Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic, "The Horror of the Heights," a fantastic vision which predates early theories asserting that UFOs were actually ultra-high altitude alien animals.
Deros, flying donuts, radioactive slag and the JFK assassination: sorting the facts from the hoax in the Maury Island case.
The strange tale of Kirk Allen, a physicist who worked at a secret government installation in the southwest... until his boss found him churning out page after page of "alien hieroglyphs." Emperor of an intergalactic realm, all within the infinite universe of his own mind.
The year is 1944. A strange fiery object crashes in rural Sweden. And when the Swedish Army comes to investigate, they discover that their small neutral country has come into acquired foreign technology far in advance of anything else on earth...
Do you believe in fairies? A seventeenth-century scholar, Robert Kirk, built his reputation on them. Were Kirk's "encounters" an early vision of extraterrestrial contact?
In the seventeenth century, a Scottish war hero shocks the public with bizarre confessions of sexual crimes and deranged tales of flying coaches, witchcraft and sorcery.
"UFO Cautionary Tales" is a series of historical accounts for Nebula, intended to help shed light on contemporary UFO phenomena by comparison to extraordinary events in other fields, such as folklore, criminology, psychology, and religion. The technique is not original to me; many previous thinkers on the UFO questions have resorted to such comparisons. I wish to particularly acknowledge a debt to the works of Jacques Vallee, John Keel, Daniel Cohen, Harold T. Wilkins, Ivan Sanderson, and Curtis Peebles.
In dealing in a complex arena of belief, religion, folklore, science, and politics, it's hard to pare down a UFO case to its barest facts. Most UFOlogists I have read or talked to are frankly ignorant of these fields and how they can shed light on UFO experiences. No social question -- and UFOs are a social question -- can be delineated in simple Yes or No terms: No, there are no such thing as UFOs; Yes, UFOs are extraterrestrial spaceships. The time is long past for such childish generalizations. Believers have to get over embracing every unidentified flying object as a spaceship, and every contrary explanation as blinkered skepticism or an evil government cover-up. And skeptics have to accept that people do see things they cannot explain. How we interpret what we see is what the game is all about.
Paul B. Thompson
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