Brian Allan is a prolific author of exceptionally researched books on the paranormal and new science and a passionate and uncompromising investigator and commentator on all things mysterious. A formidable and true Elder Statesman of paranormal research.
From the outset I wish to emphasise that I was not solicited to write this review, but after reading what is contained in the pages of ‘Dogged Days’, the latest offering from the pen of Ellis Taylor, I felt it was the least I could do. It is not often that I have reviewed a book which simultaneously provided considerable food for thought and at the same time created no small amount of unease. This work is not only a biography, the account of Ellis’s eventful life lived alternately on opposite sides of the world, (Australia, where he was born, and the United Kingdom), but it is also the spiritual quest of a man some might regard as a shaman. Throughout his life Ellis has, normally inadvertently, encountered and grappled with many beings and entities that of necessity must fall into one of two distinct categories. Either they are entirely imaginary and owe their existence to an overactive imagination, or they inhabit what Ellis frequently describes as ‘The Otherworld’.
It is my considered opinion that they fall into the latter of the two categories mentioned above and it is here that I must declare an interest, for I too have had similar (although not identical) encounters and in addition I have had the pleasure of meeting many of the (human) characters who populate the pages of Ellis’s book. After reading this observation the reader should not therefore assume that what follows is nothing but a valueless exercise in sycophancy, for it is not, far from it. When I contacted Ellis and offered to write this review, he made it clear that above all else he wanted honesty and that is precisely what he gets, warts and all. I should make it clear that although Ellis and I both, in the main, read from the same page, we also differ slightly on many points and this is entirely as it should be. However, these differences of opinion are nothing major, but are instead the result of using slightly different contexts and frames of reference, Ellis tends to the spiritual and I to the technological, and since spirituality is but another form of technology the end results are nigh on identical.
First the style; Ellis writes with a light, sure and witty touch and his obvious passion for his subject, the paranormal in all its forms, shines through in how he presents his account. The result is a splendid ‘tour de force’ describing a life spent exploring a demon haunted universe viewed through the eyes of a visionary, and the end result is by turns matter-of-fact and absolutely terrifying but invariably absorbing. In fact it is the very intensity and non-human ‘presence’ of some of his night time encounters that make other aspects of this work seem almost pedestrian by comparison. It is no lie to say that this reviewer wonders how Ellis succeeded in retaining his sanity following some of the experiences he describes in the book. Helpfully, where applicable his sources are mentioned (and most welcome too) and are worth some ‘surfing’ in their own right for the additional details and links.
Taken on a personal level, what is described here by Ellis might, due to its highly personal and invasive nature, create concern for the safety and well being of the experiencer, but that aside the impressions and visions he recounts could sit entirely comfortably on either side of the ET divide, but are they ET or are they not? This single question reopens the vigorous and highly polarised debate separating the individuals who regard ETs as a unique phenomenon and the other camp who regard them as part of a much wider phenomenon involving a multidimensional reality. Fortunately, Ellis, who, I suspect, tends to the second view, provides vivid accounts, accompanied by photographs, of the marks frequently left on his body by his night ‘visitors’. They take various forms including intricate line ‘pictures’ and what appear to be finger marks clearly imprinted on his skin, they appear to have been printed using heat. Rather worryingly, some of the marks described in the book have the slightly queasy appearance of radiation burns. These could, I suppose, be dismissed as somehow self-inflicted, but for the fact that they were seen by his partner when they occurred. In addition his skin was not damaged or creased in any way and ‘creasing’ is something that frequently occurs when bed sheets leave marks on the skin. Ellis explains how his partner was obviously (and understandably) extremely upset by these events and benefited greatly from counselling. His partner also supplies her own accounts of some of the events she witnessed and these are included in the book. Interestingly, as an investigator and researcher of paranormal phenomena I had previously seen photographic images of ‘line picture’ marks like those in the book taken by others who have experienced events similar to those described by Ellis. While this is obviously not watertight corroboration or proof of anything supernatural, it does give food for thought.
