Phenomena -The Secret History Of The U.S. Government’s Investigation’s Into Extrasensory Perception & Psychokinesis by Annie Jacobsen is an attempt to catalogue the “definitive history” of the Government’s research into a lot of the paranormal.
Despite the book giving many facts, the information itself isn’t as interesting, nor as incisive as they could be. There are other books that take a much more fascinating and detailed approach than this one.
If you haven’t delved into this topic at all, this book does have some starting points. But if you have reasonable experience researching this abstruse subject, then this is going to fall way below expectations.
For starters, the book could have been written in half the pages without Jacobson being so garrulous. A sizeable amount of the additional information covered just wasn’t necessary. Even if you grant that, the book still doesn’t cover many of the most important historical individuals nor events within this discipline. A few glaring issues are the author merely a cursory glance at the work of Robert Monroe, Ingo Swann and Russell Targ’s work. Also, highly suspicious is the fact that Edwin May, who is a crucial individual in this, is missing as well. If that were it, that would be regrettable enough, but there’s more.
Despite Jacobson using a few hundred sources detailed in the “notes” section, she fails to use proper notation – using none at all! – within the book. It is quite laborious trying to ascertain which footnotes in the back couple to the missing notation in the front. It’s like trying to find a treasure with the entire treasure map having hundreds of x’s all over the place, and all you need is one. If you WANT to delve into this book thoroughly and use this information for research, you would have to expend many hours trying to do what the author failed to do before. Seeing as a plethora of sources were used by the author, why not be a professional and note where each one applies?
Apparently, the author’s other books were great, and I am willing to give this author another chance, but this book fails considerably. It even recently became known to me that this book is being used for a TV series as well, which may or may not have influenced the author’s take on the phenomena.
Taking all into consideration, the inquisitive individual is far better off starting elsewhere on this subject. There are quite a few books out there, one notable being Jim Marr’s Psi Spies, that should be a great starting point for anyone venturing into this subject. Another researcher that’s been doing yeomen’s work into the field of consciousness and paranormal is Tom Campbell. Campbell, who is a former physicist, worked with Robert Monroe in his nascent stages, and has been doing research into much of this for over 30 years. Campbell has a few hundred youtube videos as well, some of which cover this very phenomenal as well.
For what it’s worth, while the author collates much curious data, the book just isn’t as keen as it could be, it’s not the “definitive history” that it was claimed to have and promoted to be, it’s far too garrulous for its own good, and doesn’t even do a decent job at undertaking proper footnotes. Recommend readers to give this book a pass and begin elsewhere.
Make sure to do ample research because there are a LOT of avenues to follow within this entire topic, so be warned.
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About The Author:
Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.
His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.