It was hard to miss the ads for Arcturus Books in the early days, when I took my first steps into the pool of ufology. Overwhelmed with information as I was, I never thought to contact them or get a copy of their catalogue: magazines, ‘zines, newsletters and bulletin board postings (remember the long-gone days of BBS?) provided a dizzying mix of information where abduction claims, tales of underground bases and straight-out conspiracy theory shared the cramped pages like passengers on a subway train during rush hour.
It was much later that Joan Jeffers – a devoted Pennsylvanian researcher of UFO and related phenomena – told me to get a hold of Bob Girard, saying he could find any book or periodical I might remember from the early days of sauceriana, or even material from other countries. Oddly enough, I was sort of in touch with Bob already. His former partner, the late Ron Bonds, had set up Illuminet Press expressing an interest in publishing my translation of Salvador Freixedo’s “Visionaries, mystics and contactees”, a great introduction to the Spanish Jesuit’s vast body of work on the paranormal. Bob’s wife Monica provided the cover art for the project, so when I picked up the phone to call Arcturus, no introduction was really necessary.
I spoke for hours with Bob that first time. What I’d been told was true – he knew all the corners, light and dark, of the paranormal community, current and past – and an encyclopedic recollection of old books. We spoke at length about his own work, “Futureman”, a dystopic view on the ultimate fate of humankind if the age of abductions proved true. Disturbing reading, but written in a most insightful style.
So it was that Bob helped me rebuild my collection of UFO books, which had been lost over the course of years, some lost over the course of international moves and others forsaken as new interests commanded my attention. Getting into “new” materials was never difficult thanks to Bob’s reviews, which made the Arcturus Books catalogue a joy to read – probably more so than a number of newsstand offerings available at the moment! Some descriptions are etched in my mind, like an old samizdat whose cover “depicted a hayseed peeing into a pond with a flying saucer hovering overhead” – I’m paraphrasing here, but I still smile at the laughter the description caused in me at the time.
Some reviews were at the other end of the spectrum: scathing indictments of the subject matter and sometimes the author. Words that could either make you want to order the book to see if such an assessment was warranted, or enough to make one turn the page and hope for better.
1993 saw the birth of my first newsletter on “UFOs in Latin America and Spain” and Bob Girard was pleased to add it to Arcturus’s offerings, cautioning me not to charge too much for it, since “mystics never have any money”. The price point must’ve been right, as SAMIZDAT (as it was called) became a strong seller for Arcturus over a time frame of five years. When I announced that I the little newsletter was folding (its news stories rendered stale by the Internet), I told him I intended to come back with a new idea. “Whatever you do, make sure it’s good!” he said, and INEXPLICATA came out within months, available in print format for many years before the same situation – the immediacy offered by electronic sources – forced it to migrate to the web, where it has remained since 2003.
We didn’t see eye to eye on everything, though. The Chupacabras Diaries, my initial offering on Puerto Rico’s paranormal predator, didn’t really meet his approval. Bob thought the correct approach to take should have been a dismissive one. He particularly disliked a chapter bearing the title “It’s In the Trees- It’s Coming!” – a homage to Jacques Torneur’s The Night of the Demon (1957). Now you’re part of the problem, I believe he said. However, he gladly accepted my self-published copies of TCD and sold them through Arcturus to a world that was only just starting to hear about the creature’s exploits, way before it became a media phenomenon.
When people ask me where I obtained my knowledge of book publishing, having never worked in the industry, I always say it was thanks to those long telephone sessions with Bob Girard. The ins and outs of the publishing world were as familiar to him as the dark corridors of the paranormal. A good and knowledgeable friend who richly deserves to be remembered as a 20th century Renaissance man.
Join us in Florida this winter. We proudly announce the International Cryptozoology Museum Conference, January 4-5-6, 2016, in America’s Oldest European-Settled City ~ St. Augustine, Florida.
The three-day event is a scientific cryptozoology conference being held near the site of the 1896 “Giant Octopus” beaching.
