A decent history of the UFO phenomenon - a bit 'been there, done that' for me, but I recommend it to all you non-Forteans on my Friendslist, if for soA decent history of the UFO phenomenon - a bit 'been there, done that' for me, but I recommend it to all you non-Forteans on my Friendslist, if for some reason you ever need to know any of this stuff - interspersed with a few genuinely interesting psychosocial hypotheses to explain the phenomena.
(Except nobody seems to be reporting the phenomena any more.)...more
It's a two-star effort, really. Despite his ghost stories being universally marketed - back in the day - as non-fiction, O'Donnell never really puts mIt's a two-star effort, really. Despite his ghost stories being universally marketed - back in the day - as non-fiction, O'Donnell never really puts much of an effort into making his tall tales believable. And the style... isn't exactly literary:
The Rev. Silas rose to go. 'Very well then!' he said, bowing stiffly, 'I could say more - but I won't! I am sorry I have said as much. Some sceptics are never convinced! Some sceptics do not wish to be convinced! Some sceptics may be convinced, but prefer to appear unconvinced!
'I am no metaphysician! I will not attempt to classify YOU. I will only say, "May you never be AFRAID."
'I trust Mrs. Hartley, at all events, is not a sceptic: I hope she is not a psychic! especially not a psychic in this house. I wish you good day!'
'He did not wish us good luck!' Mr. Hartley explained as the door banged. 'By Jove! I have no patience to listen to such stuff! Haunted, indeed!'
The extra star comes from the truly bizarre turns his stories (yarns? I think we can decently call them 'yarns') take:
• A grotesque creature with the body of a man and the face of a pig randomly jumps out at the author from a cemetery and chases him down the lane, and it's mentioned in passing.
• A pleasant country meadow is occupied by an invisible clammy presence that turns out to be - somehow - a supernatural cloud of infectious fungus, which tries to pour itself into the mouths of passersby and which actually succeeds in killing one of the luckless household dogs with an instantly lethal plague of malignant abscesses.
• A house is haunted by a longcase clock that stomps up the stairs at night on bare grey human feet (still ticking!) and bangs on all the doors. When, irritated by its behaviour, the owner turfs the thing out into the summerhouse in disgrace, it completes its narrative resemblance to a naughty labrador by being seen wandering the local back roads all night scaring the villagers. The punchline, such as it is, is that the clock has been - inexplicably - ornamented all along with the old grey bones of an ancient Irish bog body.
Lovecraft couldn't have done much weirder than some of this....more
UFOlogy of the crackpipe school: 40p from the Library in Sunderland, and worth every penny.
Random sampling produces gems rocks like:
• 'Was the HebrewUFOlogy of the crackpipe school: 40p from the Library in Sunderland, and worth every penny.
Random sampling produces gems rocks like:
• 'Was the Hebrew "devil" Beelzebub an evil spaceman, who introduced into germ warfare disease by carrier flies?'
• 'The medieval Teutonic term "Night Riders", i.e. "Night Mares", which many people experience at times, might be due to ancient hallucinative fear control implants, genetically stored in Man's cerebral memory bank, and occasionally triggered in dreams?'
• 'Did Christ really mean he came from an alien inhabited planet?'
• 'Are Phobos and Deimos fragments of Planet X?'
• 'Is the Loch Ness Monster a USO?'
(The man likes his question marks.)
My favouritest of favourites occurs on p.39:
The Chinese culture is so alien to the rest of the world, that it seems these people may have come from a planet quite different from those of the ancestors of other Earthly races (that is, assuming that Earthman's ancestors did come from other planets) for they are one of the few races who have apparently preserved, as much as possible, their culture with little (basic) change, whereas the original cultures and even genetic stock of most other Earth peoples are now greatly changed and dispersed.
Is there a planet where the Chinese race today cherishes the same music, art, language and dialects (Mandarin, Cantonese and others)? The differing physical features and dialects of the Chinese may be due to people gathered from different countries on an alien planet, or from different planets within the same solar system? Perhaps China is an encapsulated representation of what may exist on a planet, or planet, many lightyears hence? The Pekinese, Chou (introduced in the Chou dynasty ending in 256 BC?), and other dogs and animals native to China, may have originated on the same planet, or planets? The Egyptians who venerated the greyhound, and possibly three or four other species of dogs, curiously named Sirius 'The Dog Star'.