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Sociologist Simeon Hein Warns Denial of UFO And Other Anomalous Phenomenon Could Have Unexpected Consequences For Human Race

Review by: KEN KORCZAK

So SIMEON HEIN is a guy with some serious academic chops. He holds a PhD in sociology which he earned at Washington State University in 1992. He’s into things like nonlinear research methods, statistical analysis and technological determinism.

He’s also into a lot of stuff that makes mainstream scientists grind their teeth, such as UFOs, remote viewing and crop circle research. One is tempted to say that Dr. Hein is himself a kind of Black Swan — you know, an outlier, someone willing to dally with the fringe — or should we say the leading edge?

 

But first, what is this reference to Black Swan that Hein uses in the title of this book?”

The Black Swan Theory is that which states that certain events can happen that are totally unpredicted and unexpected, can produce a major effect, often hugely negative — but are then rationalized after the fact with the advantage of 20/20 hindsight.

The concept was first put forward by the Lebanese-American intellectual and scholar NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB. Simeon Hein’s book title is a play on Taleb’s 2007 highly influential book, THE BLACK SWAN.

UFO witness Louise Voves.

So this book presents a series of case studies of unexpected events that Hein calls Black Swan Ghosts. It’s things that are not supposed to happen, or even exists, yet they do happen and they apparently do exist. An example Hein provides is that of a wonderful Idaho lady by the name of Louise Voves. She was picking huckleberries in a remote rural area with her brother one day in the 1970s when a gigantic “tortoise-shell” shaped UFO suddenly appeared over a nearby treeline and maneuvered around right before their eyes and at close range.

There was no mistaking this object for anything known, man-made or natural. The object created significant marks on the grass below. It was seen by several other witnesses as well. When Louise reported the sighting to police, things quickly get all Blacky Swany.

The police must have informed the military because troops quickly descend at the sighting location and banish all “ordinary” citizens from the area. They tell Louise that she must not only forget about picking huckleberries in this prime spot, but she should also forget what she saw and never speak of it again. Army and Air Force personnel are on the scene for several days, but the incident gets no press coverage and the military clams up — it’s like it never happened.

But wait — this event may be a “Black Swan Ghost” event in itself although it does not constitute an overarching Black Swan scenario.

Simeon Hein PhD

The singular event is wholly unexpected, yes, but we can’t say it produces a large-scale effect. It’s localized at best. One also cannot say it is rationalized with 20/20 hindsight, although many UFO sightings are rationalized. But the Voves sighting is not so much rationalized as it is denied and covered up, and for authorities, hopefully forgotten.

But If I understand Dr. Hein’s thesis correctly, he’s more concerned about the meta-analysis here. He’s not just pointing to individual cases, but the thousands of UFO encounters similar (and many far stranger) to that of Louise Voves. They’ve been happening from at least that day in 1947 when pilot Kenneth Arnold made arguably the first postmodern UFO sighting report.

Hein says that the way our government, media, culture and society has been handling the UFO phenomenon for some 70 years may invoke a large-scale Black Swan scenario in the near future. It holds the potential to create a widespread impact on all the people of earth. He warns of the possibility of a kind of culture shock that will shake the collective psychology of the human race to the core.

In other words, once day the dam of secrecy may burst. The years of cover-ups, the official lying and overzealous use of the “Top Secret” classification system, the inability or unwillingness of the media to report the story and general public apathy will one day all fall away — the truth will be undeniable — it will be stunning — and our major institutions will be rattled.

Furthermore, Hein says there is plenty of blame to go around — and this is where I give Simeon Hein very high marks, indeed. That’s because most prominent ufologists today keep of a steady drumbeat of blame for UFO secrecy against the usual suspects — the government, the media and the military industrial complex.

Certainly, Hein takes his shots at these entities as well, but consider this passage from Black Swan Ghosts:

“It’s pretty clear that it’s not just the federal government that’s withholding secrets about this issue. The public as a whole wants it this way or they would be demanding more information. It’s clear that the federal government has black budget programs around this issue. However, the public seems to trust that the government knows what it’s doing or they would demand more. They could easily pick up the phone and call their Senator of Congressperson. But they don’t.

“They don’t because it is easier not to know. The public wants to keep ignoring the elephant in the room and then blame the government for the secrecy rather than take the responsibility. It’s just a whole lot easier to pretend you can’t do anything about it.”

