The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Native American Mounds & Earthworks

By Gregory L. Little, Ed.D. & Illustrations by Dee Turman

Eagle Wing Books, Inc. • P.O. Box 9972 • Memphis, TN 38190

2009, 342 pages, $29.95 • ISBN: 978-0-940829-46-6

Reviewed by Brent Raynes

It is certainly a genuinely distinct pleasure to at long last be doing this particular book review. Ever since our acquaintance began back in 1985, Greg and his wife Lora have been traveling the North American landscape far and wide gathering a ton of information and taking thousands of photographs of the mind-boggling numbers and varieties of ancient Native American mounds and earthworks that are scattered all over this vast continent of ours. From the very beginning, Greg spoke passionately of his dream and ambition to compile all of this information together into a comprehensive and highly informative encyclopedia of such sites.

At last, that dream vision has now been fully accomplished! With sites listed alphabetically by the states where they are located and can be visited, this volume is a quick and easy guide and reference, heavily illustrated and with numerous photographs, a true delight to the visual and intellectual senses of both the casually curious novice to the fully certified professional historian or archeological field investigator. This information packed book presents the very latest findings and information, often gathered personally from their own on-site field trips.

Though my wife and I have had the pleasure, on various and memorable occasions, of traveling with Greg and Lora Little to a small few of these mound sites in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama, I was still delightfully taken aback by the new things I was discovering from the moment I opened this book. For example, though my wife and I have for years been by the beautiful Civil War era Cherry mansion in Savannah, Tennessee, just 30 miles from where we live, I did not know that it was built on top of a multi-tiered platform mound! As a young boy, I spent a winter with my family in Indian Town, near Lake Okeechobee, Florida, where now I learn that there have been some incredible earthworks and platform mounds found nearby. No wonder I lucked up and found an arrowhead laying on top of the ground there as a boy. I was especially surprised and delighted to learn for the first time that my old home state of Maine, where I was born and raised, had a few mounds! I honestly didn’t know that we had had any!

So just imagine what you might learn and discover for yourself! This is a wonderful addition to any historical or ancient history researcher or enthusiast’s library collection. It also would be a wonderful addition to public libraries where young students could refer to it for research papers and school assignments.


Cleveland Ghosts: Nights of the Working Dead In the Modern Midwest

By Charles Cassady, Jr.

Schiffer Publishing Ltd. • 4880 Lower Valley Rd. • Atglen, PA 19310

2008, 224 pages, $14.99 • ISBN: 978-0-7643-3002-5

Reviewed by Brent Raynes

The author, born and raised in Cleveland, attended Syracuse University and is well known in the Cleveland area for his photo-journalistic abilities and writings. His knowledge of the city, its people, his investigative journalistic skills and his gift with words make him the perfect person to pen this thought-provoking book. He brings to life the stories and legends of Cleveland and the surrounding area, chilling tales of ghosts, spooky apparitions, poltergeists, ghost lights, the mysterious black dog of Lake Erie (an omen for sinking ships), to name but a few of the many supernatural accounts that are described within the pages of this spell-binding book.


Ghosts of Southeastern Minnesota

By Christopher Larsen

Schiffer Publishing Ltd. • 4880 Lower Valley Rd. • Atglen, PA 19310

2008, 256 pages, $14.99 • ISBN: 978-0-7643-3054-4

Reviewed by Brent Raynes

Christopher Larsen, himself a resident of Minnesota, is an award-winning author of adult novels and short stories. He also has a personal fascination with ghost stories, which is clearly reflected throughout this book. You’ll be riveted to each page as you explore with this talented author the numerous supernatural legends and ghost stories of southeastern Minnesota, tales like the haunted Opera House of Mantorville, the presence of Buffalo’s Bill’s ghost at Lanesboro’s Mrs. B’s Inn, the restless spirits at the St. James Hotel in Redwing, and many more. Over 25 haunted sites and stories, along with details on how to conduct your own personal ghost hunt.


1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance

By Gavin Menzies

Harper Collins Publishers

77-85 Fulham Palace Road • Hammersmith, London • England W6 8JB

2008, 368 pages, • ISBN: 978-0-00-726937-2

Reviewed by Brent Raynes

The international bestselling author of 1421, Gavin Menzies, extensively delved for nearly two decades into the historical evidence that supports this book’s sensational title. He contends that the European Renaissance did not come about due to a re-discovery of the ideas and ideals of classical Greece and Rome, but rather came about instead because in 1434, a Chinese fleet containing official ambassadors of the Emperor of China, sailed into Tuscany and then met with Pope Eugenius IV. According to Menzies, the pope was greatly impressed by the incredible wealth of knowledge that this Chinese delegation had brought with them. He contends that at the time China was the most technologically advanced civilization on our planet, and he presents compelling evidence that their advanced knowledge of geography was passed on to Columbus and Magellan, and that some of the well-known inventions and ideas of Da Vinci and Galileo were sparked by these Chinese visitors as well.

The book contains a wealth of thought-provoking and clearly fascinating historical information, in addition to a good number of wonderful illustrations and photographs to further titillate ones senses.


Proof of Extraterrestrial Intelligence: The Cape Canaveral Apollo Program Chronicles

By J.E. Oglesby • 860 Aviation Parkway, Suite 300 • Morrisville, NC 27560

2008, 140 pages, • ID: 4239741

Reviewed by Brent Raynes

For years, those of us who have kept their eyes and ears open and alert to the whole UFO scene Cape Canaveral (or Cape Kennedy, if you prefer) is a location that we again and again keep hearing of UFO reports. It’s only natural, what with it being the heartbeat of our nation’s space program, that we would wonder if an intelligence “out there” might not indeed be keeping a close eye on us and our progress in this particular endeavor.

Jim Oglesby’s book provides more than enough evidence to further fuel that speculation. In fact, on the back cover you can read noted British UFO author Timothy Good’s remarks wherein he speculates that this book even provides “convincing new evidence for a clandestine alien liaison program.”

Oglesby’s story began in 1967, when he worked as a clerk for the Bendix Corporation Launch Support near the John F. Kennedy Space Center’s Vehicle Assembly Building. That’s when his encounters began, his sightings (along with other witnesses) of mysterious otherworldly disc-shaped craft, cigar shaped objects, and one small apparently remote controlled disc-shaped device.

Oglesby’s speculations, research, and first-hand eyewitness observations make this a very worthwhile, compelling, and thought-provoking reading experience.