14 October 2016


With autumn coming around it was time for another visit from Clas and Carl-Anton from AFU in Sweden to pick up another tranche of books and magazines, probably the last big hoist from my original collections. However I am constantly getting more stuff in for review in Magonia, and eventual transfer to AFU.


While there are a number of other libraries and collections on parapsychology, psychical research and related topics, AFU is unique in the depth and breadth of its collections, ranging from scholarly treatises to children’s books; from mainstream science to the wildest outer fringes, a vast breadth of subjects from psychical research to Bigfoot, from UFOs to conspiracy theories, from astronomical anomalies to historical mysteries and unsolved crimes, from the sociology of science to the esoteric, from earth mysteries to ectoplasm, from folklore to mass hysteria. It is also unique in its international and multilingual coverage.


Containing not only more than 20,000 volumes but huge collections of magazines and newspaper cuttings, it is the library of the damned and excluded from the mainstream of history, much of it the sort of thing derided as trivia or ephemera. Yet it is often these fringes and fragments often excluded from official archives as “not relevant to the key collections” but which often give the most historical insight.

Our friend Peter Brookesmith expressed some reservations about the value of collecting mounds of small magazines, newspaper clippings and report forms of “vague lights in the sky”. However that misses the point, it is not the “lights in the sky” which will interest future historians but rather what sidelights this material will throw on the belief systems and the working, leisure, cultural and intellectual lives of often working class people, lives that usually very poorly documented. One thing that AFU are in need of is new expanded premises to house their growing collections, so if there are any multi-millionaires out there who want to donate, contact them on http://www.afu.info/afu2/ 

However amazing news from Warrington suggests there might be an alternative; spatio-temporal distortion as in Doctor Who’s TARDIS. Readers of Jenny Randles books will be well aware of what she believes are strange spacial and temporal distortions around the mid-Mersey area and her belief that these may have inspired Daresbury born Lewis Carroll. It now appears that these distortions have moved into Warrington town itself and are centred on a retail outlet in the town’s Golden Square Shopping Centre, currently occupied by a shoe shop of modest external dimensions. (229 feet) Here Livewire which runs Warrington’s libraries and recreation centres assures us can be fitted the central library (30,000 + volumes), computer zone, shop, box office and a cinema.

I think you guess the amount of spatio-temporal distortion that would require and one wonders why Livewire didn’t go the whole hog and include a swimming baths, basketball lacrosse and badminton courts, an athletic track and a Formula 1 racing circuit. Think of the uses of the application of this technology; house the entire Houses of Parliament in a garden shed, and put the new South Eastern airport in a back garden. Of course no such Wonderland technology exists; the sad truth is that the people promoting all of this are the ones living in an Alice in Wonderland world, where you can pretend to believe six impossible things before breakfast and who have come to believe in the words of Lewis Carroll’s Hunting of the Snark, “What I tell you three times is true”!

This is just one small example of what people are starting to call the post-modernist approach to the truth, in which no real attempt is made to hide the fact that lies are being told. The fact that politicians, bureaucrats, newspapers bosses and managers routinely tell lies and seem to have no concept of 'truth' no doubt feeds conspiracy theories. If there are lying about a library or museum or park or whatever, what really BIG things are they lying about?

1 comment:

Nigel said...

Think your books wrecked his car, he broke down on way to Plymouth and it had to go to scrap yard.