Thank you Dr. Simeon Hein!

This is why we need more sociologists in ufology. They have a broader perspective on the complexity of the matrix that makes up society. Government, the media, the military and corporations don’t exist or operate in a vacuum. The general public is also a primary, fundamental player and a key element that contributes to the overall situation as it exists today. Few of our most prominent ufologists today ever make this leap.

This is a juncture where I’m tempted to launch into a more in-depth analysis of the social dynamics of how all this works — but that will take me far astray of what’s supposed to be a book review of Black Swan Ghosts.

I’ll just close with some additional notes:

An excellent feature of the ebook format of this book are video links to the UFO cases cited. They’re terrific and lend great weight and credibility to the stories presented.

UFO events are not the only category of example used by Hein to make his Black Swan case. He also takes a look at cold fusion, the overwhelming scientific evidence for biological-microbial fossils existent in rocks from Mars and meteorites, crop circle phenomenon, remote viewing and more.

Hein writes well. His presents his narrative in clear, concise language that’s palatable to a general audience while also including enough thoughtful, academic gristle to make this a work of depth that challenges the reader and makes a call for action.

Hein has established an organization he calls the Mount Baldy Institute.  Its website is HERE. His YouTube channel also provides many entertaining and edifying videos which you can find HERE.

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Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS

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Paul H. Smith’s Epic Saga of Remote Viewing Is The Most Complete Book On History and Other Aspects of Psychic Spying

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Review by: KEN KORCZAK

I’ve read a lot of books about Remote Viewing, but I’m willing to bet that this one, READING THE ENEMY’S MIND by Paul H. Smith, is THEE definitive book on the topic.

Clocking in at more than 600 pages, Smith slogs through just about every aspect of remote viewing — from the mind boggling to the mundane — from the first days of its development through its eventual demise as a sanctioned government project.

Smith was a U.S. Army Intelligence Officer and among the original remote viewers. Here he doggedly documents the endless and banal bureaucratic twists and turns of managing a super secretive, highly classified intelligence operation — but, wow! — it was a spy game unlike any other in the already dark and spooky underworld of international espionage.

Most readers eager for sensational stories of extraordinary paranormal happenings will find themselves enduring some eye-glazing moments as Smith plods through all the crushingly boring — the red tape, the funding methods, the inter-governmental squabbling. However, those who wade through it will be rewarded with a greater perspective about what really happened inside our government’s unlikely foray into “psychic spying.”

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Paul Smith

But there is much to amaze as well. There’s lots of juicy paranormal stuff — psychic powers, UFO tangents, channeling strange entities, spoon bending — that will satisfy the inquiring mind.

It would take pages to provide a truly comprehensive review of everything Smith covers in this book, so let me focus on one area where I think the author provides invaluable insight into a deeply controversial topic.

The insight I am talking about is the window inside Smith gives us on certain people who emerged as high profile public remote viewers after the official program ended — especially Ed Dames and David Morehouse.

Smith tells that Dames and Morehouse are two guys who more or less went off the deep end and were ensnared by the most unscientific and fringy possibilities associated with remote viewing.

Smith levels his biggest criticism at David Morehouse, whom he describes as a barely involved, minimally trained slacker who was, if not actually AWOL, absent for much of the time when he was supposed to be on duty working RV sessions. Morehouse also had periods of mental instability, a disastrous illicit affair, was once suicidal — none of which was precipitated by the strangeness of remote viewing — although Morehouse sought to use RV as an excuse for his behavior when he was facing court martial.

Yet Morehouse is active today as a “celebrity” remote viewer, promoting himself as one of the original “Psychic Warriors” (That’s the title of his book). He also peddles a RV study course, he leads remote viewing seminars and is popular on the lecture tour. But Smith paints Morehouse as little more than a failure at remote viewing, a fraud and a blatant, self-serving opportunist.

But the guy who really sucks up all the oxygen in the world of remote viewing today is former U.S. Army Major Ed Dames.

Smith is somewhat kinder to Dames in terms of his work ethic and commitment to military intelligence. Smith even gives him high marks for his professionalism as a soldier. However, when it came to performing the actual remote viewing sessions, Dames was rarely the one sitting in the psychic spying seat. Rather, Dames served more often as a monitor and facilitator for other remote viewers. His own ability to remote view were unremarkable, and he barely worked more than a half dozen official RV sessions himself.

