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Review: Encountering Aliens, Bigfoot, Chupacabra and Other Cryptids, and Ghosts

Ghosts haunt our dreams, Bigfoot, Chupacabra and other cryptids haunt the outdoors, and aliens haunt our skies. But do they really exist? Eyewitness accounts of people’s encounters with the unknown can help make the case for believing, but are these accounts really enough?

Eyewitness to the Unexplained Series: Encountering Aliens, Bigfoot, Chupacabra and Other Cryptids, and Ghosts: Eyewitness Accounts
Written by Chris Kincade, Katherine Krohn, Megan Cooley Peterson, Mari Bolte; Illustrated by Cristian Mallea, Michael Byers, Matt Stevens, Kako
All Ages
Capstone Press, Aug 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4914-0244-3, 978-1-4914-0243-6, 978-1-4914-0242-9, 978-1-4914-0245-0
32 pgs ea, $22.49 LIB

Everyone likes a good spooky story, and it’s made even better if it can be said to be true. The four books in the Eyewitness to the Unexplained Series set out to do just that. Every volume is filled with eyewitness accounts of the strange or unexplained and then lets “You Decide” if the events really happened.

This series follows a basic format. Each volume starts by introducing the topic with a quick history of the phenomena being explored, and then launches right into the accounts. Most of the accounts are well-known in their sphere of influence. Anyone familiar with Alien lore will know the stories of Betty and Barney Hill, Travis Walton, and the Phoenix Lights. There are few people who have never heard of Bigfoot, or seen at least snippets of the Patterson footage. Other cryptids might be more regionally known, but stories still get out about the Jersey Devil and Mothman. Ghosts have permeated human societies for thousands of years, so stories of the Amityville House and Robert the Haunted Doll still send chills down our spines.

Each account is told in two to four pages with art illustrating the text. The text itself is short and direct without feeling simplified. After each account, there is a second section called “You Decide” that gives some additional information, such as what the eyewitness did after the encounter, or things that could have affected their story. It’s hard to say if this section is meant to encourage critical thinking, as the wording can come off as biased. At the end of every volume there is a glossary for words specific to the topic and a “Read More” section that lists books that can be looked up for further reference. The art balances a realistic look for the people and more fantastic appearance for the creatures. It is very colorful and sets the tone well for each story.

The Eyewitness to the Unexplained series is an entertaining way to feed a hunger for supernatural stories. As eyewitness accounts, they are non-fiction, thus making them a little more likely to be believed. I would have liked to have seen a little more emphasis on critical thinking and the questionable reliability of eyewitness accounts. This series had the potential to introduce some critical thinking skills and apply them to the accounts. I wish it would have taken that extra step. Still, it is a good introduction to many of these supernatural creatures and a place to begin exploring their existence.

Review copies provided by publisher.

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Lori Henderson About Lori Henderson

Lori Henderson is a mother of two teenage daughters and an avid reader. She blogs about manga at her personal blog Manga Xanadu as well as contributing and editing for Manga Village. She blogs about all things fandom (mainly Doctor Who) at her other personal blog Fangirl Xanadu. She's been at it so for over 5 years now and counting!

Comments

  1. Bigfoot vs Alien would be a PC game I supposed.

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