6/26/13

Nick Redfern’s Monster Files: Book Review

Review by Mark Turner
6/26/2013

Author Nick Redfern exposes monsters and government secrets

For Your Eyes Only - Dossier of Fantastic Beasts

Why would any government care about the Abominable Snowman, the Loch Ness Monster, or any far-out camp-fire stories?  And yet they do, and with alarming consistency. Blowing the lid off of accepted strange creature lore, prolific author Nick Redfern does not settle for stale explanations, instead in Monster Files, he delivers at every turn, a compelling view of possible government involvement of a clandestine nature. Monster Files is just what the name suggests; a probing of government secrets, freedom of information act documents, first-hand accounts, investigations of tall-tales and dogged research. The result is a fascinating blend of paranormal and conspiracy.

Following a general timeline of monstrous events, the book starts off with Teddy Roosevelt’s Bigfoot story and ends with modern day beasts.

Not every creature is necessarily the target of government interest; some monsters are presented to serve as an introduction to the next tale of official involvement. Yet, it is not so easy to lump each case into narrow classifications. Some monsters are ‘used’ by governments as clever misdirection, a ‘wild-goose-chase’ to hide top secret projects and advanced weaponry. At other times, these same agencies have a curious interest in all things paranormal. At times, they seem fascinated or even frightened as with the case of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Ocean Service (NOA) both protesting loudly that Mermaids do not exist!  

At other times, the government has technological interests, as with vanishing beasts of the werewolf and Bigfoot variety, where multi-dimensional super technologies could be used for our governments own nefarious purposes.

In Monster Files, Nick Redfern shows that he is an author and researcher who is willing to offer original conclusions and concepts to what might otherwise be familiar lore. His explanation for the origins of the somewhat famous, or infamous, Flatwoods monster sighting of 1952, in the small town of Flatwoods West Virginia is original and more than a little thought provoking.
The files of oddities are frequent and varied in form.

Government research into the psychic abilities of cats and dogs to spot for hidden mines? It’s true! That research also showed that cats and dogs transfer ESP information between one another.

FDR green-lighting a project to use bats as living-bombs? Yes! It’s here too!     

Monster Army and Ape-Human Hybrids

A book about monsters would not be complete without the scientific Dr. Frankenstein creations, real or rumored. Redfern explores the tale of Russian physiologist Ilya Ivanov, who was hired, allegedly by none other than Joseph Stalin to create an army out of a race of genetically spliced half human/half ape men in late 1920’s. The book is good at digging for the truth behind such wild claims and its author is not one to simply accept such stories at face value. There is something here for skeptics’ and believers’ alike. Redfern covers all of the bases. 

And concerning the reality of the Russian ape-men?

“What we have here then, is a saga that has some truth to it, that describes very real attempts to create human-ape hybrids that were undertaken by the Soviet Union’s scientific elite, that were funded by the Soviet Academy of science, and that did have the support of the Bolshevik government.”  
(Reprinted, with permission of the publisher, from MONSTER FILES © 2013 Nick Redfern. Published by New Page Books a division of Career Press, Pompton Plains, NJ. 800-227-3371. All rights reserved.)

Stalin’s involvement, however, as the author points out, remains to be see.

There are other ape-people here too, those of the long-lost-cousin variety, and a few stories of possible Neanderthal’s show up for a visit.

The best is the last one in chapter 3, (again from the U.S.S.R.) recounting the story of a Lt. Col.  Karapetyan in the Soviet Army’s Medial Service in World War II.  A strange looking man had been captured; who the Soviet’s initially thought was a spy. Covered in a long brown coat of shaggy hair, six-feet tall with powerful arms, the beast had to be kept in a cold room because it could not bear heat.

The possibility of what any of these ape-people could have been makes any future trip to my local zoo’s ape exhibit, a disturbing one.

Indian Jones: Monster Hunter

Adventurer Tom Slick, the possible real-life inspiration for Indiana Jones is profiled in his possible involvement as a spy for the CIA. Slick studied at Harvard and MIT, served in the Navy during the Pacific engagement of WWII and was also instrumental in three groups that later became the Texas Bio-medical Research Institute and the Southwest Research institute. For all intense of purposes, Slik was a man who had solid connections to important people. He was also a globetrotting adventurer who had a very real passion for mystery beasts like the famed Yeti, A.K.A. the Abominable Snowman. 

The real reason, as some have theorized, for Tom Slick’s 1956 trek to Tibet wasn't just to search for the Yeti but also to use the expedition as a cover story for a secret CIA mission to spy on the encroaching communist Chinese government that was attempting to takeover Tibet. The evidence that is presented in Monster Files certainly lends credibility to Slick's clandestine role. Redfern presents a document from the US State Department from 1959 titled: Regulations Covering Mountain Climbing Expeditions in Nepal – relating to Yeti.

And it doesn't end there. That chapter continues to link the loose threads of the JFK assassination, Bigfoot, and the budding career of none other than George H. W. Bush (AKA Bush 41) and ties them all together neatly into one tight bundle!

The real scare comes at the end of that chapter with the mysterious death of Tom Slick on October 6th of 1962. Returning from a hunting trip while flying over Montana, Slick's plane seems to have disintegrated in flight. As you can imagine, the sinister notes of a conspiracy can be heard. Did the CIA monster hunter know one-too-many secrets, secrets that doomed him to an early grave?

Locking Down the Mysteries of the Loch?

Our friend Nessie, the great Loch Ness Monster is visited and re-visited numerous times and for different reasons throughout the book. The good thing is that this never gets old. You still have so many questions. Sure, Nessie could be a ruse by the British government to hide sophisticated weapons, argues Monster Files, but then, that does not explain the sightings that date back before submarines were invented, as the author also notes.

And then there’s British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s interest in protecting Nessie for Scottish tourism! 

The hot idea for me in Monster Files, was how could there be so many sighting of a large creature that could not possibly survive with such a scant food supply provided by the Loch? The possibility that Nessie could in fact be the ghost of an extinct dinosaur, is a mind-blowing concept.    

Bigfoot: What the U.S. Government Doesn't Want You to Know     

Mount Saint Helens erupted with terrible violent force in May of 1980. Once all of the volcanic ash had settled, there were rumors and scattered reports that several beasts resembling Sasquatch were whisked away by the US Army Corps of Engineers’. Chapter 18 holds more surprises too, but the reason for any government involvement can only be speculated. The book points to the idea that these beasts, Bigfoot, have some sort of special ability that the military is studying.

There’s a chapter here too on UFO’s and Bigfoot. The possibility that these creatures can jump into other dimensions and that they have psychic abilities are the possible reasons given for government/military involvement.     

Monster Mash-Up

There are many stories that haunt and fascinate and the brief tale of the US Government trying to hot-wire a common house-cat to work as a spy, was for me, a show-stopper. It is just one of many that make this book a must have. The case of the dissected Bigfoot, Princess Di and the large black killer cat, the WWII werewolf; it’s all page turning stuff! There are so many good tales here highlighting any one story does a disservice to the other weird tales. Nick Redfern’s Monster Files delivers mysteries, monsters, conspiracies and excitement. It’s a book to read and read again.

Monster Files by Nick Redfern
New Page Books 15.99
Paperback 288 Pages


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2 comments:

  1. Cheers for the great review, Mark!
    Best, Nick R.

    ReplyDelete