Thursday, May 22, 2008

Reviewing the Mothman

A couple of days ago, I received from author Andy Colvin a copy of his book The Mothman's Photographer II. I've started reading it, and a fine book it is, too. Definitely an essential title for anyone into all things "Mothy." Soon as I've finished reading it, I'll be doing a full review.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Coming Soon: "Werewolves" Reviewed

Great news: Linda Godfrey (of The Beast of Bray Road and Hunting the American Werewolf fame) has a new book out right now titled Werewolves. A review copy is on its way to me, and as soon as it arrives and I've read it, it will be reviewed right here. Here's the link for more info on the book. This is sure to be a must-read title for anyone interested in all-things hairy and howling!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Strange Saga

Just recently, I received a huge stash of UFO-related books-for-review from Timothy Green Beckley - or "Mr. UFO," as he's also known. One by one, I'm gonna make my way through all those titles - starting with Strange Saga.

Basically, Strange Saga is a collection of Beckley's early (and otherwise very hard to find nowadays) writings within the UFO field. And a highly entertaining collection of material it is, too!

Long before Area 51, Roswell, the Greys, Alien Abductions, and Flying Triangles became the big buzz-words within Ufology, there were cases, characters, incidents, gigs and events that - sadly and in many respects - have been lost to the fog of time.

Thankfully, however, Beckley's republished articles will (A) rekindle the memories of those who were on the scene back in the 60s and 70s, and (B) thoroughly entertain those like me who first set foot in the UFO arena in the mid-80s onwards.

It's clear from what Beckley has to say that the world of Ufology back then was very different to that of today. For a start, it still possessed a sense of humor and wasn't full of pompous, self-important ufologists (or there were certainly less of them, at least!). And the subject was full of something else too: characters.

And that's where Beckley's book shines: in his republished articles (culled from publications such as Saga, Flying Saucers, and others), Beckley treats us to his memories of hanging out with ufological legends like Jim Moseley, Gray Barker, John Keel, countless contactees, and many more.

Road-trips to gigs, on-the-road-style adventures in search of UFO witnesses and interviewees, and roving-reporter-type accounts are what make up the body of Strange Saga.

And for your money, you also get the low-down on some little-known (and long-forgotten) incidents from around the globe, much on the dreaded Men in Black, an excellent interview with J. Allen Hynek that Beckley conducted back in 1976, a wealth of data on astronaut encounters, and a lot more, too.

You also get a a 1-hour CD that contains an interview with Beckley about his life and career within Ufology.

Strange Saga is a real blast from the past that provides the reader with a very personalized look at the UFO scene from a man who was there.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Kentucky Weirdness

Some time ago, I was contacted by a guy named Bart Nunnelly, a fellow seeker of all-things-strange. Bart was deep in the process of writing his book, Mysterious Kentucky: The History, Mystery and Unexplained of the Bluegrass State.
Bart sent me some extracts from his manuscript and asked if I would be willing to add a blurb of endorsement to the book. Well, after having digested the material, I quickly said yes. Fans of the paranormal will find much of interest in the book’s pages, as will those with a fascination for the state’s mysterious history, Edgar Cayce, Fortean fish-falls, vampires and more.

UFOs feature heavily, too. Early tales of mystery airships and strange lights in the sky set the scene for what is to come, including: a striking 1993 event involving the Jefferson County Police Force; the “Liberty Abduction” case (a reported alien abduction event involving three women - Louise Smith, Mona Stafford and Elaine Thomas) of 1976; the controversial death in 1948 of military pilot Captain Thomas Mantell; and a classic Men in Black-type encounter from 1966. And, of course, no book that details the many and varied UFO encounters in Kentucky can afford to ignore the famous Kelly, Hopkinsville case of August 1955 that can best be described as Close Encounters of the Third Kind meets Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

"And what of cryptozoology?" I hear you ask.

Well, you ain't gonna be disappointed - not at all.

