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Zones of Strangeness: An Examination of Paranormal and UFO Hot Spots [Paperback]

Peter A. McCue
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

24 Feb 2012
Over the centuries, there've been many reports, worldwide, of unexplained phenomena. Certain areas seem to play host to a disproportionate number of them, either temporarily or on a long-term basis. Some places acquire a reputation for just one type of manifestation, such as UFO activity. Others seem to be the setting for a variety of them - for example, cattle mutilations, sightings of strange animals, and UFO phenomena. Can the reports be believed? Are the phenomena genuinely paranormal? Do certain areas really see an unusually high number of anomalous events? What's behind the manifestations? Do they involve extraterrestrials, creatures from 'other dimensions', time travellers, the workings of the human mind, or some sort of higher intelligence? These are just some of the questions that the author addresses in this wide-ranging, well-researched and well-referenced study of the connection, real or supposed, between anomalous phenomena and certain geographical areas. The book cites a mass of case material from the UK, the USA and elsewhere, and also includes useful foundation chapters. Peter McCue worked for many years as a clinical psychologist in the National Health Service in the UK. He lives in Scotland. His qualifications include a Ph.D., from the University of Glasgow, awarded for a thesis on the nature of hypnosis. His interest in psychical research goes back decades. He believes that paranormal phenomena occur, and that many UFO experiences are genuinely anomalous. He contends that if we want to obtain a comprehensive understanding of ourselves and the nature of reality, these enigmatic phenomena can't be ignored.


Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse (24 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456778420
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456778422
  • Product Dimensions: 3.1 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 670,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Peter McCue worked for many years as a clinical psychologist in the National Health Service in the UK. He lives in Scotland. His qualifications include a Ph.D., from the University of Glasgow, awarded for a thesis on the nature of hypnosis. His interest in psychical research goes back decades. He believes that paranormal phenomena occur, and that many UFO experiences are genuinely anomalous. He contends that if we want to obtain a comprehensive understanding of ourselves and the nature of reality, these enigmatic phenomena can't be ignored.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First class study 29 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback
At last a detailed book that examines the theory that reports of paranormal activity `cluster' in certain areas. Peter McCue is a well known and highly respected paranormal researcher and former Clinical Psychologist. After outlining the history and theories for the paranormal, he sets out examining certain well known areas where paranormal activity has been reported, from ghosts and poltergeists to UFOs. After taking the reader on a detailed history of the paranormal (worth the price of the book alone) Peter examines, in some details, various paranormal `hot spots' around the world, although the emphasis is on reports from the UK. Reports of UFO 'window' areas as well as clusters of ghost and other paranormal activity are examined, and in many instances all these subjects cross-over. A good example of this would be the Woodbridge UFO 'landing' case. The area also has a long history of paranormal activity. This multidisciplinary approach makes this book an absolute `must have' for all serious researchers. Peter McCue is to be congratulated for producing such an important and informative tome (and a big tome it is!).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Important Reference Book 21 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback
Peter's book investigates hot spot areas of anomalous activity (including UFOs, animal mutilations, hauntings, poltergeists and associated subjects)from the UK and worlwide, the book is well written and well referenced.

I found the paranormal overview in chapter 2, particularly interesting and informative.

There will be some who will claim that some areas have been left out, such as the Aldridge and Barr Beacon area to the south of Cannock Chase, where many UFOs have been seen. However, the paranormal is an enormous umbrella of complex subjects that abound with notorious hot spot areas and Peter is to be commended for approaching these enigmatic subjects in a balanced and well researched manner. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in these subjects.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First-rate Forteana 3 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Anyone who enjoys reading "Fortean Times" will be impressed with Peter McCue's book, as it follows FT's balanced and clear-headed thinking on matters paranormal.

Dr. McCue is a former clinical psychologist, and well understands the polarisation of belief about anomalous phenomena. In his words:

"The 'will to believe' might preclude critical thinking. On the other hand, someone could become a hyper-sceptic simply by adopting the opinions of hyper-skeptical friends".

(This reviewer would add; "or by adopting the opinions of hyper-sceptical authority figures, especially those running their own personality cult".)

Peter McCue has to tread carefully between these two extremes of belief, and he does so admirably.

The first thing that impresses is the sheer size of the book; this is a nice meaty tome of over 500 pages, plus index. Size isn't everything of course, but Dr. McCue has provided quality as well as quantity.

An excellent overview of the so-called "paranormal" sets the scene; there are chapters on poltergeists and hauntings, UFOs and Bigfoot. The main theories behind these phenomena are briefly explored. In the chapter on UFOs, for example, the author covers misidentification of prosaic objects; geophysical and electromagnetic explanations; psychological and psychosocial hypotheses; the ET hypothesis; interdimensional theories; the time-travel theory; the psychic internet hypothesis, and "orchestrations of a higher power". An outstanding snapshot survey.

