Abnormal Lore: Passport to Magonia
Abnormal Lore is a new ongoing series in the Journal, wherein I will review literature covering all facets of the fortean. As always, I'd love to know what you think, so don't be shy!
Passport to Magonia has aged well. Vallee's musings on the nature of UFO and contactee phenomena, and their connection to related folklore such as demons and fairies, is just as valid today as it was back in the '60s. As many of you know, this is a subject on which I touch in many of my articles. The idea that there is a common cause to the strangest reported interactions with otherworldly beings--regardless of applied narrative or superficial appearance--is something about which I think quite a bit. And, just like Vallee, I think the similarities are too great to ignore.
Now, and this is important, you need to know that Vallee is a scientist, and he approaches the issue scientifically. He isn't going to present you with any concrete answers, because frankly there aren't any. And his writing has a tendency to be a bit dry--somewhere between a newspaper article and a scholarly research paper. But the subject matter is entertaining enough to make up for that, and his style does deliver information in a way that makes it eminently palatable. It's quite a bit shorter than you might think, too, since the last 180 pages or so of the 359 page book are comprised of a chronological list of encounters that span from the late 19th century into the 1960s. I love this feature. It shows the sincerity of Vallee's scientific philosophy that he would present his data in such a straightforward manner, and on top of that, it's a handy resource in and of itself.
This isn't just a good book. If you're at all interested in the fortean, or even just specifically UFOs and extraterrestrials, this is a necessary book. Reading this one isn't optional to me. If I were teaching a class on alien visitation, this would be on the syllabus. In any case, I think you get my point. Read it in small doses if science writing isn't your thing, but trust me, you won't be sorry that you did.
Yours in Impossibility,