Bart's book contains some highly intriguing data on Bigfoot, werewolves, lake-monsters, lizard-men, goat-men and more. It also contains some fascinating information on Bart's (and his family's) own encounters with mystery critters - some of which offer theories to explain the Bigfoot puzzle that extend much further than the realm of straightforward flesh-and-blood entities.

The book is packed with photos and excellent drawings from Bart (who is a highly talented artist), and skillfully weaves a picture of Kentucky as a state rich in folklore, mysteries, dark woods full of fantastic beasts, and monstrous creatures roaming the countryside by night.

Mysterious Kentucky is an excellent book from an author who demonstrates a great affection and love for his home state, first-class knowledge of his subject matter, and a highly entertaining writing style.

Exploring Dragons

Richard Freeman is the Zoological Director of the Center for Fortean Zoology; formerly the Head of Reptiles at England's Twycross Zoo; a lover of doom-laden, Goth-driven music; a good friend of mine; and an acknowledged expert on the subject of dragons.
His first book on the subject was Dragons: More Than A Myth?; and that has now been followed by his latest title: Explore Dragons, published by Heart of Albion Press.

If you are in any way, shape or form interested in tales of dragons, as well as the facts, fiction, mythology, folklore and more pertaining to this often overlooked aspect of cryptozoology, then this is a book definitely worth investing in.

Whereas Richard's first book focused upon account of dragons that spanned the entire globe, Explore Dragons - for the most part - tackles those accounts that originate within the British Isles, such as the famous Lambton Worm; the story of St. George and the Dragon and other reported "dragon slayers;" as well as encounters with such beasts in surprisingly recent times.The book also includes an excellent summary of the various locations around the UK from where dragons have been reported - a very welcome addition for those interested in traveling to some of the sites in question.

Richard also addresses the crucial question of: "What are dragons?" As the reader will learn, countless creatures may have led to the creation of the image of the dragon that we know today. However - interestingly enough - that doesn't mean that such literal creatures did not exist in some form, as Richard intriguingly demonstrates.The book is also packed with superb drawings and useful photographs.

But for me, it is Richard's sheer breadth of knowledge on the subject; as well as his passion for the history, legends and folkloric aspects of all-things dragon-like in merry old England that shines through.From the ancient town of Glastonbury to the mysterious depths of the nation's lakes and lochs; and from Britain of centuries-past to the present day, this is an excellent study of a phenomenon undertaken by someone with a true enthusiasm for their subject matter.

Readers outside of the UK should note that Explore Dragons is only available from Britain; and therefore if you wish to purchase a copy, it is recommended that you contact the publisher Bob Trubshaw for shipping rates, payment methods, etc. at

Big Cats on the Loose!

Some time ago I was sent a review copy of Merrily Harpur's book, Mystery Big Cats. I've digested a good many published works (books, self-published papers, magazine articles, etc.) on sightings of unidentified Big Cats in the UK, and the problem that I had with many of them was that, frankly, they were deathly boring.
Reams of recorded material along the lines of: "10 June 1966: Puma seen near city of London; 18 August 1977: Wildcat seen on Scottish Highlands, etc., etc." may be of interest to those who wish to have access to a complete data-base of every such case ever reported. However, simply relating such material in robotic, unimaginative style does not a good book make.

Thankfully, Merrily's book inhabits very different territory.

This is a publication that is all things: informative, insightful, thought-provoking, and written by someone who has a keen appreciation, awareness and knowledge of her subject matter; as well as a fine understanding of British folklore, history, mythology, and the complex mysteries inherent in the conundrum that has come to be known as the British Big Cat.

Mystery Big Cats is essential reading for anyone wanting to develop a good understanding of the subject, and what may very possibly lay at its heart.

Many readers of this blog will be aware of the longstanding theories that suggest Britain's Big Cats are all escapees from private zoos, traveling circuses, and the descendants of exotic pets released into the wild when the British Government's Dangerous Wild Animals Act was passed in 1976.

