A CLOSE LOOK AT CLOSE ENCOUNTERS by Daniel Cohen

A CLOSE LOOK AT CLOSE ENCOUNTERS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Cohen's latest collection of UFO stories is well under way before he makes any general comments about their reliability. Instead we have experience after experience, some quite bizarre. In the funniest, if you are inclined to take them that way, a man surprised by visitors from space spends a night in a treetop, tied to the tree so as not to fall out when overcome by their weapon of noxious gas--meanwhile ""tearing up bits of his clothing, lighting them, and throwing them down at his tormentors."" Working up to professional crackpots, Cohen tells of the woman who claims to be from Venus and who maintains that that planet contains doubles for every person on earth. George King, of the British Aetherius society, reports that Jesus is alive and well and living on Venus. Then there are the unfortunates who were, as Cohen's chapter title has it, ""Zapped by Aliens""; they include Captain Thomas F. Mantell, killed in 1948 while chasing a UFO. UFO freaks will be familiar with many of these reports, and they won't be disabused of their conviction by Cohen's analysis. As in The World of UFOs (1978), he points out the similarities between modern UFO sightings and earlier encounters with fairies--but he lets readers decide whether this means both are delusions or that fairies were really aliens. He cites some arguments against belief and notes that even committed UFOlogists believe most reports are fakes or mistakes, but is less forthright than in his previous books about debunking the idea altogether. About the only conclusion all this points to is that the UFO mill grinds on.

Pub Date: April 6th, 1981
Publisher: Dodd, Mead