by Ellis Taylor
Subtitled: "The strange life and times of a child from eternity. Paranormal experiences with Extraterrestrials, Humans, & Beings from other worlds and dimensions"
I get the sense that Ellis's series of books has been a gentle progression towards the confessional testimony of 'Dogged Days'. It is his best offering to date, and provides an autobiographical account of his various encounters with weirdness. Partly ghost-stories, partly alien abduction, but always honest: Ellis makes public his hair-raising experiences in a condensed, level-headed and highly readable way.
The book opens with a case of missing time during a journey to visit his friends Paul and Ann Andrews. Although I have not met them, their names rang a bell in my head. Eventually I made the connection - their son Jason (indeed, the whole family) has been the subject of media interest regarding alien abduction. Jason's case was the one that so fascinated Robbie Williams at the time that the recording artist 'came out' about his beliefs in aliens and UFOs. A photograph of their meeting in Nevada appears in this book.
This connection between 'ordinary' people experiencing extraordinary events, and the conferences and media attention that builds up around them, is a running theme. Ellis himself is a 'salt of the earth' character, and is the kind of bloke you could have a good old chat with over a pint or three in an Oxfordshire pub. Yet, his books are full of esoteric research material, and his appearances at various regional conferences highlight the strength of the unusual message he relays. He moves in a circle of dedicated reporters and experiencers of the abnormal who inhabit the periphery of what is left of British (and Australian) Ufology. 'Dogged Days' provides a fascinating insight into that community - the personalities, stories and support network that they foster.
But at the core of the book are the personal experiences that Ellis has chosen to share with us. They are often terrifying. Nightmares of looming evil reach their shadowy claws into our dimension. They leave marks on skin, and psychological scars in minds, and present an ever-present threat to the experiencers. At times, the stories have a supernatural flavour, at other times the accounts are straight out of alien abduction research. Perhaps there is no real distinction between them beyond our cultural viewpoint. Ellis describes the experiences in gripping detail, and opens the door to his personal world where friends and family are affected by the psychic mysteries that abound around him.
His refreshingly frankness also extends to his discussion of various media events. He is not a fan of the U.S. it seems. Biting the hand that feeds is a risky business, but doing so indicates his independence of spirit, and is surely laudable. Here's his take on the annual UFO love-in at Laughlin:
Friday 22 February 2008: Report from Saturn's Underpants. "I'm on the road again and on the last day of Aquarius I landed at an hotel of the same name to attend the International UFO Conference in Nevada. Not quite the Age of Aquarius but this satellite of Las Vegas is definitely a leading attraction for the aged of Aquarius. Decadent and the epitome of naff, I find it strange that one of the foremost truth-seeking conferences in the world, one which encourages the higher ideals of humanity, takes place in this sink-hole of human potential and environmental resources."
Sunday 24 February 2008: Sages of Aquarius. "It isn't substance and truth that impresses here it is brashness, loudness and what seat one has scrambled to on the reptilian ferris. Not that everyone here doesn't think they are disciples and dispensers of Love and Truth because they nearly all do before they barge their way onto lifts, puff their chests and credentials, or switch into car salesman mode attempting to flog you the latest fashion in Emperor's apparel."
It's this kind of scathing honesty which, whether true or not, provides us with an insight into the integrity of the author. He has not sold out, that's clear. But I think his frustration is misplaced to some degree. The media is generally hard-headed and self-seeking, and at the end of the day any publicity is good publicity. The British print media, in particular, have made ripping people to pieces into a fine art. That is true for victims across the board, and celebrities in particular. Their lives are dominated by a Faustian agreement like no time before.
'Dogged Days' contains many photos, particularly of anomalous photos of orbs and the like, and trace marks on the author's body. There is artwork too, which I'm sure is greatly enhanced visually in the colour version of the book. The cover pertains to a frightening inter-dimensional encounter experienced by Ellis at the Andrews' house, which is disturbing and eye-catching in equal measure. Is it for real? That is surely a complex question to answer, if it can ever be properly answered at all. But at least the reader of 'Dogged Days' will be left with an awareness of the urgency of that question. Paranormal events do occur, and are certainly very real to those who experience them. By moving out of our comfort zones, we can begin to experience the richness of the experiential universe beyond.
You can order your copy through Amazon.com here:
If you live in the UK, you can obtain your copy through Amazon.co.uk here:
Book review by Andy Lloyd, 12th February 2009
Books for review can be sent to Andy Lloyd at the author/publisher's own risk.
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