June 14, 2013

Book Review: UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record

Believe it or not I am quite skeptical of most UFO stories. I myself have seen strange lights in the sky, only to realize after a few minutes they are from a medical helicopter or something else man-made. I strongly suspect the vast majority of UFO sightings are from people's rush to judgment and ignorance of what can be in the sky (like Chinese lanterns).

A while ago when I was at the library I ran across a copy of UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record. I had read the press release for the book when it came out a couple of years or so ago, threw it on my reading list and then kind of forgot about it. The chance to read the book for free was too tempting, and so I checked it out and brought it home. I figured if the book was a bunch of horrible nonsense I was out no money and only a little bit of time.

Let me just say that the book was not horrible nonsense, not as far as I'm concerned. Leslie Kean writes a wonderful introduction where she explains how she was pulled into the whole UFO thing as a journalist, her own skepticism when it comes to extraterrestrials, etc. She then lets the pilots, generals and government officials from around the world tell their stories in their own words, which is incredibly interesting to read.

One thing I just loved about the book is that Kean does not jump to the conclusion that UFOs are alien craft. She clarifies that by their nature UFOs are unknown and so cannot be declared to be for certain from Earth or outer space. I've always thought the same thing and have made a conscious effort to suspend judgment on UFOs since there's little to no information about their origins.

The stories from the various eyewitnesses are quite interesting. You're not reading an account from Cletus the drunken redneck who saw a UFO and tiny green men after consuming a twelve pack of beer. Instead you are reading detailed accounts and looking at illustrations from these witnesses who are highly educated, respected and knowledgeable about aircraft. The things they describe in the book are nothing short of amazing and surpass our current knowledge of physics and aeronautics. Most of these witnesses also try to remain objective about what they have seen, refraining from the usual talk of lizards from Neptune piloting the craft, etc.

If you are the least bit interested in reading up more on UFOs but want to skip the crazy National Enquirer garbage that abounds out there, then check out UFOs by Kean. It's an interesting and fairly quick read, unless you study the different drawings and ponder the details of the accounts (which you can easily do if you want).


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've always believed they existed, we just don't know what they are. Sounds like a smart read.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'd enjoy that book!

Steven said...

Alex, it was a smart read.

Diane, go check it out! :)