However, as Merrily expertly demonstrates, that theory is very much an article of faith. Indeed, she reveals how, upon rigorous scrutiny, and as a catch-all theory, it quickly falls down. So what are these mysterious beasts then, and where did they come from?

Theories pertaining to indigenous Big Cats are discussed, as are the parallels (and differences) between the Big Cats and the Phantom Black Dogs of British folklore. But, again, although some students of the phenomena have made a connection between the two -- with the Big Cat being seen as the modern day equivalent of the Black Dog -- the evidence is highly controversial, and the similarities tenuous.

Nevertheless, people are clearly seeing something. And Merrily makes this very obvious, too. It is to the reader's advantage that Merrily is a skilled writer - the result of which is that even though the book relates the details of numerous Big Cat encounters spanning countless decades, her style is neither boring nor repetitive.

And this is made all the more apparent when she digs deep into problematic issues surrounding (A) physical evidence for the presence of flesh-and-blood creatures in our midst; (B) photographic and film-based data; (C) the intriguing ability of the beasts to avoid capture or killing; and (D) why, curiously, so many of these animals are - time and again - seen near railway tracks and other specific locations.

So, what is it that people are seeing? Well, this is where Merrily's research really comes to the fore. It would not be fair of me to reveal to those that wish to read Mystery Big Cats for themselves the intricacies of Merrily's theory.

I can say, however, that this book will likely polarize readers into one of two camps: those that see merit in the theory, and those that are determined to look elsewhere. I will also say that Merrily's theories move away from the world of the strictly physical and into other realms of existence, into the world of ancient British folklore, and the nature of what reality is (or is not!), how we perceive that same reality, and what the presence of the Big Cats really means to us as a species.

This is a truly excellent piece of work that does not shy away from controversy - and, to me, that is a good thing. Merrily has produced a first-class piece of work that will enlighten, entertain, and lead to much musing and pondering with respect to her conclusions.

Readers outside of the UK should note that Mystery Big Cats is only available from Britain; and therefore if you wish to purchase a copy, it is recommended that you contact the publisher Bob Trubshaw for shipping rates, payment methods, etc. at

Steiger's "Shadow World"

When I first became interested in the UFO puzzle I was a firm devotee of the works of people like Donald Keyhoe and Leonard Stringfield - the “nuts and bolts” brigade, in other words.

Throughout my teens and early twenties, things were relatively black and white: UFOs were alien spaceships; extraterrestrials were abducting people for their DNA; and a wealth of alien debris and pulverized ET corpses - recovered from a variety of crashed UFOs - was carefully stored away at secret military bases all across the United States.

But then, one day, I woke up.

It became clear to me as time progressed and as I began to delve into other, more esoteric and - what some would call - mystical areas, that the modern day mystery that we call the UFO, was in reality merely the latest incarnation of a phenomenon that has been with us for probably as long as we have existed (and maybe even longer).

Today, I am as convinced as I ever was that a small percentage of UFO reports represent something unknown, something from elsewhere, something truly alien in a literal sense - but not extraterrestrial in origin.

Manipulation, camouflage, exploitation, deceit, trickery and deception are its calling cards. I know not at all what the origin of the UFO mystery is, but I do not believe that its presence on our planet is of benefit to us as a species in the slightest.

We are a pawn in a bigger picture; and while there is indeed interaction between our species and this other intelligence, the simplistic angle of “aliens are coming to Earth to steal our DNA so they can bolster their dying species” is far too simplistic, sci-fi driven, and wide of the mark.

As I have said before, DMT, altered states and the use of archaic rites and rituals are far more likely to invoke a UFO experience than looking at the stars on a dark night and hoping the Martians might land ever will.

And that all brings me to Brad Steiger’s book, Shadow World, re-published by the good folk at Anomalist Books seven years after it first appeared.

Steiger’s book deals with life-after-death and the multitude of beings, entities and creatures that seemingly inhabit those twilight realms that exist beyond our own. Yet, as with the UFO issue, the spirit world is not all that it seems.

