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Redemption of the Damned: Vol. 1 Aerial Phenomena
A Centennial Re-evaluation of Charles Fort’s ‘Book of the Damned’

by Martin Shough with Wim van Utrecht, Foreword by Bob Rickard

Trade Paperback, 412 Pages, 250 Illustrations

$55.95, ISBN: 978-1-949501-07-0

Genre(s): UFOs Historical Mysteries


Charles Fort published his first and most influential book, The Book of the Damned, a century ago in 1919, collecting together many historical reports of strange aerial phenomena.

Since the birth of the UFO controversy in 1947 Fort’s writings have been cited in countless books and web pages. Yet this is the first time in a hundred years that researchers have systematically verified the sources and content of every one of these oft-recycled stories, correcting many errors, placing each case in its historical context, and submitting it to a careful scientific investigation in an attempt to find a conventional answer.

What were these reported phenomena? Is it possible to find non-exotic explanations? With the advantage of modern knowledge, methods, and resources, in most cases the answer proves to be yes. Some of the solutions found may shock the general reader and surprise even specialists. Yet in the end a few well-documented events remain unexplained.

About the Author:

MARTIN SHOUGH is author or co-author of various books, papers, and reports, and has been involved in a number of notable investigations. He is a Research Associate for the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena (NARCAP) and is the author of several NARCAP Technical Reports. He has contributed to the book UFOs: 1947-1987 (Fortean Tomes, 1987) and the monograph Report on Aerial Phenomena Observed Near the Channel Islands, UK, on April 23, 2007 (UPIAR, Torino, 2008 ), co-authored Return to Magonia (Anomalist Books 2015), and authored Truant Boy: Art, Authenticity & Paul McCartney (Monymusk Media, 2017). He has also published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, Magonia, and Darklore. He has been a photolithographer, semi-professional musician, artist and gallery owner. He lives in the north of Scotland.

WIM VAN UTRECHT dates his interest in unusual sky phenomena back to 1974. In 1994 he initiated CAELESTIA, a research initiative that seeks to find explanations rather than promote mysteries. In 2007, together with Frederick Delaere, he set up the Belgisch UFO-meldpunt to monitor UFO reports in Belgium. He is co-author of two books: Unidentified Aerial Object Photographed near Zwischbergen, Switzerland, on July 26, 1975 (CAELESTIA, 1995, with Frits van der Veldt) and Belgium in UFO Photographs - Volume 1 (UPIAR, 2018, with Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos). His interests include photography and eccentric meteorological phenomena.

This is a huge (410 page), large format (8.27 × 11.69 inch), full-color book with more than 250 illustrations!

We apologize for the high cost of this book, but it's the closest thing to a coffee table book that we have ever produced.

For this reason, we have also made this book available as a pdf ebook through Google Play at a considerable discount:

Redemption of the Damned pdf ebook

Very important: This ebook does not have flowing text and therefore is not readable on smartphones and small tablets. But it's fine for laptops, desktops, and large (iPad-sized) tablets.



A Centennial Re-evaluation of Charles Fort’s ‘Book of the Damned’

Foreword by Bob Rickard
1. Celestial Vandals and a Swarm of Brown Bubbles
2. The “Terrible Something”
3. Swarms Crossing the Sun, and Weird Fireballs
4. Squid Boats and Poplar Seeds
5. Dharamsala to Durham
6. A Ghost, Professor Coffin, and a Plague of Locusts
7. A Ring for “The Lady”
8. Mystery Lights Baffle A Diplomat and an Astronomer
9. Two Tornadoes and Two Telescopic Hosts
10. From Wales to Brazil and Back
11. Antipodal Mysteries: Western Australia and Jersey City
12. Of Cranes and Candle Balloons
13. Mr. Maunder’s “Zeppelin” and a Star in Daylight
14. More Multitudes Swarm Over the Sun
15. Steel and Glass: Reflections on Krakatoa
16. A Bermuda Derelict and More Balls of Fire
17. Of Bats, Beams, and Birds
18. Korean Light Show: Conundrum or Chimera?
19. Giant Wheels and Flatfish in the Sky
20. Trains, Moons and Balloons
21. A Summer of Red Rainbows
22. “... below the clouds and travelling fast”
23. Strange Storms: The Bishop’s “torpedo”
24. A Vanishing Star and The Crow on the Moon
25. The Splendid Aeroplane, a Fleet of Airships, and Triangles in the Clouds
26. A Mystery Comet and the Transparent Dirigible
Case index

