California author Bruce Olav Solheim, after serving in the US Army as a jail guard and later as a helicopter pilot, earned his PhD in history from Bowling Green State University and is currently a distinguished professor of history at Citrus College in Glendora, California. He also served as a Fulbright professor in 2003 at the University of Tromsø in northern Norway. Bruce founded the Veterans Program at Citrus College and cofounded, with Manuel Martinez and Ginger De Villa-Rose, the Boots to Books transition course—the first college course in the United States designed specifically for recently returned veterans.
Bruce Solheim opens this intriguing and satisfying book with a preface in which he explains – not defends – his paranormal experiences. In an accessible conversational manner he levels with us, as in the following – ‘the stories in this book reflect my recollection of events. Some names, locations and identifying characteristics have been changed to protect the privacy of those depicted. Dialogue has been re-created from memory. It’s not that I believe in ghosts, it’s that they believe in me, so I’ve no choice. Having experienced ghosts, I’ve come to understand that death isn’t an end, it’s a doorway. So, what proof do I have? I don’t have proof, I have my personal experiences, not only with life beyond death but also with many other seemingly unexplainable, paranormal phenomena that have occurred over the years. Paranormal is usually defined as something beyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanation. Parapsychologists, who aren’t deterred by skeptics calling their discipline of parapsychology a pseudoscience, have successfully studied many paranormal phenomena, including: 1. Telepathy: communicating thoughts or feelings between two people not using the five traditional senses. 2. Precognition: Perceiving information about future events before they happen. 3. Clairvoyance: Gaining information about places or events at remote locations. 4. Psychokinesis: The ability of the mind to manipulate matter, time, space, or energy. 5. Near-death experiences: An experience reported by a person who came close to death, or who experienced clinical death and then was brought back to life. 6. Reincarnation: The rebirth of a soul or human consciousness in a new physical body after death. 7. Apparitional experiences: Phenomena relating to ghosts of deceased persons in places they frequented or with their belongings. According to parapsychologist Dr. Dean Radin in his book The Conscious Universe, “…those compelling, perplexing, and sometimes profound human experiences known as ‘psychic phenomena’ are real…it has taken more than a century to demonstrate it conclusively in accordance with rigorous, scientific standards.” Although my purpose in this book isn’t to prove or disprove scientific theories of what Dr. Radin prefers to call psi phenomena, my personal stories will touch on many of the paranormal or psi phenomena listed above. The experiences in this book are my own, they did happen, and I make no other claims. So, the story begins, with me, as it does with anyone. This book is a memoir, but it’s a memoir of the paranormal experiences I’ve had.
From this honest straightforward beginning Bruce relates the many paranormal experiences he has had from childhood through adolescence to adulthood – they are myriad, all interesting, some fascinating, some miraculous, but all are immensely readable. Release your preconceived notions and enter a fascinating new world with Bruce Solheim. Grady Harp, December 18
Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.