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Goblin Universe Paperback – Jan 1987

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications,U.S. (Jan. 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875423108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875423104
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,267,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ashtar Command on 2 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover
F.W. Holiday (a.k.a. Ted Holiday) was a cryptozoologist researching the Loch Ness monster who gradually began to suspect that Nessie and similar "hidden animals" might actually be paranormal, rather than literal flesh-and-blood creatures. Unfortunately, I haven't read his first books on the monster, "The Great Orm of Loch Ness" and "The Dragon and the Disc".

Apparently, Holiday originally proposed that Nessie might be a flesh-and-blood invertebrate similar to (but vastly larger than) a mysterious fossil creature known as Tullimonstrum. Later, he began to notice a connection between the Loch Ness monster, UFO observations and strange co-incidences. In his last book, "The Goblin Universe", Holiday spelled out his paranormal speculations without a safety net. The book was published posthumously. The author had sent a manuscript to Colin Wilson, who (of course) supported the endeavour, but then changed his mind about the project, deciding instead to write a more regular book on lake monsters. After Holiday's death, Wilson obtained the permission of Holiday's family to publish "The Goblin Universe" anyway, with a lengthy introduction by Wilson himself. The 1986 Llewellyn edition is marked "copyright F.W. Holiday 1986". I assume this refers to Holiday's estate. The actual author passed away seven years earlier... But sure, it looks funny that a book on the goblin universe is copyrighted by a dead man! Or a goblin? "The Goblin Universe" has positive blurbs by Loren Coleman, John Keel, Janet and Colin Bord, and Hans Holzer. Quite a combination!

Holiday's book feels very disjointed, perhaps because it's really a half-baked manuscript the author himself was dissatisfied with.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a classic I have been trying to get hold of for many years - and there's no way I'm going to resell it, dspite high demand and inflated prices. Wish i could afford the £700+ first edition!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By pianotuner on 3 Feb. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Have dipped into it, I can't write a review at this stage.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Oldie but goody 22 Feb. 2011
By James Boyd - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a replacement copy for my youngest kid. She's off the Ireland and Scotland soon and much of book relates to Ted's work on the cryptids in those places. This is a posthumous master work,( almost a sequel to "The Dragon and the Disc"), helped by Loren Coleman and introduced by Colin Wilson. Published seven years after Ted's tragic death, it deals with the link between cryptids and the paranormal. And it does it well and contains a trove of knowledge. When combined with Vallee's "A Passport to Mangonia", it creates a basis for undrstanting our reality ...such as it is~

Passport to Magonia: On UFOs, Folklore, and Parallel WorldsThe Goblin Universe
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Please Reprint The Goblin Universe! 15 Aug. 2012
By marypinchotmeyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Several months ago, I got a beautifully illustrated Wooden Book on UFOs by Paul Whitehead and George Wingfield and in the dedication they mentioned a number of books and authors to include The Goblin Universe by Ted Holiday. I decided to find a copy and after a bit of research discovered that this was the man who wrote the Great Orm of Loch Ness in 1968. This book provided the best researched and most rational explanation for Nessie that I have ever read, though I had not seen it around for years. Now I had to get The Goblin Universe and did.

Ted Holiday died in 1977, and his last work, The Goblin Universe, was published in 1986 through the efforts of his friend, Colin Wilson. Wilson writes a long and fascinating introduction addressing Ted's life and the superior Fortean research he conducted. The book is excellent and holds its own over 30 years later on topics that include hauntings, reincarnation, prophecy, the nature of fairies, cryptozoology and the origins of life. His writing is skilled, rich with facts and fascinating speculations and have obviously been a takeoff point for other researchers.

Ted Holiday reminds me a bit of John Keel, Jacques Vallee and Nick Redfern in the sense that I believe all four of them came to a point in their research where they became frightened, which is reflected in books like The Goblin Universe, Trojan Horse, Masters of Deception and Final Events. Fright can be a prudent response when one truly realizes that rational explanations will not be forthcoming. In Mr. Holiday's case, his fright centered around his many years of research at Loch Ness, which proved to have increasingly paranormal aspects. Indeed, even his premature death is associated with a MIB experience.

The Goblin Universe is still a very valuable work and it is a shame that it hasn't been reprinted. I hope that Ted Holiday gets the credit he deserves.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A demon-haunted world 30 Oct. 2012
By Ashtar Command - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
F.W. Holiday (a.k.a. Ted Holiday) was a cryptozoologist researching the Loch Ness monster who gradually began to suspect that Nessie and similar "hidden animals" might actually be paranormal, rather than literal flesh-and-blood creatures. Unfortunately, I haven't read his first books on the monster, "The Great Orm of Loch Ness" and "The Dragon and the Disc".

