Randi's Prize: What Sceptics Say About the Paranormal, Why They Are Wrong, and Why It Matters, by McLuhan, Robert
From the publisher’s website: James 'The Amazing' Randi is a stage magician who says he has a million dollars for anyone who can convince him they have psychic powers. No one has even come close to winning, proof, say sceptical scientists, that there is no such thing as 'the paranormal'. But are they right? In this illuminating and often provocative analysis, Robert McLuhan examines the influence of Randi and other debunking sceptics in shaping scientific opinion about such things as telepathy, psychics, ghosts and near-death experiences. He points out that scientific researchers who investigate these things at first hand overwhelmingly consider them to be genuinely anomalous. But this has shocking implications, for science, for society and for even perhaps for ourselves as individuals. Hence the sceptics' insistence that they should rather be attributed to fraud, imagination and wishful thinking. However, this extraordinary and little understood aspect of consciousness has much to tell us about the human situation, McLuhan suggests. And at a time when militants are polarising the debate about religion, its mystical, spiritual element offers an optimistic and enlightened way forward. Randi's Prize is aimed at anyone interested in spirituality or those curious to know the truth about paranormal claims. It's an intelligent and readable analysis of scientific research into the paranormal which, uniquely, also closely examines the arguments of well-known sceptics.
Robert McLuhan gained a First in English Literature at Oxford, then worked as a foreign correspondent for the Guardian in Spain and Portugal. He now works as a freelance journalist. He has been a member of the Society for Psychical Research since 1993, blogging and lecturing on paranormal topics.
Randi's Prize, November 2010. ISBN-13: 978-1848764941
From the publisher’s website: This is the story of a normal woman who experienced the impossible: objective contacts with another dimension through loud and clear voices received by electronic means during Instrumental Transcommunication (ITC) experiments.
Dr Cardoso, a senior diplomat, describes the astounding experiences that transformed her life since she started ITC research in 1997. She presents extracts of conversations with her deceased loved ones and other personalities who insisted that they live in another world.
The level of agreement between communications received by the author and concepts, even words, recorded by other experimenters from Jurgenson and Raudive to contemporary operators, constitutes compelling evidence of the reality of the next world that awaits us all. As communicators from Timestream told Dr Cardoso: The dead pass through here, you pass through here!.
Electronic Voices breaks new ground in the literature providing details of audio contacts, recorded under controlled conditions, with beings in an evolved dimension, which they describe as another space, beyond time. This evolved dimension of life corresponds to an evolved state of consciousness in the cosmic evolutionary sequence.
Electronic Voices. O Books, September 2010. ISBN-13: 978-1846943638
From the publisher’s website: Norfolk has many associations with the paranormal, from ancient tales of Shuck the hound that has haunted the county’s lanes for a thousand years to tales of ghosts from the Second World War and of unidentified f lying objects. This book takes a new approach by looking at the paranormal as recorded in the archives of the county.
The stories include those collected by some of the county’s keenest folklorists such as W. H. Cooke, Mark Taylor, and W. G. Clarke, as well as first-hand records of paranormal experience. Many tales are published for the very first time, such as Mottie Green, the Wells ‘witch’, and a new light is thrown on more familiar stories such as the haunting of Syderstone Parsonage and the Snettisham ghost. Not least, the book also explains the key role of Norwich in the development of the vampire story! Read this book and your view of Norfolk will never be the same again!
Paranormal Norfolk. Amberley Publishing, November 2010. ISBN 9781848684713
From the publisher’s website: The root of the word science is knowledge; the root of the word magic is wisdom. Serena blends these two spheres of human experience and shows how the latest scientific research and parapsychological study interact. The quantum view of matter is overturning the traditional world-view and the fantastic discoveries being made bring new insights into the connections between all forms of magic and science. We share the exciting results of her research on the scientific validation of psychic phenomena. Drawing on her ground-breaking work on the pineal gland - something called the third eye - and the phenomenon of second sight, she shows that the greatest implication of psychic phenomena is that each of us is potentially aware of the natural magic of our earth and of everything in the universe.
Where Science and Magic Meet, Green Magic, September 2010, 3rd edition. ISBN-13: 978-0956188618
From the publisher’s website: Haunted Gardens is a brand new book from the renowned supernatural writer, Peter Underwood. The world today is fascinated by life after death, and the affect that the 'other side' has on our lives. Peter Underwood has decided to explore ghostly gardens for the very first time in history, and shows, with examples from all over the world, just how spooky gardens can be! Fully illustrated with Peter's own photographs, and carefully researched, this new book is sure to be an ideal gift for anyone interested in ghosts and the paranormal.
