Andy Lloyd's

Book Reviews




Alien Rock


by Michael C. Luckman




The Mayan Calendar finishes its long cycle around the winter solstice of 2012.  The date is associated with the End of an Age, although the Mayans offered no concrete predictions as to what the date might bring.  As such, it's open season, frankly, to fill this knowledge gap with all kinds of imaginary events, both cataclysmic and renewing.

This book reflects the broad panorama of ideas put forward to solve the Mayan riddle.  In a journalistic fashion, Marie Jones explores the future, drawing upon a wealth of articles, books and ideas available in the literature of futurology.  She even includes a large section at the back of the book full of independent commentary by other alternative knowledge authors.  In a way, '2013' is a 'meta-article'.  It collects references and analyses trends.  What it does not do is offer any concrete prediction for the end of 2012.  Instead, there are possible scenarios laid out, none of which is discarded by the author.  She seems hopeful rather than fearful of the future, and is humanist in her approach:



"As for the frightening earth changes we might face, preparing as best we can for any natural disaster only makes sense, but if we are looking at supervolcanism, comets striking the Earth, or even gamma-ray bursts, having three days' worth of food and water just won't cut it. So, we do the best we can, and instead of focusing  on how we might survive such a catastrophic event...perhaps instead we should focus on the things we CAN do - the things we have power and control over: Environmental degradation. Economic inequity. Gender imbalance.  Decimation of species.  Global climate change.

"The truth is, we have more to say about what happens in the year following the events of 2011-2012 than we think, and more control than we like to admit." (p220)

I'm not sure I agree with this sentiment, but it sums the book up rather well.  After chapters and chapters of summarised accounts of the work of various academics and authorities, we are left in the same state we started the book in.  The future will bring what the future will bring; prepare if you think that will help, but don't give up on the idea that the world will carry on, with all its real problems unresolved, and, perhaps, worsening.

Marie Jones is evidently very well read, and has a talent for bringing complex subjects and ideas into a more understandable realm.  There is so much packed into '2013' that can be rather dry reading at times, but it will appeal to students of futurology, and associated arcana.  I learned a lot!  However, personally, I found the extrapolations from current trends a little too linear.  I would have liked to have read more off-beat ideas, perhaps from the world of science fiction, rather than academia.  After all, the best futurologists write fiction (Arthur C. Clarke being a magnificent example).  It would have loosened things up a bit, and engaged my interest more.  More than, say, the problems of decoherence (is this really even a word?) in quantum computing.

One 'linear' prediction cited in the book has already failed to materialise:

"The next solar cycle, according to (National Center for Atmospheric Research) scientists, is going to be a big one, approximately 30 to 50 percent stronger than the last cycle.  Known as Cycle 24, this highly-anticipated time of unprecedented sunspot and solar storm activity is set to begin in 2007, or early 2008, and will reach its peak in - you guessed it - 2012." (p102)

Surprisingly, there have been no sunspots in 2008.  So either the Sun is saving itself for a grand finale, or Cycle 24 is a damp squib.  Which is the whole point about futurology. We can extrapolate linear trends all we like, but in highly complex systems chaos plays a major part.  It's what makes the future interesting. And it's also what makes the Mayan mystery interesting. Was their calendar a predictive tool, or simply an arbitrary device? There's no real way of knowing, because the Maya disappeared long ago.  An event which they themselves seemed to have failed to predict...




Robbie Williams and Aliens

Robbie Williams has always struck me as being a pretty sharp bloke, so I guess I'm not surprised to find that he has a major interest in the paranormal, including UFOs.  Attendees of the 2008 Laughlin UFO Conference may have been surprised to find him among their number in February; surprised, and I'm sure, elated.  BBC Radio has just broadcast a programme featuring the singer's trip to the conference.  He brought along the journalist who recorded the show, Jon Ronson, as well as a more sceptical friend of his.

It's a brilliant show, because Robbie opens up about his interest in the subject, despite his concern about how this will play among newspaper journalists back home in England.  He clearly enjoys immersing himself in the whole subject, and his attitude towards it is a healthy mix of open-minded interest and scientific scepticism. 

Robbie wonders about what 2012 might bring, and instead of just waiting to find out, wants to 'do something'.  As such, he's recently spent a lot of time surfing paranormal websites, and attending UFO-related events.  He's very open to the possibility that UFOs exist, and are potentially present all the time in our skies.  He speculates that they are spotted 'when they make a mistakes and the shields come down."

The radio programme focuses on his discussion with the mother of a British abductee, Ann Andrews, who gives a talk at the conference.  She is convinced that her son's stories of alien abduction are true, and she's written several books about the case.  Robbie interviews her, and it's quite revealing on both fronts.  At the end, she says "You look very much like Robbie Williams".  He replies, "I am Robbie Williams". 

Here's the link to the radio programme on the BBC, which is well worth listening to:


Here's a related piece from Yahoo News in September 2008, involving author Michael Luckman:

"Robbie Williams could be abducted by aliens and "come back as an ambassador for their race", an expert claims.  The UK pop star, who is known to have become increasingly fascinated with UFOs in recent months, has been warned he is in danger of being taken from Earth.

Michael Luckman, Director of the New York Centre For Extraterrestrial Research, explained: "Robbie is now becoming a point man for contact with extraterrestrials.  "None of the experiences I've seen are in the same category of what Robbie appears to have experienced. Robbie could easily disappear and then come back as an ambassador for their race."

Luckman warned the singer that his attitude to the phenomenon puts him even more in the firing line. "He's unusually pro-active, even putting his musical career on hold. "And he is more likely to make contact because of where he is spiritually - he takes it to the max", he continued."


Reference: "Robbie: Alien abduction?" 19/9/08 Yahoo News


robbie williams


Book review by Andy Lloyd, 22nd October 2006

Books for review can be sent at the author/publisher's own risk:




"Alien Rock" by Michael C. Luckman

"The Rock 'n' Roll Extraterrestrial Connection"


ISBN 0-7434-6673-X

Pocket Books




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