Digging through the bookshelf this morning, I decided to think a bit about what books I would recommend as a starting point for those who wanted to dig more deeply into paranormal topics. Consider the following list a work in progress. Some of these are no longer in print and really hard to find although sometimes you can get them fairly inexpensively on Half or the like.
Beyond the Light Barrier: The Autobiography of Elizabeth Klarer is one of the stranger Contactee books I’ve read. I spent some time discussing it in ET&tAZ. If you’re into Contactees, then this is a great perspective into both gender and the non-American side of the genre.
Jon Ronson’s The Men Who Stare at Goats is a classic examination—from a journalistic point of view—of the US government’s interest in the paranormal, particularly Remote Viewing. Plus, it’s terribly entertaining.
If you’ve read The Chaos Conundrum, you’ll know I’m not big on Roswell. The exception is Nick Redfern’s Body Snatchers in the Desert: The Horrible Truth at the Heart of the Roswell Storywhich presents a thesis that is–at the very least–one of the most thought provoking. Hint: it may not be aliens, and it may be much more disturbing than you thing.
The Trickster and the Paranormalby George P. Hansen is an exploration of the paranormal through the lens of the Trickster figure. Hansen approaches this from a scholarly, cultural anthropology point of view, so give yourself plenty of time and brain space to absorb this. If I had to pick a book that not nearly enough people in this “field” have read, this would be it.
A hard one to find (I got mine when it had just been reissued, back in the late 1990s), Gray Barker’s They Knew Too Much about Flying Saucers is–in many ways, a great companion to Albert K. Bender’s Flying Saucers and the Three Men. If you’re interested in the Men In Black (and who isn’t?) these should be at the top of your list for getting a glimpse of the origins and evolution of this idea.
Keith Thompson’s Angels and Aliens: UFO’s and the Mythic Imagination is one of the best examinations of religion and the paranormal, from a perspective that remains fairly even handed on both issues.
The Gods Have Landed (SUNY Series in Religious Studies), edited by James Lewis is a collection of scholarly essays on religion and UFOlogy, particularly Contactees and cults. If your reading diet on the paranormal has been entirely stuff from the “Investigator” side of the fence, this is a good introduction to how scholars have examined some aspects of the subject.
Greg Bishop’s Project Beta: The Story of Paul Bennewitz, National Security, and the Creation of a Modern UFO Mythis one of the best investigations of the Paul Bennewitz affair of the early 1980s and its lasting impact on the UFO scene and conspiracy culture ever since.
And a little David Icke for you…The Biggest Secret: The Book That Will Change the World is, in many ways, a high water mark for Icke, as he really gets into the reptioid shape-shifter stuff here. It’s also a great example of just how many connections (some, most?, dubious that one writer can cram into a single book).
In addition to those pictured above I would also recommend:
Inside the Spaceships by George Adamski. If you only read one Contactee book (which might be a wise proposition), make it this one.
Mac Tonnies’s posthumously published The Cryptoterrestrials: A Meditation on Indigenous Humanoids and the Aliens Among Usis a brief treatise on the possibility of a not-entirely-human companion species sharing the planet with us. Just read it—despite my brief attempt right there, it’s a difficult work to encapsulate in a brief statement. I also recommend that you seek out the first two curated volumes of Mac’s online writings, collected as Posthuman Blues (Volume 1 ) (Volume 2).
In a similar vein, Paul Kimball’s The Other Side of Truth: The Paranormal, The Art of the Imagination, and the Human Condition is a thought provoking trip through the worlds of hauntings, UFOlogy, synchronicity, history, and life. It’s not what you’re expecting–it certainly wasn’t what I was expecting when I first read it, and I mean that in the best possible way.
And (of course) my books The Chaos Conundrum and Extraterrestrials and the American Zeitgeist because, hey, these books aren’t going to sell themselves.
This is just off the top of my head, with the only time spent on this post devoted to finding Amazon links! While you’re out there looking for stuff to read, check out books by Micah Hanks, and everything else Nick Redfern has written (particularly FINAL EVENTS and the Secret Government Group on Demonic UFOs and the Afterlife, which addresses similar topics I touched on in TCC)
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