I’d encourage all of you to pay attention to Billy Cox’s blog, De Void. Billy is arguably the only mainstream journalist in the U.S. who pays serious attention to UFOs. He’s also a likable guy (I roomed with him at the X-Conference event I spoke at several years ago).
Billy recently posted a short review of the important new academic book entitled, UFOs and Government: A Historical Inquiry. The book is a serious attempt to sort through all the credible UFO documentation and create a narrative about the U.S. government’s involvement with, and assessment of, UFOs. It is edited by emeritus professor Michael Swords, whose name will be recognized by those with sustained interest in ufology. Billy writes:
“Swords, who taught the history of science technology at Western Michigan University and is an emeritus professor of environmental studies, has drilled deep into the vein of primary sources and along with eight co-authors and contributors produced an authoritative look at the high-level disarray, inter-agency tensions, and the militarys improvisational attempts at information management even as honest scientists struggled to give them the truth.”
Billy laments that few people will read the work due to its length (580 pp.) and distaste for material that will read like, well, an academic textbook. I hope many UFO Religion readers will tackle it, or at least purchase it for reference.
Glad you’ve mentioned this new book Mike.
I would be interested to know how this volume differs from Richard Dolan’s series, of which I have on the shelf the two existing volumes, and I will doubtless get the third. I presume there is something of an apples and oranges difference in approach, but are the source documents used by Swords and co. different from those Dolan uses?
I’ve had a look at the indexes to this new work that can be read online, and I’ve got to admit that I was not a little surprised that the new book has no reference to Dolan’s work (as far as I can tell) even in criticism. To me that says “something,” but precisely what I would not venture to guess.
Anyway, some time ago I corresponded with Mr. Dolan to inform him of this book, and to ask for a comparison. Last weekend, during his internet radio show broadcast he said he had purchased a copy and somewhere down the line will provide a review. He sounded favorably impressed with Swords’ and co.’s work.
If anyone has looked at both I’d be interested in a comparison. With a limited budget, a lot of nice-to-have’s just have to remain unpurchased.
Like Rich, I won’t be sure until I read it. I’m not surprised that Rich would be interested and kindly disposed to Swords’ work, as the latter has a long, respected history in ufological research.
This book is a fabulous resource. As a pastor and theological scholar, I appreciate thoroughness and documentation. Mike Swords has done a great job of compiling this information, and kudos to the collected authors as well. A serious, credible look at a topic largely ignored because works of just this kind are so few and far between.
Thanks for chiming in, Ray! If you have read it and would like to post a review here, let me know.
I wonder how it compares to Dolans massive work. Just glancing through the preview on Amazon.com, it looks like Swords covers a lot of the same ground. Of course maybe he offers different sourcesor more of them.
Not sure – I will have to read it to see what relationship it bears.