The Essential Fortean Booklist - Alternative History

Fortean Library Bookshelf

Late last year our good friend Matt Staggs posted a link to the "Nervous Breakdown Reading List: Occult and High Weirdness". This got me to thinking that once the Christmas craziness had settled down, a fun project might be to compile a list of books that any Fortean should definitely have on their bookshelf. But how to approach the compilation?

My thought was that the process could be done in two-steps. Firstly, I'll put out a general call (first one below) for NOMINATIONS of books to a certain Fortean category (to simplify things a bit). From that list of nominations, a short-list will be compiled based on the number of nominations, which will then be PUT TO A VOTE to determine the order of importance. I'm thinking some parts of the process may end up being a little organic, but this should provide us with a reasonably fair end result.

This week I'm looking for nominations for the 'Alternative History' category:

Nominations have now closed! Thank you for your suggestions.



The Essential Fortean Booklist

Category: ALTERNATIVE HISTORY

Please list a maximum of ten books that you think are required reading/reference material for a Fortean, in the comments section below. This may be for a number of reasons, from historical/sociological importance through to scientific importance. Note: this means it does not necessarily have to be the *best* or most *scientifically valid* book on a topic - the criteria is simply that it deserves to be on the bookshelf.

Note that the number of nominations may be crucial in making the short-list, so you shouldn't decide to not post a certain book just because it has already been mentioned.

A one or two line blurb accompanying the nomination describing the reason for its importance is encouraged and appreciated (and may end up being used in the final presentation of books)!

(You will need to be registered as a Daily Grail user to nominate and vote, to avoid spammers/self-promotion/poll-crashing by external sites.)

I look forward to seeing your recommendations!

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Greg's picture
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I'm a bit short on time at the moment, so I'm going to have to do this piecemeal - I'll come back over the next few days and flesh it out.

* Fingerprints of the Gods - Graham Hancock

One of the most influential books of the 90s, in my opinion. Nuff said.

* Holy Blood, Holy Grail - Lincoln, Baigent and Leigh

Gave birth to an entire industry (books on Rennes le Chateau and the Priory of Sion), including one of the biggest selling books of all time, Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.

* Hamlet's Mill - Santillana and von Dechend

Obscure and oblique, you're never quite sure where the authors are going or what point they're trying to make. And yet once you've read it you'll find it difficult not to keep thinking about it.

* Giza: The Truth - An in-depth look at the history of pyramidology, from the beginnings through to the modern day fascination with alternative theories about the Egyptian monuments.

* Atlantis: The Antediluvian World

* Forbidden Archaeology

Kind regards,
Greg
-------------------------------------------
You monkeys only think you're running things
@DailyGrail

ciamarra's picture
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My nomination is for
The Sirius Mystery by Robert Temple.

It was well ahead of its time and even discussed so many key beliefs in ancient egypt such as sah - orion, sothis - sirius, ra, osiris, isis , egyptian astronomy as in heliacal rising of sirius, egyptian calendar , etc.

et cetera's picture
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I nominate these for the Fortean alt.history list, not because I necessarily "like" them but because they are arguably all canonical, for better or worse. Start wincing, y'all. Or not.

* The Morning of the Magicians (Le Matin des Magiciens/The Dawn of Magic) - Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier

* Chariots of the Gods - Erich von Däniken

* The 12th Planet - Zecharia Sitchin (or even his entire Earth Chronicles series)

* Holy Blood, Holy Grail - Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln

* The Orion Mystery: Unlocking the Secrets of the Pyramids - Robert Bauval and Adrian Gilbert

* Fingerprints of the Gods - Graham Hancock

* The Lost Civilization Enigma: A New Inquiry Into the Existence of Ancient Cities, Cultures, and Peoples Who Pre-Date Recorded History – Philip Coppens

__________
et cetera

Rick MG's picture
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I run the risk of burning through the 1990s-era bandwidth I'm currently dealing with, but here be my rock'n'roll list of ten:

* Fingerprints of the Gods - Graham Hancock.