The conference will be a thoughtful experience for guests. Please sign up today (click here or see the individual options below).
The event will unfold over three days during Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the first full week of 2016. This takes place at the end of St. Augustine’s Festival of Lights. It is a beautiful, calm time of year in St. Augustine, Florida, with moderate temperatures and festive decorations still in place in this European appearing city.
The views and opinions expressed by the author are solely his own and do not necessarily reflect those of this organization or its board of directors.
Greetings Fellow Anomalists!
This past half year or so has been a tremendously exciting time for me and the Anomaly Archives. We’ve been processing our largest ever, donated personal collection (The Bob Girard Collection), while juggling multiple collections room to room during a much-appreciated tile-flooring makeover. We’ve turned this incredibly chaotic situation into a momentous opportunity for re-organization of the collection, including the weeding of hundreds of duplicates (and some less than anomalous literature) for upcoming Public Education, Outreach, and Fundraising Sales we are planning to hold later this year. We’ve added a New Advisory Board member, my friend Chris “Fritz” Jahnke, who has helped me implement a new much-needed Online Catalog. And we have so much more planned for the rest of the year.
All of these great changes are just some of the reasons you should Support the Anomaly Archives Community and take part in our Membership Drive! We need your help to continue our important historical work Preserving the Archives of UFO and Paranormal Research Collections as well as our public education efforts providing a Lending Library, Access to Rare Reference Research Materials, Monthly Public Meetings for a space to discuss all things anomalous, Free Lectures from leading thinkers & researchers, and so much more!
I’ve intended to post to the Anomaly Archives website on a much more regular basis, giving folks more regular updates on news and information relevant to the materials housed within our growing collections. That will be part of a concerted effort to emphasize the personal aspect of the Archives as a reflection and extension of my own ideas-about and interests-in UFOs & related phenomena. As I post updates about the materials housed in the collections, I’ll also be providing commentary while drawing connections between current news and events with the material in the collections. For years I’ve slowly and quietly been working on my own book on the UFO subject. Much of what I want to write about is a part of the Archives because a large part of its foundation comes from my own personal quest for knowledge on the subject. So anything I write will naturally be based upon the materials contained in the Archives. So as I hunker-down to write this book I will also accelerate the cataloging and chronicling of the information contained within the physical and virtual files of the Anomaly Archives. So expect more frequent posts in the near future.
1990’s Alt-Media Zine-Scene
Ever since confirming that we would be receiving the Bob Girard Collection, I’ve been in a deeply reflective mood. The interview I did with Kenn Thomas for Steamshovel Press about The Legacy of Bob Girard, really got me reminiscing about the 1990’s Alt-Media Zine-Scene and the part played by Robert and the many friends I made through the self-publishing community. The Zine-Scene connected a lot of people together including me and my inspiration for exploring the world of alternative media zine publishing. That inspiring friend was Wes Nations (Files / Donated Collection) who published Crash Collusion magazine. Crash Collusion provided entrance to an even wider weirder world of fringe Fortean thinkers and researchers and ultimately to Girard’s global network facilitated by his Arcturus Book Service.
A significant portion of the thousand or so books that made up my foundational donation to the Anomaly Archives back in 2003 was the result of having acquired a portion of Wesley Nations’ voluminous collection which he split between me and John Carter. Wes gave away most of his fringe collection in the mid-90s when he moved from Austin to Berkeley. John Carter was an author and co-editor of Crash Collusion who later donated his own collection to the Anomaly Archives. Thus Wes Nations’ collection of fringe materials, separated / torn asunder in the mid-90s, was reunited in 2005 and helped form the foundational Anomaly Archives donations. So the Anomaly Archives owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to two different significant figures within the Alt-Media Zine-Scene from the seminal early-internet era of the 1990s: Wesley Nations and Bob Girard. We plan on regularly highlighting both of them, their contributions to the Rise of Alternative DIY Media, and there Foundational Collections.