Smith writes that Dames also frequently thwarted protocol by improperly “front loading” remote viewing sessions — that is, Dames frequently attempted to “lead” or bias remote viewers with his own unstoppable obsession with UFOs and his own pet theories about extraterrestrials.

When Dames could not goad disciplined remote viewers into coughing up questionable information about ETs, he would go ahead and conduct his own sessions with sloppy protocols, which would, not surprisingly, confirm his own belief system about aliens from other worlds.

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Paul Smith’s organization, RVIS, or Remote Viewing Instructional Services

Even worse, Dames displayed an extreme proclivity for apocalyptic scenarios. Again and again, Dames came up with end-of-the-world predictions both during his time with military intelligence, and for years after as a public figure — and he continues to do today. Dames has appeared dozens of times on the hugely popular Coast to Coast radio program hosted by Art Bell, and over the years had made one disaster-scenario prediction after another, none of which have ever come true.

Smith also sharply criticizes Ed Dames for the claims he has made about his involvement with the development of the remote viewing program — in short, Smith says that many of Dames’ claims about what he did and to help develop the military remote viewer program are flat out false. Dames was a far more marginal player than he has long advertised himself to be, according to Smith.

So this is an outstanding book which is an invaluable historical document that both dispels the many myths that still linger about remote viewing, and which provides incredible insight — a clarifying window into one of the strangest times in the history of U.S. espionage and intelligence operations.

Please see also my reviews of these books on astral travel and remote viewing:

EXPLORATIONS IN CONSCIOUSNESS BY FREDERICK AARDEMA

LIMITLESS MIND BY RUSSELL TARG

MASTER OF MY SHIP, CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL BY SKIP ATWATER

THE TRANSCENDENT INGO SWANN BY RAUL DASILVA



Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS

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A Fictional Tale of An Astral Traveling Psychic Spy Takes Time to Lift Off, But Soars After Plot Gets Tangled & Intriguing

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Review by: KEN KORCZAK

This book starts out flat and bland — the author even manages to make the amazing experience of astral, or out-of-body travel seem mundane and boring – no small feat considering the wild, bizarre ride the OBE is (for those of us who have actually tried the real thing over the years).

And yet, readers who stick with this novel will be rewarded with a plot – even if it is one that develops slowly. If you keep on reading, you’ll get drawn into an intriguing situation that makes the last third of the book a worthwhile read, indeed.

But to enjoy this book, it will probably help if you have a pre-established interest not in just astral travel, but something called REMOTE VIEWING. Remote viewing was a method of psychic spying developed by U.S. Military Intelligence with the help of the CIA beginning in the early 1970s. the program ran through the mid-1990s.

Yes, it was real – and yes – this form of psychic spying really worked. It’s controversial, for sure, but the skeptics of remote viewing are full of crap. That’s my opinion after reading dozens books. articles and academic papers on the topic. But what was even more convincing to me was trying my own hand (mind) at remote viewing – I can tell you it’s real, and it works.

So, our hero in CRASH & BURN is Peter Ludvick, a young man who was born with two unusual gifts: A perfectly photographic memory, and the ability to “go OBE” – to travel outside his physical body each night during his natural periods of REM sleep.

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His abilities attract the watchful attention of the CIA.  They hire him to work as a kind of psychic super spy. Ludvick can float around like a ghost and go anywhere in the world with his astral body. No barrier can stop him. Ludvick can pass through the thickest walls of steel or concrete, travel any distance in a flash, and so he can penetrate any facility belonging to any government anywhere in the world.

Because he has a photographic memory, Ludvick can come back with extremely detailed information about America’s enemies. This makes him worth more than his weight in gold to the CIA – in fact, they pay him millions of dollars a year for his fantastic ability.

Ludvick soon finds himself living the high life. He has a fascinating job working for his country, which he loves with the fervor of a true patriot. He marries a beautiful woman, the love of his life, and together they enjoy a charmed existence of wealth, travel, adventure and career fulfillment. The American government considers Mr. Ludvick among its most precious assets.

What could go wrong?

Plenty – as readers will soon find out. The CIA, after all, is the CIA. You know that old saying, “It takes a criminal to catch a criminal.” Even admirers of the CIA might admit that, over the decades, the darker forces of the international spy game have rubbed off on our own guys. Any government agency with a nearly unlimited “black budget,” which necessarily lurks in the shadows and operates under immense secrecy is a recipe for corruption — a place where evil can fester — an organization that can rot from within.