* The Orion Mystery - Robert Bauval & Adrian Gilbert.
Not sure it counts as alternative history, but it gave Zahi Hawass a headache. In my opinion, Robert nailed it.

* The Orion Zone - Gary A. David.
Gary's first book exploring Native American star-gazing cultures of the Southwest. He digs up surprising links to ancient Egypt, and synchronicities of myth, language, & cosmologies that are too many and complex to be mere coincidence. Forget Ancient Aliens, Gary is the real deal. Highly recommended.

* Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings - Charles Hapgood.
The classic that started the "alternative archaeology" field and set Graham Hancock on his path. Like Hamlet's Mill, Hapgood's research puts the cat amongst the orthodox pigeons and shows our ancient past isn't exactly what we've been taught.

* Serpent in the Sky: The High Wisdom of Ancient Egypt - John Anthony West.
One of the first people to make Zahi Hawass froth at the mouth.

* The Temple of Man - R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz.
Before John Anthony West, Bauval, and Hancock, this classic turned upside down and inside out everything we thought we knew about ancient Egypt.

* Forbidden Archaeology - Michael Cremo.

* The Lost Civilisation Enigma - Philip Coppens.
He's sadly no longer with us, but his insightful views and encyclopedic knowledge is. I like this book for the questions it raises, than the conclusions made.

* Atlantis - The Antediluvian World - Ignatius Donnelly.
The late 19th century classic that started it all. A must read.

* Holy Blood, Holy Grail - Leigh Teabing.

* The Secret History of Dreaming - Robert Moss.
This one's a bit out of left field. Moss explores how dreams have shaped history and culture, from the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, to Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, Harriet Taubman, Winston Churchill, and of course Freud and Jung. History would read a lot differently if these people, and many others, didn't take note of their dreams.

I have a few others to list and recommend, particularly classics such as Herodotus and the Rig Veda... but I need to save the bandwidth for googling lolcats. Books that just missed the cut:

* The Cosmic Serpent - Jeremy Narby.
Altered states of consciousness, ayahuasca, DNA, evolution... on par with McKenna, Shulgin, et al, in redefining the origins of consciousness.

* Lost Cities series by David Hatcher Childress.
An absolute mess to read (seriously David, editors aren't *that* expensive!), but he was probably the first to mix alternative history with travel fiction. Despite the poor editing (and dubious James Bond exploits with buxom backpackers), Hatcher Childress is incredibly well-traveled and knows his stuff -- there are diamonds to find among the zircons. If he had Graham Hancock's gift with words, these would be classics.

* Secrets of the Stones - John Michell.

* Rule by Secrecy -Jim Marrs.
One of those books that straddles two categories, conspiracy and alternative history. Whether you wear a tinfoil hat or not, Marrs reveals modern civilisation's shadow history.

~ * ~

@levitatingcat

rah's picture
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This is more than ten books! This does not accord with the RULES! The RULES must be obeyed!

Rick MG's picture
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10? Pfft, turn it up to ELEVEN.

I have photos of Greg reading Sylvia Browne, I can do what I want around here. :P

~ * ~

@levitatingcat

The Cancer Man's picture
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: )

"I get a kick out of being an outsider constantly. It allows me to be creative." - Bill Hicks

ciamarra's picture
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Rick MG wrote:

10? Pfft, turn it up to ELEVEN.

I have photos of Greg reading Sylvia Browne, I can do what I want around here. :P

holy smoke, but you turn it up not to 11 but to 15,
must be some wild photos.

Are the photos of Greg doing a Psyhic reading on Sylvia ?
and
is he reading a exposed body part of Sylvia other than her hand ?

lol jk :)

rah's picture
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Rick MG wrote:

I have photos of Greg reading Sylvia Browne, I can do what I want around here. :P

LOL :-)

rah's picture
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1. Chariots of the Gods - Erich von Däniken
Classic work presenting the "ancient astronaut" theory. Not the most rigorous of works but fascinating and an influential work that entered the zeitgeist after its publication.

2. Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life - Drunvalo Melchizedek
A paradigm unto itself, amongst its teachings this book presents the essence of the author's world-view, developed through a lifetime of angel-led spiritual exploration and development. From Nibiru and Mars to Atlantis and Egypt, there is little history left untouched by the narrative presented here.

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Underworld - The Mysterious Origins of Civilization by Graham Hancock. It proposes civilizations settle near coastlines so the search for high civilazations during the ice age would now be found underwater due ot the rise in sea levels inundating coastlines at the end of the last ice age. It also provides compelling explanations for the flood myths resulting from ice damns failing as the glaciers melted. An excellent read.

Greg H.

emlong's picture
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"The Convoluted Universe" - The four volume collection of the recorded regressions of hundreds of subjects world wide by world traveler Dolores Cannon. She lives nearby to me, and a few years ago I was "put under" by her for 3 hours in her office. This was certainly one of the more fascinating and illuminating things ever to happen to me. The Convoluted series describes a reality much more strange and surprising than even a seasoned fortean might expect. As the series progresses in time the ideas become more abstract. This becomes a sort of catalogue of the evolution of human consciousness over the past 20 years.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1...

Dolores' publishing house:
http://www.ozarkmt.com/

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Its amazing that no one has mentioned Augustus and Alice Le Plongeon's book:

Sacred mysteries among the Mayas and the Quiches, 11,500 years ago. Their relation to the sacred mysteries of Egypt, Greece, Chaldea and India, now freely available:

http://archive.org/details/sacredmysteri...

which is really the start of theosophist "archaeology".

No mention of Churchward's books on Mu and Lemuria, and no mention of Ignatious Donnelly's other major book, Ragnarok, also free now:
http://books.google.com/books/about/Ragn...

Though I enjoy Andrew Collin's books, I don't think that they belong on this list.

I think I would move "Chariots of the Gods" to the UFO list.

Then there is Otto Muck's Secret of Atlantis
http://www.scribd.com/doc/16206238/The-S...

E.P. Grondine
Man and Impact in the Americas

red pill junkie's picture
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Morning of the Magicians, by Jacques Bergier & Louis Pauwels, is definitely a must-read. Alchemy, hermetic societies & lost civilizations is only a small portion of what's covered in this important book.

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

_neil's picture
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I agree with the following:

Chariots of the Gods, Eric Von Daniken

Fingerprints of the Gods, Graham Hancock

Underworld, Graham Hancock

I'd like to add:

Supernatural, Graham Hancock

A long essay on the role played in the development of human consciousness, art and creativity by psychoactive substances. Hancock says that the great leaps forward in consciousness identified by archaeologists stem from the creative use of these substances, which provide a shortcut or link to the multi-dimensional universe which is otherwise unseen.

Where Troy Once Stood, Iman Wilkens

Ancient Troy located in Cambridgeshire, UK, by a Dutch writer. The great epic of the Bronze Age is revised as an account of resource wars in Celtic Europe. This goes beyond the tradition of European countries and peoples establishing themselves as the heirs of Troy (in Virgil's Aeneid, for example, and Layamon's Middle English poem, Brut). It's closely argued and full of intense research, and just for the sheer force of will of the author it deserves a place on the bookshelf.

For content that's a lot more engaging, I also recommend the 'Egypt in Britain' books as follows:

James Rendel Harris's Egypt in Britain (1927)

Egypt in Gloucestershire, Marjorie Martin (1934) - pamphlet

W F Wills's Egypt In Bristol A Prehistoric Study Embracing The Mendips, South Gloucestershire And Bristol (1937)

This little-known English alternative history strand of the 1920s and 30s studies similarities between English place-names and their Egyptian 'originals'.

Also, this...

