Secrets and Mysteries Of The World is just what its title entails – secrets and mysteries. But they are explored through famed psychic Sylvia Browne’s primary spirit guide, Francine. For those unfamiliar, Sylvia explains that Francine has been with her since she was born and is a great researcher who’s been right countless times. Sylvia also states that she is clairaudient, which means she can hear Francine - so there is a lot of “Francine said” throughout the book. And with this, we begin our journey into the unknown and underexplained.
Though not earth-shattering in any of its findings, with the right mindset it is a fun, quick read. It reminded me of something that would be on the History Channel, A&E, or even that old show with Leonard Nimoy, "In Search Of."
The book is broken down into five sections: Mysterious Places, Strange Creatures, Unexplained Objects, Mystic Phenomena, and Christian Controversies. This is the big bonus of the book – it’s very well structured. If you wanted to, you could skip whole sections and read what interested you first, then later go back to other sections without feeling like you've lost your place.
The first section has chapters that are a little more in-depth, as she discusses everything from Easter Island to The Lost Continent Of Atlantis to the Bermuda Triangle. The only thing that strikes me as far-fetched is a friend of Sylvia’s whose cancer is cured after a deep-sea diving trip, and she attributes it to the magnetic forces in the Triangle. Maybe it was and maybe it wasn’t, but we shouldn’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.
The second section has some very short chapters that are really just a quick glossing over of the subject matter. In this part, Browne goes into Loch Ness, Sasquatch, Fairies (in which she has never believed), Demons, Lycanthropes (werewolves), Vampires, and UFOs. This is an enjoyable section, but I was expecting a bit more on Vampires. The theory on the Chupacabra is the only thing that made me roll my eyes.
In the third section she covers The Crystal Skulls, Ica Stones, and Nazca lines. These are interesting short chapters. But the in-depth chapters are on the Pyramids, the Sphinx and Crop Circles. This section I wasn’t so hot on. Though adequately covered, I’m more inclined to think most -- if not all -- of crop circles are hoaxes.
The fourth section picks up again for me. Here she goes into Aura, Voodoo, Shamans, Black Holes, Polar Tilt, and last (but not least) Alien Abductions. The account of Sylvia’s own abduction is a bit much, but I took it with a grain of salt and plodded on. It is the chapter on Spontaneous Human Combustion that sparked (pun intended) the most interest for me. I just find this phenomena fascinating and think that if there was anything in the realm of possibility – it could be this.
The fifth and final section might be the most intentionally controversial with the subjects being Stigmata, The Shroud Of Turin, The Holy Grail, and Mr. Mephistopheles himself -- the Devil. After all of the Da Vinci Code hoopla, I just about had my fill on The Holy Grail so this left me less than enthused. Overall, though, this is a solid, entertaining read.