Saturday, June 22, 2019

Tales of the unknown

“Berättelser om Det Okända” is a book by Clas Svahn, a mostly-skeptical Swedish Fortean, who for some time was the national chair of UFO-Sverige (one of the more skeptical UFO groups). It´s a sequel of sorts to a previous work by the same author, “Det Okända”. Since Svahn isn´t a fanatical true believer, the book might anger those who *really* believe that you can channel Atlantean priestesses, levitate tables or catch an unsuspecting mermaid (or merman) on the high seas. The general reader might find it to his liking, though, at least as light weekend reading…at least if the general reader´s first language is Swedish.

The topics somewhat haphazardly covered by Svahn include sea-serpents, mermaids, time travel, Erich von Däniken, modern prophecy, visions of Jesus, the curse of the mummy, and (not again!) the breatharians who believe you can live on pure air (or was it prana). Svahn has consulted other Forteans and skeptics on various items, and also did some research himself. Somewhat ironically, the Swedish fringe people covered are mostly unknown even in Sweden, while many of the foreign incidents are globally known (such as the sea-serpent observation of “Daedalus” or the stigmata of Padre Pio). I admit I never heard of Erik Jonas Lindberg and his death rays before, nor the (failed) prophecies of Anton Johansson.

The book probably could have needed somewhat better editing, but overall, it gives a good glimpse into the wild world of sometimes-Swedish Forteana. Of course, Atlantis is real, although I doubt you can channel one of their priestesses. But then, you´re not Dion Fortune, are you now? :P

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