Some old cases are revisited and cast in a new light, while drawing on the work of recognized researchers in the field, such as Ivan T. Sanderson, Loren Coleman, Jonathan Downes, Linda Godfrey, et al. The presentation follows a somewhat chronological order, although there are thematic threads as well, ranging from the Admirality's file on sea serpent encounters in the 19th century to recent sightings of elusive alien big cats (ABC) in Australia.
Bigfoot and its alleged kins loom large, prompting far-out theories (not that I mind those) of dimensional jump and wormholes, or more down-to-earth ones like providing a cover story for possible CIA espionage in the Himalayas during the Chinese communist invasion of Tibet in the 1950s - cf. Texas millionaire Tom Slick's (1916-62) expeditions to the region. Not mentioned by Redfern, but the venerable John Keel also visited this part of the world (the kingdom of Sikkim) around 1955/6 in pursuit of the "abominable snowman" (see the autobiographical Jadoo 1957).
We can read about the following: military intel psyops spreading rumours of creepy creatures to frighten off locals from high security zones; animal experiments; strange parallels of werewolf sightings at military installations where WWII PoW's had been buried; the curious idea of phantimals; beastly felines prowling the British countryside; CIA personnel battling a super-sized snake in the Bolivian jungle in the late 1950s; and other odd scenarios.
27 black-and-white pics, bibliography (pp. 261-75), index (277-82)
> Yet again the prolific author has used but made no reference to a couple of his earlier titles: 1) Major Edward Lansdale's Aswang ruse in the 1950s Philippines (chapter 7) first appeared in The Pyramids and the Pentagon: The Government's Top Secret Pursuit of Mystical Relics, Ancient Astronauts, and Lost Civilizations (pp. 187-90); 2) Ilya Ivanov's hybrid man-ape experiments in the late 1920s Soviet Union (pp. 31-6) surfaced previously in SCIENCE FICTION SECRETS: From Government Files and the Paranormal (pp. 32-5), Redfern's update being that dictator Stalin had no knowledge of the project; 3) Why British cryptozoologist Jonathan Downes came to be under surveillance by the Special Branch (pp. 203-9) was relayed earlier in On the Trail of the Saucer Spies: UFOs and Government Surveillance (pp. 241-5).
> I think it's a rather flimsy piece of circumstantial evidence on the basis of which the author designates the Flatwoods caper of 1952 (ch. 6) a military psyop (although not unlikely). Since the RAND publication in question mentions one Jasper Maskelyne's writing from 1949 that describes a manufactured monster unleashed by the Brits in the Italian Alps (or the Appenines, I wonder) during WWII, and in Redfern's reasoning what happened in that West Virginian locale copied the same scenario, it would have been advisable to consult a military historian in order to ascertain if anything even remotely similar was heard of on the Italian frontline.
> The Soviet research paper, quoted on pp. 197-8, of an experiment testing information transfer between a mother rabbit in the laboratory and her litters, which were subsequently killed, aboard a submarine is not so much about "military interest in the nature of the afterlife within the animal kingdom" (ibid.), imho, but more about Kazhinsky's "bioradiational sight ray" (p. 156), that is 'animal telepathy/ESP'.
An interesting tidbit: Within the Special Department of the dreaded Soviet secret police (O/GPU), there was "an elite outfit, the 7th Section, which delved into paranormal issues ranging from hypnotism and ESP to the Abominable Snowmman," writes the astute Richard B. Spence in an essay, titled "Red Star over Shambhala: Soviet, British and American Intelligence and the Search for Lost Civilization in Central Asia" (New Dawn magazine, 2008 September - accessible online), referencing one Oleg Shishkin's Bitva za Gimalai: NKVD--magiia i shpionazh (Seriia "Dose") (Russian Edition) ("Fight for the Himalayas: NKVD, Magic and Espionage," 1999 Moskva).
> It would have been great to read some conspiratorial, spy agency related story from one of Redfern's friends, "the Mothman photographer" Andrew Colvin.
> Here is how natives see the yeti (< Tibetan: g.ya-dred: 'bear of the slate-mountain'): "Tibetans and Lepchas [of Sikkim, maybe the same as the 'Rongkup people' on p. 87] describe the 'snowman' as a huge dark-brown monkey with an egg-shaped head scantily covered with reddish hair. He is supposed to be 7 ft. high when standing erect. The 'snowman' is said to be living in the highest tracts of the mountain-forests, which he leaves occasionally to search a salty kind of moss growing on rocks on the morain fields. When searching this moss he crosses sometimes - walking erect - snowfields, on which he leaves his characteristic foot-prints; similar traces are supposed to be made by a bear, known to Tibetans as Mi dred [man-bear]. (This is the expression 'Mete' ['metoh' on p. 88] found in reports of Himalayan expeditions and wrongly translated as 'abominable'.)" p. 344 fn. 1 in: Nebesky-Wojkowitz's Oracles and Demons of Tibet- the cult and iconography of the tibetan protective (1956)
> Related to the above but from a wider perspective of ethnography/folklore, see Gregory Forth's Images of the Wildman in Southeast Asia: An Anthropological Perspective (2008).
> To my slight dismay, the author has not deemed worthy of perusal the aforementioned John Keel's classic Strange Creatures from Time and Space (1970), or any of his other books for that matter, which nonetheless has a lot to say about related issues, such as sea serpents, disproportionately gigantic eel larvae, the so-called 'scoliophis atlanticus' of 1817 (Gloucester, Mass.), and suchlike.