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Australian Poltergeist: The Stone-Throwing Spook of Humpty Doo and Many Other Cases, by Tony Healey and Paul Cropper

Publication Details: Xou Pty Ltd, ISBN-13: 978-1921134340
Publish Date: September, 2014

From the authors’ website: Objects thrown by invisible hands, showers of stones that pass through solid walls and ceilings, sudden, inexplicable fires, wall-shaking raps and thumps, creepy voices from nowhere…. welcome to the wonderful, weird world of the poltergeist!

Mind-boggling poltergeist events have occurred all over the world for hundreds of years. While many books have been written about notable foreign cases and about the phenomenon in general, this is the first book to focus entirely on the Australian experience, with cases from every state in the nation.

Some of the most famous Australian ghost stories are investigated, with some surprising new information revealed. These stories are incredible... but true.  The book also contains a comprehensive catalogue of other true-life cases.

About the Authors

PAUL CROPPER and TONY HEALY have investigated all manner of strange phenomena, both in Australia and overseas, since the mid-1970s and have collaborated on many projects, notably in co-authoring Out of the Shadows: Mystery Animals of Australia (1994) and The Yowie (2006).

Since witnessing the amazing Humpty Doo, Northern Territory, episode of 1998, they have visited other polt-infested sites and interviewed many people who have lived through similar weird and wonderful experiences.

In Australian Poltergeist they cover in detail eleven of this country’s most remarkable episodes and, in a comprehensive Catalogue of Cases, document every other incident in their Australian files, some dating from as far back as 1845.

Website

ESP Wars East and West: An Account of the Military Use of Psychic Espionage As Narrated by the Key Russian and American Players, by Edwin C. May, Victor Rubel, and Loyd Auerbach

Publication Details: CreateSpace, ISBN-13: 978-1500743000
Publish Date: August, 2014

From the authors’ blurb: Was there really a government-sanctioned psychic programme in the US? What were their goals? Were they successful? Were there fights in Congress about the programme? Did our Military support it fully? Was the US programme set up in response to a Soviet programme? Did the Soviet Union actually create psychic (psychotronic) weapons and generators? What was the involvement of the KGB? Have psychics had any influence over politics and decisions in the US? In the Soviet Union? In Russia? Has Russia continued with psychic espionage even as the US shut down its programme? Has there been a psychic arms race…a series of ESP Wars?

Read the real stories of the American and Soviet/Russian ESP programmes and how ESP was used in intelligence gathering and other applications.  Learn the greater story of why these major powers saw fit to put stock in something so many academics dismiss out of turn and what practical value was found for Military and Intelligence operations. Delve into the politics that led to, supported, and eventually shut down the psychic espionage programmes – and why the US programme, at least, has not been resurrected in light of the events of the first decade of the 21st century.

With commentary and insights from the former US programme director (Edwin C. May), the Army’s remote viewing agent 001 (Joe McMoneagle) and several Russian military/former KGB officers and experts, ESP WARS gives you an insiders’ view of what really went on, how it happened, and why. This book will be of interest to anyone interested in ESP (especially Remote Viewing), as well as how ESP has been successfully applied in missions of last resort for the Defence Department, CIA and other agencies. The book will especially be of interest to those looking for material on the politics and funding of classified projects, as well as the people participating in them, supporting them, and those with an axe to grind.

The Russian (and Soviet) sources present readers with a narrative of the place of psychic abilities in their society and politics, how the KGB was (and was not) involved, how psychics were brought into political decisions and even how psychics ended up in tanks on the front lines in the war in Chechnya. Those interested in international politics will find much to chew on here as well, especially insight into what went on during a number of difficult political situations at the end of the reign of the Soviet Union. Also of great interest is the perspective (and experiences) of our high-ranking Russian sources with regards to the KGB. For a story that transcends merely dealing with the “psychic” in “psychic spying,” for a narrative of politics and classified projects, ESP WARS will hold your attention from start to finish. As a bit of a tease at the end is an appendix with declassified material from the US Star Gate Programme.