Apparently, Holiday originally proposed that Nessie might be a flesh-and-blood invertebrate similar to (but vastly larger than) a mysterious fossil creature known as Tullimonstrum. Later, he began to notice a connection between the Loch Ness monster, UFO observations and strange co-incidences. In his last book, "The Goblin Universe", Holiday spelled out his paranormal speculations without a safety net. The book was published posthumously. The author had sent a manuscript to Colin Wilson, who (of course) supported the endeavour, but then changed his mind about the project, deciding instead to write a more regular book on lake monsters. After Holiday's death, Wilson obtained the permission of Holiday's family to publish "The Goblin Universe" anyway, with a lengthy introduction by Wilson himself. The 1986 Llewellyn edition is marked "copyright F.W. Holiday 1986". I assume this refers to Holiday's estate. The actual author passed away seven years earlier... But sure, it looks funny that a book on the goblin universe is copyrighted by a dead man! Or a goblin? "The Goblin Universe" has positive blurbs by Loren Coleman, John Keel, Janet and Colin Bord, and Hans Holzer. Quite a combination!

Holiday's book feels very disjointed, perhaps because it's really a half-baked manuscript the author himself was dissatisfied with. A large part of the book is filled with various anecdotes about hauntings, some of which the author experienced himself. Some of the ghostly events took place in the house of a certain Captain Lionel Leslie, the uncle of George Adamski's co-writer Desmond Leslie! It seems Ted was on a first name basis with the captain. For whatever reason, I found these anecdotes boring.

Holiday's speculations about the character of "The Phantom Menagerie" are more interesting. The author believes he made four real observations of the Loch Ness monster, but various strange occurrences had made him wonder whether it was "real" in a physical sense. People with cameras suddenly forgot to use them in the monster's presence, as if influenced by occult mind control. UFOs were often seen around the loch, including one observation by the controversial and erratic Swedish ufologist, Jan-Ove Sundberg. When Holiday wanted to investigate Sundberg's observation, the cabin were Holiday was staying was haunted. He also encountered a Man in Black. Sundberg himself encountered MIBs when returning to Sweden, and was finally committed to a mental institution.

During an earlier trip to Ireland, Holiday's research had showed that almost every lake on the green island were associated with monsters, including lakes where animals of such size simply couldn't exist. Yet, they had been observed...often for centuries. Some of these monsters were obviously absurd, with slug-like bodies and the head of a horse. It eventually dawned on Holiday that the landlocked plesiosaur (or Tullimonstrum) of Loch Ness cannot be distinguished from the creatures of medieval folklore. Here, a sceptic would have argued that this is evidence against the existence of any "monster". They are mythological creatures, at best the figments of superstitious minds. Holiday drew the opposite conclusion: convinced that the monster of Loch Ness must exist (he had seen it four times), he began to speculate that perhaps the creatures of cryptozoology are paranormal entities from another dimension.

This is big time heresy, not only among sceptics (who don't believe in good ol' Nessie in the first place) but also among cryptozoologist, who consider "the lunatic fringe" of their milieu to be an acute embarrassment. A similar conflict exists within the ufological community between the nuts-and-bolts extraterrestrial hypothesis and various religious or quasi-religious interpretations. When Jacques Vallée pointed out the similarities between aliens and fairies, many ufologists refused to listen. Holiday, naturally, supports Vallée and devotes several chapters of "The Goblin Universe" to fairy lore.

Both Holiday and Wilson points out a (presumably well known) psychological phenomenon among those who research the paranormal: if you accept one kind of paranormal events as real, it becomes progressively more difficult to deny the rest. If you do field research, you might even begin to experience stranger and stranger happenings... It's almost as if the universe was rigged against simplistic theories which include some paranormal phenomena while excluding the rest. (I noticed this myself, from my armchair research perspective. It's indeed annoying. Perhaps the armchair is more comfortable if you're a sceptic? I mean, all monsters are just barn owls, right?) Still, I think Holiday occasionally sounds a bit too credulous. He admits at one point that the MIB who stalked him outside that cabin looked like a MC driver with a helmet! At another point, Holiday is surprised by the Jungian synchronicity in meeting Desmond Leslie's uncle at Loch Ness - but in what sense is that a coincidence, if both men were interested in the paranormal? Loch Ness is a favourite haunt for such people! Even Wilson, who usually believes in pretty much anything, sounds more cautious in his foreword.

