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Grey Matter


Looking Back, Part Two

Sadly, I had no strange encounters of my own over the summer to report, so I will start with other strangeness reported in books.

It was a crypto summer for me and that was mostly Nick Redfern's fault. He kept reviewing new books and he kept making them sound so awesome that I couldn't not buy them. In fact, that turned out to be a good thing, he hasn't led me astray yet.

First there was Further Cryptozoology, by Ronan Coghlan. This was pretty much a cryptozoology encyclopedia. I love the cover art on this book and it is great for reference. Really, there are quite a few Crypto creatures that I had never heard of. For example, the Hawaii Gargoyle which sucks the internal organs out of pigs. Eeek! I will remember that next time I am in Hawaii and be on the look out.

Then there was Monster! The A-Z of Zooform Phenomena, by Neil Arnold. Some people confuse Crypto creatures with Zooforms, but they are not the same. Crypto creatures are creatures thought to be of flesh and blood, whereas Zooform is a term Jon Downes coined to describe phantom creatures, which are not of flesh and blood. Who knows where these creatures hail from, our imaginations, another dimensions or somewhere else that we can't wrap out minds around? Nonetheless they are seen on a regular basis all over the world. I was literally thrilled with this book! It is packed full of creatures that I had never heard of.

Another crypto book I recently received was Nick Redfern's Monkey Man. Yes, there is a Bigfoot type creature seen in the UK and he is known as Monkey Man. Is Monkey Man a Crypto creature or Zooform? I think he is a Zooform, but who knows? I have barely started Monkey Man, but so far it is totally entertaining just like all of Nick's books, but especially Three Men Seeking Monsters. Yeah, I felt I had to mention 3 men because I finally got around to reading it last spring and I totally loved it!

Yet another Crypto book was Dark Dorset, by Robert Newland and Mark North. I haven't quite finished it yet, but it contains all sorts of weirdness happening in the UK county of Dorset. It is also full of great photos relating to the stories on almost every page. It doesn't matter what you are interested in be it ghosts, aliens, ufos, monkey man and other crypto creatures, you will find it in this book.

Aside from Crypto books I also spent time reading Brothers: The hidden history of the Kennedy Years, by David Talbot. I first heard of this book when Ian Punnett had Talbot on as a guest. Talbot was such an awesome guest that I bought his book and I didn't even end up being disappointed. This book is about Robert Kennedy's search for the truth about his brother's murder, which he did not think was done by the lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald. Really though, this book is so much more than that, it gives you all the gritty details that led up to the assassination and who hated John and why. As always, those of us looking back find it hard to imagine JFK being so hated, but he was and especially by the conservatives. Clinton had it easy compared to JFK, maybe that is why he is still alive. I doubt that I could say enough nice things about this book, it is a history book on the Kennedy years and the assassination that is like no other I have read.

I haven't read it yet, but I don't want to miss out on mentioning one of the biggest Ufology books of the summer, Captured!, written by Stanton Friedman and Kathleen Marden. For those who don't know, Kathleen Marden is the niece of Betty Hill, who has inherited all of Betty's documents and drawings related to her and her husband Barney's abduction by little grey men. I just received this book yesterday, but the Hill case has always fascinated me and I can't wait to read it. I still can't listen to those regression tapes alone at night, or even during the day. The emotion in Betty and especially Barney Hill's voice is just too realistic and frightening. Yeah, if you want to know something that really scares me, it is those tapes. No Halloween creature is quite that frightening or real.

I also had a strange book synchronicity happen over the summer. I happened to be in Barnes and Noble when a book cover caught my eye. It caught my eye because it looked like a photo of where I live, only with no houses. Sure enough, the book was called Towns of the Sandia Mountains and it did have lots of photos of the area where I live from back when it was more of a tourist attraction instead of residential area. The author of the book was Mike Smith. I thought that name sounded really familiar, but I couldn't remember from where. Then I thought there are probably millions of Mike Smiths and that name would sound familiar to anyone. However, sometime shortly after that I visited one of my favorite sites, My Strange New Mexico and it finally dawned on me. I did actually know Mike Smith because he is the writer of that column and owner of the website and we had corresponded through email many times. I emailed Mike to tell him about the coincidence of buying this book, it was then that we started discussing strange things about the canyon, which was not what his book was about.

During the years that I have lived here I have noticed many strange things about the area, seeing ufos occasionally being only one of those. A big one of my strange things is the amount of car accidents. Many of them being of strange circumstances, like people running off the road and straight into a mountain for no apparent reason. From my house looking down the hill south, I can see both I-40 and old Route 66. When there is a big accident it is easy to spot because the traffic backs up for miles. Britton and I have discussed the strange amount of accidents for years, at times there seems to be one almost daily and we even have a term loosely related to it that we call The Vortex. Whenever these accidents happen, especially in clusters, we will say "the vortex must have opened." I never imagined anyone else had noticed this, but apparently others have because Mike met a someone who had told him there is "a Void" in the area that causes these accidents. Vortex or Void there are way too many accidents on what are pretty much straight highways into town. There is one curve, called Dead Man's Curve (of course), but from what I can tell that is not where the majority of accidents take place. Mostly it was nice to realize that Britton and I aren't the only crazy people to have noticed this.

Not sure why I wrote all that about the Vortex, it doesn't have really anything to do with summer books, but you can bet I am keeping an eye on it and doing a bit of investigation and you will probably hear more about it in the future.

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