Thursday, 29 August 2013

UFOs, Werewolves & The Pig-Man: Book Review

I guess the world of self-publishing is proof that anyone can write a book, but it also means that a lot of obscure stories, which are usually ignored by mainstream publishers, can be aired for the first time in one volume. Despite it's rather comical cover and over-elaborate title, 'UFOs, Werewolves & The Pig-Man: Exposing England's Strangest Location Cannock Chase', by Lee Brickley is a much needed addition to the burgeoning list of Fortean/folklore books. Cannock Chase, situated in Staffordshire is an ancient site boasting dense woods and enough creepy stories and alleged zooform phenomena to have you sleeping with the light on. However, the main issue with such tales is that if true, then they are touched upon all too fleetingly here - with the segments on the 'big cat' sightings for example, being all too brief considering the amount of reports there has been. Even so, there are some fascinating stories concerning alleged UFO incidents, and ghostly encounters, although the tale of the Pig-Man seems to reek of urban legend - reminding one of the numerous Goatman, Donkey Lady, Bunnyman stories around the world - and nothing more, and the alleged 'werewolf' incident most certainly needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, especially when such 'sightings' are so rare. I would have preferred a few more historical accounts too - after all, Cannock Chase is extremely old, but as a paranormal-by-numbers guide to this strange place, Lee Brickley's book is a decent insight. I'm still waiting for that definitive book on Cannock Chase, but this is a well-written book, touching on some interesting theories although I'm often perturbed by authors who state that exotic animals such as 'big cats' which would have been released into the UK 'would have struggled to survive', which is completely incorrect considering the amount of prey and shelter in Britain.

A majority of the cases mentioned in this book seem to have been gleaned from modern press reports and more recent investigation, but when it comes to the complex realm of zooform phenomena, it's vital that older cases, and theories be looked at, which is why I was more intrigued about the opening historical segment and the chapter on alleged top secret military exercises.

'UFOs, Werewolves & The Pig-Man' is a slim, easy to read book that I'd recommend to anyone with an interest not just in Cannock Chase, but the paranormal in general but whether this place is truly as weird as is often made out, remains to be seen. 'UFOs, Werewolves....' is available from Amazon.