Welcome to the website of author David Ritchey. David has written a number of books about a variety of subjects that have, over the course of his lifetime, fascinated him. The material on this website will provide you with an opportunity to get to know a bit about each of his books. If you have arrived here as a result of searching for a specific book, please take a few moments to peruse the others. Perhaps you will find something else by which you will be fascinated.

All books are available from the publisher, Headline Books, or from your favorite bookseller.

The H.I.S.S. of the A.S.P. - Book Cover
The Magic of Digital Fine Art Photography - Book Cover
26 Card Tricks - Book Cover
Something About Scrabble - Book Cover

More than five million Americans are “Anomalously Sensitive Persons (ASPs).”  An Anomalously Sensitive Person exhibits uncommonly high levels of sensitivities, not only in the emotional realm, but also in the physiological, cognitive, altered states of consciousness, and transpersonal (“metaphysical,”) realms as well.  The traits of the ASP, which originate in the structure and chemistry of the brain, have important psychological, medical, educational, and social implications.  The links between a person's sensitivities and a host of other factors related to biology (“nature”), history (“nurture”) and temperament (“personality”) are also investigated in depth.  Learn More…

This book is a collection of fine art photographs created by David.

One definition of fine art is “a visual art considered to have been created primarily for aesthetic purposes and judged for its beauty and meaningfulness.” The word “fine” does not so much denote the quality of the artwork in question as it does the purity of the discipline.

Fine art photography refers to photographs that are created to fulfill the creative vision of the photographer, that is, to express her/his artistic perceptions and emotions, and to share them with others. Fine art photography stands in contrast to photojournalism, commercial photography, and snapshots. Learn More…

Do you already know something about card magic? Would you like to learn more? Do you want to add some new card tricks with a standard deck to your repertoire? If so, this is the book for you.

Writing specifically for the intermediate level magician, David Ritchey presents 26 Card Tricks in clear, precise, easy-to-follow detail. He also provides refreshers for the techniques required to perform all of those tricks, and offers suggestions for creating routines by combining some of the tricks. Learn More…

There's something about SCRABBLE™ that is almost addictive. Perhaps it's the fact that the game combines just the right amount of luck with just the right amount of skill.

This book is written for the average-level livingroom player who generally scores about 250 points per game, and who would like to become a strong livingroom player (or a competent club player) with an average score of 300 - 350 points per game.

Written with a minimalist approach, the book includes only those concepts and word lists that are absolutely mandatory for excelling. Minimalizing further, a pull-out “crib-sheet” is included. Learn More…

Why We Are Fascinated by Dogs - Book Cover

Written by one dog lover for all other dog lovers, this book asserts that dogs are wonderfully loving, social beings who are conscious, intelligent, and capable of exhibiting extraordinary abilities - much like the best of human beings. It is full of fascinating anecdotes that serve to enhance our love and admiration for our canine companions. It also provides guidance on how to select the breed of dog that is most compatible with your personality.
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A Sense of Betrayal

Recollections of Vietnam

David Ritchey’s narrative about the Kafkaesque nature of his own experiences as a young naval officer in Vietnam vividly illustrates how the dynamics of war can shake anyone’s faith in civilization and civilized man.  Even now, forty years later, he struggles with the conclusions he then drew to the effect that the world is a dangerous place, and the men who inhabit that world are dangerous as well.             Learn more …


         Reviewing the Montauk Legend

Do you already know something about the Montauk Legend?  If so, then you are aware that it has to do with “high strangeness.”  If you don’t, then, in short, it’s about UFOs, invisibility, time travel, teleportation, mind control weather control, conspiracies, and other similarly esoteric subjects.  David Ritchey, while struck by its bizarreness, decided to check it out in order to determine which aspects might, in fact, be reality based.  The results of his inquiries, presented in this book, are quite startling. Learn more …

      Six U.S. Presidents have been shot, four of whom were killed and two of whom were wounded.  In this book, a chapter is devoted to discussing the people and circumstances involved in each of these shootings, and a final chapter looks at the Secret Service and the challenges it has faced.  Learn More …

                      Understanding the

       Anomalously Sensitive Person

The life of an individual who is anomalously (“unusually”) sensitive can prove to be quite challenging.  In this book, David Ritchey explores the origins of heightened sensitivity and discusses the implications, both positive and negative, for those who he speaks of as “Anomalously Sensitive Persons.”  Learn More





               Descended from the Gods?