The very nature of these nocturnal visits is perhaps the most alarming aspect of the book; the mere fact that ‘they’, whatever ‘they’ are, can simply appear at will whenever and wherever they want. The fact that Ellis heard a voice whisper, ‘Peace, no harm’, during these encounters is neither here nor there; ‘they’ have no right to effectively break in to someone’s home during the hours of darkness and take them (or anyone else for that matter) without explicit consent. The possible implications of these actions nor the circumstances surrounding them are not discussed in the book, but should provide the reader with much cause for speculation and concern. The book is profusely illustrated with B&W pictures showing the places and people Ellis encountered on his travels plus other aspects of what is detailed in the text. In addition to his one-on-one experiences Ellis also treats us to accounts of his visits with some of his friends and the astonishing events that occurred when he visited the homes of the Andrews family and John and Katie Pickering are almost worth the price of the book alone. The work also includes a word of warning and one that I will wholeheartedly endorse, leave Ouija boards well alone unless in the company of an experienced medium or psychic. Most of the time the messages are harmless, but occasionally the entities that communicate through them are malicious liars and the dabbler is well advised to treat them with great respect.
How to categorise this book? No doubt it will end up among the many UFO and New Age related titles that grace the shelves of many bookstores, but in my humble opinion it does not belong there. Instead, I believe it should be on the shelves devoted to the occult and magical, because although at first sight a work impinging on Ufology, abduction and missing time, all of which are facets of the UFO legacy, in reality this is book of magic and mysticism. As I said at the start of the review, this is the story of a modern day shaman and if the truth be told shamans are magicians in all but name. If there is only one possible criticism of this excellent work it is this; the title does not do it credit, not by a long shot, the one thing missing below the main title, ‘Dogged Days’, is a small subtitle saying, ‘A Book of Wonders’, for this surely is what it is and I heartily commend it to any student of the paranormal and the occult. Here is truth and more power to your elbow Ellis.
Brian Allan is a UFO/Paranormal researcher, lecturer and writer. He is the Scottish Director of Strange Phenomena Investigations (SPI UK) (Scotland) and co-director of P.E.G (Paranormal Encounter Group).
Ben Emlyn-Jones is a writer, broadcaster and researcher.
From the moment I first encountered the work of Ellis Taylor I knew that the world was not the place I previously thought it was. For many years now he has been compassionately and courageously sharing his remarkable life story in his books and articles and Dogged Days is the most recent instalment in that epic tale. Ellis is an Australian-born paranormal researcher, author, lecturer, hypnotherapist and numerologist. He lives in Perth, Australia and Oxford and you can usually see him at conferences and study events all over the world. This is how I first met him: he’s a Probe Buddy. You can read my report on his latest Probe lecture here: http://hpanwo.blogspot.com/2008/10/uk-probe-conference-october-08.html
Ellis describes himself as an “otherworld traveller” and throughout his life he has spent time experiencing a world that is normally hidden from view behind the screen that demarcates the universe that we know as “Reality”. Modern Conformist Western Logical Materialism constantly tells us (sometimes with a twinge of desperation!) that “Reality” is all that exists and there is nothing beyond it, but this is not true. I too have had first-hand experience of phenomena beyond the veil, but not as extreme as Ellis’. Ellis says on the blurb of the book: “We’re informed that humans who come forward to recount their contact with other worlds and beings are merely chasing glory or making… money. Well let me tell you that there is little or no money in the field and there is certainly no glory.” And I’d go as far as to say that it’s worse than merely “no glory”. Anyone who speaks out about encounters like Ellis’ is made a laughing-stock and few people are willing to brave that. Ellis should therefore be congratulated for this reason alone. I wonder how many other people have had similar experiences to Ellis but dare not talk about them.
I live in Oxford too and, although I’d never originally met Ellis in my hometown, his work has made me look at the city in a different light and encouraged me to do my own research and make my own discoveries; see here: http://hpanwo.blogspot.com/2007/08/illuminati-architecture-in-oxford.html . The history of this ancient and fascinating city, like all history, exists on two levels: the official and the folk. It is in the folk history that the true revelations can be found and a surprising amount of it has been discovered through otherworld journeys like Ellis’. Hauntings, ghosts, intuitive revelation, secret chambers and passageways and underhand plots.
Ellis has been having these experiences his whole life. As a small baby he remembers seeing “the men” in his bedroom, “men” who are not human and in fact not any creature of our world. He’s discovered marks on his body that cannot be explained and severe pain that has no obvious cause. He’s suffered from missing time on many occasions in his life. In the book he explains how this happened when he was driving near the town of North Walsham in Norfolk. He decided to break his journey to make a phone call, pulled up in a layby and saw a lorry parked in front of him. On the side of the vehicle was the word “REPCO”, and that came back to him later when he saw a TV documentary on the Moors Murderers which featured a vehicle with the same word on it. After a while he continued his journey, went down a road and came to a no-entry sign that he’d not seen before. He slammed on his brakes and almost collided with the cars behind him. Eventually when he arrived at his destination he had a few hours missing time! Clearly something strange happened to him in that lay-by and it wouldn’t be the first time. To this day he can’t recall what it was; although this might be possible one day with hypnosis. Oddly enough the place where Ellis’ experience took place was very near the base of the old Sandringham Company of the Norfolk Regiment, an entire army unit that mysteriously vanished while fighting at Gallipoli in 1915. The fact that he was reminded of this “REPCO” van on such a TV programme has a special poignancy for Ellis. Part of the awareness of being an otherworld traveller concerns the true motive for some of the most terrible crimes humans ever commit: the kidnap, abuse and murder of children. They are often far more than random killings by deranged perverts. Some are highly organized and done for evil occult reasons. Dogged Days, like Ellis last book In These Signs Conquer, is at times disturbing reading, but as Ellis says: “Despite all the brickbats that come with Contact you realize that you have been privileged to catch an awesome glimpse at creation.”
