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BOOK REVIEW: "Monsters Among Us" by Linda S. Godfrey

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Linda S. Godfrey's new book "Monsters Among Us."
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BOOK REVIEW: Monsters Among Us: An Exploration of Otherworldly Bigfoots, Wolfmen, Portals, Phantoms, and Odd Phenomena by Linda S. Godfrey (Tarcher Perigree) 2016

Broken up into five sections with multiple chapters in each, Wisconsin-based author and self-described “foremost authority on modern-day monsters,” has cobbled together a very readable and informative book for readers looking to get a solid overview of eyewitness reports of strange creatures, UFOs, wolfmen, portals and eerie mists – and much more.

Early on, Godfrey lets readers know that while she covers a swath of weird and unexplained phenomena, “I also do my best to keep an open mind.” She’s well-aware that there are hoaxers and that eyewitnesses can misidentify things or forget critical details. So, dear reader, take these pages with a  grain of salt. But that doesn’t mean Monsters Among Us isn’t a rip-roaring and entertaining read!

And while a lot of Godfrey’s material focuses on creepy incidents occurring there in her homestate of Wisconsin, she does get some solid reports from the Los Angeles area, from a 1972 report of a wolf-like humanoid seen in a park to two children encountering an entity calling out to a young girl from a manhole in 1985 in the crowded suburb of Torrance, California.

Having worked as a reporter in central Louisiana in the early 2000’s, I took interest in a report called “Louisiana Shadow Doggy,” where an eyewitness living between the towns of Rosepine and Leesville was repeatedly visited by a “doglike creature” that communicated with the girl via telepathy in 1992.

At the end of the reports, including this telepathic “shadow doggy,” Godfrey gives a summary of the case and as a journalist, I like it that she tries to cover all bases, including nearby environmental factors connected to the case.

In this one, Godfrey notes that “the land was originally important to several Native American tribes and was the site of very old burial mounds.” There is often a link to tribes that were linked to locations where unusual activity has been noted by the current occupants of said land.

And Godfrey later notes how Native beliefs reveal that the elusive Bigfoot is “part physical and part spirit,” a viewpoint that seems to be gaining more mainstream support, at least among folks interested in cryptozoology, which would include yours truly.

I also enjoyed Godfrey’s coverage of “Land Spirits and Fairy Paths.” Like the late Sherlock Holmes writer Arthur Conan Doyle, I’ve taken a keen interest in fairies, sprites, elves and so forth. I think the genre is experiencing a comeback, as there have been a number of new books covering the fascinating topic.

And Godfrey does a fine job covering this topic as well, toward the end of Monsters Among Us, noting some of the research of Paul Devereux and his notion that fairy paths and UFO paths may align. This is something I am personally investigating for a book I'm writing this year - The Stilwell Enigma.

Is Godfrey's book worth picking up? Absolutely. She sticks to what she knows, while, as I noted earlier, she keeps an open mind about the controversial topics she is covering.

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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