Astral spy Peter Ludvick eventually develops a deep mistrust for his powerful CIA task masters whose double-dealing in both his professional and personal life gives him good reason to want out —– ah, but just walking away from the CIA has never been easy.

I won’t say anymore, but I give the author great credit for eventually cobbling together a sticky situation for his protagonist, and then concocting a clever way for him fight back and get his life back. When the plot finally gets going, it grabs you like glue — making readers stick with it to the end — and feeling glad they did.

Please see also my reviews of these books on astral travel and remote viewing:

READING THE ENEMY’S MIND BY PAUL H. SMITH

EXPLORATIONS IN CONSCIOUSNESS BY FREDERICK AARDEMA

LIMITLESS MIND BY RUSSELL TARG

MASTER OF MY SHIP, CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL BY SKIP ATWATER

THE TRANSCENDENT INGO SWANN BY RAUL DASILVA

EYES OF AN ANGEL BY PAUL ELDER



Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS

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An insider’s glimpse into the life of the remarkable Ingo Swann, the ‘Father of Remote Viewing’

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Review by: KEN KORCZAK

Certainly INGO SWANN was one of the most remarkable individuals to grace our planet in the past century.

Since his death in 2013, his legend has only continued to grow. That’s because his most famous project slowly continues to gain traction and public acceptance — which is amazing since that project was (and is) REMOTE VIEWING — the ESP technique so repugnant and deeply loathed by skeptics and mainstream science.

Briefly: Remote viewing is the term used to describe a method of “psychic spying” as developed at the behest of U.S. Military Intelligence and the CIA — who tasked scientists at the Stanford Research Institute to come up with a way to use psychic ability or ESP in a way that was scientific, manageable, repeatable and able to provide solid intelligence results.

Ingo Swann is often called “The Father of Remote Viewing,” even though he was always the first to admit that remote viewing was the product of “at least 500 people.” Among the brilliant men who spearheaded remote viewing research was the quantum-electronics physicist Harold Puthoff and laser physicist Russell Targ.

But, no doubt, remote viewing could never have come to be what it is today without the strange, brilliant and quirky mind of Ingo Swann — and I am going to end my comments about the history of RV development here because I want to turn my comments to this small publication.

It’s written by a man who was a personal friend of Ingo Swann. RAUL daSILVA said he often got together with Ingo for lunch, chats or long walks in their New York City home.

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Raul daSilva

Thus, daSilva describes himself not as a professional colleague, fellow psychic or artist — but rather, just a friend who had nothing to do with Swann’s amazing career as a U.S. Government intelligence agent, psychic researcher and noted artist.

In this short manuscript, daSilva offers deeper insights into the character of Mr. Swann as observed when his defenses were down, that is, not working and just being himself in his spare time. That’s the value of this document, which is less than 20 pages.

Even though the author is a lifetime professional writer, this document is not well written. At best, it has the informal tone of a guy writing a letter to a friend or family member.

In just 20 pages  he manages to wander off subject, digress, fail at getting to the point, and all manner of other writing transgressions too numerous to mention — but it doesn’t matter.

That’s because people with a keen interest in all things psychic (and especially scientific remote viewing) will find this brief window into the personal life and character of Ingo Swann an invaluable contribution to the historic record of a remarkable, but often mysterious man.

DaSilva portrays Swann as a man in every-day possession of remarkable psychic ability, and more than that — a man who seemed almost to straddle time and space, and with deep understanding of such issues as reincarnation, nonhuman entities and more.

If you have a fascination with all things remote viewing, it might be worth a couple of dollars to gain some tidbits of “inside information” about the one man who played the most central role in developing it.



Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS

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Lawyer turned psychic Nancy du Tertre fascinates with “How to Talk to An Alien” going where few other UFO books have gone before

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Review by: KEN KORCZAK

Just when you think that most UFO books today have grown monotone, repetitive and threadbare, along comes an author with a refreshing angle to explore an intriguing niche of ufology no one else has significantly covered.

In “How to Talk to an Alien,” NANCY DU TERTRE takes on the question of human-to-alien communication, but also, the overall nature of just what constitutes an “alien language,” including possible alien alphabets, writing styles and scripts, spoken languages and psychic or telepathic-enabled communications. But there’s even more, such as a gander down through history at ancient forms of writing that have been attributed to “angels,” long before we started framing our reality in terms of modern science.

