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The Sibold Effect: Beyond Science, History, Ghosts, and the Appalachian Supernatural Paperback – February 28, 2016
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"Warning - when starting "The Sibold Effect" make sure you don't have anywhere you need to be or anything you need to do because you won't want to stop reading until you've finished it all!! Trust me on this! The book starts off with an enticing beginning and just keeps going with one interesting event after the next. I think what I liked the most about this book was just the overall feel the author John David Miller managed to create where it felt intimate, like a friend is telling me this really cool, strange story that I didn't want to stop listening to. Loved the unpredictableness, and the fact that this wasn't just a cliché 'ghost story'. This went much deeper than that, and I was truly impressed with the author's literary and research skills. I actually feel like I learned a lot, all while being 'entertained'. I've always had a fascination with the 'supernatural', but it is usually presented in such a eye-rolling, unbelievable way, It was great to read something so intelligently constructed with impressive research and complex connections that all come full circle in the end. Suitable for mature teens on up." (5 stars) Carla Biggins--Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
"Wow, I really enjoyed this book, and I didn't really think I would at first. I thought it was just so interesting and well- written and definitely kept my attention the whole way through. There is some setting up the stage of the storyline in the beginning, history of the area and the backstory... and at first it is a bit confusing when we go to the past, but then it all starts to make sense and we are caught up with the bizarre, surreal blend of the past and the present. The writing is very good, and there are some surprising turn of events I didn't see coming. It is a quick read, one I finished in the course of a few evenings, and I thought that all the photographs and illustrations were a great touch - really gave an air of credibility to such an unusual story. I was genuinely surprised at a few things that happened, and thought that even though the beginning was a bit slower and denser than I would have preferred, once I got into it was totally captivated by this unusual and eye-opening book. Recommend reading for fans of history/ true paranormal with an intelligent twist." (4 Stars) Sherrie Warner--Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
"First, I have to say that I don't normally read books that are considered supernatural or paranormal in nature as I generally find them to be too derivative and cheesy and just full of speculation. But I knew from the opening pages of "The Sibold Effect" by John David Miller that it would be different from the norm and I was right. We are given a detailed and thorough history lesson on the Appalachian region of Virginia, touching on many subjects that aren't normally discussed in normal books. There is a wide range of topics, from past to present, science and paranormal, personal experience and well-researched documentation. I can honestly say that I've never read anything like it and find it hard to categorize easily or even describe in a short review... just that it was surprisingly fascinating to me and I am glad I read it - definitely worth the time and thought there was a lot of great information there that I've never heard of or thought of before. Some parts will definitely give you the chills and make you wonder!" (4-5 stars) John Goldman--Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
"I'll be the first to say that I am more of a fiction reader (fantasy and romance) and not one for reading about recounting of historical events, real and paranormal, in the Appalachians. But I was looking for something a little out of my comfort zone and this book sounded intriguing. Well, I am most certainly glad I took the chance on John David Miller's "The Sibold Effect"! This was a brilliant, engaging, and totally mind blowing book that completely surpassed my expectations and then some. It is very meticulously researched, but written in a way that has great flow and is easy to get lost in, not like a dry, dull textbook or something. The title comes from the place the author owned where the author has a connection to the family (Sibold) who then had strange, mysterious experiences and things start happening. The story transitions to characters from the past who seem to influence what is going on now, and it all comes together to make a surprising ending that literally made me gasp out loud. The way he covers the topics is so comprehensive, but not so much to bog it all down. Loved the Indian influence and the great pictures. Also liked the part about the elementals, and the info on the paranormal/supernatural spectrum in regards to energy and Earth's magnetic field, and I thought the connections with the nature and spirit relationship was very enlightening. Much more spiritual, insightful and informative than I was expecting... I didn't want to put my Kindle down even one time while reading this book (even though I had to!) All in all a very good read that I'd recommend even to those who don't normally read this sort of thing...try it, you'll be pleasantly surprised!" (5 stars) Jenna Brewster--Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
"The Sibold Effect..." by John David Miller a unique blend of nonfiction/history/ supernatural/ geography/geology and one of the most original and well-crafted books I've read in a long time! I was completely drawn in from the get-go, and absolutely loved the author's use of description of the backdrop of the area of Virginia... very detailed and shows that the author has really done a great deal of research here that is outside the typical "facts and figures" of a town or region. From past to present, we really feel like we are there as this story and mystery unfolds. The writing is simply lovely, with absolutely wonderful pictures to help bring the narrative to life. Near flawless editing, and it was really interesting to see the connections and how it all wrapped up in the end. Really makes you think outside the box for a while, and I'm glad the author undertook this task of writing up the incredible experience. Recommend." (5 stars) Cody Brighton--Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
About the Author
Dave Miller spent every summer as a child playing in the caves surrounding Greenville, West Virginia, deep in the Appalachian mountains. This started a series of lifelong coincidences that one day would draw him back to very place where he started his adventure. This life journey would prepare him somewhat for what he would find one day buried on the side of the mountain that contains the graves of his ancestors. Dave has been a contributor to Smithsonian Magazine, Ancient-Origins.net, and Paranormal Underground Magazine.