The World's Most Haunted House: The True Story of The Bridgeport Poltergeist on Lindley Street, by William J. Hall

Publication Details: New Page Books, ISBN-13: 978-1601633378
Publish Date: August, 2014

From the publisher’s website: In this unprecedented work, the story of the 1974 Bridgeport, Connecticut poltergeist is at last revealed. A crowd of more than 2,000 onlookers gathered. National media reported jumping furniture, floating refrigerators, and attacking entities.  Decades after the publicity quieted, more than 40 hours of never-before-released interviews with police officers, firefighters, and others tell the story as it actually unfolded:

Relive the experience, the terror, the rampant emotions, and the unexplainable events that took place in that house as they happened.  Have access to revealing excerpts from actual interviews, police reports, and rare documents.  Access unreleased audio, poltergeist sounds, and an old radio broadcast.

Return to 1974 and feel the Lindley Street experience from the inside. Find out why it is deemed the haunting that should have brought the paranormal into mainstream science. For more info about the book and author, go to: www.worldsmosthauntedhouse.com  

William J. Hall was born and raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where the events of this book took place. He watched the news coverage of the Lindley Street haunting on TV when he was 10 years old. Hall is professionally equipped to recognize trickery. After more than 25 years as a performing magician, he knows how to create and recognize illusions. He is experienced in researching the unexplained, from folklore and urban legend to fortune telling, the pyramids, and other mysterious tales. His syndicated 1990’s column ‘Magic and the Unknown’ ran for six years in multiple local papers in his home state. Hall has two sons and resides in Plainville, Connecticut.

Anomalous Cognition: Remote Viewing Research and Theory, edited by Edwin C. May and Sonali Bhatt Marwaha

Publication Details: McFarland, ISBN-13: 978-0786494583
Publish Date: July, 2014

From the publisher’s website: Anomalous cognition involves the acquisition of information emerging from a distant point in spacetime that is blocked from the usual sensory systems by distance, shielding or time. From 1975 to 1995, Edwin May was a scientist and then programme director for the U.S. government’s psychic espionage program, known as STAR GATE. With the closing of that program, research has continued at the Laboratories for Fundamental Research, in Palo Alto, in the areas of methodology and analysis, neurophysiological studies, personnel assessment and selection, operations research, the physics of anomalous cognition, and psychokinesis.

The conclusions from this 35+ year research effort can be summarized as (1) ESP exists; (2) the gradient of Shannon entropy is the key factor influencing information transfer; (3) because of the innate nature of the ability, the phenomenon so far resists training for excellence (and replication studies will not yield results), and (4) evidence for psychokinesis (PK) is questionable.

This book presents the state-of-the-art, with 26 key papers on research methods, physiological research, decision augmentation theory, entropy, other research, and research challenges.

Edwin C. May is the leading figure in anomalous cognition research, and has authored more than 500 research and technical papers in this area. The former director of the U.S. government psychoenergetics research program STAR GATE at SRI International and SAIC for two decades, he is presently the president of the Laboratories for Fundamental Research in Palo Alto, California.  Sonali Bhatt Marwaha is a research associate with the Laboratories for Fundamental Research. Her areas of interest include Indian psychology and the synthesis of the cognitive sciences and anomalous cognition research leading to a theoretical framework. She lives in India.

Contagion: In the Shadow of the South Shields Poltergeist, by Darren W. Ritson and Michael J. Hallowell

Publication Details: Limbury Press. ISBN: 978-0956522894
Publish Date: July, 2014
From the publisher’s website: Almost ten years on after the famous South Shields Poltergeist case of 2006, and its disturbing book of 2008, Darren W. Ritson and Michael J. Hallowell bring you Contagion, a fascinating and ground-breaking new study of the world of poltergeist activity. After researching a number of different and bewildering poltergeist cases, post-South Shields, the authors have come to some startling conclusions and raise some serious thought-provoking hypotheses regarding the aspect of poltergeistry known as 'contagion'. Contagion is one of many facets of the poltergeist phenomenon and, if it so desires, can touch all those that choose to investigate it – no one is safe. During the years subsequent to the South Shields case, both authors were subjected to poltergeist 'contagion' which, after studying these events and further cases, led them to conclude that they may not have been as free of the South Shields entity as they had previously – and somewhat naively – thought.

