Book: The Cryptoterrestrials
Type of Book: Non-fiction, speculation, metaphysics, aliens
Why Do I Consider This Book Odd: Because it posits a theory that the little green men, I mean grays, are not from outer space but really live on or in Earth and have been deceiving us for years.
Availability: Published by Anomalist Books in 2010, you can get a copy here:
Comments: I had planned to do an “Alien Intervention Week” here on IROB, but at some point, I think I realized that discussing all of the books I read on the topic in the space of one week would kill my spirit for months. Most of the books spoke of a mindset that challenges my love of the odd, steeped in strange science and spurious proof that if challenged would result in months of unsettling e-mails sent to me from people whose sense reality would make it hard to respond, yet their earnestness would demand a response. So I am going to spread these books out – it may take me years to discuss the handful I read – so that I can distribute the agony in such a manner that I don’t get emotional cramps every time I need to check my e-mail.
Plus I’m not that “into” aliens as a whole. Discussing aliens has become not unlike discussing religion for me – a tiresome argument that no one can win. Yet the idea that aliens have intervened in the human race for assorted reasons falls into this category of “fringe” for me so of course I am drawn to it. So it’s not like I can’t read it even as every bit of my common sense tells me to leave the topic alone. It’s maddening.
You know how it is.
But this book was a reasonable breath of fresh air where odd theories of aliens meddling with humans beings go. Mac Tonnies wrote a fascinating book of speculative ideas and it was disheartening, to say the least, to learn that this interesting book was published posthumously, for Tonnies passed away in 2009 at the age of 34. If you have some time one day, comb through Tonnies’ blog, which I link to above. His ideas on transhumanism are engrossing.
In a way, this book is a perfect example of the sorts of ideas that made me a fan of the odd. When I was a kid, books on Forteana were not so insistent. They posited what happened (fish falling from the sky), posited a few potential answers (waterspouts drawing water and fish from streams, or an angry god), and left the reader to wonder and maybe discuss the topic. Now the book on fish falling from the sky has spurious science to prove a particular point of view, all other points are dismissed, and the discussion becomes entrenched and adversarial. Tonnies’ book made the fun of Forteana real again.
So Tonnies puts forth the idea that aliens are not from other planets but may be “cryptoterrestrials.” Humans or near-humans or humanoid-like creatures that live among us. Those who see little green men or little gray men are not seeing creatures from other planets but instead are seeing creatures that have lived among us on Earth. Hidden creatures that may or may not be our genetic brethren, but that have nevertheless been with us for millennia.
This is an interesting idea and Tonnies goes about discussing it using a calm erudition that was thrilling (and appalling in a way because he is gone and there will be no more from him). His prose is very crisp and delivers complex ideas in manageable bites so that readers like me don’t choke. But I think the best way to show you this book is to give you snippets that resonated with me, examples of an excellent mind and an excellent book.