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There are broadly two ways that human beings respond to the question do you believe in UFOs One is to say, yes, cite things like the Spielberg movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, or TV shows such as The X Files, and suggest that the universe is a huge place and aliens must be out there So why could they not come here Often that brings an afterthought that involves global conspiracies, Roswell, extra terrestrial bodies kept hidden from the world for decades and other random referenc There are broadly two ways that human beings respond to the question do you believe in UFOs One is to say, yes, cite things like the Spielberg movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, or TV shows such as The X Files, and suggest that the universe is a huge place and aliens must be out there So why could they not come here Often that brings an afterthought that involves global conspiracies, Roswell, extra terrestrial bodies kept hidden from the world for decades and other random references to countless documentaries running on satellite or cable TV The second response could not bedifferent It says UFOs are, of course, nonsense, as spaceships and little green men patently do not exist within our midst So these things are just stories or, perhaps, mistakes filed by someone likely on the way home from an evening in the pub Well there is a third approach, and, happily, this book takes that direction It assumes nothing, listens to everything and bases its conclusions upon decades of actual investigation You may dispute some of its conclusions but you cannot argue with the quality of your guide on this trip through seven decades of human fascination with the UFO mystery The fact that David Clarke has been a journalist and is a specialist in folklore who now teaches media law at Hallam University in Sheffield, may hint at the conclusions that he personally leans toward Even so, he has walked the hard yards in order to reach them That he has been the main spokesperson for the UK government over the past decade as it has gradually released all the UFO data collated by the Ministry of Defence since the 1950s has also rather appropriately and absurdly allowed some enthusiasts to infer that the author has gone over to the dark side and is now part of their much desired cover up One fact stands firm though I have known David since he was a teenage enthusiast who like many of the space age generation of the 60s and 70s was fascinated by this subject as it etched a path through the fabric of our society He was certainly no government mole Nor was he unwilling to embrace muchdramatic conclusions If he had ever come upon evidence that would change the world I am sure that he would have said so But he simply found something else This book is the story of his journey from someone willing to believe to someone who expounds a new way to tackle the undeniably intriguing evidence He became one of the most skilled investigators in modern UFO research a man whose case reports were always illuminating and I saw plenty of them when he worked with me at the British UFO Research Association David s approach was rather unusual in this way out field though less so in the UK given that his way reflects good old fashioned common sense He does not presume that a witness is puddled or has just had a meeting with the Venusian high council He searches hard for explanations as to what a UFO event might really be and why someone might have genuinely concluded that what they saw was a UFO Precisely what investigation should be all about but all too often isn t David frequently finds answers though not all of the time and has been willing to call a UFO a UFO if it remains that way Provided it is understood and, trust me, to most of the world it very rarely is that the acronym UFO is short for unidentified flying object not for alien spaceship The one thing you will quickly discover from this excellent and very easy to follow book is that there is no straight choice between the way of idiocy and the extraordinary There is a third stance UFO sightings are human events that tantalise the imagination and ripple through the fabric of our global consciousness There are many kinds of reported experience and literally hundreds of causes for them that we now know with reasonable certainty Importantly you also often cannot reach a satisfactory conclusion without considering the witness and their social context Ironically, whilst most people equate UFOs with outer space, as David eloquently reveals any grounded researcher discovers that they areoften in part a product of inner space spawned much closer to home and yet no less intriguing This does not mean just the inner space of the witness their thoughts, beliefs, and so forth Equally important is the role played by investigators and some dubious methods such as regression hypnosis which happily we at the British UFO research association banned 30 years ago but most UFO groups still pursue These techniques fuel conviction that investigation unearths a hidden truth of universal significance, when in some cases it is actually creating the nebulous reality in of itself This reality morphs from witness perception of an event to an international cover up of mega proportions via the investigation process with a helping hand from the nature of modern folklore and often insidious but effective media manipulation You have to be on the inside to see