Did a UFO drag a family’s car off the road in the middle of the outback? Is there really such thing as the gleaming-eyed swamp monster known as the bunyip? How did rocks rain from the sky in WA? And just what became of the prime minister who went into the surf and was never seen again?
Sure, you’ve heard about UFO sightings in far-flung corners of the United States. You’ve heard of Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster. You may have even watched a late-night show exploring conspiracy theories surrounding missing media tycoons. But these stories are for grown-ups, and mostly from overseas. Then there are some stories that are so mysterious that only kids can handle them! Aliens, Ghosts and Vanishings is a book for young readers, all about the extra-terrestrials, the supernatural and bizarre disappearances in our very own backyard. It’s ideal for readers aged 10 to 15, or for anyone who has the burning curiosity of a child!
I’ve always wanted to write a book like this, and absolutely loved researching all these amazing events. I hadn’t realised just how many strange things have happened on our own shores – hauntings, sightings, disappearances. I’m delighted that the book was taken on by Penguin Random House, who did a marvellous job bringing it to life. Richard Morden’s illustrations are brilliant!
I wanted to share my interest in the bizarre with young readers – but I wanted to go further than that. This book doesn’t just relate the (albeit juicy) tales. It encourages critical thinking skills. I don’t force any conclusion onto the readers. Rather, I encourage them to look behind the claims. To ask themselves why people say the things they do. When someone makes an outlandish claim, are they lying, mistaken, or simply telling the truth? Everything needs to be judged on its own merits, maintaining a healthy balance of open-mindedness and scepticism.
Oh, and by the way, I’ve seen a ghost.