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What they're saying:

“Now, on the centenary of Charles Fort’s first book, The Book of the Damned, comes a detailed study of this work. The authors have tackled all 82 of Fort’s anomalous observations in the fields of astronomy, meteorology and atmospheric optics and subjected them to detailed critical scrutiny against period maps, investigation reports, and additional first-hand testimony. In this research, the advancing digitisation of the world’s historical, intellectual and scientific media – so much of which was not available to Fort at the time – is demonstrated to be a tool of considerable value... Redemption of the Damned is set out clearly and precisely, and there is the promise of more to come. It is the sort of study that true forteans have long hoped for and will welcome unequivocally as adding considerably to what we know of Fort, his work and its implication.” — from the Foreword by Bob Rickard, Founding Editor, Fortean Times

"... It is an exquisite pleasure to sit with a great work like Redemption of the Damned. The book shows how far you can go with critical source work, patience, thoroughness and cooperation, when exploring unfolding experiences, and how cautious you should be in interpreting experiences that lie far back in time and can immediately appear mysterious and inexplicable …  It is an insanely thorough and admirable detective work documented on more than 400 closely packed pages, over 800 notes and, not least, very interesting photos, drawings, maps, tables, etc." — Kim Møller Hansen, Scandinavian UFO Information

"The research that has gone into Redemption is nothing short of staggering. Shough appears to know everything, only starting with the meteorology or astronomy or
biology relevant to the circumstances but also embracing technology, transportation, and infrastructure as well as eyesight capacity, biography, culture, and political, social, and geographical contexts. Beyond that, Shough, already possessed of a considerable reputation within ufology for smarts and fairness (often enough not synonymous), inspires trust... Redemption is a worthy and necessary addition to the small library of scientifically and informationally weighty UFO volumes. From this day forward, no naïve reader ought to plunge into Fort’s Book of the Damned without Shough with Utrecht close at hand." — Jerome Clark, Journal of Scientific Exploration

“It is fitting and wonderful that in the centennial anniversary year of the publication of Charles Fort's iconic work The Book of the Damned in 1919 a 402 page (A4 size) book, Redemption of the Damned by Martin Shough with Wim van Utrecht, has appeared. . . . It should be studied intensely by anyone who investigates Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. . . . The authors . . . bring a huge amount of research to focus on these ‘damned’ anomalies . . . . Some of their explanations might be a stretch, but it’s the detail, the process and the exploration that is laid out, that impresses. Thus we see a clear reflection of the UFO/UAP controversy that exists today and here lies the book’s greatest benefit. It should be the focus of everybody that calls themselves UFO or UAP researchers and/or investigators to undertake such detailed investigations, with a focus to explain. . . . Redemption of the Damned reminded me most of Allen Hendry’s 1979 book The UFO Handbook in which the IFO (Identified Flying Object) becomes . . . an effective calibration of all the aerial and associated mysteries we focus on as researchers and investigators. There is much to fascinate, learn and enjoy in this wonderful study. " — Bill Chalker, The Oz Files

“Excellent” — Micah Hanks, Mysterious Universe

Redemption of the Damned [is] an essential reference work.” — Chris Aubeck, co-author of Wonders in the Sky (with Jacques Vallee) and Return to Magonia

Redemption of the Damned constitutes an accurate ‘revaluation after one hundred years’ of the work of Charles Fort, an author often cited, little read, even less understood. For the first time the eye and the skills of contemporary scholars have recovered the original sources of all the anomalous observations reported by Fort  . . . subjecting them to a careful critical examination . . . in an attempt to find rational explanations, which has been possible in a large number of cases, while some well documented events remain unexplained. . . . Needless to say, it cannot be omitted from the personal library of every scholar or lover of unusual aerial phenomena.”— Edoardo Russo, Centro Italiano Studi Ufologici  

"“Damned fine research . . . . Each case is a model of how historical Fortean investigation should be done. . . . This is a remarkable achievement of not just Fortean study, but more general historical study..." — John Rimmer, Magonia


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