Kirkus Reviews QR Code
UFOS by John B. Alexander


Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities

by John B. Alexander

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-312-64834-3
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

A hardnosed look at the UFO phenomenon by an ex-military weapons researcher.

Alexander worked on a number of classified projects for the Air Force, and he took part in the Advanced Theoretical Physics project, where specialists from a number of disciplines collected and analyzed information on UFOs. A straight-shooter on the issue of government cover-ups, Alexander goes through the whole list of governmental and quasi-governmental agencies that might have secret knowledge of crashed UFOs, captured aliens and reverse-engineered experimental craft. His conclusion is that nobody is really minding the store—partly because it’s nobody’s job. The military, charged with national security, has decided that UFOs pose no threat. Elected officials know that UFOs are a “tar baby”—anyone who gets involved with them will spend the rest of their career trying to shake the “UFO nut” label. So while some officials—including presidents Reagan and Clinton—have been curious, and have tried to find out more about them once in office, they’ve generally avoided making their interest known. As a result, the few official government studies, such as the Condon Report, have been careful to dismiss any suggestion that UFOs are real. Alexander is neither a skeptic nor a conspiracy theorist. The vast majority of reports are false alarms, he writes, but there is an ineradicable core of reports that cannot be refuted except by ignoring the facts. He details several cases, from all over the world, where visual sightings are corroborated by photos and radar contact; where military equipment has been affected; and where the UFO maneuvered in ways our technology cannot duplicate. In one case, a British soldier actually touched the grounded UFO. On the other hand, the author is at pains to defuse conspiracy theories, which he feels have given the whole field of study a bad name. The United States is not in possession of crashed UFOs or alien cadavers, he writes—too many people would know, and over 60 years, someone would have found it profitable to spill the beans. However, the UFO phenomenon refuses to go away, despite its harshest critics and most gullible apologists.

Not the most thrilling book on the subject, but certainly among the most clear-sighted.