This book was originally completed and ready for publication in 2009, but due to unforeseen circumstances and situations out of the authors' hands, they decided to wait until now to release these new accounts, along with hitherto unpublished material and photographs pertaining to the 2006 case. With a foreword by the late Colin Wilson (1931-2013) this book promises to be one of the most controversial paranormal publications of recent years and create some serious debate about the nature of the poltergeist phenomenon.

Darren W. Ritson has written almost twenty books on ghosts and hauntings and has been a member of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) since 2006. Darren has travelled the country lecturing on the poltergeist phenomenon and has been invited to conduct talks with some of the leading academic research associations into psychic study such as the SPR, the Ghost Club of Great Britain and the Scottish Society for Psychical Research. Darren has also lectured at Northumbria University after receiving invites from Dr Nick Neave (Head of Psychology/Parapsychology). Michael J. Hallowell is the author of over a dozen books on the subject of paranormal phenomena. He is a freelance journalist and broadcaster and lectures widely on subjects such as the supernatural and comparative religion. In 2011, long after completing the manuscript for Contagion with his co-author Darren W. Ritson, he began to study the history of the Jinn phenomenon and as a result converted to Islam. He is now a practising Muslim and is currently working on a number of books, including an in-depth study of the crucifixion from an Islamic viewpoint.

Crimes of Reason: On Mind, Nature, and the Paranormal, by Stephen E. Braude

Publication Details: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-4422-3575-5
Publish Date: July, 2014
From the publisher’s website: Crimes of Reason brings together expanded and updated versions of some of Braude’s best previously published essays, along with new essays written specifically for this book. Although the essays deal with a variety of topics, they all hover around a set of interrelated general themes. These are: the poverty of mechanistic theories in the behavioural and life sciences, the nature of psychological explanation and (at least within the halls of the Academy) the unappreciated strategies required to understand behaviour, the nature of dissociation, and the nature and limits of human abilities. Braude’s targets include memory trace theory, inner-cause theories of human behaviour generally, Sheldrake’s theory of morphogenetic fields, widespread but simplistic views on the nature of human abilities, multiple personality and moral responsibility, the efficacy of prayer, and the shoddy tactics often used to discredit research on dissociation and parapsychology. Although the topics are often abstract and the issues deep, their treatment in this book is accessible, and the tone of the book is both light and occasionally combative.

Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I, by Michael Tymn

Publication Details: White Crow Books. ISBN 978-1-910121-13-9
Publish Date: July, 2014

From the publisher’s website: As science flourished in the years leading up to World War I, religion floundered. Thus, the warring countries were little prepared to deal with the grief and despair that arose from millions of deaths. Apparently, the spirit world took notice, and, while greatly limited in its ability to communicate with us, the spirits managed to get through to more open-minded mourners, providing comfort and solace. Messages, many of them very evidential, came from fallen warriors, through various mediums, telling their loved ones that they were still “alive” and still with them. This book is an anthology of their communication from the afterlife. (The July 2014 issue of the SPR’s magazine Paranormal Review carries an interview with Michael Tymn by editor Leo Ruickbie, with an extract from the book.)