Everyone loves a good ghost story; and the creepier the better - even more so with Halloween just around the corner. However, Shadow World reveals that the other-side is not just spooky and creepy: it can be downright sinister and dangerous too.

Poltergeists, animal spirits, classic cases of loved ones returning after death and more feature prominently within the pages of Steiger’s book. However, it is with respect to two key issues of Shadow World that I draw your attention: "Spirit Mimics" and "Spirit Parasites," as Steiger accurately describes them.

As the author says: “The nastiest beings in Shadow World are the Spirit Parasites, entities that are especially dominant in places where murders or other acts of violence have been perpetrated. These entities can accumulate to make any house a repository of evil. Hideous and grotesque in appearance, they most often manifest as reptilian-type entities. Quite likely, Spirit Parasites are the traditional ‘demons’ encountered throughout human history. They are also capable of possessing unaware or vulnerable humans.”

With respect to Spirit Mimics, Steiger says: “…they appear to be entities who wish to impersonate men and women in order to experience the full range of human emotions, especially those of love and companionship. And then there are those more distasteful encounters, when these entities behave in ways that are mischievious, bordering on cruel. I have come to term these entities Spirit Mimics, for they generally do excellent impersonations of us humans. For quite a period of time, these mimics can do a remarkably good job of fooling the men and women with whom they have chosen to interact.”

Although Steiger does not go down the alien path in Shadow World, it became clear to me on reading his book that the other-worldly entities - and their actions and activities - that he discusses are eerily similar in many ways to those of our so-called “aliens.”

Of course, as most students of ufology will know, such parallels have been made on many occasions - the problem is that for the die-hard “nuts and bolts” crew, it’s far easier to ignore such controversial matters.

The work of Whitley Strieber, example, demonstrates for me, at least, that our “aliens” may inhabit a realm of existence that straddles both the physical world and that of the after-life. There are numerous accounts of so-called alien abductees experiencing phenomena in their homes and lives that an investigator of what, in simplistic terms, we might call “the paranormal” would ascribe to the work of spirits and poltergeists. Whereas the ufologist would point to little grey men with large black eyes as being the culprits.

The reptilian appearance, the mimicry, the deception and the desire on the part of the entities that Steiger talks about to “experience the full range of human emotions”, sound awfully like our alleged aliens who earnestly claim to come from far-off star systems and worlds with weird and wonderful names, and who use us, exploit us, manipulate us, and do indeed seem to want to understand the nature of human emotion.

Interest in the human soul (and not always a positive interest - from our perspective, at least) on the part of the “ETs” is a recurrent theme in some of the more enlightening ufological works. However, you’re unlikely to see such issues discussed at some of the bigger, popular UFO gigs that are held every year. Why not? Simple: It ain’t good for business, that’s why. And, so, such matters are often relegated to the side-lines; when in reality they might be integral parts of the puzzle.

And Shadow World reveals more than a few disturbing events in which the human soul seems to be a key factor.

So, what’s my point? Well, it’s this: in the same way that the work of people like Strieber and Strassman delves deep into areas that are not at all popular with those of an “It’s all ET” mindset, so Steiger highlights case after case that will not sit will with those who see the afterlife as being one based merely around the simplistic “love and light” approach.

And although Steiger does not address the matter, a reading of his book offers further evidence (as far as I am concerned, at least) that the entities that some of us view as aliens, that some view as gods or demons, and that others view as evil spirits whose sole purpose of existence is to create misery and terror, may well all be different aspects of a single intelligence that has been with us in varied forms since time began.

Brad Steiger’s Shadow World tells us much about the harrowing nature and intent of entities that, as he notes, may well be “multidimensional beings.”

The book may also, albeit inadvertently, give us a deeper insight with respect to where we should really be looking for the answers to the UFO puzzle. And with that, I think I’m going to go outside, start a bonfire and burn my first edition of Flying Saucers Are Real.

