Workshop title: "A Memoir of the Impossible: UFOs. Lost Cities, and the Paranormal"

Workshop description: Craig Bennett’s second book, MORE THINGS IN HEAVEN AND EARTH, is subtitled, “a memoir of the impossible: UFOs, lost cities, and the paranormal.” A life-long interest in the unexplained and unexplainable has provided him with an abundance of direct experience regarding such things, along with a good deal of additional information and insight gained through extensive reading, considerable travel, and experiences that friends have shared with him that fall into the same general category.

His interest in UFOs goes back to the launching of Sputnik, the first orbiting artificial satellite, in 1957. But since then we’ve learned that orbiting planets around stars are quite common, and many of them fall into that “Goldilocks zone” where Earth-like conditions could prevail. Water is virtually everywhere in our part of the universe, at least. There is water on Mars. There is water on the moon. And molecules that constitute precursors of organic substances have been discovered in outer space. The possibility of intelligent life somewhere other than here on Earth continues to increase.

Back in 1984, he, a couple of other Americans, and a Brazilian ventured way up into the dry tropical wilderness of northeastern Brazil in search of the ruins sought by Col. Percival H. Fawcett, whose efforts—and eventual disappearance—are depicted in the 2016 movie The Lost City of Z. They had a translation of a descriptive letter written by the Portuguese adventurers who stumbled upon the ruined city in 1753; a computer-enhanced infra-red satellite photograph of a prime target that was confirmed by the leading authority on the interpretation of such images to be man-made construction rather than a naturally occurring rock formation; and a translation of some indecipherable inscriptions on the sides of some of the ruined buildings strongly suggesting that the city was built there about two thousand years ago by people who wrote in corrupt Ptolemaic Greek. In 1984, that part of Brazil was still mostly wild, uninhabited, and essentially lawless; and it was this last circumstance that kept the group from reaching their target. But the story of the initial research, the expedition itself, and the continuing discovery of artifacts supporting the theory of trans-Atlantic contact in very ancient times makes for interesting reading.

Episodes of the paranormal have been experienced by far more of our neighbors, friends, and family than we would suppose. They just don’t talk about it for fear of being laughed at, ridiculed, or taken for someone who is mentally unstable because that’s exactly the way our society has taught us to react to claims of things we “know” are impossible. But remote viewing, for example, has long been utilized successfully by both the military and law enforcement. People who have undergone near-death experiences have revealed remarkably consistent observations of what lies just beyond the threshold of the Hereafter. Past-life regression therapy is becoming increasingly popular because it has proven to be remarkably effective. And so-on. The widespread interest in such things, along with the number and diversity of people who have experienced them in one way or another, make it difficult to deny that “[t]here are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy”—or ours either.