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.
Lovely County Citizen, October 23, 2014 – Dolores Cannon Obit and Norman Baker Cancer-Quack Psychic-Surgery Performance
Well known channeler Dolores Cannon passed away a year ago. She leaves behind a legacy of several books, lectures, and her continuance of Lucius Farish’s Ozark UFO Conference.
Our correspondents in Eureka Springs pass along newspaper clippings for us to archive and pass along to our membership in the same spirit as Lucius Farish did with his UFO Newsclipping Service.
In this October 23rd, 2014 edition of the Lovely County Citizen newspaper we read about the passing of Dolores Cannon as well as the performance art event featuring psychic surgery at the famously haunted Crescent Hotel as a remembrance of Cancer Quack Norman Baker. [See image captures of the news-clippings below]
Now On-Display at the Anomaly Archives: The Books of Dolores Cannon
The Legend of Starcrash
Five Lives Remembered
Between Death and Life
The Convoluted Universe: Book One
The Convoluted Universe, Book Two
Keepers of the Garden
The Three Waves of Volunteers and the New Earth
The Custodians: Beyond Abduction
Lovely County Citizen, October 23, 2014 … pages 3 & 19
UFO Conference organizer dies by Kathryn Lucariello
The Doctor Is In: Sean-Paul Cuts Through Baker Legend by Jennifer Jackson