Jeff Danelek (Author, The Great Airship of 1897)
3.1 – Aliens & the Old West (7.28.11)
A native of Minnesota but a resident of Colorado since 1969, my life has been a journey that has taken me down many different paths—some good and some not so good—but all of them useful in my journey. After a stint in the Navy (as a navigator and, briefly, an air traffic controller) I attended the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, specializing in illustration and graphic design. Since then, I have worked for a wide array of employers, from the public school system to the aerospace industry. I even worked for a couple of years laying out an international magazine for a local televangelist (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty). After doing a gig as a part-time driving instructor (lotsa fun and a very educational experience) I’m back in the graphics industry once again while I wait for my “ship to come in”—whenever that might be. In the meantime, I continue to maintain this and several other websites, keep my hand in free-lance graphic work, continue to write for both myself and several other websites, teach classes at Colorado Free University and the city of Longmont, and work on my tennis game (with little success). I currently live in Lakewood, Colorado (a suburb of Denver) with my wife, Carol, and two beasts.
Besides writing, my hobbies include—but are not necessarily limited to—art, politics and political history (I can name all 45 presidents along with the years they were president and what party they were, none of which has proven useful to date), world and military history, religion and spirituality, numismatics (coin collecting) paleontology, astronomy (and science in general) and Fortean subjects such as Bigfoot, UFO’s and things that go bump in the night. I enjoy writing both fiction and non-fiction, much of it with decidedly spiritual, religious, cryptozoological, historical and/or paranormal overtones, and consider writing to be my life’s passion.
I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t pursue my writing career with the prerequisite determination until fairly recently (I like to think of it as a progressive learning thing) with my first published feature article appearing in the March, 2002 issue of Fate magazine. Striking up a good relationship with Fate’s parent publisher, Galde Press, I decided to submit an entire manuscript for consideration and in September of 2003, I was blessed with my first book, Reconsidering Atlantis: A New Look at a Prehistoric Civilization (now out of print). Later I was able to get a larger publisher (and one known for its paranormal-theme clientele), Llewellyn International, out of St. Paul, Minnesota, to look at some of my ideas, the result being that I have since managed to add six more titles to my repertoire. I also have had a couple of books published by Adventures Unlimited Press out of Kempton, Illinois, one that deals with the mysterious sighting of “airships” reported over California and the Midwest in the winter of 1896-97 (the first UFO flap or something else?) entitled The Great Airship of 1897 and a second, which came out in May of 2011, on the early history of aviation entitled Phantoms of the Skies: The Lost History of Aviation from Antiquity through the Wright Brothers (with co-author Chuck Davis). Both books are especially important to me, as my publisher at AUP, the well-known Fortean writer David Hatcher Childress (yes, that David Hatcher Childress) permitted me the opportunity to not only write the books, but do the layout and cover designs as well, which is a rare thing for publishers to do nowadays. (In fact, I can’t think of any full service publishers who do!) As such, my metaphorical hat goes off to David for letting me take the book from concept to final product and, especially, for the faith he has shown in permitting me the maximum latitude in pursuing these projects. Further, David has agreed to publish a fiction trilogy for me under a new imprint (Dragonstrike Press), which is my first foray into being a published novelist. An adventure/horror series, the books chronicle the adventures of Paul and Sarah Manhart, the world’s first (and, as far as anyone knows, only) husband and wife team of cryptozoologists as they travel around the world in search of monsters. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately for the reader), they inevitably find their subjects and spend the rest of the book trying to survive the best efforts of their quarry to kill them. (It’s a case where one really can enjoy too much success!) All three books can be found on the homepage, along with sample chapters and ordering information in case you’re interested.
I’ve also recently published my first spiritually-themed novel, Friend of God, with Fifth Estate Publishing out of Blountsville, Alabama. A thoroughly scurrilous and heretical tome that examines the crucifixion of Christ through the eyes of Judas Iscariot. My thanks goes to Doctor Joseph Lumpkin for giving me the opportunity to expand beyond the paranormal into new territory (and for affording me the opportunity to also do my own layout and cover design. Books just “feel” so much more like they’re yours when you can take them from just an idea to final product personally. Who says that a background in graphics doesn’t pay off?)
As for the future, I am currently working on several hopefully-soon-to-be-published novels with spiritual themes that I hope to see in print soon, bringing my writing career full circle from paranormal non-fiction to aviation history to inspirational fiction; quite a ride, don’t you think? All in all, things seem to be moving along pretty well, making me enthusiastic about the coming years and providing me the impetus to keep pecking away at my keyboard. Perhaps the best part of being a writer has been the opportunities it has afforded me to meet a host of interesting people in the literary and paranormal community, among them real life ghost-hunters, past life regression hypnotists, Wiccans, and everything in between. It has also provided me the chance to do lots of radio (I’m told I have the face for it); over the last few years. I’ve repeatedly been a guest on Coast to Coast with George Noury and have appeared on Whitley Strieber’s Dreamland Radio Show, the x-zone with Rob McConnell, EUP Radio with Scott Colborn, Erskine Overnight, Para-X Radio with Rusty O’Nhail, and lots of others. I’ve also had the opportunity to speak at several seminars, most recently at a paranormal conference at the haunted Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado as well as onboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach. All-in-all, a lot of fun.