David Ritchey's findings suggest that about 450,000 years ago, a group of advanced beings (whom the Sumerians called the "Anunnaki") arrived on Earth and intervened in the development of humans by undertaking an ongoing series of genetic experiments using humans as subjects.  This book follows the history of those experiments and suggests that today's "Anomalously Sensitive Persons (ASPs)" are direct descendants of the Anunnaki's test subjects.  Learn More

            Those Who Know The Wyrd

The roots of Western shamanism are said to lie in the practices of the “wise women,” the priestesses of early Anglo-Saxon times, who espoused a worldview that was called wyrd.”  Wyrd creates a context in which the human experience can be one of unity, harmony, cooperation, order, meaning, purpose, and value.  Today’s neo-shamans may be able to help us rediscover and adopt this healing worldview. Learn More …




                  Tales From The Depths

Most people are unable to comprehend the enormous magnitude of the Great Lakes, thinking of them as "just lakes," while they are more appropriately thought of as "inland seas."  Storms on the Great Lakes can be every bit as powerful as storms on the world's oceans, but on the Great Lakes, mariners have little room in which to maneuver, and shipwrecks have been a common occurrence.  This book provides an up-close and in-depth account of eleven of those wrecks.  Learn More …




                       On Conflict

The existence of conflict is an ongoing part of the human condition. Different people have different wants and needs, and as a result they frequently find themselves at odds with one another. Instances of conflict can be resolved peacefully, often with constructive results, or they can escalate into aggression and violence, generally with destructive results.  Learn More …

                Keep The Colors Flying

Several noteworthy historic naval battles took place on the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain, with a number of U.S. Naval heroes being recognized as a result.  Among them were Benedict Arnold on Lake Champlain during the Revolutionary War,  Thomas Macdonough on Lake Champlain during the War of 1812, and Oliver Hazard Perry on Lake Erie during the War of 1812.  The focus of this book’s main text is on the battles, and Appendices provide insight into the people, places, and ships involved.

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                The Deadliest Pandemic

The 1918 avian influenza pandemic in a few short months, killed 50–100 million people.  It had a very high mortality rate, in excess of 2%, whereas annual flu epidemics, which kill 250–500 thousand people each year, have a mortality rate of about 0.1%

A new strain of flu, labeled “H5N1,” has emerged in recent years.  Given that this virus is at least 10–20 times more deadly than the 1918 strain, if it mutates to the point of becoming equally contagious, it could then rival the ferocity of some strains of Ebola, and be as contagious as the common cold.

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                    Locked And Loaded

As compared to seven other developed countries with a collective population that is roughly the same as that of the U.S., total deaths by firearms in the U.S. has annually been approximately 12 times higher in the U.S. than in those countries.  Gun control advocates suggest that this is a result of the high prevalence of firearms in the United States, and that lack of gun control in the U.S. makes matters worse.  Gun rights advocates argue that “the right to keep and bear arms,” as specified in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, is of paramount importance, and that firearms deaths would actually be reduced if more American civilians were encouraged to carry guns.

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          From Aardvarks To Zyzzyvas

Word games are beneficial in that they promote social interactions and increase time spent involved with family and friends.  They are also an absorbing way to spend our solitary time, and while they are generally engaged in for their entertainment value, they serve an educational purpose as well.

This book focuses on several of the most popular or most well known word games.  It is intended to serve as a basic introduction to a broad spectrum of such games, rather than as a definitive instruction manual or a source of large numbers of puzzles on any specific theme.  Learn More …


                 Pyramidal Mystique

There are many hundreds of pyramids around the world.  They have been built by a variety of different cultures in a number of different eras.  Those that appear to be either the most important or the most representative show up in North America, South America, Central America, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China, but there are multiple other analogous structures located elsewhere.

