Oddities - PDF book by Rupert T. Gould

Oddities: A Book of Unexplained Facts

Oddities



From Introduction:


Here, in oddities, the reader is introduced for the first time to the Berbalangs of Cagayan Sulu, inhabitants of a small island at the southern end of the Philippines. These most unusual natives are rumoured to be vampires who possess the frightening ability to leave their bodies and travel through the night in the form of luminous and deadly messengers of death.

 A report on their activities comes directly from the eye-witness account of a reputable British citizen. Then there is the delightful account of the devil’s hoofmarks that appeared in the snow, simultaneously, over a hundred-mile area. This singular visitation was apparently undaunted by walls, locks, heights, distances or any other natural obstacle. 

The study is complete with maps, on-the-spot sketches, and actual accounts that appeared in the press. Gould applies his broad knowledge, enlightened scholarship and shrewd wit to the evidence to arrive at several provocative possibilities that have never before come under consideration. 

The reader is next invited to ponder the validity of Crosse’s acari, insect-like creatures which were produced from dead matter by an electrical process. Gould con- siders the possibility that Crosse, a dedicated and skilled scientific amateur, may actually have been the first to succeed in creating life. There is, next, the case of the moving coffins in the vaults at Barbados and similar cases which occurred in England. In these instances, to the puzzlement of every- one involved, coffins that had been hermetically sealed

Rupert T. Gould , His wonderfully entertaining two volumes Oddities and Enigmas were first published in 1928 and 1929 respectively. These books are remarkable for their unprejudiced and penetrating enquiry and their incidental scholarship. They are also grand entertainment. Gould brings to these mysteries the charm of the born storyteller who cannot resist adding all those perceptive asides of odd or diverting information gathered in years of patient alert curiosity. 

This wholesome spirit of curiosity runs through all of Gould’s work. No matter how bizarre the subject, Gould brought to it the same patient analysis that distinguished his practical work with the marine chronometer or the intricate mechanism of old typewriters. He wrote with the care of a scientist, the wit of a tolerant and humane man, the background knowledge of a scholar and the romantic interest of a schoolboy. He was a member of the bibliophile club, the Sette of Odd Volumes, founded by the antiquarian bookseller Bernard Quaritch. Oddities and Enigmas went through a number of editions and are as fascinating today as when they were first written. Amongst Gould’s other popular works are: The Case for the Sea-Serpent (1931) and The Loch Ness Monster (1934). Gould specialised in the odd, eccentric, neglected, or mysterious, yet these are not idle mysteries. Gould had no interest merely in rehashing hackneyed material. 

He investigated only those matters which engaged his own unusual interest and called out his painstaking analysis, deduction and erudition, and on which he left, unobtrusively, his own originality. He died on 5 October 1948 at the age of 57. His splendid practical work and his entertaining books and radio talks have enriched our knowledge, but they also hint at a more fundamental impulse.


Author: Rupert T. Gould
 Publication Date:1966 

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