My personal philosophy is that life is about learning and growing, both intellectually and spiritually, and that is the perspective from which I approach each project I undertake. As for my writing, fame and wealth are not the goals (though they are acceptable consolation prizes); the point of the exercise is to give others a piece of yourself in the hopes that in your words they’ll find something that speaks to their needs, answers their questions, or even touches their heart. To have a stranger come up to you and thank you for expanding their awareness or giving them an answer to a question they have been pondering is what writing is all about, and if you can happen to make a living doing that in the process, then it’s worth all the effort. At least, that’s how I see it. 
In November of 1896 residents of California watched a mysterious bright light-often described as being suspended beneath a “cigar shaped” craft of considerable size-pass slowly over their cities on several occasions, sparking a media frenzy. A few months later, what appeared to be the same craft was seen in the skies over the sparsely populated prairie states of the Midwest making its way methodically eastward and appearing to literally hundreds-if not thousands-of witnesses. Then, as suddenly as the reports began, they abruptly ended, leaving a mystery that has never been satisfactorily explained by either science or historians to this day. Was it evidence of a nascent technology, appearing a full decade before Von Zeppelin began building the first of his behemoths in Germany, or was it all merely a media hoax generated by the yellow journalism of the time in an effort to increase sales? Or, most provocative of all, was it a visitor from outer space, making an early appearance? Each theory is examined in turn before J. Allan Danelek finally presents his provocative theory that the mysterious vessel was a terrestrial craft years ahead of its time that may have been destroyed just as it was on the verge of being publicly acknowledged. Admittedly controversial, the hypothesis leaves it for the reader to decide for themselves whether the history of aviation is complete as we know it or if it’s merely waiting for the final chapter to be written.
What are ghosts? Can anyone become one? How do they interact with time and space? Stripping away the sensationalism and fraud linked to this contentious topic, J. Allan Danelek presents a well-researched study of a phenomenon that has fascinated mankind for centuries.
Analyzing theories that support and debunk these supernatural events, Danelek objectively explores hauntings, the ghost psyche, spirit communication, and spirit guides. He also investigates spirit photography, EVP, ghost-hunting tools, ouija boards, and the darker side of the ghost equation-malevolent spirits and demon possession. Whether you’re a ghost enthusiast or a skeptic, The Case for Ghosts promises amazing insights into the spirit realm.
What happens after we die? What is the purpose of reincarnation? How does it work? What is the role in this mysterious process of the soul, free will, karma, soul mates, and God?
Paranormal investigator J. Allan Danelek presents a compelling exploration of reincarnation that sheds light on both the mechanics of rebirth and its spiritual purpose. Addressing all aspects of reincarnation―including how the next physical life is chosen, the influence of past lives, the difference between the soul and personality, the necessity of evil, and what happens between lives―Danelek illuminates this transcendent yet practical mode for perfecting the soul.
The Case for Reincarnation presents a fascinating, thought-provoking examination of reincarnation and the elements involved:
The Divine • The eternal soul • Spiritual lessons
The link between the spiritual and physical worlds • Linear time
Past-life memories • Karma • Choosing our next incarnation
What happens to souls drawn to evil • Ghosts
It has been traditional to teach school children that Christopher Columbus discovered America, that Charles Lindbergh was the first man to fly across the Atlantic, and that the Wright Brother’s invented the airplane. Time has since taught us that the first Europeans to touch foot on the continent of North America were the Vikings and that Lindbergh was the 85th man to cross the Atlantic by air. Would it be any more remarkable to learn, then, that the Wright Brother’s brief flight in December of 1903 may not have been the first successful flight of a manned, heavier-than-air powered machine? This book tells the true story of aviation as it evolved from mankind’s first primitive attempts to fly to the remarkable successes of the early twentieth century in a non-technical and even fun way, designed to impress upon the reader that the history of aviation is richer and more remarkable than they ever imagined. It is also a tribute to the men-and a few women-who laid the foundations that made not only Kitty Hawk possible, but Von Zeppelin’s great dirigibles a reality as well. Most of the names and events mentioned in this book are known to only a handful of aviation enthusiasts and practically unknown to the general public, making this work an important recounting of the lost history of aviation that demands to be told. Some of it is controversial. Parts of it are contentious, and some of it is even speculative, but all of it is a valuable insight into an era when men dared to dream great dreams and bet their lives on the results. Many times they paid dearly for such presumptuousness, but without their sacrifices, the safety and ease of air travel we enjoy today would not be possible. But even more than a retelling of history, it is also a compendium of over 150 patent office blueprints produced between 1847 and 1903 that faithfully capture the spirit of the age. Carefully reproduced from original drawings, they perfectly illustrate the enthusiasm of technology that ran through the world during the height of the industrial revolution, and though many of the designs were impractical, fanciful, and even outrageous, they are an important part of the infant steps aviation took as it tried to find its wings at a time when anything was thought to be possible.