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There are times when I was impatient with him because the wealth of geological and historical detail is overwhelming, but I understand that he feels a link with the place--in fact with the spirit of the place--and with every person who has ever trod that space before him. It reads at times like a James Michener novel, beginning with the ancient geology of the space and moving forward in time, though without Michener's skill in bringing those historical characters to life. He does manage to communicate his intense connection with the genius loci--the spirit of the place itself--and with the spirits of his ancestors who appear to have brought him there as he randomly buys a property he has never seen. It turns out to be his ancestral home, so to speak, the home chosen by the first of his ancestors to come to the United States. His discovery of the paranormal activity at the site is very interesting since his property seems to be one of those places where the veil is thin and spirits allow themselves to be photographed and caught on EVP equipment.
He begins to lose me, however, with his contention that every rock and stone surface on the place has been carved and shaped to represent humans and animals. I certainly see a few, but most seem to have been a product of natural weathering, partly because these shapes would not have remained intact over so long a period as he asserts they have been. However, this does not diminish the importance of his find in my eyes since my interpretation of paradolia is a bit different from that of the scientific "experts". What I believe is occurring here is that the veil is so thin in this area that the natural spirits of the rock have revealed themselves in the material as they occasionally do in other places. This explanation to me makes his home even more important than if it were some ancient cultural site. We have cultural sites in abundance, but very few places where spirits are able to reveal themselves so readily. I agree that he has elementals and other nature spirits there, and probably any other type of spirit you can think of. All places do. But almost nowhere else are they able to be seen at that level, and I have never seen such a wonderful variety caught on film. What would interest me would be an examination of why this place is so special, partly in hopes of finding others. Unfortunately, Mr. Miller has not reached this level in his journey, and barely skims a few theories.
It would not be surprising if the author eventually finds hard evidence of even several cultures having lived there since prehistoric people were more interested in and able to work with such places. However, unlike him, I think that this is not the importance of the place and would hate to see it destroyed by an archaeological dig.
This book is not for everyone. It is for those who are interested in the spiritual, the odd, and the unusual. All of that is certainly here if you are willing to dig through the details of his spirit odyssey to find it.
Particularly interesting to some will be the recounting of early American history with emphasis on the Virginias and Appalachians. Ripe with these historical and geographical nuggets, the author leads us through his own search to find threads linking past to present.
The archives at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg revealed information on the author's own family beginning with their arrival In the "new world" in 1738. This story, past and present, of the families of three German immigrant boys determined to find a better life in America has meaning for us all.
Accounts of the author's observations and impressions during his many travels to ancient civilizations are recounted in considerable detail.
He finally centers his thesis on a piece of property he accidentally purchased in Blacksburg, unaware that it was a significant part of his own ancestorial history. His comments and conclusions regarding interface between the natural, supernatural and scientific will be of interest to many.
This book packs in a lot of material, sometimes making it a bit hard to follow. However, it is nevertheless a very interesting read. It will be particularly meaningful to those ewho ponder the "who, what, when" of their lives.