The bulk of the book then covers the UK's main "zones of strangeness", together with selected sites from overseas. Each area's odd happenings are well covered by Dr. McCue, but more importantly, they are held up to critical analysis by a very fair-minded author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 18 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback
This is just simply a wonderful book I can't praise it highly enough the reviews above can say it better than I Buy this book you won't be disappointed
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thinking Geographical Approach to the Paranormal World 10 July 2012
By Lance M. Foster - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An excellent book by a British psychologist that takes a geographic approach to Fortean/paranormal subjects, with the focus on looking at the evidence for "hot spots" with overlapping reports of different paranormal phenomena.

Chapters 1-5 look at the various theoretical approaches to thinking about these topics, along with an overview of "things paranormal," from materialist-skeptical, to psychological-psi, to Fortean and "believer-based" ideas. The author is very even-handed in his treatments of these different points of view, with specific chapters devoted to UFOs, bigfoot, and hauntings/poltergeists. While these three subjects are the primary ones, other phenomena like mystery 'panthers' and other cryptids, missing time, geophysical phenomena, etc. are also discussed.

Chapters 6-15 look at geographic locations in England, Wales and Scotland, including "Clapham Wood," "The Warminster Phenomena," "The 'Welsh Triangle'," "Rendlesham Forest," "Cannock Chase," "The Pennines," "The Bonnybridge UFO Phenomena," "Ben Macdui," "Ghostly Events Near Inverness," and "Other British Hot Spots" (Blue Bell Hill, the A75 Road near Annan, the Sudbury area, the Daresbury area, the Carrington UFO hot spot, Dartmoor, and the Shropshire/Powys Border area).

Chapter 16 looks at "Hot Spots on the Mainland of the USA", including the Yakama/Yakima Reservation (Washington state), the Uinta Basin and the 'Skinwalker Ranch' (Utah), the San Luis Valley (Colorado-New Mexico), Dulce (New Mexico), the 'Bridgewater Triangle'/Hockomock Swamp (Massachusetts), the Hudson Valley (New York State and Connecticut). The Skinwalker Ranch was written about in Hunt for the Skinwalker: Science Confronts the Unexplained at a Remote Ranch in Utah (be aware though that some of the Skinwalker material in Kelleher and Knapp's book has lately been criticized for inaccuracies and hyperbole...Google it since I can't post links here) which I enjoyed as well, and I also have been reading about the San Luis Valley in Christopher O'Brien's Secrets of the Mysterious Valley.

Chapter 17 covers "Puerto Rico" with its connection to the Bermuda Triangle, an earthquake that was associated with mysterious events, disappearance of aircraft, UFOs, odd humanoids and other odd creatures...including the chupacabras, or course!

Chapter 18 covers "The Bermuda Triangle and Other Foreign Hot Spots," the latter being Australia's Nullarbor Plain and the Hoia-Baciu Forest/Wood in Romania.

Chapter 19, "Concluding Thoughts," weighs some of the evidence of factors like differential reporting, suggestion or expectancy, hoaxes, Occam's Razor, and the like. After careful consideration, the author's conclusion is that due to factors like theatricality, apparent intelligent actions, involvement of psi aspects, transient materializations, parallel universes or alternate dimensions, the possibility of illusions to suit the mentality of the observer, and more, that there seems to be some sort of agency/purpose/mechanism or intelligence behind many of these phenomena.

Copious endnotes and a bibliography increase the usefulness of the volume. which is a hefty 549 pages long, with numerous maps.

There are other related subjects that could have taken the book further, especially the leyline controversy given the geographic orientation. There are some books that would have added to his thesis as well, such as Ted Holiday's original The Goblin Universe. The author also notes that since he is based in Britain, that's why the focus is there, and he notes that language barriers impeded some of the information flow he was interested in from non-English speaking countries. However the book as it is is huge with lots of great material. I would like to see more geographically-focused books that cross-reference various paranormal/Fortean phenomena. Kudos to the author, Dr. McCue!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yakima Wa Indian Reservation in the book 24 Dec 2013
By Leila Ammann - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book because I had heard the author talking about the Yakima Indian Reservation here in Washington State. I was not disappointed. The book tells of the many experiences other people have had in this area. They matched my own experiences. A very good read
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The world is not as it seems sometimes. 8 Jun 2013
By Walter F. Billings - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Those with a curiosity about seen things and unseen things in our world should enjoy this book. There is much more to life than sex, crime, work, and the daily struggle. Those who seek and have some luck, can find interesting and perplexing occurrences throughout our planet.
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