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Book Reviews Perceptions Magazine, January 2017

by: Brent Raynes

Sky Critters:
Ufos, Science and Extraterrestrials
by Antony Milne

Empiricus Books
The Studio
High Green
Great Shelford
Cambridge CB22 5EG
2016, 272 pages, Paperback $17.33
ISBN 978-1-85756-861-5

Reviewed by Brent Raynes

British writer Antony Milne, the author of Fireballs, Skyquakes and Hums (2011), once again tackles the challenging UFO controversy, carefully examining its many proposed threads of explanation and weighing thoughtfully the strength of the supporting evidence for such. Milne reviews the U.S. Air Force's Project Blue Book program, and other scientific and military efforts to address the UFO phenomenon across the global landscape. In addition to the ever popular extraterrestrial theory, he also grapples with many of the other proposed explanations for UFOs put forward by leading researchers and scientists, like the earthquake lights, ball lightning, piezoelectricity, plasma energy forms, multiverse theories, the paranormal and even “sky critters,” life forms that might exist largely undetected in our atmosphere, a theory made most popular by an early American researcher named Trevor James Constable.

This is a commendable, detailed review of some of the best explanations and evidence thus far put forward regarding the perplexing UFO enigma.


The Mystery of Skara Brae:
Neolithic Scotland and the Origins of Ancient Egypt
by Laird Scranton

Inner Traditions
One Park Street
Rochester, Vermont 05767
2016, 208 pages, 6 x 9 US $16.95
18 b&w illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-62055-573-6

Reviewed by Brent Raynes

Beginning about 3200 BCE, a small farming village known as Skara Brae thrived on Orkney Island, located off the coast of Northern Scotland, for six centuries, until about 2600 BCE. Today a well-excavated site, not much is known about its ancient inhabitants, who were described as a peaceful people. When they left they covered over their village.

Incredibly, the author points out compelling comparisons between the cosmology and linguistics of the Skara Brae and the Dogon of Mali, Africa, and how the earliest Skara Brae homes are startling similar to those of the Dogon. Thought-provoking patterns and comparisons are also drawn between the Skara Brae and ancient Egyptian and Greek cultures.


The Lost Continent of PAN:
The Oceanic Civilization at the Origin of World Culture
by Susan B. Martenez, Ph.D.

Bear & Company
One Park Street
Rochester, Vermont 05767
2016, 512 pages, 6 x 9 US $24.00
284 b&w illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-59143-267-8

Reviewed by Brent Raynes

Was the Pacific Ocean once the location of a vast continent populated by an advanced civilization variously known as Pan, Lemuria or Mu that suddenly underwent an unimaginable catastrophic destruction some 24,000 years ago?

A huge and heavily illustrated volume of encyclopeadic proportions that takes a comprehensive historical and global examination of largely neglected evidence that widespread cultures from Peru to China were long ago seeded with advanced knowledge of technologies, masonry, agriculture, and written languages, as well as sophisticated arts. Using archaeo-linguistic analysis, the latest genetic studies, and doing extensive historical and archaeological research encompassing a worldwide perspective, the author has connected an amazing multitude of ancient dots. Besides citing many standard historical sources of such information, this Ph.D author, a linguist with a doctorate in anthropology from Columbia University, also presents numerous references from the mysterious and controversial Oahspe Bible that seem to further confirm and clarify key points of evidence regarding the legendary lost continent of Pan.


Humanoid Encounters:
the Others Amongst Us
by Albert S. Rosales

Triangulum Publishing
2016, 256 pages, 6” x 9”, US $15.95
US Trade Paper
ISBN: 978-1541101449
ISBN 10: 1541101448

Reviewed by Brent Raynes

Author Albert Rosales continues with his thought-provoking Humanoid Encounters series, this time going back to the years 1900 to 1929, definitely a pre-flying saucer era. Nonetheless, readers will recognize details in the fascinating accounts recorded in this unique volume that closely parallel, again and again, our modern reports of UFOs, humanoid entities, cryptids, paraphysical entities, and other anomalous events of high-strangeness.

Rosales makes it pretty obvious that no matter what epoch you may live in, and no matter where you may live, mysterious other-worldly intruders, whatever their nature and point of origin, are repeatedly reported appearing amongst us. His books provide a sobering realization that all of these anomalous occurrences seem to be a part of something that has been appearing on our planet for a very, very long time – long before Roswell or the Kenneth Arnold sighting back in 1947.


Real Visitors, Voices from Beyond, and Parallel Dimensions
by Brad Steiger and Sherry Hansen Steiger

Visible Ink Press
Distributed by Legato Publishers Group
Trade Paper, 7.125" x 9.25"
448 pages, 120 Photos and Illustrations

ISBN: 978-1-57859-541-9
Kindle ISBN: 978-1-57859-603-4

Reviewed by Robert A. Goerman

Real Visitors, Voices from Beyond, and Parallel Dimensions by the amazing Steiger duo is a lighthouse guiding us through the murky realm of the Other. Decades of diligent research and professional writing have rewarded this couple with a smorgasbord of fascinating colleagues and access to literally thousands of personal narratives from readers and fans everywhere. Brad and Sherry Steiger maximized these assets and created another volume that will dominate paranormal libraries for many years to come.

What is the Other?

The authors explain: "We are now comfortable with the thesis that the aliens, angels, spirit guides, demons, fairies, elves, and gods and goddesses encountered by receptive percipients may actually be the product of a multidimensional intelligence that masks itself in physical forms that are more acceptable to humans than their true images. It may be equally appropriate to refer to this enigma as UFO Intelligences, but we chose to define and to name this multidimensional intelligence and its multitude of manifestations as the Other."

These are ageless mysteries. Do they really share a mutual origin? John Keel thought so. He coined the terms "ultraterrestrial" and "superspectrum" to describe this timeless, shape-shifting intelligence. Dr. Josef Allen Hynek, the astronomer and professor best remembered for his enduring UFO research, suggested that we are dealing with "metaterrestrial" entities that originate from unseen realms beyond our three-dimensional world. Jacques Vallee believes that religious apparitions, UFOs, and appearances by supernatural creatures rely upon the same mechanisms and share similar effects on the human observers, interpreted within the prevailing cultural environment.

As an investigative scholar of the unknown and unexplained, this reviewer has also researched the apparent overlap between nonhuman creatures, aerial phenomena, and "ghosts." Certain locations have been haunted by a medley of otherworldly visitors. These phenomena can materialize, affect our reality, and disappear again. Time and space become "terra incognita." Stranger still, unsuspecting folks have even briefly stepped over into so-called parallel worlds.

Brad and Sherry Steiger write that "readers may find that they will learn of more possibilities and probabilities than final answers to some age-old dilemmas and puzzles, but that is because there can be no dogma in a serious study of the paranormal and the UFO Mystery."

The greatest strength of this book is its thought-provoking variety. Facets of encounters with every manner of entity are described by every manner of experiencer, scientist, engineer, and scholar. Many have contributed their own unpublished accounts, theses, papers, and research data.

I have followed Brad Steiger since Strangers from the Skies in 1966. His early writings and my personal encounters with the Other triggered my own lifelong role as an author and researcher. Real Visitors, Voices from Beyond, and Parallel Dimensions is an enjoyable read that entertains and enlightens. This book easily deserves my highest recommendation.

Saturday, April 13, 2024