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BOOK REVIEW: "Reality Denied" by John Alexander

Anomalist Books
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BOOK REVIEW: Reality Denied: Firsthand Experiences with Things that Can’t Happen – But Did by Dr. John B. Alexander (Anomalist Books) 2017

Famed Israeli “spoon-bender” Uri Geller is a big fan of the research of Dr. John B. Alexander, author of the new book Reality Denied, a follow-up to his 2012 book UFOs: Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities. In the foreword, Geller writes that the two of them have witnessed many things that are not easily explained, adding: “Repeatedly, John addressed the limitations of our belief systems. It is time to unshackle our minds and questions the very foundations of our perceived reality.

And that is key; our “perceived reality.” For Alexander, the “reality” that most of us have come to know and accept throughout our lives actually is quite alien if given the opportunity to peer behind the veil that drapes over our sometimes drab and predictable existence.

But for a born “psychic adventurer” like Alexander, who is best known for studying remote viewing, utilized while he was in the U.S. Army in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and having a healthy interest in the paranormal, unknown and unexplained most of his life. He has often questioned reality, a choice that has taken him on some utterly amazing and wild rides over the course of his life, beginning at a very early age - an experience that certainly had an impact, and even had him interested in exorcisms, an ability that came in handy one time, he tells us.

And while the name John Alexander may not be familiar to all, many people have seen him essentially played on the big screen by one of Hollywood's leading men - George Clooney, back in 2009.

Writes Alexander: “For anyone who saw the George Clooney movie, The Men Who Stare At Goats … (n)o goats died from being stared at, but they did die from dim mak. Unfortunately, Jon Ronson, who wrote the book, took a small amount of truth and added about 90 percent fiction. And then they made a movie.

Yes, The Men Who Stare At Goats touched upon the reality of what Alexander and his elite “psychic” unit were exploring, like the aforementioned remote viewing, psychic spying and psychokinesis – primarily to use against the Soviets in those final years of the Cold War.

This retired colonel’s interest did not end after his stint in the Army. Alexander would work at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and after that he would join eccentric billionaire Robert Bigelow’s National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS), founded in Bigelow’s hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada in 1995, eventually shuttering in 2004.

I was not aware of Alexander’s role with NIDS, an organization which was funded to investigate the paranormal, everything from aerial anomalies like UFOs to the frightening activity at Utah’s Skinwalker Ranch, a spooky place we noted in reviews of books we published here at Red Dirt Report in late 2015.

And while I was a reporter on the “alien, ghost and Bigfoot” beat at a Louisiana newspaper 15 years ago, I made use of the NIDS number, calling Colm Kelleher a time or two to share some of the bizarre stories I was investigating in those days – and we had some very strange things going on in those piney woods back then.

Anyway, Alexander does report on the very strange things he and the NIDS team encountered while at the Skinwalker Ranch, an area the local Native Americans avoided – and had avoided for many years – as entities would appear and disappear, animals were injured or killed and lights would bounce around the skies over the desert location.

Alexander shares the story of a North Carolina man who began having alien encounters while in the woods near his home. The experiences cause the man, Chris, to alter the way he looks at life and "reality," as is the case with so many of the stories Alexander shares, from spots around the globe.

From communicating with non-human species to observing levitation and successful dowsing to a visit to southeastern Oklahoma where he and others were on the trail of Bigfoot - a trail that led to northwestern Louisiana and an encounter with a cryptid of some sort, although Alexander says that that "lack of physical traces of a large hominid" provided he and his team with a conundrum. How could this be? If something was in the camp, shaking their sleeping bags, where were the tracks? Hair samples? Anything?

There is a chapter on the Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull to the personal benefits of aikido, the mind-body benefits of Chinese qigong and the martial arts. It is in this chapter where Alexander addresses, more in depth, the "quivering palm" or "death touch" known as dim mak, which is only used in certain circumstances, although it is noted that this technique was used on a goat during their psychokinetic experiments.

"Dim mak is not a severe blow, as one might expect," writes Alexander. "It is not the same as a fatal strike that compresses the chest and stops the heart, or a hammer-like hit to the side of the head. Rather, the contact aims to disrupt the flow of ki (life energy) throughout the body. Also, death does not occur at the time of the strike. It usually occurs hours later and is near instantaneous when death finally does take place."

In his chapter on “near-death experiences,” also called “NDE’s,” Alexander notes the compelling experience of Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon who nearly died in 2008 (and no relation to the author) and came back to life, sharing his remarkable story in two books, while also going on lecture tours, including a stop here in Oklahoma City in 2015, which we reported on here.

Eben did report having encounters with discarnate spirits, and access to a comprehensive understanding of what underlies our reality,” Alexander wrote.

Possession by spirits. Voodoo. Ayahuasca trips in the Peruvian rainforest. Encounters with shamans and mediums are also of interest to Alexander, although he admits that “mediumship,” for instance, has not gained universal acceptance because “formal religions, which for various reasons, including economic ones, will maintain their brands even in the face of evidence that contradicts some of their tenets.”

There is a lot to digest in Alexander's book, one that had the spirit of exploration and adventure (with his wife Victoria often by his side) that you might find in books by Talbot Mundy from 100 years ago. A great addition to my library.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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

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