Based in San Antonio, TX, Anomalist Books is a on-demand publisher of unusual but always fascinating books. Genres span the spectrum of the imagination, from , and and
Bastian was hired by Anomalist Books to edit The Secrets of Dellschau: The Sonora Aero Club & The Airships of the 1800s. She completed the editing of this factual “UFO historical mystery” manuscript within the publisher’s deadline and budget requirements.
This is the first book-length account of Charles Dellschau, a highly talented illustrator of fanciful flying machines…or were they real, as some UFOologists believe? (The Witte Museum in San Antonio is said to have some of these art pieces in its archives.) Dellschau belonged to the Sonora (California) Aero Club, whose members purportedly used an anti-gravity gas to power of series of experimental aircraft some 50 years before the Wright Brothers first took flight. Newspaper clippings from various parts of the nation in that era would be evidence of such activity. And then there are those illustrations, silent witnesses of amazing events?
World-famous UFOologist writer Nick Redfern, at the end of his Amazon.com review of the book, had this to say: “Part-historical mystery; part-Fortean tale; part-X-Files; part-detective story; part-conspiracy; and all-engrossing, The Secrets of Dellschau is a great read for anyone wanting to learn about what may very well have been at the heart of some of the strangest tales of unidentified flying contraptions seen in the skies of 1800’s North America.”
Wikipedia.com also has taken note of the book about Dellschau and his “secrets”: “Dellschau is regarded as one of America’s earliest visionary artists. His work is testimony to the sense of optimism that new technologies have when they change the way people see the world. Flight, up until that time, had been a metaphor for man’s pathos – or his inability to accomplish what he was not meant to. Dellschau’s work is also remarkable in that it uses the medium of watercolor brilliantly, often using water as the medium with a subtle tint of color. The book The Secrets of Dellschau.…tells the story of Dellschau and of the secrets the authors write that he hid within his artwork. [Co-author] Pete Navarro spent 27 years studying Dellschau’s drawings and writings. According to Navarro, the story of the Sonora Aero Club and their achievements had been cleverly hidden by Dellschau in his drawings using several codes and unconnected sentences hidden throughout the work. Thus, one would have to see ALL of the Dellschaus to understand the narrative.”
By Nick Redfern on March 31, 2010
Much has been written about the so-called modern-era of Ufology, namely that which was kick-started by Kenneth Arnold’s now historic (or infamous, depending on your perspective) “flying saucer” encounter over the Cascade Mountains, Washington State, in the summer of 1947.
But what of earlier years? Certainly, there have been some very good works on the Ghost-Rocket mystery that swamped Scandinavia in 1946; and the Foo-Fighters of the Second World War.
And there have been some intriguing works that deal with the so-called “Phantom Airships” of the late-1800s. But, on this latter issue, none are quite like The Secrets of Dellschau by Dennis Crenshaw (in collaboration with Pete Navarro).
As well as being written fluently, and in a very descriptive style that flows and entertains, the book has at its heart a fascinating tale, and an even more fascinating character: a man named Charles A. A. Dellschau, for whom the word “enigma” was surely created.
Indeed, one might almost be forgiven for thinking that The Secrets of Dellschau is a work of fiction – such is the level of high-strangeness at its heart. That it is, however, definitive non-fiction, only makes the book – and the story it tells – even more extraordinary.
In essence, Dellschau was a man with many secrets; and a man who unfortunately took many of those secrets with him to the grave. But, that doesn’t take away the fact that – thanks to Crenshaw and Navarro – we still have at our disposal a tremendous body of material on the man, his life and his machines.
And, you may well ask: what machines are those? Now, we get to the heart of the story.
As the book demonstrates, Dellschau (a Prussian who moved to the U.S.Read more ›
By AMA on December 18, 2009
By ArtCollect on February 23, 2010
Charles AA Dellschau produced a body of work from the turn of the past century until his death while he was virtually sealed in an attic in Houston Texas. His work, which took the form of diary pages, was in large part an attempt to record the activities of the Sonora Aero Club, of which he was a purported member, which was a group of flight enthusiasts who met in the Sonora desert in the mid 1800’s. Their mission was to design the very first navigatable aircrafts.
Dellschau art work also shows influence of circus banner painting, which was also popularized in the south during the turn of the century. His work is testimony to the sense of optimism that new technologies have when they impact so greatly upon our lives and change the way we see the world we live in. Flight, up until that time, had been a metaphor for man’s pathos – or his inability to accomplish what he was not meant to. Dellschau’s work is also remarkable in that it uses the medium of watercolor brilliantly, often using water as the medium with a subtle tint of color. Dellschau’s work is one of the earliest coherent body of work known by an American visionary artist. Dellschau’s first one person exhibition was mounted some 75 years after his death, and his work is in numerous private collection as well as museums.
This book is the very first indepth examination of the recollection of Pete Navarro, the man who was fortunate and persistient enough to have at his disposal almost the entire surviving body of work by Dellschu and his discoveries and observations and experiences spanning almost 20 years while the books were in his possession.Read more ›