Tales from the Time Loop, David Icke, 2003

Arguably one of the most effective syncretic works of alternative history in recent times. Icke links together a great many previous narratives in the field of alternative history, ancient alien influence, secret societies and consciousness evolution, producing a meta-narrative of all that he's read. He's a very long way from being an original thinker, and he's not always bothered about attributing sources, but he's keenly interested in what he's read. My opinion is that although he seems to have read an awful lot, he's likely read not much more than most people interested in this sort of thing. Anyway, he's done it where thousands didn't / couldn't, so good for him. He draws together the threads of what he's understood in a flowing synthesis of sources that single-handedly redefines the very archetype of the researcher into 'Mysteries' 'The Unexplained' and 'The Unknown' of the late 20th century, In this way, he's very much a product of his time - reviewing the context of the paranormal / supernatural / mysterious of the 70s and 80s.

I'd prefer a more trad academic approach to offering such an overview. But he's an entertaining writer and this is a good read.

Finally, a left-field entry - without knowing what categories are upcoming:

The Secret Behind Secret Societies: Liberation of the Planet in the 21st Century, Jon Rappoport, 2003

This is about the art of power, and vice versa. Rappoport unleashes his research in a veritable pyroclastic flow. This is his take on the thing that has remained carefully hidden in the secret societies and mystery schools. That thing is imagination. It goes like this. If something can be imagined, it can be done. And if what can be envisioned can be made concrete in images, then you've successfully, and to all intents magically, intervened in the world. The creators of such images, historically, tend to make claims to control this force, because it's 'too dangerous', or whatever, to be entrusted to individuals. And over time, there emerges a tradition rendering imagination exclusively to self-appointed, self-perpetuating groups of people.

Rappoport produces a meta-history of ideas, revealing the structures that shore up the containment of knowledge. Now that's some real alternative history.

+++++++++++++++

I'm really looking forward to getting into the work of Dolores Cannon, thanks for the recommendation.

emlong's picture
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http://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/
Jon Rappaport's blog. This is one of my favorite blogs.

_neil's picture
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I guess with your interest in Dolores Cannon, you've dug deep into the Jack True interviews. Great inspirational stuff, right?

emlong's picture
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I only recently discovered Rappaport, but after having just read a Jack True interview I would love to be taken under by him. He is smarter than I am which usually means someone learns something. His "imagination" theory of psychotherapy is awesome. Thanks for the direction.

The Cancer Man's picture
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Alternative History is pretty broad, so I kept it to the "ancient times" kind of stuff, ignoring modern history "conspiracy theory."

*The 12th Planet, by Zecharia Sitchin

*Chariots of the Gods, by Erich Von Daniken

*The Gold of the Gods, Erich Von Daniken
Sometimes overlooked in the shadow of this other books, this one collects ancient gold artifacts from around the world as evidence for, you guessed it, ancient aliens.

*Secret Places of the Lion: George Hunt Williamson
George Hunt Williamson was one of four witnesses at George Adamski'd first meeting with the Venusians. Covers all sorts of ancient mysteries including Egypt and the Great Pyramids, Atlantis, The Last Supper, Alien Gods, The Holy Grail, The Shroud of Turin... all the good stuff.

*Fingerprints of the Gods, by Graham Hancock.

*Holy Blood, Holy Grail, by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln

*Before the Pryamids, by Chrostopher Kinght and Alan Butler.
This 2009 book is a compelling argument on who created the great pyramids, and why. Also delves into, and connects with, ancient British sites and modern Washington DC.

"I get a kick out of being an outsider constantly. It allows me to be creative." - Bill Hicks

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Some of these may not fit too well, but here's my picayune, for what it's worth:

A Vanished World: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Spain. By Chris Lowney, 2006.

-- Reasoning: It covers some of that history you likely didn't learn in traditional Western schooling: things to do with the symbolism and legends of St. James, the origins of the modern Western legal system, and how what you think you know about conflict between Muslim and Christian isn't so cut-and-dry as you might believe.

The Book of Contemplation: Islam and the Crusades. By Usama ibn Munqidh, c. 1183.

-- Reasoning: Reading about the Crusades from the perspective of a 12th-century Syrian Muslim sheds light on what in the West is often perceived as a uniform military excursion to "free the Holy Land." Also read vignettes of a wide array of daily activities, parables, and observations.

