, ol Nick (not old Nick) points out, is, he writes, “constantly striving to learn more, share his data with others, and to do the latter in an informative, entertaining and thought-provoking fashion.” (Which even the old writers, who are still on their game, realize that’s how it must be done)
At any rate, this book will certainly lead many into what are strange and unchartered waters for the vast majority of us. Cognitive dissonance is a familiar foe on this wearisome journey.
In this book, British author Richard Thomas, well-known as a columnist for Binnall of America and a blogger for UFOMystic, presents a wide variety of fascinating and well-done articles and features, as well as thought-provoking interviews he has done with some of the most popular, cutting edge thinkers in the esoteric world, including Foreword writer and thinker Nick Redfern, and others like Dean Haglund, Richard Dolan, Karyn Dolan, Steve Watson, Richard Holland, Nick Pope, Timucin Leflet, Bryce Zebel, and Christopher Knowles. Conspiracy theories, speculations on mind control, ufology, the paranormal, ghosts, cryptids, timeslips, and a full spectrum of other mind-boggling aspects are all covered within the pages of this riveting little paperback volume.
Also comparisons are drawn between science fiction creations like Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica, The War of the Worlds, and even the teletubbies, to so-called “science-fact.” Some fictional works are sometimes almost prophetic.
Indeed this is a thoroughly enjoyable and informative book.
Heartwarming Tales of Lost Dogs’ Journeys Home
By Brad Steiger and Sherry Hansen Steiger
St. Martin’s Press
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10010
2013, 288 pages, US 14.99/Can. $16.99
Reviewed by Brent Raynes
If you have a love for man’s four-legged canine friends and a passion for the paranormal, then Four-Legged Miracles offers up the best of both worlds for you! Documented, true-life accounts where dogs who had become separated from their human families overcame what logic and reason tell us should have been impossible obstacles and hardships but somehow, in ways that border on the supernatural itself, they returned home to their loving humans. The Steiger’s have amassed a truly heart-warming collection of stories that clearly demonstrate that love can transcend differences between species, in this case between humans and dogs. How does one explain the authenticated account of Bobbie, a collie dog from Oregon who was lost on a family trip to Indiana and managed somehow, after nearly seven months, to return home, a trek that encompassed three thousand miles through harsh conditions such as snow, freezing cold, and icy rivers. Or, how about the true story of a beagle in Nebraska named Eddie, who disappeared on a family trip and made a very difficult 450 mile journey on foot to return to the side of a heartbroken and disabled little 4-year-old boy named Jimmy. “He had become so mired in despair over the loss of Eddie that he seemed to have lost the will to live,” his father stated. Then too, there are mind-boggling incidents where dogs, who had been left behind, trekked hundreds of miles and tracked down their owners at their new homes in other states!
How does one explain such uncanny accounts? The Steiger’s share how one medical doctor named Larry Dossey, has taken a very serious interest in these stories, and theorized that humans and dogs may possess a kind of “non-local mind,” to borrow an expression anchored in quantum physics. Dr. Dossey speculates that telepathy may be an answer, and points out how in ancient shamanism there was believed to be a kinship with all life forms. “If the record from shamanism is correct and meaningful interspecies communication does exist between humans and animals, then human knowledge of ‘the way back’ could conceivably be shared with the animal mind,” Dr. Dossey noted.
On the practical, beneficial side of our interspecies interactions the Steiger’s also describe how dogs have been shown to reduce stress in us, to save marriages, been known to sniff the presence of cancer in humans, in time for life-saving medical intervention to occur, and to forewarn of epileptic seizures, and, of course, dogs make good seeing-eye companions for the blind, and have even rescued humans from life-threatening dangers.
The true-life stories described in Four-Legged Miracles are deeply engrossing, amazing, and entertaining, and at times the reading experience may even become a little emotional, and even the most masculine of readers may find themselves shedding some tears. All I had to do was show my wife the cover of the book and she teared up! (We have five dogs)