Ufology of the 1940s and 1950s is redundant. Utterly redundant. Yet some nostalgia-driven souls still fly the flag for the “good old days” when the subject was simple, when George Adamski hung out in the Californian desert and met people from Venus, and the “aliens” regularly landed to collect their “soil samples” - always ensuring that they were seen by someone whose story would bolster the belief that, yes, ET was here.

You should buy Steiger’s book for what it tells us about the afterlife, the spirit world, and some of the stranger, malevolent, and downright hostile beings that inhabit our planet. For this reader, they may just be the little grey men of ufology, too…

To learn more about Brad Steiger’s Shadow World and purchase copies, click here.

Monsters of Guyana: In-Print

I recently finished reading one of the two new book releases from the Center for Fortean Zoology: The CFZ Expedition Report 2007.

This is one that definitely does not disappoint.

As you may know, late last year the CFZ sent a five-person, CAPCOM-sponsored team to the wilds of Guyana to search for a whole range of weird and wonderful beasts - including giant anacondas, a hairy man-beast known as the Di-Di, an unidentified aquatic animal, and much more.

Consisting of CFZ zoologist Richard Freeman; Lisa Dowley; Dr. Chris Clark; journalist, author and TV script-writer Paul Rose; and the William Burroughs of cryptozoology: Jon Hare, the team spent an exciting - and at times distinctly harrowing - time battling heat-stroke, insects, broken bones and much more as they sought to unravel the truth and separate fact from folklore with respect to the monsters of Guyana.

And now, with the publication of the Expedition Report, you can finally read the full and unexpurgated story of what happened on what was surely the most difficult trek that CFZ investigators have ever endured.

With an Introduction from Jon Downes and a Foreword from Dr. Karl Shuker, the main body of the book is split into five sections, giving each of the team members the opportunity to record their own thoughts, recollections and observations of the expedition.

Your initial reaction might be that if no less than five people are all talking about the same expedition, things would get both repetitive and tedious pretty quickly. But you'd be very wrong.
The great thing about each team-member's report is that it is very different, unique and personal to the individual in question.

For example, as CFZ resident zoologist, Richard Freeman digs deep into the meat of the matter: he reveals some truly startling and eye-opening accounts pertaining to (a) wild encounters with Bigfoot-like entities (including one of a truly vicious nature); (b) red-faced pygmy-sized beings that Richard believes may be related to the Homo florisensis of the Indonesian island of Flores; (c) the savage Water-Tiger (is it a mystery felid, a mustelid or something else?); (d) numerous accounts of truly huge anacondas reported from Guyana, and much more.

Paul Rose's contribution is a very humorous one that focuses more upon the trials and tribulations that came with trying to get fit for the expedition; the hazards facing anyone who decides to head off to an exotic location in search of monsters; and the highs, lows and challenges that come with a road-trip on the other side of the world. Paul also reveals the intriguing story of his own encounter with a mystery animal a few years ago on the Isle of Wight.

As Jon Downes rightly points out, the expedition seems to have turned Jon Hare into a modern day William Burroughs, and his brief contribution will not disappoint - in any capacity!

Dr. Chris Clark reveals welcome material on 30-foot-long snakes, more on the mysterious pygmies of Guyana, as well as his own thoughts on the expedition as a whole and what was achieved.

And, finally, there is Lisa Dowley, who provides the reader with a very welcome, and highly detailed report that takes the reader from the very beginning - at Heathrow Airport, London - and right into the heart of the heat-soaked landscape of Guyana.
Like Richard, Lisa has much to discuss about what the team was told with respect to the various unknown animals said to roam the land, such as Guyana's equivalent of the Yeti, and the Water-Tiger. Lisa also reveals a great deal on the team's trip to a small cave that housed a couple of urns containing ancient human remains; as well as her struggle to overcome a broken finger, smashed shoulder, and infected toe.

In addition, the book contains a fantastic photo section, that is comprised of no less than 68 pictures, and that graphically, and collectively, provide the reader with a truly excellent insight into Guyana's terrain, landscape, culture and weird and wonderful creatures.

