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June 19, 2006

UFOs and Ufology: the First Fifty Years by Paul Devereux and Peter Brookesmith

Posted by barry

Paul Devereux & Peter Brookesmith - UFOs and Ufology: The First Fifty Years

Paul Devereux and Peter Brookesmith

UFOs and Ufology: The First Fifty Years (

UFOs and Ufology: The First Fifty Years (

It was with some hesitation that I chose to purchase Paul Devereux and Peter Brookesmith's 'UFOs & Ufology'. I had read Bob Rickard's review in Fortean Times 106, where he gave it an 'Excellent' rating, and I have deep respect for both authors - I've cited Devereux's endeavours in Blather before. But when I went to pay IEP£20 for their new publication, I was a little taken aback. I held in my hand a 'coffee table' sized tome, with an almost abstract rendition of 'extra-terrestrial' in front of a saucer. 'Potboiler', I muttered, and left it down. Eventually, after a few minutes thumbing through the pages, pacing and beard stroking, I was away with a copy under my arm.

Apparently you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. I didn't - I bought 'UFOs & Ufology on the strength of the authors' previous work. However, I hope that people do buy this book because of its cover - because if they buy it hoping for yet another reassurance of the reality of flying saucers and alien visitation, perhaps they might actually learn something.

The authors trace UFOs from their earliest historical mentions, discussing their meanings in different cultures, right up to describing how and why 'flying saucers' suddenly made news in 1947. put forward their own theories, and still have room to explore the various hypothesis outside their own ideas. Any Roswell believer who doesn't have questions raised for them by the chapter on *that* alleged incident needs a boot in the ear. The tenuous links between crop circles and UFOs is explained, and the abductionists, such as John Mack and Budd Hopkins are heavily criticised, but not without well expressed reasons. Devereux's own field -- earthlight research -- is clearly explained, as is its relationship to the overall UFO phenomenon. While the authors pull no punches, they are not dismissive either. They never debunk the idea of extraterrestrial life, yet do a damn fine job of explaining why there is yet little evidence to support it.

Probably the best overview of the UFO phenomenon that money can buy.
- daev

Also see: Paul Devereux's website

Posted by barry at June 19, 2006 8:27 PM

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