This book looks closely at a few of the pyramids, with an emphasis on their descriptions and histories.  The methodologies of their construction and their purposes are also addressed.  Additionally, some alternative theories about these pyramids are explored.  Learn More


                  The Enigma of Baalbek

In Baalbek, Lebanon, the ruins of the monumental temple complex are one of the most extraordinary and enigmatic holy places of ancient times. Most conventional researchers adhere to the Roman story and claim that all of the structures were constructed by the Romans, between 100 BC to 200 AD. Alternative researchers, however, suggest that the underlying platform (with many stones much larger than those used in the Great Pyramids of Giza) on which these buildings were constructed, was built at a much earlier date, perhaps as early as 10,450 BC — and that it was built by a race of technologically advanced ancient beings.  This book explores the alternative theories about Baalbek’s pre-history.  Learn More.



                American Demagogues

A demagogue is person, especially an orator or a political leader, who gains power by arousing people’s emotions, passions, and prejudices rather than by using rational arguments.  Demagogues have been found in democracies from historic Athens to the present day.  Democracies are instituted to ensure freedom for all and popular control over government authority, but through their appeal, demagogues exploit the freedom secured under democracy to gain a level of power for themselves that overrides the rule of law, thereby undermining democracy.  American demagogues profiled in this book include Huey Long, Joseph McCarthy, George Wallace, Barry Goldwater, Al Sharpton, Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, and Donald Trump.  Learn More.





          Invitations To War

When war is likely to break out, most civilized countries try to make it appear that they are not the aggressor, but rather the innocent victim.  In that role, the country is more likely to garner support from its populace and the rest of the world.  Any number of maneuverings can be used to push the opposition into attacking first.  That has happened in a number of wars in which the United States has become involved, and those wars are the subject matter of this book.  A brief synopsis of each of those wars is presented so that the reader can comprehend the context and become reasonably well-informed.  Learn More.




    Enduring American Mysteries

Just about everyone loves to ruminate on a good mystery.  This book provides four such mysteries for your perusal: (1) America's Stonehenge — a site in New Hampshire with numerous stone structures and astronomical alignments, its origins being uncertain; (2) Cahokia Mounds — a vast complex in Illinois containing many large earthen mounds about which people have discussed the questions of "When, Who, and Why" for centuries; (3) Roanoke Island — an English colony in (then) Virginia that was founded in the late 1500s and disappeared shortly thereafter with no definitive explanation as to what happened, and (4) Newport Tower — a stone tower in Rhode Island, the origins of which continue to be actively debated.  Learn More.


                Pyramids of Fire

Through the eons of time, volcanoes have done much to shape the face of the planet, alter climatic conditions, and change the course of history.  Those that have had the biggest impact are known as “supervolcanoes.” There have been no major supervolcano eruptions during the course of recorded human history.  Nevertheless, there are numerous active lesser volcanoes on Earth today, and their eruptions can have extraordinary consequences.  This book looks at the origins of volcanoes, the nature and history of volcanic eruptions, the world’s most famous and the worlds, most dangerous volcanoes, the USA’s most dangerous volcanoes, and the supervolcano, the Yellowstone Caldera.  Learn More.




Noteworthy UFO Cases

The Universe is so old and so vast, and there are so many potentially habitable planets contained within it, that statistically it is almost a foregone conclusion that sentient life exists elsewhere — not just on Earth.  There are likely to be approximately 10,000 active, communicative, extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy alone, and any number of these beings may be traveling around the cosmos in their spacecraft, from time to time visiting the planet Earth.  This book is about earthly UFO sightings, which may be manifestations of those visitations, and sixteen of them are closely examined.  The presence of Extraterrestrials on Earth has enormous socio-economic implications for our future, and this is discussed in some depth.

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One At A Time Or All At Once

Because of the media frenzies that surround multiple murders, most adult Americans have at least a vague awareness of the serial killers, spree killers, and mass murderers that have operated in our midst in recent history.  This book profiles some of the more infamous perpetrators in each category and delineates their actions forthrightly and concisely so that the reader can fully understand what was involved in each situation.  Learn More.