You also get for your money an insightful piece from Jon Downes that describes his own recollections as he coordinated things from the CFZ Head Office in England, handled media publicity, and liaised with me when things got somewhat hairy after contact was mysteriously lost with the "Guyana Five" for a day or two.

And with another report from Richard Freeman on giant snakes, and a paper that details the sterling work of the next generation of the CFZ - Ross, David and Greg - this 239-page book is a fantastic addition to the CFZ's already-impressive output.

For me, the thing that stands out more than any other about this book is the way in which it reveals the team's dedication, enthusiasm, love of adventure and intrigue, and the willingness to (literally) risk life and limb as they seek to uncover the truth - and actually come away with copious amounts of notable data, too.

A book that tells us as much about strange creatures as it does about the people who search for them and why, The CFZ Expedition Report 2007 is a revealing, insightful and informative look at what really goes on when the CFZ goes on an overseas, exotic quest for monsters.

Monsters! Booze! Jungles! Guns!

Those are broadly the four themes that dominate the packed-pages of a highly entertaining new book from Anomalist Books: Adam Davies' Extreme Expeditions - Travel Adventures Stalking The World's Mystery Animals.

Anomalist Books are at the forefront of publishing high-quality books on general Forteana, and Extreme Expeditions is a good addition to their line-up, and does not disappoint.

Basically, the book is a travelogue that sees our fearless author (and a variety of friends, colleagues and fellow monster-hunters) heading off to a whole range of exotic and far-away locations in search of mysterious beasts of a truly cryptozoological nature.

Like me, Adam is a Brit; and, as the book is written very much in the form of a personal diary, it contains (as the back-cover states): "...foul language, excessive drinking, sexual situations, and encounters with some creatures of the natural world that would scare young children and more than a few adults as well."

So, in other words, if you're looking to find out what really goes on behind-the-scenes during the course of a quest for monsters in exotic locales, then this is most definitely the book for you.

Adam writes well: he skilfully presents to his audience the details of the many and varied expeditions upon which he has embarked, including (A) 1998 trips to Sumatra (in search of the Orang-Pendek) and to the Congo (where he looks for the Mokele-Mbembe); (B) a 1999 quest to solve the riddle of the Norwegian equivalent of Nessie: Selma (a quest that is particularly - and spectacularly - successful); (C) a wild trek to Mongolia for the legendary Death Worm; (D) a second journey to Mongolia (this time for the Yeti-like Almas); and (E) much more of a monstrous nature.

The trials and tribulations that go with being a seeker of unknown animals are thrust into the spotlight time and again in the pages of Extreme Expeditions, too. Indeed, they demonstrate that, at times, monster-hunting can be a distinctly hazardous business.

For example, Adam and his friends find themselves in more than a few dicey situations with gun-toting officials and military forces in the Congo; they cope with heat-stroke, wild animals, bites and stings as they scour strange lands for even stranger animals; they bargain, barter and do whatever has to be done to seek out their quarry; and (for those non-Brits that may want to read the book) you get to learn a great deal about British culture and how we like to pass the time of day - and night, too!

And with respect to the key issue of the book - strange and unknown animals - you won't be disappointed. Adam's search for Norway's Selma is a real highlight; and one suggesting the beast is a very real one.

His quest to find the Orang-Pendek is illuminating (for what he discovers - such as some notable footprints); it's also tinged with sadness, however, as a result of the fact that the creature (whatever it really is) may very well be on the verge of extinction.

Adam also uncovers a wealth of data on the Death-Worm and the Almas (which, as the book shows, may also be on the verge of extinction, if it hasn't already gone belly-up), and makes it very clear to the reader that, despite what some people might assume to the contrary, our planet is still one steeped in mystery.

Easy to read, packed with adventure, intrigue, humor and (of course) monsters, Extreme Expeditions is a book that's entertaining, informative, memorable and instructive - in equal measures.

