This is an interesting, if a touch too short, book. Aaron approaches the topic of the paranormal from a unique and personal level. He takes a very grounded approach in analyzing the paranormal, UFO’s, and the culture around it. He pulls back the curtain on some of the more absurd elements of the fringe. His view of ghosts is refreshing, his telling of his own experiences amusing, and his dissecting of the UFO Phenomenon’s stranger personalities is enlightening. He explores perspective, and the effect of language and translation on our view of things. He tackles the strange world of Exopolitics, and even gives Roswell a knock around. Although short, there is a lot packed into the 130 or so pages here. This is an easy, enjoyable read, and so very different from the majority of what is out there dealing with the paranormal and connected subjects. Sometimes subtle, but always relevant. Highly recommended.
We are joined here by Aaron Gulyas and Mike Clelland, and we discuss the history of the UFO Phenomenon. The conversation, however, only makes it up to the 1950's, so we will be doing a part 2 to this conversation. We start back with Ancient Aliens, and then move forward exploring different ideas, theories and events, to try and widen the view of what the whole UFO Phenomenon really is.
A teacher, historian, and writer (generally in that order), Gulyas received his BA in History from Hanover College in 1998 and promptly went to work for the state of Indiana assessing disability insurance claims. Wearing out his welcome in the civil service within a year or so, he shifted to the thrilling world of proofreading. Realizing he was only really good at history, he returned to school and was awarded an MA in United States History from Indiana University-Indianapolis in 2003. He then moved into teaching, eventually landing at Mott Community College, where he has taught since 2006.
Gulyas's first book, Extraterrestrials and the American Zeitgeist: Contact Tales since the 1950s was published in May 2013 by McFarland Books. His newest book is The Chaos Conundrum, a collection of essays on the paranormal, religion, spirituality, an the atemporal, published by Redstar Books. In Fandom's Shadow, a 50th anniversary retrospective of Doctor Who, Fandom, and its relationship to geography and time, was published in September, 2013 by Deserted Moon Press.
He contributed the introduction to Posthuman Blues: Dispatches From a World on the Cusp of Terminal Dissolution, a collection of writings by the late Mac Tonnies edited by Paul Kimball.
Mike, in his own words... "I was born in 1962 in the suburbs of Detroit. Even during my pre-kindergarten years I was a skilled illustrator, and most of what I would draw was goofy and cartoony. Curiously, the stuff I would draw in elementary school looks a lot like my drawing style now.
I was deeply influenced by MAD magazine, and that is still evident in my work today. I need to thank Mort Drucker, Sergio Aregones and Jack Davis for shaping my style. I also need to thank R. Crumb, who I discovered a little bit later in life.
In 1981 I moved to New York City, where I went to NYU Film School for one year. I was all too aware that I was a lousy student, and I dropped out and began working as a free-lance illustrator and art director for advertising agencies.
In the winter of 1986/87 I spent the season as a ski bum in Jackson Hole Wyoming. This experience would make it very difficult to fully embrace my urban career when I returned to New York. I eventually moved out west permanently in 1991, and this move paralleled the advent of the fax machine and Federal Express. These revolutionary tools allowed me to do illustration work anywhere I wanted, and I was still dealing with clients back in The City. All of this became much easier with the internet.
Once out west I began doing book illustrations and teaching for an outdoor school.
It was around 2005 or so when I felt a sort of oppressive need to look into some odd life events, stories and memories that I had denied had any importance. Little by little I realized that I simply could no longer ignore those memories and their implications.
The catalyzing event was a profoundly strange synchronicity involving a bottle of sunblock. From that point on, it felt like the floodgates were opened up.
Let me also add that the initial years of my self exploration have not been easy. The act of trying to peer into my own unknown life events has been enormously challenging. I became a shaky recluse, locked in a spiraling tape loop of insecurity and self-doubt. Presently, things have been a little less difficult, but it's by no means easy. The act of digging like this is no simple undertaking, it’s been hard work. The truth for me is that I simply have to go down this road, no matter what the consequences. It seems I am being pulled ever forward by some unknown force. This might be my own higher self, or it might be something interacting with me from outside my being, I truly don’t know. What I do know is that this new chapter of my life has been profoundly interesting."