All this reminiscing, while processing the personal accumulated collections of these Important Fringe / Esoteric Seekers, and watching so many others passing away… inevitably gives us pause and forces us to think deeply about the potential for lost history and the need for ensuring a lasting legacy. The authors, investigators, and researchers whose books and files find there way to the Anomaly Archives will help preserve past research and facilitate future investigations.
Help us lay the archival foundation for future seekers to continue the search for insight into the marvels of the anomalous. If you are a Fellow Researcher or Seeker who has amassed a significant collection of books or files on any of the wide range of subjects covered within the Anomaly Archives, then we want to hear from you. We are trying to create an active and updated Anomaly Collections Directory and to actively help those with important collections find dedicated permanent homes for their materials. Contact us for more details.
History is filled with frustrations, disappointments, and lost opportunities. From embarrassing misidentifications and pronouncements to deliberate hoaxes by scam artists, all of these things have vexed legitimate UFO and Paranormal Research. This past few months my attention has been drawn to UFOlogy’s latest bugaboo. It’s been percolating through the UFO community since late 2011; rumors that someone had found “smoking-gun” evidence in the form of photographic slides showing an alien body from the infamous Roswell, New Mexico 1947 crashed-whatsit. As I watched with increasing concern, the carnival sideshow ramped up its PR machine, and suddenly I found myself a fly on the social media wall of a wonderful group of skeptics who looked destined to burst the bubble of the believers. And that’s exactly what they did, and in record time!
There is so much more important work going on than the slides distraction. In case you missed it, check out these amazing Anomaly Science headlines and resource links highlighted below, plus several more after this Founder’s Message.
Project CORE was a massive online survey asking questions and gathering data of those reporting “paranormal” experience. Questions ranged from psychological, and physiological data to ancestral heritage and outlier data. The questions asked by the survey were comprised of questions submitted by all Project CORE members, and then as a team questions were edited, subtracted and added until we arrived at the final version that was ultimately used.Participants were asked to give written account of their experience(s), and there was a written stipulation of the survey page: The survey required complete, raw honesty in relating the experiences. No matter how utterly bizarre or self-negating those experiences may have been. We also asked that the accounts submitted not be edited, sanitized, nor derived from hypnotic regression.
The survey actively collected data via the internet from participants over the course of a full calendar year, and the survey was widely promoted on social media, message boards, and podcasts. After data gathering, the work presented here in it’s final form comprises nearly 2 years worth of analysis and discussion between team members.
If you have questions or wish to discuss the Project directly, please contact us via the email form provided by clicking here.
Kimbal E. Cooper, Ph.D., Tyler A. Kokjohn, Ph.D., Jeff Ritzmann, D. Ellen K. Tarr, Ph.D., Jeremy Vaeni
FREE, the Foundation for Research into Extraterrestrial Encounters is a scientific research not for profit organization. We also have various support programs for Experiencers that have had trauma from ET Contact experiences. Our Experiencer Buddy Program includes 45 volunteers, all Experiencers of ET Contact experiences, ready willing and able to communicate with individuals that have requested someone to chat with. So far, in only 5 months, individuals from this program have supported over 133 Experiencers of ET Contact as of March 13, 2015.
FREE was founded by Mary Rodwell, Rey Hernandez, and Christina Knowles. FREE was established with the insistence and guidance of Dr. Edgar Mitchell, the 6th man on the moon, and Dr. Rudy Schild, Emeritus Professor of Astro-Physics at Harvard University. Dr. Mitchell is also known as the “Father” of the UFO Disclosure Movement. Dr. Schild was for many years on the Board of Directors of the John Mack Institute. Both are founding members of FREE’s Board of Advisors. Our website is: EXPERIENCER.CO
The meetings are FREE and held from 1-4pm at the INACS / Anomaly Archives headquarters located in North West Austin, just past the intersections of Research and Technology Boulevards (see end of page for detailed directions):
To be kept informed about these meeetings contact SMiles Lewis or Mark Muecke via email for updates.