Haunted Gardens. Amberley Publishing, November 2009. ISBN-13: 978-1848682610
ESPRIT: Men and Women of Parapsychology, Personal Reflections, Vol. 1, by Pilkington, Rosemarie (ed.)
From the publisher’s website: ESPRIT: Men and Women of Parapsychology, Personal Reflections: Volume 1, is a collection of autobiographical essays by a group of esteemed 20th century psi researchers, giving us a glimpse of why these gifted, astute individuals devoted much, if not most, of their life's work to this fascinating but monetarily unrewarding field. In the process, Jule Eisenbud, Eileen Coly, Gertrude Schmeidler, Karlis Osis, and eight others advise a younger generation on what pitfalls to expect and what they felt were the most important areas of investigation. This is the first of a planned three-volume series.
Contents: Editor’s Note; Preface; Foreword (by Stanley Krippner); Jule Eisenbud : My Life with the Paranormal; Montague Ullman: The World of Psychic Phenomena as I Came to Know It; Jan Ehrenwald: An Autobiographic Fragment; Eileen Coly: Interview with Eileen Coly; Joseph H. Rush: Parapsychology: Some Personal Observations; Gertrude R. Schmeidler: Questions and Attempts at Answers; Emilio Servadio: Interview with Emilio Servadio; Renée Haynes: Aspects of Psychical Research; Hans Bender: A Positive Critic of Superstition; Karlis Osis: The Paranormal: My Window to Something More; George Zorab: Eight Decades in Parapsychology; Bernard Grad: Experiences and Opinions of an Unconventional Scientist; References; Index.
ESPRIT. Anomalist Books, October 2010. ISBN: 1933665505
Spectres of the Self: Thinking about Ghosts and Ghost-Seeing in England, 1750–1920, by McCorristine, Shane
From the publisher’s website: Spectres of the Self is a fascinating study of the rich cultures surrounding the experience of seeing ghosts in England from the Reformation to the twentieth century. Shane McCorristine examines a vast range of primary and secondary sources, showing how ghosts, apparitions, and hallucinations were imagined, experienced, and debated from the pages of fiction to the case reports of the Society for Psychical Research. By analysing a broad range of themes from telepathy and ghost-hunting to the notion of dreaming while awake and the question of why ghosts wore clothes, Dr McCorristine reveals the sheer variety of ideas of ghost seeing in English society and culture. He shows how the issue of ghosts remained dynamic despite the advance of science and secularism and argues that the ghost ultimately represented a spectre of the self, a symbol of the psychological hauntedness of modern experience.
Incorporates literature, psychiatry and popular belief, presenting a variety of ideas about ghost-seeing • Compares contexts from Germany, France and America, providing an international understanding of the topic • Examines the culture of ghost-seeing rather than the validity of ghost-belief
Contents: Introduction; Part I. The Dreams of the Ghost-Seers: 1. The haunted mind, 1750–1850; 2. Seeing is believing?: Ghost-seeing and hallucinatory experience; Part II. A Science of the Soul: 3. Ghost-hunting in the Society for Psychical Research; 4. Phantasms of the living and the dead; 5. The concept of hallucination in late-Victorian psychology; Epilogue: towards 1920; Appendix; Bibliography.
Spectres of the Self. Cambridge University Press, July 2010. ISBN: 9780521747967 (p/b) ISBN: 9780521767989 (h/b)
From the publisher’s website: The Jacobites and the Supernatural offers a whole new perspective on the well-known Jacobite period and also allows the reader to explore the battlefields and other sites of the period in a completely new way. Here are tales of witchcraft, spirits, psychic powers, portents, prodigies, magical talismans and potent curses. Bonnie Prince Charlie practices the healing magic of ‘touching’ for the King’s Evil and ‘impresses’ his good looks onto an unborn child. A queen attributes her pregnancy to a saint. Rocks split at the moment Culloden is lost. We meet angels, demons, fairies, guardian Black Dogs and other otherworldly beings. The cast of human characters includes John Graham of Claverhouse, ‘Bonnie Dundee’, said to have sold his soul to the Devil and then been killed by a silver bullet; the ‘Galloping Earl’ of Dilston whose phantom is said to still ride through his Northumbrian estate; and the gentle Lord President Forbes, who had a vision of the slaughter at Culloden months before the Jacobite dream was extinguished on that terrible day.
As well as setting the occult beliefs in the religious, political and military contexts of the Jacobite Risings of 1689, 1715, 1719 and 1745, this book gives a site-by-site guide to all the battlefields and buildings associated with the Jacobites and the supernatural. The battles of Culloden, Sheriffmuir, Killiecrankie, Dunkeld, Glenshiel, Falkirk and Prestonpans are well represented, but there are also allegedly haunted castles and hotels, plus everything from an English vicarage (home to a Jacobite poltergeist) to a Highland loch and a Hebridean beach. Sites across Scotland and England are comprehensively described, with a full history of their ‘supernatural’ events and descriptions of on-site access and facilities.