this process in operation and you also have to be honest and accept that much of what you have long pursued dissipates into an illusion Happily this author has been able to do that Wisely he admits that his book is not intended to be about finding the cause of UFO sightings and that in the context of his discussion such a cause is not necessarily relevant He thinks most perhaps all are soluble events but accepts the possibility that some of those still unexplained might add to our knowledge though not in the sense that most people will presume This book is primarily about the effect that the widespread belief in UFOs has had on our society because whatever else is, or is not, true then that effect is visibly profound Since famed psychologist Carl Jung penned a book on the subject in the late 1950s we have been in need of a modern appraisal from someone who knows both the facts and how to read the signs The world is awash with UFO books and the net an unregulated morass of web sites and chat forums dedicated to believing in six million impossible things before breakfast Happily this book is not one of these It is free of jargon and is a highly intelligent look at a mysterious phenomenon that has insidiously invaded the consciousness of our world It is one of the most illuminating and interesting books on the subject in years After you have read it then you may not find the UFO phenomenon to be quite so mysterious but you could very possibly consider it to be evenfascinating.Jenny Randles [[ Free Book ]] ⇸ How UFOs Conquered the World: The History of a Modern Myth ↜ Neither a credulous work of conspiracy theory nor a sceptical debunking of belief in flying saucers , How UFOs Changed the World explores the origins of UFOs in the build up to the First World War and how reports of them have changed in tandem with world events, science and culture The book will also explore the overlaps between UFO belief and religion and superstition Circle of Friends How UFOs Changed the World explores the origins of UFOs in the build up to the First World War and how reports of them have changed in tandem with world events Reconcilable Differences science and culture The book will also explore the overlaps between UFO belief and religion and superstition Logical, intelligent, thoughtful, outstanding I enjoyed every page What a delight to read an account of UFOs that was critical but kind, reasonable and open minded So insightful, I feel like I understand the UFO phenomena better This will be on my recommendation list as essential reading for those interested in this topic. A very clear and detailed investigation as to how individuals mistake what they see, whether as the result of cognitive dissonance or just misperception, etc Even trained personnel can mistake speed, size, etc Clarke points out that humans tend to see pictures and fit data into a picture Specialists on the evolution of the human mind point out that humans tend to see pictures in colorations for example, think of the Virgin Mary appearing on a piece of toasted bread People WANT to believe in A very clear and detailed investigation as to how individuals mistake what they see, whether as the result of cognitive dissonance or just misperception, etc Even trained personnel can mistake speed, size, etc Clarke points out that humans tend to see pictures and fit data into a picture Specialists on the evolution of the human mind point out that humans tend to see pictures in colorations for example, think of the Virgin Mary appearing on a piece of toasted bread People WANT to believe in UFOs for various reasons and this desire lies behind the phenomenon of UFOs flying saucers or whatever new shape they take from outer space It IS fun, or was, when I was a pre teen The book is an excellent corrective for those that want some information to counter all the conspiracty theorists Concentrates on the people UFO believers, truthers, conspiracy theorists and the scientists that study them, rather than the actual experiences themselves I found it a fascinating read that bordered on confirmation bias due to how closely it matched my own experience of ardent believers.The principles involved can easily be recognised in other kinds of paranormal or conspiracy obsessives and also can be applied to religion too A great book on the way many humans find comfort in and defend th Concentrates on the people UFO believers, truthers, conspiracy theorists and the scientists that study them, rather than the actual experiences themselves I found it a fascinating read that bordered on confirmation bias due to how closely it matched my own experience of ardent believers.The principles involved can easily be recognised in other kinds of paranormal or conspiracy obsessives and also can be applied to religion too A great book on the way many humans find comfort in and defend their own interpretations of whatever they have experienced A well reasoned skeptical view of the UFO phenomenon and the people who believe in UFOs and extraterrestrials Surprisingly also a fun, fairly light read. review TBA Well written, fascinating read I thoroughly enjoyed it If you are interested in ufology and it s history, you will too. Clarke is at his best when he untangles the various threads from popular culture ti the UFO phenomena which he, by the way, claims does not exist and makes a strong case for PSH to explain the core of the mystery An excellent history of things seen in the sky And the people who see them.