What’s also fascinating is that du Tertre comes to this issue out of left field — her primary “day job” has nothing to do with flying saucers and extraterrestrial aliens. She’s a high-powered New York securities litigation attorney, and successful businesswoman who stumbled into the weird world of the paranormal more or less by accident.

The author says she had no interest in topics paranormal until age 35. It was then that she was invited to attend a workshop exploring the topic of intuition for psychologists by noted psychotherapist Dr. Ron DeAngelo – she was the only non-psychotherapist invited, but Dr. DeAngelo thought his lawyer friend would find it beneficial. (Du Tertre details this event in her book “Psychic Intuition.”)

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“The Skeptical Psychic” Nancy du Tertre

To make a long story short, a bizarre experience at the workshop launched du Tertre into an entirely new phase of life – she began to explore her own psychic abilities, studied (and interned) with a famous psychic police detective, took training in REMOTE VIEWING – and about 10 years later emerged with her old paradigms shattered (or at least vastly expanded).

Somewhere along the way du Tertre’s psychic explorations cross-pollinated with the subject of extraterrestrials (or extradimensionals), UFOs and the like, and so now we have a fascinating book that begs the question: “What do the aliens have to say and how do they say it?”

The title is my only quibble with this outstanding book – this is not really a “how to” book and it won’t teach you “how to talk to an alien.” Rather, it’s an overview of cases involving close encounters where people engaged in two-way communications with other nonhuman beings of wide variety – and then seeks to form some theories and opinions about what it all means.

As I was reading, I was reminded of the great theoretical physicist RICHARD FEYNMAN. That’s because he had a knack for asking basic questions that no one else would even think of asking, questions that were quirky and weird, such as “Do numbers come in colors?

Well, Ms. du Tertre is asking those basic, yet unusual kinds of questions, such as, “Do aliens have mouths with actual tongues in them, vocal cords and a larynx that they can use to make the sounds of speech?” Then she looks at specific cases, from the famous accounts, such as that of Brazilian farmer and lawyer Antônio Vilas-Boas, who was abducted in 1957 and forced to have sex with an alien.

The author is able to give this and many other well-known cases an intriguing new freshness because she is laser-focused on revisiting these events with the purpose of looking specifically at how communications were experienced by the subjects.

She also provides us with new perspectives on monumental historic events, such as the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, and the works of the famous English mathematician-genius and polymath JOHN DEE, adviser to Queen Elizabeth I. Dee is well-known for having “channeled” what is known today as the Enochian Alphabet, also called the “Angelic Alphabet,” the “Divine Language,” or “Language of the Gods.”

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Dr. John Dee

Dee reports that he received a visitation from a levitating angelic figure who gave him a kind of scrying stone through which he coaxed out and ratiocinated a symbolic form of transmundane, symbolic language. His description of the events sounds a lot like one of today’s alien visitation scenarios.

It’s all deliciously fascinating, and what’s better is du Tertre’s marvelously fluid and easy writing style which makes this a user-friendly read for any mainstream audience. She never talks down to us, yet provides even intellectuals with plenty of fodder to chew upon.

The only sad thing for me is that the 175 pages melted by for me as quickly as a pleasant dream from an afternoon nap – I was left profoundly wishing that du Tertre could have given us a couple hundred more pages.



Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS

All NEW: KEN’S BOOK REVIEW SITE ON FACEBOOK: REMOTE BOOK REVIEWING

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A “Marco Polo” of consciousness exploration takes us along on far journeys

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Review By KEN KORCZAK

While I was reading his book I was thinking of documentary I was watching about how animals might evolve into new forms in the future. There was footage of an octopus near the shore of the ocean. It was struggling to make its way along some rocks among the shallow water — the octopus was half in and half out of the water, grappling to navigate an environment that was somewhat familiar, but also vastly different.

FRANK DEMARCO is that kind of explorer. He is daring to send his mind into those exotic areas that straddle our normal mode of mentally framing reality with more exotic ways of determining what’s going on. He’s attempting to expand the way we make sense of reality — and maybe even to find a different way to be a human being.

