"Certainly a Cult Classic in the
Making. Fortean Rating: 4 out of 4 Stars.
Jeremy of Hampstead, Fiona of Bloomsbury, beware.
intellectual novels are making a comeback with a New Age touch.
There are now no excuses for being a pre-industrial writer any
more. Father Ernetti's Chronovisor is a beautifully written
literary-cum-fictional experiment, in the Umberto Eco tradition.
The book could have been a candidate for a review by Arthur
Koestler in the long-defunct CIA-sponsored
Encounter magazine. It could
well represent a growing anti-pop movement in that genre which
is now called "pan-dimensional."
This style, while not
"stream-of-consciousness" or collage, nevertheless juxtaposes
many elements: an esoteric story, essays on occultism,
historical elements and technological myths - just about
everything that FT readers are interested in. Father Ernetti was
an Italian Benedictine monk who died in the middle years of this
[the 20th] century.
He lived in the lovely abbey on the
island of San Giorgio Maggiore, just off the main island of
Venice, and as a scientist and musicologist, he was an authority
on archaic music. Using his knowledge of the physics of chordal
structures, he claimed to have made a time-machine.
based on a new principle he had uncovered, involving musical
frequencies, harmonic resonance and the relationship of these
things with the
astral plane. By means of this
machine, Father Ernetti said that he witnessed Christ dying on
To prove that he could do such a
thing, he brought back a fragment from Thyestes, a play
Quintus Ennius (239-169
B.C.). This new material, though it fitted perfectly Ennius's
play, caused great controversy within the church, as of course
did Father Ernetti's claimed visions of the life of Christ.
How did the obviously sincere Father
Ernetti construct his machine?
To try and answer that question,
we are treated to a fascinating investigation threading through
Edison, Edgar Cayce, Mesmer, and even Whitley Strieber!"
- Colin Bennett, The Fortean
Times, July, 2000
"...has garnered huge critical acclaim.... A riveting read.
Subtitled, "The Creation and Disappearance of the World's First
Time Machine," this book tells the story of a little-known
Benedictine monk, Father Pellegrino Maria Ernetti, who lived in
Italy around the middle of the 20th century.
Ernetti's claim to
fame was his assertion that he had combined ancient occult
knowledge with modern scientific discoveries to create a time
machine, the Chronovisor.
He then claimed to have used this
machine to witness such historical events as the Crucifixion,
and to "open a window" on ancient Greece and Rome. Peter
Krassa's book is a well-researched account of Ernetti's life and
work that has garnered huge critical acclaim. Originally
published in Germany, the book now has a new English
translation, but, at present, is only available in a U.S.
However, those willing to take the
necessary pains to get hold of a copy are sure to be rewarded.
The book dips into many of the areas that will be of interest to
X Factor readers, from fringe science to the occult, and offers
insights into the lives of many of the great figures within the
world of 20th-century paranormal phenomena.
Above all, however, this book is an
intriguing account of one man's attempts to understand the
secrets of the universe and his own place within it. A riveting
-X Factor (U.K.), early June,
2000, No. 91
"Everything about the life of Father Pellegrino Ernetti
suggests that this Italian Benedictine priest-scientist was a
man of integrity and would not have created a hoax about his
work on the chronovisor - a camera that allegedly could
tune into the past or future and take pictures. V
Father Ernetti (1925-1994) was an authority on archaic music, a
scholar in Greek and Latin, a sought-after exorcist, a confidant
of the influential, and an object of questioning by
the Vatican and NASA.
His work on the so-called
chronovisor stemmed from his time at Father Gemelli's
electroacoustical laboratory at the Catholic University in Milan
from 1952. So writes Peter Krassa in his fascinating
exposé of Ernetti's life and work, translated from German and
now expanded with supporting documents - such as the translation
of the lost Latin classic, Ennius's Thyestes, supposedly
retrieved via the chronovisor.
