About the Author
Both established figures in the field. John Michell's book - 'View over Atlantis' was the cult read of the 1970's. Bob Rickard is editor of the Fortean Times, and the two co-wrote the earlier incarnations of this book, Phenomena and Living Wonders.
--This text refers to an alternate
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Fort was among the first to draw attention to several types of phenomena which are now widely recognized, and he was also original in noticing connections between them between poltergeist events and the presence of a distressed or mentally disturbed young person; between unknown lights or objects in the sky and possible otherworldly intelligence; between outbreaks of hysteria or religious fervour and fires, earthquakes and other disasters. Of all his conceptions teleportation proved to be the most useful. One of his special interests was in the anomalies of animal distribution, whether it was the spontaneous appearance of life in newly-dug ponds, the mysteries of bird and insect migration or the strange ability of certain pet animals to find their owners, even when they have moved far away to unknown locations. Together with these phenomena Fort collected cases of lost possessions miraculously rediscovered, modern artifacts excavated from ancient geological strata, !
and objects that manifest themselves at spiritualist sessions, at the behest of shamans and holy men, in response to prayer or intense desire or simply of their own accord. In connection with these and other mysteries Fort spoke of teleportation, not as a scientific theory to be proved or clamouring for precise explanations, which will never be forthcoming.
This is a humorous subject, but while laughing at it we are also somewhat respectful towards Forts damned facts, and we are wholly respectful towards his inclusive attitude and world-view. There is nothing to be gained by worrying about or wilfully rejecting aspects of our human experience which can never be explained. The greatest of human pleasures (purer and more long-lasting than sex or any of the appetites) is to investigate the world, generally and in its various parts and much more so if it is done honestly, without regard to prejudices, taboos, inhibitions and other peoples conventions.
In this book we make all sorts of connections between the various types of mysteries and wonders described in it, but we do not ask readers to follow us, believe in us or accept any of our tentative conclusions. The most we hope for is to bring relief to those among us who have experienced strange happenings and have been told by their doctors, parents or contemporaries that this is unnatural and even perhaps a sign of madness. Our message of comfort to such readers is that you are not alone. As we carefully demonstrate in the following chapters, these things have always happened, they can happen to anyone, and at least some of them probably happen to everyone in the course of a lifetime. Our very existence in this world is an unexplained mystery, and that is something we have to accept and be happy with.
John Michell and Bob Rickard