As you'll know, every so often I'll review here, at Mysterious Universe, a new book. And it's that time again. Today, it's Real Encounters, Different Dimensions, and Otherworldly Beings by Brad Steiger and his wife, Sherry Hansen Steiger. Neither Brad nor Sherry need introductions. But they are going to get them anyway!
Brad has now penned somewhere close to 200 books, on all manner of paranormal topics, including UFOs, life after death, and zombies. Sherry has authored/co-authored more than 40 books, including the best-selling Miracles series. And, I'm pleased to say, that even with so many titles under their belts, the dynamic duo continue to put out quality material.
Published by Visible Ink Press, Real Encounters... is a book that, as its title suggests, exposes the reader to an amazing number of strange entities that have for so long interacted with, helped, plagued, manipulated, taught, deceived, and downright baffled the Human Race. They are the creatures of other realms of existence; those beings that suddenly pop into our reality, do their weird thing, then pop out of it again - just as suddenly.
Some of them are from the depths of space, others come from the depths of the planet and the oceans. More than a few seem to have the uncanny ability to negotiate dimensions as easily as we go from room to room in our own homes. Then there are those intelligences that appear to come from the land of the dead; that mysterious place (or places) to which some essence of us travels once physical life is at an end.
It's important to note - with so many different critters, creatures and "things" under the Steiger microscope - that Real Encounters is not some sterile, seen-it-all-before reference-type book. No. This is a first-class study of a large body of data and varied entities, and one which provides the reader with a wealth of thought-provoking data - and all of a notable nature.
Take, for example, the section of the book titled Contact with Space Brothers and Sisters. Yep, we're talking about the controversial "Contactee" movement, one which really caught major attention in the 1950s, thanks to the likes of Orfeo Angelucci, George Adamski, George Van Tassel, Truman Bethurum, and George Hunt Williamson. For the most part, the UFO research community has been content to place such cases into several discernible categories: real, hoax, and fantasy. Brad and Sherry take us down a very different path, however.
They carefully and astutely note the undeniable similarities between the messages received from the Space Brothers and Sisters and those that are channeled by spirit mediums. This leads the pair to comment that perhaps "...they are all part of the same chameleon-like phenomenon that changes to reflect the belief structures of the time." In other words, this is bloody good stuff! It challenges the accepted wisdom and theories for who or what the Space Buddies are, and pushes us down a far more satisfying and likely pathway.
One of the things that has long-fascinated me is the notion of highly advanced beings coming not from outer-space, but from inner-space. As in far below our feet. Yep, we are talking about creatures of the underworld. Such theories have been advanced, to varying degrees, by Richard Shaver, Mac Tonnies, and Wm. Michael Mott. In fact, the reason why the subject so fascinates me is because of a story that originated in my home county of Staffordshire, England - it's a 1770-era saga revolving around an old, underground chamber and a menacing, hooded character.
Our fearless authors address the story, along with many others; all of which suggest that many of the near-magical beings that interact with us come from a place far closer to home than we might think, or they may wish us to believe. Tales of "Old Ones," "Elder Gods," the occult-driven beliefs of the Nazis, and ancient legends of highly advanced races inhabiting subterranean realms, abound in what is an undeniably great chapter.
Whenever people mention the word "fairy," it inevitably conjures up pop-culture imagery of small, winged, sparkling figures; the kind most often represented in children's books and on Christmas cards and such like. The reality behind the fantasy and the folklore is very different, however. Brad and Sherry share with us - in a chapter titled The Wee People: Guardians of the Earth Mother - that the phenomenon of the "little people" has a significant place in reality.
One gets a distinct feeling from reading this particular chapter that the veil between our reality and that of the "wee folk" is one that, on far more than a few occasions, becomes definitively blurry. That's when magical encounters occur - some of which (maybe even all) clearly take place when the witness is plunged into a distinctly altered state of mind. Such creatures - it is made very obvious to us - are not to be trifled with. Yes, they can be friendly. On other occasions, however, they are trickster-like. Sometimes they appear to be nothing less than outright malevolent and hostile.
I was very pleased to see that one particular issue that gets good, solid coverage in Real Encounters... is the work of Trevor James Constable, the brains behind the theory that at least some UFOs are "...plasmic living organisms native to our atmosphere." If you aren't already aware of Constable's work, the Steigers will open your eyes to a whole new world - almost literally!
The domain of the afterlife gets much coverage, too, in the book. We're talking about sinister and violent poltergeists, electronic voice phenomena, the world of the medium, shadow people, and numerous other issues that suggest there are things out there - on the other side of the veil, so to speak - with whom we can interact. When we do interact with them, however, we should take great care. In many cases, deception and manipulation are their calling cards.
Dreams that may be far more than "normal" dreams, ones in which people have reportedly traveled to worlds and realities far beyond our own, abound in the pages of the latest Steiger-Steiger book. As do shape-shifters, extraterrestrial kidnappers, and benevolent and angelic entities.
And, there is something else too: my favorite chapter of the book. It goes by the title of Meeting Strange Creatures in Dark Forests. Large, shadowy and creepy woods curiously provoke wonder, intrigue and mystery in all of us - even if we're not overly sure why. We imagine them to be filled with mysterious creatures; those diabolical half-human monsters, winged and nightmarish beasts, and paranormal animals that lurk in the shadows of the thick trees.
Well, that's exactly what you get in this particular chapter: a fine study of how easy it is to leave civilization behind and suddenly become plunged into a very different world; a world of the primitive, of the malevolent, and of the abominable.
This is a book that skillfully demonstrates the world we see around us does not amount to all that there is to see. There are domains and dimensions - call them what you will - that are inhabited by supernatural intelligences that we do not fully understand, and which we may never fully understand. In a strange and symbiotic fashion, however, it's as if they need to be seen by us, just as much as we crave the answers to what they are and what they want from us. There are doors to be opened and forces and forms to be reckoned with.
Real Encounters, Different Dimensions, and Otherworldly Beings opens those doors and unleashes those forces and forms upon us - and then some!
Finally, I should add that here in Dallas, Texas the weather is usually warm to scalding. Over the last couple of weeks, however, the temperature has plunged, the skies have darkened ominously, and the wind has been powerful and howling. It was against this chilly, atmospheric backdrop that I eagerly read Real Encounters... And, for full effect, I recommend that you do likewise.