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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No need to worry, apparently
"Monster Files" by Nick Redfern is a book marketed as "a look inside government secrets and classified documents on bizarre creatures and extraordinary animals". In other words, the publisher implies that the government (or perhaps the Illuminati) knows THE TRUTH about Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and the Black Beast of Exmoor, but are keeping everything under wraps...
Published 22 months ago by Ashtar Command

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tough to read, too tough maybe
Firstly I LOVE the paranormal and especially cryptozoology, it's a fascinating area of study but this book reads like a high school essay book (and despite Nick being English it's obviously been written for the American market place and dollar), there's a lot of 'big words' thrown in for the sake of it and a lot needs re-reading as it doesn't make any sense and the end...
Published 17 months ago by John Bryan


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No need to worry, apparently, 9 May 2013
This review is from: Monster Files: A Look Inside Government Secrets and Classified Documents on Bizarre Creatures and Extraordinary Animals (Paperback)
"Monster Files" by Nick Redfern is a book marketed as "a look inside government secrets and classified documents on bizarre creatures and extraordinary animals". In other words, the publisher implies that the government (or perhaps the Illuminati) knows THE TRUTH about Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and the Black Beast of Exmoor, but are keeping everything under wraps. Roswell, anyone?

While "Monster Files" are entertaining, Redfern doesn't really prove anything. Many of the stories he retells are obvious tall tales or urban legends, something he is happy to acknowledge himself. Others are perfectly innocuous. If military personnel reports seeing monsters (they occasionally do), the whole thing is of course classified, but so what? Various agencies of the British government have quasi-officially investigated the Loch Ness monster, but again, so what? Back in 1977, the U.S. Department of the Interior apparently had a contingency plan for how to deal with Bigfoot in the event the beast turns out to be real, but that simply proves that they were doing their job as conscientious civil servants. Given the large amount of crazy, gun-touting "Bigfoot hunters" who would show up if the smelling ape-man would be confirmed by science, I'm surprised the Feds doesn't have a contingency plan all their own! I mean, it *could* happen.

Less innocuous are experiment on real animals with the intention of turning them into military assets. Declassified American files show that the CIA spent 10 million dollars (sic) on a failed attempt to implant cats with electronic bugging equipment. The purpose was to let the enhanced cats lurk around the Soviet embassy in Washington DC. The experiment ended in failure: when the techno-cat was released by CIA agents in the federal capital, it was almost immediately run over by a cab! Other declassified files show that the US military made experiments with (purportedly) psychic dogs, cats and pigeons. They also commissioned reports on similar research in the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia (then part of the Communist bloc). None other than J. B. Rhine, the grand old man of parapsychology, was involved in the American research. This sounds strange, but it should be remembered that parapsychology came close to becoming accepted as a science during the post-war decades. In fact, far stranger experiments were conducted with human subjects (see Jon Ronson's book "The Men Who Stare at Goats").

The most interesting chapters in Redfern's book deal with psychological warfare. Many people suspect that at least some UFOs are secret military craft, and that the military can use a gullible public's belief in UFOs to its own advantage. By planting false reports about aliens from outer space, the military can discredit investigators and draw attention away from the *real* cause of the UFO phenomenon - it's own secret experiments. Redfern claims that belief in monsters has been used in similar fashion. In 1952, U.S. counter-insurgency units in the Philippines faked a "vampire murder" in order to fool superstitious guerrilla units to evacuate a strategically important area. Shortly before World War I, the British navy was secretly training seals to carry mines. The failed project took place in Lake Bala in Wales. Since the locals were bound to suspect *something*, the navy spread out the rumour that the lake was inhabited by lake monsters! Redfern has also uncovered that Billy Wilder, the man behind the movie "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" (which features a secret submarine disguised as a lake monster), worked with psychological warfare during World War II...

The most comic and bizarre episode in "Monster Files" involves Redfern's good friend Jonathan Downes, who once made the mistake to investigate rumours that a British military unit had spotted an Alien Big Cat (ABC) while shadowing Princess Diana. The rumour was probably true - it must have been, since the British secret service investigated Downes twice in the belief that his interest in crypto-zoology was just a cover for an IRA operation against the British royal family!

So yes, the authorities do occasionally investigate monsters, either in secret or in public. But do they know what's shakin'? That's not very likely. They are probably just as perplexed as the rest of us...

Since Bigfoot, Nessie or the ABCs don't strike me as a public security threat, I say there's no need to worry. This time.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tough to read, too tough maybe, 19 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Monster Files (Kindle Edition)
Firstly I LOVE the paranormal and especially cryptozoology, it's a fascinating area of study but this book reads like a high school essay book (and despite Nick being English it's obviously been written for the American market place and dollar), there's a lot of 'big words' thrown in for the sake of it and a lot needs re-reading as it doesn't make any sense and the end result is it totally dilutes or ruins the point Nick is trying to make or reveal to us.

The subject matter itself is sensational enough, it really doesn't need 'padding out' in such a manner, and I really tried to see past it and I was ultimately gutted to have to give up on it, but I couldn't take any more of the writing a style and the frequent odd choice of words and phrases, so despite the fairly hefty fee of 7 odd quid (for a kindle book!) I couldn't takes no more and have left it, I'll probably try again in a few weeks but my guess is it will be just as tough and annoying to read and I'll just delete it.

Might fit more to our American cousins but honestly and no disrespect to Nick whom I know must make his living out of this I'd give this one a miss.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 6 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Monster Files: A Look Inside Government Secrets and Classified Documents on Bizarre Creatures and Extraordinary Animals (Paperback)
Interesting - good for those unfamiliar with the topics covered.
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