"Hidden Wonders" - Nicole Maggi

Artist Ra Paulette has spent over 25 years carving out a series of underground caves, turning soft sandstone rock into imaginary chambers and winding tunnels where sculpted plants and magical tree-like figures are lit by huge natural skylights in this extraordinary fantasy land hidden underneath the desert near Santa Fe, NM. Paulette uses only hand tools in this slow and lonely work, yet has carved over a dozen caves so far. His solitary quest to create art and beauty in the world is just one example of the uniquely amazing secret places you will discover in “Hidden Wonders” by Nicole Maggi.

A “guide to the planet’s wildest, weirdest places” takes you on an adventure you’ll not soon forget. Nevada’s Highway 50, called the Loneliest Road, offers the legend of the Shoe Tree, Cave of the Crystals in Chihuahua, Mexico is formed by 500,000-year-old selenite crystals, Poland’s Crooked Forest is home to C-shaped trees, a mystery that has never been solved to this day and Western Australia’s Gnomesville where once a solitary garden gnome appeared in the hollow of a tree. Not to be lonely for long, townspeople, then visitors, added all manner of gnome friends to the extent that an entire village of 5,000 gnomes now draws tourists from all over the world.

If that reminds you how the alien mystique in Roswell is a lure for travelers, there is an interesting section from Varginha, Brazil where locals swore they were visited by an alien and unidentified flying object in 1996. This sighting brought swarms of people to their town resulting in the need to build a new water tower eventually, so they built the “Spaceship of Varginha,” in a flying saucer shape that stands 66 feet above the town with lights that beckon to the skies at night.

Packed with over 150 natural and man-made marvels, “Hidden Wonders” will leave you awestruck, entertained, and educated as you visit the world’s most secret places.

“Aliens and UFOs” explores investigations into the mysteries of extraterrestrials and spaceship sightings with arguments for and against the beliefs that aliens have visited Earth. Chapter 3 begins with “No one has ever proven that aliens have traveled to our planet, yet no one has ever proven that they have not.” Loaded with information from ancient times to present, the book will entertain, create reflection, and hopefully give some answers to the burning question “Is the truth out there?” "Hidden Wonders" can be found in the Juvenile Nonfiction area of the library under call number J 910.2 MAGGI.

-Debra, Roswell Public Library, New MexicoHiddenWonders