One of things I like most about Ellis’ stories is that because so many occur in Oxford I can easily visit the places where they took place. Ellis cut his adult teeth in the same place I did: The Minchery Farm Country Club. It was near here where he saw a spectral figure in white. There’s a Roman road that runs through that area and it’s a hotbed of paranormal activity. I’m familiar with this district and live just round the corner from it, but the area has changed. The old Minchery Farm club has been bulldozed down and a massive sports and leisure complex has been built over the top of it centred on Oxford United’s new horseshoe-shaped stadium. Ellis points out how the fortunes of the team have declined since they moved to their new home. The former Division One (Premiership) leaders and Milk Cup winners are now skipping in and out of the bottom of the league. (In Ellis’ previous books and articles he goes into detail about the symbolism and numerology of structures like the Kassam Stadium)
Dogged Days had an effect on me that no other book has in that it triggered a forgotten, and possibly suppressed, memory of something very significant that happened to me at Green College, Oxford when I was 10 years old. Ellis says that there is a portal to the underworld beneath the college’s famous observatory tower. If you’ve got similar lacunae in your memory then the book might help you too. This could be pleasant or unpleasant, but either way it can only be enlightening.
Ellis recounts many things that have happened to him since his last book was published. He’s taken trips to the UFO conference in Nevada (See the Probe lecture report), been on TV in Ireland with Paola Harris and took a trip to a Cornish hotel where the staff appeared otherworldly and he and his companion were met by a strange art dealer. He gives his own impressions of the death of Dean Warwick at the Autumn 2006 Probe Conference, a very controversial incident that has split the Conference circuit down the middle. (Here’s what I wrote about it myself: http://hpanwo.blogspot.com/2007/08/dean-warwick.html ) The world Ellis has investigated is far from safe and sheltered. He has uncovered horrors on an abyssal level, but also great joys. One of the most moving incidents reported in the book was where he is contacted by the spirit of his recently-deceased 9-year-old niece.
Dogged Days is a book written on a human level in a simple style. It tells the story of a man like any other, someone you can identify with and sympathise with, but one who walks a tightrope suspended between this universe and others unseen that burst our lives out of the illusion that we’ve been told is the One Sole Reality. What he has experienced is real. Other people around him have witnessed some of the strangeness that he is involved in, including myself. His experiences made me laugh, they made me cry, and above all they made me wonder! Hopefully they will make you wonder too.
The strange life and times of a child from eternity.
Paranormal experiences with Extraterrestrials, Humans,
& Beings from other worlds
By Ellis Taylor
Cover illustration by visionary artist Neil Hague, from a sketch by Ellis Taylor.
My personal life story of true encounters with conventions’ impossibilities.
(From the book)
I have written this book to attest and to demonstrate that interactions with other worlds and unseen realities, and of course their inhabitants, are a natural human experience; more than that they participate, as we do, in providing vital faculties for unending expression through the infinite scope and limited facets of Creation’s ambitions.
I want people who have remarkable experiences that convention denies and the orthodox scorn to know that in the great cast of Creation they are not the strange or gullible ones; that they are not alone and that what they have experienced is crucial.
I want people to believe in themselves, and the power of their own experiences. I want people to remember who they are, what they are, where they have come from and where they have been. I want them to appreciate the mysterious personal synchronicities and connections that ripple quietly, and loudly sometimes, many times every day. In every way I want them to notice their life.
To assist those who research these matters I have attempted to be as forthright as possible and to give as many personal details as I can, because it may be that such information collated from ‘experiencers’ offers them significant clues to why some of us have these so called extraordinary experiences and some do not.
Whatever your reasons are for reading this book I hope you find it informative, entertaining and inspiring. Thank you so much for being here, and for being interested.