Article 17.11.06

IT'S not often that a book comes along that can alter the whole way you look at the world and your place in it.

But The Genius of the Few, and its follow-up, The Shining Ones, indisputably fall into that category.

The former, first published in 1985, is a classic of its kind, which now exchanges for large sums on the second-hand book market, especially in America. The Shining Ones was published in a limited edition, now sold out, by Edmund Marriage in 1999.

They are among the most remarkable books I have ever read. Both were printed by Christian Brann, of Dianthus Publishing at Kemble, near Cirencester in Gloucestershire, who was deemed by Edmund to be one of the few people capable of meeting the exacting technical requirements of the two volumes.

First in the series was The Megalithic Odyssey (1983), an astro-archaeological study of Bodmin Moor, in Cornwall.

With the tremendous increase in interest in ancient mysteries over the past decade, Christian O'Brien, who died in 2001 at the age of 86, was ahead of his time. It's no wonder his books have achieved cult status. Edmund heads the Golden Age Project under the auspices of the Patrick Foundation, a research body created on behalf of himself and Barbara Joy, who lives in Cambridgeshire, primarily to further Christian's research.

With a background in farming and finance, Edmund, already with a great interest in prehistoric Britain and its monuments, was living in the Cotswolds, near Cirencester, in the 1980s, when his uncle sent him a draft of his work, and the seeds of the campaign were sown.

"I prefer not to refer to aliens from outside this planet, rather an advanced terrestrial civilisation which had to start again after catastrophe here," Edmund told me.

"This makes the most sense to me, even if they had been able to leave and return to this planet, which seems probable. O'Brien favoured a third alternative of inter-dimensional, or spiritual influence, which now seems to be where science is going."