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Father Ernetti's Chronovisor : The Creation and Disappearance of the World's First Time Machine Paperback – March, 2000
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...we are treated to a fascinating investigation threading through Edison, Edgar Cayce, Mesmer, and even Whitley Strieber! -- Colin Bennett, The Fortean Times, July, 2000
Pellegrino Ernetti ... was a man of integrity and would not have created a hoax about his work on the chronovisor... -- From NEXUS New Times, Vol. 7, No. 5, August-September, 2000
The book dips into many of the areas that will be of interest to X Factor readers, from fringe science to the occult... -- From X Factor (U.K.), early June, 2000, No. 91
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German
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Something about being able to travel to the past and perceive firsthand a bygone era or past event is extremely enticing, maybe because it seems so impossible. Author Peter Krassa uses this magic to produce a book which is simultaneously exciting and disappointing. The nonfiction book begins like an adventure story. An Italian priest, Father Ernetti, stumbles upon the ability to communicate with the dead via standard audio recording equipment; as the plot unfolds he uses this knowledge to build the chronovisor, a machine that displays images from the past on a TV screen. This part of the book is well-written and suspenseful, with each chapter ending in a cliffhanger. YOU DECIDE.
Pity that the book never truly takes a stand on its findings, however. It presents a series of facts, interviews, ideas, and thoughts, many of which contradict each other, and lets the reader interperet them as they wish. In the end, the reader is no more educated on the subject than when they began, and perhaps a bit more confused.
The idea is that an Italian monk, working away in his cell, invented a machine that allows the operator to view, and hear, past events. The chronovisor, not a time machine proper, but a past time viewer. Intriguing, but the "author" and "translator" should prosecuted for crimes against Clio.
The book is mainly a haphazard paraphrase, or long block quotes, of various hearsay reports of Father Ernetti Pellegrino's hush-hush work on the chronovisor. These are frustratingly contradictory and maddeningly incomplete. Then the text descends into hermetic madness, trying to show how the chronovisor could work by claiming it accesses the "akashic records," a nebulous theory cobbled together from misguided souls like Rudolph Steiner and that charlatan Helena P. Blatavasky. The author is obviously a HPB and theosophy fan, as he spends a few chapters detailing her theories and biography. As such, it took me way too long to read this, as it was so disjointed and awkward. The book doesn't even end with Father Ernetti, but with Thomas Edison and then a crazy not-so-conclusion concluding chapter.
The "bibliography" and "endnotes" are hilarious. The "translator" seems to have taken the original German manuscript and typed it into Babelfish or Google Translate. There are so many errors and tough passages that seem to be literal translations of German phrases that it quickly turns from laughable to sad.
What could have been a neat book on a possible "chonovisor" and its plausibility turned out to be a mish-mash of hearsay and ill-studied research on the ether and akashic records. For instance, see "Where God Lives: The Science of the Paranormal and How Our Brains Are Linked to the Universe" for a better take on the theory that memory may be extra-cerebral, which means that maybe "history" can be seen one day.
At least it was only $4.98 at Half Price Books.