21.8.14

Now Where Did I Put That ...?

Daniel Smith. 100 Things You Will Never Find: Lost Cities, Hidden Treasures and Legendary Quests. Quercus (4 Sep 2014)

What happened to Amelia Earhart's aeroplane, Van Gogh's painting of Dr Gachet and the crew of the Mary Celeste? This fascinating book unlocks the world's lost property cupboard and sifts through buried treasure, mysterious disappearances and unknown locations, examining the evidence - and the conspiracy theories - surrounding the world's most legendary lost objects. Who erased the Nixon tapes? Did Captain Kidd really bury his treasure on Rhode Island? Is Lord Lucan still alive?

Ranging from a single gemstone (the Great Mogul Diamond) to hoards of jewels (treasure of the Knights Templar), and from a single man (Australian prime minister Harold Holt) to swathes of people (the Lost Army of Cambyses), via Shergar the stolen horse, the top secret recipe for KFC, the fifth spy in the 'Cambridge Five', the much-coveted Holy Grail and the sunken Tybee Island Bomb, Dan Smith shines a torch into the darkest theories and examines the hidden truth.

A fascinating catalogue of lost things, 100 Things You Will Never Find will take you on a unique quest around the globe and across the centuries, searching for the legendary items that have inspired generations of explorers, scientists and storytellers alike.


13.8.14

American Monsters

Linda Godfrey is the author of a number of well received books on American cryptozoological phenomena.

Linda S. Godfrey. American Monsters: A History of Monster Lore, Legends, and Sightings in America. Tarcher (August 28, 2014)

from the publisher' website: From pre-Columbian legends to modern-day eyewitness accounts, this comprehensive guide covers the history, sightings and lore surrounding the most mysterious monsters in America—including Bigfoot, the Jersey Devil, and more. Bigfoot, the chupacabra, and thunderbirds aren’t just figments of our overactive imaginations—according to thousands of eyewitnesses, they exist, in every corner of the United States. Throughout America’s history, shocked onlookers have seen unbelievable creatures of every stripe—from sea serpents to apelike beings, giant bats to monkeymen—in every region. Author, investigator, and creature expert Linda S. Godfrey brings the same fearless reporting she lent to Real Wolfmen to this essential guide, using historical record, present-day news reports, and eyewitness interviews to examine this hidden menagerie of America’s homegrown beasts.


10.8.14

Remote Control

Edwin C May (Editor), Sonali Bhatt Marwaha (Editor) Anomalous Cognition: Remote Viewing Research and Theory. McFarland & Co Inc (30 July 2014)

Anomalous cognition (AC) - aka ESP/remote viewing - is defined as the acquisition of information from points distant in space-time which are inaccessible by human sensory systems. From 1975 to 1995, Edwin May was a scientist and then programme director for the U.S. government's psychic espionage programme, known as STAR GATE. With the closing of this programme, research has continued at the Laboratories for Fundamental Research, in Palo Alto. The STAR GATE and subsequent programmes included applied and basic research in the areas of methodology and analysis, neurophysiological studies, personnel assessment and selection, operations research, the physics of AC, and psychokinesis.


7.8.14

Shadow Medicine

Looking at the importance of 'Belief' in medicine:

John S. Haller Jr.. Shadow Medicine: The Placebo in Conventional and Alternative Therapies. Columbia University Press. (July, 2014)

Can Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) and Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) find common ground? A distinguished historian of medicine, John S. Haller Jr., explores the epistemological foundations of EBM and the challenges these conceptual tools present for both conventional and alternative therapies. As he explores a possible reconciliation between their conflicting approaches, Haller maintains a healthy, scientific skepticism yet finds promise in select complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies. Haller elucidates recent research on the placebo effect and shows how a new engagement between EBM and CAM might lead to a more productive medical practice that includes both the objectivity of evidence-based medicine and the subjective truth of the physician-patient relationship.

Haller’s book tours key topics in the standoff between EBM and CAM: how and why the double blinded, randomized clinical trial (RCT) came to be considered the gold standard in modern medicine; the challenge of postmodern medicine as it counters the positivism of evidence-based medicine; and the politics of modern CAM and the rise of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. He conducts an in-depth case study of homeopathy, explaining why it has emerged as a poster-child for CAM, and assesses CAM’s popularity despite its poor performance in clinical trials. Haller concludes with hope, showing how new experimental protocols might tease out the evidentiary basis for the placebo effect and establish a foundation for some reconciliation between EBM and CAM.



2.8.14

Still Circling

Gary S. Bobroff. Crop Circles, Jung, and the Reemergence of the Archetypal Feminine. North Atlantic Books. (19 Aug 2014)

From the publisher's website: Throwing light on the mysterious phenomenon of crop circles within the context of modern psychological reality, Crop Circles, Jung, and the Reemergence of the Archetypal Feminine in an engaging look at the science, history, and symbolic nature of the mystery of these annually occurring giant-scale works of art. Gary S. Bobroff offers a framework for the reader's own deeper consideration of crop circles by examining both the phenomenon itself and the nature of the era into which it has arrived, with special consideration of its relevance to Jungian archetypal psychology.

Living in the moment of the death of one worldview and the birth of another, our culture suffers from a hyper-masculine inflation that has us alienated, imagining ourselves to be separate from each other and the earth. Today we are presented with environmental, social, and spiritual crises and mysteries that call us back toward closer participation with the world. Crop Circles--formed in living grain--exemplify the archetypal feminine nature of this moment's change: a calling toward conscious, felt engagement with a dynamic, living, mysterious world. Placing this modern "dream" into the context of modern reality, Crop Circles, Jung, and the Reemergence of the Archetypal Feminine considers what it means to live in an era of strange encounters with energies larger than ourselves.


1.8.14

Religion and ET

There have been a couple of books recently looking at religious issues in connection with extraterrestrial life. This continues the discussion.

David A. Weintraub. Religions and Extraterrestrial Life: How Will We Deal With It? Springer Praxis Books/Popular Astronomy. (July 31, 2014)

In the twenty-first century, the debate about life on other worlds is quickly changing from the realm of speculation to the domain of hard science. Within a few years, as a consequence of the rapid discovery by astronomers of planets around other stars, astronomers very likely will have discovered clear evidence of life beyond the Earth. Such a discovery of extraterrestrial life will change everything. Knowing the answer as to whether humanity has company in the universe will trigger one of the greatest intellectual revolutions in history, not the least of which will be a challenge for at least some terrestrial religions.

Which religions will handle the discovery of extraterrestrial life with ease and which will struggle to assimilate this new knowledge about our place in the universe? Some religions as currently practiced appear to only be viable on Earth. Other religions could be practiced on distant worlds but nevertheless identify both Earth as a place and humankind as a species of singular spiritual religious importance, while some religions could be practiced equally well anywhere in the universe by any sentient beings.


15.7.14

British Vampires

In many ways England, as much as Transylvania, can be said to the be home of the vampire. This book explores the links.

Paul Adams. Written in Blood: A Cultural History of the British Vampire [Paperback]
The History Press. (1 July 2014)

Vampires, chilling supernatural creatures of the night - do they really exist? The British Isles has a remarkable association with the realms of the undead, from the nineteenth-century world of Croglin Grange, Varney the Vampire and Stoker's Dracula, through to Hammer Films and the modern phenomenon of the Highgate Vampire. In this new and thought-provoking book, illustrated with many never before seen photographs and drawing on extensive original research, is a detailed and fascinating exploration of the history of British vampirism in both fact and fiction; a modern guide where every page is truly written in blood ...