In Search Of…Man, Myth, Magic
I’m feeling nostalgic today.
Being a kid in the ’70s, I remember being fascinated with things like Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, the Bermuda Triangle, “ancient astronauts,” and E.S.P.
This probably came from watching In Search Of… every week with my dad. The world was a mysterious place, filled with crystal skulls, and disappearing airplanes, and the ability to move objects with your mind. There might be a weird monster living in the woods behind your house. Just one of many dangers (like quicksand) that we grew up with that never really came to anything. The narrations by Leonard Nimoy, Orson Welles, Peter Graves, or Rod Serling only lended credibility and gravity to the possibilities.
I couldn’t wait to go to college and take part in experiments with Zener cards. Still want the patterns done as a tattoo. If the Dharma Initiative had been real, I would have been beating down their door to join.
Maybe it’s just how impressionable I was as a kid, but these sorts of things seemed darker, grittier, and more visceral in the 70s. The 80s seemed a lot more about crystals, and the “new age” and beatifically smiling blond women channeling warlords from Atlantis. Of course, there seemed to be an uptick in alien abductions, but that seemed to be the exception. Satanists, of course, were a threat, but somehow didn’t seem as mysterious as, say, the Mothman. Besides, according to the authorities, Satanists were “everywhere” and “probably even your neighbors.” Who knew what Bigfoot was, or if/when he might strike? Who cares about Satanists, when you might have a poltergeist?
Anyway, my childhood wonder about these very real, very visceral bits of “Mysterious Phenomena” continues into a present day love of books and subject matter from those times – specifically the late 60s-70s. Even if some of it was poorly researched crap, it still gave me a sense of awe. It made me curious about the world. Here’s some stuff, that I like to peruse to revisit that time, and those feelings. I have a number of parapsychology books from that era too, but they are packed up at the moment. Maybe I’ll post those another time.