               Spies Uncovered

A spy who has been uncovered can no longer continue to be a spy. The nature of spying is such that a spy, in order to be successful, must remain an unknown entity. The uncovering of a spy usually occurs when he has been captured and his captors reveal his identity, but some spies, albeit very few, reveal their own identities after they have retired.

In this book, eight uncovered spies—Sidney Reilly, Richard Sorge, Julius & Ethel Rosenberg, Klaus Fuchs, Rudolf Abel, Kim Philby, Aldrich Ames, and Robert Hanssen — have been pro led. Each has his own unique story, but because they have been uncovered, and because of the omnipresent deception and misinformation in the eld, they should not be perceived as being representative of spies in general. 

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           Geniuses Among Us

A normal or average I.Q. is 100, an I.Q. of 130+ is considered to be in the “gifted” range. and an I.Q. of 145+ is considered to be in the “very gifted” (or “genius”) range.  In the 1980s, researchers began to recognize that there was more to giftedness than just the linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences measured by I.Q. tests.  Other intelligence included: musical, visuo-spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, inter-personal, and intra-personal.  While an individual may qualify as a genius in one of these other intelligences without an I.Q. of 145+, statistical precision is lacking.

Most geniuses are introverted intuitives with a high level of creativity and a high level of mental illness, particularly mood disorders.  In this book a number of geniuses are profiled: 8 with mental disorders, 11 from the historical past, and 12 contemporary. Learn More




                   Pumped Up

Just about anything that is inflatable can qualify as a "balloon." "Inflatables can be utilized for a broad variety of purposes. In addition to regular ol' balloons, there are aeronautical balloons, (either hot air, or gas, or a combination thereof); there are airships (such as blimps, dirigibles, and zeppelins); there are inflatables that are used by the military and the scientific community; there are inflatable medical devices; there are inflatable recreational devices; there are inflatable safety devices; there are comfort-related inflatable devices; there are inflatable buildings; and there are a host of other miscellaneous inflatable devices. Exaamples of all of these are discussed in this book, and you are likely to find the subject matter fascinating, as did I. Learn More.


A Brief History of Hurricanes

Tropical storms formed in the North Atlantic Basin with winds in excess of 74 mph are spoken of as “hurricanes.” In addition to strong winds and rain, hurricanes are capable of generating high waves, damaging storm surge, and tornadoes. Between 1900 and 2016, 633 hurricanes were recorded in the North Atlantic Basin. Twenty-four of the most noteworthy of those hurricanes are profiled in this book. Those 24, combined, caused 65,000+ fatalities and were responsible for $492+ billion in damages. Models project a 75 percent increase in the frequency of major hurricanes in the 21st century despite a possible decrease in the total frequency of all storms. Learn More


What Is Truth?

When Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate more than 2,000 years ago, Pilate asked of him the question, “What is truth,” but would not stay for an answer. Today, in the 21st century, that question has more relevance than ever before, because truth appears to have lost its “absolute” status, and is now held to be something that is only “relative.” Lack of consensus about truth can only lead to chaos and confusion. This book examines the historic perception of truths, fallacies, and untruths; it looks at the tenuous status of truth in today’s US political environment; and it explores the underpinnings of the current “post-truth” era. Learn More


Transportation Disasters

A disaster can be thought of as a serious disruption in the functioning of a community or society involving widespread human, material, economic, or environmental losses and impacts, which exceed the ability of those affected to cope using their own resources. Disasters can occur in all of the four major transportation categories — aviation, maritime, railway, and roadway. "Pseudo-disasters" can also be created by the media, which, by deftly hyping a relatively minor incident, can hold the public spellbound for months. With the scale of transportation rising, the sizes of airplanes, ships, and other means of carrying people and cargo from one point to another escalating, the likelihood of significant disasters continues to increase with the numbers. In this book, several disasters in each major transportation category are profiled. Learn More

