One of the first UFO books I ever bought was a cheap paperback Flying Saucers Are Hostile by Brad Steiger and Joan Whritenour, which promised ‘UFO Atrocities from strange disappearances to bizarre deaths.’ At the time it was as startling as the cover blurb promised.
This volume goes into even more detail about the dangers of UFO encounters and for good measure even includes a chapter about ‘Patterns of Horror’ by Brad that summarises some of the cases he used in his book. Many of the instances involve beams of light that burn the terrified witnesses and cause them to suffer from what seems like radiation burns. He also indicates that UFOs might be responsible for cases of spontaneous human combustion and that the magnetic field surrounding UFO craft flings aircraft to the ground and causes motor vehicles to crash if they get too close.
One of the more intriguing stories is about the discovery of the bodies of Miguel Jose Viana and Manuel Pereira de Cruz, on a hillside in Niteroi, a suburb of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August 1966. The two electronics repairmen were wearing homemade lead masks and they had notes referring to waiting for the ‘agreed signal’ and prescribing the use of capsules. UFOs were seen in the local vicinity before they were found and lab tests were unable to explain their deaths. Brad, perhaps influenced by Charles Fort, wonders if they met with the occupants of a UFO and ‘...learned far too late that...[the aliens]...far from being indifferent to earthlings and shunning contact with us, are decidedly aggressive and regard Homo Sapiens as man might regard cattle?’ [This case was described in a very early MUFORG Bulletin]
An earlier chapter by another veteran ufologist titled ‘The Hostile UFO Universe of George D. Fawcett’ lists numerous examples dated between 1944 and 1960 of hostile aviation encounters and instances where witnesses said they were burnt by exposure to UFOs.
A more considered viewpoint is given in ‘A Scientist Reports on the Hostility of Aerial Phenomena: Dr. James McDonald’ who says that cases of physical injures are relatively rare and need better authentication before they can be fully accepted. He agrees that UFOs have on occasion presented overt hostility and could be responsible for causing power outrages due to their magnetic fields getting too close to power distribution systems.
From that voice of moderation we get the screaming madness of Commander Alvin E. Moore who claims Skymen (his name for aliens) abduct people and extract blood from animals and humans, and for good measure are ruthless killers. Their work is made easy because they are invisible predators who stab or bite their victims and leave them drained of blood. He recounts several blood curdling instances of unexplained attacks and deaths to shoe-horn into his Skyman theory, but they are mainly based on news clippings rather than on any in-depth research or consideration for more plausible explanations.
The following chapters cover such topics as wartime UFOs, including my own chapter ‘Pre-First World War Scares and Sightings’, the Angel of Mons, disappearing soldiers, foo fighters and the Battle for Los Angeles. Alien attacks, abductions, mutilations and the evil plans ‘they’ have for humanity are all given room from consideration.
This collection of so many stories about the horrific side of UFO visitations gives little room for doubt that they have got it in for us, big time! Yet, before we head for the tin foil hat and underground bunkers all is not lost. Many of the reports are misleading and forget to mention rational explanations for them. Some are just examples of UFOs being seen in the vicinity of a mysterious event with no direct link being established between the two, or some cases might be due to such things as plasma balls, rare electrical phenomena, secret weapon testing or just plain rumours with little basis in fact.
The stories in the second half of the book, about abductions, mutilations, disappearances and the nasty alien agenda, indicate the pure paranoia and fantasy-proneness of people sucked into this subject. It also shows that some of us have not moved on from the mindset of Brad’s ‘Flying Saucers Are Hostile’ hypothesis.
I think such unconditional beliefs are far more dangerous than a UFO zapping you in the middle of the night, and this book should serve as a warning about the psychological dangers of ufology.
Whatever your opinion UFO Hostilities is a sensational exploration of the wilder and unfettered fringes of ufology. -- Nigel Watson.