Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Beyond Shadow World

I have just finished reading Brad Steiger’s latest release from Anomalist Books: Beyond Shadow World (originally published in 2001 as Our Shared World of the Supernatural).

This is the third book in a series from Anomalist Books, and is a thought-provoking and informative read that will be (or should be!) of deep interest to all open-minded Ufologists.

Given that the book focuses, to a large extent, on tales of the afterlife, spirits (of the dead, and of a nature variety), ghostly beings and a variety of similar phenomena, you may already be asking yourselves: what relevance does all this have to Ufology?

Well, I’m coming to that!

As someone who has read quite a few books by Brad that focus upon (or touch upon) accounts and experiences relative to claims of an afterlife, I’ve always found it refreshing that - unlike a lot of authors who write on such matters - Brad does not try and force any particular theory or belief-system down the throats of his readers.

Rather, he relates the data, the theories and the ideas, and allows the reader to use this material to form his or her own opinion - which is a rare thing in books devoted to such an emotive topic as the afterlife.

But, Beyond Shadow World is more than just a collection of ghostly tales to be digested at the witching hour. Yes, it’s a deep and thoughtful look at the whole controversy of the afterlife - but it also reveals much more; and it’s here that we get into the UFO issue.

One of the things that Brad talks about in an enlightening fashion in the pages of his book is the puzzle of the so-called Contactees: those (primarily) 1950s characters who claimed contact with long-haired aliens in out-of-the-way locations, such as deserts, hill-tops and forests.

I am often dismayed by the simplistic approach that many researchers and readers take to the Contactee issue. For many of them, things are very much black-and-white: the Contactees were telling a literal truth, or they were blatant liars.

But, as people will know from my previous writings, things aren’t that clear-cut when it comes to the Contactees. And, I’m very pleased to see that Brad clearly realizes this.

As Brad states: “In 1963, when I first began seriously investigating the claims of the UFO contactees…I drew immediate parallels between those who channeled Outer Space beings and the spirit mediums who provided inspirational messages from their guides…”

He continues: “…And when many of the contactees told me that the UFOnaut had appeared to them in a ‘light and vaporous form’ because of the different frequencies between our dimensions, I was again reminded of the ‘light and vaporous forms’ that had long been associated with the seance room and the spirit circle.”

Brad adds: “…In my opinion, the phenomenon of the Space Brothers has absolutely nothing to do with the question of whether extraterrestrial intelligence has visited Earth,” and states his belief that there is an “external intelligence that has interacted with our species since our creation on this planet…I am also convinced that some kind of symbiotic relationship exists between us and this intelligence. In some way, they need us as much as we need them…”

This is excellent stuff, and well worth the price of the book alone!

Brad is right on the mark, and I would urge anyone with an interest in the Contactees to invest in a copy of Beyond Shadow World.

And that’s not all: you will also get to learn the details of a fascinating experience Brad had as a child with one of the classic “little people” of folklore and mythology (a brownie, an elf - the names may change; but they are pretty much the same breed) - and maybe of some strange, twilight realm, too.

It’s a magical, eerie and slightly creepy tale.

And, although Brad’s telling of the story suggests his sighting of the creature was accidental, I have to wonder - as with so many of the Contactees, and as with so many of the Abductees - was Brad’s exposure to the little man actually a deliberate act (albeit unknown to him), one designed to provoke the transformation needed to ensure that Brad followed the path in life (as a writer and investigator of all-things-strange) that some other intelligence may have already pre-planned for him?

Some might say no. I say: don’t be so hasty.

So, with that all said, if your interests are chiefly in the area of the afterlife, Beyond Shadow World is definitely a must-read.

If you have ever had a sneaky suspicion that our alien visitors (and particularly those long-haired ones) might not be quite what they seem - and that there could be a more profound, unifying theory for the many and varied phenomena that Brad describes in his book - then you should also take steps to acquire the book at the earliest opportunity.

Don’t forget: for full effect, read it by candle-light on a dark and stormy night! And if Orthon, Zoltan or some oddly-named Venusian Space-Brother knocks slowly on the door, by all means invite him or her in. But, as Beyond Shadow World demonstrates, they may not actually be who they claim to be…

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