on 29 March 2012
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!).
on 21 January 2013
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.
on 3 September 2013
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. References to published accounts are also given so that readers can, where possible, check the original source materials for themselves.
In contrast to many books dealing with anomalous phenomena, Peter McCue's "Zones of Strangeness" is a locus classicus of how to approach these matters with a mature, even-handed, comprehensive and scientific (but not scientistic) approach. This is the best "Fortean" book I have encountered this year, and it deserves a wide readership.
on 18 April 2016
The author has made a large investigation of UFO sightings, noting the often considerable discrepancy between observer's accounts. Rendlesham and Roswell receive distinguished attention, and the compilation includes both UK and American sightings. Areas of the most sightings are noted, and the author considers that these could have some anomalous features specific to the areas. As his conclusions are undecided it might have been better if he had also noted the similarities in the accounts. This book will certainly interest UFO buffs, and is recommended for them.