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Paranormal Books - February 2013

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Paranormal books worth noting recently added to my bookshelf.

The Paranormal Equation

The Paranormal Equation
New Page Books

"A New Scientific Perspective on Remote Viewing, Clairvoyance, and Other Inexplicable Phenomena" by James D. Stein; New Page Books

Everyone in the paranormal field is looking for respectability. We want to be taken seriously by those who practice the hard sciences. We know there's something going on, but dammit, it's difficult (some say impossible) to prove paranormal phenomena with conventional scientific methods and tools.

That's why it gratifying when an academic takes a serious look at the paranormal. (It is often the case that when skeptics really delve into these phenomena with an open mind that they come away far less skeptical.) This appears to be the case with author Dr. James D. Stein, professor of mathematics at California State University (Long Beach).

Although Stein suspects there is a case for some supernatural phenomena, he's careful to draw strong lines. "If you've picked up this book in hopes of finding evidence for ghosts or reincarnation, I'm sorry to disappoint you," he writes. "However, I do believe that there are phenomena that occur in the Universe that we think science should explain, but which are demonstrably beyond the power of science to explain."

The phenomena he does lean toward include telepathy, remote viewing, and other forms of psychic phenomena, for which there have been scientific studies and repeatable positive results.

Books of this kind, whether you agree with them or not, should be read by every serious paranormal investigator.

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American Vampires

American Vampires
New Page Books

"Their True Bloody History from New York to California" by Dr. Bob Curran; New Page Books

I have never found the subject of vampires very interesting. I suppose that puts me in a minority these days as you can scarcely turn on a TV or pass a movie theater without encountering fictional depictions. Not that I haven't enjoyed many TV shows and films featuring vampires; I have. But my approach to all things paranormal has been with phenomena that at least have the possibility of being real (Bigfoot, ghost phenomena, psychic phenomena, etc.) To my mind, however, vampires and demons fall squarely in the category of folklore, superstition, and literature. I just have not seen compelling evidence for the possible reality of supernatural vampires.

The lore of vampires, even in a country as relatively new as America, is rich and varied, as detailed in Dr. Curran's book. In it he recounts the often eerie and gruesome legends, stories and even eyewitness accounts of alleged vampire activity in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, Missouri, Arizona, New Mexico, California, Wyoming, and, of course, Louisiana.

Are they supernatural vampires, as commonly depicted in books, TV, and movies, or are they exaggerated claims and accounts of madmen and deranged serial killers? You'll have to form your own opinion after reading Dr. Curran's fascinating book.

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The Secret History of the Reptilians

The Secret History of the Reptilians
New Page Books

"The Pervasive Presence of the Serpent in Human History, Religion, and Alien Mythos" by Scott Alan Roberts; Visible Ink Press

Fortunately, this is not a book that says that shape-shifting Reptilians are among us and plotting to take over the world as they infiltrate the highest echelons of world political power. Whew! I was worried about that for awhile.

Yet author Roberts does suggest that alien, extraterrestrial reptilians mated with primordial humans... but doesn't really provide any good evidence.

Roberts points to the image of the reptilian -- that lowly, slithering, hissing, evil creature that's been annoying mankind since the Garden of Eden -- and puts it in a cultural context, from Genesis to Freud and Jung to David Icke. (Yes, of course there's a chapter on David Icke's outrageous claims.) He makes it clear that the reptile is a pervasive and powerful archetype throughout history and across human cultures.

Why can't he leave it at that? That's fascinating enough. To then make the leap that the reason for this collective obsession with the reptilian is because mankind conjoined with these aliens in the ancient past is tantalizing speculation, but I think unwarranted.

As always, however, I encourage you to read Roberts' book to find out for yourself whether or not he makes his case.

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Why People Believe in Spirits, God and Magic

Why People Believe in Spirits, God and Magic
Jack Hunter

by Jack Hunter

This is an ebook available for the Kindle from Amazon. I haven't read it yet, so I cannot comment, but it looks interesting enough to include here. Here's the online description of it:

"This ebook attempts to answer the question of why and how people believe in spirits, gods and magic from a social anthropology point of view.

"Covering topics such as Shamanism & Spirit Possession, Witchcraft & Magic, Ghosts, Spirits, Gods & Demons, Ethnography & the Paranormal and Anthropology & Parapsychology, this ebook provides an overview of supernatural traditions and practices around the world. The author also explores anthropological interpretations of supernatural and spiritual experiences, including the paranormal experiences of the anthropologists themselves when they are doing fieldwork."

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