Krassa draws on commentaries from
associates of Ernetti, some of them priest-parapsychologists who
were excited that he may have found a way to tap the elusive
akashic records. Apparently the chronovisor (if it ever existed)
was dismantled, its capacity for misuse too great to justify
Fr Ernetti went very quiet in the
last decade of his life (by choice or force?), but, in late
1993, he and two surviving scientists from the project presented
their findings at the Vatican before four cardinals and a
What transpired has not been divulged."
- NEXUS New Times, Vol. 7, No. 5,
"It seems that this past summer I made a grave error; I wish to
amend it now. I was attracted to Father Ernetti’s Chronovisor
as soon as it arrived at The New Times, but never quite
understanding what the book was, I continued to pass on it for
When I recently tackled it just to better know my draw
to the thing, I found myself on a journey that I knew I must
share. While The New Times works to review only the latest
titles, this one (at just over half a year old) deserves a
"Purporting to be a biography, the book is a great deal more.
Yes, it is fascinating enough as a biography - it tells of a
scientist/theologian who developed a machine to look into the
past - but it is also much more.
To set the context of Father
Ernetti, to show how his chronovisor fit into the
human quest for spirit, the author also offers fascinating
accounts of others who have added so much to our spiritual
understandings. The chronovisor, after all, purported to
grasp both sounds and images from the still-existent waves of
the past, held forever in the Akashic records.
"Mr. Krassa does not merely offer examples of what these are,
but gives an entire background by telling us of the 18th-century
birth of mesmerism and animal magnetism, which effects came from
'a "vital fluid" diffused everywhere throughout the universe.'
The author shows the spread of this belief in varied forms, and
takes us through the lives of people like Madame Blavatsky,
Rudolf Steiner, and Edgar Cayce to explain where all of this
went. He even tells of Thomas Edison’s apparatus to contact the
"Enter Father Ernetti and his chronovisor. The father was
widely known for his expertise in archaic music, and for his
interest and talent in science and languages. When he began to
speak of a machine built by scientists that allowed them to
witness the past in 3D, you can bet that people took note. But
with fascinating irregularities to the claims, people’s
reactions widely varied.
A huge reaction set in when Ernetti
claimed to have photographed the crucified Christ - and
when the photo was proven a fake. Ernetti was a man of good
repute, and Mr. Krassa examines why an honest man would lie in
this way, why he would withhold information on the supposed
machine, and just what was really going on with the father.
"If I may reclassify the book, I’d call it investigative
reporting of a fascinating mystery. And, it helps the reader
understand better where we stand today by better seeing from
where the spiritual movement has arisen. This is one of the most
interesting accounts I have read, and I recommend it for those
wanting to take an unusual reading trip."
- Steve McCardell
The New Times,
Seattle, Washington, Fall, 2000
"All roads may lead to Rome, but in Krassa's book all story
lines lead back to Father Ernetti.
The Benedictine monk, a
scientist and professor of archaic music, had a thirst for
knowledge that led him down unusual paths for a clergyman. With
the help of other scientists, he built a time machine and
brought back a picture of Christ and a selection from a
Quintus Ennius play called Thyestes, which was
performed in 169 B.C.
Besides the fascinating work of
Father Ernetti, Krassa includes intriguing study of other time
and space manipulators, from Madame Blavatsky to Thomas Edison.
So rev up your astral fluid for a titillating journey into the
ether." - Linda Fleischman, Magical Blend, Issue # 72:
"Something about being able to travel to the past and perceive
firsthand a bygone era or past event is extremely enticing,
maybe because it seems so impossible. Author Peter Krassa uses
this magic to produce a book which is simultaneously exciting
and disappointing. The nonfiction book begins like an adventure
An Italian priest, Father Ernetti,
stumbles upon the ability to communicate with the dead via
standard audio recording equipment; as the plot unfolds he uses
this knowledge to build the chronovisor, a machine that
displays images from the past on a TV screen.