The Sacred Mushroom and The Cross. By John Marcos Allegro, 1970.

-- Reasoning: Was Jesus actually just another name for the hallucinogenic mushroom Amanita Muscaria? Allegro seems to think so, and he backs it up with an archaeolinguistic analysis of Sumerian, Hebrew, Latin, Aramaic, Greek, and English. Oh, it wasn't just Jesus: it was every Old Testament prophet. Pretty impressive stuff coming from a guy who never actually ingested any; I particularly enjoyed his bewilderment at the story of Jonah and the Whale.

The Cosmic Serpent. By Jeremy Narby, 1998.

-- Reasoning: How did the ancient Brazilians decipher DNA without the use of microscopes? With Ayahuasca. And possibly with finely-polished crystals. [Okay, it has been over a decade since I've read this one, but I saw it in the list up there, and I second it, even if my memory of its contents are a tad on the fuzzy side. All I know is, that is the only drug I've never tried that I really, really want to.]

___

Maybe I'll add another 6. Maybe not. But that is all for now.

_neil's picture
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Almost forgot...

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Charles Mackay

The great compendium of accounts of odd outbursts of human behaviour, and near-forgotten popular cultural images and expressions. At a time when history was about the deeds of 'great men' and the formation of nations, it was a major achievement to write about contemporary culture, including systemic financial corruption evident in the South Sea Bubble. It's still a good read today and is the model, whether appreciated as such, for all those who seek to view history and culture from a non-consensus view. It was surely an influence on Charles Fort.

The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion, James Frazer

A learned, erudite study examining the cultural responses of human beings to nature and society. This book represents a huge change of worldview, incorporating myths and archetypes into analysis of history and culture, rather than separating the two strands as was the fashion in contemporaneous academic history. If it were published today, it would be likely be criticised, as it was originally, as irrational and fantastical response to the uncertainty of the modern world. Without Frazer, there'd be no alternative history. Frazer's influence on 20th century literature and anthropology was immense.

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The rebirth of Pan: Hidden faces of the American earth spirit by Jim Brandon.

Bear in mind I've never read this book, which currently is pretty much unobtainable, but a couple of people I deeply respect --like Greg Bishop-- swear by it, and mention it as incredibly influential.

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

ciamarra's picture
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i will also add a book that lloyld Pye mention to me
a number of years ago.

i love how it seems to matchs up to Edgar Cayce time frame story about atlantis final sinking around 9600 bc but being hit by diaster about 1,000 years earlier.

my 2nd nomination is for
"When the Earth Nearly Died: Compelling Evidence of a World Cataclysm 11,500 Years Ago "
by
D. S. Allan (Author), J. B. Delair (Author)
and published in 1994.

the title for the book was changed, so may know it as
"Cataclysm!: Compelling Evidence of a Cosmic Catastrophe in 9500 B.C. "

clearly this book was first of its kind in 1994 and lead the way for other researchers to look for more evidence.
recent research suggest he is correct.

here is a quote
" Review
"Allan and Delair do a brilliant job in revealing that researchers have barely touched the tip of the iceberg of events that shook the Earth around 9,577 B.C. . . . This book is an essential handbook to our ancient past: a brave multi-disciplinary approach that should be applauded." (Rand Flem-Ath, coauthor, When the Sky Fell ) "

quote from
http://www.amazon.ca/When-Earth-Nearly-D...

i didnt read "When the sky Fell", but i like the review.

ciao clemente

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i know voting is closed but did i miss any mention of velikovsky ?

ciamarra's picture
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billy mavreas wrote:

i know voting is closed but did i miss any mention of velikovsky ?

lucky i got my 2 votes in on time.

based on Greg opening pick comment, Greg would add or adjust more to his picks later.

so based on that, voting is still open,
Greg will probably set a close date when he mades another post.

so anyone wishs to vote for Immanuel Velikovsky there is still time.

i seen his 1972 film they did, where he talks about we are a race with "Collective Amnesia".

ciao clemente