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Anomalous Phenomena/Experiences
Record Type: Review   ID: 11

Strange & Unexplained Mysteries of the 20th Century

Randles, Jenny

 The title of this book does not reveal its most important characteristic: It is a chronology of "many of the broad trends and individual mysteries that have paralleled, and often outstripped, the realities of facts and the fantasies of fiction" (p. 7). There is a brief introduction to each case. As for the chronology itself, it is by no means exhaustive, with usually only one or two "mysteries" listed for a given year. The entries themselves average about 3/4 of a page. Both recordings for 1900 concern unexplained vanishings of people. The two for 1901 concern the "first recorded encounter of the third kind" and the purported case of retrocognition at Versailles. The last year included, 1993, has four entries: The reincarnation of Mary Sutton, a major new study of Wilhelm Reich’s "orgone energy," the mystery face on Mars, and "haunted technology." The choice throughout is weighted toward extraterrestrial and UFO-related accounts. Given the aim of the book, the treatment is very brief and highly selective. Nevertheless, Randles has taken an interesting approach and the book is fun to read. A more thorough treatment might make a genuine contribution, but such a project would require major effort.
Publisher Information:New York: Sterling, 1994. 144p. Further reading: 139-140; 97 illus; Index: 141-143
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