The Jacobites and the Supernatural. Amberley Publishing, October 2010. ISBN 9781848685888
From the publisher’s website: A Brazilian soldier killed in the 1932 Constitutional Revolution ‘drops in’ unexpectedly on a medium nearly thirty years later, giving his name and numerous personal details almost all of which turned out to be true. A family is terrorised by bombardments of stones thrown by invisible hands, and by inexplicable outbreaks of fires, some of them witnessed by police. A little girl astonishes her parents by giving detailed information about her dead uncle – again all of it being true. It appears that she is in fact her uncle reborn. These are three of the many cases of ‘paranormal’ phenomena that were meticulously investigated by pioneer Brazilian parapsychologist Hernani Guimarães Andrade (1913-2003), who was both a scientist and a Spiritist. Here, he provides some of the best evidence on record, whether for poltergeists, reincarnation, or survival of death.
Hernani Guimarães Andrade (1913-2003) graduated in civil engineering from the University of São Paulo in 1941, and after working for various public and private companies including Brazil’s National Steel Company, he joined the São Paulo state water and electricity department where he became technical director of its electricity and telephone division. In 1961 he founded the Brazilian Institute for Psychobiophysical Research (IBPP) with a small group of like-minded Spiritists, its stated objective being ‘The study of paranormal facts and systematic research into the laws, properties and potential of the spirit by scientific methods’. He was the author of sixteen books, including three on reincarnation based on the original research he and his colleagues carried out on 75 Brazilian cases.
Science & Spirit. Roundtable Publishing, December 2010. ISBN-13: 978-0956449337
From the publisher’s website: Following several personal sightings of ghosts, including that of a First World War pilot, Alan Wood has spent sixty years researching the occult. Military Ghosts is the result and is designed as a gazetteer of locations where military ghosts have been reported. It includes not only such well-known stories as that of Sir Francis Drake’s Drum but a wide variety of stories, ranging from a patrol of ghostly Roman legionnaires to a fully-fledged re-enactment of the Battle of Edgehill, and from benevolent spirits to one so terrifying that witnesses have committed suicide rather than face it, through the spirits of seventeenth-century cavaliers to the more modern ghosts of fighter pilots from the First and Second World Wars. This book covers soldiers, sailors, and airmen, and a wide range of locations not only in the U.K. but also overseas.
Alan C. Wood has spent time in the RAF both on active service at home and overseas, and as a reservist, winning the USAF medal for Humane Action. On being demobilised from the RAF, he joined the police service and won the Queen Elizabeth II Police Service Medal and various other awards. He has been a published non-fiction author since September 1957, writing about the First and Second World Wars.
Military Ghosts. Amberley, October 2010. ISBN 9781445601717
Psychical Research in Greece: An unbelievable period of parapsychological research through testimonies and rare documents, by Koumartzis, Nikolaos
From the author: Are you aware that there was a time in Greece when scientific research was being conducted on paranormal phenomena? A time when the great majority of Greek people and scientists believed in such experiences, and there were even lessons in the subject (such as experiments in telepathy) on the National University of Greece's curriculum? Few people know about it today, and the remaining records from this era are gradually being lost due to deterioration and ignorance. This fascinating period of parapsychological research in Greece is told through the pages of this book. Testimonies, documents, old photographs, long-forgotten scientific researches and hitherto unpublished information together portray a time that was indeed very different to ours today. This Greek-language book shows a Greece that was full of remarkable research and revolutionary experiments.
Plaudits for the book: “A surprisingly good book about a remarkable era in Greece that most people are unaware of. A doctor from the Navy Force, a very rich backer and dozens of researchers and psychic mediums are all becoming part of a paranormal and quite unknown Greece!” Mystery magazine.
“The present book brings to light a not so long ago era where Greece was equally contributing to one of the most challenging expeditions of human science. The contribution of Angelos Tanagras is worthwhile and has to become known to the wide public in an attempt to find imitators, and as such the Greek participation to the worldwide parapsychological community to be renewed and extended. I do hope that capable people will emerge to follow Nikolaos Koumartzis in his attempt of reviving psychical research in Greece.” Dr. Marios Varvoglis, President of Institut Metapsychique International (France) and Vice President of the Parapsychological Association (USA).
