When this book project began 29 years ago, the world was a different place. The IBM PC had been on the market for only about a year, and you could own one for the tidy sum of $4000 in today’s money—that is, as long as you could figure out what to do with it. It had also been only a year since the launch of the first space shuttle, and the release of the Iran hostages. 1982 began with an inflation rate of 8.39%, and ended with an unemployment rate of 10.8%. The emergence of the World Wide Web was years away. Cable television was available in very limited markets, purchased primarily by those outside the range of good antenna reception, and was limited almost exclusively to the transmission of conventionally broadcasted network stations. Popular TV shows were M*A*S*H, Dallas, and Three’s Company.
The subject of paranormal phenomena was still considered a taboo to mainstream culture and science. The majority of books on the topic were relegated to the New Age rack at the bookstore, and consisted mostly of sensationalized ghost stories and other spooky tales aimed more at entertainment than serious inquiry. Of the few serious scientific published works, most were devoted to disproving altogether the existence of paranormal phenomena. The groundbreaking TV series Sightings that investigated the paranormal, and the fictional series The X-Files, both of which raised awareness of the supernatural and helped bring it more into the public conscious were a decade off.
Physicists were still in the process of collecting sufficient data and observations to enable them to even ask the right questions about the fundamental nature of the universe and reality. The Hubble Telescope, a key source of this vital data, was not to be launched for another 8 years. Electron microscopes were not yet powerful enough to view structures on the atomic level. The first protron-antiprotron collider went online just the previous year, and the high-energy Tevatron in 1983. The failure of the latter to yield the anticipated findings (like the discovery of the elusive Higgs boson) resulted in the “build it a little bigger” philosophy that led to today’s giant CERN Large Hadron Collider that became fully operational in 2009.
Things are different today. The flurry of recent TV shows devoted to the paranormal are for the first time presenting case studies and hard evidence to a widespread audience. The proliferation of affordable digital media devices in the hands of private citizens who are recording evidence of UFOs, apparitions, EVP and other strange occurrences, coupled with the power of the Internet to immediately publish them to a worldwide audience is making it increasingly untenable for old-school deniers to simply dismiss these experiences as so much delusion or hysteria. The continuing difficulties in finding the physical evidence needed to conclusively confirm the Standard Model of the universe is leading an increasing number of physicists to explore the possibilities of a “new physics” in which scientific materialism gives way to a vision of the cosmos that includes both physical and extra-physical elements. This revolution carries with it the prospect of a new scientific validation for principles long held by those of faith to replace the outworn arguments pitting science against religion in a world where the importance of spiritual concerns has grown increasingly marginalized by the modern trends of social secularism and mass consumerism. It is truly an exciting time to be alive.
Both the book and this website are dedicated to those hearty souls who are not satisfied with pre-packaged, stock explanations championed by the establishment. It’s for pioneers, free thinkers, and those with a genuine thirst for Truth. I will be posting here regularly with the latest news, reviews and commentary on matters relating to the theme of the book. I welcome you to contribute your viewpoints and insights by posting your comments.
It is my honor and privilege to join with all of you in our mutual quest for the ultimate Truth.
—Thomas P. Fusco