High Strangeness: Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities

Monday, November 12, 2012

Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities

A few days ago I posted about the huge collection of UFO books I have amassed over the past several months, and writing that post reminded me that I should stop buying new UFO books and read the ones I have. So I went out the next day and bought more UFO books.

The first is called "The Everything UFO Book," and it is just as silly as it sounds. Just imagine a scholarly treatise on UFOs that has somehow been trapped inside Richard Scarry's Busy, Busy World and you'll get the idea. Apparently there exists a "Complete Idiot's Guide to Extraterrestrial Life," but I doubt it could be more simple-minded than "The Everything UFO Book." 
What would Huckle Cat and Lowly Worm do if they saw a UFO? "The Everything UFO Book" can tell you!
Oh, don't get me wrong; the book has its sublime moments, such as this passage: "If you have the opportunity to visit a cattle mutilation site to inspect the downed animal, remember, don't touch the carcass with your bare hands." That's good stuff. But in general "The Everything UFO Book" is everything that's ever been wrong with UFO literature, in that it desperately tries to make the UFO phenomenon accessible and acceptable to non-believers and wanna-believers, and in the process it just dishes up page after page of pseudo-information that makes the whole topic ripe for ridicule from the very people it tries to impress.

So why did I buy it? Because it's silly, and I have a blog to write.

The second book caught my eye because of its title: "UFOs." It kind of took me by surprise. Very search-engine friendly.

The book also has a great subtitle: "Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities," and it has a foreward by Dr. Jacques Vallee, which makes me think that Vallee liked it. And it has four pages of "Advance Praise" blurbs written by minor UFO celebrities who were lucky enough to read the book before it was published and knew enough to say good things about it so that they could get good blurbs back when they publish their books. Four pages! So that's all good.

Then I started reading it, and whoo-boy is it dynamite! Seriously, this is a UFO book that dares to say, "Hey, you know all that stupid shit you believe about UFOs? Well, you're stupid, because none of it is true." No, the author, John B. Alexander, Ph.D., hasn't actually called anyone stupid in the first 50 pages, but I think it's coming any page now...

Government coverup? Stop being so stupid.
Area 51? Stop.
Disclosure? Stop. Now.

I love this guy, and I love this book. Alexander worked deep, deep within the deepest layers of military intelligence work for a very long time and he never found any trace of any secret knowledge the government had about UFOs. And he looked hard. It's just not there. And I'll say it if he won't: you're stupid to believe it is.

Which is not to say that he dismisses the UFO phenomenon. He just favors a clear-eyed, intelligent approach to the subject, something that I have been promoting here in my own ass-backwards way for the past year and a half. So if you want to get smart about UFOs, you should read this book. While at the same time continuing to read this blog. Because they go hand-in-hand. No, actually, they go fist-in-glove. I believe I am the fist, but I will settle for glove. I should point out, though, that the book costs money, but you can read this blog for free anytime.

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