Psychical Research in Greece, DION Publications, May 2010. Price: 14.5 euros. For further information email: email@example.com
From the publisher’s website: Is there something called telepathy? Can we sense in advance what will happen? Can animals navigate using the earth's magnetic field? How can an embryo develop to a complete, mature organism? Göran Brusewitz introduces two separate fields, parapsychology and psychoenergetic systems, the basis for a holistic biology, two fields that seem to be connected to each other. He adds research that indicate the survival of bodily death, and research on consciousness. Almost all of these phenomena are dismissed by the skeptical movement, but a clear analysis shows that most of their arguments can be dismissed. From the foreword: "Brusewitz skillfully weaves parapsychological research and bioenergetic models together, using recent data from the study of biological fields as the connective link. This is an innovative paradigm that I have not detected in other books of this nature. Those who follow his reasoning through to its conclusion will emerge with an expanded view of humanity, of Nature, and the mechanisms that connect them. The implications of Conscious Connections extend beyond parapsychology and psychoenergetics." Stanley Krippner, Saybrook University
Göran Brusewitz, Master of Science in Psychology, has been President of the Swedish Society for Psychical Research for more than 20 years. He has followed the research in parapsychology, psychoenergetic systems and consciousness and arranged conferences with leading scientists. He is a member of the Parapsychological Association.
Conscious Connections. VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, October 2010. ISBN-13: 978-3639291148
From the publisher’s website: Cambridge University is the most haunted university in the world: ghosts have been reported here and in the surrounding countryside from the 13th century up to the present day. Cambridge Ghosts is a comprehensive guide to the phantoms and paranormal phenomena that have been witnessed and experienced in the colleges of the university, the ancient houses of the city, the streets and open spaces, and some surprisingly modern buildings. It also introduces the reader to writers of classic ghost stories who have been inspired by the historic university. Fully researched by the authors, Cambridge Ghosts is the most detailed work ever published on the city's spectral population and is guaranteed to fascinate the reader.
Cambridge Ghosts. Arima Publishing, September 2010. ISBN-13: 978-1845494537
From the publisher’s website: The paranormal has gone mainstream. Beliefs are on the rise, with almost half of the British population, and two thirds of Americans, claiming to believe in extra sensory perceptions and hauntings. Psychic magazines like Spirit and Destiny, television shows such as Fringe, Ghost Whisperer and Most Haunted, ghost-cams and e-poltergeists, bestselling books on mind, body and spirit, and magicians like Derren Brown have moved from the outer limits to the centre of popular culture, turning paranormal beliefs and scepticism into revenue streams.
Paranormal Media offers a unique, timely exploration of the extraordinary, unexplained and supernatural in popular culture, looking in unusual places in order to understand this phenomenon. Early spirit forms such as magic lantern shows or the spirit photograph are re-imagined as a search for extraordinary experiences in reality TV, ghost tourism, and live shows. Through a popular cultural ethnography, and critical analysis in social and cultural theory, this ground-breaking book by Annette Hill presents an original and rigorous examination of people's experiences of spirits and magic. In popular culture, people are players in an orchestral movement about what happens to us when we die. In a very real sense the audience is the show. This book is the story of audiences and their participation in a show about matters of life and death.
Paranormal Media, Taylor & Francis, November 2010. ISBN: 978-0-415-54463-4
From the publisher’s website: Unruly Spirits connects the study of séances, telepathy, telekinesis, materializations, and other parapsychic phenomena in France during the age of Sigmund Freud to an epistemological crisis that would eventually yield the French adoption of psychoanalysis. Skillfully navigating experiments conducted by nineteenth-century French psychical researchers and the wide-ranging debates that surrounded their work, M. Brady Brower situates the institutional development of psychical research at the intersection of popular faith and the emergent discipline of psychology.
Brower shows how spiritualist mediums were ignored by French academic scientists for nearly three decades. Only after the ideologues of the Third Republic turned to science to address what they took to be the excess of popular democracy would the marvels of mediumism begin to emerge as legitimate objects of scientific inquiry. Taken up by the most prominent physicists, physiologists, and psychologists of the last decades of the nineteenth century, psychical research would eventually stall in the 1920s as researchers struggled to come to terms with interpersonal phenomena (such as trust and good faith) that could not be measured within the framework of their experimental methods.
In characterizing psychical research as something other than a mere echo of popular spirituality or an anomaly among the sciences, Brower argues that the questions surrounding mediums served to sustain the scientific project by forestalling the establishment of a closed and complete system of knowledge. By acknowledging persistent doubt about the intentions of its participants, psychical research would result in the realization of a subjectivity that was essentially indeterminate and would thus clear the way for the French reception of psychoanalysis and the Freudian unconscious and its more comprehensive account of subjective uncertainty.
Unruly Spirits. University of Illinois Press, November 2010. ISBN Cloth 978-0-252-03564-7; Paper 978-0-252-07751-7