Review by Tom Ruffles

Physical Séance Room Recollections: Compilation Album No. 1 (2014), edited by Stewart Alexander

Publish Date: June, 2014

From an article by Stewart Alexander in Psychic World, November 2014, p.9: ‘In the 1990’s I was, for some years, the Archives officer and, for a while, the President of the now defunct Noah’s Ark Society for Physical Mediumship. Prior to that, over a period of several years, I had been most fortunate to meet, on a number of occasions, elderly Spiritualists who some years earlier had sat with legendary Physical Mediums. Unfortunately for us, by then we could only read about these amazing people. However, when relating to me their experiences it was almost as if they were telling of séances which they had attended the previous night as against 10/20/30/40 and in one case, 50 years earlier. Such had been the impression made upon them by what they had witnessed that those séances had been indelibly stamped into their memories. Always, as I listened, it had invariably struck me that I was as close to living history as it was possible to be. When, therefore, I became the Society’s Archives Officer, I determined to appeal to such people to come forward – to make contact with me and arrange to leave on record audio recordings of those wonderful inspiring sittings that, in past years, they had been privileged to attend. Now, no matter how harsh this may seem, the fact is that one by one our forebears were leaving this earth and taking with them their recollections and one by one their experiences – their stories – were being lost to our movement. So, in an effort to address that situation and catch them whilst there was yet time, I placed, on behalf of the Society, an advertisement in its monthly Newsletter and in various Spiritualist publications inviting and imploring them to send in their invaluable accounts. Pleasingly many responded and eventually I was to select a number of them which I grouped together on to a single cassette and this was subsequently marketed by the N.A.S. for its members and understandably proved to be extremely popular. However, with the later collapse of the Society that single cassette was to be the only one produced with the result that so many voices from the past were for many years to remain silent and unheard upon my library shelves. Then, one day, two years ago, I was working at my computer when my eyes fell upon those cassettes and suddenly, like a bolt from the blue, it struck me that I had been guilty of failing to fulfil the wishes of all those contributors. Inadvertently, I had been singularly responsible for failing in my duty to them to keep their inspiring memories alive. … Enter Lew Sutton (friend of many years) who, with the necessary equipment, graciously volunteered to take on the project of transferring all the cassettes on to CD and, in the process, clean up the sound quality which, on some of the tapes, was far from good. Anyway, it was when Lew was working on the old Ark compilation cassette that he telephoned to say that unfortunately the final accounts would not fit onto the one CD and in consequence they would have to be carried over onto a second one. Instantly, it then occurred to us both, that if we made a further selection of accounts to follow on beyond the Ark recording we could fill up the second CD and perhaps issue and make available to anyone interested in Physical Mediumship a double CD album. Now – following months of work … the project has at last been completed. … To the best of my knowledge, with the single exception of that Ark cassette, I know of no other such multiple recording within or outside of our Movement. I therefore believe that not only is this present album historic but it is also unique and it is my absolute intention to make it widely available both in this country and abroad. I believe it to be ‘that important’!

Review by Tom Ruffles

Strange Stories from a Lancashire Village, by Chris Aspin

Publication Details: Helmshore Local History Society.
Publish Date: June, 2014

From the author’s introduction: ‘I have spent most of my life in the East Lancashire village of Helmshore … Researching the history of the textile industries and local life in general has taken up much of my time for more than half a century … and led to several books. But I still have material stored in a file labelled ‘The Supernatural’, a collection which, I suspect, describes only a fraction of the inexplicable encounters experienced by local people. Doubtless other towns and villages could yield a paranormal harvest to match my own …’

Review by Tom Ruffles

The Certainty of Eternity: The Story of Australia's Greatest Medium, by L. C. Danby

Publication Details: White Crow Books. SBN 978-1-910121-35-1
Publish Date: June, 2014
From the publisher’s website: Reports of physical mediumship go back centuries, and physical mediums such as D. D. Home, Franek Kluski, Leslie flint, and more latterly, David Thompson, are becoming household names in psychical research. Experiments such as Scole and Professor W. J. Crawford’s Goligher Circle have demonstrated that physical psychic phenomena does indeed exist. One medium not so well known in the West is Australia’s Stan Walsh. Stan was arguably that country’s most talented physical medium during the early part of the 20th century. His mission began in 1919 when he and a group of friends got together in a Melbourne suburb and tried to communicate with the spirit world. In 1927 L.C. Danby joined the circle and became a regular sitter for many years. This book is his account of those years, and the incredible mediumship of Stan Walsh. Leslie Charles Danby was born in Fitzroy, Melbourne in 1899. At the age of 19, he became an entertainer in vaudeville, appearing in theatres all over Australia and New Zealand. At that time, he was a self-confessed atheist. He married a soubrette (singer/dancer), Winnie. While Winnie was giving birth to their first child, both Winnie and the baby girl died. Les was devastated. Whilst sitting at his young wife’s graveside at St. Kilda cemetery, contemplating what type of headstone to buy, he clearly heard his wife’s voice say, “Don’t bother dear. I am not there.” This first experience of clairaudience shocked Les. He mentioned it to a trusted friend, who in turn revealed he had started going to a spiritualist circle where the medium went into trance and channelled souls who had passed over, providing the sitters proof of survival. He suggested Les attend the next meeting. To Les’s amazement, Winnie came through, speaking of personal things only he could possibly know. That evening changed Les Danby’s life forever.

