The Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained, Vol. 1
The Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained (GEUU) presents comprehensive and objective information on unexplained mysteries, paranormal abilities, supernatural events, religious phenomena, magic, UFOs, and myths that have evolved into cultural realities. This extensive three-volume work is a valuable tool providing users the opportunity to evaluate the many claims and counterclaims regarding the mysterious and unknown. Many of these claims have been brought to the forefront from television, motion pictures, radio talk shows, best-selling books, and the Internet. There has been a conscious effort to provide reliable and authoritative information in the most objective and factual way possible, to present multiple viewpoints for controversial subject topics, and to avoid sensationalism that taints the credibility of the subject matter. The manner of presentation enables readers to utilize their critical thinking skills to separate fact from fiction, opinion from dogma, and truth from legend regarding enigmas that have intrigued, baffled, and inspired humankind over the centuries.
About the Authors and Advisors
Brad E. Steiger has written over 150 books with over 17 million copies in print. His vast writing experience includes biographies, books of inspiration, phenomenon and the paranormal, spirituality, UFO research, and crimes. His first articles on the paranormal appeared in 1954 and, today, he has produced over 2,000 articles on such themes. Steiger has appeared on such television programs as Nightline with Ted Koppel, ABC Evening News with Peter Jennings, NBC Evening News with Tom Brokaw, This Week (with David Brinkley, Sam Donaldson, and Cokie Roberts), The Mike Douglas Show, The David Susskind Show, The Joan Rivers Show, Entertainment Tonight, Haunted Hollywood, Inside Edition, The Unexplained, and Giants: The Myth and the Mystery. Sherry Hansen Steiger is a co-author of 24 books on a variety of topics on the unusual and unexplained with her husband Brad. Her continual studies in alternative medicine and therapies led to the 1992 official creation of The Office of Alternative Medicine under the Institutes of Health, Education and Welfare in Bethesda, Maryland. Both Steigers have served as consultants for such television shows as Sightings and Unsolved Mysteries. The advisors for GEUU are Judy T. Nelson,the Youth Services Coordinator for the Pierce County Library System in Tacoma, Washington; Lee Sprince, former Head of Youth Services for the Broward County MainLibrary in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Brad E. Steiger, author of Gale’s former Visible Ink Press title The Werewolf Book: The Encyclopedia of Shape-Shifting Things. For GEUU, both Nelson and Sprince were consulted on GEUU’s subject content, its appropriateness, and format; Steiger advised on the content’s organization before he became the author of GEUU.
The Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained consists of fourteen broad-subject chapters covering a wide range of high-interest topics: Afterlife Mysteries; Mediums and Mystics; Religious Phenomena; Mystery Religions and Cults; Secret Societies; Magic and Sorcery; Prophecy and Divination; Objects of Mystery and Power; Places of Mystery and Power; Ghosts and Phantoms; Mysterious Creatures; Mysteries of the Mind; Superstitions, Strange Customs, Taboos, and Urban Legends; and Invaders from Outer Space. Each chapter begins with an Overview that summarizes the chapter’s concept in a few brief sentences. Then the Chapter Exploration provides a complete outline of the chapter, listing all topics and subtopics therein, so that the user can understand the interrelationships between the chapter’s topics and
its subtopics. An Introduction consisting of 6 to 12 paragraphs follows; it broadly describes the chapter’s theme. Then each topic is explored, along with each subtopic, developing relevant concepts, geographic places, persons, practices, etc. After each topic, a Delving Deeper section provides complete bibliographical citations of books, periodicals, television programs, Internet sites, movies, and theses used, and provides users with further research opportunities. Boldfaced cross-references are used to guide users from the text to related entries found elsewhere in the three volumes. Sidebars supplement the text with unusual facts, features, and biographies, as well as descriptions of web sites, etc. Each chapter contains photographs, line drawings, and original graphics that were chosen to complement the text; in all three volumes, over 250 images enliven the text. Many of these images are provided by Fortean Picture Library—“a pictorial archive of mysteries and strange phenomena”—and from the personal archives of the author, Brad Steiger. At the end of each chapter, a glossary, called Making the Connection, lists significant terms, theories, and practices mentioned within the text. A comprehensive glossary of the terms used throughout all three volumes can be found at the end of each volume. Each volume has a cumulative Table of Contents allowing users to see the organization of each chapter at a glance. The Cumulative Index, found in each volume, is an alphabetic arrangement of all people, places, images, and concepts found in the text. The page references to the terms include the volume number as well as the page number; images are denoted by italicized page numbers.
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