In a chapter entitled "The science of wishful thinking", Holiday speculates about how the paranormal might influence the physical. He believes that electricity and electromagnetism might be the medium used by paranormal entities to manifest in our world. Ghosts, UFOs and similar phenomena seem to be electromagnetic, are often observed close to so-called ley lines, etc. Holiday points to the controversial research of H.S. Burr (backed by philosopher F.S.C. Northrop) according to which life itself is electric. Burr postulated the existence of something he called L-Fields, which he believed controlled living organisms, giving them their form. The concept seems similar to Rupert Sheldrake's morphogenetic fields. Holiday takes Burr's reasoning one step further, speculating that the L-Fields are controlled by a universal Mind. This explains not only the paranormal phenomena, but also evolution. (For a more sceptical version of the electromagnetic hypothesis, see Albert Budden's "Electric UFOs".)

But what does it all mean? Here Holiday comes up short. He doesn't seem to have any idea. The universe is a hall of mirrors created by a trickster god who laughs at the stupidity of humanity who assume that their little corner of the universe is all of reality. Apparently, the creator and his sportive fairies love to play games with humans, perhaps as a way of showing us that there are other realities than our own. Monsters and UFOs seem to be a kind of cosmic joke at our expense, although Holiday allows that perhaps the point of the joke is to make us wake up and become more spiritual. Wilson has similar ideas in his book "Alien Dawn", where he claims that even alien abductions play this role. Shock therapy? It's not entirely clear whether Holiday's Goblin Universe really has a god in the classical sense, or whether everything is Mind in the sense of Brahman. Besides, the author does indicate at several points that the spirit-beings might be evil. A large part of the book deals with a certain Reverend Omand, who performed a literal exorcism at Loch Ness (it seems to have failed).

If you like Jacques Vallée, John Keel and Colin Wilson, you might appreciate "The Goblin Universe" as a light snack. The cover of the Llewellyn edition shows a plesiosaur inside a grid pattern in the middle of the starry skies! However, I don't think F.W. Holiday's book is suitable for people new to this subject. It's pretty chaotic, and might strike open-minded sceptics as somewhat bizarre. But then, so might Colin Wilson!

It's a demon-haunted world... ;-)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Lost in His Hall of Mirrors 25 Nov. 2007
By Johns - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The best chapter of this book is The Exorcism of Loch Ness. This previously appeared in slightly different form in a 1973 issue of Flying Saucer Review and the good news is that, at present, this can be read online by searching "exorcism loch ness flying saucer review". The online article includes the sketches and diagrams not present in the book.

The chapter, "The Science of Wishful Thinking," is very good also, in which Holiday tears into the unsubstantiated, yet widely accepted concept of Darwinian evolution. However, he was wrong when the stated, "Darwin lost all faith in ideas of spiritual design." He quite clearly invokes spiritual design when discussing the evolution of the eye, in the sixth edition of his Origin of Species. In addition, he refers to species as "works of God" in that book.

John Keel writes enthusiastically about this book on the jacket cover: "Ted Holiday's legacy is this brilliant appraisal of the Goblin Universe that surrounds us and often engulfs us. He stalked the weird and wonderful mechanisms that have always stirred our imagination, generated our beliefs and filled us with terror in the night. This book, his last and most important, will certainly become a classic and add to his stature as an open-minded explorer into the unknown. And Colin Wilson's introduction, a penetrating synthesis of all that we know - or suspect- about the Goblin Universe, is worth the price of the book alone."

Colin Wilson does indeed write a good introduction, more interesting, arguably, then his ponderous books "Mysteries" and "The Occult". I can see why Keel liked the book. Fans of Keel's The Eighth Tower should enjoy this. However, Holiday's attempts to explain UFO and alien phenomena in terms of modern manifestations of fairies are misguided, in my opinion. He attempts to explain away the Antonio Villas Boas encounter as an encounter with fairies and suggests that Boas's subsequent skin complaint was a case of "elf-disease". Unsurprisingly, there is no discussion whatsoever of published analyses of reported fragments of alien craft, e.g. the Ubatuba fragments.

Material from this book initially ended up in a chapter entitled, "Is There a Goblin Universe," in Dyfed Enigma: Unidentified Flying Objects in West Wales.

Overall, it's not bad and I enjoyed the first chapter, in which he recounts his own encounters with ghosts/strange noises in the night.

(Review rewritten August 2014)
This book along with "Dragon and the Disc" need to be reprinted 5 Aug. 2014
By JTB - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book along with "Dragon and the Disc" need to be reprinted. These are classics that need to need be more readily available.
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