This book documents 10 sessions DeMarco conducted at the MONROE INSTITUTE of Faber, Virginia. The facility is named after its founder, Robert Monroe, who wrote three best-selling books about out-of-body travel. It was Monroe who really blew the lid off the OBE, a centuries old phenomenon that had long been relegated to mysticism and arcane eastern religious sects. Monroe brought if forward in a way that more Western, scientific minds could deal with it using a modern scientific approach.

Equally as important to this book is the man who facilitated the sessions with DeMarco, none other than FRED “SKIP” ATWATER. Atwater is a former U.S. Army intelligence officer who was the founder of Army’s top secret remote viewing unit. He was among an elite corp of men who were the Founding Fathers of so-called “psychic spying.” After retiring from the military, Atwater became the science director and later president of the Monroe Institute.

So in these sessions, DeMarco is resting in a kind of isolation chamber. He’s reclined in a waterbed, and he wears headphones through which he is fed a variety of sound frequencies containing something called binaural beats. I won’t go into details about what these are, except to say they have been shown to induce altered states of consciousness.

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Frank DeMarco

As DeMarco is sent into an altered state of consciousness, but he also holds onto a portion of his waking mind so that he can chat with and report back to Atwater via a microphone. Atwater sits in another room where he controls the tones and frequencies DeMarco hears. DeMarco is also wired with fingertip sensors which monitor things like his galvanic skin responses, body temperature and more.

DeMarco then sends his perceptions into other realms of consciousness and reports his perceptions. He finds two contacts from two other eras of time: An ancient Egyptian and a Medieval monk. He feels he is deeply involved in some kind of mutual project of consciousness manipulation with these two — this is not a simplistic reincarnational kind of situation in which DeMarco “trades notes” about past lives, or stuff life that.

DeMarco also interacts with a more advanced set of entities he simply calls “The Guides” or “Guidance,” and sometimes just “the guys.” To facilitate a greater connection with him, these higher entities encase DeMarco (or cause him to become) what he perceives as a crystalline structure. In this state he is able to receive a variety of novel concepts, expand his psychology, gain insights, and so on.

DeMarco then “debriefs” in an informal discussion with Atwater. Both the sessions and the debrief sessions were tape recorded, and DeMarco fills the pages of this book by basically giving us the raw transcripts of all that was said.

For me, this was a five-star read because it provides a fascinating “fly-on-the-wall” view of how people on the cutting edge of consciousness exploration are endeavoring to probe uncharted territories of the mind. They go places for which no road maps exist. The explorers are pushing the edges of perception, have no idea what to expect, and don’t even have a good way to recognize “things” when they encounter them.

But wait –I should backtrack that statement a little. There may actually be a few road maps: Over the years, Monroe Institute researchers have worked out a series of auditory frequencies which seem to match certain mental states which in turn correspond with certain kinds of nonphysical locations. They call them Focus 10, Focus 12, Focus 15, Focus 27, etc. Each of these states, identified by specific frequencies and brain states, would seem to match up with specific territories “out there.”

When people become immersed in Focus 27, for example, they will find themselves in a specific afterlife kind of location — a place where dead people gather after leaving their bodies. Here they create a kind of resting place, perhaps a peaceful cabin in a wooded area, where they can simply rest and get used to the idea that they no longer have a physical body. They can come to grips with the fact that they are physically dead, and now can contemplate their next stage in consciousness development.

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Focus 27 is a place of pure mind — that is, a cabin in the woods is not made up of physical lumber and nails — but a construct of the mind. Think of the way you might have a dream about a visit to a cabin in the mountains. While you are in the dream, the cabin would seem as real and solid as anything else. When you wake up, you would tell yourself: “Well, that wasn’t a real cabin. It was all being created by my dream mind!” The structures of Focus 27 apparently are a kind of group-mind creations of structures — buildings, parks, gathering places — which are collective construct by those who have passed on.

Anyway, I digress.

I should say that for some readers this book might be something less than a five-star read — you won’t get the exciting New Age, out-of-body wonder type of fireworks provided by such folks as Robert Monroe, Richard Buhlman or others who have written popular books about OBE adventures involving lively interactions with strange beings, exotic otherworldly locales, although there is a certain element of that here.

A PLACE TO STAND is more sober and less sensational. It doggedly plods along. DeMarco also displays healthy levels of skepticism and self doubt about his own perceptions, which adds to our feeling that he is an authentic guy who is endeavoring to bring back reliable information from strange places, rather than hyping it all up to make for an exiting New Age book.

Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS

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