Induced After Death Communication: A Miraculous Therapy for Grief and Loss, by Allan L. Botkin and Craig Hogan

Publication Details: Hampton Roads. ISBN-13: 978-1571747129
Publish Date: May, 2014
From the publisher’s website: Induced After Death Communication (IADC) is a therapy for grief and trauma that has helped thousands of people come to terms with their loss by allowing them the experience of private communication with their departed loved ones. This is the definitive book on the subject. Botkin, a clinical psychologist, created the therapy while counseling Vietnam veterans in his work at a Chicago area VA hospital. Botkin recounts his initial—accidental—discovery of IADC during therapy sessions with Sam, a Vietnam vet haunted by the memory of a Vietnamese girl he couldn't save. During the session, quite unexpectedly, Sam saw a vision of the girl's spirit, who told him everything was okay; she was at peace now. This single moment surpassed months—years—of therapy, and allowed Sam to reconnect with his family. Since that 1995 discovery, Botkin has used IADC to successfully treat countless patients—the book includes dozens of case examples—and has taught the procedure to therapists around the country.

Opening Heaven’s Door: What the Dying Tell Us About Where They’re Going, by Patricia Pearson

Publication Details: Simon & Schuster UK. ISBN-13: 978-1471137136
Publish Date: May, 2014

From the publisher's website: People everywhere carry with them extraordinary, deeply comforting experiences that arrived at the moment when they most needed relief: when they lost a loved one. These experiences can include clear messages from beyond, profound and vividly beautiful visions, mysterious connections and spiritual awareness, foreknowledge of a loved one’s passing—all of which evade explanation by science and logic. Most people keep these transcendent experiences secret — deathbed experiences, Nearing Death Awareness, and shared death experiences. Individuals and families guard them for fear they will be discounted by hyperrational scrutiny. Yet these very common occurrences have the power to console, comfort, and even transform our understanding of life and death.

Prompted by her family’s surprising, profound experiences around the death of her father and her sister, reporter Patricia Pearson sets out on an open-minded inquiry, a rare journalistic investigation of Nearing Death Awareness. Pearson discovers that roughly half of bereaved people, as well as nurses, hospice workers, soldiers, and others who constantly observe the dying, have had intimations of enduring bonds that can radically help people to process their grief and their fear. Opening Heaven’s Door offers deeply affecting stories of messages from the dying and the dead in a fascinating work of investigative journalism, pointing to new scientific explanations that give these luminous moments the importance felt by those who experience them. Pearson also delves into out-of-body and near-death experiences, examining stories and research to make sense of these related but distinct categories that shed light on Nearing Death Awareness. Countless people experience these coincidences when a loved one dies, while others experience such visions while they are dying themselves. These phenomena point toward a larger spiritual reality, and the reality of life (or something else) after death, yet are ignored in a cultural framework that dismisses anything that cannot be explained by the physical brain. But by dismissing or discounting these occurrences, we hamper our own healing. Challenging current assumptions about what we know and what we are still unable to explain, Opening Heaven’s Door is a groundbreaking, beautifully written exploration that will forever alter your perceptions of the nature of life and death.

Review by Tom Ruffles