Previous Meeting… 5/23/2015
At last Saturday’s meeting I spent most of the time going over the (NOT) Roswell Slides Saga, using our onsite resource page as a guide for discussion about this ongoing situation. The presentation was well received and no one seemed convinced that the body shown in the “Alien Slides” was anything other than an unusual looking human child. We all expressed astonishment at how far this farce had progressed and wondered how anyone could still be perplexed by the “alien-ness” of the mummified child’s remains.
Afterwards, we watched a recent video from Austin’s own Alex Jones, called “Something Big Is About To Happen” that represents one of the very few times he has publicly talked about his claim of a lifetime of precognitive visions. Most people aren’t aware of the two previous times he has spoken out about his experiences; first in 2003 and then again in 2006. I reported on this after the second time in 2006, but few people know about his claims. He has always been a highly controversial figure who is widely perceived by his critics as making repeated outrageous and unsubstantiated claims as well as numerous failed predictions. So for many, this recent departure from his usual rants may come as a surprise. Nevertheless, this recent video plea from him may signal a new direction for his rapidly growing media empire. Just a few years ago he purchased Weird magazine from Russell Dowden (who currently publishes RockStar magazine) before employing Russ to help launch his InfoWars magazine. Alex had said publicly that he intended to re-launch Weird in the future, so perhaps this is Alex’s opening salvo before he opens a new front and tries to dominate the Paranormal Market as he has done with the Conspiracy Market. He’s certainly become a fixture within the Coast to Coast AM radio show community, which he had largely panned or ignored previously in the late 90s to early 2000s. Time will tell…
Next Meeting: 6/27/2015
Please make plans to attend next month’s Anomaly Archives Meeting (4th Saturdays of Every Month) at the Anomaly Archives / INACS “Mind Quarters / Nerve Center” … we look forward to meeting and talking with all of you!
Steamshovel Press Winter 2015 issue was released as digital downloadable edition on 2/13/15 and features an interview with SMiles Lewis talking about the Bob Girard – Arcturus Book Service collection recently donated to the Anomaly Archives.
“My dream was to have one business in which the entire worlds literature on these subjects was all under one roof” – Bob Girard to Clas Svahn, April 19th 1987
“He saw his Arcturus [Book Service] … as a way to connect to people, strange and wonderful people that he would never had been able to find without his book list.”
– Clas Svahn, Journalist and Vice Chairman of the Archives for the unexplained
“Bob Girard is an American institution”
– Colin Bennett, Fortean and flying saucer historian, 2004
“The Marcel Proust of the UFO phenomenon” … “The proprietor of Arcturus Books–arguably the biggest and best UFO bookstore in the world.”
– John Chambers, Paranormal journalist, 2004
“The greatest national bookseller of used books ranging from cryptozoology to Forteana, from ufology to parapsychology”
– Loren Coleman, Cryptozoologist, 2011
“Robert C. Girard… ran what was probably the world’s premier Fortean mail-order book service”
– Ronan Coghlan, Fortean zoologist, 2011
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It’s a little tricky to find the first time, so here are the directions:
If you’re heading northwest on Research/183 from I-35, Mopac or 360, exit 183 at the Oak Knoll exit, pass through the light at Oak Knoll, and stay on the access road heading north. The next side street off the 183 access road will be Technology Blvd; do not turn on Technology. Immediately after you pass Technology, there will be a driveway on your right (the only one in that area) — Exit into that driveway. There will be a sign overhead for “Forest Plaza.” After you pull in, you’ll have no choice but to go to the left into Forest Plaza. Our building is the back left building within the complex — Suite 302. If you’re heading south on Research/183, you also exit at Oak Knoll, but take the u-turn just before you get to Oak Knoll, get over the right on the northbound access road, and prepare to make the right immediately after Technology Blvd. as in the directions above. Anomaly Archives On-Line
We are indebted to INACS (Institute for Neuroscience And Consciousness Study) for allowing the Anomaly Archives lending library to reside within their office space. Each month they hold public meetings of their Board of Directors, and their Education & Research Committees. Therefore, there may be occasional months where we must shift / reschedule our monthly meetings to accommodate their priority use of the space.