This part of the
book is well-written and suspenseful, with each chapter ending
in a cliffhanger. Unfortunately, its similarities to fiction do
not end there: Krassa fails to provide us with any real reason
why we should accept this serial as truth.
The only proof of the existence of
the chronovisor he gives us is second-hand testimony from
friends of the priest, who died in 1994.
They say he told them
of his fabulous machine; no testimony is given from anyone who
actually saw it. This attempt to substantiate Ernetti’s claim
does not hold up well against the hoaxes he was accused of
perpetrating. The second half of the book, while not quite so
spellbinding, may hold more interest for the discerning reader.
In this section, Krassa gives
detailed summaries of many key figures in the paranormal
movement. These people’s lives, beliefs, discoveries and
thoughts are truly fascinating, and inspire the reader to
research these figures further.
The purpose of this summary
section is to lend historical credence to the possibility of a
time machine, by discussing the nature of time, "etheric fluid,"
past attempts by individuals to time travel, and much more, and
linking all these subjects together to "prove" how the time
Again, however, Krassa fails to
convince, and the support for his story consists of leaps in
logic and exercises in hypothesis.
All in all, this book is very
entertaining at first, and fascinating later on, but in the end
I remain unconvinced of the reality of Father Ernetti’s
– Janet Brennan, Fate, November,
"In this unusual work, the author sets forth to describe Father
Ernetti's creation of a time machine.
What is more unusual is
that the Venetian priest managed to realize the contraption
under the wing of the Roman Catholic Church. Yet his machine
afforded more than mere travel into the past and future, but
rather embodied a kind of living metaphor for our time.
The Father's machine afforded a look
at linearity, the Gregorian calendar, perhaps even Bishop
Ussher's insistence that the world was created on September 21,
4004 B.C., a belief still held by some even in this day of
quantum non-locality. The author describes other achronological
curios such as Baird T. Spalding's Camera of Past
Events, the Secret School of Whitley Strieber,
as well as Edgar Cayce.
Also, information on Thomas Edison's
device to contact the dead is described in this worthwhile
- Jaye C. Beldo, Dream Network,
Vol. 19, No. 3.
"For me what makes Father Ernetti's Chronovisor a
treasure-trove of hard-to-find information is all the
documentation on the Akashic Records it brings together
for the first time, as well as the superb biographies of
much-misunderstood yet seminal historical figures, such as
Helena P. Blavatsky and Franz Mesmer.
fascinating book is a most welcome addition to my library."
- George Andrews, author of
Extra-Terrestrials Among Us, Extra-Terrestrial Friends and Foes,
and Pyramids and Palaces, Monsters and Mazes: The Golden Age of
"Father Ernetti's Chronovisor is a
brilliantly-researched, absorbing compendium of a current-times
Benedictine monk's forays into specific events in the life of
Christ and ancient Greece.
Using his enigmatic invention - the
chronovisor - scientist/scholar/exorcist Father
Ernetti plumbs the depths and drives a cutting wedge into
man's hidden past, our access to alleged akashic records, and
the present-day relevance of those to such new and baffling
paranormal techniques as electronic voice phenomena and
transcommunications with television and computers.
Peter Krassa illuminates his
thesis with sparkling accounts of the life and achievements of
such fellow time-travelers as Madame Blavatsky, Rudolph Steiner
and Thomas A. Edison, and some others not quite so well-known,
such as the controversial free energy inventor/genius(?) John
Worrell Keely. Wow!
Once you start reading Father
Ernetti's Chronovisor, you won't put it down till you've
It is a first-rate, challenging mystery-thriller, not
fiction but - whatever the true explanation behind it all is - the
- Berthold E. Schwarz, M.D.