Up To The Eaves: A Look at Some Major Snowstorms

Snowstorms affect such human activities as agriculture, transportation, winter sports, and warfare. It is also an important factor for consideration of loads on structures. Just about anyone who has experienced snowstorms has one that s/he recalls as “the big one.” One person’s “big one, “however, may be run-of-the-mill for someone else. Over the years, and across the country, there have been any number of “bog ones,” and this book profiles 20 of those that objectively seem to merit the appellation. Learn More



The Automobile: An American Cultural Icon

Today’s automobiles are equipped with controls used for driving, parking, passenger comfort and safety, normally operated by the use of feet and hands, and occasionally by voice on 2000s-era cars. They are continually evolving in response to new technologies—for example the electric car and the integration of mobile communications. Concerns about oil are propelling work on alternative power systems. This book looks at the development of cars since 1896 and speculates about the nature of the automobiles of the future.

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Are We Ready For Artificial Intelligence?

Today, Artificial Intelligence is a part of many aspects of our everyday lives, and human-level AI will probably be achieved before the end of the 21st century. A superintelligent system is likely to follow very quickly thereafter. Such software, through a process of recursive self-improvement would soon completely surpass all human capabilities. Exceptional abilities might manifest in ways that pose a threat to humans, the worst-case scenario being that the AI agent could decide that it is not in its best interest to support the continued existence of humanity. Clearly, the problem of control must be made a top priority, and it must be completely resolved before superintelligence is brought into existence.

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Everybody Loves Conspiracy Theories

There probably exist thousands of conspiracy theories about hundreds of subjects, but a broad overview of them can be attained by grouping them into categories and explicating representative examples within each category — as has been done in this book. In the era of the Trump Presidency, conspiracy theories have become writ large in ways that we could not have imagined as recently as three years ago. Conspiracy theories now seem to dominate the mainstream debate, and it may be only a matter of time before paranoia becomes a national mental health crisis.. Learn More


They Say Its Impossible

Many of our great advances can be attributed to those who have ignored such consensuses about things being impossible. Chapter 1 of this book looks at mistaken beliefs that were often held for several centuries simply because people did not believe that the correct alternative was possible. Chapter 2 explores a number of possibilities, mostly in the scientific realm, where it was generally believed that something could not be accomplished, but somebody pushed forward anyway, and by doing so ultimately changed the lives of us all. Chapter 3 discusses things that are currently considered impossible and speculates about ways in which they might be proven to be otherwise. Learn More


Noble New Nation

This book is a dystopian political satire. It is the story, written by two different narrators, of a highly charismatic, yet extremely controversial, politician who was elected to the presidency of the Nation in 2016. The first narrator is a devotee of "Our Illustrious Leader and writes from the perspective of one who believes his subject can do no wrong. The second narrator is a PhD candidate in political science who attempts to tell the story from a purely objective, academic perspective. The two perspectives are strikingly dissimilar.

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Confronting Earth's Tribulations

The planet Earth was formed in an environment of chaos and destruction involving astronomical collisions, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. Its mettle has been tested again and again by these forces as well as many others. Six such forces comprise the content of this book, and are organized into the following sections: Cosmic Billiards (astronomical collisions), The Last Ice Age (ice ages), When the Earth Shudders (earthquakes), Big Waters Rolling (floods and tsunamis), Infernal Wild Fires (wild fires), and Killing Her Slowly (pollution and climate change).

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Coming to Our Senses

Our senses permit us to perceive and function in the world in which we live. Five primary senses that are traditionally recognized by western science: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. In some Asian cultures, a sixth sense, that of the mind and the mind objects it perceives is also recognized. Other sensory modalities are known to exist, but are not widely recognized. Most animals have sensory systems analogous to those of humans and some have others as well. The mind serves to determine the utility of sense perceptions, so intelligence plays a significant role in modulating the senses.

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Popular Primary Pets

Hundreds of millions of animals are kept by humans as pets. Generally, when people think of pets, they are most likely to first think of dogs, cats, and horses. It is about these three types of animals that this book is written. Whether you are a "dog person," a "cat person," a "horse person," or just a person who has a passing interest in one or more of these animals, I hope you will find what I have to say both informative and fun to read.

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