Saturday, February 28, 2015

In Search of... In Search Of: An Index to the Alan Landsburg Book Series

by John Scoleri

Growing up in the 1970s, a time when interest in aliens, bigfoot, and strange phenomena seemed to be at an all-time high, one of my favorite TV shows was In Search Of. Hosted by Leonard Nimoy, each episode detailed stories of unexplained mysteries, von Daniken inspired alien influences, and other strange phenomena.

Many years later, I discovered that the producer of the show, Alan Landsburg, had written a series of books for Bantam; each focused on a category of the types of stories that appeared on the show. As the show and the books were so closely related, it's worth providing a brief of history on the origin of the series. It all started with In Search of Ancient Astronauts, an edited version of a 1970 documentary based on Erich von Daniken's 1968 book Chariots of the Gods; re-dubbed by Rod Serling and aired on television in 1973. Landsburg also produced two follow-ups similarly narrated by Serling: In Search of Ancient Mysteries, a 1973 TV movie, and the 1975 documentary, The Outer Space Connection. If not for Serling's death in 1975, one can reasonably assume he would have gone on to host the TV series that aired from 1977 to 1982.

What follows is an index of the eight Bantam volumes and the contents of each. Note: all volumes contain 32 pages of photos.

In Search of Ancient Mysteries
by Alan and Sally Landsburg
Foreword by Rod Serling
Bantam, February 1974

Table of Contents
Foreword by Rod Serling
1 How Did We Start?
2 Spores and Artifacts
3 The Sea in the Mountains
4 Space base One?
5 Who Was Viracocha?
6 The Colossal Charts
7 Something to Make the Gods Weep
8 Voyages into Limbo
9 Who Taught the Egyptians?
10 Secrets in Stone
11 A Feretic at Karnak
12 Back to the Bible
13 Looking Down on Earth
14 How Did Man Get His Brain?
15 Shortcuts in Space-Time?

The Outer Space Connection
by Alan and Sally Landsburg
Foreword by Rod Serling
Bantam, July 1975

Table of Contents
Foreword by Rod Serling
1 The Question We Couldn't Get Out of Our Minds
2 The Mayan Mystery
3 How About the Clone?
4 Engineering the Embryo
5 Neurosurgeons in Peru
6 The House of Death
7 Back to the Pyramids
8 Book of the Dead
9 Myth as History
10 Methuselah Lived to Be 980
11 Old Age: A Curable Disease?
12 Strange Life Forces
13 Afterlife: The Journey to the Heavens

In Search of Lost Civilizations
by Alan Landsburg
Foreword by Leonard Nimoy
Bantam, December 1976

Table of Contents
Foreword by Leonard Nimoy
1 Where Did Everyone Go?
2 The Drowned Kingdoms
3 The Wave That Wrecked a Civilization
4 To Meet the Minotaur
5 Into the Maze
6 What the Cyclops Left
7 A Blind Man's Secrets
8 When Death Was Fun
9 Britain's Shadow People
10 Egypt's Black Rival
11 Reach Into Darkness
12 Africa's Tribe of Mystics
13 The City Under the River
14 The First Civilization?
15 The Invisible Machines
16 Old Enemies

In Search of Extraterrestrials
by Alan Landsburg
Foreword by Leonard Nimoy
Bantam, January 1977

Table of Contents
Foreword by Leonard Nimoy
1 The Hunt Begins
2 Beneath the Surface
3 To Witness the Fires
4 The Tainting Problem
5 History Visits in the Deep Past
6 Out There
7 Hello Out There
8 Black Holes
9 Designs of Spaceships
10 Astronomers' Views
11 The Viking Mission
12 Why Bother with Life Out There?
13 Conclusion

In Search of Magic and Witchcraft
by Alan Landsburg
Foreword by Leonard Nimoy*
Bantam, February 1977

Table of Contents
(Foreword by Leonard Nimoy)
1 What is Magic?
2 What is Witchcraft?
3 Witchcraft and Christianity
4 What Makes People Want to Be Witches?
5 The Witchcraft Scene Today
6 Talismans, Amulets, and Fetishes
7 Spells, Incantations, and Rituals
8 Mediterranean Magic Cults in Modern America
9 Love Potions, Herbs, and Scents
10 The Kabala, Alchemy, and the Hermetic Orders
11 Curses, Fact or Fantasy?
12 Magic, Witchcraft, and Sex
13 Satanism and Devil Worship
14 Exorcism
15 Voodoo

In Search of Strange Phenomena
by Alan Landsburg
Foreword by Leonard Nimoy*
Bantam, March 1977