(Psych.), author of Parent-Child Telepathy, UFO Dynamics,
Psychiatric and Paranormal Aspects of UFOlogy, The Jacques
Romano Story and many others
"Is Father Ernetti's Chronovisor a flight of fancy or the
real thing? The question has tantalized the scientific and
religious communities for nearly 40 years, ever since the
September day in 1952 when two Benedictine priests collaborating
in a laboratory at the Roman Catholic University of Milan
stumbled on its discovery.
In a moment of frustration, Father
Ernetti entreated his departed father for help with a
problem, and was astounded to hear an answer from him through a
recording device they were working on!
This event led to the development of
the Chronovisor, a time camera that can retrieve sound
and sight images from space and project them on a screen.
Father Ernetti eschews any connection with parapsychology or
metaphysics, claiming instead that his machine is based on the
scientific principle that light and sound waves are not lost
after emission but are transformed and remain indefinitely in
Without trying to explain the pertinent theories,
suffice to say that the Chronovisor can recapture and
reconstitute sound waves even from by-gone centuries - including
a Roman tragedy that was performed in 169 B.C.!
Ernetti is no visionary or magician,
but a highly regarded scientist, an authority on prepolyphonic
music, a professor, and the director of the Italian Secretariat
of Religious Instruction of Man.
As Krassa attempts to reconcile
fact and fiction, his book will challenge your thinking - but we
are reminded of Hamlet's observation:
"There are more things on
heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your
- P.S., The NAPRA Review, Vol.
11, No. 3, May-June, 2000
"Time travel? This book is based on the work of Father
Pellegrino Ernetti, a well-respected Italian Benedictine
priest, who claimed to have engineered a device to "view" the
past called a "chronovisor."
First published in 1997 as Die
Schichsal ist vorherbestimmt (Your Destiny is Foretold), by
Peter Krassa, this edition has been expanded to include
previously unreleased documents that have recently been made
available to the American editors - the most intriguing of these
being the long-lost Latin text of Quintus Ennius's play,
Thyestes, which is reported to have been brought back
through time by Father Ernetti.
Reading this book is in itself an
expedition in time travel. We are introduced to leaders in the
fields of occultism, spiritualism, alchemy and science, and we
are taken to the beginnings of time and back again, in an
exciting journey of possibility that gives more than enough
credence to Father Ernetti's claims.
This updated American edition leaves
no stone unturned and is a comprehensive wealth of knowledge.
Each chapter is a story within this multifaceted work; both
newcomers and serious students of occultism will be impressed by
Peter Krassa's well researched and refreshingly unbiased study
into time and space."
- Kyles, Psychic Interactive, No.
"A strange case!.... The text of the play [Thyestes] is
translated here, and there is genuine wonder why such an
otherwise accomplished individual as Father Ernetti would have
fabricated such a bizarre fantasy or hoax. A curious book, and a
book for the curious."
- Robert C. Girard, Arcturus
Books Catalog, March, 2000:
"In the middle part of the twentieth century, Italian
Benedictine monk Pellegrino Maria Ernetti claimed to have
created a time machine he called the "chronovisor" through which
he could see and hear events of the past including Christ
dying on the cross and a performance of a now-lost tragedy,
Thyestes, by the father of Latin Poetry, Quintus Ennius, in Rome
in 169 B.C.
Father Ernetti was a leading
authority on archaic music and claimed to have combined the
insights of modern physics with ancient occult knowledge of the
astral planes to build his invention. After his death the
chronovisor was nowhere to be found, leading his critics to
proclaim this otherwise distinguished scientist-priest a fraud.
This American edition of Peter
Krassa's Father Ernetti's Chronovisor: The Creation and
Disappearance of the World's First Time Machine includes the
first translation from Latin to English of the text of
Thyestes which Father Ernetti claimed to have recovered
using the chronovisor. This and other newly-discovered
documents contain astonishing revelations refuting the claims of
fraud against the strange, tormented, brilliant Father
Father Ernetti's Chronovisor
is a highly recommended biographical study for students of
metaphysics, religion, and science."
- Midwest Book Review, April,