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Book Review: UFOs: Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities

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Robert L. Mason's picture

Book Review:

UFOs: Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities

by John B. Alexander, Ph.D.

 

The Long of It


UFOs, Myths, Conspiracies and Realities

I would hazard a guess that no one has made as extensive an effort to find a center for hidden UFO activities within the US Government/Military complex as the author of this book. This is especially true when one considers the kind of access that was made available to him. His knowledge of the inner workings of government, military and international organizations is quite complete. Once I got past the organizational alphabet soup and acronyms (a glossary of these would have been helpful) I found his conclusion quite convincing — no such deep black budget center exists. In addition he casts serious doubts on the long rumored existence of artifacts retrieved from cashed alien spacecraft, not to mention the reverse engineering of such artifacts to produce an alien reproduction vehicle.

Of course, many with near religious convictions, will find these these conclusions hard to swallow.

The Short of It

The book is not as thorough when it comes to science.

The author is listed as John B. Alexander on the the title page and he has a Ph.D. after his name. He was employed for a period at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a project manager and that would seem to imply a scientific background.

First it needs to be acknowledged that UFOs exist. They exist by definition. However, the denotation of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) or, perhaps more accurately, Unidentified Ariel Phenomena (UAPs), is often contaminated with the connotation of alien spacecraft which makes for much misunderstanding, and this book is not entirely devoid of that confusion.

Most of the evidence listed by the author is anecdotal in nature and really doesn't qualify as scientific. Such evidence cannot be obtained at will and is not reproducible. Some photos, radar contacts, and physical trace evidence exists, and altough recordable, cannot be replicated at will.

Any hypothesis that is created to cover the 5–10 % of reports that are not easily explained must be empirically verifiable or falsifiable. A metaphysical hypothesis is not acceptable as science because by definition no empirical observation can be made (to be fair, the author did not suggest any such hypothesis, in fact, no hypothesis at all). Alien spacecraft is a valid hypothesis and also the possibility exists that there are natural phenomena or domestic technologies that are not known to those doing the identifying.

There is, however, room for theoretical science, and speculation as to how it might apply to the observations listed in the book. Speculation of that sort is sparse in this book. The kind of information provided by Carol Rainey in the book Sight Unseen which she co-authored with Budd Hopkins would have been a nice addition.

An example of the kind of scientific speculation that could have been made applies to the sighting described at the bottom of page 30:

“He reported seeing an object moving across the dark sky with a stream of light trailing behind it. According to him the object abruptly stopped and the light seemed to be sucked into the source, much like a string of spaghetti might be vacuumed into one's mouth. The light did not go out, but it seemed to withdraw into the UFO; something that lights don't do.”

It is my understanding that a particle beam sent into the atmosphere can produce a ball of plasma which when maneuvered can produce this kind of effect. In fact, such a beam can produce many of the observed maneuvering characteristics of UFOs that would be impossible for a nuts and bolts craft. For more on this, search on “Particle Beams and Saucer Dreams” by Tom Mahood. Of course, even if this is true it still leaves open the question of whether the beam came from above or below and who sent it.

In the Epilogue the author states:

“There is little doubt that some unidentified flying objects are real, three- dimensional solid objects, which are physically present and observable.”

Some may indeed be real, but my "guess" is that they are a kind of interactive holographic projection whose purpose is long range remote sensing. This fits better with the way their movements are usually described. For more on this, search on “Alien Spacecraft: Real, Physical or Virtual?” by yours truly. Or go to The UFO Experience Reconsidered.

Having said all that I nevertheless highly recommend this book on the strength of the parts which are the author's long suit.

Robert L. Mason
Mendocino, CA
2011

If you would like more information or to purchase this book from Amazon.com simply click on its title: UFOs: Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities

 

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