J Douglas Kenyon (editor). Missing Connections: Challenging the Consensus. Atlantis Rising, 2016.
An alternative viewpoint can lead to a fresh and more exciting way of looking at aspects of our world. Treading the normal and everyday path is reliable and reassuring, but there are times when most of us desire a twist upon our regular position. To see with new eyes, as it were, may bring a stimulating and vibrant vista to something we thought we knew and add to our insight. Mind you, there is also the distinct possibility that it may not be the positive and refreshing spin that we hope for. The view from somewhere new could turn out to be flawed and fruitless.
The magazine Atlantis Rising is what might be titled an alternative periodical. It regularly covers subjects, many (if not all) are Fortean in nature. Alt. Archaeology is widely covered, as are varied views on historical subject matter. Some things looked at cover challenging interpretations of historically-accepted matters, ancient astronaut theory (also known as AAT) and things that may be scientifically feasible in the future. Naturally there is also occasional coverage of that mystery of mysteries, Atlantis itself plus any other undiscovered, extinct, ‘alien’ and/or advanced civilisation going. Their website is rather busy. It also boasts that it has become the magazine of record on ancient mysteries, alternative science and unexplained anomalies. This may come as something of a surprise to some others in the field; the Fortean Times, for instance.
This work is a collection of writings that started life as articles in the magazine itself. The six headings that they are grouped under are most definitely intriguing and provoke interest at the outset. There are, in order, Unsolved Crimes; America’s Secret Origins; Secret Societies, Lost Religions; The Unknown Jesus; Nazis and ETs; Mystic Travel. Some of the articles are authored by names familiar to seasoned Forteans, such as Robert M Schoch, Rand & Rose Flem-Ath and the late and much-lamented Philip Coppens. There is also David H Childress. The lion’s share have been penned by what seem to be regular contributors to the Atlantis Rising magazine. Although the back of the book contains brief biographies of the writers, there are no bibliographies and no footnotes, even at the end of the articles themselves.
The articles themselves most certainly cover fascinating questions, that is certain. Some of these are are staples of Forteana, such as 'Return to Oak Island', The 'Roswell Miracle Metal' and 'Ancient Egyptians in the Grand Canyon'. Others are more in the way of eye-openers; 'Quest for the Grail: The Sri Lanka Connection', 'Templars in Mexico' and the mind-bogglingly titled 'Shakespeare and the Bermuda Triangle'. The latter is about the true identity of Shakespeare and the nature of the start of the English colonies in America as opposed to the Bard of Avon penning a paranormal play. A vast shame, I know. As we have seen, the chiefest of the usual suspects, our old friends the Knights Templar, are represented too. In fact, they make a few appearances in various articles. It would be going too far to say that all of Forteana is here, but this is an ambitious tome covering an impressively wide range of subjects.
As has come to be the norm in a book of this nature, question marks abound. “Is It just a coincidence that the Grand Canyon has been given so many Egyptian names?” being a prime example. Whilst many questions are asked, not all that many are answered. Speculation is rife and facts are thin on the ground. Much Forteana is produced in this fashion. It is quite possible in some cases that there are salient points to be made; the exotically-named Shakespeare pieces make some interesting points about the authorship of his plays. Generally, however, the tone is such that, in the book overall, assumptions are made that have little or nothing to back them up.
This, then, is a fascinating read. The breadth of subjects, from Shakespeare to the Royal Society, from Jesus to Roswell, plus lost lands and cities still hidden deep in the jungle, is vast. Some of the articles are captivating. Personally I find this sort of volume absorbing provided it is read as speculation, at which it excels. If blue-sky thinking over widely-differing topics is what is desired then this excels at just that. -- Trevor Pyne.