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Record Type: Review   ID: 489

UFOs: The Final Answer? Ufology for the 21st Century

Barclay, David, & Barclay, Therese Marie (Eds.

 Anthology on aspects of UFOs with the emphasis on hypotheses. The editors review a number of views on UFOs in the first chapter. Arthur Tomlinson surveys historical sightings of UFOs in ancient Egypt, Biblical, and classical times through the 19th century. K.W.C. Phillips deals with "the psychosociology of UFOlogy," emphasizing that what we are actually studying are reports (texts), not first-hand data. He emphasizes the religious, historic, and folkloric dimensions of UFOs and notes the presence of a strong psi factor. Robert Moore, in "Science v. Saucery," tries to provide a traditionally scientific exploration of UFOs. His chapter is a good survey of the "normal" counterhypotheses, both objective and subjective, which could explain 85% of all sightings. For the rest, he sets forth the "Mundane-Synthesistic Hypothesis," in which synthesistic is "defined as many separate factors cumulating into a single result" (p. 92). Roger Ford describes what appear to be cases of the government spreading "deliberate disinformation" (p. 106) about seeming UFOs. Therese M. Barclay describes some of the best sightings she and others have investigated and concludes that UFOs are real but do not make sense within our accepted worldview: "It might be that they are real in a way our present-day cosmologies can’t conceive" (p. 113). Joseph Dormer argues that "the origins of UFOs, and their alien occupants, probably lies within us" (p. 152). Charlotte A. O’Connor sets forth a "racial dream hypothesis" to explain UFOs, especially UFO abductions. In the concluding chapter, David Barclay points out that "ufology as it presently stands [is] a loosely interconnected series of belief systems from which anyone can choose on the basis of personal preference alone" (p. 172). He also feels that skepticism is the least defensible choice and the most counterproductive. He proposes a holographic virtual reality model as the source of UFOs. Taken together, the viewpoints expressed offer an up-to-date survey of UFO explanations and counterhypotheses that is both quite comprehensive, and in some instances, presented in some depth.
Publisher Information:New York: Sterling, 1993. 192p. Chap. bibl; 7 figs; Index: 191-192; 2 tables
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