The news that good friend, fellow author and Fortean writer and researcher Mac Tonnies has passed away suddenly at the age of only 34, is tragic, mind-numbing and overwhelmingly saddening.
It’s difficult (as it always is in such situations) to put my thoughts and feelings into words. But, my first thoughts are, of course, with Mac’s family at this terrible time.
I first came across Mac in 2004, when Paraview-Pocket Books published his book, After the Martian Apocalypse, which is a very good, and highly balanced, study of the Face on Mars controversy. I interviewed Mac not long after the book came out for the now-defunct Phenomena Magazine, and we stayed in touch, and soon became friends - albeit at the time purely by email and sometimes by lengthy night-time phone-calls, during which we would chat about Forteana, music and more.
Then, in late 2006 - at Paul Kimball’s New Frontiers Symposium in Halifax, Nova Scotia - we got to meet up, along with Greg Bishop and several others for a weekend of Forteana, UFOs, Cryptozoology, and general high-strangeness.
Needless to say, it was a fun few days, and I have a lot of good memories of Mac from that gig - he gave a fine presentation, everyone had a great time, and there was a cool vibe in the air. After that, me and Mac continued to stay in regular contact. Indeed, only a couple of months ago I interviewed him for an upcoming project, about which he was very excited - and now he’s gone; which I am still finding hard to believe and accept.
Mac was a great thinker and a thoughtful individual. He was a person with much to say and who had the skills to say it, too. And, with the manuscript of his planned book The Cryptoterrestrials nearly completed, I truly believe that Mac was about to come into his own in the Fortean field on a very large scale indeed.
He was also my friend, and I’ll greatly miss him.
Mac was taken far too early; so let’s always remember the man, the friend, and the work that he left behind. That’s really all I want to say right now.
PS: The photo above shows Mac (on the left) with Greg Bishop, sharing a laugh about something at Paul Kimball’s 2006 gig. This is the Mac I will remember.