Table of Contents
Foreword by Leonard Nimoy
1 What Are Psychic and Other Strange Phenomena?
2 The Nature of Man: The Link With Strange Phenomena
3 Pipeline to the Beyond
4 ESP and its Variations
5 Psychic Dreams and Astral Projection
6 The Case For Reincarnation
7 Ghosts and How to Deal With Them
8 Kirlian Photography and Psychic Photography—Hoax or Fact?
9 Criminal-Detection Work and ESP
10 Psychic Surgery and Healing
11 The Psychic World of Plants
12 Pyramids and Pyramidology
13 Improbable Monuments and Archaeological Puzzles
14 The Bermuda Triangle
15 Mediums and Mediumship and the Strange Case of Uri Geller

In Search of Myths and Monsters
by Alan Landsburg
Foreword by Leonard Nimoy*
Bantam, July 1977

Table of Contents
Foreword by Leonard Nimoy
1 Monsters and I
2 The Reign of Monsters
3 The Great Dying
4 Missing and Presumed Nonexistent
5 The Things in the Loch
6 Dark Worlds Below
7 Sea Giants
8 The Snowman Wants to See You
9 America's Longest Hide-and-Seek Game
10 Monsters Astray?
11 Part-time Monsters
12 Monsters from the Laboratory

In Search of Missing Persons
by Alan Landsburg
Foreword by Leonard Nimoy*
Bantam, February 1978

Table of Contents
Foreword by Leonard Nimoy

Part I - The Adventurers
1 Richard Halliburton
2 Percy Fawcett
3 Amelia Earhart
4 Michael Rockefeller

Part II - The Fugitives
5 The Romanovs
6 Martin Bormann
7 James Hoffa
8 D.B. Cooper

Part III - Strange Disappearances
9 Jesus Christ
10 Aimee Semple Macpherson
11 Dalton Trumbo
12 The Great Gods


*Nimoy wrote different Forewords for the first two volumes in the In Search of series. His Foreword from the second volume was reprinted in each of the remaining volumes.

Fans of the series may be interested to know that in 1979, the Doubleday Book Club released a hardcover condensed compilation of the first five Bantam In Search of paperbacks published in 1977.

In Search Of...
by Alan Landsburg
Doubleday Book Club, 1979
(printed in December 1978 as per T52 gutter code)

Table of Contents

Part One - Lost Civilizations
1 Where Did Everyone Go?
2 Atlantis
3 The Heirs of Minos
4 Britain's Shadow People
5 The Invisible Machines

Part Two - Extraterrestrials
6 The Hunt and the Witnesses
7 The Scientists' DIlemma
8 The Prospects Out There
9 The Visitors

Part Three - Magic and Witchcraft
10 What is Magic?
11 What is Witchcraft?
12 The Witchcraft Scene Today
13 Talismans, Amulets, Potions and Herbs
14 Spells and Curses
15 Witchcraft, Sex, and the Devil
16 Possession, Exorcism, and Voodoo

Part Four - Strange Phemomena
17 ESP
18 Spiritual Survival and Reincarnation
19 Psychic Dreams and Astral Projection
20 Ghosts and How to Deal With Them
21 Psychic Phenomena at Work

Part Five - Myths and Monsters
22 Monsters: Missing and Presumed Nonexistent
23 The Reign of Monsters
24 Dark Worlds Below
25 Monsters Who Walk Like Men
26 Dracula, Vampires, and Werewolves


Fans of the show, and those interested in strange phenomena, will be thrilled to know the entire series (including the original two pilot films and two follow-on series) has been released in a complete series set on DVD. You can order the complete series of In Search Of on Amazon (and keep an eye out for sale prices - it has been offered for less than $50 in the past!).

In memory of 
Leonard Nimoy
March 26, 1931 - February 27, 2015

Alan Landsburg
May 10, 1933 - August 14, 2014


Jack Seabrook said...

I remember the TV show but not the books. Do you think Nimoy actually wrote the forewords?

John Scoleri said...

Considering his talents as a writer, I have no reason to doubt that he did. You can read the second foreword here:

Grant said...

In Search Of is usually misremembered as being ENTIRELY a paranormal show, as opposed to a documentary about odd subjects in general. (Not that I'm ever embarrassed by the paranormal stuff it was usually about.)

They even had an episode about Great White Sharks, with a very balanced attitude about them instead of the usual terrifying image of them and nothing else. In the aftermath of JAWS, they must have felt like a real voice in the wilderness doing that.