An Alien Who's Who

The following review by me of An Alien Who’s Who (edited by Martin S. Kottmeyer, and published by Anomalist Books) has just been published in issue 2 of Stuart Miller’s Alien Worlds magazine, and is reproduced with Stuart’s permission:

Depending on your own personal perspective regarding what lies at the heart of the UFO puzzle, An Alien Who’s Who reveals a great deal about (a) the dizzying variety of extraterrestrials that have visited the Earth for a good many years; (b) the tall-tales of a whole range of fantasists and con-merchants; or (c) the way in which the UFO phenomenon, and those within it, are constantly being manipulated and exploited by a true trickster of a type that would make both John Keel and Jacques Vallee very proud.

Or, maybe it’s all three theories, or perhaps none of them. Whatever the case, I know only this much for certain: Martin Kottmeyer’s book is damned good fun and highly informative – and in equal measures, too.

Basically, it’s a 263-page, A to Z-style page-turner that lists a truly startling number of names attributed to aliens that are said to have visited the Earth. Of course, reading about the trials, tribulations and exploits of hundreds of alleged aliens that range from Acorc (the denizen of an over-crowded planet 52 million kilometers from Earth) to Zyloo (who supposedly ‘followed Apollo 13’ and became involved in the ‘Sixth Patrol Division’, whatever the hell that is or was) could very quickly become tedious.

In the hands of Kottmeyer, however, tediousness is the last thing that springs to mind. Certainly, most of the entries are relatively brief; however, they are also tinged with a welcome bit of deadpan humour. For example, Herronoah – who hails from the planet Epicot - tells a startled earthling named ‘Edwin W’ that human beings wear too many clothes, and goes on to inform Edwin how, on one occasion, ‘their ship spooked a naked woman and man in a clump of bushes’. Ahem.

Then we get treated to the spectacle of Aura Rhanes, the hot space-babe from a far-off world called Clarion who, according to Truman Bethurum, the man she appeared before, wore ‘slacks’ that ‘appeared almost as if painted on her, so snugly did they fit’. Lucky Truman, that’s all I can say. And what are we to make of Motag, who ‘once converted a flying saucer into a truck’? Or Nokyle, who intriguingly threatens to reveal details of a certain incident involving what are tantalisingly described only as ‘crazy girls’?

As you have probably already guessed, many of the entries contained within the packed pages of An Alien Who’s Who hail from that much-ridiculed era of the so-called Contactee: those seemingly elite souls who claimed face-to-face encounters with long-haired aliens back in the 1950s and whose names were invariably made up of a lot of Q’s, Z’s and X’s.

It should be stressed that the ridiculous and often hysterical nature of some of the stories does not undermine Kottmeyer’s credibility as an author. Indeed, he points out in his Introduction that he does not believe in ‘physically real aliens’, from Venus, Mars, Pluto, and so on.

Rather, for the most part, Kottmeyer has done something that few authors seldom do: he leaves his own views and beliefs at the door, and instead provides the reader with entertaining – and otherwise very hard to find – summaries on alleged other-worldly entities that have supposedly been manifesting before select members of the Human Race for decades.

Kottmeyer relates their bizarre, unverifiable and at times completely false tales, prophecies and warnings. And, in a roundabout way, he amply demonstrates that for all the attempts to legitimise Ufology as a serious science, it is still a subject that is packed with odd and unusual characters with weird names and even weirder motivations – and if you think I’m just talking about the aliens here, well, you’re very wrong, my friends.

With an entertaining and insightful Foreword from ufologist and Project Beta author Greg Bishop, An Alien Who’s Who is vital reading for anyone and everyone that wants to learn more about some of the strange, other-worldly beings said to have visited our planet and whose exploits, without Kottmeyer, would otherwise be lost to the fog of time.

And, with all that now said, I’m off to meet Solar-Commander Xzzobovaxxx for a spot of dinner, followed by a flight around Venus with the bikini-clad Amazonians of Delta-Zorvog 12. Wish me luck!

For more details, see