So we took a day trip to the Adventures Unlimited Bookstore in Kempton, Illinois, which is also the Headquarters of the World Explorers Club (where the annual Ancient Mysteries Conferences are held). The bookstore is attached to the publisher Adventures Unlimited. They publish a lot of the awesome weirdo outer-limits and conspiracy books: Anti-gravity crafts, cryptozoology, ancient Egyptian astronauts, aliens and secret societies, Atlantis, all that stuff. The store was all I wanted it to be and more.
When we got there some of the lights were off when we walked in and it wasn't until a few minutes in that the woman working was all, "Oh! Sorry! I should turn more of these lights on!" which was awesome and hilarious and exactly the type of thing I wanted to happen.
I'd always heard it was a cafe also, but the cafe part might not, well, be a cafe anymore. It was more like there was a coffee pot and a few snacks with price tags on them. There was also an additional room that was clearly the office (formally a cafe?). I peeked my head into and I guessed it's where they did the publishing because I saw the computers, stacks of books, paper. I theorized it was where they conspired about the lizard beings from Sirius B who settled on Easter Island who shot Kennedy . You know, Mulder's office.
In addition to all their own Adventures Unlimited titles (might I suggest ordering their free catalog?), the books that they sell were used books mostly, of the mayhemic sort you would expect, like as if Quimby's were a used bookstore. I stocked up with some pretty awesome ones. My favorite was Hollywood and the Supernatural by Sherry Hansen-Steiger and Brad Steiger.
This book is preposterous of course, in the best possible way, like clearly all constructed out of hearsay, grocery store headlines and things everybody knows (Elizabeth Taylor had a feeling her husband would die in a plane crash, AND HE DID! Celebrities hire psychics! Polanski filmed Rosemary's Baby in the same building outside of which John Lennon was shot, DISMISSED AS COINCIDENCE!) But still, I can't get enough of it. What I would love is for someone to do a Hollywood Supernatural Babylon, which this book isn't that, but I'm just saying. It would be awesome if the writer was an angry-queen-like-Kenneth-Anger-equivalent. And the topic would be not just Hollywood gossip but supernatural Hollywood gossip.
But back to this book, my favorite quote is from Gene Roddenberry, on pg 221:
"I don't know how many worlds are going on all at once. All of us may be living in a different world on which we just sort of correspond. We're reaching each other through those dimensions. I think an exciting way to look at things is to consider that the ultimate power, the ultimate particle, the ultimate meaning is thought itself."
I love this idea. Like we're never knowing exactly what someone feels or what it's like to be them exactly -- the best we can do is try to communicate from the personal islands we all live on, since all of our minds are contained in different containers -- but the fact that consciousness even exists is sort of the ultimate amazing thing (the irony being, of course consciousness thinks it's the most amazing thing in the world; look what's telling itself that -- which is pretty much the joke Emo Phillips told: "I used to think the brain was the most amazing part of the body. Then I thought, well, look what's telling me that.")
Also at this store I bought some random book I found that is clearly a self-published thing of some sort called Navis Caelum, which is about the physics of UFOs.
Appropriately and hilariously, there is no info about the author other than a listing for the copyright belonging to someone going under the name (as printed in the inside of the title page) "Grey_0011223455677789." (And yes, when this name is Googled, leaves you with the note "Your search - Grey_0011223455677789 - did not match any documents," which is ridiculously X-Files-ian.) There are, of course, web sites listed on this same page: www.naviscaelum.com and www.theshipfromthesky.com, which both forward to an Amazon page for a Kindle e-book (no other formats listed!) called The Physics of UFOs, with a different graphic than the one I held up in the picture above. I'm assuming that's the same book. The author is listed with a shorter name as "Grey_00112234." And when I click on that author's name that's the only book they have and that's the only info about them, that they have this one book. And there are no reviews for the book. But the description of the book is pretty much what this book was about: "In the future space-time bending technology will become the means for travel, how will we use this technology to build spacecraft capable of traveling to distant destinations? If you ever wanted a look into how a UFO might work and how deep space travel will one day be possible, this is a definite read. A highly illustrated non mathematical book, that starts with the work of Galileo and moves through modern physics. Includes a bonus section: The Shape of space."
Another hilarious thing about this book is that the inside of the cover there's some crazy crushed bug skeleton or something, like a butterfly-moth thing:
|You can kind of see its wings in the picture.|
(Also, I should mention I looked up what "Navis Caelum" meant, and the main info that came up is steampunky stuff and constellations.)
The best quote in this book is this one (pg 3):
"I have been asked where I got this knowledge from? Does it matter? If I said I worked in a top secret government lab, that I was given the information by an advanced society, or perhaps it was leaked to me by an unknown source, the credit of the knowledge would only be as good as your belief in that knowledge. In the end, you must be the judge."
WHAT? "Does it matter?" Um, YES IT FUCKING MATTERS. Is this info from a top secret government lab? Was it leaked by a source? Would somebody who worked for some secret MIB-ish source really going to distribute their info by written word, let alone resort to shitty print-on-demand publishing with shitty pixelated graphics to break the news to the world about alien technology? Might I have have approached this book differently if I actually believed this was from someone who was a primary source of space/time travel technology? Like if I thought a Timelord wrote this I'd get some fucking graph paper and a calculator out and make a trip to Menard's, if you know what I'm saying.
The book starts with explanation of relativity and pertinant science, but the second half is where things really get into the business of different types of UFOs and how they fly. Specifically, this type of travel needs to rely on "shakers," which are devices that move energy between "emitters," which make dark energy. Emitters create a dense beam of R-Gamma radiation which is important in some way that I don't totally understand. Also involved, jot this shit down: stainless steel casing, calabi-yau spheres, and loops that move out without interacting with matter.
The ship I would be most in favor of using for a journey would be a "moving star cruiser," which is the Lincoln Towncars of galactic travel. A rotating ship with acceleration and warp, it also has the ability to glide in such a way that passengers feel no movement. Some gravity up front, less in back, like a reverse space mullet. That's my kind of ride. All in favor of pimping your star cruisers with stickers raise your hands in the ayer. I love that I bought this book at this dusty weird store, that when I research the title and the author later, I find them to be a big mystery (with a yahoo e-mail address!). P.S.: The internet was made for research like this.
Also at this bookstore I got Carl Sagan's Dragons of Eden and 2 awesome pulpy old magazines:
Of course the bookstore where I got all of this stuff was in the middle of rural Illinois where, appropriately, our Maps function on our smart phones stopped working when we tried to leave. Just to find our way out of Kempton we had to drive forever, to escape from the town's electromagnetic-psychoytropic force field over our GPS signal.