Far-Out Adventures: The Best of World Explorer Magazine

Edited by David Hatcher Childress
Adventures Unlimited Press, Kempton, Illinois, 1997, approx 640 pp., paperback, $19.95.

Reviewed by Douglas Chapman

As much as I have to take this book with some salt, I can’t help but like it. Derived from the ingredients of the first nine issues of World Explorer Magazine, including the ads, a stew of the strange is served.

Hyperbole is in full flower, much as in the writings of Merian C. Cooper, the creator of King Kong. So are fun photos, illustrations and graphics.

Just a few of the articles in evidence are “Dinosaur Hunting in the Congo” by Dr. Marc Miller, “Chicago’s Mysterious Stone Face” by Frank Joseph, “A Pre-Tesla Tesla Coil” by Jerry Ziegler, “The Mind Eating Plant” by A.B.H. Alexander, and “The Kaimanawa Wall” by David Hatcher Childress.

Miller’s article, taken from his personal experience—of dino-searching—has an odd detail. He writes: “Yet, in every case we had the same description—a reddish-brown reptile the size of a small elephant with a long a long neck and snake-like tail, which it dragged through the grass.” But recent reconstructions of dinosaurs discount the old theories that the creatures dragged their aft appendages. Miller, like all western searchers for Mokele-Mbembe, failed to find his quarry, so it is extremely unlikely that this discrepancy will be cleared up.

Ziegler’s piece, a more glowing entry relating to an awesome entity, hypothesizes that once there were more active solar winds which, combined with priestcraft, were used to create early glowing electrical devices like the Ark of the Covenant (described as essentially a Leyden jar) to dramatize God’s power.

A 1994 article by Childress entitled “Living Pterodactyls” weighs in on the Thunderbird Photo, speculating that the so-called photograph was actually an illustration for a “True West” type magazine.

Other mysteries examined in other articles include whether the Sphinx depicted a woman, whether dinosaurs still exist, and whether ancient Egyptians traveled to Australia.

The magazine takes an Indiana Jones type approach, and will not be a favorite of mainstream archeologists, etc., but will provide others with access to controversial ideas they may not have come across before. Like the book The Morning of the Magicians, the scholarship is not of the highest quality, yet the magazine does stimulate the imagination.

Return to Book Reviews Index  |   strangemag HOME